red zest

Summer On a Plate

It’s summer, and yeah it’s almost never awfully hot in Detroit (to me this is not hot) but I’m going tropical. It’s more about feeling like you’re on vacation than it is cooling down, but we can do a little of that as well! Today, lunch is a mix of sweet, spicy, and chilled. No stove tops for this one!

Tropical Tofu Salad

  • 2- 1 lb packages of firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 5 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 TBSP cane vinegar (after tasting this I think rice vinegar would be a fine substitute)
  • juice of a lemon and a little of its zest
  • 2 red chili peppers
  • 1 bundle of green onions, tops
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions: Prepare your tofu. Completely drain and press it, then cut it into chunks and set it aside in a mixing bowl. In a food processor, mill the coconut flakes into an even finer flake so your texture-hating significant other will eat it. Then set it aside. Skip if you’re all about that texture. Now, combine the soy sauce, cane vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, red chilies, and green onions and whiz it around until it’s well combined and the vegetables well chopped. Pour over the chunked tofu and then combine the marinade into it by mashing with a fork. Let it set in the fridge for several hours before serving so the flavors can marry. Serve with the breads, toppings, and spreads of your choice! Try to work with the flavor profile though, a’ight? Pinky promise?

Chilled Chili-Mango-Melon Soup

  • flesh of a medium cantaloupe, scooped out
  • 2 cups frozen mango, thawed (you can use fresh but I seriously suck at cutting them)
  • 1 red chili pepper, deseeded
  • 1 “ ginger root piece, peeled
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp molasses (optional)

Directions: In a food processor, combine the ginger root and red chili pepper with the water until it’s as homogeneous as you can get it. Add the coconut milk and molasses, then combine once again to hopefully get the first bit milled even finer. Start adding in the cantaloupe and mango in batches until fully combined. Let chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving so the flavors can marry.

ARIES: To incite passion in an interest

Best performed outside under the view of Aries at a new moon.
You will need:
A small jar
A small piece of paper or bay leaf
A pen
A red ribbon
Matches/A lighter
Orange zest - Creativity
Cinnamon - Passion
Ginger - Success
Thyme - Courage
Tourmaline - Protection from negative energy
Birch leaves/twigs - Beginnings

1. On the piece of paper or bay leaf, write your interest or new hobby
2. Place your ginger, thyme, cinnamon, tourmaline and orange zest into the jar, then place the birch leaves and twigs on top.
3. Burn the paper (or bay leaf) in a heatproof container or directly over your jar, clearly stating your intent (I.e. I am free of art block, I am dedicated to learning the ukulele, I have the ability to finish writing this book) out loud, or in your mind. Repeat your intent/chant until all paper is turned to ash.
4. Sprinkle the ashes into your jar.
5. Place on your lid and tie the red ribbon around the top of your jar.
6. Keep the jar in your workspace, charging under the sun or full moon when you need a boost.

I finally wrote my first spell of twelve! It was quite a challenge, but I’m hoping it will get easier from here and any constructive criticism is more than welcome. I have to thank @eclecticfawn for reading over it and helping me to improve it, and @stardvstprince for help with cosmic witchcraft <3 I thought it was a fitting spell to start my project with. I’m hoping to get the 11 others written up by the end of tomorrow, so that I can design and bind my final spellbook by Monday. 


Nauman Arfeen, Carpe Diem, Fashion Pakistan Week SS16

“The spirit to live in the moment, making the most of it. The palette of Brick red and cerulean signifies zest for life. Playing with natural fabrics such as breezy semi linens, cascading and raw silk, Nauman gives wings to fly free. While digitally printed scarves add vibrancy, camel hued bags give a touch of strength to the collection. Check prints and accessories are there to balance the look. Carpe Diem is for the one who flies solo and has the strongest wings.”

Remember why I love you

After a fight, it can sometimes be awkward or difficult to get back to normal. Whether the argument was with a family member, friend, or significant other, this honey can help. We want to make up and we want them to know how much we love them.

⚘1/2 cup honey, such as clover or local.
⚘1/2 cup water
⚘1 cup red rose petals
⚘orange zest

Mix all ingredients together and heat to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir clockwise. At this point you want to think about all the reasons you love this person! Continue cooking until the honey has thickened enough, and pour into a container and chill. This will keep in the icebox about 1 week.

Serve with tea, pancakes, toast, whatever they prefer. Think about the kind of tea as well. Lemon for love or chamomile to calm.


Mulled Spiced Wine

As I’ve mentioned before, October is my favorite month of the year. One of the many reasons for this is mulled (or spiced) wine. It’s warm, it’s cozy, it makes your house smell great, and pairs really well with movie night. Plus you can get away with using the cheapest red wine from Trader Joe’s since you’re flavoring it.

Because this is a college blog, I can admit that I used a $2.99 bottle of wine without being judged, right?


  • 2 bottles of red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon)
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • zest of one orange, plus orange slices


  1. Pour wine and apple cider into a large pot on the stove, add the orange slices.
  2. Combine spices in a cheesecloth/nutmilk bag, adding them to the pot.
  3. Warm over low heat for 20-30 minutes, DO NOT BOIL.
  4. Serve warm!

Note: If you don’t have a cheesecloth/nutmilk bag, you can add the spices directly to the pot, and the strain the wine through a sieve before serving. You can also add the spices directly through the pot, and use a ladle to serve, careful to avoid the floating cloves.

Red Grapefruit White Chocolate Blondies

Add some citrus to satisfy your sweet tooth! These blondies are studded with white chocolate and topped with a creamy, sweet red grapefruit frosting. 



10 minutes prep, 25 minutes baking.


½ cup unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

½ cup white chocolate chips

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 ½ tablespoons juice from a freshly squeeze Paramount Citrus red grapefruit 
Zest of 1 Paramount Citrus red grapefruit

Pinch of salt

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

2. To make the blondies, add the butter and sugar to a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in the egg.

3. Add the baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir until all ingredients are combined

4. Add the flour and stir just until a batter forms. Fold in the white chocolate chips and walnuts.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges of the blondies are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

6. For the frosting, add the butter and confectioner’s sugar to the bowl of a mixer. Mix on medium until the butter begins to combine with the sugar, about 90 seconds.

7. With mixer on medium, add the grapefruit, juice, grapefruit zest and salt. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until the frosting is smooth and creamy

8. Frost the blondies, cut into 9 squares and serve.

Grilled Tamarind Lime Chicken 

Add something new to your grilling lineup with this spicy, saucy chicken. Tamarind and lime are combined to make a zesty sauce with a comfortable heat from crushed red pepper. It’s perfect for chicken breasts, but also makes a delicious glaze for grilled fish or a post-grill dipping sauce for vegetable kabobs.


10 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking, 15 minutes grilling time.

1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 Paramount Citrus lime
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Zest of 1 Paramount Citrus lime
6, 4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Paramount Citrus lime wedges


1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the tomato sauce, garlic, brown sugar, tamarind concentrate, mustard and lime juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in the salt, black pepper, red pepper and lime zest. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 400 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and grill 4 to 5 more minutes.

4. Brush on the tamarind lime sauce to coat each piece of chicken, let cook 1 to 2 more minutes. Flip the chicken breasts and coat the other side with sauce and cook for an additional minute, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F.

5. Serve with lime wedges for garnish.