Infused/Detox Water Bar

It’s the end of August and school has begun again. (WHERE has the summer gone?) I’ve seen a lot memes on the interwebs about looking forward to hoodies, football, leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and cooler weather.

Well as you can see, cooler weather is nowhere in sight in my world. Yes, that’s Fahrenheit – at 5:10 pm after I’d been driving a few miles.

Pintesting Infused Water Bar

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not really complaining because in a matter of weeks the temps will drop. In a few months I’ll be enjoying perfect weather while the cold starts to descend on the north, so I can put up with needing a fan and air conditioner. What I’ve been having trouble with is staying hydrated; meeting the minimum 64 oz. per day. I can usually get over half way there without problem, it’s just that after that plain water gets boring. (Sorry, but I’m just being honest.)

I have lots of friends who use water flavorings in order to give their water a boost of flavor, but they often have artificial sweeteners, fake flavorings, and chemicals that you need a PhD to pronounce.

I’ve seen lots of pins for infused water; like this, this, and this. Not only does infused water keep the boredom away, but it’s also very healthy and can help your body to naturally detoxify. This is more of a general review of several pins and a great concept.

Pintesting - Infused Water Bar

So we decided to get a variety of ingredients together, and have some friends over to see what we could come up with for a nearly calorie-free, fun, and healthy entertainment idea.

Pintesting - Infused Water Bar

The first one was cucumber, lime, mint. This was very cool, crisp, and bright.

Pintesting - Infused Water Bar

I’ve already done a Pintesting on Lemon Strawberry Detox Water, but since it was so delicious we made a pitcher for our friends. This one is a nice combination of sweet and tart.

Pintesting - Infused Water Bar

The apple and cinnamon surprised me the most, and was my personal favorite. It was sweet, cinnamony, and so refreshing.

Pintesting - Infused Water Bar

We were going to see how long they lasted before they went bad, but thee pitchers only lasted a couple of days. Not only were they a GREAT way to get excited about drinking water, but the flavorings made the garbage disposal smell wonderful once the water was gone.

Go drink to your health. Salude!

Overall Results: 5  Pins

Pintesting - 5 Pins Overall Rating

Accuracy: This was a fun and nearly calorie-free way to entertain some friends and get creative ideas for better hydration. You can use the combinations online or find what you like best. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Difficulty: The hardest part about this is deciding which combination you want to make that day. I liked making a pitcher-full for the convenience of having fancy frou-frou water all day. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Time: To make the fancy bar with all of the options took about 15 minutes including the time to soak the fruit in vinegar water to clean them. It too longer to get everything placed just right. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Cost: Since I was setting up for company and decided to play around with different waters, as well. Also, I wanted to have a LOT of options with the flavors, so I spent much more than if I was just making a specific “recipe” of water. On the other hand, we had a LOT of fun and I know that I spend a lot more than $20.00 when we entertain, so I guess I got off cheap. 4 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Practicality: This is a great way to stay hydrated, add health and detox benefits, and take the boring out of plain water. The options are unlimited, so you never get bored. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

The Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake

Pintesting Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake

I love St. Patrick’s Day! My dad always said I was a wee bit Irish – about half of my pinkie fingernail – but that’s enough for me to claim it with a smile. I think it all went to my toes and that’s why I love Celtic dancing. One of the things I love about St. Patty’s Day is that a certain hamburger chain with an Irish sounding name (or is it Scottish?) brings out the Shamrock Shakes.

mcdonalds-Shamrock-McCafe-Shake-12-fl-oz-cup

Those smooth, green, minty shakes are one of my favorite traditions. Rather, they used to be. Between all of the chemicals in them (there are 54 ingredients according to this Huffington Post article!) and trying to lose some weight (820 calories in one 22-oz shake – YIKES! – also from the same article), I had pretty much given up these Spring delights. *sigh*

http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2013/03/best-ever-shamrock-shake-revisited.html

That is until I found this Pin for the Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake recipe from The Slow Roasted Italian. I was feeling lucky, so I grabbed my blender, some basic ingredients, and set off to make something magically delicious. (No, there is not any cereal with marshmallows in the ingredients list.)

The Pintesting:

Pintesting Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake

It was going to be simple. Just put the shake ingredients into the blender, and blend. I put in the ice cream, milk, green food coloring, and went to put in the peppermint extract – but the bottle was empty. Don’t you just love it when someone puts an empty container back into the pantry or fridge? (GRRRR!!!) Now what was I going to do?

Pintesting Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake

Thankfully I had another mint extract. Whew! On with the Pin Test.

Pintesting Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake

I blended the shake ingredients together. The color looks good – very much like the Shamrock Shake.

Pintesting Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake

Heavy cream + powdered sugar + whip = the best whipped cream. I usually add a few drops of vanilla, but since it wasn’t listed, it wasn’t added.

Pintesting Best Ever Copycat Shamrock Shake

And here is the finished product – complete with cute Leprechaun-moustached straws and festive sprinkles.

*A note about this Pin Test* Since there are just two of us (the cat is a fussy eater and snubbed the idea of festive milk shakes), I halved the recipe for 2 servings since the full amount makes 4 servings.

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating – 5 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

Accuracy:  The shake was smooth, minty and creamy – just like the Shamrock Shakes. The color was very similar to the original version, too. The texture was perfect – not so thick that it got stuck in the straws and not so thin that it was runny and melty. It was just right. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Difficulty:  Put four ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Easy Peasy – 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Time:  The shake, whipped cream, and festive presentation took about 10-15 minutes. That included the extra time to hunt for an alternative extract. It would take longer to drive down to the nearest McRestaurant and order drive through. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Cost: The ice cream was all that I had to purchase, and that was on sale for roughly $3.00 which is less than the cost of a large shake. Obviously you’d get more than one serving from a container, so I’m giving this 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Practicality: This is very quick, simple and cost-effective way to get the taste of a Shamrock Shake at home – without tons of extra chemicals and “fake” ingredients. Yes, I know green food coloring has fake ingredients, so since it doesn’t affect the taste, those who are further along into the eating clean journey can leave it out. Either way – 5 Pins.

Rated 5 Pins