Tag Archives: ten ingredients or less

White Sangria Recipe for the Broke and Fabulous

Today, I will do a magic trick. With a few simple (and cheap) ingredients, an inexpensive bottle of wine will transform into a sparkling beverage sure to make an impression at any summer party.

This experiment started the other day after work, when I picked up a party-sized bottle of Alice White Pinot Grigio. No offense to Australia, but this wine is terrible. So, I decided today would be a good time to try my hand at white sangria. We’ve all (probably) had the red variety. Sangria is essentially wine punch, and is traditionally made by adding fruit, sparkling water, and a touch of brandy or liqueur to a light red wine. A restaurant in Boulder serves a white sangria that has all the sweetness of the original, but adds a refreshing kick of champagne and uses lighter flavors like peach instead of the usual oranges and red apples. This stuff is delicious, and I highly recommend the Med’s cocktails to anyone who’s not up to making their own.

This recipe is easy, frugal, impressive, and deceptively potent in the alcohol department. Many sangrias have a lower alcohol content because of the added seltzer. This one… doesn’t. Plan accordingly! Enjoy poolside or at your next BBQ.

You Need:

white sangria ingredients

1.5 liter bottle fruity white wine I used Alice White Pinot Grigio

1 200 mL bottle of gin (lime gin would be tasty, but I couldn’t find it in a small bottle)

2 cups sparkling water

1 1/2 cups white sugar

white sangria ingredients1 cup tap/non-sparkling water

2 peaches or nectarines, cut to 1/2 inch dice

1 pink (gala, honeycrisp, or pink lady) apple, cut to 1/2 inch dice

1 fresh lime

1 fresh lemon

a large pitcher or punchbowl

ice, for serving I found an adorable fruit shaped silicone ice cube tray at Joann’s

Slice off the ends of the lemon and lime. Place ends in a small saucepan and set aside. Slice the remaining fruit in half for juicing.

Place the diced apple and peach/nectarine in the bottom of your pitcher. Add all of the wine, all of the gin, and the sparkling water. Squeeze in all of the juice from the lemon and lime. Set pitcher aside in the fridge to chill.

Meanwhile, add the sugar and 1 cup of plain water to the small saucepan holding the citrus ends. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiled, remove from heat immediately and let cool completely.

When syrup is cool, remove the cooked citrus pieces. Add the syrup to the chilled wine mix. Stir and serve over ice! Add a lime wedge if you’re feeling fancy. Try topping each glass off with some champagne if you really want to sparkle.

white sangria recipe

white sangria in my sweet tea jug

The whole process takes maybe 15 minutes, plus time to chill.

Mother’s Day and Fried Mashed Potatoes

This tasty (and fast) recipe is in honor of MOTHER’S DAY! Mother’s Day is this Sunday kids, so take note. I’m sure everyone can think of a lovely lady in their life, family or not, who has nurtured you/pestered you/made you who you are today.

Fried mashed potatoes are one of those things that Momma makes that make any day a little more delicious. They are also made out of leftovers, and when one lives alone one generally does not make the kind of family-style fare that ends up as leftovers. So I only get them when I go home to Momma. And because I am in the library working on a final that is due in a few hours, I obviously have time to type out the recipe real quick.

You Need:

leftover mashed potatoes

1 egg, beaten (optional)

vegetable oil of some kind, for frying

salt and pepper

optional: grated cheese, preferably cheddar

Grab your bowl of mashed potatoes and check out the consistency. If they’re fresh and/or contain lots of butter, you can probably form them into patties without adding anything. If they are crumbly, stir in a beaten egg. Season with some extra salt/pepper/grated cheese if you’re feeling fancy, and form into patties about 1/2 inch thick.

Thickly coat the bottom of a skillet with vegetable oil. 1/4 inch or less should be plenty. We are not actually deep frying here, just giving those bad boys a crispy coating. I usually test my oil with a drop of water, but I think this is a fire hazard. The proper way is to drop in a little piece of bread and see if it sizzles.

When oil is hot, lay your patties in and fry until the bottom is golden brown. Flip once, and continue cooking until hot and tasty. Serve with ketchup and fried eggs.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mom and I in Scotland

My mom and I in Scotland on the banks of Loch Lomond. I am no doubt dreaming of fried mashed potatoes.

Happy Squash Soup

On a recent self-righteous trip to the grocery store, I decided to be healthy and came home with a giant butternut squash. Once home, I realized I have no idea what one does with such a thing.

SOUP! Eureka. Soups are a great way to try new ingredients. The slow cooking gives you loads of time to correct seasonings and mellow out weird textures, and you can always throw in something familiar to offset a funky flavor. Soups are so easy peasy that I decided to be extra adventurous and add a parsnip. Parsnips are ugly white veggies with a mild oniony flavor. They look a bit like the grizzled grandpa of the carrot, but are very very tasty in soups or other slow-cooked dishes. The sweetness of the squash and the bite of the parsnip balance out nicely, and make a super healthy winter time meal.

Don’t fret, the recipe is a lot shorter than my soup-lovin’ ramble. This stuff is BURSTING with vitamins, takes very little effort, and is an unbelievable neon orange color. Happy days.

easy squash soup recipe

You Need:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into one inch pieces

1 small parsnip, peeled and cut into one inch pieces

1 yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into one inch pieces

::Note:: You will be pureeing the soup in a blender. The dice on these vegetables does not need to be perfect at all, just keep the pieces in a somewhat uniform size to ensure an even cooking time.

3 whole garlic cloves, peeled

broth/stock/water (You need enough to cover the veggies in a large pot. I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water because I like thin, sippable soups. If you like it thicker, use just enough to cover. If you use vegetable broth or water this is a completely vegan recipe.)

juice of half an orange

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

red pepper and salt, to taste

Bring the broth, squash, and parsnip to a boil in a large pot. Lower heat to a simmer and set timer for 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, add the onion pieces. After 30 minutes, check for doneness. Squash should pierce easily with a fork and the onions should be transparent. Turn off heat.

Throw the peeled, whole garlic in the blender. Scoop all of the vegetables from the pot and add to the blender with a few spoonfuls of cooking liquid. If you’re brave and have a big blender, feel free to pour the whole mixture in. It doesn’t matter if the broth goes into the blender or not, just do what you gotta do to get a smooth mixture.

Pour the mix back in the pot. Add the curry powder, orange juice, and salt and red pepper to taste. Return to a simmer, stir, and serve.

YUM!

Nutella Pots de Créme

FINALLY! Nutella Pots de Créme are here, and just in time for Valentine’s Day. Pot de créme is just a fancy word for cup-full-of-love (technically, cup of cream. whatever.). It’s a decadent dessert with a texture somewhere between a créme brulée and a chocolate mousse. Make these for your sweetie and he or she will fall into a deep sugar coma of amorous bliss.

2/3 cup milknutella pot de creme recipe

1 egg

dash of salt

1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup Nutella

whipped cream

finely chopped, roasted hazelnuts for garnish (see note below)

Put egg, salt, chocolate, liqueur, and Nutella in a blender. Pulse to combine. Meanwhile, bring milk just to a boil in a small saucepan. Add hot milk to blender and mix until completely smooth. The hot milk should be enough to melt the chocolate and cook the egg. Done!

Pour mixture evenly into 4 glasses or soufflé cups. I think wine glasses give a romantic touch. Servings will be small, but this stuff is decadent. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes so that the larger bubbles pop. Cover each glass with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly.

When ready to serve, top each serving with whipped cream and sprinkle with hazelnuts. These go well with a bubble bath.

nutella recipe

Note: Two things here. One, roasting nuts is easy peasy. Throw your nuts in a dry (NO oil or butter) skillet over medium heat. Swirl them around until they start to turn brown/smell delicious. Remove from heat. This takes no time at all but will make a HUGE difference in flavor. Two, always buy expensive items in bulk! This tip will SAVE YOU as a college student. Special ingredients like nuts or exotic spices or basmati rice can cost a lot when pre-packaged. Luckily, most regular grocery stores nowadays have bulk aisles just like the health food store. If you get your fancy dry ingredients  here, you’ll pay pennies. Trust me.