Vanilla Almond Milk

Vanilla Almond Milk

I have never been a big fan of almond milk. I’ve purchased it a few times at the store and every time I was wholly unimpressed. I couldn’t understand what the big deal was. To me it tasted either bland and chalky or sugary sweet.

When I made the choice to cut down on the dairy in my diet I had to rethink my decision. Almond milk could be very useful. I knew the only way I would use it was if I made it myself. I then could control the process and know exactly what went into it.  I wanted all natural ingredients, no added sugars, and it had to be tasty. 

Recipes for almond milk are abundant and making my own proved to be quite simple. With a few ingredients and some simple equipment I made a delicious, all natural lightly sweetened almond milk I love.  Dates and whole bean vanilla combine with almonds to give this vanilla almond milk a wonderful flavor. I can tell you for certain… my coffee has never tasted better. 

Dates and whole bean vanilla combine with almonds to give this vanilla almond milk a wonderful flavor. A simple recipe with all natural ingredients.


Vanilla Almond Milk
Serves: 3½ cups
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • water for soaking almonds overnight
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 pitted dates
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  1. Place almonds in bowl and cover with water. Soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. After almonds have soaked the required time, drain and rinse.
  3. Place almonds, dates, vanilla bean and 4 cups water in blender.
  4. Blend on high for several minutes until almonds, dates and vanilla bean is thoroughly ground.
  5. Strain almond mixture through nut-milk bag into container.
  6. Chill and serve.

Recipe shared with: 

Happiness is Homemade; Tasty TuesdayHearth and Soul Blog HopWonderful Wednesday Blog HopCreative Spark Link PartyOur Simple Homestead Blog HopLet’s Get Real Friday Party


Watermelon Lemonade: A favorite Summertime Refreshment

Watermelon Lemonade

The official first day of Summer is June 21st, but I feel the real start is on the weekend of Memorial Day. Families gather for picnics and BBQ’s, and head outdoors for remembrances, parades and camping trips. The weather is inconsequential; rain or shine, it doesn’t matter. We will trek outdoors to enjoy the parade, pitch our tents to sleep under the stars, or fire up the grill. Memorial Day weekend also happens to be my first official day of making Watermelon Lemonade for the year: summertime in all it’s icy cold perfection!

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent

Watermelon Lemonade: Pure Grace Farms

It doesn’t matter what Season I find myself in, I will swear up and down it is my favorite. Summertime is no exception! The weather is perfect for outdoor activities and a great time for a little fun in the sun. Tim and I love having friends over and our BBQ rarely cools down. Memorial Day was the first grill of the year and I had some of the tastiest “Fall off the Bone Ribs” I have ever eaten (really, no kidding). I gleaned the recipe from Diane at Recipes for our Daily Bread. Those ribs had everyone’s full attention. The icy watermelon lemonade was a perfect accompaniment.

Watermelon Lemonade: Pure Grace Farms

So, this Summer I will do my best to get out and enjoy God’s beautiful creation as often as I’m able. I look forward to creating delicious and tasty delights with His wonderful bounty. Serving up whole foods from the garden and orchard, farmer’s markets, roadside stands…wherever I can find them. Hope you will come along for the ride and enjoy the summer season as much as I do. Now on to the tasty Watermelon Lemonade.

Watermelon Lemonade: Pure Grace Farms

Watermelon Lemonade is a sweet and tart drink that screams summertime conjuring up images of a front porch swing and a cool summer breeze.  All that is lacking is some delicious Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwiches, and a plate full of Luscious Lemon Cookies to make it complete!

4.8 from 5 reviews
Watermelon Lemonade: A favorite Summertime Refreshment
Serves: 6-8
  • 1½ - 2 cup sugar (if you like tart lemonade use the lesser amount of sugar)
  • 4 cup water, divided
  • 4 cup cubed seedless watermelon (yeilds 2 cups watermelon juice)
  • 8 Lemons, halved and juiced (2 cups lemon juice)
  • Ice
  1. Place sugar and 2 cups water in medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Allow to cool.
  2. In the meantime, place cubed watermelon into blender. Blend on high until liquefied. Strain through fine mesh to separate remaining pulp from juice, pressing on solids to retain as much juice as possible from watermelon pulp. Set aside.
  3. Once sugar water (simple syrup) has cooled completely pour into a large pitcher filled with ice. Add remaining 2 cups water, watermelon juice and lemon juice.
  4. Stir well and serve immediately.

 Watermelon Lemonade shared with:

Ducks n’ a Row: Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop Designed by BH: Twirl and Take a Bow The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch Foody Schmoody: The Wednesday Roundup  Far from Normal: Wake up Wednesday Place of my Taste: Work it Wednesdays Lambert’s Lately: Create it Thursday Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson: Share your Cup Thursday Making it in the Mountains: Link’n Blogs Momma Lew: Pin it Party SITSgirls linky Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday Juggling Real Food and Real Life: Let’s Get Real The Kitchen Chopper: The Weekend Social In the Kitchen with Jennie: Foodie Friend Friday Coffee with us 3: Pretty Pintastic Yesterfood: Summer BBQ Party My Pinterventures: Merry Monday Linky Party  Meatloaf and Melodrama: Snickerdoodle Sunday Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brag Cherished Handmade Treasures: Creative Corner Hop Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays  Oh My Heartsie Girl: What I Made Wordless Wednesday The 21st Century Housewife: Hearth and Soul Tuesday Blog Hop Lou Lou Girls: Lou Lou Girls Sweet Haute: La Dolce Vita: Thursday Sweet Haute Share Link Party Jordan’s Onion: Thank Goodness It’s Thursday Create with Joy: Friendship Friday Create with Joy: Inspire me Monday’s The Happy Housie: Summer Celebration Homestead Lady: Green Thumb Thursday Satori Design for Living: Our Sunday Best Showcase Mrs Tee love life and Laughter: Mommy Blog Hop The Happy Scraps: Creative Exchange link party  *The Pin Junkie: Friday Link Party *Detours in Life: Tickle Me Tuesday *Krystals Kitsch: Foodie Friday

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

The House We Live In

No man is rich enough to buy back his past. – Oscar Wilde

“If only.” Two words, one small phrase, but a more destructive utterance can rarely be found. Regret is such a waste of energy, and seldom leaves anything but pain in its wake. There was a time I readily dwelt in this house; exploring ad nauseam every room in detail.

The problem with regret is its tendency to paralyze; tethering us to a past we can’t change. We rehearse, over and over, in our minds the what might-have-been, with only a growing mountain of sorrow to greet us.

Sweet and Sour Margarita; Pure and Simple This subject is a bit fresh at the moment, for friends that I care deeply about are caught in it’s grip. I can offer sage advice as one who’s gone through it, but when one’s heart is heavy, the ears are immune. 

The past lies behind us and can’t ever be changed; for good, bad or indifferent, it is what it is. If you’ve made mistakes, forgive them. If you pine for a lost fork in the road, search for the good on the trail you are fixed upon. For in truth, you have no understanding of where this alternate path may have led you. The important thing is to live in today. Forgive, accept, learn and move forward. 

 Margarita: Pure and Simple It’s not easy, this letting go of what’s past, but as you do, you’ll find the freedom that comes along with it is life changing. 

Sweet and Sour Margarita is the last in recipe in my Southwestern Series and it couldn’t end on a better note. This frosty concoction packs a wallop, so sip it slowly and enjoy the ride.

Margarita: Pure and Simple

Sweet and Sour Margarita
Serves 4
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  1. 6 oz tequila
  2. 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  3. 6 oz triple sec
  4. 3 oz midori
  5. crushed ice
  6. salt
  1. Place all ingredients, except salt, in blender and process until smooth.
  2. Wet rim of chilled glass, and dip glass rim in salt.
  3. Pour Margarita into glass.
  4. Serve.
Pure Grace Farms
Recipe adapted from Comida Sabrosa : Home-Style Southwestern Cooking

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Let’s talk iced coffee. Recently, I sat down and tried to figure out all the money I spend every week on buying coffee in a couple of local coffee shops in our area. I haven’t  plunked my money down at only one coffee shop but regularly stalk three fine establishments…shelling out money faster than you can say, “let’s set this five dollar bill on fire!”

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee: Make your own... it tastes better and saves money too!

“Why three coffee houses?” you might ask, and I would respond a bit sheepishly, “that’s a darn good question” and try to change the subject as quickly as possible. The truth is… I’m a bit of a coffee snob, and there is no one coffee shop that can meet all my persnickety needs.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee: Make your own... it tastes better and saves money too!

I head to my favorite morning coffee shop for a good ol’ plain cup of Joe. No frills needed at the crack of dawn; I want a strong dark brew that goes down easy.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee: Make your own... it tastes better and saves money too!

My next coffee fix is a little more dainty; and when I’m in the mood, I head to a different shop way across town. I order up a whole milk latte and get way too excited about the chocolate covered coffee bean they hand out for “free”.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee: Make your own... it tastes better and saves money too!

Lastly, during the summer months my cravings run deep for cold brewed iced coffee, and only a few coffee houses take the time to do this well. Don’t you dare hand me an iced coffee that has been made with an espresso machine. I have a yearning for cold brewed coffee and nothing else will satisfy.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee: Make your own... it tastes better and saves money too!

So, back to the point…the cost of coffee adds up quickly. With this in mind, I decided to experiment and come up with a recipe for my own cold brewed iced coffee. I wanted something simple, relatively quick and easy, without a huge mess to clean up after. I’m happy to share what I came up with and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee: Make your own... it tastes better and saves money too!

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee
Serves 4
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  1. 5 -6 Tbsp high quality ground coffee beans, grind should be on the coarser side
  2. 4 cups of water
  3. 1/4 cup cream, or milk of choice
  4. Ice
  1. Sweetener (I use about a tbsp of organic maple syrup)
  1. French Coffee Press
  2. Quart Jar with screw type band and lid
  3. Coffee filter
  1. Add 5 -6 tbsp (depending on strength desired) coarsely ground coffee to French coffee press.
  2. Add water, stir and allow to sit for a minimum of 2 hours, longer is okay.*see note 1
  3. Once coffee has set for the proper allotted amount of time, use press to separate grounds.
  4. Place coffee filter in quart jar and affix in place with screw type band lid.
  5. Slowly pour pressed coffee into quart jar filter to remove all remaining coffee sediment not strained by French coffee press.*see note 2
  6. Once coffee has been filtered, use immediately, or add lid and chill concentrate for later use.
  7. Fill 16 oz glass full with ice.
  8. Add choice of cream or milk.
  9. Add sweetener.
  10. Fill the rest of the glass with cold brewed ice coffee.
  11. Stir and enjoy!
  1. #1 - I Start my brew early in the morning or the evening before, and place the concentrate in the refrigerator to chill so it will be ready to go whenever I want it. It will keep fresh tasting for up to a week or more.
  2. #2 - When filtering, be patient. Pour the coffee into the filter slowly and allow it to drain, and then pour a little more. If the filter gets to clogged, simply remove the filter and replace with another.
Pure Grace Farms
Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Shared With:  

OKC Mom of 3: Tasty Tuesdays Pure Grace Farms: Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop The Happy Scraps: Creative Exchange link party