Rainy Day Sweet Iced Tea

It’s been raining for several days in Florida, and what better way to beat the rainy day blah feelings than by brewing up a small batch of sweet iced tea? The original Lipton recipe calls for 8 cups water, 2 tea bags, and 1/2 cup sugar. Stick it in the fridge for several hours. If you want a fast Lipton iced tea, steep 4 cups of water with 2 tea bags and stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Then, add 6 cups ice cubes! Here is the recipe I made today:


  • 1 bag Lipton Iced Tea
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar + 1/8 cup more if you want it sweeter


  1. Boil 4 cups of water and pour into a large Pyrex with the tea bag. Let steep 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bag and stir sugar in. I like to add 1/4 cup sugar when I want a basic sweet tea but if I’m looking to have a really sweet drink I add the extra 1/8 cup in there!



Matcha Green Tea Latte

I have found an amazing pick-me-up for the afternoon slump! Note: It contains a lot of caffeine. I love the Starbucks green tea latte (not found on the menu, I might add), but it can get pricey when you order it over and over. So, I decided to investigate this matcha powder business. I went over to Dorothy Lane Market and picked up some Republic of Tea Matcha powder for about $14. If I use 1.5 tsp per cup, it will make about 18 servings or so. Not bad!

I found the recipe for the green tea latte on this website.


  • 1.5 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp hot (not boiling) water
  • 1 tsp sugar (I use 3)
  • 1 cup skim milk


Sift the matcha powder through a mesh basket into the cup to get rid of lumps. Add the hot water to the powder and whisk quickly, or use a frother to make a smooth dark green paste. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and sugar over high heat, but do not bring to a boil. Small bubbles should be appearing on the surface and the edges of the saucepan when you remove it from the heat. Froth the milk for 20-30 seconds. The volume will double! Pour into the cup. Here, I add a step and froth the latte. Sprinkle with more matcha powder from the mesh basket.



Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini

The best blueberry lemon drop martini I’ve ever tasted? It’s at Fleming’s. I needed to create my own version.

After a lot of experimentation, this recipe yielded the tastiest martini.


  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz blueberry (Stolichnaya) vodka
  • 8 blueberries
  • 3 tsp simple syrup*
  • Ice


Pour the lemon juice and blueberries into the cocktail shaker first. Muddle the blueberries a bit (this will release the juices and give the martini that pretty pink/purple color). Add the vodka, simple syrup, and ice. Shake for 20 seconds and pour into a chilled martini glass!



*It is important that you use the right type of simple syrup because the two different recipes will yield different results. The original simple syrup recipe I used to make this martini has 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, and therefore, 3 tsp of simple syrup is very sweet. I think the martini tastes best that way. However, some use a simple syrup recipe of 1 part sugar to 1 part water, and 3 tsp of that will be less sweet. It makes a difference when mixed in with the drink. I prefer the first!

Kiwi Vanilla Protein Shake

Another protein shake for an energized day!


  • 1 small banana
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 peach
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 4-5 ice cubes


Blend banana and water first. Add the kiwi and peach and blend again. Add the protein powder and blend. Finally, add the ice cubes and blend for another minute.



Cherry Peach Protein Smoothie

It’s cherry season, and that means I’m finding ways to incorporate cherries into all sorts of dishes. I’ll start with a cherry protein shake, using the Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla protein powder I just purchased. Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 banana, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small peach, quartered
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 6 frozen cherries
  • 3-4 ice cubes


In a blender, puree the banana, milk, and peach. Add the protein powder. Add the frozen cherries and ice cubes. Blend until smooth.


Apple Banana Spinach Smoothie

Here are two versions of a healthy smoothie: one with spinach, one without.

For the spinach smoothie:

Blend 1 banana, cut into chunks, with 1/3 cup cold water and 1/2 apple, cut into chunks. Add 1/2 cup raw spinach and 5 chunks frozen mango.

Not the best picture =(
Not the best picture =(


For the next smoothie, I omitted the spinach. It didn’t change the flavor much.

Looks much tastier!
Looks much tastier!

Meli’s Mango Martini

I could write so much about Secrets Maroma Beach Resort in Cancun. Great food, beautiful beach, nice people. I discovered this delicacy the second night there, and that was the end of wine and beer for me. I was told how to make it while I was there, but their recipe was pretty complicated and I didn’t write it down. I did some online research, and it turns out it is a pretty complicated drink to make. There are tons of different recipes calling for various ingredients. I don’t feel like going out and buying a bunch of different liquors that I will only use once, so I decided to keep things simple. Trader Joes sells frozen mango chunks, and I figured that would be a great base for my mango martini.


4 chunks frozen mango, softened (about 1/2 cup)
1tsp sugar
2 tablespoons water
Juice of 1 small lime (about 1 tablespoon)
1.5 oz vodka

In a blender, purée the mango, water, sugar and lime until desired consistency. Pour into cocktail shaker with vodka and ice. Serve in a sugar-rimmed glass.

Meli's Martini