Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Refreshing drinks for all this summer, says I.

Peach Basil Sangria Anti-Recipe

Many years ago my dear friend Ashton came to visit and I had made a batch of sangria the night before to have on hand for the weary travelers when they arrived. It, and the vodka filled watermelon were a hit. A year or so later Ashton called to ask what my recipe was… Truly I didn’t know how to respond because it’s such a nebulous thing. I recall sending him a few sample recipes and telling him to piece it together himself. (Nice friend, huh?) Well, Ashton found his was around the sangria and is now quite the expert.
When we were on the same side of the country a few months ago we worked side by side in the kitchen throwing together a batch for a last-minute party we didn’t even need to speak, we both just threw our things into the mix. We’re in tune like that. Today I called him to ask him a question about “his” sangria and he just laughed… Sounds like his has become as nebulous as mine. Yours will be soon too but this is a good place to start.

2 bottles white wine, ideally not chardonnay (but in a pinch, it works)
1/2 cup peach liqueur (Pallini Peachcello White Peach Liqueur is delicious)
3 peaches, sliced
2 limes, sliced
1 orange, sliced
15 cherries, halved (or blackberries, whole)
1 bunch opal basil leaves
Champagne, prosecco or Sprite

Mix first seven ingredients in a large pitcher and refrigerate 4 hours, or better overnight. Pour into glasses, scooping fruit into each, top each glass off with a splash of bubbly to taste.

Hoping for Clear Skies Mint Tea

The myth about southern California is that it is always sunny and warm. The truth is that it is full of microclimates that cover the map like a gradient from coastal areas to low desert up to high deserts and mountains. When the rest of the country is really getting the feel of spring and getting ready to kick off the summer it’s common for a marine layer to nestle itself comfortably over the coastal areas like fluffy down comforter. And there it sits. For the better part of May/June/July the sun can be non-existant in the mornings and scarce in the afternoons, the temperature hovering in the 60’s. (Ironically, with each mile you travel away from the coast it gets progressively more sunny and warmer.) On these gray mornings, I like a cup of tea that reminds me of what’s happening outside all those clouds- the sun is shining and growing beautiful things all around us.
When we travel to Chile our friends always serve a sprig of fresh mint with a pot of hot water for those that are not partaking in coffee. It’s bright, refreshing and comforting. Great for unseasonably cool temperatures. Also delicious chilled over ice for those sweating it out these days.

Place 1 sprig washed mint (any varietal) into a mug and cover with boiling water. Breathe deeply while steeping for five minutes.

Rosemary Makes Great Lemonade

If, say, you happened to have squeezed twenty pounds of lemons this spring and frozen the juice you might be looking for something to do with it about now.

1 cup sugar (or 3/4 cup agave nectar)
2 cups boiling water
3 sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
2 cups lemon juice
sparkling water

Place sugar in heat-proof container with rosemary. Pour hot water over and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to rest until cool. Mix in lemon juice, strain if you like. This is your base, when ready to serve, fill glass with ice and pour 2/3 cup lemon mixture over, top off with 1/3 cup sparkling water. Vodka would not be amiss here.

Cheers all!


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For those of you that may not be as familiar with eating dessert for breakfast as Amanda seemed to be in her post the other day… I would propose this: Bake a strawberry cobbler with butter cookie topping. Serve four small portions for dessert on Thursday, cover with plastic wrap, hide carefully in the fridge and then, Friday morning take the cobbler out of the fridge right when you wake up. Make a cup of tea. Eat remaining cobbler. Delight in the world.

Strawberry Cobbler with Sugar Cookie Topping
adapted from The Best Recipe

For filling:

3 pints fresh or 36 ounces frozen strawberries

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash berries and hull. Leave whole unless large, in which case cut in half. If using frozen, just proceed with recipe. Combine filling ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Scrape with a rubber spatula into a pie plate and cover with foil. Place on baking sheet in the oven. Bake 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until light and fluffy, 1 minute with electric mixer (3 minutes if by hand). Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients by hand until just combined.

After the fruit has baked for the 15 minutes, remove from oven and take away foil. Stir the fruit to mix. Drop cookie topping onto the fruit by the tablespoon evenly over the fruit, though it will not be completely covered. Return pie plate to cookie sheet in the oven, bake 40 minutes until the topping is browned and fruit is bubbly. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Can stay at room temperature for several hours and reheated just before serving, however, I prefer it at room temp.

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