Showing posts with label ravishing reshreshments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ravishing reshreshments. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

it's not the heat...

We southerners like to say that it's not the heat, but the humidity that makes it so miserable to be outside in the summer. It is generally true. My husband went out the front door the other day, turned around and came back inside and said, "It feels like walking in a wet sweater out there." He was right. The air was heavy with moisture and burning up the mercury on the temperature gauges outside. Of course, when it is 108 degrees (as the digital bank sign read the other day as I drove past), it is just plain hot.

Of course, as I have survived several southern summers I do know a more than a few ways to cool off on a day when the air feels like soup.  Iced (sweet) tea helps. If you must get out sauntering, not rushing, where you need to go is the best idea. Dipping your feet in a pool, even a baby pool often does the trick. And then there is the ever cooling cucumber.

I have received several in my CSA already this year. I love slicing them in a simple salad with tomatoes from my backyard and a few onions (also from my CSA). I dress them in a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, a few sprigs of fresh oregano, kosher salt, and cracked pepper. I let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour so it can be extra refreshing.

I also like to sip a simple cucumber cooler on a hot day. I slice up a lemon and a cucumber and place them in a large pitcher with a few mint leaves from my herb garden. I top this with ice and water. I then let it steep for at least overnight in the fridge.

A nice creamy dill cucumber sandwich can make a lovely lunch. I have a simple recipe you can find here. And the cucumbers in a pita chip salad are crisp and cool. Click here to see that recipe.

Of course, my carnivore won't have any thing to do with any of these cucumber concoctions. It's not his fault. He was raised up north most of his life. But with this heat wave, maybe even his brain with melt and he will change his mind.

Monday, August 8, 2011

hot, hot, hot

It is hot out there. Really hot. They are issuing warnings here in Memphis, which seem a bit redundant to this native of the South. I mean, it's August people. It's gonna be muggy and miserable, even if you aren't as pregnant as I am.

That doesn't mean I don't appreciate a nice refreshment to cool me off. Every good southerner knows staying hydrated in this heat is essential. That and air conditioning, and maybe a quick run through the sprinkler, and definitely some loose light clothing (think seersucker). But I digress. Sipping on something chilly will cool your core even when it is literally 99 in the shade. Sure you can resort to the usual sweet tea or bottle of your favorite brew, but let me suggest this - a watermelon cucumber cooler. It is easy to make with the fresh goodies from your CSA and will rehydrate you in no time.

You will need the following:
4 cups of watermelon, de-seeded and chopped
2 cup of cucumber, skinned and sliced
juice from 1/2 lime
1 large spring of fresh mint
1/2 cup of organic honey
2 cups of ice
cucumber slices for garnish

Puree the watermelon in blender. Pour the fruit juice into large pitcher through mesh sieve. Push fruit with wooden spatula as needed to remove all of the juice. Repeat process with the cucumber. Add in the lime juice and honey to pitcher. Stir well. Drop in the mint and ice. Let sit in fridge over night. Stir again. Serve over more ice and a few slices of cucumber.

Sip and enjoy as you cool your heels in your kid's baby pool while you fan yourself with that piece of junk mail. Hey, every little bit helps in this heat.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

mothers day out

As you know, the carnivore and I welcomed baby omnivore in our lives a few months ago. Lucky for me, two of my good girlfriends followed right behind us with their own bouncing baby boys. Now me and the girls have get-togethers with our little guys about once a week. And since the babies can't really do much yet, the play dates are more for us than for them. We share tips and hints. We commiserate and sometimes cry. But above all we just try to get out! And whether we go to story time to get out of our own house, or we meet up to walk our strollers down the neighborhood streets to just get outside, switching things up and getting out of our routine seems to breathe fresh life into us. One afternoon recently the ladies dropped by my place, and I decided to make the mommy time even more special with a fizzy drink to help calm our frazzled nerves.

And this lime lovely couldn't be more simple. In a pitcher, place half a can of frozen limeade (6oz) along with two can of sprite zero (or the real deal if that is what you have one hand), one can of tonic water, half of a lime wedged, and a generous amount of ice cubes. Stir and serve chilled.

This drink made our drab day seem fab. It was sweet and tart. The bubbles made it even more special. I served it along side some left over fruit salad I brightened up with fresh mint still growing in my garden and left over slices of spice cake (you know, things that can be eaten with your fingers if you have your hands full with, say, a baby). In any case, it was out of the ordinary and all mothers need that from time to time.

How do you think outside of the box to make your days more special? Let me know below.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

water cooler talk

Now that baby omnivore is here I am blessed enough to be a stay at home mom. This has meant a distinct shift in my daily water cooler talk. Instead of case law and court antics, I now discuss shapes and numbers - with a four month old. We expound on opposites and explore colors. We talk about letters and sounds. It's all really important stuff. But, every now and again Mommy needs a break from the babble.

Enter my watermelon wonder-drink. This little concoction can pick me up any afternoon after a full morning of the demands of motherhood. Simple to make, and sweet to sip. It is sensational.

Start with 1 cup of ice cubes. Place them in the blender with 1 cup of cubed seedless watermelon. Add in half a cup of orange juice. Squeeze in half of a lime. Blend thoroughly. Top with a fresh sprig of mint. Sit somewhere quite and least until baby is ready for another gab session.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

southern sweet tea with a twist

I am Southern, so that means a few things. I say fixin' to and y'all. I call anyone a minute older than me ma'am. I watch college football on Saturdays religiously, and when I can't I get updates (for example on my wedding day I got text messages on the score of a game while getting ready - in Mexico no less). I answer questions with "yes, sir" and "no, sir" even to people in my own family. I think just about anything is better fried, especially the veggies from the garden in the yard. And, I LOVE sweet tea. I seriously went through withdrawal when I lived in D.C. during law school. However, I also like to mix things up a bit. So here is my twist on a southern classic - citrus mint sweet tea.

Simply brew your tea according to the directions (or for extra points make sun tea). Then while the water is still hot, slice an orange and put it in the pitcher. This is also the time to add in real sugar if you are going full tilt on the sweet tea. About one cup will do. Let this cool in the fridge for an hour or two. Then add in fresh mint (from your herb garden, if you are a green girl) and muddle the mix. You can strain the mint and oranges out when you serve it over ice, or you can just leave them in the glass as I do. If you didn't use sugar you can now stir in any artificial sweetener.

Hope y'all like it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

pretty and pink lemonade

So, as you may know the carnivore and I are experiencing an abundance of basil. We have made our own pesto and have put it in every Italian dish imaginable. But, what does that green herb have to do with this pink drink? Well, in short, I was looking for more ways to use up the basil. I kept coming across recipes for watermelon and basil drinks. I do love watermelon cocktails, so I was intrigued. Let me explain...

I didn't see a recipe anywhere for this exact cocktail, but here is what I decided to make - watermelon and basil infused lemonade. I started with a frozen lemonade mix which I made according to the package. I then sliced several chunks of watermelon which I stirred in along side a few basil leaves. I then let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour. And, I have to say it was tart and yummy. I then made it a little more adult by adding a shot of vodka to each tall glass. Again, outstanding.

But, what about that pink drink? Well, after having this luscious lemonade cocktail for a few days, I decided I wanted something even cooler. So, I removed the basil leaves and poured the remaining lemonade and watermelon into a blender with several ice cubes and a few more shots of vodka. I blended it till pretty and pink. Probably a little too cute for the carnivore, but I loved it. It was a wonderful twist on pink lemonade.

So, whether you have a special glass of lemonade, a more adult version of the same thing, or a icy pink lemonade cocktail you can't go wrong!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

a minty fresh refreshment

As you may know, the carnivore and I planted out own herb garden this year. And, as people warned us our mint has gone crazy. So, I went looking for recipes to use it up. And this is what I found in an old Real Simple - peach and mint iced tea.

For those of you not from the South, iced tea, mostly sweet tea, is a staple here. This is especially true when the temperature reaches in the high 90s, as it has here this past week. And, that's not taking into account the humidity which makes it feel like it is well over 100 degrees. As such, iced tea is required to keep us hydrated and sane.

So I made a big batch of regular iced tea to start. And, as I am a sucker for all things peach and have just found a few that are ripe enough at the market, I picked up a few. I peeled and chopped them up. I also gathered some mint and chopped it up. I placed the mint and peach pieces in the glass. I topped them with ice and a splenda (I am southern girl girl after all and the sweeter the better). I poured the tea on top and stirred.

It was wonderful, but the mint kept getting in my mouth. So, here is what I have learned...keep the mint leaves in tack. Bruise them a little and place them at the bottom of the glass. This seems to work better and the drink is just as refreshing.

So if you too have an abundance of mint, and are in need of a little refreshment, here is one idea at least...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

a little bit fruity - an addict's admission

Summer is my favorite time of year. You get to wear flip flops all the time. You get to splash around in the pool. And, the fruits and veggies are super fresh. Here's my only problem. I sometimes go a little nuts at the market this time of year and buy a little too much fruit. If you know my carnivore, then you know he never thinks to eat fruit. It isn't that he hates it, he just really doesn't think about eating it. He certainly doesn't get all giddy about it like I do. And, I do what I can by sneaking a few strawberries of a cluster of green grapes on his breakfast plate, but even then I sometimes can't eat all the fruit I have bought. When this happens and my berries are about to go bad, I make smoothies. It is something along the lines of "when life gives you lemons make lemonade."

The other day I had part of a watermelon that was well on its way to becoming mushy, some blueberries that were a bit past their prime, and a ton of strawberries (some from the market and some the carnivore and I picked ourselves). Some I mixed up these lovely bits of fruit with one cup of (organic 2%) milk (you could also use yogurt if you have some around) with a few ice cubes until it was smooth.

What can I say? It was wonderfully refreshing. Plus, I packed in lots of antioxidants and vitamin C in my little drink. It was the perfect end to my lunch - just sweet enough to fool me into thinking I had dessert without all the calories (it is bikini season after all). Maybe next time I will even make one for the carnivore. So, if you have a summer fruit addiction like mine, I highly suggest you make yourself a frozen and drink to your health!
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