Shrimp and Chicken Stuffed Baby Bella Cremini Mushrooms

 

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I took out some portobella mushrooms sitting in our refrigerator from Trader Joe’s, then I remembered Ina Garten’s Stuffed Mushrooms but had no sausage. No problem! I had left-over shrimp and chicken so I got the idea of experimenting on appetizers again. I promised myself that I wouldn’t post it if it wasn’t tasty. Here’s the rest of the story…

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INGREDIENTS:

a tray of Baby Bella Cremini mushrooms, 9-12 pieces

5 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup cooked chicken and boiled shrimp (chopped finely)

Marsala or sherry or any red wine

2/3 cup flavored bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded cheese

2 Tbsp. grated  Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper

bell peppers, yellow and green, chopped finely

PROCEDURE:

1. Remove stems from the mushrooms, chop them finely. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and red wine. Set aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, add the chopped mushroom stems, cook for another 3 minutes.

3. Add 2/3 cup of bread crumbs, stirring to combine then add the chopped bell peppers.

4. Add the shredded cheese to make it creamy, being careful to lower the heat and stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the skillet.

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5. Forgot to thaw my Chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce, so I grab a piece of Thai red chilli pepper, seed and slice very thinly lengthwise then cut very finely crosswise and added to the skillet, stir well.

6. Fill each mushroom generously with the mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish to hold the stuffed mushrooms snugly. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40-50 minutes until the stuffing is browned and crusty. Serve while piping hot but handle very gently as they’re quite fragile.

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Another appetizer to make this coming holiday! Thanks to the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten from Peaches, Masarap!!!

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Black Pepper & Mustard Braised Short Ribs

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Some big holidays are coming right after Halloween so I practiced on Williams-Sonoma’s Kitchen. This is so different from other Beef Stews. I don’t trust my newly bought slow cooker so I used 25 minutes of pressure cooking and the bones are falling off the meat. So scrumptious! I will probably prepare this again to impress my guests on Thanksgiving.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp. each  brown mustard seeds, yellow mustard seeds, and peppercorns, coarsely ground

2 tsp. salt

5 lb bone-in beef short ribs

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

1/4 cup bourbon (though I personally used red wine)

2 large yellow onions, diced

2 celery stalks, diced (I didn’t have any when I made this)

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3 tbsp. honey

3 cups beef stock (boiling 3 Tbsp. of Better Than Boullion Roasted Beef Base into 3 Tbsp. water)

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. beef demi-glaze (I don’t have any)

 

PROCEDURE:

1.In a small bowl, combine mustard seeds, pepper and salt. Rub onto short ribs. If using pressure cooker, use the pot of the cooker over the medium high heat, warm 2 tbsp. oil. Brown the ribs in batches, transfer to a plate.

2. If using slow cooker, brown the ribs in stovetop-safe insert of the slow cooker.

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3. Add bourbon to the pressure cooker pot, stir and simmer for 2 minutes. Add everything except celery, carrots and potatoes into the pressure cooker. For slow cooker add everything as following: garlic, onions, celery, carrots, demi-glaze, honey, stock, and red  wine vinegar.

4. Bring to simmer then add ribs, for the slow cooker, transfer insert to slow cooker base. Cover, cook on high 6 hours. For pressure cooker, time the steaming for 25 minutes only.

5. Once cooked in pressure cooker for 25 minutes, add the cubed carrots and cubed potatoes for 5 minutes, add the cubed celery and cubed  and different colored bell peppers for another 3 minutes. For the slow cooker, once 6 hours is done, it’s ready to serve.

6. Serve on top of freshly cooked Jasmine or brown rice

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I tried to simplify and use whatever ingredients I had in the refrigerator and added potatoes and bell peppers but the most important are the rice wine vinegar, red wine, and honey. I also used only the yellow mustard seeds and black peppercorns and salt.Next time I cook again this short ribs, I will definitely use bourbon and celery in here, I will check the difference but this is already very flavorful and the meat is falling off the bones.,tenderness is just right to the bite.

Thanks  to williams-sonoma.com for the original recipe, this recipe will not disappoint you and your guests, another  main dish that will definitely wow your guests this coming holidays.

Peaches, Masarap!!!

Roast Beets with Veggie Balls on Flatbread

 

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Ikea, here you are again and again! And vegetarians! You haven’t been forgotten…what with the holidays coming after Halloween. I don’t have any naan, but I’ve got flatbreads from Trader Joe’s. Hang on and we will bake the bloody beets for 1 hour first. They’re scrumptious!!!

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Ingredients are few in number, but the process is a bit tedious. This can be mitigated if you multitask your oven by baking the veggie balls and the beets together! At 350 degrees F put them both together then take the veggie balls after 20 minutes and let the beets (pre-washed and brushed, covered with sea salt, wrapped with aluminum foil), stay in the oven for full one hour. Great!

 

INGREDIENTS:

10 pieces Gronsaksbullar Vegetable Balls (veggie balls)

2-4 beets, washed and brushed

coarse sea salt

1 tbsp. sherry vinegar (an alternative is red wine vinegar)

Some flatbreads or naan

1 tbsp. olive oil, extra virgin

3 oz Greek yoghurt or sour cream for serving

2 tbsp. chives or scallions or cilantro, finely chopped

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Put the beets in the oven, cover with sea salt and wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for an hour until tender all the way through.

3. Put the veggie balls in the oven also, bake for 20-25 minutes only. Take out the veggie balls and leave the beets for another 40 minutes.

4. Peel the beets once they cool down, chop them into small pieces.

5. Dress with sherry vinegar and olive oil.

6. Put some of the beet relish, a baked veggie ball or one or two spoons of yoghurt (I piped the yoghurt out of a cake decorating bag with a medium sized ring). Sprinkle finely chopped chives, scallions, or cilantro leaves.

7. Tightly roll the flatbread like a wrap, then wrap the bottom with wax paper. It might get very messy when you bite them without the wax paper, but it tastes so good! I promise you.

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Another Sarap snack from Peaches, enjoy!!!

 

Garlic Roasted in Terracotta Bakeware

 

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Garlic has a lot of amazing health benefits. I got my garlic roaster off of Amazon, thanks to bsikles smart tip about Maple syrup. Anyway according to whfoods.com: “Garlic may improve your iron metabolism, and is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. Garlic has the ability to help prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked. It also has an inflammatory benefits, is an antibacterial and antiviral and lastly has anti-cancer properties.”

I consulted Garlic Geek on proper garlic roasting techniques. Also, an important tip is to not wash the bakeware with soap but with warm water. Moreover, there’s a need to soak the cover in water for 15 minutes to produce a moist heat during the roasting process which will neither burn nor dry up the cloves. Another tip is to not overcrowd the garlic inside the roaster.

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PROCEDURE:

1. Cut tops of garlic and peel off 2-3 layers of the outside papery skin.

2. Soak the top in water  for 15 minutes.

2. Drain clay baker and place garlic into baker.

3. Drizzle garlic with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place lid on clay baker and roast for about 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees. Once done, use precaution in taking the clay baker out with pot holders. Be careful not to burn your hands as it is extremely hot! You may remove the skin and spread the roasted garlic on a baguette or crackers.

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Another appetizer to make and thanks to Garlic Geek and whfoods from Peaches, Masarap!!!

The Best Pumpkin Soup

 

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Hey everyone it’s starting to get chilly, and the ‘ber months make you go Brrrrrr! Anyway, through blogging I discovered this recipe for a tasty pumpkin soup from charismaticbaking and it tastes divine! She’s so crafty and I was wondering how her pumpkin bowls were so pretty. She carved the top of the pumpkin’s interior, maintaining its scallop shape; a bit tedious but really lovely.I just made some small adjustments in the procedure.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 whole pumpkin shell, peeled and cut into squares

1 stalk lemon grass, chopped

4 cups vegetable stock (4 tbsp of Better Than Boullion Seasoned Vegetable Base whisked in 4 cups  of water and simmered)

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans of coconut milk (not shown in the above picture)

1 and 1/2 tbsp curry paste

3 tbsp soy sauce

lemon, juiced and strained

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Sprinkle salt and pepper and drizzle the cut pumpkin in a huge tray and roast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until they are tender.

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2. Pour oil in a huge saucepan and throw in garlic and lemon grass for a few minutes, then add in the spicy curry paste in another few minutes then add the 2 cans of coconut milk. Let it simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mash with the potato masher while simmering, once done, turn off the stove.

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3. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the purée through, using the back of a huge spoon to press as much thick juice through as possible. Set aside the pulp.

4. Put back the strained thick juice into the pan and put the stove on low heat, add 3 tbsp of soy sauce and simmer gently on low, stir in the juice of 1/2-1 lemon turn off the stove and cover.

5. Put the pumpkin pulp in the Vitamix juicer and purée adding some liquidy pumpkin soup from the saucepan to thin the purée and make the process easier.image

6. Once done pour the purée into the pot and simmer gently again and stir to combine the flavor. Taste  if the flavor is just right for you. Serve while piping hot or cool down a bit and pour into the small pumpkin bowls.

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It tastes so good, no need to add any salt or pepper on top of the bowl, serve piping hot with crusty bread or Au Bon Pain’s Jalapeño Bagel,(shown on top), Yum! it’s just perfect. Thanks to charismaticbaking from Peaches, Masarap!!!

Shrimp on Cucumber with Layers of Boursin cheese on Baguette

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I was in the mood to innovate an appetizer since the holiday is coming. So, I created something with whatever I found in my fridge. I’m also really fascinated with these environmentally friendly bamboo skewers! Yipeee!! Borrowed the fresh dill from the IKEA recipe I am going to make but let’s not get sidetracked here. Let’s get to my toothpick creation! You really need a toothpick to hold each piece together. Don’t forget to squeeze lemon on top before biting it. Yummy, yum, yum.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 French baguette bread

1 huge lemon

12 pieces shrimp

Boursin garlic and fine herbs or Swiss Laughing Cow soft cheese or Philadelphia cream cheese

2 cucumbers

ground black pepper

Himalayan pink salt

environmentally friendly bamboo skewers

bread knife and sharp paring knife

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Soak the peeled and deveined shrimp in water and sprinkle of salt in few minutes, rinse, wash and drain in a colander until water dries up, paper towel dry and  set aside.

2.Wash and brush the cucumber, peel off the skin lengthwise in a few places, leaving portions of cucumbers unpeeled (for a nice aesthetic design)

3. With a bread knife, slice baguette diagonally  1/2-1 inch to make 12 pieces.

4. Now slice the cucumbers diagonally.

5. Assembly: Spread a thin layer of soft cheese on top of sliced baguette, then attach sliced cucumber and spread a layer of cheese. Then place 1 piece of dried shrimp, sprinkle with ground black pepper, and while the whole assembly is laid on a flat surface, spear with a bamboo skewer. Do the rest until you finish 12 pieces of this delicious appetizer.

6. Serve on a plain white platter with the sliced lemon on the sides, along with dill or cilantro to garnish. Squeeze lemon on top before biting it for added oomph taste!

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Here is Peaches’ inexpensive yet elegant appetizer that will surely wow your guests this coming holiday, Masarap!!!

Open Faced Corned Beef Omelette

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You can say that this is one of those foods done in a hurry, an impromptu creation for a hungry tummy; I just woke up from 12 hours of duty and had leftover sautéed corned Beef the night before, so I whipped up this special kind of omelette. The steps are quick and preparation is a breeze!

Sauteed Corned Beef and Potatoes: Sautée 3 pcs of minced garlic, a few slices of onion, a few slices of 1 big tomato, add 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes, throw in some mushrooms, thin slices of a quarter of a whole cabbage, and pre-boiled 3 pieces of cubed potatoes (drained), once it gives an over-all reddish tinged color, then add 2 cans of 12 oz Libby’s Corned beef, mix gently but well, add a dash of black ground pepper, but don’t add any salt since the corned beef is already salty. After 5-10 minutes, they are ready to be eaten with crusty garlic bread or brown rice, and I have the next recipe for an open faced omelette from whatever’s left of the Sauteed Corned beef.

 

Open-Faced Corned Beef Omelette

INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs

Scallions

Mexican Style Blend Cheddar, Queso quesadilla, and Asadero Cheese Blend or any shredded cheese

1 tsp. of Avocado or olive oil

Left-over Sauteed Corned Beef and Potatoes

 

PROCEDURE:

1. In a hot Caphalon Stove/Oven Fry Pan, add a teaspoon of oil and swirl the oil all over the inside of the pan. When the pan is hot, throw in slices of green onions or scallions, distribute well in the pan, then add stirred 3 eggs mixed with salt and pepper.  Tip the pan to evenly distribute the eggs leaving the sides with green scallions showing all around the sides of the pan, then gently distribute the cold left over corned beef. Make sure the scallions and the eggs are showing all around the sides (don’t scatter the corned beef, you have to leave a margin of scallions and eggs showing all around it).

2. Turn off the stove and sprinkle shredded cheese on top and place the pan with your special dish inside a pre-heated 350 degrees F oven and bake for 12 minutes, just enough to heat the corned beef on top. Throw those miniature yellow tomatoes from the garden where I displayed them featuring my Overnight Oats and Chia Breakfast Fare!.. (I plucked these beauties before hungry birds eat them from my tiny garden)

3. Turn off the oven and serve this immediately from its hot frying pan, making sure that you use a spatula so that you don’t scratch this versatile pan.

Here’s the still very hot omelette prepared in a jiffy that looks and tastes as if you labored all day in the kitchen. No one will know our little secret…Peaches, Sarap!!!

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Chicken Meatball Skewers with Cucumber, Dill, and Nordic spices

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IKEA here we go again! Ever since my time in Saudi Arabia, I had this fascination with everything Swedish. That year, in 1985, the Swedish nurses were leaving Saudi Arabia because of the decreased pay for all contract workers. There wasn’t any outsourcing at the time yet so all their products were shipped all the way from Sweden, unlike today where almost everything is made in China.

So what does Nordic mean? I bet you’re as curious as I am. It refers to the characterstics of a Germanic people of Northern European origin, exemplified by the Scandinavians. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Nordic means “belonging to or relating to Scandinavian, Finland or Iceland.” If they say that you are a classic Nordic type, it means that you’re tall with blond hair and blue eyes. Whew! Nothing like learning everyday…but uh-oh. All this talk about Nordic classic has got me going, and now I want to move on to French cooking! But let’s just start with this recipe that uses Nordic spices.

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INGREDIENTS:

15 pieces Kycklingkottbullar chicken meatballs from IKEA of course

15 wooden Popsicle sticks or skewers

2-4 tbsp. oil for frying

2 medium size cucumbers, peeled

2 tbsp. sea salt

10 oz. sour cream

5 oz. parsley, thyme and ramsons (wild relative of chives, native to Europe),the combination of these 3 kinds of herbs is what the Swedish call Nordic spices.

Black pepper and extra virgin oil to taste

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Cut the cucumber into 15 small cubes, just a bit smaller than the chicken meatballs. Place in a medium size bowl, add the sea salt and combine.

2. Heat a bit of oil on a frying pan over medium-high heat until slightly smokey. Fry the meatballs until golden brown, adding more oil if needed. Set aside and let them cool a little.

3. Add the lemon juice and dill (saving 1 tbsp. for garnish) to the cubed cucumber. Mix to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

4. Thread one cucumber cube onto each skewer then one meatball. Dip a bit in sour cream and then dip lightly onto the herbs. Place the skewers on a tray and sprinkle with dill and black pepper.

5.  Top the remaining sour cream with the rest of the seasoning mix. Drizzle with extra virgin oil and serve immediately.

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Another appetizer reproduced by Peaches, Nordic Sarap!!!

Listen, I’m going to IKEA’s food court for their thanksgiving showcase this year. Are you coming?

Beef Caldereta

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Halloween is fast approaching guys! So I made a Caldereta inside a pumpkin. Wikipedia says that Caldereta is a goat stew  from the Philippines (my birth country) though chicken, pork, or beef are common substitutes for goat (I used beef here in this case). The beef is stewed with vegetables and liver paste (now comes in cans from New Zealand). Vegetables may include potatoes, carrots , olives, bell peppers, and hot peppers. Caldereta’s name derives from the Spanish word “caldera” meaning “cauldron.” The dish is similar to meat stews from the Iberian Peninsula and was brought to the Philippines by the Spanish during their 300-year occupation of the Philippines. Anyway this recipe is a cross-over between Panlasang Pinoy’s and Chef Boy Logro’s recipes. It’s very scrumptious! This is my version of one of my all time favorite recipes.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 huge pumpkin (optional)

1 can 4 oz tomato paste

1 can 8 oz tomato sauce

1 can 8 oz liver Spread (New Zealand)

1 tsp each of salt and pepper

2 tsp. lemon juice

cooking oil for sauteing

1 huge red and green bell peppers, cubed, approximately 2 cups  (slice the top of each bell pepper with the ends intact for garnish later, as you can see in the above picture)

1 carrot, sliced diagonally (bite sizes), approximately 1 cup

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sizes, approximately 1 cup

1/4 cup, minced garlic

1 onion, finely sliced

1/4 cup shredded cheese

2-3 lbs. beef chuck, cubed, drained in a colander

pressure cooker, large enough to accomodate the amount of beef you want to tenderize

1 bottle 5 and 3/4 oz. Spanish olives

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 pieces bay leaves, crushed well

2 cups beef broth (2 tbsp. Organic Reduced Sodium Better Than bouillon, whisked well in 2 cups of water then boiled)

PROCEDURE:

1. Marinate the cubed beef chunks in lemon juice, salt, and ground pepper for I hour & set aside in the refrigerator (just remember that for every 2 lbs of beef, add a tsp.each of salt and pepper and 2 tsp. lemon juice).

2. Grease the pressure cooker pot with oil, and when hot, sautée onions and garlic until translucent and tender then add the cubed/marinated beef approximately for 5 minutes until beef turns light brown on both sides.

3. Crush the bay leaves and add to the pressure cooker pot. Add crushed red pepper flakes, stir very well to distribute the flavorings. Add only 1/2 cup of liver spread, stir well.

4. Pour in beef broth, tomato paste, and tomato sauce, stir very well again.

5. Cover the pressure cooker and wait till it steams and time it to 20-25 minutes but not 30 minutes as you want the beef to be a little firm and not soggy. Simmer for 30 minutes to 45 minutes in a regular pot.

6. Turn off the stove then release the steam, observing all the necessary safety precautions before opening the pot.

7. Stir again and add potatoes and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, put in the olives and bell  peppers, cook for another 3 minutes.

8. Add shredded cheese, stir while still simmering, turn off the stove and taste and add salt and pepper for your preference, though cheese makes it salty enough (remember, we already marinated the beef). Optional: cut the top of the pumpkin, place a glass bowl inside, and pour the stew into the bowl. Then decorate the rims of the glass bowl with peppers.

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Another Sarap main dish, thanks to Panlasang Pinoy and Chef Boy Logro for the original recipes.

Mabuhay Ang Pinoy!!! Peaches.

Raspberry Moroccan Rose Iced Tea

 

 

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Got the original recipe from pineandcravebymackenzie.com. I didn’t have dried hibiscus, but I used some Moroccan organic dried rose petals that were featured in the Washington Apple Cake post.

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INGREDIENTS:

4 cups of Organic Frozen Berries (raspberry, strawberries, and blueberries)

3/4 cups raw honey or 3 tbsp. Organic Blue Agave Nectar plus 1 tbsp of Maple Syrup or you can use brown sugar to mix with 4 cups of boiling water to make a sugar syrup.

2 limes

Orange slices, raspberries, strawberries for garnish

Environmentally friendly bamboo skewers

1 cup edible, dried rose petals or hibiscus

 

PREPARATION:

1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in honey or Agave and maple syrup or sugar you have. Stir until melted or combined.

2. Remove from heat and add the rose petals like this picture below….

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3. While the rose petals is steeping, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the frozen raspberries, pressing the mixture using the potato masher like this in the picture below….

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4. Over a big bowl, set a big fine mesh strainer and pour the raspberry mixture, with the back of a large tablespoon, press as much thick juice as possible through it.

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5. Strain the already steeped rose petal tea on a fine mesh strainer, pour it on a large glass pitcher and add strained juice of 2 limes, add the strained and thick raspberry juice, add 2 cups of iced cold water. Refrigerate or just add ice cubes if ready to serve. You can pour some of this mixture onto an ice tray, that way you can used this cubed juice without any regret.

Mackenzie is very smart for inventing  this healthy iced tea. From time to time, we  may have urges to grab a soda, so this is much healthier and more refreshing alternative. I will definitely re-create this again for my guests this Thanksgiving Day!

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Another Sarap homemade drink! Thanks to Mackenzie from Peaches!!!