Healthfully Ever After

Healthy Curated Living

Summer White Currant Lemonade Cocktail

CookingCarlene ThomasComment

It's summer. Let's have lemonade, yes? But not basic lemonade. Oh no. We're talking white currant lemonade and we're going to turn it into a cocktail. Currants are very, very interesting and until this summer I have never been able to find them. EVER. When my Dad, husband and I went to an Amish market in Maryland the other weekend, lo and behold, we found currants. 

White currants to me are very, very tart and they do need some sweetness to balance them out and enjoy. The majority of what I love about currants is honestly their appearance. They're like delicate little grapes and man do Europeans make them look amazing on Instagram. But no matter where you live, you'll love them for their vitamin C content for sure.  

Summer White Currant Lemonade Cocktail
Summer White Currant Lemonade Cocktail
Summer White Currant Lemonade Cocktail
Summer White Currant Lemonade Cocktail

White Currant Lemonade Cocktail

Makes 2 cocktails

/// Ingredients ///

  • 1 cup White Currants
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • Equal part water to lemon juice
  • Sugar

/// Directions /// Remove currants from stems. In a blender add lemon juice, currants and water. Blend and strain to remove the solids of the white currants. Taste and add sugar. Add vodka and stir again. Pour over ice and garnish with currants. 

Summer White Currant Lemonade Cocktail
Summer White Currant Lemonade Cocktail

Have you used white currants before? What should I do with the extras?


My Ideal Summer Sunday | HUGE GIVEAWAY with Kura! 3 Winners

Weekly Update, Healthy Hostess, Bits of NutritionCarlene ThomasComment

I'm falling in love with summer weekends. Pinch me, but I think I'm starting to learn to relax! From an ideal breakfast to a farmers market run I realized I should be living my ideal summer Sunday way more often. It's the little luxuries that make life amazing and as I wrote this, I've come to find again and again those luxuries to me are being outside in nature and great food. So what would YOU do on your ideal summer Sunday? Today I'm sharing exactly what I do to unwind and enjoy during the weekends and also an awesome giveaway for THREE PEOPLE thanks to Kura (an essential in my kitchen Monday through Sunday!), so you CAN live your ideal weekend! Make sure to enter at the end of this post! Or, if you can't wait, grab 10% off your Kura order with code KURACARL until the end of August. 

While I wish I could say we start the weekend with a really nice sleep in, the reality is it's usually more like a 7 AM feline induced wake up call. 8 AM if the cats partied the night before. To jump start the morning and make a healthy decision immediately, the husband and I start the day with a smoothie. Our current repeat is frozen banana (to make it extra creamy), frozen berries, spinach and berry flavored Kura. Not only does Kura add in extra protein to keep us full and balance out blood sugar, but it also has probiotics, which is a major hot topic in nutrition right now. There is some amazing research connecting probiotics and your digestive microbiome to immunity, mood, weight and more. 

healthy smoothie breakfast, kura with spinach, berries and banana
healthy smoothie breakfast, kura

I basically chill around the house in my robe for an hour or so and then we head out to a farm stand or farmers market with our reusable tote (it kills my soul when I forget and have to use plastic). Summer farmers markets are the best. THE BEST. From the usual goodies that are around all the time, like cheese and bacon, bread and coffee to the summer specials like berries and flowers, the farmers market is my happy place. 

blueberries at the market
carlene thomas, healthfully ever after farmers market

One of my absolute favorite vendors at our market are 'the plant people'. I could spend all my money on plants. They have everything from 10 kinds of mint to unusual things like night blooming cereus, which is around in St Thomas in the Caribbean where my in-laws live.  

farmers market flowers

After the farmers market we like to make a stop for coffee. There's a little place that makes the most amazing coffee around. And yes, even though it's summer, we will totally get a hot latte the majority of the time. Because they are perfection. Have you noticed how so far, my ideal day is all about food? Okay, good. Me too. 

coffee with design

After a little bit, I'm ready for another mini meal and right now, avocado toast is our jam. While we love just a basic feta and sriracha on 7 grain bread, with summer produce you can basically do no wrong. Other options are salsa and baby cilantro with green onions or tomatoes with corn and basil. Again, no bad options here. 

avocado toasts

One of my other favorite weekend activities is antiquing or just exploring. The husband and I have gotten really good at finding things while antiquing. His specialty is finding original art tucked away that ends up being worth a few thousand dollars while I can spot any animal related statue in a five mile radius. Just talk to my life size greyhound or cheetah statues. 

While we have our favorite spots, we also keep a running list of places in the app Wunderlist (food trucks, restaurants, shops, trails etc) that we read about or have recommended to us. After a while, it ends up happening that there are a few stops in the same area and we make a day of it! Our next outing is revolving around a Korean food truck and picking up a mid-century modern chair we've been stalking... Wherever we end up, I always bring snacks or have something fast and ready to go when we get home. Being hungry = potential bad decisions. I love making little energy balls with oats, nut butter, chia seeds, vanilla Kura and whatever else tempts me. Right now, we weirdly have some Amish cinnamon streusel mini chips that go super well...

kura oat energy balls and strawberries, healthy snack

Once we're home there is literally nothing I enjoy more than sitting outside on the patio with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and just reading. Sometimes that means magazines (Saveur, Bon Appétit, Town and Country, Old House) or a book. My go to is a British Murder mystery but I've FINISHED every series I've started and I'm OUT of options until I find a new author (I love M.C. Beaton, Agatha Christie's Poirot plus P.G. Wodehouse for comedy so if you have ideas....). As long as it's under 95 degrees with a breeze I am outside until it basically gets dark! I love Virginia evenings. But once the bats come out, and they come out to help eat the mosquitoes with a vengeance, it's time to head inside to snuggle up and watch Netflix. Until football season that is. I'll talk about this in my July favorites YouTube video, but right now we love the shows Luther, Bloodline and we're on Parks and Rec as I type.

Want to see what my Sunday was like? See it here! 

So what does your ideal summer Sunday look like? Are you outside or inside? Active or relaxing? We want to know and of course, we want to help you make it happen. Kura and I are teaming up to give you a package to kick off your ideal day. Here's what it includes! Enter below via the Rafflecopter and there will be THREE WINNERS! (US mailing only)

  • Some stemless smoothie flutes ( just like the ones I use!)
  • A pitcher so you can infuse water with flavor, not calories
  • Black and white paper straws which always make breakfast more fun
  • Your choice of Kura with some of each mini flavor to share
  • A tray to tote what you need outside to your patio to enjoy
  • And an awesome striped tote so you can get what you need from the farmers market!


KURA and Healthfully Ever After givewaway!

Disclosure: Thank you to Kura for partnering with me to sponsor this post!

Gluten Free Dessert: Pavlova Berry Layer Cake

Cooking, VideoCarlene ThomasComment

It's cake time again! Each month I come up with a cake recipe to share on Swooned, and this month, I went with a classic my family always makes. In fact, if you look back over the past few years, I think I've made this recipe on the blog each year. While last year I made a crazy in depth blog post about the recipe (because it can be tricky even though there are only like five ingredients), we've added YouTube to the Healthfully Ever After repertoire this year...and hello...what better way than to show you?

See step by step, how to make this blackberry pavlova layer cake in video and click over to Swooned to see the recipe.

Gluten Free Dessert: Pavlova Berry Layer Cake
Gluten Free Dessert: Pavlova Berry Layer Cake

It's hard NOT to make a berry cake when your parents have berry bushes lining the entire property! Every summer we head over to pick wineberries (below) and a little later in the season, blackberries and blueberries.... if the animals don't get to them first!

Gluten Free Dessert: Pavlova Berry Layer Cake

© Healthfully Ever After & Carlene Thomas 2011-2014