Happy Hour: Freezer Full of Mint

I mentioned in another post that I recently acquired one pound of mint- that’s a lot of mint! I was forced to come up with lots of different ways to use it. I chopped it and served it on salads and sandwiches. I hosted a mojito party at my apartment. I tried to come up with a vegetarian substitute for lamb, and failed.

Then I made some ice cubes!

I started by measuring roughly one cup of mint leaves and dumping them into my mortar (or is it my pestle?)

I decided to grind them in the mortar and pestle to release more of their flavor. Unfortunately, they do turn a brownish green color so the ice cubes are more flavorful but not as pretty as they would be with pure un-smooshed mint leaves. If you want pretty, playful, bright green mint leaves suspended in your ice cubes, skip the mortar and pestle step.

I did not grind them entirely. I just mashed them up to release the mint essence. Then I divided the mint among 2 ice cube trays (28 cells total). To one tray I added a few frozen pomegranate arils per cell. Just for fun.

Then I filled them with water and froze them for 4-6 hours.

These ice cubes are great in sparkling water with lime.

I am looking forward to using them in iced tea and lemonade too!

But I still had a bit of mint leftover, and I had this other problem on my hands.

Yes, smashed raspberries. They’re so pretty but so. . . ugly. What to do?

You guessed it. . . Cocktails!

These slushy raspberry mint daiquiris have an intensely delicious flavor and they cool you down so quick, you have to give them a try this summer. Added bonus – serving of fruit!

Raspberry Mint Daiquiri (serves two)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz light rum (go for 3 oz if you’re trying to be good)
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp cane sugar (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup club soda

Preparation:

  1. Combine first six ingredients in a blender and blend until all of the ice chunks are gone. If you have a great blender (I don’t), blend until smooth.
  2. Add club soda to blender and pulse a few times until combined. This will fizz up the drinks.
  3. Note: if the raspberry seeds bother you, puree the raspberries separately first and then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Or let them sink to the bottom of your glass and move your straw off the bottom, like I did.

Enjoy!

Don’t worry – I’m not drinking alone. . .

That’s better!

Stay cool, my friends.

Spa Salad

This weekend I got together with some ladies for a DIY-at-home spa night and it was so relaxing and fun! I was asked to bring an appetizer and I knew I wanted to do something fresh and light to fit the theme. The salad I created tasted citrusy and peppery, like the feeling you have after an invigorating facial, and it was filled with superfoods that were good for our bodies. And it was green like our mud masks!

credit: Susan and Carissa Schmidt

If you’re like me and have a freezer full of pomegranate seeds, or if you just want a light and zesty accompaniment to your meal, try this super easy salad!

Spa Salad

Credit: Carissa Schmidt

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of salad greens (I used Victory Farms salad mix)
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Fill a large bowl with salad greens.
  2. Slice the avocados and spritz with the juice of 1/2 of a lime to preserve color.
  3. Squeeze the rest of the lime juice into the salad bowl and add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the avocado slices and pomegranate seeds to the bowl.
  5. Toss and serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

I beg your pardon, what did you say? Did you say you needed an extra special spa cocktail to wash down your salad? Well I’m glad you asked because I happen to have something that pairs well with the salad and would be perfect for the occasion. Bonus Recipe!

Vegology Citrus Splash

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz light rum
  • 4 oz 100% grapefruit juice
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp agave nectar (more or less to taste)

Preparation:

To serve one, combine all ingredients and pour into a tall glass over crushed ice. To serve a small crowd, multiply all quantities by four or six and combine in a glass pitcher.

Cheers!