Today, we have Liz from Books n’ Cooks sharing a recipe for Salad with Pear Vinaigrette. Liz and I met in real life 2 years ago at Mixed.

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette from Books n' Cooks on KatiesCucina.com

Hello Katie’s Cucina readers!

I’m Liz from Books n’ Cooks. I first met Katie and discovered her blog a couple of years ago, at a foodie conference we attended together. I am usually a bit quiet when I meet new people, but it was easy to open up and chat with Katie, and not just because we have a love of food in common. Katie has an infectious bubbly personality and I immediately liked her. I’ve enjoyed reading Katie’s blog over the past few years, so I was flattered when Katie asked me to guest post while she’s enjoying her maternity leave.

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette from Books n' Cooks on KatiesCucina.com

Earlier this year, I was asked to bring salad to our semi-monthly book club dinner. I was looking forward to having a low maintenance contribution considering how busy my weekends have been lately, but I didn’t want low maintenance to mean boring. Enter: this salad. It felt appropriate to me – with wintery pears and summery blueberries fitting the 60 degree weather in February and March (well, 60 degrees on those weeks where we didn’t have snowstorms). The fresh and dried fruit make the salad super flavorful and visually stunning. It was anything except boring.

Adapted from Prevention RD

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4

Salad with Pear Vinaigrette

Ingredients

    Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 a pear, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbs. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • Ingredients for the Salad:
  • 5 oz. your favorite lettuce or salad green
  • 3/4 a pear, finely sliced or chopped
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. walnut pieces, toasted

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse pear, garlic, cranberries, salt and pepper briefly. With the mixer running, add vinegar and olive oil until smooth. Add equal portions of additional olive oil and vinegar until desired consistency. Vinaigrette will keep for about a week in the fridge.
  2. Toss all salad ingredients, except the walnuts. Add walnuts just before serving.
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Today, Sam from Sweet Remedy is here to share her recipe for Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa. Sam and I have met a few times in real life and room together at BlogHer Food last summer. Can I just tell you she is the sweet person on the planet. The girl sacrificed her time to help me get ready for a big dinner at BlogHer Food –ironing my wrinkly dress while I raced around the room to get ready. That is a true friend for you! 

Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa | Sweet-Remedy.com

Hi Everyone! While Katie is busy getting into the grove of Motherhood, she has enlisted some of her friends to entertain you. I do hope you stick around! I’m Sam from Sweet Remedy and today I’m ready for a picnic where I can eat a huge amount of salsa with fruit. How about you?

It’s April and I know that this salsa is more of a summer recipe but I’m hoping to propel full force into warmer weather. Katie doesn’t really have this issue, being from the sunshine state and all. Since I call New York home, I’m always cold and dreaming of warmth.

I’m ready for bright produce and frosty treats! Bring on the popsicles, ice cream and this Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa!

The addition of fruit to this salsa gives it such a sweet taste, one that is perfect to help celebrate the rising temperatures in the North East.

I used Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste in this recipe, but you can always use fresh cilantro instead!

So I do hope you’ll join me while I stuff fruit into my salsa and congratulate Katie and Jon on their baby bundle! I’m so incredibly thrilled that they are starting their family. The next time I find myself in Florida, which is usually about once a year, I hope to meet the little guy we’ve all been waiting for!

Original Recipe for Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa from Sweet Remedy

Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Cherry Cilantro Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherries
  • 2 mangoes
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro

Directions

  1. Pit and cut the cherries in half or quarters, depending on how large you want your cherry pieces.
  2. Pit the mangoes and score each half with a knife by making light overlapping slices from one side to the other, being careful not to cut through the skin. Push up on the skin side and cut off the chunks that fan out.
  3. Dice the red onion and red pepper. Cut the chipotle peppers into small pieces. Mix all ingredients together and add the cilantro.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.
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Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler

Happy Sunday! I’ve got a slow cooker dessert treat for you this fine Sunday. Last year, I did a little experimenting with the help of a few recipes floating out on the internet. Thus it yielded the easiest slow cooker berry cobbler I’ve ever made. Yes–you can make dessert in the slow cooker!

Today is actually my last official post before I start my 1-month long “blog maternity leave”. Did you know that such a thing exist? Well it does. When you blog frequently you don’t want to go cold turkey and deprive your readers of delicious recipes. So I’ve asked 16 of my blog friends to share recipes and round-ups to keep your palettes tantalized. For those who are wondering, no the baby has not arrived yet. I’m t-minus 3 days from the due date. I walked for 3 hours yesterday and was hoping that would do the trick. Still no baby. I’m beginning to think he may never decided to make his appearance although I know that’s not true. This month has flown by yet I feel like each day crawls. A total catch 22 if you ask me. So enough about me and the bump and let’s talk a little about this slow cook berry cobbler.

Slow Cooker Berry Cobbler

This is the best and easiest slow cooker dessert to make if your entertaining. Or well if you just want a comforting berry dessert. I will be the first to admit that I never think of making dessert in the slow cooker. When I think of my slow cooker I think of a main dish and what’s for dinner. Not what’s for dessert? I have a feeling this is the first of many slow cooker desserts I’ll be whipping up in the future.

I shared this recipe for slow cooker cobbler with ALL the berries over at Food Fanatic.

Disclaimer: I’m a paid contributor over at Food Fanatic. I’m not required to share these recipes on Katie’s Cucina, but choose too because I want my readers to not miss a single thing I’m cooking up in the kitchen!


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Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake
After bringing homes bags and bags of produce from the Southeast Produce Conference last weekend I knew I wanted to make a pound cake with the bag of Meyer Lemons I received from Duda Farm Fresh Foods.

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake 3

I was never one to love lemon cakes, but over the past few years I’ve learned to love them. My inlaws have a lemon tree and always load us up with lemons. Granted they are not Meyer Lemons but they are pretty darn close. So what do you do when you have a plethora of lemons? You make a lemon pound cake. That is what my mother in-law does year after year as well as homemade lemonade that is to die-for. I’ve made  pound cakes in the past, and I recently realized that I’ve just never blogged about them. I’ve used Ina’s recipe for the past few years and love it. I don’t do the lemon juice soaking method that she suggest. I skip that step and just add it all in the batter. But the glaze is an absolute MUST! I also grate all my lemons I have on hand. I love using my KitchenIQ Better Zester. It captures all the lemon zest with out it going all over the place. If you have extra zest feel free to freeze it for another day. It freezes beautifully!

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

I made this recipe for meyer lemon buttermilk pound cakes last Sunday.  I use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer on an almost daily basis, and on the weekends you’ll find me using it multiple times throughout the day. Constantly washing and re-washing my paddle attachment and bowl. I love that I can throw in my butter and sugar, set it and let it do the work while I work on prepping the rest of the recipe (or cleaning dishes). I brought one pound cake into my office on Monday (which by the way the pound cake was devoured in .5 seconds), and kept one at the house for us. I didn’t think my husband would like it. Once again, he has surprised me, he likes it and has been taking a slice every day this week with his lunch. And well… I may or may not have a few slices each day. Shhh don’t tell anyone.

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake And in case you’ve never used/bought Meyer Lemons. I have a great storing tip for you. Store lemons away from foods with strong odors. If you refrigerate them they will last for up to 20 days! This works for all lemons but you definitely want to keep your Meyer Lemons away from the stinky foods. They are super fragrant and you don’t want to alter their fragrance.

So, if you can get your hands on some Meyer Lemons (or any lemons) and craving pound cake… I definitely challenge you to make this Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake. You won’t be disappointed.

Adapted from Ina Garten

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 8-inch Loaves

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5 Meyer Lemons, zested
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup Meyer Lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3 1/2 tbsp Meyer Lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cooking spray on two loaf pans.
  2. Cream the butter and 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. In another bowl, combine 3/4 cup meyer lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 55 minutes. Test that the cake is done by inserting a skewer or toothpick in the middle--it should come out clean with no crumbs attached. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
  4. For the glaze:
  5. Combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the buttermilk pound cakes.

Notes

I used 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pans.

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easy to make -->> dark chocolate macadamia nut bark from katiescucina.com

I’ve been a little absent lately. I’ve definitely been in a food blogging slump. I expressed it the other week–when I cook I need to cook quick because I’m starving. I don’t have time to wait the extra 5 minutes to take photos of my food. I need food NOW! I recently made a batch of dark chocolate macadamia nut bark to hand out to family and friends during the holidays and I figured this would be the perfect recipe to share with my loyal readers. I promise I will get out of this slump and start sharing more recipes (frequently) again. Until then… hang in there with me. Please!!??!?

dark chocolate macadamia nut bark

This dark chocolate macadamia nut bark is super easy to make, but looks way fancy and will impress just about everyone you know! That’s why I love making this bark. Plus, who doesn’t love macadamia nuts? I toasted them to really let the flavor come out and used some of the best chocolate I know… SCHARFFEN BERGER Chocolate. I always have a little stash on hand especially during the holidays so I can make delectable barks to hand out. I also always have dried fruit on hand. I recently purchased a Costco size bag of dried apricots. I eat a handful nightly to keep the calf cramps away. It seems to be working, and I’ve actually started to love them.

Oh and because I like no-mess I used a SILPAT mat to pour my warm chocolate on to. If you don’t have one, no worries–just line you’re baking sheet with parchment paper. I popped the tray into the refrigerator for 30 minutes and voila… it was ready to be broken up and distributed. Of course, you have to have room in your refrigerator to be able to store the cookie sheet. Luckily, I had the room since any more I can’t keep our refrigerator full enough thanks to my raging teenage-boy like appetite! dark chocolate macadamia nut bark

So if you are looking for a quick and easy holiday gift to give your friends and family this holiday season, give my recipe for dark chocolate macadamia nut bark a try! Don’t worry–if you don’t have dried apricots and pomegranates on hand you can use other dried fruit. The sky is the limit!

Katie Original Recipe

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bark

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bark

Ingredients

  • 9.7 oz Bittersweet Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 6 oz package of Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 cup Macadamia Nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dried Pomegranates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dried Apricots, chopped

Directions

  1. In a frying pan, toast macadamia nuts until golden brown 3-5 minutes on medium-high (tossing frequently). Remove from the pan, and rough chop.
  2. While the nuts are roasting, begin to melt the bittersweet dark chocolate. *I use a microwave on the melt setting in 30 second intervals. Mix every 30 seconds then add in the semi-sweet chocolate. Mix until just melted.
  3. Pour on a lined cookie sheet, top with chopped macadamia nuts, dried pomegranates, and dried apricots.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until hard. Break apart and package. Store in sealed container for 3-5 days.
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Homemade Apple Butter

Homemade Apple Butter from KatiesCucina.com

After returning back from Washington state last month, I felt like fall was finally here (except when I walked off the plane the 80 degree weather hit me smack dab in the face). I hoarded brought back tons of apples from Washington State (half of my suitcase was filled with apples), one would have thought that these apples were made of gold. To me they were, some of the apple varieties I can not get in Central Florida–so they were gold to me!  Needless to say, I had quite a few to use up. I knew I wanted to make my favorite homemade apple sauce recipe, but I was also hankering to try making homemade apple butter.

Homemade Apple Butter from KatiesCucina.com

While flying home I read through multiple food magazines on my iPad, and all the magazines I read featured apple recipes. I think I read the apple butter recipe multiple times. So that would explain my craving for apple butter. Even though I read the recipe over and over again for some reason I missed the part that this butter had to slow cook in the oven for 3 hours! 3 hours is like an eternity when your home smells amazing and all you want is the apple butter. That same morning I made biscuits, so as soon as I pulled the apple butter out of the oven I slathered it on a biscuit to try it! And then it cooled and I took my pictures followed by another biscuit full of apple butter. I froze the extra and hope that it will taste just as good in another month or two! So don’t be intimidated… give this homemade apple butter recipe a try!

Homemade Apple Butter from KatiesCucina.com

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Homemade Apple Butter

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Homemade Apple Butter

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds assorted apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of ground cloves and nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the apples, apple cider, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large French oven over medium heat. Bring to a simmer (partially covering) and cook until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg. Puree the mixture using an immersion blender.
  4. Once pureed, bake uncovered, stirring every 30 minutes, until thickened and deep amber (about 3 hours). Remove from the oven and let the apple butter cool completely, then transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate up to 5 days.
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This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market. 

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet from KatiesCucina.com #SummerInParis #WorldMarket #FrozenTreat #Strawberry #Lorina

As if I didn’t share enough frozen treats last week with you I have another frozen treat to share with you today. I’ve partnered with Cost Plus World Market and Lorina Prestige Sparkling Soda to create a few spectacular frozen treats! Today I’m sharing a very refreshing and light Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet.

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet from KatiesCucina.com #SummerInParis #WorldMarket #FrozenTreat #Strawberry #Lorina

I love making sherbet at home, well, let’s be honest any frozen treats in general. By combining fresh strawberries with the delicious Lorina Prestige Sparking Pink Lemonade Soda as well as some buttermilk and a little powdered sugar to bring out the sweetness of the strawberries you get this simple 4-ingredient Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet. Once its been churned in a KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment for over 30 minutes you can remove it and serve it as is–in a more “slush” like state or freeze it for an additional 6 hours to get more solid scoops.

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet from KatiesCucina.com #SummerInParis #WorldMarket #FrozenTreat #Strawberry #Lorina

Y’all know I love World Market. I’ve been a life-long shopper of theirs… well I say life-long meaning since I’ve been introduced to the store oh about 10+ years ago. Whether you want to cool off with this Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet or you just want to keep it casual this summer with food & drinks, World Market is the place for you to shop!

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet from KatiesCucina.com #SummerInParis #WorldMarket #FrozenTreat #Strawberry #Lorina

Product shown in the photos above:

Katie Original Recipe

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Sherbet

Ingredients

  • (1) 16 oz package of strawberries, cleaned and stems removed + 4 berries for garnish
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups Lorina Pink Lemonade

Directions

  1. In a food processor, blend, strawberries, powdered sugar, buttermilk, and Lorina Pink Lemonade for 15 seconds or until well combined.
  2. Pour mixture into the KitchenAid Ice Cream attachment, and churn for 30 minutes. The sherbet will be a soft and not stiff.
  3. Divide among 4 glasses and top with a fresh strawberry (or freeze for 6 hours for a hard consistency).
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Cost Plus World Market teamed up with Lorina for a Summer in Paris Sweepstakes!

Lorina Summer in Paris Sweepstakes with World Market

Enter to win a Trip for two to Paris which includes airfare and accommodations, 2 day museum pass, river cruise, dinner at the Eiffel Tower, $1,000 World Market gift card and case of Lorina French Lemonade! Enter in the Cost Plus World Market’s Summer in Paris Sweepstakes, ends Friday, August 16.

Plus, 3 First Prizes: $500 World Market gift card

Participants can earn bonus entries for liking World Market on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & Tumblr for more chances to win.

Disclaimer: I was compensated to create recipes for Lorina French Lemonade and World Market. I love them both and as always all opinions are my own!


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Frozen Treat Week | July 22 -28 | from KatiesCucina.com

 Today is the last day of our week-long frozen treat week event. I’m sad to see it end so soon. Today, I’m sharing a milkshake recipe. For some reason, I’ve been living under a large rock for the past 20-some years and have never thought to make creamy delicious milkshakes at home. I think part of this might be because I never owned a powerful blender until earlier this month. Now, I’m a blending machine–and I’ve made my share of milkshakes.

Strawberry Pineapple Milkshake from KatiesCucina.com #frozentreatweek

Today I’m sharing my recipe for a Strawberry Pineapple Milkshake. This isn’t your normal decadent or even boozy milkshake. It’s a fresh and flavorful summer milkshake, and all you need is a few ingredients! The day that I made these I text messaged my neighbor and asked if she was back on her diet. I’m trying to be a supportive friend. She exclaimed now and that she started tomorrow and I told her I would be right over. And this my friends is what I brought her… a delicious (and in my mind a semi-healthy) strawberry pineapple milkshake. So whether your not a fan of chocolate or just want a different and fruity milkshake, give this recipe for strawberry pineapple milkshake a try.

Strawberry Pineapple Milkshake from KatiesCucina.com #frozentreatweek

Katie Original Recipe

Strawberry Pineapple Milkshake + Blendtec / Big Kitchen Giveaway

Yield: (2) 5 oz. smoothies or (1) 10oz. smoothie

Strawberry Pineapple Milkshake + Blendtec / Big Kitchen Giveaway

Ingredients

  • (1) 8oz. can of crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tbsp whipped cream
  • Fresh strawberry for garnish

Directions

  1. In a blender combine the crushed pineapple, strawberries, and vanilla ice cream until pureed about 30 seconds. Pour into two small glasses or one large glass. Top with whipped cream and a fresh strawberry for garnish. Enjoy!
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Head on over and check out all the other amazing recipes!

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake from Nutmeg Nanny

Guinness Chocolate Milkshake from Cooking with Books

Pina Colada Smoothie from An Edible Mosaic

Blueberry Sorbet from Chocolate & Carrots

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Milkshake from Rachel Cooks

Blueberry Goat Cheese Coconut Ice Cream from Sweet Remedy

Coffee Smoothie with Fresh Cherries from Cook the Story

Twix Ice Cream Sandwich Cake from Foodie with Family

Mango Lassi Popsicles from Eats Well With Others

Greek Yogurt Popsicles from Damn Delicious

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (Vegan!) from The Baker Chick

Blendtec and BigKitchen Giveaway via KatiesCucina.com #FrozenTreatWeek

Our last day of giveaways have arrived and today we have a spectacular giveaway from Blendtec and BigKitchen! Two lucky winners will each receive one of the fabulous prizes. Make sure you wait for the widget to load. Giveaway open to US residents ages 18+.

Disclaimer: I did not receive anything from Blendtec or Big Kitchen to host this giveaway. Two lucky readers will each win a prize. As always all opinions are my own.


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Strawberry-Kiwi Juice from KatiesCucina.com

Take a look at the beautifully blended colors in this flavorful juice! This juice is thick like a smoothie but still technically a juice. I serve it over ice and drink it through a straw. I didn’t mix the two fruit juices fully together. I left them kind of blotchy, inter-mixed if you’d like to call it that way. I loved the marbleized effect this Strawberry-Kiwi Juice gave. This juice reminds me of the fresh fruit juices I sipped on while touring around Barcelona last fall. For just one euro (at the time about $1.29 US) I got a medium-size all natural fruit-juice drink. I think I had 3 or 4 within a two hour time span. They were so good. They tasted fresh and gave me the boost I needed to continue sight seeing after a long flight.

Strawberry-Kiwi Juice from KatiesCucina.com

Its summer time and let’s face it the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven. So I’m finding juices and smoothies are my chosen dessert and pick me up these days! They are fresh and light and get me an extra servings of fruits in my daily diet. Whether you are looking for a quick snack or something sweet to satisfy your sweet cravings. This all natural drink will have you satisfied in no time!

Looking for more juices & smoothies try:

Katie Original Recipe

Strawberry-Kiwi Juice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 oz

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, stems removed and hulled
  • 2 kiwis, peeled

Directions

  1. In a blender, blend 2 kiwi fruits until pureed. Pour over ice.
  2. Then blend 2 cups of fresh strawberries for 15 seconds or until pureed. Then pour that mixture over ice. *If you prefer a seedless version strain puree before adding it to the cup. Slightly mix the two juices together and enjoy!
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This is a sponsored post brought to you by World Market. All opinions are always my own. 

Summer Entertaining with World Market and a recipe for Blackberry Pomegranate Sangria via KatiesCucina.com

Summer has officially arrived! What better way to celebrate than entertain your family and friends all summer long! Although we live in Florida and our days hit over 100 degrees–we still love to entertain outside! We recently had the opportunity to refresh our back patio and give it a beautiful makeover in time for outdoor entertaining.

Summer Entertaining with World Market and a recipe for Blackberry Pomegranate Sangria via KatiesCucina.com

During the summer months (and really in general) I like to keep entertaining as easy as possible. I love making sangrias and enjoying having simple pantry items on hand to create a delicious snack or appetizer at a moments notice!


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