Food: Berries are delicious

Image via freakingnews.com

I’ve never been one of those people that pick the ‘three berry’ option. You know, three berry pie, three berry muffin, three berry smoothie, etc. If I had to choose, I’m strawberry or GTFO. I mean, berrylicious is a really bad pun, and it’s ALL OVER any semblence of a berrylicious food. Besides, when berries aren’t in season, or they have to come from a far away place, they are kind of small, wilty and covered in sugar.

I recently embarked upon a dire mission, one to end the end of all ends: grocery shopping. It’s summer, and light, fluffy things are everywhere. It creates this sort of over-the-top need to consume light super things, a la ice cream (holy shit, ICE CREAM. This place in Edina is the shit.), salads and BERRIES.

Not what I was looking for. I forgot these existed. I’m always shocked when I learn someone has one, like Lady Gaga or anyone on Gossip Girl. Image via phonegg.com

Think about raspberries. Blackberries. BLUEBERRIES!!! It’s an awakening. Berries are juicy, filled with anti-oxidents and are so, so yummy.

Here are some light berry-centered things to drive you crazy hungry with!

  • Fluffy, amazing pancakes with berries and whipped cream (ps why is there not a specialty drive through pancake joint? Should we start one?)
  • A homemade, fresh berry pie (because pies are always better homemade and freshly made)
  • French vanilla yogurt, vanilla almond crunch granola, raspberries and blackberries
  • Vanilla ice cream with balsalmic berries

I recently had a strawberry balsalmic cupcake at Sweet Retreat and it was PHENOMENAL. SO in love with berries!

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Summer guide: Drinks

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This is Part 2 of the 20poorandfabulous summer guide to a healthy, happy and fabulous summer! 

Summer Drinks

Ahhhh, the refreshing mist of a summer drink on your tongue. Hot coffees and heavy drinks have no business being in your summer drink repertoire. Here are some great summer drinks that will keep you hydrated or keep you fabulously buzzed.

Golf legend Arnold Palmer is a legend in my heart for his fabulous drink. Image via celebritiesfans.com

 Arnold Palmers

Arnold Palmer IS the definitive summer drink. Half iced tea, half lemonade, totally fucking cool. The big cans at the gas stations are ok for dire situations, but my favorite drink take on AP’s classic quencher is at Starbucks. The Tazo green tea and lemonade is my fucking summer jam. I dream about these drinks. I only let myself buy them once in a while or on a particularly sunny day (budgeting leaves for weird delicacies like Starbucks, cuz that shit ain’t cheap!). The crisp and light taste of tea paired with the tartness of the lemonade is just beautiful.

Luckily Arnold Palmers are tres easy to make at home. Whip up some green tea and fresh lemonade (or buy lemonade at the store), mix and you’re ready to roll. You can also use any kind of drink mix paired with tea, like crystal light or kool-aid if you’re feeling nostalgic.

Mojitos

Mojitos are fucking great. Minty, lime-y and alcohol-y. This can’t possibly go wrong.

Recipe

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

(Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com)

Anything at the restaurant called Summer Punch

Just go with it. It’s probably fruity, filled with rum and hopefully a really good time.

Image via wishfulchef.com

 Sangria

Sangria is one of the best drinks ever. Wine, fruit and a whole bunch of fun. Plus, after you finish the drink, you get a healthy-ish snack at the end! And if anyone gives you the stink eye for eating the fruit, they can fuck off because that shit rocks.

Recipe

  • 1 Bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
  • 1 Lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 Orange cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Shot brandy
  • 2 Cups ginger ale or club soda
Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar and brandy. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.

Anything frozen

Because it’s hot as fuck out and you gotta stay cool bitch.

Food: Pizza bagels

20, poor and fabulous. Well, in-my-20s, poor and very fabulous. Minor details.

Having little money, an aversion to fast food and a pantry full of parent-friendly 16 grain bread and such, I am often forced to be very creative with my late-ish night snacks. 9:30 isn’t very late, but when you live with your parents and they love a 5:00 dinner, 9:30 can feel like a lifetime.

In between reruns of Sex and the City, my appetite, and thirst for wine to take the unemployed edge off, run rampant. I could take the easy way out and hit up Taco Bell, but I’m not that stupid. Eating that shit is stupid enough in the day light, let alone hours away from bedtime. So I find creative, sometimes awesome, oftentimes disgusting ways to fill my belly with healthier options right from my parents pantry.

Tonight it was, you guessed it, 16-grain bread, organic pizza sauce and pepper jack and mozzerella cheeses. Maybe it sounds good, maybe it sounds bad, but it wasn’t all it lived up to be. I’m no slouch in the kitchen, but sometimes when you don’t have what you crave, you have to get creative and hope for the best.

Yummmmmmmmmmmm, Photo: smellslikefoodinhere.blogspot.com
Yummmmmmmmmmmm, Photo: smellslikefoodinhere.blogspot.com

However, I can entrust you with a simple, inexpensive and amazing late-night alternative to 16-grain pizzas and a call to Papa Johns (but holy shit, that garlic sauce is fucking awesome.)

Late Night Pizza Bagels

There are a few ways to make late night pizza with things not involving Taco Hut. Bagels are an awesome option in place of 16 grain bread. But when it comes down to brass tacks, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Ingredients

Bagels

Jar of pizza sauce

Italian cheeses, mixed bag or cheeses of your choice

Optional: Meats, veggies, anything that can go on a pizza

Cut the bagels in half and place on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spread the pizza sauce over the cut bagels covering the surface and using as much sauce as you’d like. Then sprinkle the cheese over the sauce. Place any toppings you’d like on top of the cheese. Pepperonis work great, but I don’t know many people who just happen to have pepperonis on hand. Put the bagels in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until the bagels feel crispy and the cheese has melted.

My good-intentioned 16-grain pizza debacle.
My good-intentioned 16-grain pizza debacle.

I hope you enjoy your fool-proof pizza bagels. Try them, they are so so easy to make even if you hate cooking with all of your soul. They are seriously awesome, and a bajillion times better than the disastrous 16-grain pizzas I made tonight. Which may be attributed to my hatred of 16-grain bread.