Green Berry Smoothie

Green Berry Smoothie_1

No. There is no such thing as a green berry (at least not that I know of). The grammar freak inside of me is having a minor meltdown right now over the misplaced modifier – “green.” I considered revising the name to “Berry Green Smoothie” but foresaw the “berry” being mistaken as a descriptor of the amount of “green” in the beverage and decided against it.

This is neither a smoothie made from green berries nor is it a very green smoothie. Rather, it is a smoothie made with greens and berries – spinach and strawberries, to be exact.

If I wasn’t determined to give the poor drink a short and, hopefully, memorable name, I might have used the ever descriptive “Spinach and Strawberry Smoothie” title, but golly that sounds boring. So, Green Berry Smoothie it is and ever shall be.

In my opinion, and to further the confusion, this delicious concoction of fruits, veggies, oats, and juice tastes like none of the above. For the spinach haters in the crowd, this is probably a good thing.

Green Berry Smoothie_3

Now, I love my smoothies super thick (otherwise I’d order a juice – duh) and boy does this one check that box. Thick and almost creamy, a gift from the frozen banana to our taste buds, you can sip on this bad boy through your entire mid-morning meeting – or dig into it with a spoon. It gets bonus points for filling power, preventing the otherwise unavoidable nod-off halfway through the boss’s presentation on ______.

This particular ingredient combo is well on its way to becoming a staple in my smoothie rotation. Look at all those beautiful ingredients!

Green Berry Smoothie_Ingredients

Thank you California for providing fresh berries year-round – though the ones in spring do have a little special something that even the best year-round berry farmers can’t pack in to their off-season greenhouse growths.

Green Berry Smoothie_Ingredients 2

I obviously piled my glass to overflowing – that’s just how I roll. But, should you be in a sharing mood, the recipe below makes a full 24 ounces so you could always split it down the middle to share with your BFF, significant other, or one lucky other meeting attendee.

Green Berry Smoothie

Green Berry Smoothie_2

A fantastic mid-morning pick-me-up.

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 5 – 8 strawberries (depending upon size), hulled
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup apple juice

Place ingredients into blender in order listed.

Press smoothie button. If you don't have a smoothie button, blend to preferred thickness.

Pour into a cup.

Top with strawberries, chia seeds, and coconut, if desired.

Wineries of Paso: Linne Calodo

Oak Pass Grape Vines

Some wineries are all about the wine, some about price, others value prestige or exclusiveness, while yet others tout their extensive tasting list. There are boutique wineries with tasting by reservation only, large wineries catering to groups and wine novices. Whether you enjoy big crowds or intimate affairs, sophisticated venues or family-friendly farms, Paso Robles has something for everyone. It’s inclusive air and lack of pretentiousness endears it to me all the more….

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Strawberry Acai Bowl

Strawberry Acai Bowl 2

The other day I was at the store when I noticed strawberries on sale for $0.99 / lb! I wasn’t sure that was a feasible price for quality goods so I spent a solid five minutes searching for the fatal flaw in each pack. With no blemishes uncovered, I added a box to my cart and then another and another and another. I love strawberries and so does my little man, but when I got home and tried to neatly stack my treasures in the fridge, I realized that four pounds might have been on the slightly excessive side….

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Mango Banana Smoothie

Mango Banana Smoothie 1

This goes out to all my fantastic friends and family in the soaked and partially underwater yet still fabulous city of Austin. Some fake sand, a couple lawn chairs, this tropical mango banana smoothie and bunch of mini umbrellas are all you need to be transported to one of those all-inclusive resorts in Cabo or the Bahamas. …

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Infused Water

Let’s face it. Water is boring. 64 ounces of it a day can get old quickly, so why not mix it up, change it up every now and then? I mean, you wouldn’t wear the same black pencil skirt and white blouse all day every day, would you? No. You add pizazz, sparkle, and fun to your wardrobe – and probably to your desk, your home, and your food. So, let’s give boring water a face lift.

You could go out and buy lots of different fancy waters from specialty grocery stores, but that might end up costing you just as much as an actual face lift. For the cost your morning latte and in the amount of time it takes you to shave, you can make a gallon of water a day for a week. Yes, you heard me right; $5 and 5 minutes are all you need.

I’m talking about infused water. I have long made lemon water (I think most of us have). But why stop there? Again with the boring and monotonous. Pick up your favorite produce item, slice it up, drop it in water, let it sit for a few hours to overnight. Presto – delicious, fun, refreshing water that just might have you craving it in the afternoon instead of that 8th cup of joe. Oh, and when you’ve finished the water and are ready to move on, toss those citrus slices down the drain (except the limes, they’re too tough), turn on the water and the garbage disposal, and let it run for about 30 seconds. Take a deep breath: your sink and drain now smell fantastic!

Some of my favorite infused waters (all quantities assume 1 gallon of water):

  • Strawberry (about 10 – 12 strawberries sliced vertically)
  • Lemon Lime (½ of a lemon sliced, 1 lime sliced)
  • Cucumber (1 cucumber sliced)
  • Cucumber Lemon Lime (½ of a lemon sliced, 1 lime sliced, ½ of a cucumber sliced)
  • Cucumber Mint Lemon (½ of a cucumber sliced, 8 – 10 mint leaves, ½ of a lemon sliced)
  • Berry (about 5 – 8 strawberries sliced vertically, about 10 blackberries halved)
  • Orange (1 orange sliced)

What are you favorite infused water combinations?

Strawberry Water 2

Champagne and Football

 

Champagne Glass

Growing up I was a major tomboy. Remember the show on Nickelodeon The Secret World of Alex Mack? For those of you too young (or old) to remember this classic, the main character, a girl named Alex, basically lived in a backwards baseball cap with a plaid shirt tied around her waist. Add a pair of soccer socks to that ensemble and you have a spot-on picture of me during my more formative years….

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Vanilla Soy Latte

Vanilla Soy Latte_Insta

I’m not sure what happened to spring, but today had a distinct crisp chill to it reminiscent of fall, which had me craving a warming beverage and roasted vegetables. As it was only 9:30 in the morning, I decided to wait on the veggies until a more respectable 11:00am at least. But, it was prime coffee time and a latte was just what the doctor ordered….

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Peach Rhubarb Smoothie

Peach Rhubarb Smoothie 3

In honor of Mother’s Day, this week’s focus will be where it should: on all things mom. From the moment she wakes up to the second her head hits the pillow that night, she will be the main focus, the star of the show. Start mom’s day off right with a delicious breakfast – the most important meal of the day.

That said, might I suggest that you change up the breakfast-in-bed routine by ditching the cliché scrambled eggs and toast opting instead for lighter peach rhubarb smoothie? If your celebrations / family get-togethers are anything like mine, there will be food and drink in spades all day, so cut her some carb slack during this first meal.

If you’re feeling especially generous and want to secure your “daughter / son / spouse of the year award” add a glass of champagne to that breakfast tray. You can thank me later.

Peach Rhubarb Smoothie 2

Peach Rhubarb Smoothie 1

Wine Thoughts: Sullivan Merlot 2011

I am really not a huge Merlot fan. It’s just not my thing. I hate to be grape-ist like that as each grape and each harvest is unique, but the reality is that, historically, Merlot and I have just not been best buds. While usually drinkable, it is not something I actively seek out to add to our drinking repertoire….

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Afternoon Energizer Smoothie

Afternoon Energizer

Some mornings require a little more help than others – even those with awesome starts. This was one of them. Despite rising with the sun, getting in a butt-kicking kickboxing workout, catching up on the news, and cleaning up my inbox – all before 9am, I needed a pick me up that would last. Alas, it didn’t seem that an 18th cup of coffee was going to do the trick….

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