PB&J Quinoa Bowl

The best Monday breakfast you could ever hope for.

This PB&J Quinoa Bowl is the perfect healthy breakfast to get your week started on the right foot.

That’s right. This PB&J Quinoa Bowl will change the way you view beginning-of-the-week breakfasts forever, and I don’t think you’ll be one bit mad about it.


I don’t know about you, but the weekends always feel like a crazy whirlwind of fun for me, and it’s always just a little bit tough to go to bed on Sunday night knowing I have to wake up and face the “real world” the next day. Yes, I work from home and yes, many feel that’s quite the luxury, but I promise it’s still not easy. If anything, I feel more accountable for being productive, especially after an event-filled weekend like the one I just had.

I’ve been up north at the parents’ house since last Wednesday and I’ll actually be working from up here for the next week due to a heavy influx of close friend and family obligations. I helped cater one of my good friends’ baby showers this past Saturday and next weekend we have a family birthday party, so I just decided to forego 8 extra hours in the car (no bueno for a pregnant mamma!) and stay up here for the week.

The downside of that is, now I’m here surrounded by family, and they all have fun, exciting things that they want to do, yet I still need to be sure I find the time to actually WORK and get done what I need to get done since I’m still held accountable for doing my job, even when I’m not physically at my “home base.” Does anyone else struggle with this? Please tell me you do and give me pointers!

But enough about my time management/life balancing skills, let’s talk about what we REALLY need to get out on the table today (both literally and figuratively) – these PB&J Quinoa Bowls!

Two PB&J Quinoa Bowls ready to be enjoyed on any weekday or weekend morning!

Real life talk: this is another recipe where I have to give all creative credit to a favorite eating establishment of mine. When I first moved to Santa Barbara, one of the things I remember being most excited about was the fact that they had an entire eatery based around the concept of one of my favorite breakfasts – the acai bowl! Yes, I get excited about these things because, hey, I am a food blogger. And there most definitely were no such places in Napa, where I lived previously.

Let me tell you a little bit about Backyard Bowls and why it is so amazing. Well, they literally have any sort of acai bowl you can imagine – green bowls, power bowls, tropical bowls – you name it! Then on top of that they have a whole list of smoothies, PLUS a line of non-acai bowls that are also healthy and taste absolutely amazing. This is the section of the menu where the PB&J Quinoa Bowl resides.

A big PB&J Quinoa Bowl is the perfect healthy, filling breakfast to get your week started on the right foot.

When I was still working in a “real office” full time, a PB&J Quinoa Bowl from Backyard Bowls was one of my favorite breakfasts to pick up on my way to work and eat at my desk, especially if I had a long day ahead of me where I didn’t know what time I’d be able to get to any sort of lunch.

It’s chock full of protein, yet still tastes indulgent at the same time. And the quinoa, oh the quinoa. If you have never ventured into the world of quinoa served oatmeal-style for breakfast, I highly recommend you do so soon (you can try this Banana Peach Breakfast Quinoa with Cinnamon Sugar Pecans while you’re at it.) It is so tasty, super healthy, and full of protein. And yes, quinoa tastes just as good with sweet breakfast-y ingredients as it does with savory dinner-y ingredients.

So here’s the PB&J Quinoa Bowl scoop: First off, you literally cook it just as you would oatmeal. And instead of cooking it using water as the liquid, you’ll use good ol’ cashew milk. In fact, you could really use any sort of regular OR nut milk, I just used cashew because I was trying to really capture Backyard Bowls’ take on the whole thing and that’s what they use. But it’s totally up to you!

Overhead shot of the super-creamy and delicious PB&J Quinoa Bowl. The perfect healthy breakfast!

Once the quinoa is cooked (but while it’s still warm) you’ll stir in a little additional cashew (or other) milk along with your favorite peanut butter to make it extra creamy.

That’s it as far as cooking goes! The next bit, the toppings, is what really takes your PB&J Quinoa Bowl over the edge. First off, your favorite jelly is KEY. I’m quite the traditionalist and prefer to stick to strawberry jam, but feel free to use your own creative license here and use whatever your little heart desires.

Next, you’ll want to add some texture with nicely toasted slivered almonds. They add the perfect crunch to an otherwise texturally one-dimensional bowl. And are such a fun contrast to the peanut butter!

Finally, slice up some fresh banana and fan that out over top. Because what’s a breakfast bowl without a sliced banana topping?

Long story short, this PB&J Quinoa Bowl is a super easy and insanely delicious recipe that needs to make an appearance in your kitchen ASAP. It’s the perfect breakfast to really turn a week around and I guarantee you won’t be mad about it once your piping hot bowl is sitting in front of you on a Monday morning before heading to work.

PB&J Quinoa Bowl topped with strawberry jam, slivered almonds and fresh bananas. The perfect healthy breakfast!

Grab the recipe below and here’s to another productive week ahead! Xo

This PB&J Quinoa Bowl is the perfect healthy breakfast to get your week started on the right foot.
Print
PB&J Quinoa Bowl
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
9 mins
Total Time
24 mins
 

Protein-packed quinoa gets a morning makeover when cooked with your favorite nut milk and swirled with peanut butter and jam, plus even more delicious toppings!

Course: Breakfast
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed tricolor quinoa
  • 3 cups unsweetened cashew milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, plus more for topping (if desired)
  • 2-4 tablespoons strawberry jelly
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 bananas, sliced
Instructions
  1. Bring quinoa, 2 ½ cups of the cashew milk and honey to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. 

  2. Turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. 

  3. Turn off the heat and stir in additional ½ cup of cashew milk, salt and peanut butter. 

  4. Scoop quinoa into 2-4 bowls and top with strawberry jelly, almonds, banana and more peanut butter, if desired.

PB&J Quinoa Bowl | CaliGirlCooking.com

My Favorite Maternity Clothes

Mixing things up today!

Dusty pink off-the-shoulder top from Ingrid & Isabel, jeans from Old Navy.
Top: Ingrid & Isabel via Gilt.com, Jeans: Old Navy

On Wednesday, I asked if any of you would be interested in some maternity-focused posts, and the answer was an overwhelming yes. I’ve got a long list of topics I hope to share with you, but for this first post I thought I’d start off where most ladies’ minds roam to as soon as they get pregnant – where to find the best maternity clothes!

Get real moment: When I first started looking for maternity clothes – which for me wasn’t until about 14 weeks or so – I was a little disappointed. First off, I felt like none of them were my style, and that in fact they looked like something someone about 10 years older than me would be wearing (and ladies, I’m 32!) Yes, there were a couple of brands with incredibly cute things, but they were GD expensive and who wants to shell out hundreds of dollars for clothes they will only be wearing for a few months? Not this gal.


Then the second challenge was my height and build. I’m 6’2”, with a very athletic build (i.e. strong quads and broad shoulders) so, although over the years I’ve found which REGULAR clothing brands fit me best, this maternity style was a whole new world to me. It took a lot of research (and ordering things online then returning them) to figure out which affordable brands worked best for my body type.

Red tank dress from Old Navy.
Dress: Old Navy

One of the things that has been most helpful to me in deciding what I need as far as maternity and nursing clothing, what we need to have on hand for Baby D. right when she is born, etc. has been suggestions from new-parent friends and other bloggers. My hope is that this post of what I’ve personally found to be my own functional maternity style will help many other expectant mammas out there as they embark on this exciting journey.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite wardrobe pieces and resources so far!

For casual basics…
Navy tank top from Liz Lange for Target, white denim shorts from Liz Lange for Target.
Top: Liz Lange for Target, Shorts: Liz Lange for Target

Target: Liz Lange over-the-belly denim shorts (I have them in white and regular denim) and Liz Lange maternity tanks (I went with the basic colors – black, white and navy.)

Pink off-the-shoulder top from Ingrid & Isabel via Gilt.com, jeans from Old Navy.
Top: Ingrid & Isabel via Gilt, Jeans: Old Navy

Old Navy: Maternity Premium Full-Panel Rockstar Jeans and Maternity Full Panel Skinny Jeans in White, both in LONG! The white aren’t available at the moment because we’re going into fall, but keep an eye out for them!

Motherhood Maternity: V-Neck Side Ruched Maternity Tee (again, in basic black and white – it’s just the easiest!)

For workout wear…
Both workout top and leggings from Gap.
Workout top: Gap, Workout Leggings: Gap

Gap: Great options for affordable workout tops and bottoms.

Old Navy: I haven’t bought any workout tops from them, but I have about three pairs of leggings from them that I love! They’re a really good deal (especially if you can catch a sale) and there are lots of fun color and design options available, so you’re not stuck with plain black.

White Cool Racerback Tank from Lululemon, workout leggings from Old Navy.
Workout Top: Lululemon, Workout Leggings: Old Navy

Lululemon: They don’t offer maternity clothes (yet!) but some of my absolute favorite things I’ve been wearing throughout my pregnancy have been from there. As soon as you find out you are pregnant (and even if you’re not), you HAVE TO invest in some Lululemon Align Leggings. They are THE BEST!! I love them so much and they are soooo comfortable. I went up one size from the size I normally get there to be safe but you may even be able to wear your normal size throughout your pregnancy. I have also been wearing a lot of their Cool Racerback Tanks, just in a couple sizes bigger for extra length.

Black clip down sports bra from Motherhood Maternity, Align Pants from Lululemon.
Sports Bra: Motherhood Maternity, Workout Leggings: Lululemon Align Pants
For day-to-day style…
Off-the-Shoulder Dress from a:glow for Kohl's.
Dress: a:glow for Kohl’s

Kohl’s: I honestly went to the Kohl’s website first to check out Lauren Conrad’s line of maternity clothes, but ended up buying this Off-the-Shoulder Babydoll Dress and the black off-the-shoulder top in the photos (sorry, no longer available) from the a:glow brand instead. I love them both!

Black geometric off-the-shoulder top from a:glow for Kohl's, white jeans from Old Navy.
Top: a:glow for Kohl’s, Jeans: Old Navy

Athleta: Again, not maternity clothes, but I have basically lived in my black maxi dress with built-in bra from them and I’m also still able to fit in my white linen pants (that conveniently have a drawstring waistband AND an elastic band for extra coverage.) I had bought both of these things in Tall from them a couple years ago and, although they’re no longer available, the website is worth checking out for things you can wear through maternity and beyond!

Old Navy: Basic tank dresses like this red one. Dresses have been THE most comfortable thing for me to wear throughout this entire pregnancy!

Casual red tank maternity dress from Old Navy.
Dress: Old Navy
For special occasion wear…

ASOS Maternity: This website is such a gem! I don’t have photos of anything I’ve gotten from them in this post, but if you’ve followed my Insta-stories you’ll have seen I bought my baby shower dress there. Not only do they carry TALL maternity sizes, they also have a fantastic return policy and their pricing is spot on. Definitely check them out!

Tropical-inspired maternity maxi dress from Old Navy.
Dress: Old Navy

Old Navy: I bought this tropical-inspired maxi pictured here on a whim and have received a ton of compliments on it. It’s no longer available but keep your eye out because there are always new styles coming online!

Flash Sale Sites: Some of my best resources for stylish maternity clothes (at a slightly better than normal price) have been flash sale sites like Gilt, RueLaLa and HauteLook.

For undergarments/PJ’s…

Motherhood Maternity: I have three of these Sport Clip Down Nursing Bras that are soooo comfortable and I wear them all the time to work out. I also really love my Lace Racerback Nursing Sleep Bra from them AND this is the only place I’ve been able to find comfy maternity strapless bras!

*Tip when buying bras during pregnancy: Always go for a nursing, not just a maternity, option so you can get a few more months of wear out of the bigger sizes you’re forced to get due to your rapidly changing body! I have not included regular bras in my suggestions here because I feel they are such a personal decision. I highly recommend finding a store with a big selection that you can try on. This is one thing I splurged and went to our super-expensive maternity store in Santa Barbara for.

Black clip down sport nursing bra from Motherhood Maternity, black Align Pant from Lululemon.
Sports Bra: Motherhood Maternity, Workout Leggings: Lululemon

Jessica Simpson for Motherhood: Even though you technically get her stuff at Motherhood Maternity stores, I had to give a little separate shout out to my girl Jessica Simpson. I LOVE my Jessica Simpson Lace Trim Maternity Nightgown (yay for cute babydoll nighties that aren’t wayyyy too short on me!) and I have also been a huge fan of her Clip Down Shelf Bra Nursing Camis (cute, comfy and functional.)

J. Crew: Dreamy Pant in Black, Tall. Again, these are not maternity, but (a) I love that they come in the long inseam and (b) they are soooo comfy. Plus, they’re forgiving and stretchy so you can grow into them as your pregnancy progresses!

Black clip-down nursing cami from Jessica Simpson for Motherhood Maternity, black Dream Pant from J. Crew in TALL.
Top: Jessica Simpson for Motherhood Maternity, Pants: J. Crew

H&M: Did you know that H&M has a maternity line on their website? Great for cheap, trendy basics, and I fell in love with their MAMA Boy Shorts. And yes, you will be growing out of your chonies along with all of your other clothing! Plus, these will be great for immediately post-pregnancy as well with full coverage and a lower waistband.

Those are all of my favorites so far! Did I miss anything? If you’ve already gone through the whole pregnancy thing, what were some of your favorite resources for clothing? Share in the comments below!

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts

At least I have one good reason to get up this morning!

A big bowl of in-season Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect summer meal or side dish!

And that’s to enjoy this uber-delicious Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts for lunch. After the morning I’m having, I’m going to need it!


Right at this moment I’m sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office having just guzzled down a disgustingly sweet “Gluco-Crush” (no joke, that’s what it was called) for my gestational diabetes test. I now have a cloying after-taste in my mouth and all I can think about is all of the REAL food I’m going to eat after my hour-long wait for a blood test is done. Oh, the joys of pregnancy!

Speaking of, I know I’ve kept it mostly food here on the blog throughout my pregnancy so far, but do you have any interest in me doing some posts on my pregnancy? I always think I need to just jump in an do it but then I get worried that y’all will hate me if you’re not pregnant and I’m not posting delicious food recipes all the time. Thoughts? Requests? I’m all ears!

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect light summer meal.

I’m definitely thinking I’ll start to do some food prep recipe posts in the next couple of months, as I’m starting to think about having our freezer stocked full of delicious things for when the baby comes so we don’t have to worry so much about cooking and just enjoy the time with our new little one. If you have anything in particular you’d like me to make, or any suggestions of stuff YOU’VE made that was a lifesaver, I’m all ears!

Okay, but back to this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts. I hope you all are as obsessed with fresh figs as I am, because you can bet I’ll be using them in as many recipes as possible if/when I can find them. I was able to find these ones at our Farmer’s Market (there were just TWO vendors selling them!) but our Trader Joe’s had them for a hot second a month or so ago and then when I went back they had disappeared already. I’m hoping we’re just at the start of the season and they’ll become more widely available in the next month or so, otherwise I totally missed the boat on all the fig recipes I want to make!

So, I found my fresh figs and I even bought two different varieties because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted, but feel free to use any variety you like. Aside from the figs, all of the ingredients for this salad are pretty darn #basic, and TBH I even hesitate for a hot second about posting the recipe because it so like “duh” easy. But I brought it over to a friend’s house for dinner and it received such rave reviews that I knew I just had to post it.

Serve this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts at your next get-together and it's sure to be a huge hit!

The only other ingredients you’ll need besides fresh figs are arugula, burrata, hazelnuts, olive oil and a nice, thick balsamic vinegar (I really like the Balsamic Glaze from Trader Joe’s.) Oh, and a pinch of salt and pepper! It’s amazing how often we forego seasoning our salads with good ol’ S&P here in the US, whereas in Europe it’s a regular thing. It makes such a huge difference!

The other great thing about this recipe is there is absolutely no cooking involved. Which means it’s perfect for summer! Well, I do recommend that you toast the hazelnuts (toasting nuts adds a great dimension of flavor to any recipe) but that takes literally 5-10 minutes on the stovetop and you’re done. Nuts are also something you can batch-toast in advance and just keep on the ready in your pantry for whenever the mood for that extra pop of flavor in a recipe strikes.

I tossed together the arugula, sliced fresh figs, toasted hazelnuts and salt and pepper with a light coating of olive oil, then drizzled on the balsamic glaze and plopped that creamy, cheesy goodness that is burrata right on top. I kept the burrata whole for transporting to my friend’s house, then cut into it and let it ooze all over the individual portions as I served. I also brought along extra olive oil and balsamic just in case people wanted some extra dressing.

This fresh fig salad features toasted hazelnuts and is topped with creamy, delicious burrata cheese. The perfect summer meal!

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? The fact that it’s no-cook and showcases some of the season’s best produce makes this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts a real winner in my book, especially for this time of year.

Grab the recipe below and remember to send me any pregnancy or meal prep post requests if you have them! Xo

A big bowl of in-season Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect summer meal or side dish!
Print
Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This summer-y salad features fresh figs, arugula and toasted hazelnuts, all topped with creamy burrata cheese and an easy olive oil and balsamic dressing.

Course: Main Course, Salad
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 7 ounces arugula
  • 14 ounces fresh figs, quartered (any variety)
  • 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more or less depending on your personal taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze
  • 8 ounces burrata
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, fresh figs, hazelnuts and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  2. Drizzle on balsamic glaze and top with burrata. Cut into the burrata when you’re ready to serve!

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce

Getting back to the serious stuff today!

A big platter of Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce is the perfect way to #ownyourparty this summer!
This post was created in partnership with True Aussie Beef & Lamb and Big Green Egg in exchange for free product. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Well, if you count mouthwateringly delicious Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce as serious, that is. And when I say mouthwatering, I mean MOUTHWATERING. Seriously, this stuff is so good.

It’s not every day that you get sent a cooler full of delicious #TrueAussieBeef and #TrueAussieLamb, plus a Big Green Egg and are told to throw a summer party celebrating the #GreaterOutdoors but when you do, you happily oblige.


IMPORTANT PSA: If you’ve read any of my other recent meat-centric posts, you know that I’ve partnered with True Aussie Beef and Lamb and Big Green Egg in their #GreaterOutdoors campaign to give away a Big Green Egg to one very lucky reader. Well, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ENTER! Be sure to keep reading until the end of this post for instructions on how to get in on this. Do it now!

Sirloin steaks cooking on the Big Green Egg, soon to be drenched in sweet and tangy Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

I already shared the Island Style Teriyaki Beef Sliders and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Pea Pesto that I made with my #aussome beef and lamb products for a summer pool party with friends, and today it’s time to tell you all about what was surely one of the greatest hits: Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce!

Can I first tell you about the insanely huge piece of sirloin I used to make these? Ummm, I mean, we were serving a crowd of about 20 people and we STILL only used half of it. The other half is waiting contentedly in the freezer for the next chance we get to throw a party and I’m pretty excited about it.

I’m not sure I’ve told you before, but my husband is most definitely a steak man. Tri tip is one of his favorite things to grill up on the weekend and, if we go somewhere for date night that has a good steak on the menu, you can bet that’s what he’s going to order. So you can imagine how excited he was to see this gigantic piece of sirloin come out of the freezer.

Perfectly cooked sirloin steaks resting before being cut into bite-size pieces and coated in a delicious Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

And since he’s the expert, I asked him how HE would like the steak cooked. We needed something crowd-friendly, hence the steak bite idea, but I have to give him credit for helping me come up with the tangy, sweet and boozy Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

The BBQ sauce is something you’ll definitely want to make in advance, as it just gets better and better with a little time in the refrigerator for the flavors to really meld together. I made it the night before we were grilling, and it set up perfectly. It’s really not complicated, and just requires a little time on the stovetop.

The next day (or a few hours later), it’s time to grill! In order to keep the steak as moist as possible (and for ease of grilling), we cut it into four approximately one-pound pieces for cooking. Keeping the size of the steak a bit larger helps seal in all of the juices, so once you DO cut into it, each steak bite is juicy, tender and delicious.

Sirloin steaks finishing up on the grill before being cut into pieces and coated with sweet and tangy Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce.

After the steak is done, let it rest as long as possible and simply cut it into bites a little bit before you’re ready to serve. Toss the bites in a tad more of the BBQ sauce, and serve the rest of the sauce on the side for extra dipping.

Finally, add some toothpicks to your serving platter for hungry fingers to serve themselves. I’m pretty certain your Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce are going to be the hit of the party!

Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce are the perfect addition to a summer spread.

Okay, now for the equally important stuff: how to win a Big Green Egg! Simply click on this link before tomorrow and enter in your information. Then wait and see if you’ve won! Seriously though, we have been so happy with our Big Green Egg cooking experience and have been cooking on it more often than you can imagine. So many endless outdoor cooking possibilities!

Here’s to kicking off another summer week, hopefully with some delicious steak bites in the mix!

A big platter of Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce is the perfect way to #ownyourparty this summer!
Print
Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Tender, mouthwatering steak bites are drenched in a sweet and tangy bourbon rosemary BBQ sauce. The perfect addition to a summer entertaining spread!

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the BBQ sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 of an onion, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
For the steak:
  • 4 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1 pound pieces
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. The night (or a few hours) before you’ll be cooking the steak, make the BBQ sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until all ingredients come together and sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. 

  2. Remove sauce from heat, let cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. When you’re ready to cook the steak, you’ll first need to prep your Big Green Egg (or other outdoor cooking appliance.) Bring the Egg to a temperature of approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  4. Season each steak with salt and pepper and brush with a light coating of the prepared BBQ sauce. Reserve the rest of the sauce for later.

  5. Once grill is preheated, add the steaks, searing on all sides. 

  6. After searing the steaks, bring the grill’s temperature down to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit to finish cooking. Move the steaks to the outer perimeter of the grill to receive indirect heat, and cook until they reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees (for medium-rare).

  7. Let steaks sit and rest (to finish cooking and bring them to the perfect temperature) for another 10 minutes or so. If you want your steak more well-done, simply bring it to a slightly higher temperature before removing to rest. 

  8. Just before you’re ready to serve, cut the steaks into bite-size pieces and add another light coating of the BBQ sauce. Toss to combine. 

  9. Serve any remaining BBQ sauce in a bowl on the side for dipping and be sure to include toothpicks!

Sirloin Steak Bites with Bourbon Rosemary BBQ Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade

Thirst-quenching to the max!

This Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is the perfect thirst-quencher for summer! Add vodka for a boozy twist.

That’s exactly what this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is. It’s the perfect drink for summer and, yes, in case you were wondering, you can easily booze it up 😉 Just add a shot or two of vodka!


Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been a big fan of acidic drinks with just a hint of sweetness. Whenever we go somewhere that I’m ordering a mocktail, if the bartender asks me what kind of drinks I like, my answer is always “Not too sweet!” I also tend to notice that baby gets more active when I have the juicy, acidic stuff, which is always exciting and fun.

But regardless of having weird pregnancy cravings/tendencies, this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is most definitely a winner. If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of processed foods (including juices) and try to make things from scratch whenever possible. No, I’m not a health nut, but I do care about quality, unprocessed food and minimal preservatives and additives.

The lemon- or limeade you’ll find at most grocery stores is often loaded with sugar, artificial dyes and who knows what else, so I always try to make my own as much as possible. And no, you do not need a truckload of citrus to make a decent glass of limeade. For example, for this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade, I only used about 1 cup of fresh lime juice, which is approximately a dozen limes.

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste buds!

And the raspberries. Ohhhh the raspberries. Don’t they lend just the most beautiful color? I couldn’t resist snapping some photos of the limeade before stirring because of that beautiful layered look you get with the raspberries on the bottom, the limeade on top and the garnish of bright green mint, but you’ll definitely want to give the drink a good stir before drinking so you can get all the flavors to meld.

As delicious as fresh limes and raspberries are, the two together can be pretty tart and acidic, so to sweeten things up a bit we use good ol’ simple syrup. We keep a stash of this brand on hand, but you can also easily make your own by boiling up equal parts sugar and water until you get a thicker, syrupy consistency. It’s a great ingredient on hand, even if you’re only making alcohol-free cocktails!

The other thing I love about all citrus is how easy it is to juice! Whether you’re going for orange juice, lemonade or limeade, you can easily make it with a hand squeezer. No fancy juicer necessary. I don’t know about you, but we have no room whatsoever for any other appliances in our kitchen so, as much as I’d love to have fresh juice of any kind on hand at any given moment, I’m happy to settle for all the citruses, like this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade!

This Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade has a beautiful neon pink color and tastes incredibly refreshing and delicious.

By this time you may be wondering how we work the raspberries, which are clearly not a citrus fruit, into the limeade and give it that beautiful pink color (it’s electric, I swear!) Well, my friends, that’s where we turn to one of our good ol’ bartending skills – muddling! This is one of my other favorite tricks for adding fresh fruit flavor (no pre-bottled, additive-laden junk) to a drink, and raspberries are soft and juicy enough to release all their sweet flavor with just a quick little mash in the bottom of your glass.

And the mint, of course we can’t forget the mint! This is the perfect finishing touch and adds just the perfect hit of subtle flavor to an already refreshing drink. I mean, there’s no better way to make a mocktail fancy then to add some fresh herb-y flavor and a beautiful garnish, am I right?

Now, it’s Friday, we’ve got two days of play ahead of us, and the weather is undoubtedly warm wherever you are (unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, that is) so what do you say we whip up some Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade and call it a day?

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is the perfect summer quencher. Add vodka to make it a cocktail!

This Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is the perfect thirst-quencher for summer! Add vodka for a boozy twist.
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Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This citrus quencher is loaded with fresh limes and raspberries, with a touch of mint to really bring it over the top. Add vodka for a delicious cocktail!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 2 drinks
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 16 fresh raspberries
  • 4-6 ounces simple syrup (depending on how sweet you want your drinks)
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, plus 2 mint sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 12 limes)
Instructions
  1. Divide raspberries, simple syrup and mint leaves evenly into the bottom of two highball glasses. Muddle ingredients in each glass until the raspberries release their juices. 

  2. Fill highball glasses to the top with ice. Top with fresh lime juice. 

  3. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and enjoy!

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade | CaliGirlCooking.com