Lavender Lemonade

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Well, it’s not quite summer, but a girl can dream, right? For those of you reading from cold places, I’m sorry. You should try moving to Atlanta. Winter here is lovely!

However, regardless of whether you are reading from cold weather or hot weather, and regardless of whether what you really need is hot cocoa or lemonade, this drink is delicious, and incredibly refreshing, and you should try it!

Maybe, just maybe, if we start sipping on homemade lemonade, the sun will want to linger a little longer. Fingers crossed!

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Lavender Week

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

Day Four- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar (or less, depending on how tart you like your lemonade!)
  • Juice from 8- 10 lemons
  • 6- 7 cups water
  • 3-4 lavender buds
  • 1 Lemon- sliced
  • Red/blue food coloring (if desired for purple coloring)

Directions:

  1. Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to boil in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then add 3-4 organic lavender buds. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, juice the lemons.
  2. Strain the lavender from the simple sugar. Combine the lemon juice, simple sugar, and 4-5 cups of cold water into a pitcher. Stir.
  3. Garnish with fresh slices of lemon and a drop of blue and red food coloring if desired.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from: Centsational Girl
  • Like this recipe? Try these other refreshing beverages from A Rented Kitchen! (Links found below):

Cranberry Orange Sauce

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Sooooo, Thanksgiving.

It has come and gone, and boy was it good. I hope you found yourself surrounded by family, and hopefully some of your favorite dishes!

If you were staying tuned before Thanksgiving, I posted a few updates on potential menus for Thanksgiving (check it out here!). There are always more recipes and dishes I would love to make and share than I have time or energy for. However, as you may have guessed, this cranberry orange sauce is one recipe that made the cut, showing up on our Thanksgiving table! It was delicious!

Without turkey at the meal, some may wonder why my vegetarian family would have cranberry sauce. That’s a good question. Part of it is nostalgia and habit. My parents and brother have only been vegetarian for a few years, so they are used to a thanksgiving celebration with cranberry sauce and turkey on the table. Thus, we kept the cranberry sauce, despite forgetting the turkey! However, in addition to turkey, cranberry sauce goes really well over roasted asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, eaten plain, and spread on biscuits- similar to jam.

While I do love canned cranberry sauce, (I know, I’ll admit it), this three ingredient sauce feels soooo much healthier and natural. Not to mention, this recipe is incredibly easy, with only one pot to clean! Thus, you have no reason not to try it!

It’s easy, it’s simple, it goes well on SO much more than just turkey, and it is bound to be a crowd pleaser.

Tis’ the season 🙂

Happy cooking!

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup sugar, or more, to taste
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan combine the first four ingredients. Cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the cranberries to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cool completely before serving.
  4. Optional: Garnish with an additional sprinkle of orange zest!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: About 3 cups
  • Source: Damn Delicious
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other scrumptious dishes form ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipe links found below!):

Harvest Peach and Cherry Summer Salad

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There are a lot of pros and cons to moving around the country. However, one major pro to moving from Kansas to Georgia, is Georgia peaches. Holy cow, there is seriously nothing better than Georgia peaches!

Last summer my family had the opportunity to go pick peaches while on vacation, and I went a little crazy with the peach recipes. However, despite my deep love of the fruit, this ingredient combination was one entirely new to me. As strange as it may sound to combine some of these sweet and savory flavors together, the flavors beautifully compliment each other, blossoming under the dressing and making this fruit salad unique, visually striking, and delicious to eat!

If you have any summer peaches left sitting on your window sill, try whipping together this delicious fruit salad. You just might fall in love.

Not ready to be so bold and adventurous with your last sacred peaches of the summer? Try these other delicious peach recipes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! Like I said earlier, with peaches, you just can’t go wrong.

Peach Favorites:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow peach
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
  • 2 Tablespoons basil, chiffonade (roll up and chopped into ribbons)
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice the peach into thin slices, and toss, along with the cherries, into a medium sized serving bowl.
  2. Cube the tomato into one-inch chunks, and add to the peach and cherry mix.
  3. Gently stir in the herbs.
  4. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, agave, olive oil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly blended. Drizzle over the herbs and fruit, serve, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips:

  • Yield: 2-4
  • Source: The Kitchy Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious treats and salads from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links below):

 

Greek Yogurt Fruit Bites

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It is amazing how much ice cream I am capable of consuming in the summer- an absurd and embarrassing amount. I suppose it’s not really rocket science in Kansas City’s 90 degree days.

I believe the math goes something like this:

90˚ F + a sweet tooth the size of Texas = copious amount of ice cream

In an effort to be slightly healthier however, I have started concocting these sweet, yet refreshing snacks. For all you sweet tooths out there, I have good news! These Greek Yogurt fruit bites are just as sweet and refreshing as ice cream in flavor, however are much healthier for you, serving as an excellent source of protein and a much more natural source of sugar.

AKA- Dig in! It all adds up- delicious flavor, healthier choices, what’s not to love?

Happy Snacking!

Love, your sweet tooth friend,

A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon agave
  • 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • I mango, diced
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

  1. Rinse, peel, and dice the mango.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the agave and yogurt, stirring thoroughly. Fold in the fruit.
  3. Transfer into two ice trays, and freeze for 3-4 hours, or until thoroughly frozen.
  4. Transfer into ziplock baggies and save for an on the go snack! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • If you do not have agave you can use ½ cup powdered sugar, however agave is a much healthier and natural option.
  • Feel free to have fun with this recipe! Not a fan of mango or blueberries? Sub out those fruits and replace with pomegranate seeds, kiwi and strawberries, or make a patriotic snack with blueberries and strawberries!
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other fun and healthy snacks from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (recipe links found below):

Homemade Ginger Ale & Variations

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It’s nearing the end of the semester, which means I’m getting really good at productive procrastination. Thus, I bring you another homemade recipe from my little rented kitchen, as opposed to my completed homework assignments. Gooooood.

Anyhow, this recipe has a little story behind it. You’ll be proud to know that I was at a coffee shop, studying like a good little student, when I tried the store’s homemade Ginger Ale. The drink was delicious, but expensive (no surprise there!). After finishing my expensive and petite store bought ginger ale, I became convinced that I could make my own version just as easily, save myself some money, and share this refreshing treat with friends! Win-win-win.

SO, no surprise to you all, but that’s exactly what I did. Story time over. It brewed, we drank, and all were happy.

I bring you my new favorite drink recipe- Homemade Ginger Ale. Sip up! Summer will be here before we know it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups chopped peeled ginger (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 1 quart chilled seltzer or club soda
  • ~ 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Optional variations: lemon juice, lemon slice, strawberry slices, frozen blackberries, peach slices

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the chopped ginger and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer with the pot partially covered for 45 minutes.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to steep, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Once steeped, strain the liquid through a sieve into another bowl, pressing on the ginger the get all the liquid out. Discard the ginger.
  4. Return the liquid to the saucepan and add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Heat the liquid over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  5. Chill the syrup in a covered jar until cold.
  6. To assemble the drinks: Combine ¼ cup ginger concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice. Adjust flavors as desired by adding additional ingredients.

To spice up your drink even more, add one or a combination of the following fruits, starting with a base of ginger concentrate, seltzer water, and either lime or lemon juice.

  • Frozen blackberries
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Lemon/lime slices
  • Peach slices
  • Any combination of the above

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Epicurious
  • Have fun adding your favorite alcohol or fruits to this recipe! The variations make this drink extra versatile and crowd-pleasing!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other treats from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (Recipe links found below pictures):