Today is a great day for a guest post, right!? We all need a cocktail right now and I’m thrilled to introduce you to Mike! We met in college and I fondly remember wearing a shirt to a conference that said “Have you met Mike?”. He has always been one to bring people together so cocktails in these strange times seems ohh-so fitting. Mike has been posting FAN-TASTIC cocktails and I asked if he’d share one here. Woohoo! Bottoms up! Meet Mike:
My name is Mike Lawlor, and I am the AGM for two different restaurants in Dorchester, Ashmont Grill & Tavolo Ristorante. I come up with seasonal cocktails for each establishment with the help of my bartenders. When the governor and mayor decided to move restaurants to take out only I decided I would post cocktail recipes that were delicious and approachable for the every day person with ingredients they may have in their pantry and liquor cabinet. I am fortunate enough to manage two bars where I have endless resources. Some cocktail recipes I will offer an easy suggestion for a replacement.
When we closed the doors at Ashmont Grill we let our staff do some grocery shopping on items that wouldn’t last through all this craziness. We are a tight knit family so we wanted to make sure everyone had some food to last through these hard times. I grabbed some bananas and decided to freeze them. My roommate came home night with a bottle of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey…ding ding! Who doesn’t love a peanut butter and banana sandwich? I sure do! Growing up my favorite sandwich was a PB and banana on cinnamon raisin bread.
Peanut Butter & Banana Old Fashioned
2 oz. of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
1 oz of Banana Puree
2 Dashes of Chocolate Bitters
1 Cup of water and sugar
2 bananas Chopped
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
Bring water and sugar to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Add the bananas and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes, or so.
Take off heat, let cool. Blend and then strain.
LETS MAKE THE COCKTAIL!
Grab your cocktail shaker. Add the ingredients and stir with a bar spoon. Add some ice, stir again. Grab a glass of your choice and drop in some ice (I recommend a large whiskey cube so it doesn’t dilute the drink) strain the cocktail and cheers!
I hope you’re inspired and mix up a cocktail. I’ve had multiple virtual happy hours and will have to mix up a cocktail instead of wine for my next one!!
These strange times call for jazzed up home coffees! Social distancing isn’t really a coffee change for me. I tend to not spend $4 on a fancy coffee, but LOVE to whip up fun drinks at home. There’s still joy in sipping this while playing legos or putting shapes into the correct shaped hole. I’m aiming to post when I can, depending on what we an access. We’ll see!
Plus, you can order all these ingredients for groceries delivered.
Caramel Coconut Coffee
1 cup coffee
1/4 cup coconut almond milk
1 teaspoon caramel syrup
Warm the milk just to take the chill off. Then froth the milk (either with a milk frother or shaken vigorously in a glass jar).
Drizzle caramel sauce onto the sides of the cup then add in the coffee. Spoon the foam onto the top.
The coconut is subtle and not as creamy as real milk but it foamed well! I have this one and it is the best treat $12 can get you!
P.S. I have some other ideas for your leftover caramel syrup: Caramel Apple Smoothie; or Salted Caramel Cider French Toast; or Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel; or Turtle Hot Chocolate.
Gingerbread lattes! Gingerbread americanos! Gingerbread hot chocolates! The possibilities are endless! I 100% wait until after Thanksgiving for Christmas things but these flavors felt fall enough to fit this week of Thanksgiving.
(makes ~2 cups, or 12 servings. Half unless gifting!)
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs honey
2 tbs molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated or minced ginger
1 strip orange peal
Heat everything together and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Pour through a mesh strainer, or through a cheese cloth, or through a coffee filter.
Stir into coffee and top with frothed milk. (Microwave milk in a glass jar for 15 seconds. Screw on the top and shake vigorously.)
Top with whipped cream and an extra sprinkle of nutmeg!
I keep fresh ginger in the freezer and use a veggie pealer to shave the skin off and then chop or grate. It lasts forever and is a great addition to peanut sauce or smoothies too.
I loved this! It was such a fun treat to have on hand! It is delightful in coffee or in hot chocolate. The flavor is strong so a tablespoon felt like plenty in a cup. This makes more than enough so I’ll half it next time.
This might be the easiest smoothie I’ve ever made yet it feels the most exotic! It only has 3 ingredients! Unlike many of my other smoothies, this one isn’t a meal, but is a great cool fruit serving as a snack or with something else for breakfast.
I buy these frozen dragon fruit puree packs at the grocery store and I went full on tropical for the flavors here: dragon fruit, mango, and coconut!
Dragon Fruit Smoothie
1 dragon fruit puree pack
~1 cup frozen mango
1 cup coconut almond milk
1/2 cup water, as needed
Add the dragon fruit. mango, and coconut almond milk into the blender.
Blend and add water as needed for your desired consistency. (I used ~1/2 cup)
How pretty is THAT??? Dragon fruit = pitaya. I often see both words on the package. Those frozen packs are beautifully pink and a bit of a splurge but this nicely highlights the sweet flavor. The color is even more radiant without any dairy in there- not that I should call almond milk dairy. I really only use it for the flavor. There’s nowhere near the calcium or protein of regular milk but I don’t loooove milk so I can appreciate almond this with a more watery and coconut flavor.
I should have poured some into my popsicle containers! This would be a good one!
I took a different route on this smoothie and made it into a snack-like smoothie versus a breakfast kind of smoothie. It was really good and hit the spot on a coffee-sat-too-long kind of day. It isn’t super sweet so the coffee flavor is for real. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fun coffee drink, but the serving of fruit can’t hurt. Right?
1 cup coffee, chilled
1 1/2 cups frozen pear or banana
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed meal
Blend everything together. If it is too thick add in a bit more milk or some water.
This was the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. A squirt of whipped cream made me fall more in love. I can see this one repeating when it is too hot to think!
Wayyy back, circa 2013 I made a peanut butter and jelly inspired smoothie. Since then, I’ve been drinking a new version with a green base. I made this one several times a week while pregnant with Baby C and my preschooler had some whenever I made it. The greens in the base are totally camouflaged so it is a great green-smoothie starter.
I often use a smoothie to be my breakfast- with something small later, like 1/2 cup Cheerios or a hard boiled egg. It also makes a great snack during this busy, on-the-go season!
PB & J Smoothie, Healthified
Ingredients (for 1-2 servings: 1 meal or 2 snacks)
1 1/2 cups greens (spinach or baby spinach & baby kale mix)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (Greek or regular)
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1-2 tablespoon peanut butter
Add greens, milk, and yogurt to the blender and blend well. Keep blending once it seems like enough. The more the better!
Then add in the blueberries, ground flaxseed, and peanut butter.
Add small increments of water until desired consistency. (I end up using about 1/2 cup usually)
Blend well and enjoy!
I like it best with regular vanilla yogurt but Greek has more protein (and more tang). I buy this bag of “juicing greens” which is baby spinach and baby kale. Once it has hung around about a week and there is any left, I freeze it an break some off for smoothies.
I add the water to get it to a drinkable consistency. Milk would work too. I keep adding, very slowly, until it splashes on the sides of my blender. Then I know it’ll go through the straw well.
Anyone who grows mint has it in spades. Anyone who buys mint also probably has extra and wants to get their money’s worth. Everyone wins! In the fall, our herb garden goes bananas and I’m seeking all the ways to use the herbs at hand. I hadn’t made a smoothie with mint this whole season, not since last year’s mojito smoothie (which is also a delicious one). The mint flavor is also perfect to go with a green smoothie. Adding the chocolate flavor muddies the color, but it is ohh-so-worth it.
Chocolate Mint Smoothie
1 cup spinach/kale
1/2 cup greek vanilla yogurt
1/2 apple, frozen
1/2 banana, frozen
hand-full of fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
Add greens, vanilla, and milk. Blend throughly.
Then add in the apple, banana, mint, cocoa powder, ground flax seeds.
I loved this one! It tastes like dessert but starting the day with a fruit and a veggie is the best. The mint is nicely refreshing and the chocolate makes this taste like a total treat. If the color turns you off, pop it into a cup with a cover. This is totally a keeper!
Use your mint for these mojito shrimp and in this zucchini/ricotta/herb pasta and then for this smoothie!
This one is a keeper! I whipped it up for breakfast but it could definitely be your dessert, or add a splash of a fruity liquor and you’ve got yourself a very frosty beverage! The fruity flavors really stand out and feel summery, without being exactly tropical. I wanted to add some pineapple but pregnancy heartburn is no joke so I kept it simple. I loved it so much that now I want to add this to my popsicle molds! It is mid/late July and I haven’t made popsicles yet! Where’s the time going???
The little guy liked this one a lot and asked for seconds. It was a great way to better introduce fruits we don’t have all the time. Just after this smoothie, he ate some cherries with grandma remembering he had them before!
Cherry Mango Smoothie
1 cup mango (I used frozen)
1 cup cherries (I used frozen)
1/2 large banana or 1/2 pear
3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional)
1/2 cup milk/water/juice (I used some milk & some water)
Add the fruits, yogurt, and flaxseeds to the blender and blend.
Stream in liquid until your desired consistency.
I go thick but drinkable with my fav aluminum straws or if I’m bopping around in the morning it might melt a bit before I finish. In this summer’s heat, that doesn’t take long around here! I loved how fruity and bright this smoothie is! I was inspired by a Polar seltzer flavor- despite never drinking seltzer. I’m not so into bubbles…except for champagne! The fruit combo was great since they are both easy to have on hand from the freezer – which also means, no slicing & dicing!
I’m boarder-line out of smoothie ideas that I’m into right now so I figured I’d healthify some of my tried & true. Way back in 2013 I made a chocolate cherry one with some chocolate sauce, frozen cherries, apples, and yogurt. This time, I started with a green base and added frozen cherries, ground flaxseed, and unsweetened cocoa. It was so great! Also it is an easy one to sneak the greens into.
I use smoothies as a breakfast, pretty much a meal for ~14 oz and then have a half an English muffin or do a mid-morning snack of dry cereal or a hard boiled egg. I’m also currently 7 1/2 months pregnant and always hungry. I like smoothies to be frosty and thick so I use a frozen fruit, also I continually stir it with my fav metal straws but for a thinner/more drinkable one skip the yogurt and defrost the cherries.
Healthier Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
3/4 cup of yogurt
1 cup greens (mine were started as fresh spinach & baby kale mix which then went into the freezer before they went bad)
~1 cup liquid (I used milk or try water or a red juice)
1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
Always, always, always blend the greens, liquid, and yogurt together first (unless you have a $800 blender). Blend for a minute or 2.
Add in the cherries, ground flaxseed, and cocoa powder.
Blend well for ~2 minutes on high.
Serve and enjoy!
I loved this smoothie! The little one did too. I’d totally recommend this one to anyone who is hesitant about the greens (or any smoothie with cherries or blueberries since the color will camouflage greens). The greens really just add a veggie to your day, and who doesn’t need another green veggie? I cannot sip most green juices but love it in smoothies!
The flaxseed also doesn’t have flavor or grit. The Registered Dietitians I used to work with said grind ‘em. Whole flax seeds will usually just pass right through you. I pop them into my coffee grinder so smoothies have some additional fiber, plant-based protein, fatty acids, etc.
The cocoa was great for chocolate flavor without any additional sugar. Frozen cherries are the best since they’re already pitted. They’re one of the better frozen fruits to eat thawed too.
I’m on a serious smoothie kick lately now that it has warmed up a bit. The dead of winter is never when I want to start the day with a frosty smoothie. Know what I mean? I like them to start with greens, but this one was a bit different. I wanted raspberry flavor without the annoying crunch of raspberry seeds. Ugg. They’re the worst. I used some jam and it was perfect! I got a kick of flavor and sweetness without the bulk or texture.
Peach Raspberry Smoothie
Ingredients: for 1-2 servings
1 cup frozen peaches
1 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons raspberry jam
1/2 cup water or juice or milk
Add peaches, yogurt, jam, and liquid to a blender.
Blend well and add another splash of liquid if needed.
I loved this! I used a little V8 Splash in a Berry Blend flavor. The jam definitely sweetened it so water or milk as the liquid would be good for balance. The raspberry flavor was definitely there without that gritty crunch. Yay! Jelly is a fun way to get another flavor & sweetness into a smoothie without the bulk of another ingredient! The possibilities are endless!
Add in some cauliflower, chia or ground flaxseed, or protein powder to up the nutritional content. This smoothie is mild and sweet so it was a nice variation in the rotation for green-based smoothies. Another favorite of mine I haven’t made in awhile is this Peanut Butter, Nutella, and Banana one. They both are very kid friendly will nicely space out green ones or berry flavors if you hit your max on those flavors!
There are more smoothies to come! Stay tuned!