Pinnacle Raspberry Lemonade Recipe

Pinnacle Raspberry Lemonade
Sample provided.

Pinnacle Vodka are sharing a light, refreshing cocktail perfect for warm weather:

Pinnacle Raspberry Lemonade

Recipe courtesy Pinnacle Vodka.

Ingredients:

1 parts Pinnacle Raspberry Vodka
2 parts Lemonade

Directions:

Mix ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel or raspberries.

Recipe: Twice as Tasty Cookies

Twice as Tasty Cookies

This is a partnered post.

I love to get creative in the kitchen and come up with new recipes and ideas. That’s why I’m excited about the Inspired By Voortman contest, which is challenging entrants to come up with a creation made from Voortman Wafer Cookies. I’ve always wanted to enter a baking contest, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with a cookie recipe that is doubly delicious – and had my family dipping their hands back in the cookie jar for seconds!

Cookies and milk

The soft cookie base is topped with a wafer square, and is easily adaptable for three different flavors. Easy to make and requiring few ingredients, this would be perfect to make for a party as it yields just under four dozen cookies. When I try a new recipe for the first time, I judge its success by how quickly it disappears – and once I saw Jai returning to the kitchen multiple times for more cookie helpings, I knew this was a winner!

Cherry Berry Cookies

Twice as Tasty Cookies

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book – 1963 Edition

Vanilla Cookies

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Mix on low for 1:07, then pause and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Continue mixing on medium for an additional 15 seconds, or until dough is thoroughly mixed.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by either covering it with a COOKINA sheet or foil, OR spray the tray with PAM cooking spray.

Roll the cookie dough into balls, roughly 1 to 1 1/4″ large. Pour confectioner’s sugar into a medium sized bowl, and roll each dough ball in the sugar to coat generously. Place each cookie ball on the sheet, leaving 2 to 3″ between each cookie.

Dip the end of a glass into the confectioner’s sugar and gently flatten out each cookie.

Next, place the Voortman Wafer Cookies onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut each wafer into four sections. Tip: The lines on the wafer cookies can be used as guides to cut a straight line on each. Press one wafer section onto each cookie.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until done. Makes around four dozen cookies.

Twice as Tasty Vanilla Cookie

Variations:

These tasty variations are a perfect compliment to the original cookie. Make as directed above, and simply add the desired extra ingredient and a slightly longer mixing time.

Chocolate Cookies:

Chocolate Cookies

For chocolate cookies, add 1/4 C Unsweetened Hershey’s Cocoa.

Cherry Berry Cookies:

Cherry Berry Cookie Closeup

For cherry berry cookies, add 1/4 C diced maraschino cherries, 1 tsp. of juice from the maraschino cherry jar, and 10 drops of red food coloring.

How to Enter The Inspired By Voortman Contest:

Inspired By Voortman Contest

What would you make with Voortman Wafers? Your bright idea might just win you $2,500 in the Inspired By Voortman Contest! And you don’t have to be a chef to enter: Your wafer creation could either be a recipe, or a fun wafer art creation. So you could make a cookie house with your kids, or whip up your own baked goodies like I did: The choice is yours! The contest is open to residents of the US (Excluding CO, MD, NE, ND, AZ, and PR) and Canada (Excluding Quebec).

You can check out the wafer creations gallery for a few examples to get those creative juices flowing. The contest runs through June 13th at 12 PM EDT and you can enter once per day, so get in the kitchen and have some fun – and if you enter, let me know, because I would love to check out your creation!

Twice as Tasty Cookies

Do you like to get creative in the kitchen? What would you make for this contest?

Meal Planning is a Snap With Meals in a Jar

Meals

Samples provided for review

Real talk: living with a chronic illness, most of the time I am too exhausted to eat healthy. However, dinner consisting of a spoonful of peanut butter and a bag of microwave popcorn – while convenient – do not leave one feeling great, either physically or emotionally.

Enter 150 Meals in a Jar. These recipes are aesthetically pleasing – like looking into a swirling kaleidoscope of color and texture – as well as easy to make, eat, and clean. It’s much easier to prep a suite of food for the week, if you have meals that are easy to multiply and interesting enough to be eaten several days in a row.

Below is a sample recipe for 3 Tomato Pasta Salad with Pesto. It’s easy enough to make when you have no energy, but tasty enough to be something you’ll want to eat again tomorrow. Buy 150 Meals in a Jar online, through the Robert Rose catalog!

Three Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

4 cups salted water 1 L
1⁄2 cup dried penne pasta 125 mL
2 tbsp pesto 30 mL
1⁄2 cup sliced red cherry tomatoes 125 mL
1⁄2 cup sliced orange cherry tomatoes 125 mL
1⁄2 cup sliced yellow cherry tomatoes 125 mL
1⁄2 cup microgreens (see Tips) 125 mL
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 60 mL

Directions:

Prep 1-quart (1 L) jar
In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and boil, stirring occasionally, for 9 minutes or until firm to the bite. Drain, transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.
Add pesto to the cooled pasta and toss to coat.
Layer pasta mixture, red tomatoes, orange tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, microgreens and Parmesan in jar. Seal jar and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, turn jar upside down in a bowl. Makes 1 serving.

Monday’s Bento Box Idea

By Summer

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Top left clockwise to bottom left: whole grain brown rice cake, raw carrots, leftover rotisserie chicken pieced chunks, simply go gurt tube, 1/2 honeycrisp apple sliced (my kids love the sweetness of honeycrisp but they also love that it doesn’t seem to oxidize, turning brown, like other varieties)

Good Bloody Morning Recipe

Good bloody morning

Here is a Bloody Mary recipe from the Infusing Flavors cookbook that is perfect for a weekend brunch:

Good Bloody Morning

Recipe by Erin Coopey and reprinted from “Infusing Flavors” with permission.

Ingredients:

Celery salt for the rim of your glass
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce gin
5 ounces tomato, v-8, or clamato juice
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes Celery Bitters (see recipe below)
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce, optional
Lemon wedge
Pickled asparagus spear or pickled green bean, for garnish

Directions:

Place a teaspoon or two of celery salt on a side plate. Rub the lemon wedge around the edge of a tall glass to moisten it, and reserve the lemon wedge. Turn the glass upside down and spin the moistened edge in the celery salt to season the rim.
Fill the glass halfway with ice. Add the vodka, gin, tomato juice, lemon juice, Celery Bitters, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce, if using. Stir to blend using a long iced tea spoon or drink paddle. Cut a notch in the lemon wedge and rest it on the rim of the glass. Garnish with a pickled asparagus spear or pickled green bean. Sip and prepare to face the day!

Celery Bitters

Ingredients:

1 sprig fresh thyme
2 one-inch-long strips of lemon zest, cut with a vegetable peeler
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
¼ teaspoon white peppercorns
¼ cup celery seed
1 cup celery including leaves, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon dried gentian root
2 cups 151-proof vodka or grain alcohol such as everclear
1 cup filtered water

Directions:

Put the thyme, lemon zest, bay leaf, peppercorns, celery seed, chopped celery, and gentian root in a sterile quart-sized Mason jar. Pour the alcohol over the celery and spices. Close the jar snugly and shake to blend. Let the mixture infuse in a dark place for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking daily.
After 4 to 6 weeks, strain out the celery and spices using a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the solids and pour the alcohol base back into the original jar. Add the water and shake to combine. Let stand in a dark place for 3 to 4 days.
Line a fine-mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and strain out the solids. The bitters should be clear and debris free. If you notice any debris in the liquid, filter it again.
Transfer the strained bitters to small, dark bottles for storage. Store, away from direct sunlight, for up to 1 year.

Truffle-Infused Olive Oil Recipe

Truffle infused oil

Here’s a delicious oil infusion from the cookbook Infusing Flavors that you can add to popcorn, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and so much more:

Truffle-Infused Olive Oil

Recipe by Erin Coopey and reprinted from “Infusing Flavors” with permission.

Ingredients:

1 or 2 small white or black truffles (not quite 1 ½ ounce total)
½ cup mild-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Shave paper-thin slices of the truffles using a truffle slicer or madoline. The smaller and thinner the truffle pieces, the stronger the flavor of the finished oil.
Place the truffle slices in a small saucepan with the olive oil and warm gently over very low heat for 1 hour. Pour the infused olive oil into a small, sterile jar. Close the jar and place it in the refrigerator for 1 week to infuse.
After the oil has infused, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer or layers of cheesecloth to remove the pieces of truffle. (You can use the truffle pieces in one of these recipe suggestions or toast some artisan bread and sprinkle it with some truffle pieces, a little of the oil, and some sea salt.)
Pour the infused oil into a sterile bottle. Cap and store in the refrigerator for up to 30 days. Remember to take the oil out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to using.

Erin’s Tip: Fresh truffles make the best infusion but you can use canned or frozen truffles too. It is important to understand that oil is not a method of preservation of truffles because there is a risk of botulism developing in the oxygen-free oil. Oil containing truffles must be refrigerated and used within 30 days.

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe #FitnessFriday

Apple cider vinegar

Learn how to make your own apple cider vinegar, thanks to the cookbook Infusing Flavors:

Apple Cider Vinegar

Recipe by Erin Coopey and reprinted from “Infusing Flavors” with permission.

Ingredients:

12 small to medium apples, preferably organic
1 cup turbinado sugar or granulated sugar
4 cups water or more as needed, divided

Directions:

Thoroughly wash and chop the apples into medium-size pieces. You may include the skin, cores, and seeds, but toss out the stems. Place the chopped apples in a sterile, wide-mouth, ½ -gallon Mason jar or crock.
Place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan. Warm the water over medium, low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of water.
Pour the sugar water over the apples. Add more room-temperature water, as needed, to cover the apples.
Cut a double-layer, 8 x 8-inch square of cheesecloth. Place it over the mouth of the jar and secure it with kitchen twine or a large rubber band.
Place the jar in a warm location, away from direct sunlight, for 1 to 3 weeks. Mix gently with a wooden spoon, once a day. When you start to notice bubbles forming and the apple scraps/chunks no longer float, it’s time to strain the cider. The length of time will depend on the warmth of the environment.
Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the apple pieces. Pour the strained liquid into a fresh, sterile, half-gallon Mason jar or crock. Cover it with a fresh double layer of cheesecloth and secure as before.
Return the jar to the same warm place and for roughly 4 to 6 weeks. You may see sediment forming at the bottom of the jar; this is normal. A culture similar to a kombucha SCOBY (see page 72) should form on the top of the liquid. It will be cloudy but should show no sign of mold growth.
After 4 weeks, taste the vinegar. If it has reached a good level of acidity—meaning it tastes sharp like vinegar and you are satisfied with the flavor—you can strain it through several layers of cheesecloth into a saucepan. You can use this vinegar mother to start a new batch of cider vinegar. Using the mother will speed the fermentation process.
Place the saucepan over medium heat. Warm the vinegar to 140°F but no more than 150°F.
You can use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature. Warming the vinegar to 140°F pasteurizes the vinegar and stops the fermentation process.* Continue cooking at this temperature for 30 minutes.
Funnel the warm Apple Cider Vinegar into a sterile bottle. Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
*note: Some people prefer raw vinegar, which is quite healthful but has a shorter shelf life. Pasteurized vinegar can be stored almost indefinitely.

Watermelon & Hibiscus Agua Fresca Recipe

Watermelon & Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Today’s recipe from the cookbook Infusing Flavors is this refreshing summertime drink:

Watermelon & Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Recipe by Erin Coopey and reprinted from “Infusing Flavors” with permission.

Ingredients:

⅔ cup dried hibiscus flowers (also called Jamaica flowers)
8 cups water
4 cups cubed ripe seedless watermelon, cut into ¾ -inch dice
Agave nectar or honey, to taste, optional

Directions:

Place the dried hibiscus flowers into an infusion pitcher. Add water, cover the pitcher and close the lid, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. (If you don’t have an infusion pitcher, you can place the flowers and water in a bowl and cover it with plastic.)
Remove the infusion tube, or strain out the blossoms. Add the watermelon cubes directly into the pitcher (not in the infusion tube). Stir and refrigerate for another 1 to 4 hours. Taste to see if you like the flavor. If you feel like it could use a touch of sweetness, add honey or agave nectar, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring to blend, until you like the flavor.
Now you have two options. You can serve the Watermelon and Hibiscus Agua Fresca with chunks of whole watermelon, or pour the mixture into a blender and purée it with some agave nectar or honey. (I use about ½ cup of agave nectar for a whole pitcher). Either way, you’ll enjoy this refreshing summer quencher.

Orange-Clove Tea Recipe

Orange clove tea

Any good chef knows that flavors truly make the dish – and that’s the concept behind the new cookbook Infusing Flavors by Erin Coopey. We’re going to be sharing recipes from this cookbook all week to tempt your tastebuds, starting with this comforting cup of tea:

Orange-Clove Tea

Recipe by Erin Coopey and reprinted from “Infusing Flavors” with permission.

Ingredients:

2 cups water
3 teaspoons loose-leaf (or 2 teabags) black tea
1 orange, cut into ¼ -inch-thick slices
10 whole cloves, divided
Honey or sugar, if desired

Directions:

Fill a ceramic teapot with hot tap water to preheat it.
Place 2 cups of water in a kettle or pan. Heat the kettle over high heat.
When the water is just under a boil, empty your teapot and add 5 or 6 orange slices, 6 cloves, and the tea. (I like to let my tea float freely in my teapot, but you can use a tea ball or infuser if you prefer.) Fill the teapot with hot water from the kettle. Let steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
While the tea is infusing, place a slice of orange and a clove or two into each teacup. Strain the tea through a fine strainer into the orange-filled cup. Add sweetener, if using, and serve.

Orly’s Gluten Free Vegan Healthy Seeded Sandwich Bread Recipe

Vegan Healthy Seeded Sandwich Bread

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so we’re sharing this gluten-free recipe from Blends by Orly:

Orly’s Gluten Free Vegan Healthy Seeded Sandwich Bread

Recipe courtesy Blends by Orly.

Ingredients:

2 tsp (7 grams) or 1 packet of instant yeast
1 cup (230 ml) lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups (300) grams Blends by Orly Tuscany Blend
1/4 cup (50 grams) vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons (34 grams) honey
1/4 cup (20 grams) chia seeds
1/4 cup (20 grams) flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds (optional garnish)

Directions:

Mix: In the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a bread machine, combine all the ingredients, and mix together to make a soft, smooth, slightly sticky dough.

Proof: Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise in a warm temperate (approximately 90 degrees F) untill it’s almost doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Flour your work surface and the surface of your dough with Tuscany Blend or white rice flour. Gently shape the dough into a smooth log, and place it into the pan, smooth side up.
Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap or with a warm towel, and allow the loaf to rise till it’s raised over the rim of the pan by about 3/4″, about 45 minutes. For a faster proof time, let your loaf sit in an oven set to a warming temperature of about 90-100 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Bake: Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. If you don’t mind that the bread is not vegan, adding an outer coat of egg-wash will give your bread a glossy and crusty finish. Otherwise, brush the top of the dough with water-wash and sprinkle it with pumpkin seeds. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the tops are a golden color and makes a hollow sound to the touch. Remove the loaf from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Slice the bread in advance and freeze for up to 9 months. Makes 1 loaf.