Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thirsty Thursday | Watermelon Hibiscus Aqua Fuerte

Pink drinks have become a thing for Stir and Scribble: There was the Dirty Shirley, the blood orange Salty Dog, pink milk, a Strawberry Shrub, this Rhubarb Margarita, and a Watermelon Punch. Hell, even this Shandy is pretty in pink. So do you really need another rosey refreshment from me?! 

Yes, yes you do. 

Hear me out here: This Watermelon Hibiscus Aqua Fuerte is summer fruit, iced tea, and TEQUILA. It is pretty much perfect for sipping on a patio, by the pool, or in a hammock. It has margarita vibes without all the sugar and way more personality. 

Hibiscus tea is brewed from the dried leaves of the hibiscus flower and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Its sweet tart flavor is loved around the world but is popular in tropical climates where the flowers flourish. Dried hibiscus flowers can be found at your local Latin market or online

Watermelon Hibiscus Aqua Fuerte 
makes 8-10 servings

2 cups water
2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 cup light agave syrup 
1 small seedless watermelon, about 5 pounds
3 cups tequila blanco, preferably Gran Centenario Plata
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving 
2 cups club soda

Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, add the hibiscus flowers, and steep for 15 minutes. Add the agave syrup and stir until dissolved. Strain the hibiscus tea into a pitcher and refrigerate until cold. You can use the spent hibiscus flowers to make ice cubes by placing the leaves in an ice tray covering with water and freezing until solid. 

Chop the watermelon - discarding the rind - then puree the melon in a food processor or blender. Strain the watermelon puree, add to the hibiscus tea, and refrigerate until cold. 

Before serving add the tequila, lime juice, and soda. Serve over ice. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Six First Foods for Baby (that aren't cereal)

That little chunk is six-months old this week. The time with baby number two is flying by in hyper speed. Breast feeding was way more successful for me with my second, but he seemed to be growing so fast that at his four month appointment I asked the doctor about starting real food. A lot has changed since we started our first on solids almost 3 years ago. The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that parents wait until their babies are 6 months old before introducing food. They're also changing some recommendation of what baby's first foods should be. Rice or oat cereal was the norm just a few short years ago. 

As we work on changing our diet as a family - the idea of feeding Emmett super processed rice cereal became less and less appealing to me. We talked this out with our pediatrician and she supported us taking an alternate route. As with anything baby related - this is just what we decided would be best for our family and we sought the advice of professionals along the way. Emmett's first meal (at about 5 months, again with the support of our doctor) was a smashed avocado. Since then he has tried a variety of vegetable and fruit purees - and even homemade cereal:  

Avocado: Full of healthy fat, protein and fiber, Avocado is arguably one of the worlds most perfect foods. It doesn't even have to be cooked to give to baby. We smash our by hand with a little bit of water to thin it out enough for baby. 

Banana: Another easy to prepare first food, bananas are high in potassium and just sweet enough. Again you can smash a super ripe banana with a fork or puree it with a little water for baby. 

Sweet Potato: We love love love a sweet potato - they are high in beta carotene, fiber and a good source of carbohydrates. Its super easy to throw a couple sweet potatoes in the oven to roast on a Sunday and then puree the 'meat' of the potato after it has cooled. 

Apple: Steamed and pureed apples are a favorite in our house. Our three year old even loves to eat this apple sauce.  

Zucchini: Zucchini is such an awesome starter starch for little ones - the taste is slightly sweet, not too 'green'. I love to roast them before pureeing with a little bit of water. 

Oatmeal: Not all cereal is bad! Oats are actually a pretty awesome, but stay away from instant oats and try to buy gluten free oats if you can. Here's a simple oat cereal recipe perfect for baby: 

1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup water

Pour the water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium high heat. Grind your oats into a fine powder, a food processor or high powered blender will do the trick. Gradually whisk these into the boiling water, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 
Cool and serve.

If you're looking to improve the eating habits of your whole family - from your littlest bits to your meat-and-potatoes husband - look no further than Prescribe Nutrition's Kids Rule Program! I'll be playing along and you can get 30% off with the code STIRANDSCRIBBLE. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

White Chicken Chili + Prescribe Nutrition

You guys, this week has been like whoa. Two shoots, a baby shower, four batches of chocolate cupcakes, and everyone on spring break. Bouncing between stay at home mom, work at home mom, and work away from home mom has got me in a perpetual game of catch up. I am so glad that I have nothing on the schedule next week, because I need to get back in balance. 

I haven't been great about updating the blog regularly, but hopefully you're following Stir & Scribble's adventures on Instagram? The last couple of months have been a fun journey into eating a more whole foods based diet. If you've been a follower for very long - you might have noticed that I've had many false starts and stops at feeding my family a less processed diet. This time though I've had help. 

In February, I signed up for a program with Prescribe Nutrition. Prescribe Nutrition is a team of incredible woman with one incredible goal - to get you to give up a 'diet' in favor of eating real whole food. There programs are designed to shake you free from the standard American diet in a fun, approachable way with a ton of support and community. I loved my Prescribe experience so much that I shared my story over on their blog this week - you can read all about my disdain for diets here.

This weekend I'm jumping into another program with the Prescribe Nutrition team - Prescribe Balance. Prescribe Balance is perfectly timed to kick off spring. Twenty days of digging deeper into eating whole foods, getting some exercise, and daily cleaning rituals with the goal of getting everything back in balance.  I couldn't need it more right now - care to join me? Use the code 'stirandscribble' for 20% off! There's still plenty of time to sign up!

White Chicken Chili
serves 6 to 8
recipe courtesy Prescribe Nutrition

This Chili is one of the recipes from Prescribe Balance and a great example of whole foods meets comfort food that is typical of the Prescribe Nutrition team. We scaled back the spice for Ella and served it with a ton of lime and avocado. Its the perfect Sunday supper (and great for lunch leftovers).

1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
1 poblano, pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped*
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground chili powder*
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
32 oz (4 cups) organic veggie or chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (about 2 lbs) cooked, shredded chicken**
Juice and zest of 1 lime, + extra lime wedges for garnish
1⁄2 cup full fat coconut milk
1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro leaves + extra for garnish

*only include if you prefer some extra spice in your chili!

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pan or dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the onions, peppers, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Pour in the broth. Add 1 can of the beans and, using a potato masher (or a handheld blender), mash the beans in the pot, creating a thicker texture.

Stir in the remaining beans, shredded chicken, lime juice and zest and bring to a boil. If you prefer a chili with more broth, add 1 - 2 cups of water. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and keep on a low simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with additional lime wedges and cilantro.