Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer Lovin'

Okay, I know TECHNICALLY it's still Spring. Fooey on that. It's 103 here today, so I'm in full summer swing. This morning, the kids went swimming, froze their butts off, but had a grand ol time. This afternoon starts my summer season of cooking. Around this house, we are summer eaters. And why is it that summer food seems so much harder to prepare? For example...Winter food: Stews, soups, pies...EASY!! Chop some veggies, throw them in a pot, and let them prepare themselves for hours while! Summer food: Produce, tacos, lemonade, ice cream....yeah around here all homemade. I chop all the produce when it comes home so it's ready to eat. Ice cream is frozen yogurt graham cracker sandwiches...which are to die for! Lemonade is fresh squeezed (don't you love a word that has a Q & a Z!) with strawberries, which is usually gone in a matter of hours. Egg salad, potato salad. The list goes on. I have given into the fact that summer food may be harder to prepare, but I think it's the only thing that gets me through 120 degrees.

A treat: Homemade Strawberry (or raspberry) Lemonade

What you need:

15-20 good sized strawberries (or a pint of raspberries)

1 1/2 cups of sugar (no one said it was healthy)

1 Cup Lemon Juice (or store bought lemonade & no sugar)

Seltzer Water

What to do:

Cut the tops off strawberries and dice them roughly into a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup sugar to strawberries and mash with a fork (I use a potato masher). Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes.
****Side note: I like strawberries to float in my lemonade at then I get to eat them at the end. Double bonus! If this grosses you out, you can strain the mixture into the pitcher, just use a spoon to get as much of it out as you can and continue******

Pour strawberry mixture, lemon juice, and remaining sugar into a 2 quart pitcher. Fill the pitcher about halfway with water & stir. Add seltzer water to the top and taste. You can really fine tune it here, but this amount of everything make a pretty tasty concoction. If your lemonade is too sour, add more sugar, and too sweet add some lemon juice, but no more that 2 tbsp at a time. Taste until perfect & chill!

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