apple cider rum punch

 

today is national rum punch day & i am sharing the recipe for a fall inspired rum punch!!! cue: apple cider. i honestly can't get enough apple cider in the fall. i am surrounded by several apple orchards that sells fresh cider. it is just so good. can enjoy it both hot & cold, but these days cold because we are getting july like weather over here. i just want to be wearing my wool sweaters & leather boots again! anyways, back to this rum punch. it is made with fresh local cider, a little rum, a stevia infused simple syrup to allow for no added sugar AND a good old splash of zevia's ginger ale. zevia's ginger ale is also sugar free as it is made with stevia too. plus the ginger taste so good with apple cider & adds the perfect amount of fiz to the punch! you are going to need this punch today to cool down if you are experiencing any of the weather we are.

cheers! xo

ingredients

for the apple cider rum punch

  • 1 cup light rum
  • 3 cups apple cider (100% juice, no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup zevia's ginger ale
  • 1 cup thyme + lemon simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • apple slices, for garnish
  • lemon slices, for garnish
  • fresh thyme, for garnish

for the thyme + lemon simple syrup

  • 1 cup liquid stevia (approx. 1 teaspoon stevia to 1 cup water)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, sliced

directions

for the apple cider rum punch

  • in a large pitcher stir together the rum, apple cider, lemon juice, zevia ginger ale & simple syrup. fill remaining space with ice. when serving, garnish with apple slice, lemon slice & fresh thyme.

for the thyme + lemon simple syrup

  • in a sauce pot over medium heat add the stevia, water, thyme, lemon zest & lemon. bring to a gentle simmer and stir until stevia dissolves. remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. strain liquid and store in a glass weck jar for up to two weeks.

avocado cucumber gazpacho

 

BRB PUMPKIN, there is an avocado gazpacho in town! this might be the most refreshing gazpacho i have ever tasted. i love a cucumber, honey & mint combo, so it seemed like a natural pairing for this recipe. the addition of the avocado makes for the perfect creamy texture. this is a great recipe for those who want to savour those last few days of summer before all the fall & winter comfort foods take over! while the bulk of gazpachos are finished off with heavy cream, this one features nutpods unsweetened original creamer. it is a dairy free creamer made of almond butter and coconut cream! i use it in my coffee every morning to add that creaminess you don't get from regular almond or coconut milk.

p.s. i just saw nutpods released a pumpkin spice dairy free creamer for coffee & i need it like, yesterday.

p.p.s. if you are in canada, all of nutpods creamers are available on naturamarket.ca!

happy last weekend of summer friends! xo

ingredients

  • 3 medium (or two large) ripe avocados
  • 2 cups cucumber, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened nutpods original creamer
  • 2 cups water, cold
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced (for garnish)

directions

  • in a blender add the avocado flesh, cucumber, mint, lime juice, raw honey, olive oil & creamer. pulse a few times until well mixed.
  • pour in the water one cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. blend until silky & smooth.
  • season with a touch of sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
  • serve as is or with a drizzle of olive oil, nutpods creamer & scallions.

broccoli + chicken mac and cheese bake

 

how freaking amazing does this mac and cheese look? not to toot my own horn, but when i pulled this out of the oven i could barely finish taking pictures before diving into it. the top is so crispy & bubbly! i didn't even feel the need to put a bread crumb topping. usually the bread crumb topping is my favourite part of a baked mac & cheese, but honestly this one didn't need it at all. the aged cheddar mixed with the broccoli & chicken provided more then enough flavour. broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables & it pairs perfectly with cheddar cheese. this is a good way to sneak some vegetables into your kids (or your mans) dinner.

i baked the mac & cheese in the cutest white porcelain chicken roaster from REVOL. it is such a unique roasting pan that can be used as a baking dish, roaster for a whole chicken, salad bowl or as some decor in the kitchen! my grandma used to have a very similar chicken dish on her counter & she always hid the candy in it. i might just have to do the same thing with this one. lastly, it is made of culinary porcelain just like the pasta bowls so it is durable and dishwasher safe.

now fire up that oven and lets bake some mac and cheese! we are going to need it to stay warm and toasty this season. who want's a bowl?!

ingredients

  • 1 pound macaroni, cooked to al dente
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 cups old white cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken breast, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup asiago cheese, for topping (optional)

directions

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente (use package time).
  • in a separate pot over medium heat add the butter & flour. stir constantly & cook until a lump free roux forms, about 2 minutes.
  • add the shallots, garlic & dijon. cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • add the half & half, whole milk & bay leaf. simmer for ten minutes.
  • remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese until it is fully melted.
  • fold in macaroni, broccoli & chicken.
  • pour into desired baking dish and sprinkle with additional cheese (about 1 cup).
  • bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

this posted is created in partnership with REVOL USA (1768). they make the highest quality porcelain cookware in france. you can find the featured chicken roaster here & the bowls herethank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!