Megan Miller Blog


Our latest blog post showcases our infatuation with color (shocking! I know) and our unapologetic love for sweets. The origin to this post is less inspiring than it is a matter of resourcefulness. I recently, for reasons unknown, grabbed three boxes of raspberries from the local market. I’m honestly not sure how they ended up in my cart and ultimately in my refrigerator, but I quickly realized I should do something creative with them before they got mushy! 

Eventually, I stumbled upon a cute little baking blog appropriately titled “Lick the Spoon” and run an Australia-based foodie named Louise. And while I mostly licked my fingers clean of raspberry juice, the blog’s adaptation on Raspberry Lemonade Slices most definitely hit the spot.

These little treats are a delicious marriage of tartness and heavenly buttery goodness, for lack of better phrase! For a novice like me, the whole process was easy as pie, and required little more than forty minutes of prep (I’m one to double and triple check my measurements), less than an hour of baking, and about three to four hours of anxious anticipation while it cooled in the refrigeration. In the end,  it was well worth the effort and I will most certainly will be revisiting “Lick the Spoon” for future dessert ideas.

Check out the recipe below and don’t forget to visit the “Lick the Spoon” blog for other tasty recipes. I think I might have to try my hand at her Individual Strawberry Jelly Cheesecakes next. Hope you enjoyed!




RECIPE

Raspberry Lemonade Slice

Crust:

9 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour 
1 tsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt

Filling: 

2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice (about 3-4 medium lemons)
zest of 3 lemons
3 egg whites
1 egg
2/3 cup flour
pinch of salt, extra

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line and grease a 8x8 inch square baking dish.
To make the crust, cream together butter and sugar until light. Add the flour and mix until combined well. Do not over mix as this can make the base tough. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.

To make the filling, place all thawed raspberries in a fine sieve and press them into a large bowl with the back of a spoon. Discard the caught seeds and skin. Add the sugar, juice, zest, whites, egg, flour and salt and combine, until well incorporated.
Pour the raspberry mixture onto the base and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool on the bench before placing in the refrigerator to set completely (about 3-4 hours) Cut and decorate as desired.

NOTES: This slice freezes well and makes a great dessert or afternoon tea to have handy for unexpected guests or dinner parties.



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What’s more flavorful than water, less caffeinated than coffee, and contains less sugar than sodas and most juices? The answer is Tea! Like nail polish, it’s something we wouldn’t want to live without. Convenient to our busy lifestyles, we can get a wide variety of teas in portable containers.

Below, we break down our favorite bottled teas and explain exactly what sorts of health benefits each offers. Since we like all sorts of teas, we have included a variety including black, green, white, and oolong teas. Hope you enjoy!






Honest Tea: Peach Oo-La-Long

Oolong tea contains about 15% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee, and may aid you in maintaining a healthy weight. Honest Tea is Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic, and this peach variety contains oolong and black teas. You can taste a hint of peach flavor, and it was not very sweet-- a light and refreshing taste. However, it was a little bitter, probably because black and oolong teas are rather strong. We love that it’s only 60 calories per bottle (30 cals/serving); drinking lots of calories can feel like a waste.  








Sweet Leaf: Peach Iced Tea 

Black tea contains about 20% of the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, so it’s a good morning alternative to your usual cup of java. Black tea can also help maintain healthy cardiovascular functioning, and keep cholesterol in check. Sweet Leaf Peach Iced Tea is black tea-based and is USDA Organic. At 140 calories per bottle (2 servings/bottle) this drink is quite sweet, yet still refreshing. There is a strong, but not overwhelming, peach flavor. This tea is not bitter at all; the peachy sweetness seems to mask any bitterness the black tea may have. While we enjoyed the flavor, it was a bit too sweet to drink more than a few sips at once. 









365: Mango Acai White Tea

White tea is very low in caffeine and contains antioxidants, and is beneficial to a healthy complexion. The Whole Foods store brand, 365 teas are USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified. This flavor contains both white and green teas. It was light, refreshing, and not too sweet. We didn’t really taste the mango. Another relatively low-cal option at 80 calories per bottle, you can feel good about hydrating on the go with this tea.











 


Pom: Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea

Green tea contains healthy antioxidants, and is good for skin and teeth, and maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.Pomegranate is an antioxidant-packed fruit; pair it with green tea, and you’ve got a powerhouse! We absolutely love the flavor of this beverage. The pomegranate and lychee make it very flavorful without being too sweet. Also, green tea can often become bitter if steeped too long, but this one is not bitter at all. You can taste the green tea without it overpowering the other flavors. Pom is 140 calories per bottle but its delicious flavor and healthy antioxidants make it a worthwhile splurge.

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The right cocktails can take any party to the next level. The Fourth of July holiday weekend is just around the corner and is sure to be filled with cookouts, swimming, fireworks, and of course some fun, festive cocktails to keep the soiree rolling. I’ve picked out some of my favorite Summertime libations for you to try, so channel your inner mixologist and get ready to impress your friends. Cheers!


Cava Sangria, from Bon Appetit Magazine (bonappetit.com)


Ingredients 

  • 1 orange, preferably blood or Cara Cara, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 750-ml bottle chilled brut cava

Ingredient Info:
  • Rose water is available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Middle Eastern markets.
Preparation
  • Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher. Add cava; stir gently to combine.
  • Fill wine glasses with ice. Divide sangria among glasses.

Sangria is one of my favorite summer drinks, and it’s perfect for sharing! Make a few pitchers ahead of time and you’re all set for the rest of the party. I especially love this Cava Sangria because the fresh blood oranges and rose water make for a truly unique and delicious flavor.



Blueberry Mojito

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounces light rum
  • 8 mint sprigs
  • 8 fresh blueberries
  • ½ a lime, cut in four wedges
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Club soda

Muddle mint, blueberries, 3 lime wedges and sugar in a tall glass. Fill glass with ice, add rum, and top with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint and remaining lime wedge.

For all you health-conscious people out there, I suggest using an organic rum, such as Papagayo Organic White Rum (http://papagayorums.com/). Papagayo is a made in Paraguay and is USDA Certified Organic, as well as Fair Trade Certified. Pretty cool!


Another delicious variation on the classic Mojito is a Strawberry Mojito. Replace the blueberries with 3 large strawberries, 2 of them muddled in the drink, and the third as a garnish. Side-by-side, the Blueberry Mojito and Strawberry Mojito make a festive and tasty July Fourth duo.

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Urban living has its perks. Unparalleled shopping, daily interaction with an eclectic community, and abundant entertainment options are just a few of the reasons we love living in a big city. Still, we more than occasionally long for better access to fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies. Thankfully, a promising new trend known as window farms is sprouting up, making it easier for city dwellers to grow herbs and vegetables in the comfort of their own homes. 


As you probably already guessed, window farms rely upon natural light from windows, in addition to a wet soil and hydroponic system that circulates nutrient-rich water from a reservoir at the base of the vertical garden. The best part is you don’t even need a degree in agricultural sciences to start “farming”! The process is actually really easy. Just check out Windowfarms.org to purchase your own farm kit or, if you’ve got a little MacGyver in you, you can begin constructing your own using step-by-step instructions on their website. We are most excited to try our hand at growing basil, strawberries, and kale. Yum!


Bottom-line: 

Window farms are an awesome way to ensure that your diet consists of organic, flavorful fruits and vegetables. Plus, the whole process is way more satisfying than Farmville!


Check out Windowfarms Kickstarter video below. Judging by how much money they were able to raise, I’m guessing we'll start seeing more of these around!




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Wherever the summer breeze takes you this season, don’t leave your fashion sense at home! Check out a few of our inspired styles to keep you looking good from coast to coast. We're shore you’ll love them! ; )


Sultry South Beach:

With its art-deco architecture, eclectic crowds, and the turquoise waters, Miami Beach is truly one of a kind, and so are you. Show it off with this “Sultry South Beach” look.






Cali Girl Casual:

The quintessential California girl is sun-kissed and laid-back, with a touch of attitude. This look is on-point with the classic SoCal gal vibe and is always beach-ready.






East Coast Chic:

Who doesn’t love summering at the seaside?! This nautically inspired outfit has the versatility to take you from an afternoon spent sailing straight to a beach bonfire.

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