* Frozen Hibiscus Margaritas *

Recipe Source:  http://prettygirlscook.com/2012/05/01/frozen-hibiscus-margaritas
(Originally posted for Cinco de Mayo celebrations!)

For this recipe I used my ice cream machine to get these margaritas nice and icy.  I hate when margaritas are watered down, which is why I hate adding regular ice cubes.  When you use this method, your margarita can also double as a dessert.  After about 15-20 minutes in the ice cream machine, the mixture is the perfect consistency for a great margarita.  If you freeze the mixture, it becomes refreshing hibiscus margarita sorbet.  Try serving the frozen sorbet with a little tequila or champagne on top.


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water
2 teaspoons dried hibiscus flowers
1 vanilla bean, split
½ cup sugar
Zest and juice of 3 limes
Juice of 1 orange
½ cup tequila

PREPARATION:

Place hibiscus flowers and vanilla bean in a saucepan with the cup of water and bring to a boil.  After water is boiling remove from heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes.  Strain mixture to remove hibiscus flowers and vanilla bean.  Add mixture back to pan and add sugar.  Simmer for about 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add lime zest, lime juice, orange juice, and tequila.  Chill mixture until it has cooled completely.

Once mixture is cool, place in your ice cream machine and process according to manufacturers instructions.  After about 20 minutes, mixture is ready to serve.  You can also freeze and serve as sorbet.

* I used a lime zest mixed with salt to rim the glasses.

* Matcha Green Tea Drink *

Recipe Link:  http://newhope360.com/recipes/matcha-green-tea-drink
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Serves:  2

For a cleansing alternative to your morning coffee, this ultralight smoothie combines avocado’s healthy monounsaturated fats with green tea’s anti-inflammatory actions.  Add grated ginger to boost digestion and increase circulation.  If you can’t find matcha, grind green tea leaves in a spice mill or coffee grinder.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups baby spinach leaves (loosely packed )
1/2 avocado (cubed)
1-2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
1/2 cup crushed ice
Raw unfiltered honey, agave, or stevia (to taste)

PREPARATION:

In a blender, combine almond milk, spinach, avocado, and matcha powder.  Purée until smooth.  Add ice and purée again until smooth and creamy.

Sweeten to taste and serve immediately.

Nutritional Info (per serving assuming 1 teaspoon honey):
118 cal, 5g fat (3g mono, 1g poly, 1g sat), 0mg chol, 3g protein, 12g carb, 4g fiber, 194mg sodium

Citron Spice Cocktail

Recipe Source: Curtis Stone / Today Show
Recipe Link: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41888661/ns/today-food
Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 ounces spiced rum
3/4 lime, chopped with skin left on (or juiced if making bulk)
3-inch length of lemongrass
3/4 ounce cinnamon syrup (1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 3 cinnamon quills)
5 mint leaves
Ice

PREPARATION

Muddle lime, lemongrass with spiced sugar syrup and mint.  Add ice and rum.  Shake and pour unstrained into old fashioned glass.

Note:
When mixing cocktails, herbs and/or fruit are often mashed or ground — muddled — with sugar in the bottom of a glass before adding the liquid ingredients to intensify their flavors. You can muddle with a spoon or a pestle-like tool called a muddler.  A classic example of a muddled drink is the Mojito, in which mint and sugar cubes are mashed together before adding light rum, lime juice and club soda.