Monday, July 28, 2008

More Summer Recipes

We were away for 10 days on vacation. B, D and I flew to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and then to Phoenix, Arizona to visit with my niece M, her husband M and their son M. I have lots of stories from our trip but first I thought I would share a few amazing-looking recipes that I found during our travels. The first one was in the July issue of the Southwest Airlines Magazine. I was reading it on our flight out to Las Vegas. I tore it out of the magazine on our trip home. The recipe is for a mocktail called Aqua Frutta created by Marissa Barnes. Marissa is a bartender at Vivo Trattoria in Hartford, Connecticut. This sounds like a wonderful drink to make for a summer barbecue. I can't wait to try this recipe!

Strawberry Aqua Frutta
by Marissa Barnes

2-3 slices each of lemon and lime
9 small strawberries, sliced
Small handful of blueberries
3 ounces lemon juice
5 ounces water
1 ounce simple syrup (recipe below)
Dash vanilla extract
Sprig of mint

Puree seven of the strawberries in a blender until smooth, adding water if necessary. Put the lemon and lime slices, remaining strawberries, and blueberries in a pilsner glass filled 3/4 with ice, then use a straw to distribute the fruit throughout. In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree, lemon juice, water, simple syrup, and vanilla extract. Shake well and strain into glass. Garnish with mint sprig. Makes one Aqua Frutta.

Simple Syrup

1 part sugar
1 part water

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stir until dissolved, then cool.

This next recipe is from a Woman's Day magazine that I brought with my on our trip. The picture of this parfait is on the cover of the August 1 issue. It looks so summery and delicious that I couldn't resist it.

Mixed Berry Parfaits
Serves 5

1 box (3 oz) wild strawberry Jello
1 cup each fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
2 cups prepared vanilla pudding

1. You'll need five 10-oz glass or plastic glasses
2. Prepare Jello in a 2-cup glass measure as box directs. Refrigerate, occasionally stirring gently (try not to create bubbles.) 30 minutes or until consistency of egg whites.
3. Meanwhile, stem and hull 1/2 cup strawberries, cut in small pieces. Combine with 1/2 cup each blueberries and raspberries. Divide fruit mixture among glasses.
4. Add Jello and gently stir with a skewer to incorporate berries so some are suspended in gelatin (don't overstir). Refrigerate 3 hours or until set.
5. Spoon pudding on gelatin. Stem, hull and slice remaining strawberries and mix in a bowl with remaining blueberries and raspberries; spoon over pudding.

Planning Tip: Can be made through Step 4 up to 2 days in advance.

Doesn't this sound yummy?!

The Creative Cook

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Refreshing Summer Drinks - Non Alchoholic

I know that I've talked about iced tea and lemonade before but there are so many delicious and refreshing summer drinks that I am compelled to share a few more with you. I also found a great list of summer drinks at Real Simple's website for even more variety. I have the ingredients for these drinks in my freezer right now. I would be making them, too but we are leaving for vacation tomorrow. I will definitely be making them when I get back. Don't give your kids soda and juice boxes all summer, try one or two of these recipes instead.


Place 1 12-oz. can frozen pineapple juice concentrate (thawed) in a large pitcher; pour in 5 cups seltzer and 5 cups ginger ale. Stir vigorously until well blended. Stir in 4 cups cranberry juice and 2 cups orange juice; mix well. Scrub 1 lemon and 2 limes, then thinly slice. Just before serving, add sliced lemon and limes to pitcher and pour punch over ice. Serves 8.

Prep: 5 min. Serves: 8

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
2 6 oz cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 lemon, sliced (optional)

Pour 2 cups cold water into a blender and add half of the raspberries. Blend until smooth, then pour puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher (discard seeds). Add 4 more cups cold water, remaining raspberries and lemonade concentrate to raspberry puree. Mix well and pour over ice. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

** Swap berries – use blueberries or strawberries instead of raspberries


3/4 c Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c Freshly squeezed lime juice
5 cups ice water
1 cup Superfine sugar or 1-1/2 cups sugar
Lemon and lime slices for garnish

1. Combine juices and sugar in pitcher and stir until all sugar is dissolved.
2. When ready to serve fill tall glasses with ice.
3. Pour about 1/4 cup juice mixture in each glass and add beverage of choice to taste.
4. Stir to blend and add garnishes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

NOTE: SIMPLE SYRUP - Sugar needs no dissolving time when you add this ready-made sweetener to drinks. Refrigerated in a tightly closed jar, it keeps indefinitely.

3 cups water
4 cups granulated sugar

1. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, add sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes until mixture has a light syrup consistency.
3. Cool, pour into jars, cover and refrigerate.

Makes 3-1⁄4 cups

From Woman's Day Magazine

I had a hard time finding frozen pineapple concentrate, so I bought pineapple juice instead. I will substitute for the frozen concentrate unless I find some in a grocery store soon.

The Creative Cook