Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: Holiday Drinks with Cascade Ice

I'm not normally a sugary-cocktail kind of girl. I like the classics, of course: gin/vodka and tonic, margaritas (over ice, no salt) -- but I generally avoid things like cosmos or anything electric-colored. Two reasons: 1) the calories will destroy any attempt at healthy eating, and 2) the sugar/carbonation gives me tummy aches.

I was sent some samples of Cascade Ice sparkling waters to try these little bottles of zero-calorie, sugar-free flavored sparkling water, and of course I love to oblige. They're gluten-free, sodium-free, carb-free...vice-free, really. Sounded good on paper. I have to confess, though, that I really hate the flavored carbonated water you can get at grocery stores. They always taste super artificial and sweet.

Not these little guys, though. I gave the coconut-flavored water a try after a workout, and I gotta say, it's lovely. It actually tastes like coconut. It's light and refreshing without being too sweet or too bubbly. I bet with a couple tablespoons of coconut milk, pineapple juice, and a splash of rum, you'd have a super delish and skinny pina colada. The margarita mix is a fabulous substitute for the nasty mixer you buy at the store, and the cosmopolitan mixer is one even I would combine with vodka.

If you want to avoid alcohol all together, these would make awesome mocktails  - especially for a baby shower. Just pour over ice (I'm sipping some sparkling lemonade as we speak).

Here are some recipes I'd like to try to for the holidays:

Cascade Ice Pink Grapefruit Pineapple Punch
8 oz Cascade Ice Grapefruit
1/2 cup sugar-free pineapple juice
1 cup ice
(optional: maybe some vodka and some pomegranate seeds for fun)

White Wine Spritzer
8 oz Cascade Ice Sparkling Lemonade
4 oz Pinot Grigio
1 sprig mint

Or try my tinto de verano recipe with the sparkling lemonade!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Give thanks and drink up!

this post was sponsored by Cascade Ice. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

White Bean Chicken Chili

Fall classics are sometimes the best meals. Take chili, for example. My all-time favorite chili recipe is still my grandpa's chili, but chicken chili is a nice change-up: it's lighter, kind of more stew-ish than chili.

This recipe can be done in a couple of hours, or you can throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and set on high/4 hours - low/8 hours.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cans cannellini beans, drained but not rinsed
1 tbsp jalapenos 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Chicken broth
1.5 cups frozen spinach

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. In a large dutch oven, saute the chicken on both sides until browned. 
2. Chop jalapenos, onions and garlic. Add to the pan with the chicken. Add in the drained beans, spinach, and chicken broth. Use enough chicken broth to just cover the ingredients.

3. Cover, and bake for 1.5-2 hours or until the chicken falls apart. Shred up the chicken. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese or a dollop of sour cream, and a wedge of lime.

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