Friday, July 15, 2011

Brazilian Lemonade

We went to Emily's house last week for dinner and fireworks and our beverage was Brazilian lemonade. It was delicious-it tasted just like Tucano's lemonade! Tonight we are having some friends over for dinner so I am going to make this drink along with the honey lime fajitas-sweet and yummy!

Brazilian Lemonade
4 juicy limes (try and find ones with thin, smooth skins; they’re the juiciest and the thin skin cuts down on the chance of your drink being bitter)
1 c. sugar
6 c. cold water
6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
Mix cold water and sugar very well and chill until ready to use. This step can be done ahead of time.
Wash limes thoroughly with soap (I just use hand-dishwashing soap or regular hand soap); you need the soap to get the wax and pesticides off of the limes because you’re using the WHOLE lime, baby. Cut the ends off the limes and then cut each lime into 8ths.
Place 1/2 of the limes in your blender.
Add 1/2 of the sugar water, place the lid on your blender, and pulse 5 times. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a pitcher (the one you’ll serve the lemonade in) and pour the blended mixture through the strainer and into the pitcher. Use a spoon to press the rest of the liquid into the pitcher. Dump the pulp and stuff in the strainer into the trash. Repeat with remaining limes and sugar water. Add sweetened condensed milk; DO NOT leave this step out unless you will die of a horrible sweetened condensed milk allergy because this is the secret ingredient! You may want to taste test it at this point; I used giant, thick-skinned limes tonight and didn’t test it and it came out a little bitter. If it’s bitter, just add some more sugar and maybe a little more milk.
Serve immediately over lots of ice. This does not keep well, so don’t make this in advance (although you can cut the limes, mix the sugar water, and measure the sweetened condensed milk in advance). Serves 4, although I can pretty much guarantee you that people will want more; I usually plan on 1 1/2 servings at LEAST per person.

Tortellini with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

Here is another light recipe that is perfect for the summer evenings. We get sick of having meat around these parts, so this recipe creates a nice break from meat.

Tortellini with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (9-ounce) package fresh three-cheese tortellini
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
Cook tortellini according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
While tortellini cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes, broth, basil, salt, and baby spinach to pan; cook 2 minutes or until baby spinach wilts. Stir in tortellini; cook 1 minute.

Mango Quinoa Salad

Here is a yummy recipe to use quinoa in. David claims that quinoa is probably what the Nephites ate to get buff. This is a fresh, healthy recipe, and by eating this amount of quinoa I promise that you won't turn into a Nephite woman with bulging bicepts. I believe mangos are in season right now because I bought some fresh ones at the store that were on sale and very delicious. I also added more of the oil, vinegar, and lime to give it more flavor. Then I added some chicken to the salad to make it more dinner-esque.

Mango Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa at room temperature, or chilled
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium mango, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 handful chopped cilantro (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
*Quinoa can be cooked in water or broth. I suggest using vegetable or chicken broth for enhanced flavor, but plain water works great too.
Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add mango, red pepper, green onion, black beans, and cilantro. In a small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice. Whisk until smooth and pour on top of salad. Toss to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
Here is a stolen picture of the dish: