Vanilla Recipes

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Basil Mint Lemonade Recipe

Basil Mint Lemonade

09.24.09 by Jackie

It's already the end of the summer and I've been making every effort to get the best use out of the leftover mint and basil in my herb garden. With the basil, I've made a lot of pesto that I store in the freezer for the winter. There isn't enough left for an additional sauce, and I've always wanted to try a basil infused drink, so today I made a basil lemonade, basil limeade, to be more precise. Sweet basil can be a bit subtle, so I wanted to pair it with another herb to give the drink some kick.

Mint immediately came to mind. I've made drinks all summer using the different kinds of mint we have, including spearmint, peppermint, Vietnamese mint, and apple-mint. I still, however, have a lot of leftover chocolate mint in the garden. Lulu planted it for me a few years ago and it's been growing literally like weeds. It's not as strong as the other mint varieties, so it complements the basil in the limeade I made today without overpowering it. It may sound odd, but it's a really fun, beautiful and delicious drink.

I wish I had tooken the main picture but it is not mine. It was taken by a brilliant photographer named Ken Phuong. He's currently shooting with a team of photographers in the Bay Area.

how to make basil-mint limeade


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Orange-Flavored Spritz Sable Cookies dipped in Dark Chocolate Recipe

Spritz sablé cookies are French butter cookies. They have a very rich flavor. Depending on the shape of the cookie and on the baking time, spritz can either be crumbly or have a chewier texture. Spritz sablé cookies are the perfect canvas upon which to introduce other flavors. From the basic recipe, you can make an unlimited number of variations.

My little sister-in-law who is allergic to egg yolks (not egg white, go figure!) loves these cookies. They are one of the few sweet treats she can enjoy. I made some today and flavored them with orange blossom water. I then dipped them in dark chocolate to make them extra decadent.


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Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Syrup and Mascarpone Cream Dessert Recipe

We hosted a dinner party at home this evening. I wanted to make a "summery" tiramisu parfait, as opposed to the "wintry" coffee tiramisu I made in the past. I found some beautiful sweet Maui Gold pineapple and decided to add a refreshing twist to the classic Italian dessert. I added some fresh mint from the garden, some coconut, mascarpone and crème fraîche.

I served a wide variety of sweet petit fours and other desserts along with the pineapple mascarpone desserts. I know it was a hit because there wasn't a bit left. When everyone went home, I gathered 14 empty parfait glasses. It looked like the guests washed the dishes themselves. I'm definitely going to make this again!


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Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe

Oatmeal Smoothies are the fastest way for me to give my husband Lulu a well balanced breakfast. It's also perfect for him when he's on the go. I already made an Oatmeal Vanilla Almond Protein Shake last week so I decided to change the flavor this week. I had blueberry preserves left in my pantry that I made last summer from the berries from our garden. Unfortunately, my blueberry bush hasn't produced any fruit yet, so I ran to my local market and got some fresh blueberries.

The smoothie turned out velvety and creamy, yet still very healthy. You can add your own twist to it by using different fruits and flavors (tropical fruits, berries, different syrups). Be creative.

It's always a great feeling to make something for the ones you love that they can appreciate.  I think that's why I love to cook. This is a perfect recipe to express your affection when you're pressed for time!


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Oatmeal Vanilla Almond Protein Shake Recipe

This morning, I felt like bringing breakfast to my adorable husband Lulu. He is lactose-intolerant and he's a vegetarian. It's always a challenge for me to make a variety of foods that he can eat. This oatmeal vanilla almond shake is perfect for him, it's dairy-free and full of protein with almonds and whey protein powder, just like at Jamba Juice! It's also cholesterol free (if you don't add the dollop of whipped cream of course...)

After several tests with agave nectar in the past few weeks like my Broiled Agave Nectar and Honey Grapefruit , Agave blended Homemade Yogurt with Kumquat Preserves (without using a Yogurt Maker) and  Toasted Sesame Tofu Caramelized with Agave Nectar, Wasabi and Soy Sauce, I used the delicious nectar in my protein shake. 

So prepare a tray with freshly baked bagels, some cream cheese, a freshly cut rose from the garden, and of course your delicious oatmeal vanilla almond shake. Bring to your love with a big smile and say "Bonjour mon coeur, t'as bien dormi?" translation: Hi my love, did you sleep well?


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