Sweet Plum Lemonade

Fourth of July weekend seems like the perfect time to share this lemonade recipe. It’s an easy recipe, and the perfect thirst quencher on a hot afternoon.

This lemonade is made with sweet-tart plums, sugar, water, and lemon. It’s a stunning bright red, and flavorful despite the simple preparation.

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Strawberry Lime Iced Green Tea

strawberry lime mint iced green tea

There are times for over-the-top cakes, lovingly prepared salads with twelve ingredients, and cups of coffee brewed with exact precision.

But sometimes?

Sometimes you just need something simple.

strawberry lime iced green tea

And this strawberry lime iced tea is exceedingly simple. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it feels weekend-appropriate. I made this for a Saturday afternoon picnic with some friends, and it was just right.

Warm weather, sunshine, a beautiful park, and good friends. (I feel lucky to live in Northern California, which is currently 100% snow-free.)

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Dirty Chai Latte

 

 

Dirty Chai Latte | Kitchen in the Hills

I am, by nature, a morning person. I have friends who would rather sleep in till noon, and would sacrifice their breakfast for an extra thirty minutes in bed daily. Not me. Don’t get me wrong— I have my bad days, too. I have my sleep-through-three-alarms-and-run-to-class mornings. But most days, I prefer to wake up early enough to read a book, make a small meal, and sit with a cup of coffee or tea before heading to school or work.

For the last week, I’ve been drinking dirty chai in place of my plain old cup of joe. That’s not a drink I usually have in the mornings, because it requires a trip to the coffee shop. But this week, I figured out how to make it at home. There’s something that feels just right about a warm, spicy, sweet, and highly caffeinated drink on a cool morning.

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Mango Citrus + Strawberry Watermelon Smoothies

watermelon and strawberries in a blender

I made some big changes to my diet recently. I stopped eating dairy. I filled up my meals with fruits and vegetables. I cut down on the starchy, carb-y, flour-based things that used to make up most of my meals. I added some whole grains, and swapped out refined sugars for honey.  I don’t spend any more time cooking than I used to, but I feel so much better. More energetic. Happier, knowing that I’m only putting the very best into my body. These simple changes have made my life a whole lot better. It’s only fair that my blog reflects those changes— from here on out, the recipes featured on here will be fresher, brighter, and lighter. It’s not that there will never be another oozy, gooey, cheesy dish on here, or that the cake recipes will all have to go. I still eat those things on occasion, and I will continue posting them. But the majority of dishes will be the healthier fare that I eat daily.

strawberry watermelon smoothie in a jar

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Hot Milk + Turmeric for a Sore Throat

hot milk with turmeric

It may seem strange to post a sore throat remedy during the first days of Spring. But just as I was beginning to enjoy the warmth and the extra hours of sunlight, I was hit by another bout of allergies. They’ve been acting up recently, and without rain to clear the air, this season has been especially bad. This morning I woke up with a dry, scratchy throat that even a good dose of Claritin couldn’t stop. 

My aunt passed down this recipe for an Indian sore throat remedy to me years ago. I’ve been using it ever since.  A mug of this turmeric-spiced milk first thing in the morning or shortly before bed brings almost instant relief. I like to make this drink piping hot, and sip it slowly. It soothes sore throat symptoms for 30 minutes to an hour after you drink it, depending on how bad symptoms are. Sometimes even longer, as in the case of these allergies. (I was cough-free for a full two hours after I drank this tonic.) When you’ve been suffering from a sore throat for few days, a simple hour or two of complete relief can be remarkably relaxing.

black pepper and turmeric

After browsing the modern-day research, my aunt’s recipe makes perfect sense. Turmuric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been linked to lowered Alzheimer rates in certain countries, and researchers think it may be effective against cancers and arthritis. Compounds in black pepper (pipeline) help with the absorption of turmeric and curcumin, it’s main medically active component.

Regardless of the health claims, one thing’s for sure— it’s soothing and does the body good. Combined with honey to sooth the throat and black pepper to clear congestion, it works small miracles.