Instant Sangria

I’m no mixologist, but this on-the-spot sangria was excellent. I love sangria and have really only made it in big batches so I wanted to see about perfect my by-the-glass sangria.

I turned Mr. J onto sangria in Barcelona which also ended up being a gentle introduction to wine…
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My motivation for by the glass sangria was that it needed to be ready on the spot, without needing all day to mellow. I also figured it would be a great use for some open wine that I didn’t like. I started simply so it could be recreated. I didn’t know if I’d need to make tweaks for next time, but I liked this as-is.

Ingredients: (quantities per glass)

4 oz red wine
1/2 shot limoncello
1/2 shot triple sec
splash of orange juice
optional: ice cubes of orange juice & grenadine

Directions:

Optional: make some ice cubes of orange juice & grenadine.
The Three Bite Rule - Instant Sangria
Add wine, ice cubes, lemoncello, triple sec, and a shot of orange juice into a shaker.
The Three Bite Rule - Instant Sangria
Shake, shake, shake,
Serve & enjoy.
The Three Bite Rule - Instant Sangria
I do not like merlot. Merlot made me think I didn’t like red wine actually. Au contraire my friends. This huuuge bottle is making its way into lots of things I cook and then into this stellar sangria.

I loved this. I think the lemon liquor with the orange liquor with the orange juice was spot-on. It definitely had a kick so I let the cubes melt a touch and it was perfect. It sure made for a happy Sunday!

Some of my other favorite sangrias include:
apple cider sangria
Apple Cider Sangria

strawberry basil sangria
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mixed berry sangria
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any sangria tips for me?

What I Ate: Pumpkin Smoothie

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I almost wanted to call this pumpkin pie smoothie, but it is seriously much healthier for you. It only tastes like dessert. It is perfect for fall flavors. I freeze the bananas for smoothies to make it frostier and thicker, but a regular banana would be fine, just not a chilly.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 banana (preferably frozen)
6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tbs pumpkin butter (optional)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or make your own: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice)

Directions:

Add banana, yogurt, pumpkin, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie
Blend and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie
This is so good and tastes like dessert. The pumpkin butter amped up the pumpkin flavor even more, but could definitely be omitted. I use it in oatmeal, on toast, or mixed into yogurt during all-things-pumpkin season.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie

  • this recipe – yogurt + ice cream = dessert
  • this recipe + blend with ice + dark rum + rim the glass with graham cracker = cocktail

Does pumpkin-season end after Thanksgiving? What do you think?

Coconut Milk Smoothie

I have many more vacay meals to share but I’m trying to space ‘em out so I don’t lose all my readership on the same day. See that? I’m keeping ya on your toes. You don’t know if you’ll get something delicious or if you’ll just have to endure my delicious European adventure. I’m back to Cali for another event (last one!!!) so a smoothie seems timely for today.

Just add mango and coconut to my smoothie and poof! I think I’m in the Caribbean. I made a smoothie adding coconut, then I saw that Chobani had a new coconut yogurt and I was thinking about coconut milk and it all came together.

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Ingredients:

6 oz coconut Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup frozen peaches (or strawberries)
½ cup coconut Almond milk

Directions:

Assemble
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blend & enjoy.
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I wondered if buying a half gallon carton of almond milk with only smoothies in mind was a waste of money. Mr. J ended up liking it on it’s own and it stays good for longer than regular milk. I also froze some into cubes before one of my trips when I didn’t think it would be used.

We used to drink soy milk occasionally in cereal. I’m not a milk drinker but soy & almond is not the same in cooking, baking, or even drinking it straight. I think they’re great options (higher protein, higher calcium sometimes, lower fat contents, etc). I don’t envision this coconut milk is a flavor anyone wants regularly, but it was so great in smoothies.

Green Smoothie

I did it. I mean, in my defense, what kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t give a green smoothie a shot and get on that bandwagon finally?
The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

I’ve snuck some spinach into a smoothie before, but I did it with blueberries which hide the green-ness. I think this is more about the color and texture than about the flavor. Let’s be real: raw spinach blended doesn’t give off any huge aggressive flavor. It seems about time to blog about a green smoothie, with spinach, and avocado.

Ingredients:

1 green apple
2 cups fresh spinach
1 small avocado (or ½ of a regular avocado)
1/2 banana, frozen
6 oz greek yogurt
1 tbs honey
⅓ cup milk

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

I liked this green smoothie a lot. It wasn’t as sludge seeming as I’ve heard the green juiced drinks are. I didn’t include any parsley or lemon which bottled green ones often have.

I didn’t feel like I was doing a cleanse detoxing. That scares the beejesus out of me. Do you know people who’ve done it? Bahhh. Yikes. Eeeek. I can’t imagine. I like the idea of detoxing off overly processed foods or striving for as many raw/whole/real foods. I’d rather try to eat more veggies or really, anything other than all liquids.

This smoothie isn’t exactly going to detox you, but the yogurt makes it come together and the milk & honey make it slightly sweet and drink-able. The apple & banana are both sweet and the spinach and avocado are kind of neutral to me. It is for sure a good way to get some more veggies into your day. That’s a plus for everyone.
The Three Bite Rule - Green Smoothie

Avocado – good for fiber & good fat
Spinach – barely any calories, more vitamin A than your usual bfast
Apple – upps your vitamin C & fiber
Banana – Potassium is ideal after an intense workout, or after an evening of drinks.
Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt has about 2x – 3x the protein of regular yogurt and wayyy more protein than just milk would give you, making this smoothie be filling enough for a meal. It’ll help get to your calcium daily suggested amount.

All that being said, I’d do it again. Do I want to juice green things? No thanks.

Raspberry Lime Smoothie

My zester has gotten quite the work-out lately. What can I say I have a zest for life. Ok, onward from the corny-ness and straight to the smoothie. Who doesn’t need some Monday morning detoxing. (excuse the blender cup, I’m being real, not fancy)

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Ingredients:

raspberry yogurt
1 cup frozen raspberries
lime juice from 1 lime
lime zest
1 cup milk/juice/lemonade (liquid of your choosing)

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a blender.
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Blend & enjoy!
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I used some crystal light raspberry lemonade. I don’t like any extra calories in my smoothie (and I usually don’t like want it milky). I liked this one for a change of pace. The lime in there wakes you up and gets you going. It’s a nice flavor without being the fruit. The contrast is great and the flavors scream summer. I have a few more fun smoothies coming along soon. Stay tuned!

This reminded me of raspberry lime rickys that were super popular at the restaurant I worked at in high school. I believe raspberry lime rickys are a New England thing. What do you folks think? Are these drinks a New England thing?

Strawberry Basil Sangria

Life’s too short not to have sangria on hand in the summer, right? I only ever make it when I get to feed it to a million people. I just love it and figured why not make a slightly smaller amount to drink ourselves? Let’s be real. Mr. J had a glass and I had the rest…not all in one sitting.

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Welcome to #sangriasunday! It made me so happy and I need to make sangria more often.

Ingredients:

1 pint of strawberries, tops cut off
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
3 – 5 basil leaves
1 bottle of white wine
½ cup triple sec
½ cup orange juice

Directions:

(to be made at least 8 hours before serving, trust me)
In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, add the strawberries, sugar, and water.
Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the strawberries break down.
Reduce heat to low and add in the basil.
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Cook for 10 minutes.
Strain the berries & basil leaves out.
Mix the strawberry syrup in a pitcher with the wine, triple sec, and orange juice.
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Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
Serve with some berries or orange slices or basil. Enjoy!

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This was so good. That’s it. It was just really good. The flavors are great and not over the top. I secretly love adding the orange juice which when makes it murky and citrus-y. I like the subtle basil flavor. It keeps it from being too sweet.

Sangria is perfect with cheap fruity wine. Or adding some fun to a wine that doesn’t end up being your favorite. It makes me happy when paired with BBQ or I love it as dessert.

Tropical Mango Smoothie

I haven’t come up with many new smoothies in a while. Back in March I was whipping up new smoothie ideas every other day. Literally. I’ve made a bunch lately, but none have been uber creative. Greek yogurt with 2 frozen fruits is delicious, but does not warrant a blog post. Some smoothie tips are here.

I need ideas folks. That’s where you come in. Comment with an idea below. Please & thank you.

This smoothie was inspired by my other-half at work. She’s into coconut milk which sounded delightful in a smoothie. Thanks for the inspiration Ms. K!

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Ingredients:

6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
1 peach sliced & frozen (or the rough equivalent of pre-cut frozen pieces)
4 strawberries with the tops cut off
3 tbs coconut flakes
¼ – ½ cup of liquid (juice, milk, etc. I used crystal light pink lemonade)

Directions:

Assemble in a blender.
Blend & enjoy.

I loved this one! The coconut bits in there were delightful. I felt like I was on a beach, rather than getting ready for work.

Frozen fruit makes for the frostiest of smoothies. You could always use fresh fruit and ice too.  I’m the only fruit eater at home so if I’m not up to speed on my fruit I freeze it before it goes bad then it can star in a smoothie whenever I get to it.

The liquid in a smoothie is the only way it’ll be drinkable. I don’t often have juice around but a single-serve low-cal drink mix is perfect. I don’t love lots of milk in my smoothie. It can make it seem ice-creamish which is awesome, but it can also just make me feel like I’m drinking milk, which I don’t really do. Your call on that one.

Now, what are your smoothie recommendations?

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Were you thinking I was over my smoothie kick? Ohh no. I haven’t had as many creative ones, but I got this in my head and couldn’t shake it. I love cherries minus the pits. Chocolate and cherry together is devine. I found dark cherries in the freezer section, and I only by frozen fruit with no sugar added. Note: the ingredients should just list the fruit itself.

Ingredients:

pitted cherries, frozen
1 apple, chopped
vanilla yogurt
splash of milk
3 tbs chocolate syrup

Directions:

Add the cherries, apple, yogurt, milk and chocolate together
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Blend and enjoy

This one was wayyy better than it looks. The color might be a smidge off putting. It is reddish-brownish-tanish. The color might not win awards but the flavors are fantastic.
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The chocolate was just enough. I added the apple to up the fruit quotient without adding too many favors to the mix. I thought banana might take over. I thought blueberries might confuse the cherry flavor. One frozen and one raw fruit made for a perfectly frosty yet drinkable smoothie.

Any other flavor ideas/suggestions?

Creamsicle Smoothie

I say it a lot, but this is the best smoothie I’ve made to date…

I was thinking for alternative uses for a bag of mandarin oranges I’ve been eating forever. Literally for-ev-er. I usually eat 2 a day as snacks and it seems never ending. Then I figured they’d be a good smoothie addition!
creamcicle_smoothie_blend_590_390

Ingredients:

2 mandarin oranges (or clementines, or oranges)
1 cup frozen peaches
vanilla greek yogurt
mango smoothie drink (or orange juice, or milk, etc)

Directions:

Assemble
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Blend & enjoy!

I loved the really orange AND cream flavors. I think the peaches added frostiness since the oranges weren’t frozen. I should probably peel and freeze the rest of my mandarin oranges for future smoothies.
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I hate peeling oranges but this was so good, that it makes me want to get my hands on some blood oranges! Maybe they’ll be next!

Citrus Smoothie & Smoothie Tips

This smoothie is another example of just how many different ones I’ve whipped up (literally). I have more to come too! I have a few tips with this fresh tasting smoothie. Smoothies are a great breakfast to get back on track. I didn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (I was being a lazy leprechaun) but we’re having a green/St. Patty’s Potluck today at work so that’ll give me some spirit. I’ll share it with you soon, as in later this week? maybe next week? Did you celebrate?

Juice versus milk for the liquid:
In this smoothie, I used low-cal juice to keep it more juicy/clean-textured rather than creamy. Milk would hint toward the yogurt. I think it waters down the smoothie. That’s a personal preference or flavor combo. Juice hikes up the calorie count. If the fruit is fresh (and not frozen) ice cubes will add that frozen slushiness while the fruit will add the liquid. 
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Not-just-berry-smoothie:
The mix of berries and peaches is perfect. Pineapple could have made it too acidic for me. I think the peach reminds me of a frozen cocktail on the beach. Mixed berries are great, but the seeds of raspberries can get to me. I only want to crunch down so much when sipping away. Banana is a pretty typical choice to add good thickness. I also love blueberries and mangos. 
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Yogurt & Citrus:
I like the tart  to contrast with the smooth creamy yogurt. Orange juice would be good too. I only recently discovered that I like pink grapefruit juice. It is a different flavor I don’t have all the time. So for me, that’s what makes it special.

Other Add-Ins:
I love peanut butter in smoothies. Honey is a great touch to make it a bit sweeter. I want to try adding cocoa mix…I’ll be sure to report back on that. I loved nutella too. I’ve never added chocolate chips or nuts but that could be good. I want to try oatmeal.

What makes a good smoothie to you? What do you want when you’re sipping away at breakfast?