Category Archives: drinks

Smoothie for YOUR Needs!

 

I received compensation from Bayer Consumer Health, makers of MiraLAX® to write this post. MiraLAX® is a laxative used to treat occasional constipation. All opinions are entirely my own. #ReliefMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

I was a Cardiology nurse for over twenty years. That means very low fat, vegetarian if you can do it. But I’ve seen all the diets (I refuse to call them ‘fads’ because they work for some folks) come and go. The Zone, Adkins, Keto, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Lactose-Free, whatever. But the words of a now-retired Cardiologist always ring in my ears when I hear about something wonderful, new, and healthy: “All things in moderation.”

That said, here’s a recipe everyone can modify for their own needs. Smoothies are great if you’re in a rush in the morning, but they’re also a great option if you aren’t able to take a lunch break (Hello, fellow, nurses!) or if you’re a parent shuffling between rehearsals, practices, meetings, study sessions, and whatever else. I don’t have that option since I must take in sixty grams of protein a day or I risk my hair falling out! How’s that for motivation? YIKES!


(Pardon my crappy photo-shopping – but you get the idea!)

So let’s down to business: I need a different smoothie Every. Single. Day. Some days I know I haven’t had enough protein, and I need to boost that. Some days I’m constipated (let’s just be real here) and I need something that won’t keep me in the bathroom all day. Some days I just feel queasy and need something tasty, tummy-calming, nutritious, and small.

So I read up a bit, and decided on a grocery list. I was going to Kroger – my usual stop at the end of my street – so I checked to see if there were any coupons to be printed. JACKPOT! (And this link is good everywhere, on any MiraLAX® product y’all!)

I already had some of my go-to smoothie items at home, so this is what ended up in my cart (plus some glucosamine for my elderly dog and husband. Husband and dog, I mean):


Now, not to tell my guys’ secrets, but fast food is not good for the gut. #justsayin  Nor is my lifestyle or most of my meds *sigh*.  So if you want to have something safe and easy to use for that occasional constipation we all experience now and then for whatever reason HERE is what y’all need: MiraLAX®


If you haven’t bought this before this is the aisle where you’ll find it:

Odds are, it won’t be far from the pharmacy.

If it is, or if you’re unsure if it’s safe for you to take with your prescription medications, ask the Pharmacy folks. They are your besties for not only your prescriptions meds, but for the non-prescription ones as well. #LOVEKrogerPharmacists They worked long and hard for their degrees, so they truly appreciate honest questions. Such as, “Is there a difference between the dosage of the MiraLAX® Mix-In Pax and the regular MiraLAX®?” Answer: “NO.” So put it in your morning shake, tuck in your messenger bag, whatever suits you best.

Once I got home, this is what I put together for my shake:

Here’s my recipe:

  • one cup vanilla yogurt
  • one medium banana (as brown as possible) – sliced
  • 1/4 serving chocolate protein drink (more if you’re a chocolate addict)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut powder (optional – I’m a PB addict)

Tip: You can add MiraLAX® for relief for occasional constipation.

Blend in a blender, shake in a big cup, do whatever you would do to get a smoothie. Some people like ice. I prefer not because it makes my teeth hurts and makes me grumpy. If you’re grumpy even without the ice add cooled coffee. Or your physician-prescribed morning meds. #justsayin.

NUTRITION INFORMATION:

  • Calories: 295 (WHAT?!)
  • Grams fat: 3.5 (WTCardiology?)
  • Grams PROTEIN *drumroll*: 21 (mic drop)
  • Grams carbs: 41 (from yogurt and banana)

printable version

I don’t often use my big blender because I’m lazy and it takes up too much space in the dishwasher. #lazybutt So I use this small one. But once it’s all said and done and I screw on the cover for drinking (as if I’ve never drunk out of a Mason jar before – LOL!) This is what it looks like:

Now this is scrumptious stuff, so why would you want to drink it out of plastic? Put in something pretty and garnish it!

OK, full disclosure here. I hadn’t planned a garnish. But there was more in the plastic container than would fit attractively in the glass, so I drank it. And it was WAY yummy! And that made me want more so I scrounged around in the banana peel. Since I’d peeled it from the bottom (like monkeys do) there were none of those little strings – ICK! There was just one perfect little slice. GARNISH!

So this summer keep your options open. Smoothies are super-easy and can be pre-prepped and put in zip-locks before blending. There are lots of yummy ripe fruits, plenty of non-dairy options for yogurt or milk, and a handy option for those “oh, bleh” days. WATERMELON! Does anyone else see a watermelon smoothie in their near future? #OHYEAH

Put a pack or two into your spouse’s laptop bag. Sneak a few of the Mix-In packets into your young adult’s first-aid kit before they return to college. They’ll be thankful, but they probably won’t tell you. #parentlife And since MiraLAX® isn’t a stimulant laxative that works by forcefully stimulating the nerves in the colon #majorICK there will be no rushing out of an important meeting/class or scampering to the restroom on the far side of the store/office. Just follow the directions on the bottle or box/packet  (i.e. Use only once a day and for no more than seven days in a row) and you’ll be, um . . . #GOODTOGO. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!

 

 

Horse Bites: Drinks and Mocktails

Rain or shine, cold or blazing hot, it’s easy to host a casual Derby party at home for everyone. After all, getting a babysitter for Derby is harder than hitting an Exacta!

And if you’re planning on staying home with your kids anyway, have them invite all their friends! The parents will be so shocked they’ll offer to keep your kids for your anniversary, a long weekend, whatever you want. How do I know this? Because I used to do it for both my sons for New Year’s Eve. The kids had a blast, and I never go out on New Year’s Eve, anyway. Even if I’m not drinking that doesn’t protect me from all the other idiots on the road. Here’s my Pinterest Family-Friendly Derby Party Board – enjoy!

Whether you are planning a party for families or only for kids beverages are important. Recipes for the Oaks Lily, the Mint Julep, and the new-this-year Woodford Reserve Spires are all available on KentuckyDerby.com.

I’ll be honest – if I’m pouring simple syrup, cranberry juice, or lemonade over something I’m not using top-shelf alcohol. Straight? Sure. A specialty drink I’ve personally created? Absolutely! But for party mixes like these I’d save the budget for food and drop it a couple of rungs on on the snooty liquor scale. Anyone who’s displeased is officially elected bartender – they can run to the liquor and make their own and everyone else’s drinks. #mypartymyrules

Here are the kid-friendly versions (or the versions you give your guests who are getting too tipsy):

Lily: Cranberry juice, a splash of lemonade, and a splash or orange juice over ice. Garnish with a half-strawberry unless your kids like blackberries.

Julep: Green Kool-aid or Crystal Light (Bug Juice for you Scout Parents out there) over ice with a sprig of mint. They can eat it, rub it on their teeth to gross everyone out, throw it at each other, whatever. It cleans up easy. If you’re lucky the dog will eat it and have very fresh breath!

Spires: Lemonade over ice with a splash of cranberry juice for color. Garnish with a tiny wedge of lemon.

Nab a couple of “too cool for this party” teens and put them to work making the mocktails. Maybe show them a few scenes from “Cocktail” first (while you’re transferring everything into plastic bottles). They’ll be bragging about their bar-tending skills for a decade.

You’ve probably seen my Horse Bites series with Benedictine, Thurby Pie, Hot Brown, and Country Ham. But here’s another option: the YUMMY Mint Julep! This is one even the adults will want to try.

It’s super-easy. Peel a kiwi (Make a shallow cut around the circumference and use a spoon – trust me on this one!) Then slice it. Add half a strawberry (cut side down), a blueberry, and just a leaf of mint. Now make just a cup of simple syrup (sugar or Splenda dissolved in hot water). Once it cools, pour a tiny bit on every stack. Yes, sorry, this once takes toothpicks, too. None of these fruits will brown or shrivel, so they can be done well ahead of time. If you want an adult version put bourbon in the simple syrup. But in that case make sure there’s an Adult section of the Buffet Table and an Under-21 section!

For the Thurby Pie just don’t use Bourbon in the whipped cream, and perhaps not nuts in their pie (the bourbon cooks out of the pie.) The Hot Brown will be a hit – maybe use ramekins instead of shot glasses and put two sandwich quarters in each. Kids love to dip! Benedictine and Country Ham Horse Bites are fine as they are – maybe you can get some veggies into them along the way.

Posting this after twelve-noon EST since I don’t want to encourage day-drinking, even though my Neurologist says I should give it a try. Yes, seriously! And no, I’m not giving out his name. If I do I’ll have to wait two years for my next appointment. And I’m rather fond of the margarita machine in the waiting room. #justkiddingitsinthelobby

 

What’s My Summertime Drink? Sweet Tea, of Course!

Sweet tea. It can make or break a restaurant in the South. And if you live in the South you’d better make it well and have it handy. In fact, the uber-prepared hostess these days has not just sweet and unsweet tea, but also half-sweet (half unsweetened, half sweetened). And some lemonade in the fridge in case anyone wants an Arnold Palmer (half tea, half lemonade). McDonald’s, ever the one to capitalize on a trend, even coined a phrase of their own for half-sweet tea: Half-Cut. Go on, go through your nearest McDonald’s drive-thru and order a large half-cut tea. Of course McDonald’s sweet tea isn’t as good as Chic-Fil-A’s, but they do try.

My friend Kim makes the best sweet tea in the world, and I’ve watched her make it oodles of time and mine is never quite as good as hers, but it’s pretty darn good. I think it’s just one of those “tastes better if someone else makes it” things. So here’s my recipe:


Run six cups of water through your coffee pot with a Lipton family-size tea bag in the pot.  Yes, I said Lipton, there’s no need to get fancy with this.  And the bag should go in the pot, not where the coffee grounds go.  Let it sit for five minutes or so, and then remove the tea bag in stir in one cup sugar (or Splenda or whatever) until dissolved.  Fill a two-quart pitcher with cold water and pour the hot tea into it.  Serve over lots of ice.  Do not refrigerate – that makes it cloudy.  My husband likes a wedge of lemon in his, but I usually drink mine straight.  This is a beverage appropriate for any time of the day, and any season.

*disclaimer: This is MY sweet tea recipe.  It’s not the way my mother makes sweet tea, or my aunt makes sweet tea, or my neighbor makes sweet tea.  Everybody has their own recipe.  If you don’t like yours or if you’ve never made sweet tea, start with this one and change it to suit your taste.  Just don’t add sugar after the tea has cooled – that’s NOT sweet tea and any waiter or waitress who suggests it is needs remedial tea training.

What’s your favorite summer beverage? Got a fabulous adult beverage I need to know about? A kid-pleaser you make by the cooler-full? Jump in and share it (or any of the other prompts) at Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop!

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