Movie Fuel: Shrek Swamp Smoothies

spirulina smoothie

Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? First, did you read that to the tune of the Beatles’ hit? No? I’ll still tell you.

Remember a while back, like a long while back, when I mentioned I was writing a book? Well, I started writing it. Then I realized it would be better formatted as a blog. Then, somehow, all of my writing effort veered toward a different project. I really felt like I was supposed to be writing a book, it turns out however, I was writing the wrong one!

So now that the book is seriously in the works and moving along, I can tell you all about it! The book has a title, but I’m still learning how and if I need to trademark it.

By the end of 2013, you’ll be able to download the Food It Forward e-book, which is 52 fun recipes, using real ingredients to feed your kids (or the kid in you) and each recipe is tied to a specific children’s movie. If you’ve visited this site for any length of time, you know how much fun Jy and I have with Movie Fuel and The Oscar Food series’. The book will be similar and is meant to offer a food and movie plan to recreate what we like to call, “Family Friday Movie Nights.” So fun, right?

I still need to photograph all the recipes, so what you see below will not be what you see in the book, (this includes the font). However, I thought it would be fun to share one of the recipes!

This smoothie is the swampy drink suggested for sipping while watching Shrek! It’s not the typical green smoothie that requires green leaves being pulverized. This peanut butter, cinnamon and strawberry mix is tinted green by one of the healthiest powders you can find, Spirulina. Each recipe in the book will include the nutritional bonus your family will be digesting, so for now, just give it a try, it’s creamy and seriously tasty!

spirulina smoothie


Swamp Smoothies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2-4
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp Spirulina
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 T. peanut butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ice
  1. Blend and drink your swampy sadness away!



My Trip to Philz Coffee


I’m not young anymore. Here’s how I know, I didn’t think driving around Berkeley was a fun, adventure-filled morning of getting out of town. I wanted to get where I was going, wanted to stop smelling all things old and pee’d on and couldn’t have cared less about the cool, artsy vibe of the place.

Was I glad we drove for 45 minutes to get a cup of coffee though? You bet I was.

Still, I’m old. I’ve become a creature of comfort and am pretty ok with that.

So, Philz. It’s the place that inspired my mint coffee post. We made it, we parked and I practically skipped to the shop. And you know a line out and around the door is always a good sign!



The drink board is full of temptation, I could have studied it for an hour, but the Berkeley crowd didn’t seem to excited to wait behind someone who wanted to slowly explore.


IMG_2929 IMG_2928


I had planned on a Mint Mojito Iced Coffee for a couple of weeks. But, that’s because it was all I knew! How was I to know they had drinks like a Gingersnap Iced Coffee? My Barista, Amber, suggested I stick with the Mojito. Ok friends, check out Amber.


She was the sweetest thing. Like, ever. See that extra coffee? She made it for me, knowing it was my birthday. She totally put up with my newbie enthusiasm and questions. Amber needs a raise, Philz. She was awesome  and did a great job of hiding her pity for me when I told her that “THIS” is what I was doing for my birthday.

Jy ordered a Tesaro Mocha, which is a mocha using Philz signature Tesaro coffee and it was sooo good. My mojito coffee was wonderful as well, but a bit ruined by a 525 calorie log of spice. I can only explain its spice by giving you a photo of massive stature.



By the way, it’s totally ok to eat something with more than five ingredients on your birthday. (Or when you really, really want it and no one is looking).

The mojito coffee served a purpose of cooling down my dragon mouth. Later in the day, I was able to enjoy the true flavor of the drink, while we shopped back in our hometown area.

I was a little off in my drink replication. Philz fills (no pun intended) their coffee cup about 1/4 of the way with full sized mint leaves before creating an iced coffee on top. How awesome does a minty, iced coffee sound as a summer drink?

Back in suburban shopping-land, Jy and I worked our way through the Giant’s Dugout store, Lululemon, some other sport-wear store and the Vitamin Shoppe. When an American store spells their brand a la Harry Potter style, you can bet it’s gonna be fancy. It’s like the theatre or Ye Ole’ Books.

Lululemon was a bit of a bust. Mostly because of my bust, and partially because I don’t have job. Luckily, I found a cute yoga outfit around the corner.

My sports wardrobe has grown from non-existent to intense since getting married, by the way.



If anyone has a recipe for Gingersnap Iced Coffee or similar, please share!

Gotta go work out. I’m 74 calories in the red today and not feeling it. Send me some sweaty vibes.



Thai-Style Iced Tea


Last night was the end of a busy week, it was Sunday and I wanted to throw in the largest towel I could find. Too bad they were all in the washing machine. Instead, I thought I’d treat myself to a little cocktail. Hey, all the other moms are doing it (according to Pinterest). Unfortunately, it only took about 1/2 an ounce of flavored vodka in my cup of cherry juice to give me more of a buzz than I want to have around my children. It’s one of the only areas of my life I can seriously call myself a light-weight. The only other I can think of is my level of insect tolerance. Lightweight.

Hence, I need some fun summer drinks that won’t involve my legs getting noodle-wobble. Enter, Thai-Style Iced Tea. You can find this drink of page 22 of June’s Bon Appetit magazine. However, I am convinced they used a little extra digital imagine, because their drink is a creamy orange. Like, extra orange. Tang, orange.



The only change I made to this recipe was with the tea flavor. I chose Chai, which is still a black tea, just with that extra bit of spice. You can make this recipe the sun-tea way, as described in the printable version, or you can steep your black tea with double the amount of tea you would drink if it was hot and pour over ice. Then, add your syrup and cream. Just don’t let it get too watered down.

I consider this an end of the week drink. A late Sunday afternoon tea that has 6 grams of fat in it. Yikes.  Here’s some info for all you calorie counters out there.

Nutritional Information

8 servings, 1 serving contains:
Calories (kcal) 60
Fat (g) 6
Saturated Fat (g) 3.5
Cholesterol (mg) 20
Carbohydrates (g) 4
Thai-Style Iced Tea
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 8
  • 10 star anise pods
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or Stevia if desired)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 black tea bags
  • 7 cups water
  • ½ cup condensed milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  1. Combine star anise pods, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from 1 vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Transfer to a large pitcher. Add 15 black tea bags and 7 cups cold water. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. Strain into another large pitcher. Stir in ½ cup heavy cream and ½ cup sweetened condensed milk until dissolved. Serve over ice.
  2. Read More

Pineapple Upside Down Drink


Happy Mother’s Day to all who mother, whether it be baby, cat, plant or friends. I wanted to make a post for Mother’s Day that highlighted a food special to my mom. Here’s the list I made:

  • Alphabits Cereal
  • Chicken with rice and peas
  • Tuna Melts
  • People Magazine
  • Cow tongue sandwiches (She doesn’t eat these anymore, just when my grandfather made them – back in the day)

So you can see my dilemma. How could I choose from such a list of culinary treats? Jy suggested I fancy up a tuna melt with expensive cheese. Then, it dawned on me. Pineapple Upside Down Cake! My mom has always made this cake, probably because she liked how my grandfather made it too. Honestly though, this cake starts with a box and ends with a jar of maraschino cherries. Which the clerk at Sprouts told me are called “Marsh-i-no cherries.”

My brother reminded me that I used to ask for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake for my birthday and that really annoyed him. Why wouldn’t I just be normal and ask for chocolate? He says he doesn’t know if he just doesn’t like the cake because of how it tastes or because I liked it so much. Only a sibling could dislike a food for the simple reason that it was another sibling’s favorite.

In with something my whole family can agree on….booze!


This drink is cool, fruity and sweet. Perfect for brunch, dessert or anytime you want a slice of cake to sip. You’ll need to start with this:

Iced Cake Smirnoff Vodka. You can also experiment with the whipped cream vodka that’s out there too, it’s from Pinnacle and in a deep blue bottle.

Pineapple Upside Down Drink
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1
  • Equal Parts:
  • Iced Cake Vodka
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Plus:
  • Club Soda
  • Ice
  • Maraschino Cherries if desired
  1. In a cocktail shaker, mix together vodka and juice.
  2. Pour over ice and top with soda to lighten flavor, if desired.
  3. Garnish with Maraschinos.
  4. Party.



Happy Cinco de Mayo! Or not, if you are reading this post the other 364 days of the year. We all know delicious margarita recipes, but what about something a little different this time?

Whether you want to make this drink for kids, old folks who can’t handle their booze, those trying to shrink their butt size, your Mormon pals or just people who don’t want alcohol, you is gonna like this. Yes you is. They is too.

Of course you can always add Tequila for a Banana Cadillac Margarita or some Rum for a Banana-Lime-Orange Daiquiri. Don’t be afraid to play with this drink, it won’t bite.



Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe calls for simple syrup which can be bought or made at home. Boil equal parts sugar and water, then turn heat to low and let liquid reduce to a syrup.
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 2-3
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup limeade (Santa Cruz Organics is fantastic)
  • ¼ cup simple syrup
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup ice
  • lime for garnish
  • sugar or salt for rimming glass, if desired
  1. Blend all ingredients together until frothy
  2. Serve cold

Iced Mint Coffee

Iced coffee with mint

Iced coffee with mint


This morning, one of my college roommates posted on Facebook and mentioned Philz Iced Mint Mojito. This was not been the first time she mentioned drinking this style of iced coffee, but it most certainly was the last I could stand reading about it. I wanted one!

Jy is off from work today and offered me time away from the kids, so I could be able to drive and pick up my own coffee at the nearest Philz…28 miles away. If it was a straight shot into Berkeley, I would have gone. Between limited parking, afternoon traffic and a bit of laziness, I opted out.

Doesn’t mean I couldn’t try making my own, right?



I added some sprigs of mint to my spice grinder and loaded my glasses up with mint bits. You can use a pestal, or if you are half Meh-hee-cano like me, a moljacete. However you choose to smash your mint is your own personal beezwax.

There are two ways I currently and yes, snobbishly prefer my coffee. Numero uno is Armenian/Turkish/Greek/Middle Eastern style. The second is through a French Press.

For this drink, a press works perfectly. In addition to filling the bottom of the jar with ground beans, I included a hefty spoonful of coconut sugar. White tastes better, but coconut is less processed. Whatchoo gonna do?

This will be an amazing summer drink, friends. It’s over 80 degrees here today and I’m pretending it is June. Summer. Ahh. Swimming, more grilling, flip-flops, late night walks, day trips, beaches, kids home all day with me.

WHOAH. Reel that back in, sista. Let’s enjoy April while we can. Summer camps are pricey and I don’t have a job.

Iced Mint Coffee
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Beverages
  • strongly brewed coffee
  • fresh mint
  • sugar to taste
  • cream to taste
  1. brew coffee extra strong - adding sugar to ground beans if desired
  2. crush mint leaves in glass
  3. fill glass with extra ice
  4. slowly pour coffee over mint/ice
  5. add sugar and cream as desired


Coffee – The Old Way


Armenian Coffee


Just when I thought it had all been done, I learned about old school coffee. What you are looking at above is Armenian coffee. What makes it Armenian? It was made in a Jazzve, given to me by Lisa. Now, I know what you are thinking….

You KNOW Lisa Whelchel?




No, I don’t. Plus, I’m pretty sure she isn’t Armenian. I tried Googling her nationality and it turns out…she’s, American. Uh, ok. She doesn’t look Native, but whatevs.

I’m talking about the Lisa that I always talk about. You can read more about my wild, stripper-pal Lisa in the following posts. Fine, she’s not a stripper.

Armine’s Ghoribia

Kettle Corn

Apple Cake

Lisa gave me a jazzve. Doesn’t that sound like a band name? You can read more about Jazzve’s at The Armenian Observer. Don’t everyone run over there at once, ok?

If you want the short answer, a jazzve is  the most awesome little coffee pot that looks like it should hold creamer. It’s sturdy, it comes in all sizes and it makes coffee smooth and strong enough to kill. 



Jazzve’s and all other coffee making pots of this sort are said to work better on gas stoves. But like they say in Kindergarten, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”

You know what else they say?

First is worst. Second is best. Third is the one with the treasure chest. Fourth is the one with the hairy chest. Fifth is the one with the Barbie dress. 

That’s changed since I was in school. I’m happy to see the word “turd” removed from the rhyme. Way to keep it classy 5 year olds!

Anyway, Lisa says that everyone argues over who created this way of coffee brewing first. I had seen a great Greek Coffee making video on YouTube and apparently, Turkish folks like to call it their own as well. All I can add is, I wish I invented it. It’s awesome!

Here’s what you’ll need to do, once you get your hands on a jazzve. (You can find a link in my amazon store!) You’ll want to use the smallest mugs you have and ideally end up using demitasse cups. (Again, check my amazon store)

Coffee - The Old Way
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dark, smooth and rich coffee, made slow.
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: Coffee
  • finely ground coffee
  • sugar
  • water
  1. Add 4 ounces of water for every cup you plan to brew, to the pot
  2. Add 1 heaping teaspoon (use your silverware, not a measuring spoon) for each 4 ounces of water you have added
  3. If you desire a sweetened coffee, add 1 teaspoon of sugar per 4 ounces of water
  4. Place your pot over a hot burner and wait a few seconds before stirring the contents
  5. Put the spoon down!
  6. Don’t walk away! Wait until you see little baby bubbles forming around the edges of the pot.
  7. As bubbles form, lift the pot from the heat to settle and then lower back down onto the heat again.
  8. Repeat until there is a nice set of foamy bubbles covering the coffee. The pot can QUICKLY bubble over, so be careful!
  9. Gently pour each cup full of coffee and get set for heaven.


Oscars 2013: Amour


Have you seen Amour? Most of us haven’t, right?

It looks like a beautiful, sad, sad, movie. I just read the plot, complete with spoilers (I won’t add any here) and yep, beautiful and sad are right! This isn’t on my must see list, as is Beast of The Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook. However, if you are a sucker for a movie that jumps, no…pounds on your heart-strings, get your booty out there and see this movie.

I am more than happy to drink about this movie though! Take a look at the Catatonic, a drink especially made for this year’s Oscars.

The tribute to Amour is in the name, but honey, you best believe Mama when I say this mug of love will work with ANY movie you wanna see! If you are a lazy dater (like my husband and me), you can set up a night at home with a Catatonic, a Netflix disc, some pajamas and mismatching socks. Perfect.


You are going to need some Adult Chocolate Milk, which was waiting for me on the top shelf in the spirit aisle at my grocery store. Can we get a new name for spirits, yet? That word just means way too many things. I had a lot of spirit in high school. My friend Jody knows well of my jealousy over her “Most Spirited” yearbook win. She loves to remind me that it was SHE who owned the orange Guess! jeans, not me. That was back between 1991-1995, the years of grunge and clunky shoes. Skinny, bold colored pants were not as hot then as they are now.

Oh yeah, spirits.

Spirit is also used to describe ghosts, it’s a name for Jesus’ energy left on earth, it’s the way uneducated folks spell Sprite. Can’t we just agree to call it liqueur? Better yet, let’s call it booze. I don’t have to use spell check when I call it booze. Go get some Adult Chocolate Milk where you find the rest of your booze.


There are ENDLESS options for this bottle of creamy chocolate infused with vodka! Think of the adult chocolate shakes, the frappuccinos, the puddings, the popsicles, the mochas. ACK! I’m jealous! I’ll be saving one of my weekly DAMY treat times for an Adult Chocolate Milk drink, fo’ shiz.

I left the Creme De Menthe that is called for out of this drink. Mostly because Safeway didn’t have any, but also because I don’t love it and new I could make some mint-infused simple syrup instead. Six minutes were stolen from my day to make homemade whipped cream, which is so easy. Grab a little carton of whipping cream, dump as much sugar as you’d like and turn your mixer on high for a few minutes. Homemade whipped cream tastes a million times better than the canned stuff and doesn’t have corn syrup or other crazy ingredients.

I took a few sips from my mug and Jy guzzled his whole 8 oz. down. This drink is creamy, dreamylicious. The Starbucks hot chocolate packets we used really pushed our Catatonics over the top.

Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 1
  • 2 T Adult Chocolate Milk™
  • 2 T creme de menthe
  • 6 oz. hot chocolate
  • 1 oz. whipped cream
  1. Pour the Adult Chocolate Milk™ and creme de menthe into a large coffee mug and stir. Add hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and top with a cherry if desired!

A big thank you to  Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

*Do you guys think they will change their name to Deutsch Family Wine & Booze? Yeah, probably not. Let’s keep it classy, kids.

Winter Wake Up Smoothie


I have heard it said that it takes us Californian’s roughly ten days to be sick and tired of winter. I’m a day ahead of the crowd! For those of you in colder climates, I understand how annoying us sunshine state folk are, I really do.

Here is something we can all agree on though, a trip to Hawaii!

I can’t afford to send us all to Hawaii, but I think I can scrape enough money together to maybe ship a shoebox? Not overnight of course, but none the less, it’s going!

While it is a sunny, 40 degree day outside here, I’d love it if some of you would join me for a quick tropical getaway, via smoothie.


To make this tropical smoothie, you’ll need:

  • -frozen pineapple
  • -ice
  • -kiwis (the fruit, not the people)
  • -an apple (optional)
  • -coconut cream (optional)
  • -coconut or almond milk


Check out these hunka-hunkas I found at today’s farmers’ market!


That is one kiwi, one! I know it might be tough to find sweet kiwi this time of year, but it’s worth it. The father-son duo at the market told me how you can use kiwi to marinate chicken. The enzymes of this fruit break poultry down nicely. Who knew? If you have tried kiwi as a marinade, will you drop me a line? I’d love some tips.

This smoothie was made possible by my Vitamix. Ahh. I topped my cup with some shredded coconut and took a virtual trip to the tropics (without my kids). There is a bit of a peppery flavor to this drink and I’m guessing the kiwi is to blame. Jy and Dallas still loved it and I feel pretty jazzy after sipping mine down too.

Now it’s time for me to go clean. Not sweep and put away laundry clean. This is the big stuff. I’ve been useless the past few days with a killer cold and the three males of the house took that as a sign to fling ape poo, leave toy bombs and let our home go south. Not like beautiful, historic mansion south. Like, Honey Boo-Boo’s poor cousin who hopes to get some of HBB’s TLC money south. Bad, real bad.


Pecan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie


There are plenty of pumpkin smoothie recipes to be found, most of them taste somewhere between a spoonful of plain pumpkin puree and plain pumpkin puree with twelve cups of sugar mixed in. Can I challenge you to give my version a whirl? With a good sweetness balance and a thick, creamy texture, this is the closest thing I have found to sucking up a slice of pumpkin pie.

Which, I will be the first to admit, is they way I wish to spend the remainder of fall.


Pecan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 2
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 6 dates (medjool), without seeds
  • 2 T. maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup pecan pieces
  • 2 handfuls ice
  1. Blend until smooth
You can find dates in the produce or bulk section of most stores. Don’t buy the dried kind in the raisin aisle, they won’t blend up the same. You need to juicy, brown sugar-like sweetness of the fat guys.

You are also gonna need a super powered blender for this smoothie, like a Ninja, Vitamix or BlendTec. If you don’t have one, try it in your food processor. If you don’t have one of those, go to Target. The pecans and dates will need the power of a major blender to turn into itty bitty chunks (if you have a Ninja) or be pulverized into liquid (Vitamix).

Ooh, guess what?! I can totally stop whining about the camera on my phone now. I found its secret features, that help take much, much better photos. Check it.


We  are in serious recovery mode over here after a late in the day trip to the Jelly Belly Factory yesterday. The four of us ate so much sugar, that we couldn’t even drive home without stopping for some type of un-sweetened food to balance our bodies out. Chancing having the tired kids melting down was not much of an option, so we stopped at the first available “food” joint, McDonald’s.

After a couple of naps and some snacks for dinner, my parents came over to see the boys. With ice cream and cones in hand. There were more jelly beans, a taste of pumpkin fudge and a long night ahead.

Both boys woke up crying during the night. Dallas couldn’t get back to sleep for an hour. He had crazy demands he was screaming, like, “I want something to eat, then drink, then a story,then a song, with Daddy.” Jy would try to go to the kitchen, but couldn’t make it out of the room without Dallas screaming for him and flopping around like a fish out of water.

We are trying to slowly come out of our fog today. Having a kitchen full of Jelly Bellys  and candy corn hasn’t helped us make a clean escape. I’m off to do some Sunday crafting and cooking, which is what people who are done with their online classes and volunteer positions do! Free time is the best thing I have ever discovered. If you don’t have some, you should totally get some, it is fabulous. Like Max.