Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

A velvety, heavenly, fabulous post-run treat or healthy snack that has a nice amount of protein and packs in the produce with pumpkin, carrots & bananas!

 

 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Total Time: 5 minutesServings: 1Author: Meme

Ingredients

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 carrot roughly chopped {raw or steamed}

1/2 cup Greek yogurt plain

1/2 small banana {preferably frozen}

3/4 cup coconut water

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground ginger

dash of nutmeg

dash of allspice

1 TBSP orange or lemon juice , optional

1 TBSP maple syrup or honey, optional

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a blender in the order listed, and process until smooth. Enjoy!

serve.

Enjoy!


MONTHLY MARTINI

Candy Corn Martini

You know we couldn’t throw a party without a signature cocktail! For each of our five Halloween parties, we’ll be sharing a creative cocktail that works perfectly with the party theme. We clearly had to start with a candy corn martini. The trick to this sweet drink is made with candy corn infused vodka. If you can’t go into sugar shock at Halloween, when else can you? Just remember that you’ll have to make the candy corn vodka a couple of days in advance to give it time to infuse. Let’s get shaking!

Ingredients:

– 1/4 cup candy corn

– 1 – 1 1/2 cups vodka

– 1/2 cup honey

– 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

1. To make candy corn infused vodka, combine pour candy corn into a mason jar and fill the jar with vodka. Let sit for five days before straining.

2. To make the honey simple syrup, combine honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until combined and let simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.

3. To make the cocktail, combine one large measure of candy corn vodka with one small measure of honey simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until the shaker is too cold to handle.

4. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a few candy corn.

The measurements for making the infused vodka aren’t terribly precise. We used about 1/4 cup of candy corn and then filled the mason jar with vodka. If you want to make a bigger batch, you can simply add the candy corn to your vodka bottle.

Letting it “steep” for a week gives the vodka some color. You’ll want to shake it a couple of times throughout the process.

Next up, honey simple syrup! You can make a large or small batch, just use an equal ratio of honey to water.

Now that we have our infused vodka and honey simple syrup, it’s time to get mixing!

Using a jigger, measure out one measure of the candy corn vodka using the larger side. Pour it into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Next measure out a small jigger of the honey simple syrup, and add that to the shaker.

It’s our favorite part—well, second favorite part—time to shake it up!

Add a few candy corns for garnish.

Now it’s our real favorite part—drinking! Cheers!

Have you ever made a candy cocktail? Tell us what it was in the comments!

Kristin Appenbrink

Kristin combines her love of words, a passion for creating, and a drive to learn new skills. Plus, as an obsessive ice cream maker and storyteller she always has a scoop to share.

How Much Sugar and Caffeine Is in Some Soda and Energy Drinks?

By Norma Holt 

This is one of the areas that may escape the notice of many who feel thirsty and just need to drink something. The question is why are they ignorant of the amount of sugar in each container of soda? It's mostly due to the fact that such is hidden from them while warning labels should be made compulsory. It is the right of all consumers to know what they are putting into their stomachs and the health risk associated with such drinks.

Because sugar produces a 'high' many don't care to know while others just go with the flow. Energy drinks are becoming more popular as so many young people use them instead of alcohol to get their 'fix'. Unfortunately, some will die from their consumption as they hold some 20 plus spoonful's of sugar.

The body cannot handle such a massive input of the substance. It is not only sugar, however, that is to blame as these drinks are loaded with caffeine. A super sized container will have the equivalent of up to 4 cups of coffee, some 375 mg of it. That is way beyond what the body would normally be expected to handle.

A normal sized bottle of the most popular soda contains some 16 to 17 spoons of sugar, and parents are frequently seen giving these to young children, some just toddlers.

The problem is there are no warning labels about either of the substances these drinks contain. Young people are known to die suddenly after consuming energy drinks but the facts are that money talks. Companies producing these products will continue to hide the facts about their products unless the public demand to be informed.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Politics, health, social and behavioral problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and reincarnation, which she experienced. She is happy to hear from any of her readers.


The Spice Trail

By Norm Huffnagle 

I get comments about my calling out of specific types of spices and whether or not that's required.

My stock answer is, "You may use whatever spice choices as you may desire. But if you want to enjoy and savor the subtle flavors in these recipes, I suggest you hunt down and use the specific spices I call out."

I use spices from different regions strictly because of the nuances that the spice brings to the food.

For example, you can buy the generic "Oregano" in your local grocery store and for most meals that is more than sufficient.

However, there is a subtle difference between Mexican Oregano, Mediterranean Oregano, and store-bought generic "Oregano."

Store-bought Oregano is fine for most dishes. While it's a generic, consisting of blends of oreganos from various areas, Its taste is not consistent from batch to batch, and the base flavor depends on which batch was prepared where.

I prefer Mexican Oregano for all of my Mexican dishes. Mexican Oregano has a stronger, more robust flavor, with a hint of earthiness that it adds to the food.

However, Mexican Oregano tends to overpower subtle dishes, such as you may find in Mediterranean cooking.

I use Mediterranean Oregano when I prepare recipes originating in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Oregano has a subtle flavor that enhances those dishes, but does not overpower them.

Similarly, you can use general, all-purpose paprika in your cooking. I, however, prefer the nuances of Hungarian paprikas over either the generic paprikas or the Spanish paprikas.

Don't get me wrong: Spanish paprikas, being less intense that Hungarian paprikas, are desirable in Spanish cooking like Paella, but in goulashes or paprikash, I prefer Hungarian paprikas.

And just to confuse you more, There's a taste difference depending on just exactly where the paprika was grown. In Hungary there are two major paprika producing regions: Szeged and Kaloscai. The Szeged region produces a paprika that owes its popularity to the region's intense marketing efforts. The Kalocsai varieties of paprika, I find, are more nuanced in flavors. You'll see the Szeged variety on store shelves more often than you'll see the Kalocsai variety, but I assure you, for my taste, I prefer the Kalocsai variety.

In another vein, there are two varieties or preparations of paprika: plain and smoked. I do not, personally, like the taste of smoked paprikas, so I tend to stick with the plain varieties.

One word of caution: when buying Hungarian paprikas over the internet, please don't buy a lot on your first purchase. I've found wild variations in flavors, even between paprikas labelled "Kalocsai". As a consequence, I only deal with a small, select group of wholesalers, ones that I've tried and that produce a consistent product that fits both my taste buds and my budget.

I'm fortunate to have a local importer only a few miles from my house, so I drive over there, sample his wares, and select what tastes best for me.

Sweet Hungarian paprika (Édes-nemes) has a subtle mild, sweet and slightly bitter taste. You can use quite a lot of it before it overpowers.

Hot Hungarian paprika (Eros), on the other hand, can be intensely fiery, and a very little bit goes a long, long way. For example, you'll see that in a particular recipe I might call for two tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika. But you'll also see that I also call for something in the neighborhood of one-eighth teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika. Hot Hungarian paprika is that much stronger.

As a parting word of advice: Store your spices in tightly closed containers in your freezer! The spices will last longer and have a more intense flavor than when those bottles are carelessly stored in some dark cabinet in your kitchen.

The difference is because spices owe their unique flavors to essential oils that slowly evaporate, leaving a tasteless mélange of material behind. Placing them in the refrigerator or freezer markedly slows down the boiling-off of those essential oils.

If you want to have fun with paprikas, try this recipe:

Paprikás Krumpli

[Potato Goulash with Sausages]

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Avocado oil

1 lb. Andouille sausage, sliced into coin

1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced

1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 small russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½ inch thick slices

2 cups low sodium beef broth

Directions:

In a 5 qt Dutch oven over medium heat bring the oil to shimmering.

Add the sausages and stir-cook until browned and slightly crispy.

Remove sausage rounds to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add the onions and stir-cook until translucent.

Add paprika, salt, garlic and pepper.

Stir-cook an additional 2 minutes to thoroughly combine all ingredients.

Add in the potato slices.

Continue to stir cook until the potatoes are well-coated with onions and the seasonings.

Add sausages and beef broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.

Norm Huffnagle got serious about cooking when his wife bought him a wok in 1988, and he never looked back! Although more of a 'gourmand' than a 'gourmet, he does 'dabble' in that arcane art to the point that he has been invited back to do repeat performances. Norm specializes in ancient Chinese dishes, various flavors of Chilis, contemporary Portuguese cuisine, and occasionally in fiery Mexican preparations. Recently applying his skills to weight management and healthy living, Norm recommends Julien Robideaux' latest eBook, "Ditch the Salt - Not the Savor", available on Amazon at http://amzn.com/B07S788TZG.



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