Tag Archives: strawberries

Lemon Grotto

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! I found this cocktail in the February 2010 issue of Coastal Living. (love that magazine!) We’ve made it a few times for us and friends. Needless to say it packs quite a punch. It looks so unassuming and innocent! The power in this cocktail is of course Limoncello, which if you remember has a whopping 26% alcohol in it. So along with the other ingredients it is over the top incredible! It does take some prep time so make sure you leave enough time to prepare it for yourselves or guests. You can serve this in tall glasses or champagne flutes or martini glasses. Whichever you have around. So before summer is gone, make a batch and sip and relax! We actually made these last on Valentine’s Day! Brought a batch over to our friends house and sipped them by the fire. Yes, in Florida! Lori and Mike have a beautiful house in Jensen Beach which has a great fireplace so we hung with them for a few hours and enjoyed the day. The drinks should have a slight frothy top if served immediately after blending. But since we had made these ‘to go’, they lost the head. (I hear you all laughing!) The 2nd picture is from the magazine.

INGREDIENTS:

6 ounces (¾ cup) limoncello

2 ounces (¼ cup) orange liqueur (Grand Mariner)

8 large strawberries, sliced

Prosecco or other sparkling wine

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine the limoncello and orange liqueur in a small bowl. Stir in the strawberries and soak at least one hour. (We did this overnight!)

2. After the berries have soaked, purée the mixture in a blender. Strain if desired. (We tried both ways. Strained is a little better, no seeds etc)

3. Pour into 4  glasses. Top with Prosecco or sparkling wine. Serve immediately!

Makes 4 drinks!

See what happens when you drink a couple in front of a cozy fire!

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Hawaiian Island Smoothie

Alright so I’m posting a beverage that doesn’t have alcohol in it! It’s still really good and healthy and refreshing! You can always add some rum to this if you want but I like it for a quick filling drink during the day. It’s great on a hot summer day which we are now into down here in Florida! (Even though it is only early May!) The ingredients are all in your supermarket and should be easy to get so don’t hesitate! And if you want to make this when you can’t find one of the fruits, like maybe a mango, just buy frozen fruit! It’s just as good! This reminds me of our trip to Hawaii in 2008. It was incredible and the pineapples were so fresh and juicy! Aaahhh…..

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup mango, fresh or frozen

½ cup cantaloupe, fresh or frozen

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup pineapple juice (or more to thin)


DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 10 seconds or until smooth!

Makes 2 servings

Nutritional Info Per Serving: (These are approximate)

Calories:134

Fat: .6 grams

Sodium: 6.4 mg

Carbs: 33 grams

Fiber: 1.4 grams

Weight Watcher Points: 2

Buying Fresh Fruits & Vegetables at Their Peak (Part 1)

Like most of our local supermarkets we can usually get any kind of fruit or vegetable year round. Transportation improvements and storage facilities have aided in this. But if you want to get the most nutritional value and flavor from a fruit or vegetable it’s best to choose at the peak of their freshness. But what is fresh at what time of the year? I know when I lived in New York strawberry season was usually at its peak in June. But here in Florida it’s March and April. Different regions of the country have different growing seasons therefore some peaks of freshness may vary. I have put together a list of fruits and vegetables and when the best time is to enjoy them at their best! It’s a big list so I am going to break the list down to two posts. I hope this information helps out when you’re shopping. Another thing when you are buying items at their peak they are usually the best price as well. So keep that in mind as well! This list will tell you which months are best for the freshest products and also what to look for when choosing your produce.

  • Apples:  September-May: Look for good color; firm to touch. Avoid those that are soft & mealy.
  • Apricots: June-July: Should be golden-yellow; plump; firm. Avoid pale yellow or green, very hard or soft, shriveled and wilted ones.
  • Avocados: All Year: They should yield to gentle pressure; vary in size, shape and color from green to black. Brown markings on skin do not lower quality.
  • Bananas: All Year: They should be firm; yellow touched with green. If needed, ripen at room temperature.
  • Blueberries: June-August: Should be firm; plump; full-colored; bright, clean, fresh appearance.
  • Cranberries: September-December: Should be firm; plump; full-colored; bright, clean, fresh appearance.
  • Strawberries: March-July/June-August: Should be firm; plump; full-colored; bright, clean, fresh appearance. Only strawberries should have hull (stem cap) attached when mature.
  • Cherries: May-June: Should have a fresh appearance; firm; good size for type of cherry.
  • Coconuts: September-March: Should be good weight for the size; milk inside still fluid. If no milk, coconuts are spoiled. Avoid ones with moldy or wet-looking eyes.
  • Figs: July-September: Should be fairly soft to touch. Use at once, spoils quickly. Sour odor indicates overripe fruit.
  • Grapefruit: October-June: Should be firm; well-rounded; heavy for the size; smooth textured. Avoid coarse, puffy, rough-skinned fruit.
  • Grapes: June- December: Should be fairly soft; tender; plump. Well-formed clusters with green, pliable stems. Darker varieties are free of green tinge; green grapes have a slight amber blush.
  • Kiwi: June-August: Should be soft to the touch, like avocados. Sometimes called Chinese gooseberries.
  • Lemons: All Year: Should be fairly firm; smooth and glossy-skinned; heavy for size.
  • Limes: May-October: Should be heavy for size. Green variety are more acidic than yellow.
  • Mangoes: April-August: Should be solid and not too soft to touch. Can vary in size from a plum to an apple and in color from yellow to red. Smooth skin often speckled with black. Green mangoes are sometimes used in cooking.
  • Cantaloupes: May-September- The color and aroma are best guides. Delicate aroma; thick netting that stands out; yellow-tinged skin under the netting. No evidence of stem at blossom end.
  • Casabas: July-October: Buttery-yellow, wrinkled rinds, lengthwise furrows.
  • Crenshaws: July-October: Yellow-gold rind; pleasant aroma.
  • Honeydews: February-October: Creamy, yellow rinds; pleasant aroma.
  • Persians: July-October: Thick webbing; gray-green to brown skin under webbing.
  • Watermelons: May-August: Dull surfaces with cream-colored undersides; symmetrical shape.
  • Nectarines/Peaches: June-September: Should be plump; fairly firm depending on type. Skin color white or yellow with a red blush.
  • Oranges: November-June: Should be heavy for size; firm; skins not too rough.
  • Papayas: All Year: Should be greenish-yellow to full yellow in color; flesh gives slightly when fruit pressed in palm of hand.
  • Pears: August-May: Should yield to gentle pressure at stem end. Color ranges from creamy yellow to russet. Ripen at room temperature.
  • Persimmons: October-May: Should be firm; shapely; plump; orange-red color; attached stem cap. Handle gently. Looks like a large red tomato in shape and firmness
  • Pineapples: February-August: Should have “piney” aroma; golden-yellow; slightly soft. Ripe when leaf is easily removed. Green fruit may not ripen properly. Over-mature fruit may show soft-watery darker spots on the base or sides.
  • Plums: June-September: Should be plump; full-covered, soft enough to yield to slight pressure. Softening at tip is usually a sign that fruit is mature. Avoid shriveled and hard plums.
  • Pomegranates: September-November: Should be thin-skinned; bright purple-red; looks fresh.
  • Tangerines/Tangelos: November-January/January-October: Should be deep orange or yellow; glossy skin. Loose skin. Overripe fruit has puffy, dry skin.

**Coming Next Week: Vegetable Peak Months!

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