Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash

TGIF! Who’s ready for a refreshing drink?

Two chilled glasses of a refreshing Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash from CaliGirlCooking.com.

Meeeee!! Oh man has this week been a doozy, and I’m fully planning on enjoying this Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash alllll weekend long to get over it.


It all started last weekend when the hubs came down with a horrible cold which made him unable to travel up to the Bay Area to celebrate Father’s Day with our parents. Seeing as I didn’t want to be stuck around the house with him and come down with the same cold, I decided to make the trek alone, and of course I had to bring the pup with me because my man was laid up in bed. Well, that was an adventure. I’ll just say there was a Saturday evening total meltdown phone call to Chris and leave it at that.

To top it all off, I woke up on Sunday with what I had feared the most: that dreaded cold! Which meant I had to make the four-hour drive back to Santa Barbara with the pup while feeling like crud. I was so happy and grateful to see Chris when I got home, and he immediately pitched in to help with little Miss B, but unfortunately that only lasted about 24 hours before his back started having horrible spasms, essentially leaving him bedridden.

Pair a sick pregnant woman with a bedridden husband and a three-month old puppy with endless energy, and you can see why this week has been a bit more challenging than most!

The good news is (I hope), it can only get better from here, especially with these Ginger Strawberry Peach Smashes in the mix!

An overhead shot of two glasses of the refreshing Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash.

With all the sickness that has been floating around our house, the refrigerator is overflowing with fruit. We also have an endless supply of ginger beer on hand (thanks to my tummy’s needs during early pregnancy and the hubby’s knack for keeping me well-stocked with nonalcoholic beverages) so I thought a healthy, fruit- and ginger-packed mocktail is just what we needed to get us all on the up-and-up.

And, as always, have no fear, my friends that are still off the wagon 😉 Just a little splash of gin OR vodka would be perfectly suitable for your Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash to take it to the next level. In fact, give each one a shot and let me know your fave!

With the farmers’ markets teeming with fresh strawberries and peaches right now, you should have no problem getting some top-of-the-line fruits to really take this mocktail to the next level. Gotta use those in-season fruits while we’ve got ‘em!

And as far as ginger beer, go ahead and choose your favorite, but I’ll tell you that our go-to brand is definitely Fever-Tree. I never knew how much of a Fever-Tree snob I had become until we were in Tahoe a few weeks ago and were forced to buy another brand. It tasted horrible to me! The Fever-Tree is great because it’s not too sweet, and has plenty of REAL ginger spice and zing. There’s even some real sediment in there, so be sure to give the bottles a gentle tilt before using to get everything mixed up to its ultimate deliciousness.

A close-up shot of a Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash from CaliGirlCooking.com.

So are you ready for a Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash yet? I thought so. All that’s between you and this delicious drink is a quick muddling of strawberries and peaches, some crushed ice, a squeeze of lime and a pour-over of club soda and ginger beer.

Now get yourself a tall, frosty glass and a straw and get to work. There’s only about five minutes between you and the perfect Friday drink!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Two chilled glasses of a refreshing Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash from CaliGirlCooking.com.
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Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

A refreshing mocktail using some of the best in-season produce and spicy ginger beer. To make it boozy, just add vodka or gin!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 serving
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1/2 peach, peeled and diced
  • 2 small strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 3 1/2 ounces ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • Top with club soda
  • Additional strawberry and peach slice, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Muddle peach and strawberry in the bottom of a rocks glass. 

  2. Add ice to fill the glass, then pour in the ginger beer and lime, and top with club soda.

  3. Garnish with an additional strawberry and a slice of peach.

Ginger Strawberry Peach Smash | CaliGirlCooking.com

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto

The most refreshing salad EVER!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!

Seriously, if you’re in need of some hydration in your life (and I know at least all us Californians do after this heat wave we’ve been having) then this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is going to be your saving grace right now.


Let me tell you, we are soooo lucky that our landlord was kind enough to install A/C for us about a year ago because, judging by all my CA friends’ social media posts, every store that sells fans is completely sold out and people are sweltering in the near 100-degree heat. This does not sound like one ounce of fun to me (especially being pregnant,) so this is my open invitation to all of my overheating friends to come over and enjoy some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto in our comfortably 75-degree little duplex!

But seriously, even if you’re not close enough to come over, you’ve GOT to get some of this salad in your life stat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a delicious classic caprese salad with that creamy mozzarella and alllll the fresh tomatoes and basil, but sometimes I just want to mix it up and swapping in the watermelon for the tomatoes is just the perfect little change (but not too much of a change) to really wow people the first time you serve it up.

A close-up shot of delicious Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect no-cook salad for summer!

And the prosciutto…Oh, the prosciutto! Okay, it’s no secret that I love the stuff, and it has that perfect saltiness (and extra protein) to really give this dish the ultimate flavor trifecta AND pass as a complete meal. I gave the prosciutto a quick spin in a saute pan to heat it up and therefore make it “pregnancy-safe,” but if you’re not expecting you can just throw it in as-is, straight from the package. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, simply omit the prosciutto and you’ll still be more than pleased with the taste. Pinky promise.

So how long will it be until you can get this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto whipped up and ready to serve on your kitchen table? Approximately 10 minutes. No joke. There’s no cooking involved, so the most time-consuming thing about this recipe might just be chopping up the watermelon into bite-size chunks.

A single serving of Watermelon Caprese Salad with Crispy Prosciutto from CaliGirlCooking.com.

And, if you haven’t refrigerated your uncut watermelon ahead of time, you may want to give the salad a little bit of time to chill out before serving. It’s totally worth it for how much more refreshing it will make it!

I don’t know about you, but all this talking about my new favorite “salad” is making me want to whip up another batch this weekend. We’re hanging out in town again, and planning on fully enjoying the summer weather with some beach time and maybe a barbecue or two.

What are your plans for the first “official” weekend of summer?!? Making some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto, I hope?

A bowl of this refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is the perfect light meal for summer!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!
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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This fun take on the classic caprese salad is full of refreshing watermelon and bites of salty prosciutto. The perfect dish for warm weather entertaining!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Snack
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 mini seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 12 ounces ciliegine (mini mozzarella balls)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except the balsamic glaze to a large bowl and toss to combine. 

  2. If watermelon was not pre-chilled before cutting, place salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

  3. Before serving, drizzle on balsamic glaze and garnish with whole basil leaves, if desired.

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto | CaliGirlCooking.com

Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls

All hail the hidden veggies!!

A close-up look at a delicious Hidden Veggie Acai Bowl from CaliGirl Cooking. The perfect healthy breakfast even the pickiest of eaters will love!

Seriously, who doesn’t want a HUGE serving of vegetables hidden into one of the most delicious acai bowls of all time? If you’re a fruit/breakfast fanatic like me and like to start your day off on the right foot, these Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls are for you.


And, speaking of hidden veggies, if you have picky eaters in your household (ahem, kids) you’re going to LOVE the fact that there is tons of broccoli and spinach packed into each and every one of these bowls.

Back in the day, when I first moved to Santa Barbara, I was living with my brother and sister-in-law and their three young kids until I found a place I could settle into on my own. As part of my “rent,” I’d try to cook for them as much as possible. As most families with young kids do, my bro and SIL were always struggling to get their kids to eat anything besides carbs and fruit. So, I took it upon myself to help them sneak some goodness into their diets in any way we could.

Some of the biggest hits I created for the kids were Hidden Veggie Popsicles. I’d basically whip up a smoothie with kale, carrots and sometimes even avocado the night before, poured the smoothie into a popsicle mold, and first thing in the morning there would be delicious, healthy POPSICLES waiting for the kids for breakfast. I mean, who doesn’t want popsicles for breakfast? They were a huge hit.

A healthy serving of Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls. Your answer to a quick, easy and healthy breakfast!

Fast forward to almost four years later, now I’m trying to sneak as many vegetables into my diet as possible with my ever-changing preggo mama appetite. Throughout my first whole trimester, veggies were not my friend. I’m normally a huge salad eater, but a big bowl of raw greens was the LAST thing I even wanted to think about eating.

Luckily, my healthy appetite for fruit has maintained throughout the duration of my pregnancy (and will hopefully continue to!) I’ve been able to drink our Power Protein Smoothies we make almost every day, which do also have some kale mixed in, and if I’m looking for a healthy snack in the afternoon, a piece of fruit (most likely paired with cheese) is the first thing I’ll grab out of the refrigerator.

On the weekends, the hubs usually spoils me with eggs, bacon, the works, but occasionally we’ll have some place we need to be in the morning and thus need a quick, healthy breakfast to get our day started on the right foot. On these days, you can most likely find us at Backyard Bowls, Santa Barbara’s acai bowl/smoothie mecca that is basically amazing beyond words.

I’ll usually order either their PB&J Quinoa Bowl if I’m in the mood for a warm, belly-filling meal, or their Green Bowl if I’m looking for something more refreshing. The Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls I’m sharing today are my own personal take on the Green Bowl, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to enjoy them just as much as I did!

These Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls from CaliGirl Cooking are the perfect healthy breakfast for picky eaters.

Here’s what you’re going to need: some banana for creaminess, and one more for your toppings (because aren’t the toppings some of the best things about basically eating a smoothie in a bowl?), frozen acai (find it at your local Whole Foods or TJ’s), frozen broccoli and fresh spinach (there’s your veggies!), frozen cherries, pineapple juice, lime juice and some fresh ginger (if you’re feeling adventurous.) I love the ginger for the zinginess it brings to the bowl, but you can easily leave it out if you or your kids aren’t really into such a distinct flavor.

Throw everything into a blender, top with the banana, some sliced strawberries, granola, honey and, my favorite, PEANUT BUTTER, and you’ll have such a delicious, crowd-pleasing breakfast that Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls will soon become the most requested breakfast at your kitchen table. Promise!

An overhead shot of delicious Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls. They'll be a huge hit with kids!

A close-up look at a delicious Hidden Veggie Acai Bowl from CaliGirl Cooking. The perfect healthy breakfast even the pickiest of eaters will love!
Print
Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This healthy breakfast is packed with filling fruits and vegetables that will keep even the pickiest of eaters happy and full until lunch. 

Course: Breakfast
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen acai pack
  • 1 banana, plus 1 additional for topping
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (optional)
  • Sliced strawberries, your favorite granola, honey and peanut butter, for topping
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except toppings in a blender and blend until smooth. 

  2. Pour blender contents into one larger cereal bowl (or two smaller ones) and garnish with desired toppings.

  3. Enjoy immediately!

Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls | CaliGirlCooking.com

Tropical Pineapple Lime “Faux-mosa”

Better late than never, right?

Two tall flutes of delicious Tropical Pineapple Lime "Faux-mosas." The perfect mocktail for any special brunch!
I received compensation to create this recipe for Drizly.

I hope you don’t mind this post hitting your inbox a little late this morning, but, trust me, there’s an important story behind it. Plus, this Tropical Pineapple Lime “Faux-mosa” I created in partnership with my friends at Drizly is too good to pass up!

So, here’s the thing. This post almost didn’t happen. I recently took a part-time copyrighting job with a local company, and let’s just say it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to find a new balance between the work I have on my plate from them, my own blog work and, well, LIFE. I’ve been working some late nights and completely ignoring my husband (sorry, babe!) just to make sure I continue to uphold the standards I’ve set on myself as a an entrepreneur and also now a part-time employee.


I knew I wanted to share this Tropical Pineapple Lime “Faux-mosa” with you all at some point, and I was hoping it would be today, but I was waiting to get word from my good friends at Drizly that it was okay to post this early. I was also jamming on an important project for my company and really had no time yesterday to write a witty post for you all anyhow.

A single, refreshing glass of a Tropical Pineapple Lime "Faux-mosa" for your next special brunch!

I had resigned myself to just skipping a post day (I usually post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with my Friday cocktail posts often being the most popular ones) which, for a perfectionist/Type A personality like me, is really hard to come to terms with. Anyone else feel me out there?

But I told myself, “You know what, it’s not worth the stress.” I did not have time to shoot another recipe and I REALLY wanted to be able to enjoy the weekend without beating myself up over something that, in the big scheme of things, is probably fairly insignificant anyhow. I bring this all up only because it seemed like a “big deal” to me, but with my goal of finding that healthy balance, both in life and in the kitchen, I thought it was really important for me to let you know that no, I don’t have it all figured out, and even I still struggle with not being perfect and knowing when I need to just let something go.

The good news is, I opened my inbox this morning and had the green light to share the recipe, so now you get to have some Tropical Pineapple Lime “Faux-mosas” in your life this weekend!

An overhead view of two delicious Tropical Pineapple Lime "Faux-mosas." Your next brunch celebration will never be the same with these mocktails!

And what a perfect weekend to have them. I don’t know about you, but we’re in the middle of a warming trend here in California, which means we’re looking at the high-80’s/low-90’s throughout most of the state. It’s also Father’s Day, so I’m hoping most of you will be doing something fun to celebrate with Tropical Pineapple Lime “Faux-mosas” in hand!

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of mimosas. After all, I’ve only already posted four variations of them here on the blog (and if you need a refresher, those would be this Harvey Wallbanger Mimosa, this Peachy Tangerine Kombucha Mimosa, this Harvest Mimosa and, my latest, Sparkling Carrot Mimosas.) So when Drizly approached me and asked me to make a nonalcoholic brunch cocktail for them to share on their site, I knew a “faux-mosa” was my only answer.

All of the warm weather and sunshine these past couple of weeks has gotten me on a big tropical fruit kick, so I immediately started leaning that way for the direction I wanted to take with the drink. I also wanted something that was flavorful enough (but not too sweet) that sparkling water (instead of sparkling wine) wouldn’t dilute the taste too much. The pineapple-lime combination (plus a touch of coconut water to really bring out the “tropical-ness”) was the perfect answer!

These Tropical Pineapple Lime "Faux-mosas" are the perfect mocktail to serve at your next brunch!

I also love that this drink is legitimately healthy AND hydrating, so you can enjoy a few Tropical Pineapple Lime “Faux-mosas” at brunch and still be awake and ready to take on the rest of your day. Although, if you just can’t pass up the sparkling wine at brunch (and I don’t blame you,) subbing in the boozy stuff for the sparkling water would be perfectly acceptable 😉

You can check out the recipe for my Tropical Pineapple Lime “Faux-mosa” on Drizly.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend filled with many tropical drinks! xx

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese

The ultimate Dad food.

A large serving platter of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese over a bed of mixed greens.

But really, if you’re trying to sneak in any sort of salad/light-ish side dish for your Father’s Day cookout this weekend, these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese are the answer. I mean, whose Dad doesn’t like bacon?


And bacon isn’t all you get here. Prepare yourself for an explosion of garlic-laced balsamic flavor, meaty mushrooms and a sprinkling of tangy goat cheese. Serve it all over a bed of greens (I’m partial to something involving arugula) and the dish passes as a salad that the dudes will even be helping themselves to seconds of.

An overhead shot of a single serving of delicious Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, served over a bed of greens.

To start, I used the same marinade that I use for my Balsamic-Marinated Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. I love marinating veggies because they only need 30 minutes MAX before they’re ready to go. No waiting hours (or worse, overnight!) for them to be ready for the grill.

While the mushrooms are marinating, you’ll partially cook the bacon in the oven. Because mushrooms don’t take too long to grill up, we need to give the bacon a little head start. The partially cooked bacon gets wrapped around our sufficiently marinated Portobello’s, then we fire up the grill!

Once we have the mushrooms on the grill, this dish will be ready in a flash. The ‘shrooms will only need about 5-6 minutes on each side to cook (hence, why we precooked the bacon,) then we let them cool slightly, lay them over the bed of greens and sprinkle with that crumbly goat cheese. That’s it! And because there’s so much flavor packed into the Portobello’s, you really don’t even need a separate dressing.

A tray of delicious Portobello mushrooms.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of having some of these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese with all of the other delicious food we’ll be eating this weekend has me REAL excited for our trip up to our parents’.

In fact, I’m taking a tip from my gal Lee over at Fit Foodie Finds and hustling to get all my work done by end-of-day Thursday so I can take Friday off and spend it getting ready for our little road trip north later that afternoon. Anyone else here whose self-employed agree that every summer work week should only be four days?? Let’s start a movement! I’m hoping it helps me be more productive during the week if I have more strict guidelines of when I need to get things done by. The extra hours of sunlight don’t hurt either so I can get more photography done during the day!

Okay, but seriously, even if you’re not doing anything special this weekend, or if you want a quick, healthy meal to get you through the rest of this week, I highly recommend you get about making these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese.

A large plate of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, ready to be enjoyed on Father's Day!

Here’s to getting through the rest of the work week with delicious food on the horizon!!

A large serving platter of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese over a bed of mixed greens.
Print
Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Marinated Portobello mushrooms wrapped in bacon and topped with crumbly goat cheese. A hearty, delicious salad that even the guys in your life will love!

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed, cut into spears
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 pieces bacon
  • Goat cheese
  • Mixed greens, to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the mushrooms in a resealable plastic bag with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

  2. While the mushrooms are marinating, partially cook the bacon. Lay the bacon out on a large jelly roll pan line with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (so you will not be preheating the oven, it will preheat while the bacon is already inside.) Set the timer for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool slightly, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Remove the mushrooms from the refrigerator and wrap each one with a piece of the partially cooked bacon. 

  4. Heat your gas grill to medium, then put on the bacon-wrapped mushrooms spears. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until the bacon is sufficiently cooked. Be careful when working the grill as the grease from the bacon may cause flare-ups. 

  5. Place cooked mushrooms spears over a bed of mixed greens and sprinkle with goat cheese, to serve. 

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com