New Year’s Resolution Smoothie

Mango Ginger Green Smoothie | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Are you one of those people who makes a resolution every year to eat healthier, drink less, be kinder, etc.? With the exception of being kinder, I am not one to make a New Year’s resolution.  In fact, I resolve to not make a resolution. Therefore, I never disappoint myself for failing to stick with my resolution. Win win, in my humble opinion.

But for those who do make resolutions, this recipe is for you. . . and everyone else really, since I do not believe in exclusion.

I keep seeing healthy recipes all over the place these days, since January is all about new beginnings and fresh starts. This New Year’s Resolution Smoothie recipe is probably one of my healthiest, as I sure do love to cook, eat and write about meat. Not that meat cannot be healthy. Everything in moderation, they say. Whoever they are.

This recipe was developed and posted 3 years ago, but it stands the test of time. And it is very easy, nutritious and filling. You’ll probably still want to make it even after your resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Not that they will.


Mango Ginger Green Smoothie | Black Girl Chef's Whites

New Year's Resolution Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 smoothie
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced or 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup (packed) torn kale leaves
  • 1 cup coconut water
  1. In a blender puree all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.


Classic (and Not Quite Classic) Cocktails

Classic Cocktails

With Mother’s Day coming up, brunches and lunches and dinners are being planned all over America. One of the first menu items to decide on should be a cocktail, in my opinion. A classic or not quite classic cocktail can start a celebration off right.

Over at I have compiled a bunch of delectable cocktails, so you are sure to find one you want to make.

Please click here to check out all the tasty libations!

S’Mores Martini

S'Mores Martini | Black Girl Chef's Whites

S’Mores Martini you say? Have I lost my mind, you say?

As much as I would love to tell you I came up with the idea for this fantastic cocktail, it is the brainchild of one of my favorite QVC hosts David Venable. In his latest cookbook Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook from QVC’s Resident Foodie. This is his second book, almost guaranteed to be a bestseller like his first book.

Back Around the Table Cover

In October 2012, he released his first cookbook, In the Kitchen with David: Comfort Foods That Take You Home, which contains 150 hearty, easy-to-make recipes designed with the home cook in mind. It was the third best-selling cookbook of 2012. This new book is chock full of recipes for tasty treats, including Banana-Peanut Butter French Toast, Sunday Pot Roast, Smoked Brisket, Five-Cheese Fifteen-Minute Mac’ n’ Cheese, and Mimi’s Blackberry Cobbler–can be found in his second comfort food cookbook. QVC’s resident foodie shows you how to transform recipes you know and love into exciting new dishes that still remind you of home.

I actually have a few appliances in my kitchen that I bought from QVC, probably while watching David Venable on In the Kitchen with David. My pressure cooker and huge 18 quart roaster oven are wonderful appliances. I’ve cooked my 20 pound Thanksgiving turkey in that roaster oven, because not only does it come out so tender and juicy I pulled the leg off just trying to pick it up but also because it leaves your oven free for all the side dishes. You can’t beat that.

I’ve been a QVC shopper for so long I can’t remember. I cannot tell you how many times I was wearing an outfit or a beautiful piece of jewelry, and had someone approach to ask where I got it. I would always proudly say QVC! My friends would laugh at me because I said QVC so often! Whatever, I know where to buy the good stuff.

I chose to make this cocktail from the book, even though there are so many other recipes that sounded delicious. The Smoked Gouda, Bacon and Pea Risotto is calling my name, as is the Asian Pulled Pork. Both recipes are for the pressure cooker, which I happen to have, because I bought it on QVC!

A S’Mores Martini is like drinking adult chocolate milk. It is is sweet and smooth and oh so tasty. Too tasty, because I sucked one down in mere moments. Then I just sat there giggling for a bit. Lesson learned.

S'Mores Martini | Black Girl Chef's Whites


S'Mores Martini
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2 Martinis
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 2 marshmallows
  • ¼ cup marshmallow vodka
  • ¼ cup Adult Chocolate Milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  1. Put 3 tablespoons of the chocolate syrup on a small plate.
  2. Place the crushed graham crackers on another small plate.
  3. Dip the rims of two martini glasses in the chocolate syrup, then dip the rims into the graham cracker crumbs. Quickly turn the martini glasses right side up and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup in a spiral design on the insides of the glasses.
  4. Put the glasses in the freezer for 1 hour to let the chocolate harden.
  5. Remove the glasses from the freezer.
  6. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Put each marshmallow on the end of a skewer.
  8. Place the skewers in the skillet with a flat side of the marshmallows facing down, until the marshmallows turn golden, about 45 seconds.
  9. Remove the skewered marshmallows from the pan and, using the tines of a fork, push 1 marshmallow into each martini glass.
  10. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, half of the marshmallow vodka, half of the Adult Chocolate Milk, and half of the cream.
  11. Shake well and strain the mixture into one of the glasses.
  12. Repeat for the second drink.


If you think your family will enjoy this recipe, be sure to visit to learn more about and purchase Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook. Filled with 156 great recipes like this, you’re sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and gathers everyone back around the table!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of QVC. The opinions and text are all mine.

Blue Spice Basil and Key Lime Mojito

Blue Spice Basil and Key Lime Mojito | Black Girl Chef's Whites



I love a good mojito. It is probably at the top of my list of cocktails I imbibe occasionally. When I was a younger gal, I would always order a vodka martini, very dry, with an olive.  I could toss back a couple of those no problem. Well, maybe an occasional problem when I would try to get off the barstool, but that’s another story for another time.

I was inspired to make a cocktail when I picked up a bag of key limes at my local Hispanic market.  Suddenly, I wanted to make a mojito. Or a margarita. I didn’t have rum or tequila in the house, so at that point it was all a dream anyway.  The next day, after making a run to the local booze store, I had my rum in hand. And tequila, just in case I didn’t like my soon to developed cocktail.

Mojitos are made with lots of fresh mint, but I decided to change up the herbal notes in this mojito. I am growing a few different types of basil plants, one of which is Blue Spice Basil. It is unlike any basil you have ever tasted. There are herbal notes, but there is also a spicy note, and an almost vanilla like note. This was the perfect herb to make my simple syrup with.

I am lucky to have a friend, Loretta, who runs a small organic and biodynamic seedling company called Spade and Seeds. She sells her beautiful baby plants at local farmers markets here in Southern California. If you ever see Blue Spice basil  at your local nursery, be sure to pick up a plant or two. Blue Spice basil is a wonderful addition to any herb garden.

The simple syrup will hold in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks if kept in a sealed jar or bottle.  Try using it in other cocktails, possibly ones with tequila or vodka. Nothing more fun than trying out new cocktails, right?


Blue Spice Basil and Key Lime Mojito | Black Girl Chef's Whites



Recipe: Blue Spice Basil and Key Lime Mojito


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raw or turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup Blue Spice basil leaves or sweet basil leaves
  • 1 part amber rum
  • 1 part Blue Spice basil simple syrup
  • 2 parts fresh squeezed Key Lime juice
  • sparkling water or seltzer


  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Stirring occasionally, boil the syrup for 4-5 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Remove the syrup from the heat, stir in the basil leaves.
  4. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, strain out the leaves, and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. Into a tall glass pour 1 part rum, 1 part simple syrup and 2 parts lime juice.
  6. (you can use a cocktail jigger or a cup measure. The ratio is what is important)
  7. Stir the mixture, add crushed ice, and fill the glass with sparkling water
  8. Garnish with a lime slice and a basil leaf.

Preparation time:

Cooking time:

Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.

The Lemony Cricket Cocktail

A great cocktail is a wonderful thing.

I have been making my own limoncello for the last year, since my Meyer lemon trees produce huge amounts of fruit twice a year. Friends and neighbors start calling when they know those lemons are getting ripe, and we give away bags full of lemons, but I still have more than enough to make a large batch of limoncello.

This cocktail was inspired by my friend Holland’s garden, which I raid for fresh lettuce and greens whenever she lets me. She had some beautiful lemon verbena growing, which she recommended using in a salad. I did, and it was delicious. But since I had just finished a new batch of limoncello, I also wanted to use it in a cocktail.

I made a simple syrup and steeped some lemon verbena leaves in it. You can flavor a simple syrup with any type of herb or spice, and use the syrup for cocktails or desserts. A simple syrup is equal parts water and sugar, heated until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, add your herb of choice and let it steep while the syrup cools to room temperature. Then remove the herbs and refrigerate until ready to use.

Years ago I found the coolest cocktail set in my parents house, and they let me have it. It was given to them as a wedding gift back in 1955. I love vintage dishes, and this one makes me smile when I see it. Or maybe I’m smiling because I just made a cocktail.


Friendly spirits, indeed!  These were made when making and having a cocktail was an art.  Think Lucille Ball in her fabulous lounge clothes, which were so dressy compared to what I lounge in, which is yoga pants! OK, I don’t just lounge in them, I live in them, but whatever. . .

The Lemony Cricket (named for Jiminy Cricket, the vintage Disney character) is a very simple cocktail to make. Bottled limoncello can be found easily now in stores, or you can make your own.

Pour 3 ounces of lemon verbena simple syrup into a glass or cocktail shaker. Thinly slice 2 or 3 lemon verbena leaves and place them into the simple syrup.

Gently muddle (press down on the leaves to release the oils and flavor) the verbena, then add 6 ounces of limoncello.

Stir this a bit, then add crushed ice. Stir this well, to melt some of the ice and chill the cocktail well.

Pour the Lemony Cricket into two glasses. You can strain the ice and leaves out if you wish, and serve the drink in a chilled martini glass. I like having the leaves in the drink, as they add a burst of flavor if you chew them as you imbibe.


print recipe

Limoncello – Lemon Verbena Cocktail
Limoncello and lemon verbena simple syrup united in unholy matrimony! The Lemony Cricket Cocktail is a must have for your next cocktail party!
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup + extra for garnish lemon verbena leaves
  • limoncello
  • crushed ice
In a medium pan, stir to melt the sugar in the water over a medium flame. Bring to a boil, then take the syrup off the heat.
Add one cup of lemona verbena leaves, lightly crushing them to help release the oils. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, strain out the leaves, and refrigerate.
In a cocktail shaker or large glass, pour 3 ounces of lemon verbena simple syrup. With kitchen shears, thinly slice one or two lemon verbena leaves into the syrup. With the back of a spoon press down on the leaves to release the oil into the syrup.

Add 6 ounces of limoncello, then fill the shaker with crushed ice. Stir or shake the cocktail until the drink is well chilled. Pour the cocktail into a glass, or strain the cocktail into a martini style glass, leaving the ice and lemon verbena leaves in the shaker.


Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 cocktails

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista