Sangria Recipe

The beauty of sangria is its versatility. You can switch red wine for white, berries for peaches, gin for brandy, and so on and so forth. There’s a sangria for every mood and tastebud, and today, we’re in the mood for Mango Berry Sangria. This recipe is a slight twist on the classic red wine-citrus combination. Mixed berries mingle with the red wine to bring out the flavors of the wine. Fresh mango and nectar sweeten the sangria without adding additional sugar and gives it a bit of a tropical vibe. Additionally, if you like bubbles in your drink, ginger ale (or club soda if you want something lighter) make this sangria crisp, refreshing, and perfect for sipping. Only five minutes to prep and super delicious, I see no good reason why we all can’t enjoy sangria every day for the rest of the summer!

Sangria Ingredients

Sangria Recipe

Ingredients:

1 750mL bottle of red wine*

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup mango nectar

4 oz gin (about 2 and a half shots)

1 cup blueberries

1 cup blackberries

1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered1 cup mango, diced

1 orange, sliced

Ginger ale or club soda
(optional)

Instructions:

  1. Pour the entire bottle of wine into a large pitcher.
  2. Add orange juice, mango nectar, and gin.
  3. Toss in the fruit, leaving aside a few orange slices for garnish.
  4. Stir it all together and place in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight if time permits
  5. Ladle sangria into glasses and garnish with a floating orange slice. Optionally, fill glasses three-quarters full and fill the rest with ginger ale.

Pouring SangriafruitsMaking Sangria

*When it comes to choosing a wine, obviously go with something you wouldn’t mind drinking on its own. A crazy expensive bottle isn’t necessary at all. You’ll mix it with all types of fruit and juices which will change the flavor a bit, but wine is the main ingredient nonetheless. If you choose a drier wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, you may want to add a little more sweetness. If you use a sweeter red like Spanish Grenache, you can add a little less sweetness.
Sangria Recipe

 

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Red Snapper Tied

While impressive, a whole fish like the one we ate here, always looks delicious but intimidating and completely out of reach. But in all actuality, it’s one of the simplest ways to prepare fish and we’ll show you how with this red snapper recipe. A few spices, a couple of minutes on the grill, and voila! In this Asian inspired recipe, red snapper is accompanied by lemongrass, lime, and potent little Thai chilis. When done, this fish is fragrant, spicy, and herbal.

Red Snapper

Ingredients:

1 2 lb red snapper, scaled and cleaned

3 stalks lemongrass*

4 cloves garlic

2 shallots

2 small Thai chilis

1 handful cilantro leaves

2 limes, 1 sliced into thin rounds and 1 to be juiced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp coconut oil or sesame oil**

1 tbsp honey

1 1/2 in piece ginger, peeled

2 tbsp butter, chopped

1/2 tbsp turmeric

Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)

Red Snapper Sliced

Marinade

Red Snapper Stuffed

Instructions:

  1. On both sides, cut three diagonal slices on the surface of the fish, about 1/4 inch deep. Rub with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and turmeric.
  2. Roughly slice 1 stalk of lemongrass, shallots, 2 cloves of garlic, ginger, and thai chilis. Place in a food processor along with 3/4 of the bunch of cilantro, soy sauce, honey, remaining oil, and juice of one lime. Pulse until combined. The sauce will be thick and slightly lumpy.
  3. Rub the marinade on both sides of the snapper and inside the flesh. Make sure to insert marinade into diagonal slices.
  4. Cut the remaining lemongrass lengthwise into serval slices. Stuff into snapper along with the remaining garlic, cilantro, ginger, lime, and butter.
  5. To keep everything inside will cooking, tie the fish shut with long pieces of twine or other durable string. Tie one knot in the middle of the fish, and another on each side.
  6. Let marinate for at least 30 mins
  7. While that’s marinating, heat grill to a medium-high heat. Oil the grill rack to prevent fish from sticking.
  8. Place fish on grill and cook on both sides for about 15 minutes, or until meat is white and flaky.
  9. Cut string off of the fish and let rest for a few minutes. If desired, serve with lime to squeeze on top. Enjoy!

 

Red Snapper Tied

Red Snapper Grill

*Lemongrass many not be a common ingredient to some. To prepare, remove the outer layers until the pale-green/white stem is present. Cut off the branch-like top and tough end. You should be left with a smooth, pale piece of lemongrass, around 6 inches long

**Coconut oil makes the marinade a tiny bit sweeter. The sesame oil makes it a little nuttier. It’s all up to preference. Personally, I like to do half and half. If you’re allergic to nuts, you can substitute the coconut/sesame oil for olive oil.

Red Snapper Complete

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Maimonide MOB Pizza

It’s rare for me to step into a restaurant quite like Maimonide, affectionately known as M.O.B, but here I am telling you about it. Maimonide is a vegan spot off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn with the most laid back vibe you can encounter. The crowd there is somewhat eclectic but certainly mixed for anyone to pop in for a bite and feel comfortable. With exaggerated communal tables, they definitely leave room for strangers to leave as friends.

Maimonide MOB Lemonade

I was served a delightfully refreshing lemonade which I later learned they added a spritz to. It made all the difference and I’ll need all my lemonades like that for the remainder of the summer. My friend ordered the beet wine which we had both heard great things about and luckily, lived up to her expectations.

Maimonide Pizza MOB Iron Man MOB

Since the flatbreads are the thing to do here, we ordered the Pizza MOB and Iron Man MOB. They brought them out on their signature dish plates which I absolutely adored. It’s a great set up for eating for two and even leaves room for parties to share as much as they’d like. The Pizza MOB consisted of cashew cheese, spinach, some pesto, roasted tomatoes and parmesan made from walnuts. The pizza itself, while flavorful, tasted somewhat soggy with the amount of toppings that made it come together. I couldn’t tell much of a difference in the cheese, and even the consistency could give fresh mozzarella a run for it’s money. I also couldn’t help but feel like I was eating healthy but it’s pizza after all. I will say that having a flatbread was a better food choice based on what my stomach was really craving that day.

While I didn’t indulge in the Iron Man pizza, it looked and smelled scrumptious. Both pizza’s however, were too much for both of us to handle and we had to depart without being able to finish them in their entirety. That makes it a great place to go to with friends and just dig in to your hearts content.

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Bruschetta

Summer is here, and it is in full effect. The sun is shining, the weather is delightfully hot, and there are backyard parties and barbecues nearly every weekend. Whether you’re the host or the lucky friend, I have the perfect crowd-pleasing recipe: bruschetta. It’s a flavorful combination of key Mediterranean summer flavors; sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh herbs, and drizzles of olive oil atop crusty toasted bread. It’s a simple way to start the party that when done, almost looks too good to eat.

Bruschetta Ingredients Mise en place

Ingredients:

1 lb cherry tomatoes

1 large red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic

2 large sprigs of fresh basil, about 12-16 leaves

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 French baguette

Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)

Red bell pepper Bread

Instructions:

  1. Start up the grill. The grill should be extremely hot
  2. Take your red bell pepper and place it directly on the grill to roast. You want the pepper to be charred and black on all sides. Depending on the heat of your grill, this will take around 5 minutes per side. Note: You can also do this indoors under your stove’s broiler.
  3. Take the pepper off the grill and let it cool slightly. Meanwhile, chop all your ingredients. Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters and then once again across the middle. Finely mince the garlic. To easily cut the basil, roll the leaves together so it’s shaped like a tube. Starting at one end of the tube, make very thin slices, working your way up.
  4. Once your pepper is cool, peel off the blackened skin. It should come off very easily. Toss the core and skin. You’ll be left with soft, fleshy roasted perfection.
  5. Chop the pepper into small cubes, roughly the size of the tomatoes. In a medium sized bowl combine all your chopped ingredients.Toss in the olive oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cover and set aside for an hour or so. This allows the flavors to mingle and do their thing.
  7. While that’s going on, cut your loaf of bread diagonally into slices about a 1/4 in thick. Tip: The larger the slant of your diagonal slice, the longer the slice and the more surface area you’ll have for toppings!
  8. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on the hot grill for approximately 30 seconds per side.
  9. Top the toasted baguette slices with your tomato-red pepper mixture. Serve as it, or sprinkle with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Bruschetta

 

 

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La Playita Fish
,

La Playita Drinks

The one the most important keys to a great trip is extensive research. And by research, I mean finding out where everyone has eaten at this is worth your time, money and tastebuds. La Playita came up on my search as a by the beach resting spot for a cold drink and a good meal. I had been traveling with my mom to Puerto Rico, attempting to be tourist on land we knew better than the back of our hands. Since San Juan wasn’t a place we traveled to often, we took it on as an adventure for two.

La Playita Coco loco

Though La Playita was a on a long road, the beach awaited our arrival. There was plenty of seating for us to choose where we’d like to sit and views plus a cool breeze were in order. I didn’t want to hesitate or prolong the party any longer so I ordered the coco loco which is served in a huge coconut and taste similar to a pina colada. I got try a few other drinks there as well, but nothing really compared.

La Playita Mushroom

La Playita Ceviche

The walk it took to get us there, made us exceptionally hungry so we opted for more sides than we were ready for. Mom ordered a mushroom like salad with pita and I went for the fish ceviche with plantain chips. Is it just me, or they never give enough chips for ceviche? There’s nothing quite like a crisp plantain chip scooping of some of the freshest ceviche man could put together. The ceviche at La Playita could make your mouth water as you were eating it and it obvious that it was prepared with care and love. It was served at the right temperature, with the right amount of juiciness/freshness and had me looking forward to my entree.

La Playita Mofongo

While I wasn’t too fond of the mofongo I had because the textures were too hard for my liking, the chillo my mother had was our prize from the trip. Chillo, which simply means, the entire fish, was a beauty and tasted even better. It was perfectly crisp and heavy chunks of the fish were in abundance. The Mofongo happened to just be underwhelming but that wouldn’t stop me from returning to this restaurant again.

La Playita FishSan Juan

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