While at the family reunion, my brother-in-law had horchata to complement the Mexican style dinner they were serving. I am the biggest fan of Mexican food and the horchata was one of the best I’d ever tried. After we got home I was remembering the milky, smooth taste and decided I wanted to make some of my own.


2/3 cup of white rice
3 cups of warm water
One 2-inch cinnamon stick
3/4 to 1 cup of sugar
2 cups of rice milk or regular milk
Ground cinnamon, for serving
In a blender, grind the rice so it is in fine pieces, roughly the consistency of very coarse polenta. (If your blender won’t go that fine, that’s okay and just break up the rice as much as possible.)
Transfer the rice to a bowl then pour warm water over it and add the cinnamon stick. Cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, but preferably overnight.
Pluck out the cinnamon stick then puree the rice and water until it’s as smooth as possible. Strain the mixture through a sieve lined with a few layers of cheesecloth, squeezing it relatively firmly to extract as much of the rice flavor as possible.
Stir in the sugar and milk, mixing until the sugar is dissolved. Taste, and adjust sweetness, if necessary. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve over ice with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon on top. Store in the refrigerator for up to four days.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of lemon. When standing in front of a case full of pastries,  lemon anythings are always pushed to the bottom of the list. Even if something isn’t too lemon-y, I turn up my nose and refuse even the biggest of pleas to try the tiniest of nibbles. Yet as is the case with all happy endings the story continues with my inability to stop thinking about the gelato from our trip to San Francisco. How the preposterous lemon beat out all the other flavors to use in my recent sorbet endeavors, I’ll never know. Maybe it was the fact that it was the first thing that came to mind when I rolled “sorbet” around in my head. Maybe it was because a nice, tall glass of cold lemonade always hits the spot after a long day of working in the summer heat. Either way, here it is, and let me tell you, lemon is divine.
Lemon Sorbet

1 lemon’s peel, finely diced
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup carbonated mineral water
6 strips of lemon zest, for garnish
In a saucepan, stir together the diced lemon peel, 1 cup of water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
In a pitcher or bowl, stir together the lemon syrup with peel, lemon juice and mineral water. Pour into a tall canister. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours. Remove and stir with a whisk. Return to the freezer and stir about once every hour for about 4 hours. The more times you stir, the more air will be incorporated, resulting in a lighter finished product.
Garnish each serving with a twist of lemon peel.

*If you have an ice cream maker you can use that instead and just following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Over the weekend I was completely clueless (again) as to what to make for this post. I kept asking AJ what he’d like me to make and he was very helpful with long pauses of thoughtful thinking and “hmmm’s.” while reading through CNN.com.  “Should I make cookies? Maybe it’s too hot to make cookies.” I walked over to the oven. “We don’t even own a cookie sheet!” I thought I remembered having one at some point (I think one of the kitchen elves swiped it).
After quite a bit of fighting with myself about whether I should make cookies or not, I remembered it’s summer. It’s hot outside. I need to embrace the heat, make things that are cold and refreshing, something new. 
I had seen so many summer cocktails floating around and since we are not drinkers decided to make my own virgin, version of a great summer slush.
Truth be told, that coconut up there is false advertising. When we went to the store for the supplies (I always shop “in the moment”) AJ was insistent that we get a coconut. “You can put it in your pictures!” Oh and I did. I set those two drinks out, laid that coconut behind them, and bam! the oddest looking, most out of place, furry ball I had ever seen. This was not going to work. I showed AJ and he immediately got to work wrestling that coconut down, popping it open, and scraping out that meat, all without spilling a drop of his slushy.
These tasted so good; like a true Hawaiian adventure. I was really amazed. This drink was absolutely amazing. It made a whole blender full, enough for two tall glasses, but with enough leftover ingredients that I will be whipping it up again very soon.
Coconut Lime Slush
2 full trays of ice
3/4 cup of water 
1/4 cup of coconut cream
1/4 cup of frozen lime juice concentrate
Toss all the ingredients in a blender and process until it is thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and top with slices of lime and sprigs of mint.
You won’t regret it.

Heaven! The hardest part about setting up pictures like these is not taking a bite out of the food mid placement. I literally had to stop myself because it was just oh so tempting to nibble on it as I worked.

2 lbs of boneless pork rib meat
36 fl oz of your favorite soda (I used Dr. P)
1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of lime juice
1 tsp of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Sides and toppings:
1 pack of tortillas
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup of cilantro
1 can of black beans
2 cups of mexican rice

Place the frozen pork rib meat into a crockpot, pour in the soda, cover with the lid and place it in the fridge over night. The next morning add in the brown sugar, lime juice, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Set it in the crock pot base, turn on low, and let it cook for about 8 hours. After the allotted time (when I got home from work) shred the pork with a fork and knife and let it continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Then serve with your desired toppings and sides. Enjoy! Your husband/boyfriend/invisible friend will thank you!


Four delicious juicing recipes for your recipe arsenal.
Don’t forget about the newest, Pineapple Carrot Juice.
I do believe there’s a juicing revolution going on around here.
Beet Juice
5 carrots – peeled
4 stalks of celery
2 beet – peeled and sliced
1 apple – cored and sliced
Grapefruit Juice
4 mandarins – peeled
1 grapefruit – peeled
1 lemon – peeled
1 apple – cored and sliced
Green Juice
5 mandarins – peeled
3 handfuls of spinach
1 apple – cored and sliced
Green Lemonade
5 stalks of celery
2 handfuls of spinach
1 apple – cored and sliced
1 lemon – peeled


Some tricks for beginners:
1) do one veggie and the rest fruits, sweeter is safer at first
2) stick with foods you like, if you dislike beets don’t juice them right away
3) juiced bananas can be weird, throw them in the blender afterwards instead
4) if you want to do a ton of veggies always add an apple or orange to add some sweet
New to juicing? Watch this, change your life (:
For those wondering, I have the Breville multi-speed juicer. Here’s a less expensive version also.