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    Entries in refreshing (11)


    Pineapple Sweet Tea

    I’m pretending like it’s summer! It’s still pretty cold and rainy here in Salt Lake, but I’m moving onto warmer weather, with or without Mother Nature. The truth is, Whole Foods had pineapples on sale the other day so I bought one. I’ve used the cores to make pineapple water in the past, but somehow, this time, I had the brilliant idea to try putting it in sweet tea. It did not disappoint!

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • The core of a fresh pineapple 
    • 3 quart size tea bags (sometimes called family size)
    • 3 cups water
    • 3 cups ice
    • ⅓ cup sugar

    This recipe ended up being all 3s which makes it really easy to remember. First, bring your water just to a boil. I just do it in the microwave, but you could do it in a kettle or on the stovetop. Add your teabags and allow them to steep for 3 minutes. (see what I mean about the 3s?)

    While that’s doing its thing, put 3 cups of ice in a pitcher. After 3 minutes, the tea should be nice and dark. I should probably say, I like my tea quite strong. Not bitter, (that’s actually caused by steeping too long) just lots of tea flavor. If you like yours a bit less strong, go ahead and just use 2 teabags.

    To squeeze the water out of the teabags, I like to just place them on a spoon and then wrap the string around and squeeze. I usually do this twice on each one.

    Now, go ahead and pour in the sugar.

    Stir until it’s completely dissolved, then pour that hot tea over the waiting ice.

    Stir briskly until all of the ice has melted.

    Now for the pineapple. I like to use pineapple cores for stuff like this. That way they get some use before going in the trash. I’m sure fresh pineapple or even frozen would work just fine if you don’t want to process a whole pineapple. Although, it’s actually quite simple to do. I’ll show how to do it the next time I buy one.

    Whatever you decide to use, go ahead and just drop it into the tea. Into the fridge for 24 hours. Yeah, unfortunately this is not an immediate gratification kind of recipe, but you’ll be so happy it’s there tomorrow anyway.

    Remove the pineapple and now it can go in the trash.

    Pour the finished tea over a nice tall glass of ice.

    My usual go to for sweet tea is fresh squeezed lime, but I gotta be honest, I may never go back. This pineapple version is nothing short of amazing!

    In the winter, I like my tea hot and black with vanilla sugar, and sometimes cinnamon and milk, but in the summer, it’s cold, fruity and sweet. How do you like your tea?


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    What's a Jicama?

    That’s the question I get nearly every time I mention jicama (pronounced hick-uh-muh) to someone.  When I was growing up, it was a fairly common occurrence to have jicama in the house.  My mom would cut it up and we’d snack on it like carrot sticks.  It has a mild, lightly sweet flavor, and it’s crisp and refreshing like an apple, but with a slightly starchy feel.  If you’ve never tried jicama before, give it a shot.  It really is a fabulous vegetable.  I bought one the other day, and after cutting it into sticks, I realized it was way more than I would eat by myself.  Hubby’s never tried it, but since he’s allergic to every other raw vegetable, it’s probably safe to assume jicama is no different.  I needed to figure out something creative to do with it, so with the 4th of July coming up, I thought why not put it with berries and a light dressing for a fabulous jicama fruit salad. 

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 1 cup diced jicama
    • 1 cup diced strawberries
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • Juice of a lime
    • Honey 

    The first thing you need to do is prepare the jicama.  When you buy one, it’ll just be a big brown root.  You want to find one that’s slightly shiny and relatively unblemished. 

    Using a peeler, remove the skin.  They can be a little bit fibrous on the outside sometimes, so if yours is, just take off an extra layer with your peeler.  Then cut it into sticks and dice it.  You only need about a cup for this recipe, so leave some of it in stick form for snacking. 

    Now for the blueberries.  Give them a good rinse, then spread them on a towel (I used paper).  Pick out any shriveled or soft ones, then lay another towel over the top and gently roll them around to dry them off. 

    And last but not least, the strawberries.  Wash and hull them.  Aren’t they pretty? 

    Have I mentioned how much I love strawberries?  They definitely fall near the top of my favorite things list, and Otto agrees, so he always wanders into the kitchen when I'm doing anything with them.  And speaking of Otto, he's having some pretty itchy days and has been wearing the cone of shame off an on.  Even though I went to the trouble of making him a soft one, he still doesn't look very happy about it.  Poor little guy.     

    Dice up the strawberries and throw everything into a bowl.  I rock at making patriotic food

    So… dressing.  Squeeze the juice of a lime into a small bowl.  Mine was about 1 ½ tablespoons so shoot for something close to that.  Add an equal-ish amount of honey.  I know I’m not being terribly precise here, but it really isn’t rocket science. 

    Stir those together.  A fork works well for this.  At first you’ll have a glob of honey in lime juice, but eventually it will become a nice smooth mixture.  Pour it over the salad. 

    Gently stir/toss until everything is coated and holy crap, it’s gorgeous! 

    Refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it, and it will be a delicious and refreshing side.  The perfect way to add patriotic flare to the table for your holiday get together.  And if you’re not celebrating the 4th of July, it’s a fabulous fruit salad to enjoy anytime. 

    How do you celebrate Independence Day?  Or if you’re not American, does your country have a similar holiday, and how is it traditionally celebrated?