Tag Archives: drink

What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #14

What's in the Box?

After over 2 months of vacation, Harper and I are finally back to reality.  It feels nice to unpack our bags, hang up our clothes and put our toiletries back in the medicine cabinet.  But lots has happened since we first left for Ireland back in June.  While we were gone, Freddie got another new job.  Which means yet another move for us (which, if you’re still keeping track is 12 moves in 8 years…with 3 of those moves happening in the last 8 months).  As much as we had hoped they would, things just didn’t work out for us in San Louis Obispo.  But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens, and Freddie’s new opportunity is even better than his last.  So while Harper and I were visiting friends and family all over the globe, Freddie was busy packing up our new home up north and moving us south to good ol’ Orange County.

Luckily, I am no stranger to this area.  I have aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Orange County and so I guess you can say I have grown up coming to visit here.  It’s just so much bigger than what we have become accustomed to after living in Santa Barbara for the past 3 years.  But there is nothing better than being close to family, so we are very grateful for that.

And of course, I couldn’t approve of the move until I found a CSA.  And my new one sounds awesome!  I just didn’t submit my subscription in time to get a box this week, so next Tuesday I will be picking up a box and can’t wait to share it with you all.

But in the meantime, let’s check out the links from last week.  I am loving the rooty, tooty, fresh and fruity flavors that are coming our way…Pizza with Raspberries, Pasta with Peaches, and Quinoa with Cranberries (and pineapple mint!).  Get’s me more excited than it should.  But, as we all know, I have a weakness for fruit.  Which is why I have decided to share my favorite summer fruit recipes this week.

Enjoy!

Raspberry Chicken

Raspberry Chicken with Homemade Rice Pilaf - In Her Chucks

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Lime Pistachio Squares

Lime Squares with Pistacio Graham-Cracker Crust - In Her Chucks

Lemon Iced Tea

Lemon Iced Tea - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits into simple and delicious meals?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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Guest Post: February Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

As I mentioned in my original September Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Post, the Foodie Pen Pal Program is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.  This month I was paired with a blog reader named Caitlin House and was more than thrilled to pack up a box of goodies to send for her sixth Foodie Pen Pal experience.  Since Caitlin doesn’t have a blog of her own to share her goodies on (although I LOVE her writing and encourage her to start one), she has offered to write a short guest post about what she received (and she even included a few pics!).

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Caitlin House…

From the moment I received Heather’s email letting me know that she was my Foodie PenPal match for February, I was thrilled.  She started off asking me loads of questions regarding my food and drink preferences.  This level of interest in my favorite things blew me away!  My favorite meal of the day? Brunch.  Do I prefer coffee or tea?  Love them both, will always love coffee more.

When my box arrived on Valentine’s Day, it was amazingly fitting for the love-filled holiday.  Heather put incredible thought and effort into the box she sent me.  It was stock full of delicious goodies and each item had a sweet hand-written note attached.

FebFPP

My favorite part of the box was the accompanying recipes (three in all!). There were recipes for the homemade Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts (taste amazing!), Tomato Basil Bisque to match the Hearts Crackers, and Heather’s own Homemade Tomato Sauce to serve with the Valentine Pasta.

Shortbread Hearts 2

Heather’s choices had amazing variety while still having certain items play off one another. The cranberry shortbread was amazing to eat along with a cup of the Red Velvet Coffee. And for a truly relaxing pairing, I loved the Lori’s Ojai Lavender Lemonade and a piece of Strong Dark Chocolate by Chocolove. YUM.  FoodiePenPal Feb Collage

And to cover my brunching addiction, Heather sent me granola that tastes like dessert!  I seriously cannot keep my hands out of the bag of Love Crunch, a sweet granola with dark chocolate, strawberries, and raspberries. In fact, my hand is navigating from keyboard to bag as I type…

Overall, Heather made this month my most memorable FPP, yet!  Her thoughtful box went above and beyond in delivering new-to-me treats, fun recipes I can recreate, and wonderfully sweet and personal touches.  She even sent a “love” cookie cutter, so I can put a little extra love in my next cooking adventure. Thanks so much, Heather!

FebFPP Love

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November Photo A Day Challenge: Day 11-20

20 days down, 10 to go.  Boy does time fly when you’re fun doing a photo challenge :)  What I love most about this project is that it is a fun way to look back at the month and remember all the fun things we did from a new and different perspective.  Look forward to many more photo challenges in the future.  And I hope you will play along.  Already shopping for a December photo challenge…any suggestions?

But before we jump to December, let’s check out what the middle of November was looking like…

1.  Day 11: night–  The best part of my night is snuggling up with my loves.  But apparently the best part of Harper’s night is snuggling up with her bubbles.  Her daddy had just bought her a few new bottles for her bubble machine and she wouldn’t part with the blue one.  Pretty much the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

2.  Day 12: drink- I don’t normally drink alcohol.  Not for any particular reason except for the fact that ice tea just happens to be my drink of choice.  Wild and crazy I know.  But since we were having company over for dinner, I wanted to pick up something that was new and different.  And the guy at Whole Foods highly recommended this Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear Cider.  In fact, he said they were award-winning!  I totally believe it.  Might have to rethink my original drink of choice.  Cause these things are GOOOOOOOD!     

3.  Day 13: where you slept- I’m gonna be honest…I rarely make my bed.  And it’s a shame really because I don’t even have a top sheet, just a duvet.  It would be easy as pie to throw it over the bed and be done, but for some reason, I never get around to it.  Unless of course we are expecting company.  Then I’ll make sure my bed is made.  But otherwise…I like to keep it cozy :)

4.  Day 14: man-made- Ever since my success with homemade granola, I am on a mission to make as many of my snacks homemade as possible.  My newest venture?  Homemade granola bars (recipe coming soon).  Next experiment, homemade crackers.  Care to share your favorite recipe?

5.  Day 15: in your bag- Freddie is the ultimate packer.  The guy can fit an entire wardrobe in one suitcase.  It’s a fact. So he usually does all the packing for our trips.  But in an effort to plan ahead, while Freddie was at work the other day I took it upon my self to pack the suitcases myself.  And I have to say, I was pretty proud of the result.

6.  Day 16: the view from your window- I love a stormy day.  As long as I am in the comfort of my own home, or in this case car.  I have the pleasure of teaching music class down the street from the beach and couldn’t help but mosey on down to see the view in the rain.  I wouldn’t throw my beach towel down, but it was still a pretty sight.

7.  Day 17: the last thing you bought- There was a time, before I became a mom, that I used to shop for myself.  But now, it’s all about Harper.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I get so excited to shop for new clothes for her it’s kind of embarrassing.  There seems to be a theme of stars going around, which I LOVE, and couldn’t pass up this adorable hat and mittens set (which she wore around the entire store).  Came in handy in the rain, too!

8.  Day 18: happened this weekend- Every year, for the last 4 or 5 years, we travel to Texas to see my sister, niece and nephews for Thanksgiving (although last year, we changed it up a bit and went for Christmas).  It is the one time of year that we can all get together and catch up.  I was a bit nervous to fly with Harper now that she is a toddler, but she was a total ROCKSTAR!  She loved looking out the window and pointing out the water, the clouds and the sky.  And of course, made tons of new friends.

9.  Day 19: something awesome- I thought I had seen and tasted almost every fruit out there.  Until I went for a walk on my sister’s farm and came across these vibrant, tennis ball looking things.  Turns out they are called osage oranges and they are pretty much the most awesome thing I have ever seen.  I have yet to try one but I am looking forward to experimenting with them.  Or displaying them on my kitchen table.

10.  Day 20: work/play- After a day of traveling and another day of relaxing, I had a ton of emails to attend to.  I spent a good part of the morning attending to business on the computer (in addition to writing this post).  Once I was done, I treated myself to an afternoon stroll.  I couldn’t help but crunch along in the leaves and enjoy the simple pleasures of fall.

Wanna get in on the action? Check out this post for more details…and feel free to follow me on Instagram (@inherchucks) to keep up with the daily challenge.

Enjoy the rest of you week :)

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Lemon Iced Tea

There is nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of iced tea.  And even though we are in the dead of winter, and it would make more sense to be enjoying a warm cup of tea, here in California, our weather is still in the 70s.  So iced tea is definitely in order.  Rough life, I know.

As I have mentioned before, I am a sucker for tea.  But as a breastfeeding mom who is doing her best to stay away from caffeine, it can be hard to find a fix for my cravings.  So the best thing to do is to take matters into your own hands, and brew your own!

Ingredients

2 large lemons

1 1/4 cup pure cane sugar

1 cup fresh mint leaves

6 decaf black tea bags

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Preparation

1.  Using a vegetable peeler, remove bright yellow peel from lemons.  Combine lemon peel and sugar in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and still in mint.  Cool to room temperature; strain.

2.  Steep the tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water, covered, for 5 minutes.  Then remove tea bags.  Stir in syrup, lemon juice, 4 cups cold water, and ice cubes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Real Simple

I was inspired to make this recipe after I had some leftover mint from my dinner the other night.  Having made this before, I was excited to put the mint to good use.  The mint is such an unexpected hint of flavor.  It takes this otherwise ordinary tea recipe and puts it over the top.  I chose to use only 1 cup of mint leaves because that is what I had on hand.  But if you are looking for a stronger mint flavor feel free to add more.

Whether it’s lunch time, teatime or dinner time, this Lemon Iced Tea is sure to be a big hit!

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