Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Magical Mint

Loving, loving, loving summer! With the heat, comes the diminished desire to cook things in the oven so I've been having cold things like smoothies and taco salad, but there has been some cooking going on. I went to see Magic Mike this weekend with the girls, and we decided to get together before hand on my deck for some drinks and snacks...

My signature drink for the evening was the mojito! We have tons of mint growing in our yard (hint: if you want to grow mint, grow it in planters, or it will infest your yard!), so this was a great way to use it up. First, I made mint-infused simple syrup.

Mint-Infused Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
handful of mint leaves

Stir the water and sugar together in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir for about a minute, til sugar dissolves, then remove from heat. Add in the mint leaves and allow to sit for an hour. The mint adds a nice little touch to the syrup. I prefer making cold drinks (mojitos, lemonade) with simple syrup rather than granular sugar because then you don't have crunchy bits of sugar in your drink.

And to keep the calories low, I also made a sugar free mint simple syrup using sucralose instead. Its not as good, it doesn't thicken as much as the regular syrup, but once you're one or two mojitos in, you don't really notice ;) Can't wait to make this for my sister in law!

Then it was time to assemble the mojitos (sorry no pictures of this fabulous drink!)

In a glass, pour 1 oz. of simple syrup and add a small handful of mint leaves. Muddle together (mush the leaves). Add crushed ice, 1.5 oz of rum, the juice of half a lime and top with club soda. Garnish with a straw, a lime wedge and some mint leaves.

These were so yummy and refreshing on a hot evening....and definitely made Magic Mike seem better than it really was (what were all those scenes with people talking???? :P)

Now, I'm a good hostess. I don't booze up my guests without providing something to snack on too! I served fruit, veggies and hummus and I also roasted three heads of garlic to spread onto toasted baguette rounds. Mmmmm. 

 I also made up a little goody bag for my friends. Since I've got so much mint, I made a bouquet of it for each girl, along with a handwritten booklet of some great uses for mint. They included tea/iced tea, air freshener, pore reducer, foot scrub and a link to some recipes. As I make these things myself I will blog about them!

Rosemary Lentils over Polenta- Supermarket Vegan
This is a very tasty dish...and it made me like polenta. Billy liked it too. It's a very visually appealing meal and feels fancy when you're eating it.

Look what I found at Value Village! An old popcorn popper! I've bought some from WalMart before but they always break :( They just don't make things the way they used to. This thing looks like it was made in the 80's and it still works great. I'm a popcorn fiend, as in: I have it as my evening snack almost daily. I was popping kernels in brown bags in the microwave, but a popper is less wasteful and makes delicious popcorn without the use of oil. I paid 4$ for it. 

More cold food, since its 29 degrees today...leftover grilled veggies with guacamole on a whole wheat tortilla. Yum!

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I bought my popcorn popper at the thrift store, too! Score.