Orange Pineapple Refresher

Orange Coconut Pineapple DrinkRecently, I was gifted with one of those rare days when I had my daughter all to myself. We sent the boys off to a Cub Scout camp-out. We packed them up, helped organize gear, and applied band-aids to the wounds of my son’s whittling practice. They were off to East Texas to, among other things, earn a whittling chip and an official Cub Scout pocket knife. This is a big deal in a kid’s life.

And, having split the genders, we sent the boys on their way so that we could have an entire day of girl time. We planned good, old-fashioned, gender stereotypical girl time.

But the greater point is that one forgets what it is like to get to be with one child when almost always playing referee to two. The shift in dynamics is tectonic when you remove them from one another. And, I have great kids. Truly. But they know when mom is there to broker disagreements and interfere and they constantly use it to test their strengths relative to one another.

Then you get one to yourself for the whole day and it seems they mature 10 years in a moment. I felt like I was running around with a girlfriend. She aged ten years and I enjoyed a fountain of youth kind of day.

Among other great hours, we had a very pleasant lunch on a very pleasant patio. We splurged a little and each got a $6 glass of juice. I didn’t bat an eye because that was the sort of day we set out to have, one where one of my most often used words, “no,” was put on the shelf for a day. But when we came back down to earth, I decided that I needed to de-construct my fancy (not fancy at all), expensive (not expensive if made at home), beverage. And so I did.

The sweet orange juice is tempered by coconut water. The chunks of frozen pineapple sweeten the deal to just the perfect spot. This is a great way to get a big orange drink without feeling as though you have spent your dessert calories for the day.

This could not be a simpler recipe. Break out the blender and toss in three things. Done. Pour it over ice and go back to the garden and visit your caterpillars and weeds and budding tomatoes. Just yesterday morning I was greeted by beautiful zucchini blossoms that brightened my whole outlook. I spent an hour puttering, sipping my cool drink, and visiting my plants. The perfect recipe for a great day, wouldn’t you agree?

Orange Coconut Pineapple Drink Ingredients

Orange Pineapple Refresher
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
This simple drink is perfect to cool you off while you putter around the garden.
  • 14 ounces coconut water
  • 8 ounces orange juice
  • ⅓ cup frozen pineapple chunks
  1. Place the ingredients in the pitcher of a blender. Blend until the pineapple chunks are processed.
  2. Pour over ice and enjoy.

Orange Coconut Pineapple Drink in the Garden

Green Smoothie, Take 2

Glass of Green SmoothieI’m not prone to massive shifts in habits. Do not worry that I’ve gone vegan on you. As long as there are smoked briskets or cheddar fries with bacon in the world, that is somewhat unlikely. But one does occasionally start experiencing the dreaded too-snug-jeans, and in order avoid the inconvenience of having to buy an entire new wardrobe of larger clothes, one must relent and apply some moderation in habits.

Thus, you have noticed things like beans and roasted veggies with quinoa. You know you have put on the brakes when the quinoa shows up. At least beans have a good, down home, depression-food quality that causes an aura of comfort.

This smoothie/juice concoction absolutely reeks of trendiness and band-wagon hopping, kale chip eating, spirulina quaffing, fashion-vegan blather that usually gets me grumpy and headed for the nearest chopped beef sammie. And, as much as I love new kitchen appliances, I’m not buying a juicer. The acquisition of fun appliances must be moderated, too. Plus, if I need an honest to goodness, big, giant, amazing juice that captures a whole shopping basket of vegetables in a 12 ounce glass, I’ll just go over to The Gem in Preston Center. I think that is actually cheaper in the long-run. And, they have a disco ball. And, sometimes one just needs a little pick-me-up drink made by someone else while sitting under a disco ball. I can be hip for a moment. A friend of mine suggested that I could go pull her 15 year old juicer out of the garage if I wanted to. She said she bought one the first time they were hip (in the 70’s) and then bought another one the second time they became cool again (in the 90’s). Now she also just goes to the Gem and enjoys the peppy atmosphere and the disco ball instead of the work actually involved in feeding and running and cleaning a juicer. I’m with her. If I can’t do it in my Vita-Mix, I ain’t doin’ it. But, this, I can do in my blender.


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Horchata RecipeHorchata is a Mexican specialty drink. It is often referred to as an “agua fresca” or a “fresh water.” These are drinks like tamarindos and the cucumber lime agua fresca which I posted last fall. They are essentially water flavored with fruit or other fresh flavors. I’m flat out cheating with this one. I admit it. The typical recipe calls for soaking rice for several hours or overnight and blending that into a milky substance flavored typically with cinnamon, vanilla, or almonds. I’m using milk and water (though rice milk might be a fun substitute). I’ve used rice flour in place of whole rice, because it seems to make a great deal of sense to me. It saves a step. And the pitcher of horchata is ready to go far more quickly. But, should you want to try a recipe that uses whole rice, take a peek at The Homesick Texan’s (Lisa Fain) recipe. Her recipe is a good example of an horchata that uses not only whole rice, but almonds, as well. Regardless of which you use, however, rice sediment will fall to the bottom of the pitcher as it cools. It needs a good shake before ladling it into a glass.

It has also become common to make horchata using sweetened condensed milk, and though there are certainly applications where I will use sweetened condensed milk, here, I believe it adds too distinctive of a flavor. I prefer making a simple syrup. You should be familiar with making simple syrup anyway, however. It is a refrigerator staple for me during the summer, because it such a handy sweetener for drinks. Dissolving crunchy sugar in cold water is for the birds. Make a big jar of simple syrup and keep it in the refrigerator. You will be ready to make this, or lemonade, of sweet tea, or any number of other great summer drinks.


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Smoothie Ideas, BBQ Books, and a Silly Golf Cake

Berry SmoothieSmoothies are pretty much the most exotic thing I’ve been making this week. And, the ones that I have been making have been rather frantic affairs. For instance, a recipe for my breakfast smoothing this week might read: 1) Oh God, we need to leave the house in three minutes and everyone is still in pajamas; 2) Open the freezer and find frozen berries; 3) Throw berries in the blender with a splash of OJ; 4) Hit go and start rounding up the little people…grab “smoothie” on the way out the door.

Sometimes a banana gets into the mix, and last night I threw some tangerine sections in the freezer to add to this morning’s mix, which was a capital idea, actually.

It is the last week of school around here. I’ve raced and celebrated and shed a few tears. We have had a first softball game, a last chapel service, field day, tornado warnings, decorated cars, plays, and Boy Scout dinners. And, we even all went to see Iron Man 3 (past bedtime…very rare). Ever since I finished my stories and photos for the Summer Edible Dallas & Fort Worth issue a few weeks ago (look for my story on fishing and photos of chef Matt McCallister and urban foraging), I have been doing the mom thing 24/7 and, well, summer has just begun. This is not an excuse for my lackadaisical post schedule. I know many of you are in the same boat, but it is an explanation. I’ve got some recipes brewing but they are not ready yet. So, in the meantime, grab a smoothie as you run for the door.


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Spring Berry Fizzy

Berry Drink TallIt is particularly galling that some of the best of Spring days are spent looking out the window. My kids get home from school at four and even with no sports, there is still work to be done, which is more difficult with every beautiful day. They are being pulled outside. So even when their bodies are in school, their brains are already in Summer.

Combine this with the fact that cocktails are all the rage at the moment and I can’t open a cooking magazine without being presented with a dozen or so fruit soaked, minty, gingered, or frosty cocktails. They look so good. I like a sweet drink. I can still be caught ordering a Shirley Temple at a nice restaurant. Yes, I’m serious. I love lemonade and limeade. My drink at Sonic is diet Sprite with Cherry syrup. And Lily had a fruity (kid) drink at La Duni this week that was something like a sweetened mango-orangeade on crushed ice that was oh, so good. I’ve got sweet drinks on the brain. So this is not too far afield for me…except for the fact that it is actually made with real fruit. That is a plus.


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