Drinks

green juice

On a scale of In-n-Out to brunch, my level of LA-ness lands right around green juice in a mason jar. When juicing started creeping into the picture and more juice bars were opening up than Starbucks, I was very skeptical of putting greens that basically taste like grass in a juice, and not making it taste like, well, grass. No matter how many people swore that an apple negated all hints of kale, spinach, etc. I just wasn’t buying it…

…Until I acquired a juicer and tried it for the first time.

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Admittedly, I didn’t jump right into juicing bunches of kale. I started out with a less-threatening version of green juice: a cucumber, apple, lemon and ginger. I like all of those fruits and veggies (is ginger a vegetable? root?), and none of them reeked of a just-cut lawn, so it was a safe way to experiment with a “green” juice.

After acquainting myself with a “safe” alternative to green juice, I took a leap and shoved a little bit of kale into the chute and it really wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be! In fact, it tasted just like my alternative green juice, but with a little darker green color and the added benefits of kale.

Consider me a 100% convert to green juice.*

*Except for celery. I still hate celery.

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Drinks

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana

On a lazy weekend morning, I was enjoying my oversized mug full of coffee while watching “Giada at Home.”  I flipped on the TV just in time to watch her making a pitcher of refreshing orange ice tea.  The originality of this idea intrigued me (and it looked ridiculously easy to make).  And thus began an easy project for a slow Sunday morning.

All of the tea bags tied together and ready to go:

Making some really black tea (steeped for 20 minutes!):

The ruby red blood orange slices:

Pouring in the sparkling water:

After mixing together the syrup, sparkling water, orange slices and mint with a big ladle, the pitcher of refreshing orange tea is ready!

The dishful thinker’s tips:

  • Instead of using 1/2 of a small orange, I used an entire small(er) blood orange.  The red adds some lively visual interest and I mean, c’mon.  Blood oranges are just delish.
  • Tie the the tea bags together.  It makes for a much easier steeping process.
  • Next time I try this, I’m going to use less sugar when making the syrup.  The orange juice is already sweet, and all of that sugar made this drink a little too sweet…even for me.

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Ingredients

Syrup:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Tea:

  • 2 cups water
  • 7 black tea bags (recommended: Red Rose)
  • 3 cups sparkling water, chilled
  • 1/2 small orange, thinly sliced
  • Ice
  • Fresh mint or basil sprigs, to garnish

Directions

Special equipment: a 60-ounce (7 1/2 cups) pitcher

For the syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 20 minutes.

For the tea: In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bags and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the tea to steep and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Pour the tea and syrup into a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Pour the sparkling water into the pitcher and add the orange slices. Pour the tea into 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with fresh mint, or basil, and serve.