Frozen Summer Treats

It’s those dog days of summer, and what’s better to cool off than with a delicious frozen treat?

There are TONS of options and ideas – frankly, just start popping things in your freezer!

– Frozen Grapes

– Frozen Berries

– Frozen Bananas

– Frozen Coffee Ice Cubes!!

What do you pop in the freezer?

Well we took it to the next level and used those frozen banana pieces to make tasty little treats – just add chocolate chips and peanut butter OR Nutella – orr…. get the idea?

chocolate

 

(photo via pinterest)

There are so many ways to enjoy summer and the frozen treats that come with it – take advantage while the weather is so hot hot hot!

 

To order lots of tasty treats, visit www.myshopwise.com today!

What’s in Season – Cantaloupes!

Mmmmmm nothing quenches your thrist on a hot summer day like cold melon. And today we’re talking about Cantaloupes! They are in season

cantaloupe

and plentiful throughout the store – so order one today for some snack by the pool or sprinklers later tonight!

Remember, cantaloupes are already picked ripe, so make sure to cut it up once you get it, and store any left overs in the fridge.

Not the biggest fan of cantaloupe? Try it with other flavors!

I never used to be a big cantaloupe eater, but my favorite during summer is to pair it with proscuitto and and hard cheese. The melon compliments the meat and cheese and is a little party in your mouth. Give it a try!

Or try sprinkling a few pieces into your next grilled chicken salad. Cantaloupe and meats pair well!

Photo: Courtesy of bigredkitchen.com

To order some cantaloupe and other fresh produce, visit www.myshopwise.com!

Basil Basil Everywhere!

Have you noticed the lovely aroma of basil swirling around you everywhere you go? We have tons of fresh, local basil in store – and tons of ideas to add some flavor to your dinner tonight!

Last week we said to pair it with feta and watermelon. So why not sprinkle some fresh chopped leaves over your pizza tonight? Or on top of your beef or chicken dish before you bake or sautee it?

Our favorite way to enjoy basil? Over a hot plate of pasta! (In the air conditioning of course!!) Even though it sounds fancy and hard to make, Pesto is a really easy sauce to create yourself! We make it all the time at home, and even freeze the leftovers for a quick dinner down the road! The cool part about pesto? You can’t really mess it up – and you can get creative with the ingredients as well! Have a blender? Then you’re all ready to go!

Making Your Own HomeMade Basil Pesto

 

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts (or our substitute – almonds!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups basil leaves (about 4 ounces)  – or another great herb to try here is Parsley. Yes, parsley!!
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend it all together little by little, adding more to your taste as you go. Viola! Throw over a fresh plate of hot pasta and you have a delicious, fresh gourmet meal in minutes! WARNING! You’re family is going to start calling you Martha.

Watermelon, Basil and Feta, oh my!

Ahhhh summer – so many fresh fruits and veggies – only so many meals in a day! There are so many delicious items in season right now, we just can’t possibly eat them all! Well, we could, but then, it might not help for later on at the beach in that swimsuit!

So we thought, how about we combine some of the fruits and veggies together so we can create ultimate, refreshing treats? Of course! In honor of the all-American foods served for the 4th of July, we thought we’d start today with watermelon.

You just don’t get any more American than BBQ, hot dogs and watermelon! Besides just knawing on it right out of the rind, we thought it would be a tasty treat to mix it with feta and basil, just like a lot of recipes you can find. Except, we made them little popable treats. Great for a juicy treat after a heavy swimming session in the pool.

So try this:

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Bites:

 

– cut watermelon into bite size pieces.

– cut feta into same-size square bites

– place a leaf of basil on top

– stick a toothpick through them

EASY PEASY! YUM!

To order all ingredients online right to your home, visit http://www.myshopwise.com

Getting Creative with Tomatoes

I say to-MAY-to you say to -MAH-to. It’s summer and there are tomatoes everywhere! Yum! But eating just plain tomatoes everyday can get boring, so we looked to find a creative new way to make a summer fresh tasty treat!

And what would be better than this?

Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad

A fresh and delicious salad bursting with color!

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
(Always use organic ingredients when available.)

2 heirloom tomatoes (or I used half of four different-colored heirlooms), cored and thinly sliced
2 ripe peaches, cored and thinly sliced
quarter of a red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsalmic or cider vinegar

Summer Sun Tea

Does anything define summer more than an icy cold glass of refreshing iced tea? Even better if it’s homemade.

I bet you didn’t realize it was so easy to make! Now you can look like the new Martha Stewart while it’s brewing, and sit back and relax with a glass (or two) because it is literally effortless!

Homemade Sun Tea

1. You will need a sun tea jar. You can find them at Target for about $5-$8. Or you can use smaller mason jars, or get a fancy, glass one at many home stores like Pottery Barn.

2. Fill with water.

3. Add approximately 8-10 tea bags, depending how strong you like your tea. (you might have to adjust after your first brew).

4. Get fun with fruit! We like to slice up and add a lemon, but you can try lots – like the rhubarb recipe we recently posted, strawberries, lime, mint – the ideas are endless!

5. Let it ‘sun’ on your window sill or balcony for the entire day (at least 8-9 hours). I usually put mine out in the morning so it is ready when I get home!

6. Squeeze out the excess tea in the tea bags and remove.

7. Chill and store in the fridge for an icy-cool beverage when you want! VIOLA!!

Photo: Joanne Gilman

10 Ways to Love Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter.  The childhood favorite. An easy, delicious spread that is always ready for a quick pb&j on the go.  And while we may all love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich – there are actually many other yummy ways to eat it – so we thought we would share this awesome article from the Food Network on 10 way to love peanut butter!

10 Ways to Love Peanut Butter

(via Food Network)

1: Solo
Peanut butter is just so good on it’s own. A light smear on celery sticks, apple slices, or whole grain crackers and you have a heart-healthy and satisfying snack. Sprinkle on some sunflower seeds for crunch or a few raisins for natural sweetness. Each tablespoon has about 110 calories so portion out to keep the calories reasonable. Ever tried making your own nut butters?
RECIPE: Make Your Own Nut Butters 2: Energy Bars
Make your own simple and delicious version of an energy bar. Peanut butter acts as the healthy glue to hold them together.
RECIPE: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars 3: Smoothies
Who needs ice cream when you have the creamy goodness of peanut butter?! Perfect for a post-workout protein boost or breakfast on the go.
RECIPE: Peanut Butter Split Smoothie4: Stir Fry
Melt a spoonful of PB into stir fried noodles for a silky and flavorful sauce.
RECIPE: Stir Fry Basics

5: Salad Dressing
Make a thick and creamy dressing without the unhealthy fats. Toss it up with fresh veggies, cooked chicken and a citrus punch.
RECIPE: Chicken Salad with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

6: Satay
Grilled chicken, steak, and shrimp love peanut butter too. Combine with soy sauce, brown sugar, lime and chili paste for a sweet, sour and creamy dipping sauce.
RECIPE: Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

7: Yogurt Dip
For another take on dips, mix creamy peanut butter with nonfat Greek yogurt for a light and tangy dipping sauce for strawberries, apple slices, carrot sticks or whole grain pretzels.

8: Sweet Treat
If you love peanut butter and chocolate, this is the munchie for you! Try to find banana chips that aren’t fried in oil to save a few calories.
RECIPE: Memphis Banana Bites

9: Quick Breakfast
A healthy and satisfying breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming – it’s as easy as 3 ingredients.
RECIPE: Peanut Butter & Green Apple Toast

10: Soup
Whisk in some peanut butter to soups and stews for a nutty flavor and unbeatable texture. Earthy vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potatoes make the best flavor combos.
RECIPE: Nutty Sweet Potato Soup

Read more at: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2011/03/01/10-ways-to-love-peanut-butter/?hootPostID=71c2d3488470afb9dc0da8a5e1424a3d&oc=linkback

When Life Gives you Lemons – make Salt Scrub!

Sunkist is awesome. They are all over social media with colorful and bright recipes, and ideas – taking citrus outside the box!

And that got us thinking – it’s not ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!

So when we saw their Pin of the Week – “When Life Gives you Lemons – Make Salt Scrub!” We thought – that’s a brilliant idea!!! We always have fresh lemons, sea salt and oil in stock at http://www.myshopwise.com – (and that’s all you need! viola!)  so why not make a sweet and citrus-y homemade recipe to give your face and/or feet a nice scrub a dub dub for the beach! Trust me, if we could play hookey today we would be out there getting a little ‘sunkist’ tank for ourselves!

So here is their awesome pin of the week:

lemon

What you will need:

5 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon

First mix the olive oil and sea salt together. Once the salt gets coated by the oil, the lemon won’t dissolve it! Next cut the lemon in half and squeeze over the salt + oil. Mix and mash. (Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking.) Then scrub away!!

Click here to view Sunkist on Pinterest for more awesome ideas

Click here to visits MYSHOPWISE.COM on Pinterest!

7 Picnic Ready Recipes for the Holiday Weekend

Who’s excited for the long holiday weekend? (cue both hands raised and waiving frantically in the air!)

Finally the weather is starting to cooperate and we can’t wait to throw a blanket down and curl our toes in the cool grass at the park next to our home. And just in time, we came this great article by the Daily Meal, of 7 picnic-worthy recipes to try out! You still have plenty of time to order online in time for lots of outdoor blanket time!

Don’t forget to add paper plates and cups to your grocery list – no one wants to haul back dirty dishes 🙂

Here is our favorite out of the bunch – so if you see it spread out on the lawn on a park this weekend, feel free to stop over and say hi! (See all 7 recipes here!)

Chicken Strawberry Salad with Avocado Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 avocado, peeled and seeded
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Instructions
Combine all ingredients except poppy seeds in a blender or food processor. Pulse until combined. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at at time if dressing is too thick. Stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: This dressing will keep at least a week in the fridge.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pickles

The Kitchen Daily always has some fun tips and interesting facts. Today, we saw they were talking about pickles, so of course they caught our attention! They have way more facts at the full article here – but here are some of the ‘fun facts’ we thought you might enjoy today!

First of all – did you know pickles date all the way back into the Middle Ages? Like 2400 BC ages!!! It is  even believed that the Mesopotamians were picklers and that we have been pickling ever since. That’s an A+++ history fact for you to share in class today.

Pickles were also popular with famous people throughout history – like Aristotle thought that “cured cucumbers” had great healing properties. Julius Casear fed pickles to his men as he believed that they offered physical and spiritual strength. Cleopatra, known for her good looks, believed her beauty came from eating ample amounts of pickles. Maybe we should all eat more pickles???

Time for Pickle Trivia!

1. Who brought pickling to “the New World”?

It was none other than Christopher Columbus! The explorer grew cucumbers in order to pickle them. In the 1500s, the area which is now New York City played host to the largest group of Dutch commercial picklers.

2. How Many Pickles Do We Eat?

Each year, Americans as a whole eat more than 2.5 million pounds of pickles, and, according to a 2009 Mental Floss article, the average American eats 8.5 pounds of pickles a year and dill pickles are twice as popular as sweet pickles.

3. How Long Does it Take To Make Pickles?

Pickles can develop at different rates depending upon the process used to create them. In the case of ever popular dill pickles, if they are made through a process of refrigeration (refrigerator pickles), they can be ready in just five days whereas fresh-packed pickles can take five weeks and fermented pickles, up to six weeks.

4. How Long do Pickles Stay Good?

According to EatByDate.com, pickles can stay good for one to two years past the date on the jar.

5. How to Make Quick Pickles

Here’s a way to make better-than-store-bought pickles in under an hour. The secret is pouring the hot vinegar mixture over slices of cold, crisp cucumber. These pickles have the perfect balance of sour and sweet—though closer to a “bread and butter” taste, they still satisfy the vinegar-loving pickle crowd. In our humble opinion, there’s no reason to ever buy another jar of pickles.

Ingredients

1 ¼ lb pickling cucumber, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 ½ tsp salt
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup slivered onion
2 cloves garlic, silvered
1 tsp dill seed
1 tsp mustard seed

Directions

1. Place cucumber slices in a colander set in the sink. Sprinkle with salt; stir to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse, drain and transfer to a large heatproof bowl.

2. Meanwhile, combine cider vinegar, white vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, dill and mustard seed in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers; stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to bring to room temperature.

To Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.