Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ready for Summer Red Sangria

Hello!  Summer is finally here!  Well not officially, but temps here in Greenville, SC have been hovering between 80 and 90, so I'm down with that.  One of my favorite things about Summer is sitting out in the yard (mosquito free--hollaaa!!) with some tunes playing and a nice glass (let's be honest--a pitcher) of cold sangria in hand.  I even picked up some great outside drink holder stakes from Target!

I'm so lucky to have a Trader Joe's right in town, so needless to say, I stock up on "Two ($2.99) Buck Chuck" every now and then.  I have also been on a Shiraz kick.  I'm not a wine expert by any means, I've just been enjoying the flavor lately.  It might help that T.J.'s has a very classy box o' Shiraz for $9.99...  Anyhoo, here we go with my super easy, make-it-your-own sangria recipe:

  • Begin with some sliced fruit-- a small orange, lemon, and some strawberries will do.  Make sure to wash your fruit before slicing!! 

  • Toss the fruit in your pitcher (if using a large dispenser for a par-tayyy, just double everything)
  • Pour the wine over the fruit, so it begins marinating right away. 
  • Add about 1/2 cup of pineapple coconut rum (or liquor of your choice--most traditional red sangrias use a few ounces of brandy)
  • Top it off with about 3/4 cup of orange juice (pineapple juice works great, too!) and a splash of fruity seltzer for a little fizz. 
  • Stir it up gently, and serve over ice...umbrellas optional!  Enjoy!

That's it--so easy, right?  I get tons of compliments on this every time we host guests.  There is never a drop leftover.  Oh, and just a reminder, be careful opening your seltzer bottle.  Mine exploded alllllllllllll over me and my living room while I was making this batch.  Whoops!  
What are your favorite sangria additions? I'm always looking for new ideas! 

Thanks for reading and Enjoy!!

--meghan :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wheat free June.

Hello there!
If you follow me on Facebook, then you are probably already aware that my husband, Jay, and I have committed to going wheat-free for the month of June.  It seemed like a good time to do something somewhat drastic, since there are so many great fruits and veggies in season now anyway! Personally, I needed a good challenge to commit to.  I always find myself saying "we should eat healthier," but what does that really mean? For me, it usually means starting out the day with sensible meals and ending with a pizza and beers at midnight! Wellllll NOT this time.  We've gone cold-turkey on wheat products and I'm very pleased to report, so far, so good!  I have had no uncomfortable tummy feelings over the past week and I have found myself eating until just full, not stuffed.  I also gave up artificial sweeteners, mainly diet sodas.  I am certain this change is very positive for us and I am excited about going on with it!!
Here is a recipe for a pretty amazing wheat-free dinner I put together the other night.  (Jay grilled.  I guess I can't take all the credit.)

Cilantro Grilled Chicken

  • Season two chicken breasts with salt and pepper in a baking dish (will need to be covered to marinate)
  • Top each piece with a teaspoon of crushed garlic 
  • Add a handful of torn cilantro leaves to each piece
  • Squeeze a few lime wedges over the dish
  • Top each with about 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • Use a fork to poke some holes in the chicken so it soaks up all the flavors
  • Marinate in the fridge at least 2 hours
  • Grill to perfection!
  • I added a drizzle of delicious organic honey on top before serving ....mmmmmmm!!!

Baked Curry Sweet Potato Fries

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • We had the worlds largest sweet potato, so I just used one and it was more than enough for two servings...
  • Cut the sweet potato into small fry-size pieces
  • Soak in a bowl of salted water for about 20 minutes (not a necessary step, but I find it helps them to crisp up a little more in the oven)
  • Spray a baking tray with Pam (or drizzle a little olive oil to prevent sticking)
  • Spread out the "fries" in an even layer
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper and yellow curry powder to taste
  • Spray (or drizzle) a little more oil over the top
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crisp to your liking (my electric oven has a mind of it's own and sometimes bakes extremely fast)
We enjoyed this dinner with a fresh cilantro garnish, a drizzle of honey, and some Woodchuck Hard Cider.  Freakin amazing meal.  Who even needs wheat??
Let me know what you think!!!

--meghan :)