Watermelon Margarita Popsicles with Tajín

Popsicle-Week-Watermelon-Margarita-Popsicles What’s that you say? It’s Popsicle Week? Okay! I had so much fun participating in Billy from Wit & Vinegar‘s #popsicleweek last year that I decided the only way to make it even better this time around was to make popsicles with a friend. And since I was set on making another boozy pop, I enlisted none other than Marissa from Bourbon & Goose. I’ve been on a huge watermelon juice kick lately so when the folks from  WTRMLN WTR sent over a few bottles of their fresh-pressed watermelon juice, Marissa and thought we would mix two of our summer essentials together – watermelon and margaritas! Oh, and to take it up a notch, we added a little Tajín into the mix – yum is right. Popsicle Week Watermelon Margarita Popsicles 4 Popsicle Week Watermelon Margarita Popsicles 2 One thing I learned last year when making my Old-Fashioned Bourbon Cherry Popsicles is that too much booze is not a good thing when it comes to popsicles – the suckers won’t freeze thoroughly! We did a bit of research around online for some general “booze + juice” ratios and decided to play it safe. Plus, we heard a rumor that out of all liquor, tequila is the hardest to freeze and there’s nothing sadder than when your popsicle falls apart when you take it out of the mold. Anyways, onto the recipe!

Watermelon Margarita with Tajín Popsicles

This should make about 10 popsicles with a standard freezer pop maker.

· 2 cups of watermelon juice
· 1/4 cup of tequila ( we used Sauza Gold )
· 1/4 cup margarita mix ( we used Tres Agaves )
· 1 tbsp Tajín
· 2 tbsp cup fresh lime juice

Combine the watermelon juice, tequila, margarita mix and fresh lime juice together into a carafe ( for easy pouring ) and then sprinkled in a bit of Tajin into the bottom of each mold. Note that the Tajin will spread once you start pouring the liquid in the mold so pour oh so slowly!

Freeze overnight for 24 hours and then you’re ready to party. Olé!

Popsicle-Week-Watermelon-Margarita-Popsicles-5 Popsicle-Week-Watermelon-Margarita-Popsicles-3

*Special thanks to Marissa of Bourbon & Goose for the beautiful photos!

HowAboutWe for Couples Brunch Cruise Date

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Marina Del Rey Dock

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 10 years since Christopher and I started dating – our anniversary is actually next month! After being in a relationship for such a long period of time, the need to take time and go on dates is extra important because nights watching movies on the couch can get old, you know what I mean? So when HowAboutWe for Couples launched here in LA recently, I was excited to give it a go as they make planning dates as easy as a click of button.

What I love about HowAboutWe is that they curate dates that you and your significant other can do around your city, with new additions each month. Who wouldn’t want to go on a Guided Japanese Whisky Tour, an Exclusive Bicycle Taco Tour around the city? Or what about a Hiking Yoga in Griffith Park? And of course there may be days when you want to stay in so they even have dates for you and your beau to do right at home! I’m dying to get this Make Your Own Cheese Kit or I’m actually hoping I can convince Christopher to get crafty with an At-Home Piñata Kit!

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Food

Anyway, for our first HowAboutWe date, we decided to go on a brunch cruise around Marina Del Rey. Even though we’ve lived in the neighborhood for nearly 3 years we’ve never actually been on the water. It was a beautiful Sunday morning when we arrived on the dock over at Fisherman’s Village and boarded The Entertainer. After greeting us with a glass of champagne, they showed us to our private table located near the breakfast buffet. Coffee, OJ and champagne flowed freely ( hello mimosas! ) while we dined on an herbed egg scramble, fresh seasonal greens salad, crepes, french toast, roasted country potatoes, fresh fruit, an israeli couscous salad and pastries just to name a few. Everything was delicious and needless to say, we were completely stuffed after a few servings.

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Upper Deck

After our brunch indulgence, we headed up to the top deck to bask in the sun and enjoy to sights as we toured the Marina. It was nice to see everything from a different perspective and take in the fresh air. The Fisherman’s Village seriously looks incredible from the water. Plus, there’s just something about being on a boat that makes you slow down for a moment and enjoy the company you’re with. Which is basically the whole point right?

HowAboutWe Brunch Cruise Marina Del Rey

Since the brunch cruise we’ve also made our way over to Anaheim for an Angels vs. Dodgers game with VIP seats. Seriously the best view! I also just booked an afternoon for us to bike down to Hermosa Beach for some tacos and craft beers. At $24 that’s a total deal. Oh yeah – you get a nice little discount when you’re a HowAboutWe member, not to mention a free date each month. Sounds great right? If you live in LA, Seattle, NYC, Chicago or SF sign up here for $50 off your first date – promise it’ll be memorable. Other cities – they’re coming soon!

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*This post is a partnership with HowAboutWe but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I totally dig their curated dates. Mmmhm.

Detoxing: The Juice LA 3-Day Cleanse

The Juice LA lights

It’s no secret that I love juice. Nor is it a secret that I’ve attempted several times to do juice cleanses – twice in 2013 I think – and I never lasted more than a day. I start off strong then get a major case of hanger (hunger/anger), eventually caving in once I see everyone else eating. Well that was 2013, and 2014 is a whole new ball game! With all the craziness of the holidays, my birthday, and the traveling I’ve been doing in the early part of this year, I began feeling sluggish and unbalanced. The solution? A juice cleanse of course – and this time, sticking with it. I’ve been a huge fan of The Juice LA since they opened last year in Atwater Village. I can honestly say that The Juice creates the most delicious juices in all of LA, which is quite a bold statement, especially with juice bars popping up literally on every corner these days. What really sets The Juice apart is their dedication to freshness + quality, using only organic produce, and cold pressing them daily. Oh, and can we talk about their flavors? My favorite is their #12 which is a combo of red cabbage, apple and lemon. I had no idea that you could or should juice red cabbage!

The Juice LA 3 Day CleanseNow onto the #thejuicelachallange – I ended up choosing to do the 3-day decrease cleanse – a three day process of elimination as they describe it. What really made the difference with The Juice was understanding what each of the 6 juices I drank daily was doing for my body. They go into depth on their website which is incredibly informative. Each morning at 8 am, I started off with their #11 which helps get rid of excess water in the body. Oh, the power of the tiny cranberry. Next up is the #12 (my favorite) which is the last of the sweeter juices. During the middle of the day and early afternoon come the #3, #4 and #7 which are full of greens… and ginger. That triple ginger is extra spicy = extra good for you. The day finally ends with an almond milk, sweetened with vanilla and dates – the perfect treat after a day of cleansing which also nourishes.

Day 1: Pretty mellow and easy. Perhaps it was the excitement of trying something new? I was really excited for the almond milk, then went to bed early to avoid any food temptations.

Day 2: Things got a little difficult, and also really got to know my bathroom. Let’s just say that the green juices got my body to “eliminate” things I didn’t even knew were in my body. Went to Umami Burger to meetup with friends and didn’t eat. Can you believe it?

Day 3: Last day! I was feeling lighter and actually began craving the juices! Spent a little less time in the bathroom compared to Day 2 but still lots of movement. Full disclosure: after a day of thrifting + hunting with Chris, I ended up having a veggie burger just after my 5th juice.

Ingredients The Juice Cleanse So I did it! Even though at the very end I did end up eating, I’m actually looking forward to trying out a 5-day cleanse before summer comes around. The one thing I really took away from this experience was a new knowledge of what certain foods do for me. Since my cleanse I’ve been trying to incorporate more of the following foods in my daily/weekly diet:

Kale – High in fiber and filled with antioxidants, detoxing the body.

Red Cabbage – Abundant in Vitamin E, it boosts the immune system’s ability to produce more antibodies, promoting DNA repair.

Lemon – Aids in digestion + liver cleansing, enhances the immune system + fights infection.

Ginger – Promotes digestion, detoxifies and boots the immune system.

Dates – High in fiber, regulates bowel movements.

Note: One thing I didn’t discover until after doing my cleanse was this great guide with tips for cleansing success + raw recipes from co-founder Liz Halpern. I can’t wait to try the green soup!

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*This post has been a partnership with The Juice LA, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. They really do have the best juice around!

New Year’s Eve Made Easy + Kombucha Cocktails

Healthy-Cocktails-With-Kombucha

Can you believe 2014 is right around the bend? I can hardly believe it, but another year in sunny Southern California has been written in the books and we’re about to embark on a new adventure. If you’re a busy bee like me, you barely have time to comprehend that 2013 is ending, let alone plan a New Year’s Eve celebration. Right? Right. Well, Luckily there are a couple of easy things you can do to make even the smallest and unplanned of get togethers feel extra special.

DRINKS // Let’s start with what matters most. I have to admit – I’ve had my fair share of cocktails this holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving. It’s hard not to get sucked into indulging during this time of year, especially with all the parties and get-togethers going on (woohoo!). Luckily I recently discovered the wonder that is the kombucha cocktail (first time was at Sage in Culver City) which makes having an extra drink or two, a bit more guilt-free!

Healthade-Kombucha-Cocktail-Recipes

For those of you who aren’t so familiar with komucha, it’s an ancient probiotic tea that is fermented tea drink, naturally rich in friendly probiotics and high in antioxidants + nutrients. My favorite of all time is the Pink Lady Apple from local LA company, Healthade! Anyway, kombucha has been used in countless cultures to help improve health, in particular to boost immunity and energy, balance metabolism, and aid in digestion to boot. So naturally, pairing it with a spirit makes drinking healthy, right?

My friend Melanie and I decided to take our favorite Healthade Kombucha flavors and turn them into the perfect sipables for bringing in the New Year. We start off with a light and refreshing number called “The Petticoat” that I discovered over on Bliss Tree. We changed it up a little bit by using honey syrup and raw honeycomb to garnish (along with a sprig of rosemary) which proved to be quite tasty!

The-Petticoat-2

The Petticoat

1.5 oz St. Germain
2 oz Healthade Kombucha, Original Flavor
1 teaspoon honey syrup
Raw honeycomb to garnish
Toothpick + sprig of rosemary

1. Add a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker. Add in 1.5 oz of St. Germain, then 2 oz of Original Flavor Healthade Kombucha. Pour out a teaspoon of honey syrup and drizzle into shaker. Place top on and shake for 15 seconds.

2. Place a few ice cubes into a small mason jar, then pour. Garnish with a slice of raw honeycomb through a toothpick and rosemary.

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Old Fashioned Bourbon Cherry Popsicles

I’m a total sucker for a good Old Fashioned, so when I was asked by Billy of Wit & Vinegar to participate in #popsicleweek I knew I had to make a popsicle based on one of my go-to cocktails. My favorite Old Fashioned is from Townhouse in Venice Beach, which is luckily just down the street from our bungalow. If you ever have the chance to go, make sure you ask for George – he makes the best Old Fashioned – trust. He’s been a bartender there for over 10 years which totally speaks for itself.

While cherries aren’t traditionally a huge part of this historical drink aside from being a garnish, it’s one of my favorite fruits. Growing up in Michigan, we would venture north for vacation every summer (aka “going up north” as us Michiganders would say) to the Traverse City area. Cherries are a staple of Michigan’s agriculture and each summer, Traverse City plays host to none other than the National Cherry Festival. Think cherry salsas, jams, pies – literally everything under the moon including a Cherry Queen. C’mon, you had to know that was coming, right? Anyway, I wanted to offset the strong taste of the bourbon with something sweet and since it’s cherry season, I figured, why not?

Old Fashioned Bourbon Cherry Popsicles

* I adapted this recipe from my gal Marissa at Bourbon & Goose. Also, this should make about 10 popsicles with a standard freezer pop maker.

· 3 cups of cherries
· 4 large oranges
· 1 cup bourbon ( I used Bulleit Bourbon which is one of my faves)
· 1 cup of orange simple syrup

Orange Simple Syrup

· 1/3 cup water
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Put sugar + water in a sauce pan and heat until sugar dissolves completely. Add in the orange juice and stir. Wait for the syrup to cool a bit before using.

Now onto the popsicles!

Pit the cherries, then set aside. Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until it’s all pureed and relatively smooth. Yes, the puree will be a bit thick! Now, pour the puree into your popsicle mold, then freeze overnight. To release the popsicles, run warm water on the outside of the popsicle molds for a few seconds (or a tad longer if they are being difficult). Note that if you add in extra bourbon, the popsicles won’t freeze solid! Remember, in this case – less is more.

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Be sure to check out all the other amazing recipes from bloggers this week as part of Popsicle Week over here! I can’t wait to try out Autumn’s Salted Bourbon Caramel Pops and Izy’s Green Smoothie Detox Pops – what about you?

*Big thanks to Melanie Abrantes for lending me her handmade wooden cake stands to use in this post! See more of her beautiful work here.

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