Pina-Mango Coladas

Just in time for what is promising to be a very warm weekend, I have just the cool, refreshing drink you may be looking for.  Lately I have been experimenting with putting together various combinations of fruits plus an alcoholic ingredient of some sort to make a cocktail that we can enjoy in the late afternoon out on our deck. Some have been very Yummy, others only Eeh……  This one, I think, is one of the successful ones.  Try it, and see if you agree.

It contains pineapple, mango, and orange juice, plus dark rum.  I freeze the pineapple in chunks, also the mango, and make orange juice ice cubes.  When it is all blended together you get a thick, cold, frosty beverage that pretty much stays that way all the way to the bottom of the glass.  Then you will want to pour yourself another one!  🙂     The riper the pineapple is, the more pronounced it’s flavor will be.

My advice:  If you do not have the ingredients on hand there is still time to go to the market and get them.  Cut up and freeze the fruits, so when a hot day arrives in your neck of the woods, you will be able to zip up this drink in a jiffy.

INGREDIENTS

Servings:  about 8 @ 2/3 cups each

  • 1 (13.5 0z.) can Lite Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 1 fresh mango, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, frozen into cubes
  • 1/4 cup orange juice-not frozen
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup gold rum ( such as Bacardi Gold)
  • 8 fresh pineapple slices

1.  Arrange pineapple and mango pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet;  freeze at least an hour or overnight.  Freeze the orange juice in an ice cube tray.

2.  Combine pineapple, mango, orange juice cubes,  ice cubes, agave nectar and rum in a blender;  Process mixture until smooth.  Add coconut milk slowly thru top “feed opening” while blending.  Process just to incorporate.

3.  Serve with a pineapple slice to garnish.

Some further thoughts:  You may choose to omit the rum, and this would still be a cool, delicious drink.  I chose to use “lite” coconut milk to avoid the saturated fat in the heavy, sugary cream of coconut.  This also cuts the calories way down.  I used a darker variety of rum because it’s what I had on hand.   With its underlying hints of molasses and caramel it  compliments the coconut and pineapple but you could use any kind of rum.

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Blue Cheese Shortbread Cookies with Strawberry Jam

Blue  Cheese does not sit very high on my list of favorite foods;  in fact, honestly, its not on my list at all.  One day, however, I was browsing thru a magazine ( don’t remember which one), when I came across this recipe for Blue Cheese Cookies with Strawberry Jam.  The idea of a strong-flavored “savory” combined with a “sweet” intrigued me, and so I cut out the recipe thinking it would be good for a reception or cocktail party.  It has been simmering on the back burner of my mind for some time, waiting for the right opportunity.  Since this has been a week devoted to berry recipes, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out.

If you are entertaining and looking for something different to serve your guests, this just may be it.  The cookies are pretty, and with the addition of jam quite tasty, but I must admit I have not become a convert to blue cheese because of them.  However for folks who really like blue cheese, this is a unique way to enjoy it.

I will also tell you in advance that this recipe is not one you can whip up quickly, as there are several steps involved.  I got a total of 48 single cookies,  which when sandwiched together with the jam will make 24 cookies.  The recipe recommends a 2-inch cookie cutter  and that is what I used.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  •  2 cups crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks  ( 3/4 cup ) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup strawberry preserves (at room temperature).

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine blue cheese and butter;  process until creamy.  Add flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt;  pulse until dough comes together.  Form dough into a ball;  flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out shapes using a 2-inch flower-shaped cutter.  Cut out centers of half of the cookies with a small fluted cutter.  Place on prepared baking sheets, and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool on pans for 5 minutes.  Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.  Spread about 1 teaspoon preserves over flat side of each whole cookie.  Top each with flat side of cutout cookie.  Store in airtight containers.  Note:  I found that the cookies will stay crispier if you wait to fill them until shortly before serving.

   

A final note about these cookies:  They are not sweet as you would expect a “cookie” to be, so in that sense the name is deceiving.  Also the fancy shape leads you to expect a cookie.  If I make these again, I would cut them in a plain round shape or a square so they resemble a cracker, and then the flavor of blue cheese would not be a surprise.  Those who have tried them agree with me that they would be very nice on a buffet table with other finger foods, and where cocktails are being served.  Thanks to my primary “taste-tester” for that in-put.