Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sparkling Fruit Punch

I love this punch for so many reasons: it's easy, freezes well, makes a lot, uses a variety of healthy juices, and it tastes amazing. I love making this for parties, bridal and baby showers and special occasions. I usually make two separate batches and leave one in the freezer for a few weeks until I need it. I can honestly say that the only bad thing about this recipe is that it is addicting and I tend to drink a little too much of it.


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (3 oz) package strawberry jello
  • 32 oz. pineapple juice (4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 (2-liter) bottle Sprite, 7-UP or Ginger Ale

Combine sugar, water and strawberry jello in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice and orange juice until combined. Cool, and pour into a large gallon-size ziploc bag. Put in freezer overnight or longer. When ready to serve, thaw for 1 to 2 hours. Put in punch bowl and pour soda over top, stirring gently to break up large pieces of slush. Serve immediately.

Note: This recipe can be frozen for several months until ready to use.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Although my husband and I have pretty similar tastes when it comes to food, we have always disagreed on one thing: mashed potatoes. I love homemade mashed potatoes while my husband, well... to put it nicely, he hates them. He far prefers the pour-and-mix-with-water variety of potatoes in a pouch. So needless to say I was a little skeptical about making homemade mashed potatoes for our Christmas Eve dinner with his family. But, to my amazement, he actually loved them! And that, my friends, is a big accomplishment. These potatoes were so easy and were absolutely delicious. Everyone at the table raved about them and had second and third helpings until the bowl was scraped clean. The potatoes absorbed the garlic flavor while they were boiling which provided a wonderful herb-flavor that otherwise wouldn't have been there. And the best part is they are extremely versatile! Just throw in the ingredients you have and voila: perfect mashed potatoes. (Picture courtesty of LaaLoosh)

  • 6-7 large russett potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters*
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (powdered version works great too!)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover potatoes and bring to a boil. Add in potatoes and garlic and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mash with potato masher (or fork) until there are only small chunks left. Add in sour cream, parmesan cheese, milk, salt and pepper and mix with a hand mixer on low speed until smooth and combined. Add in more milk as needed to smooth out potatoes.

*If you prefer chunky potatoes, leave unpeeled and mix all ingredients with potato masher and spoon rather than hand mixer.