Baileys Almande Mai Tai

Cocktail O’ Clock: A Healthier Mai-Tai

Baileys Almande Mai Tai

Bailey’s has a new addition to its line of liqueurs: Almande, a creamy, non-dairy drink made with almond milk. Not sure if you know this about me, but I love Bailey’s but I avoid drinking dairy milk because it does not get along well with my stomach… so this is fantastic news to me! The packaging is obviously very girly, and I am In. To. It.

This smooth spirit blends the luscious, nutty flavors of real almondmilk and real vanilla to create a versatile drink. Serve over crushed ice or mix with coconut water for a delicious summer cocktail.

YES PLEASE, love you, Bailey’s! While you can definitely sip this sweet drink on its own or over ice, Bailey’s also shared some delicious tropical recipes for this summer… so, I’m passing them along to you! This Mai Tai caught my eye because it combines Almande with two of my favorite summer flavors: coconut and watermelon. I can feel the island breezes blowing now!

You’ll have to forgive this ultra punny name (or just embrace it, like I did)…

 

Mai-Tai Interest You In Some Almande?

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Blenders and Bowls Pitaya Bowl

Photo of the Day: Neon Pink Pitaya Happiness

Blenders and Bowls Pitaya Bowl

Neon colors aren’t often found in natural foods, but get a load of this bowl! I’ve recently become enamored with pitaya (aka dragon fruit), the sweet, tropical cactus fruit with a bright pinky-red flesh. Its creamy pulp is becoming a popular addition to smoothies and bowls these days, and I encountered an especially tasty version at Blenders and Bowls here in Austin.

This is the funfetti bowl (so obviously I had to try it, since anything funfetti is heaven in my book). It has pitaya, pineapple, banana, vanilla protein powder and vanilla almond milk. Then it’s topped with hemp granola, banana, goji berries, bee pollen, local honey, & edible flowers. It was incredibly flavorful and full of texture – cold, creamy, chewy, crunchy. I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like funfetti cake, but still delicious (and, come on, way more nutritious). Literally one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever eaten. And let’s talk about how people are putting smoothies in bowls now… it doesn’t completely make sense to me, but it does make for more opportunities to create a gorgeous presentation.

Anyway, you guys, this is why I’ve given up on making smoothies at home. Kind of lazy of me, but let’s be real. When I can spend like $8 at a specialty cafe and get this glorious bowl, why would I try to source my own exotic superfoods and edible flowers to make this myself? Some things are better left to the pros, and I think this neon tropical bowl is one of them.

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Endless Roadtrip USVI: Ultimate Bar Food Round-Up

While you probably think of exotic tropical flavors when imagining Caribbean cuisine, Red Hook, St. Thomas’ East End hub, is no stranger to delicious bar food. From burgers to pizza to sandwiches to pupu platters, Red Hook really has anything you need for your drunk munchies and/or hungover desperation meals.

Duffy's Love Shack Platter

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Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

Endless Roadtrip USVI: BBQ Off the Grid

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

As luck would have it, the BEST food truck in St. Thomas (or quite possibly, anywhere ever) just happened to be located in the entrance of Sapphire Village, right where we were staying on the East End. When we were in the Virgin Islands last month, we heard they were gearing up to open a second truck on nearby Coki Beach as well. Double your chances to get in on this mouth-watering meat wonderland!

Off the Grid is a BBQ truck with a vibrant Caribbean twist. Pay only $15 for all-you-can-eat meats of the day such as wings, pork belly, brisket, pulled pork (A++++!) ribs, and mussels. Yes friends, BBQ mussels, and they were amazing, basted in a sticky-spicy-sweet sauce. BBQ sides are Caribbean style as well: gooey baked sweet potatoes, spicy-creamy rainbow slaw, rice and peas, etc.

Fellow vacation lushes, don’t worry, because Off the Grid also offers a bevy of booze. I, of course, opted for the bottomless mimosas (mixed with a homemade tropical fruit blend instead of your average orange juice) but they had fresh margs, beer, sangria, the whole shebang. As you probably know, Austin is ridiculously rife with BBQ and food trucks, so you might think an Austinite wouldn’t be able to find the novelty in eating at a BBQ truck on vacation, but this was worlds away from Texas BBQ. Plus, no food truck in Texas has this view.

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

Note: Off the Grid opens around 11am and closes when they run out of meat, often around 4-5pm. So plan on a big lunch/brunch here, not dinner. Bring your appetite and steel your liver.

More Endless Roadtrip USVI:
1. Caribbean Comfort at Gladys Cafe
2. Bones Rum Shop

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Bones Rum Shop USVI

Endless Roadtrip USVI: Bones Rum Shop

Bones Rum Shop USVI

When in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, one of my personal highlights is Bones Rum Shop on the waterfront. Bones is super smooth, produced right on St. Thomas using their centuries-old recipe, small batch distilling, and oak barrel aging.

But like I mentioned in my last USVI post, the islands are full of rum. So what’s so special about Bones? It’s SERVE YOURSELF, YO. You pick out your flavor of virgin frozen daiquiri, then they HAND YOU A BOTTLE OF RUM and then you POUR YOUR OWN RUM INTO YOUR DRINK. When Bones made their business plan, they clearly never realized I was coming to town. You do NOT give me that kind of power if you know what’s good for you.

FYI, travelers – Bones is somewhat hard to find online and I don’t know their exact address, but if you’re on the main waterfront, just look for their pirate sign. You can’t miss it.

More Endless Roadtrip USVI:
1. Caribbean Comfort at Gladys Cafe

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Charlotte Amalie St Thomas

Endless Roadtrip USVI: Caribbean Comfort at Gladys Cafe

Last month Rob and I embarked on a big, amazing Caribbean vacation to USVI. We mainly stayed in St. Thomas but went to St. John for a few days, Water Island for one day, and also embarked on a boating excursion around the BVI: Virgin Gorda, The Baths, Cooper Island, Norman Island, and Jost Van Dyke. Do I recommend it? ABSOLUTELY. The Virgin Islands were a badass vacation: the perfect mix of relaxation and activity, plus home to the best white sand beaches I’ve ever experienced.

Charlotte Amalie St Thomas

We stayed in Red Hook, on the east side of the island, but the main town (and cruise port) in St. Thomas is Charlotte Amalie. While it’s very pretty (see the photo above – a clear day with no ships in port!), it gets crowded with tourists and shoppers when the ships are in. Charlotte Amalie is  home to tons of duty-free shops, jewelry stores, designer bag sellers, etc… not really my scene. But hey! If you love to shop you might dig it.

But you know what else Charlotte Amalie has? One of the most popular and beloved traditional Caribbean restaurants in St. Thomas: Glady’s Cafe.

Gladys Cafe St Thomas

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Seared Tuna with Ginger Wasabi Vegetables

Seared Tuna with Ginger-Wasabi Stirfry

Seared Tuna with Ginger Wasabi Vegetables

For some reason making seared tuna at home is impressive to people. I mean, I get it, seared tuna is a somewhat “fancy” thing you’d order at a restaurant, but here’s a secret: it’s SO simple (and usually more inexpensive) to prepare in your own kitchen. I promise. This recipe looks good and tastes even better, and if you have guests over they’ll be wowed. Only you have to know the truth: seared tuna takes about 6 minutes to make and is virtually fool-proof.

Tropical Seared Tuna with Ginger-Wasabi Stirfry

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