Strawberry Lemonade

How am I just now realizing that I never wished you all a Happy 4th of July? Fail on my part... Anyhow, I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend with your family and friends. Mine was spent in my parent's backyard with a little bit of bags, an iced cold beer in hand, and burgers and beer brats cooking on the stove. A little music playing, my nieces running around the yard, not worrying about avoiding the throngs of people in the city - it was the perfect way to spend Independence Day! lemons

Sunday afternoon my mom and I decided to pull out the Vitamix and try making homemade strawberry lemonade. Please bear with my while I shamelessly plug Vitamix. After living in NYC for a year, I had developed an unhealthy love for juices and smoothies. Green juices. Berry smoothies. Coconut water. Almond milk. Anything and everything. I knew that I wanted to put my money into something worthwhile and decided to purchase a Vitamix. Unfortunately I am not longer in possession of this amazing blender - let's call it payment to my parents for allowing their adult son to live at home. This thing can do anything - smoothies, make flours, soups! I can do no wrong.

I just discovered Vitamix's newest blender, the S30. How can I get my hands on this guy to try out in my kitchen?

strawberries

When making the recipe I juiced 1 cup of lemon juice and it only came from about four lemons. I did a little adjusting and decided to use about a 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice. Depending on what your taste is, feel free to use as much or as little as you please. I grew up eating lemons. My sister and I would give our little brother lemons to eat as a baby and watch him make faces. It got to the point that none of us made faces when we ate lemons.

We didn't make this batch with vodka, but it'd be a great drink to make for a BBQ or summer party!

strawberry lemonade

s.lemonade

 What about you? Do you have any go-to drink recipes for the summer (alcoholic or nonalcoholic)?

Strawberry Lemonade Recipe from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar 1 cup of water 1 pint fresh strawberries 1 cup fresh lemon juice (I ended up using 1.5 cups) 4-6 cups cold water (this will vary depending on your taste, I only used 4 cups) 1 cup vodka (optional)

Directions:

  1. Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat until the sugar in completely dissolved; swirl the pan occasionally. Let cool.
  2. Once the simple syrup has cooled, puree strawberries in a blender with ½ cup water.
  3. In a large pitcher, combine strawberry puree, simple syrup and lemon juice. If using the vodka, add it to the pitcher and stir to combine.
  4. Add 4-6 cups of cold water. The amount of water you use will depend on your taste, so add as little or as much as you want to achieve your perfect sweet/tart balance.
  5. Serve over ice. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.

Green Olive Dip

Is anyone else obsessed with 24 Live Another Day like I am? When I found out the Jack Bauer was coming out of retirement and returning to television this summer, I couldn't have been more thrilled. My family and I followed the show religiously and we were very sad to see the show go off the air in 2010. Ingredients

Last night we all sat in front of the TV, watched Jack Bauer save the day, drank a little red wine and chowed down on some snacks.

Green Olives

This recipe has been a favorite in the Engstrom household for quite a while. If you're a green olive enthusiast like I am, this recipe is a perfect snack or appetizer. With no cooking involved, it is a quick and easy to whip up right before a party. You can use this dip with just about anything, but I prefer using Triscuits. The crunch of the cracker with the delicious flavors in the dip make an amazing combination.

Green Olive Dip

Green Olive Dip

Ingredients: 8 ounces lowfat cream cheese 1/2 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons liquid from green olives dash of black pepper 1 cup chopped green olives

Instructions:

  1. Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise, mix well.
  2. Add olive juice and ground pepper, mix well.
  3. Add chopped olives and mix.
  4. Serve on French bread of crackers.