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Butterbeer

19 Dec

I spent five days down in the sun-filled state of Florida with my sister’s family. I made dinner one night. My sweet nieces are obsessed with Harry Potter and told me in so many words that I really must – absolutely must – go to Harry Potter Land at Universal Studios. Someday I would love to do that, but it just wasn’t in the cards for this trip. Sigh. So! Not to be discouraged I decided to bring Harry Potter Land to us! The Three Broomsticks would be proud. Now, I made a version of Butterbeer a year or so ago that was hot and very butterscotchy. Not bad, but so sweet that I could only manage a sip. This one is a soda version and I like it much better. My nieces and nephews also gave it a thumbs up and confirmed that it tastes just like the stuff at Harry Potter Land. You use imitation butter extract – something that I didn’t even knew existed, but can actually be easily found right by all your other extracts in the seasonings section at your local grocer. Go figure.

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Ingredients:

FOR THE BUTTERBEER
chilled cream soda
imitation butter extract

FOR THE FOAM
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons sugar, or splenda for sugar free version
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons imitation butter (if using clarified butter, double the amount to 3 teaspoons, or 1 tablespoon)

To make the butterbeer: Place 1/2 teaspoon of imitation butter in glasses. Pour 12 ounces of cream soda into each glass, over the butter. Lightly stir.
To make the foam: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the heavy cream on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and continue whipping until very soft peaks begin to form, another 3-4 minutes (if you need to whip more or less, then be sure to do so, the times can vary quite a bit based on environment). Stir in the vanilla and imitation butter, then whip for another 30 seconds or so, until soft peaks form.

Spoon a generous portion of foam on top of each glass of butterbeer, mixing gently, if desired (or spoon the foam into the bottom of the glass and pour the butterbeer over the top). Serve immediately.

Original recipe: http://bakingdom.com/2010/11/butterbeer-oh-yes-friends-butterbeer.html

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Banana Milk

19 Jul

We’re going for simplistic today. I decided to start potty training my two year old two weeks after we brought our new baby home – I’ll give you one guess how that turned out. I quit after three days. Baby is almost six weeks old now, and as much as I hate potty training, big sister is ready and I am going to have to suck it up and stick it out. We are on day three now, so as long as I make it to tomorrow…what I didn’t count on was the fact that she’s got a little stomach bug right now. Stomach bug = diarrhea. Not really something I should talk about on a food blog, I know. I won’t go into detail, I’ll just say that I’m not having fun. We’re trying to keep with a basic diet of saltines, toast, and high fiber foods like bananas. She was really excited about the banana – so was I, until she started squishing it while still in the peel. Not much you can do with a squished banana. Luckily, I had just the thing…and yes, I totally spilled while taking my ‘pouring’ picture. 🙂

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Ingredients:

4 cups milk

2 large bananas

1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar

Place milk and bananas into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add sugar to taste – less is more! If you get it too sweet you lose the banana flavor. Blend until sugar is dissolved.

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Strawberry Agua Fresca

29 Jun

So, my sister is moving to Florida. Please do not make me discuss this because I will cry. While I am super excited for their family’s new adventure, I heartily feel that the other side of the county is simply too far away. The end. However, because of this rather heart-wrenching move, their family has bequeathed my family with a bit of an heirloom – a good ol’ fashioned Coleman Williamsburg tent trailer, circa 1991. Many fond memories in that baby! My parents gave it to my sister’s family a few years back, and since traveling cross country with all of your belongings is hard enough, they decided that maybe dragging a not-so-frequently-used tent trailer behind said mass of belongings wasn’t ideal. Enter good ol’ fashioned tent trailer parked on my driveway – it is there for some major plastic surgery. Come to find out, while my sister’s family was not using it, a small family of mice decided to make the trailer their home. This arrangement did not bode well for the canvas tenting…or the toilet paper left in there. Fifteen to twenty ‘sky-lights’ later :), the mice were kicked out, having not followed the rule of thumb for any tenant: leave the place better than you found it. And on top of that, having been out in the not-so-sunshiny state of Oregon for the past few years, water took its toll as well, rusting out the roof and all the curtain hooks. “What, in heaven’s name, does this have to do with Agua Fresca,” you may be asking yourself? Well! Not only do I have a tent trailer in desperate need of TLC sitting on my driveway, but it is sitting there in 100^F heat. And I need to clean it. That gets hot – really, really hot. I also have a glorious little planter spilling over with fresh strawberries in my back yard (my husband hates eating strawberries but loves growing them – I’m not complaining). In the midst of vacuuming, sanitizing, and pulling down mouse nibbled curtains – sweat running down every crevice imaginable – this super easy concoction was just what the doctor ordered! The sad thing is that I really wasn’t even the one slaving out in the oven of a trailer for most of the time because I had to take care of baby. My sweet mom came over to ‘help’ me and I left her out there to do it herself half the day. So, thank you, MOM!!! I’ll make you a whole pitcher of Agua Fresca if you ever decide to come back. 🙂

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups water

1 lb strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

juice of one lime

Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Chill before serving or pour over ice.

*Super easy and so fresh and tasty!!! I usually use bottled lime juice – about 1 tsp is equal to the juice of one lime. I also will do sugar to taste.