Kiwi-Plum-Basil Mocktails

Looking for an alternative to the usual boozy drink on a spring or summer afternoon? This mocktail can be made with either sparkling water or healthy, good for you Kombucha – depending on your taste. I’ve done it with both, and can say either is de-lish-us!

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Kiwi-Plum-Basil Mocktail

This recipe is the perfect amount for two people – and don’t let the mocktail part fool ya! Feel free to experiment with some vodka if you feel like adding a kick.

 

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You’ll need:

  • simple sugar syrup: 1/2 c sugar to 3/4 cup or 1 cup of water
  • 4 plums
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup of lemon juice (or squeeze 3-4 lemons minus seeds)
  • sparkling water or kombucha

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For the simple sugar syrup, I boiled a pot of water with less than 1/2 cup of sugar – I wanted a bit of sweetness but didn’t want to over do it, so this is VERY diluted. Adjust to your taste. Once the sugar dissolved, I removed this from the hear and let is sit for about 15 minutes.

Get a bowl and add your fruit: I chopped the plums and kiwis (but didn’t over do it) and also threw in some of the basil before muddling it all together with the syrup. Refrigerate anywhere from 4 hours to 24 to let the flavors saturate one another. When you’re ready to serve, Fill your glass (with ice) about 2/3 of the way, and then add your sparkling water, kombucha or booze to fill. Garnish with a few leaves of basil and you’re ready to go!

Enjoy!

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

The long lazy days of summer are here in New Zealand and I’m taking full advantage of them. This means a little less time in the kitchen and a bit more time outdoors. I’ve lived here for about two years now and don’t think I’ll ever get over the amazing scenery I have access to outside my front door!

With the days being hotter than usual – and that is saying something considering how windy Wellington is – my hubby and I both find our tastebuds crying out for colder items, steering us away from the warm comfort foods we both usually adore. I’m a fan of a good chicken salad and this one is one of my favorite cold (and gluten free) salads to whip up when we need a fix.

 

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Apple Almond Chicken Salad

  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 1/2 cup mayo (I used Best Foods Lite)
  • sugar (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup almonds chopped or slivered
  • 2 cups of chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley (fresh)
  • 1/4 cup of shredded carrots
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Combine apples, almonds, chicken, carrots and parsley in one bowl. In a separate bowl mix the mayo with sugar (I used approximately 1 1/2 tbsps this time). Once this was properly whisked, I added it to the other bowl of ingredients then topped it with the lemon juice. Give it a stir or two then put in the fridge. I liked letting it sit for about 2 hours to let the flavor truly pop before we ate.

We enjoyed our meals on a bed of lettuce with some tomato and cucumbers on the side – we also had some of my homemade ranch dressing nearby, but found we didn’t need to use it. The tastes and textures of this dish will keep you happy bite after bite!

PS: If you’re watching your sugar intake, feel free to leave it out. I play with the amount I use depending on how I feel. It’s totally up to you.

 

 

Banshee Broccoli Salad

In the town of Chestertown, Maryland – where my family lives – there used to be an Amish co-op where we’d go to purchase cheeses, deli meats, yummy breads (before I went gluten free) and some of the best side dishes you could find in three counties. A summer BBQ with the family wasn’t complete until we had at least two of their famous side salads on the table.

These days, I live in Wellington, New Zealand and haven’t had a chance to get home for a holiday in the last two years, much less a summertime get-together. During the holiday season, as I enjoyed some much needed downtime with my husband, and this included binge watching some TV Shows we’ve been recording. One of the shows we’re finding mildly amusing is called “Banshee” and the storyline involves an Amish community in rural Pennsylvania. This brought up some questions from my Kiwi-hubs, as well as my own memories of yummy days-gone-by.

This side dish is my own ode to those lazy days of summer spent on the Chester River with the family. It’s gluten free, healthy, and is the perfect companion to just about any meal.

Hope you like it. We did!

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Banshee Broccoli Salad

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1/2 yellow onion (sautéed)
  • 1/2 apple (chopped)
  • 3 medium-thick slices chopped ham (cooked then let to cool) – I used a ham from Cameron Harrison Butchers here in Wellington
  • 1/2 c sour cream (regular or lite)
  • 1/2 c mayo (regular or lite)
  • sugar to taste

 

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Chop ham and onion first and put in a pan with some EVOO and sautée lightly. While this is cooking, chop broccoli and apple, mix together. In a separate bowl, whisk sour cream, mayo and sugar. Once onions are translucent and ham has browned, place on a paper towel to drain an extra oil. Wait for ham and onion to cool then combine all ingredients. Refrigerate immediately.

***This dish is best served after chilling in the fridge for an hour or two.

Enjoy!