Red Sangria

Red Sangria is always a great summery, pitcher worthy, pool party favorite!

Red Sangria Cocktail

This sangria is fresh, not too sweet, has a little floral taste with the rose water, you can also use orange essence or your favorite bitters

Homemade Red Sangria Cocktail

Recipe: 1 ~ 8 oz Cocktail

  • 4 oz. Red Wine ( I like to use a fruity red like a Merlot )
  • 1oz. Hangar Mandarin Vodka ( if you like a sweeter, richer taste you can use Brandy )
  • 1/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 Dash of Rose Water


Build the drink in a separate mixing glass, stir or dry shake and pour over ice into a wine glass or your favorite cocktail glass.

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Passion Vid – Food Photography Without Expensive Gear – Chris Marquardt

Roasted Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Black “Forbidden” Rice with Roasted Poblano Peppers

The combination of the nutty flavors from the black rice mixed with the roasted jalapeno cilantro pesto is outstanding then add in the roasted poblano and it puts it over the top!

Roasted Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Black Forbidden Rice with Roasted Poblano Peppers

I have wanted to try this rice with a Mexican inspired pesto for a while now and I sure am glad I did because it is so dang good!  If you can’t tell I’m a bit obsessed with pesto and poblanos.  Pesto is just so versatile and good for you and poblanos are probably the best tasting mild peppers in my opinion.  I love it plain and I have also had it topped with some black beans and cheese then put it in the oven until the cheese is blistering and served it with hot sauce de arbol y ancho.  Such a tasty meal!

Roasted Jalapeno Cilantro Pesto Black Rice with Roasted Poblano Peppers

Recipe:  2 – 4 Servings


Make the pesto and set aside

Make the rice and after it boils and you reduce the heat (make sure and use a timer) start roasting the peppers then wash off the burnt skin and remove stem and seeds and dice them

Let rice sit with covered until you’re ready to mix everything together

Heat the pesto up on med – low just enough to warm up then stir into the rice along with the diced peppers and serve

Health benefits:

Black rice contains a high amount of anthocyanin like blood oranges.  The research has found that just a spoonful of black rice coating “bran” has more anthocyanin antioxidants than in a spoonful of blueberries, less sugar, more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.  It is valuable for reducing inflammation and for its anti-aging properties. It is also for, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and helps protect the nervous system from degeneration.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C;  just one pepper has 95% of your daily value. They are great for your immune system; they help reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma and are helpful with increasing oxygen so the body can burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They contain lycopene, which is great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas.

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Food Photo Submission Sites

It can be frustrating for a new food blogger when they try to submit their food photos to the many food submission sites and get constantly denied.   When we first started blogging neither one of us followed any food blogs and didn’t realize the many different quality of food photography there was.  We took our food photos just to show what the recipe might look like.  We started out using a point and shoot camera with evening light, not knowing about food photography at all.  After trying to submit photos to these submission sites we were denied, denied, and denied!  At first it seemed like a bummer but it forced us to learn how to take better photos with natural light and now we rarely get denied.  We highly recommend learning all you can, as it is a never-ending process of getting better and better.  It’s not only fun but also very rewarding.


Here is a great tutorial by Samantha Linsell of Drizzle and Dip - 10 tips for food photography & styling

These are the hardest to get in to

Not as hard

Easiest / Instant

Sites that you have to add the ingredients and instructions

Forbidden Black Rice

The first time I saw Black Rice at the health food store I knew I had to try it.  I mean really with a name like forbidden and being a black rice who wouldn’t want to try it ?  It has a mild, nutty taste similar  to brown rice but in my opinion it’s better.  I love the shade of purple it turns after it’s cooked.


Forbidden rice is a type of heirloom rice also known as black rice.  It got its name because in China centurys ago around 150 BC. it was reserved for a Chinese Emperor and was the only one who was allowed to eat it, because it was rare and meant to ensure health and longevity.  Anyone else who went near this rice was sentenced to death.


 Recipe:  2 – 4 Servings

  • 1 Cup Forbidden Black Rice
  • 1 3/4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Garlic Clove (Optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt


Measure rice and water and put in to a small sauce pan preferably with a glass lid

Add the garlic, salt cover and bring to a boil on high heat

Turn down to low for 50 to 60 minute, check at 50 minutes if you still see a bit of liquid cook for 5 – 10 more minutes

Health benefits:

Black rice contains a high amount of anthocyanin like blood oranges.  The research has found that just a spoonful of black rice coating “bran” has more anthocyanin antioxidants than in a spoonful of blueberries, less sugar, more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.  It is valuable for reducing inflammation and for its anti-aging properties. It is also for, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and helps protect the nervous system from degeneration.

Apple Mint Julep

The mint julep has been made for hundreds of years.  I know why; this is a delightful cocktail with the fresh mint and crushed ice making it a must during the hot summer months to come.

Apple MintJulep Cocktailjpg

The mint julep was originally prescribed and appears in literature as early as 1784 ”sickness at the stomach, with frequent retching, and, at times, a difficulty of swallowing. I then prescribed her an emetic, some opening powders, and a mint julep.”

Many know the mint julep from being connected to the famous Kentucky Derby that happens every spring in the south. It has been promoted by Churchill Downs in association with the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Each year almost 120,000 juleps are served at Churchill Downs over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.

Apple MintJulep Cocktail

Recipe: Makes 1 8 oz Julep

  • 2 1/2 oz. Kentucky Bourbon ( or your favorite)
  • 6 Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz. Apple Cider
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Apple Slice ( for look or garnish)


Mix Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Apple Juice and Simple Syrup in a separate pint glass. Then using your Julep mug or cocktail glass add fresh mint in your glass, muddle a couple of times lightly, add crushed ice, then top with Bourbon juice mix. Garnish with a few mint sprigs and Enjoy!

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Apple Almond Galette

This is a wonderful healthier take on an apple galette with the almonds, whole wheat and only 1 tablespoon of beet sugar.  But don’t let that scare you away you won’t even know that it is wheat, especially with the ground almonds.  It makes a great breakfast treat as well.

Apple Almond Galette

It was Robby’s birthday yesterday and I wanted to make him something even though we really don’t eat sugar.  So I made this incredibly good galette that has 1 tablespoon of beet sugar and maple syrup. He was excited of course.  As I pulled it out of the oven with our oven mitt that has a hole in it I burnt my hand and dropped the galette on the floor. I was so bummed I rushed to make a whole new one and threw the stupid oven mitt in the trash finely : )


 It is amazing topped with mascarpone cheese mixed with maple syrup.  Check out our other Fresh Fig Almond Galette.


Recipe – 6 – 8 Servings

Almond Whole Wheat Crust 

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (or White)
  • 3/4 Cup Ground Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Salted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Beet Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Ice Water

Instructions for the crust:

 Grind the Almonds in a food processor in to small crumb size

Add flour, sugar & salt In a food processor, pulse to combine

And 1/4 inch piece of butter

Pulse a few times to evenly break up the butter then add ice water slowly as you pulse, until it resembles a coarse meal with tiny pieces of butter.  It will be crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers

 Do not over process

Form dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk

Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or over night

Apple Filling

  • 4 Fuji Apples
  • 1/4 Cup Salted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

 Instructions for the apple filling

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples

In a large sauce pan add the butter, maple syrup, lemon juice and spices and stir on low heat until butter is melted then stir the flour and the apples, coat evenly

Set aside

Pre heat oven to 375

On a piece of parchment paper roll out the dough to a 12 in circle adding a tiny bit of flour on top so it wont stick and pinch together any cracks

Take out about a 1/4 of the apples to arrange on top (this is optional, you can just pour the whole filling in the middle and leave it natural)

Fill the center with the apple filling leaving  2 – 21/2 inches around and carefully fold over the crust edges.  I use a large knife to lift and fold the edges over

The dough will crack from the fold a little, just pinch together

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until lightly golden

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 Focus@will is one of our favorite tools on the internet.  We love to listen to it when we are working on our blog posts.  It’s also great to have on when your kids are studying as well.


This is from their website: “It is a new neuroscience based web tool that uses phase sequenced instrumental music to increase your attention span up to 400% when working, studying, writing and reading.”

You can listen for free you just have to press play every hour and it will be the same songs.  If you want no interruptions and the a whole library of music, you can pay $4.99 a month or $3.75 per month a year.  Here are the pro features.