Butterbeer Floats

Butterbeer Floats
Like most Harry Potter fans, I find it hard to accept that the end is finally here. I’m an adult now but I still have a soft spot for these books and movies. I am looking forward to the day when I can start reading these books to my sons and revisit this magical world all over again.

I can only imagine how many Harry Potter parties are happening this week with the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2… so here is a beverage you can toast to. My super easy take on what I imagine that creamy cold mug of butterbeer might taste like. With only 3 ingredients, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time watching that quidditch game. These would be perfect for both young and young at heart fans alike. Enjoy!

Recipe: Harry Potter Butterbeer Floats

Summary: Faster than waving your wand…

Ingredients

  • Cream Soda
  • Butter Pecan Ice Cream
  • some type of Caramel Toffee Candy topping – find in bulk section of the grocery store candy aisle (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drop 1 scoop ice cream into a cold mug of soda.
  2. Top with caramel bits if desired.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 1

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Watermelon Agua Fresca

I started to notice agua frescas for sale at Whole Foods (California) for something like $3 for 8oz. The watermelon costs about half that at our local produce stand so I thought I might try to make this myself. I went home and did a little research on this type of drink.

Agua frescas were created in Mexico and are still widely popular and available from street vendors. These beverages pair nicely with spicy food. Many bloggers and recipes instruct you to use a blender (which I’m sure is time saving and still delicious) but if you really want the authentic experience, mash the fruit by hand and don’t use ice. The reason… less airy and frothy and less dilution. The beverage should be chilled properly so its nice and cool.

Watermelons are in season and showing up in big bins outside the grocery stores. Instead of walking by them, pick one up and make yourself a cool refreshing beverage. Mash it up and create a refreshing simple and healthy beverage. So much better than the processed fruit juices in the grocery store and so much more fun to make.

My 3 year old was the “masher” and I loved watching him laugh, get a little messy, and do all the work! Honestly, it was a fun activity to do and ended with a rewarding beverage to enjoy on a hot summer day. We loved this drink.. my son was excited to see where juice “comes from” and couldn’t get enough.

Chop it up
My Little Masher

Strain the juice

Recipe: Watermelon Agua Fresca

Summary: “Fresh Water”

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Ingredients

  • 1 5lb watermelon
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 Tbsp agave syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 sprig mint (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut up the watermelon.
  2. Mash with fork or potato masher.
  3. Use strainer to strain out juice from pulp.
  4. Add water, sweetener, and juice of 1 lime to the juice.
  5. Refrigerate for a few hours.
  6. Garnish with mint and serve.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

I’m All Shook Up Smoothie

Elvis Smoothie This is a smoothie that Elvis Presley would probably have approved of (his favorite sandwich: peanut butter + honey + banana + bacon!). I omitted the bacon because, well, that would just be pretty gross.
Elvis Smoothie
I do love making this smoothie, its so easy and tasty and I don’t feel any guilt in drinking a big tall glass of it. My three year old loves it too, a great way to get him to drink his milk. I noticed that my son has inherited a funny habit of mine… we kind of do a happy bopping motion when we eat something delicious. When we enjoy these smoothies, we like to do some Elvis dancing in the kitchen too.

I recently perfected this beverage, I have made it at least twice a week for the past month, making it different and adjusting ingredients each time. I think I finally have it just right. I use vanilla flavored almond milk because we have some dairy sensitivities in this household, but you can just as easily use regular milk and add a touch of vanilla extract as a substitute. I use a frozen banana so that I can skip the ice cube step that most smoothies have (my blender just doesn’t crush ice very easily or quickly).

Note – Sometimes I decorate the top with melted peanut butter mixture (melt 1 spoonful of PB in microwavable bowl for about 1 minute, stirring half way through. Then mix with a little milk or honey to help make it soupy. Spoon into a ziploc bag, snip off a tiny piece of one corner and then squeeze it out on top of the smoothie.)

Decorate with melted peanut butter
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Recipe: I’m All Shook Up Smoothie

Summary: a Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Vanilla flavored Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 large banana (peeled, sliced, frozen)
  • nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice your banana. Put into a bowl and into the freezer for about an hour.
  2. Once banana is ready, throw all ingredients (except the nutmeg) into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Shake some nutmeg on top. Serve. Dance. Be Merry.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s) (freezing time)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Thai Bubble Tea

Boba Tea for Two
Bubble Tea was invented in Taiwan in the 1980′s when a tea vendor started to add blended fruit to the tea to gain popularity with the school children, and when the tea and fruit were shaken it formed bubbles (hence the name). Not too long after, tapioca pearls were introduced and added to the drink which, once again, resembled bubbles. The drink is also known as “boba tea” because the texture is said to be similar to a female breast!
Grocery Items
In California Bubble Tea is everywhere and, from what I have seen, you either love or hate it. I happen to love this refreshing and chewy beverage and decided to see if I could make it at home. We have a local Chinese grocery store that sells all sorts of tea products, so not knowing where to start… I had the grocer help me pick out the ingredients. I ended up with black bubble tea tapioca pearls, sweetened condensed milk, bubble tea straws, loose leaf Jasmine tea, and loose leaf Thai tea (which produced a very orange drink even with the milk in it).
Uncooked Pearls
The process wasn’t difficult and left me with the desire to try different recipes. Next time I’m going to try adding fresh blended fruit (so expect more posts on this topic). I thought the tapioca pearls had an awful smell and taste, so I really rinsed the pearls well when they finished cooking. After adding the honey and sugar they were much better.
Tapioca Pearls Cooked
Using different types of brewed tea can change the color of your tea. The Thai tea was a bright orange, and the Jasmine was white (after adding the milk). For both types, I needed to strain the leaves with a sieve several times.
Brewed Thai Tea
Purrrrr

Recipe: Thai Bubble Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Bubble Tea Tapioca Pearls
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Your choice of Tea (freshly brewed)
  • Sweetened condensed milk (optional)
  • Large Bubble Tea Straws

Instructions

  1. Boil water. Add tapioca pearls and stir until they float. Continue to boil for 15 minutes (stir occasionally).
  2. Remove from heat and cover.
  3. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  5. Add honey and brown sugar to pearls, stir to form a syrup. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. To serve: Add about 1/4 cup pearls to a glass. If desired, stir in sweetened condensed milk into your brewed tea, to taste. Pour the brewed tea over the pearls. Add the straw. Enjoy!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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