Watermelon-Raspberry Lemonade

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon

recipe courtesy P. Allen Smith Garden Home

adapted from Chef Chris Green’s recipe from The Viking Cooking School in Memphis, Tennessee

When the temps creep up past 90 degrees, there are few things more refreshing than a tall glass of lemonade, or a big slice of ice-cold watermelon. So why not combine the two?

The recipe is quite simple, but let me tell you…it is messy to make, or maybe I’m just messy.  Have a trash can or a couple of plastic shopping bags nearby to toss all the rinds in, and a sink of hot soapy water ready to wash all the sticky watermelon mess before it gets out of control.  The recipe suggests a blender to do the puree work, however, my food processor also has a juicer attachment that I used to juice the 10 lemons.  So I used the food processor to puree the fruit as well.  Why make yet another mess, right?

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon-frappe

If you plan on making this, do it early in the day and pour a little of it into ice-cube trays.  Then you can serve it with ice cubes that will not dilute the drink as they melt.  It looks pretty with a few frozen raspberries thrown in right before you serve it, too (plus they help to keep it cold).  This recipe makes 2 pitchers of the best lemonade you will ever drink…we had it for dessert…in front of the fan.  Enjoy!

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon-and-lemons

Ingredients

1 large watermelon, cubed

10 large lemons, juiced

1 cup raspberries, plus extra for garnish

club soda

simple syrup: recipe follows (I used 2 cups sugar to 2 cups water)

 

Directions

1. Make the simple syrup and refrigerate it.

2. Place cubed melon and raspberries in blender, or food processor and puree.  You will have to do this in batches.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon

3. Pour mixture into a fine-mesh strainer to strain out the raspberry and watermelon seeds (yes, even seedless watermelons have seeds).  Use a spoon to move the pulp around, to allow the liquid through.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon-frappe-in-sieve

4. Into a pitcher, pour the raspberry-watermelon mixture and the fresh lemon juice.  Sweeten to your taste with the simple syrup.  At this point you have the basic lemonade.  Refrigerate at least one hour so it’s nice and cold.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-glass-with-pitcher

5. When ready to serve; place ice cubes in glass, drop in about 4 frozen raspberries, pour lemonade about 3/4 of the way up and top the glass off with club soda.  Add a straw (and a parasol) and you’re good to go.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-Bobby-and-Danielle-in-bw

Simple Syrup: A syrup made of equal parts water and granulated sugar.

1. Mix the two together in a saucepan. Place over med heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  You now have simple syrup, refrigerate and use in teas, lemonades, etc.

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-berries-in-yogurt

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Levesque

It is nearly the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and that always reminds me of the time we lived in Alaska. On 21 Jun, it will be daylight here until after 9 p.m.  In Alaska they will probably have about 2 hours of darkness total on that day, and I’m talking dark like dusk.  We arrived in Anchorage late in the summer of 2004 and thought it was the coolest thing ever to be able to walk the dogs at 2 a.m., and have to wear sunglasses (it was like the Vegas strip, but family style).  We couldn’t make ourselves go to sleep at first, it was just too fascinating to be up and doing stuff outside that we wouldn’t normally be able to do.

Mark went on a fishing trip one year during the solstice; he had to throw on the sunglasses at 1 a.m. , by 3:30 a.m. it was gray outside and they sat around the campfire until 5 a.m. when he and his buddies all started fishing again in full daylight.  All this sunlight makes for a short, but rapid growing season.  The Saturday Market, which was held in downtown Anchorage, was my favorite place to buy fruits and veggies right from the farmers.

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-raspberries-on-cookie-sheet

One such trip to the Saturday Market I bought the last 4 crates of raspberries from a farmer.  By the time it was all said and done, we ended up with about 3 crates of good berries, and by crates I mean about 6 pints per crate.  Quite a lot of the berries were quick frozen and stored for later use ( a wedding cake), and then I discovered plain yogurt and Splenda.  I fiddled around with a combination of different fruits (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, and raspberries) and amounts of Splenda until I came up with this recipe.

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-yogurt-in-bowl

If you have an ice cream maker, you can pour the mixture in it and the machine will make the frozen yogurt while you are enjoying dinner.  However, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, just mix up the recipe and put it in the freezer overnight.  It won’t be as creamy, but it will taste just as good.  Also, don’t sweat it if you play around too long and can’t find fresh raspberries, frozen fruit works just as well.  Hmmm…I seem to be craving a big piece of grilled salmon right about now.  Enjoy!

 

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-raspberries-in-strainer

Ingredients

32 oz. container plain yogurt (not vanilla flavored)

fruit (lots of choices) I used 3 cups of raspberries

Granular Splenda (my favorite is the Nectress, naturally flavored with monk fruit)

fresh-squeezed lemon juice, about 2 Tablespoons

 

Directions

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-raspberries-on-pedestal-2

1. Prepare the fruit.  Chop your fruit into chunks (if you are using an ice cream maker, the constant movement of the mixture will crush small pieces like blueberries and raspberries for you).  Use an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor to puree the fruit, you can leave it a little chunky if you want your frozen yogurt to have more texture.

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-yogurt

2. In a bowl, add the plain yogurt, lemon juice and Splenda.  This is a personal taste kind of situation, however be aware that it should taste sweeter than you would normally like it because the Splenda loses some of it’s sweetness when you freeze it.  The fruit you choose will also determine how much Splenda you put in the recipe.  For instance, I used a little over 2 cups of granular Splenda making this frozen yogurt.

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-berries-in-yogurt-2

3. Add the blended fruit to the yogurt mixture, stir it in well and re-taste.  Add any additional Splenda.

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-freezer-containers

4. At this point you can pour about half of this mixture into your ice cream maker and in 20-30 minutes you will be eating soft-serve frozen yogurt. Or, at this point you can pour the mixture into freezer containers and freeze for several hours (for soft-serve) or overnight for really frozen yogurt.

Raspberry-Frozen-Yogurt-dessert

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Blueberry-Pancakes-with-Blueberry-Syrup-before-syrup

Pancake recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

published by Golden Press, NY

Blueberry syrup recipe courtesy of Forest Manor Inn, Bed and Breakfast

When the price of blueberries dropped and Danielle invited friends over to spend the night, I knew it was the perfect time to break out an old classic…blueberry pancakes.  I made these using my favorite pancake recipe, which is also featured on here in Granola Pancakes with Bananas.  Enjoy!

Blueberry-Pancakes-with-Blueberry-Syrup-blueberries

Blueberry Pancake Ingredients

1 egg

1 cup flour

3/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

blueberries

 

Blueberry-Pancakes-with-Blueberry-Syrup-raspberries

Blueberry Pancake Directions

1. Beat egg until fluffy.

2. Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth.

Blueberry-Pancakes-with-Blueberry-Syrup-on-griddle

3. Pour batter on hot griddle (350-375°F.), immediately drop blueberries on batter…be generous.  Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, flip and cook for about 1 minute more.

Blueberry-Pancakes-with-Blueberry-Syrup-with-syrup

4. Serve hot with warm blueberry syrup (recipe to follow) and additional berries.

 

 

Blueberry Syrup Ingredients

2 cups (1 pint) blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup pure maple syrup ( I used what we had here, which was Mrs. Butterworth’s, it was fine)

2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Blueberry Syrup Directions

Blueberry-Pancakes-with-Blueberry-Syrup-blueberries-with-syrup

1. In  a saucepan, cook berries and maple syrup over moderate heat until berries have burst and released their juices, about 3 minutes ( it took mine about 5 minutes).

Blueberry-Pancakes-with-Blueberry-Syrup-blueberry-syrup-in-sieve

2. Pour syrup through a sieve into a heat-proof pitcher, pressing the solids.

3. Stir in lemon juice.  Serve warm over pancakes or waffles.  Refrigerate leftovers and heat before re-using.

Protein Smoothie

protein-smoothie-raspberry-smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine

Hearst Communications, Inc.  New York, N.Y.

 

Ingredients

1 cup frozen fruit

1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup ice

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions 

protein-smoothie-goodies-in-the-blender

 

1. Pour all the goodies in a blender.  Process until smooth.

 

protein-smoothie-raspberry-smoothie

 

2. Pour smoothie into glass.  This smoothie tastes like a milkshake…Yum!  I added some Splenda to the mix because raspberries tend to be a little tart. Enjoy!

 

 

Cheesecake Berry Baskets

Cheesecake-Berry-Baskets-garnished-with-chocolate

Recipe courtesy of Pepperidge Farm

Ingredients

10 ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

6-8 Tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-4 Tablespoons milk

raspberry preserves

raspberries

optional garnishes: chocolate sauce, mint leaves, sifted powdered sugar

 

Directions

Cheesecake-Berry-Baskets-baked-puff-pastry-shells

1. Bake, cool, and remove “tops” of pastry shells according to package directions.

Cheesecake-Berry-Baskets-cheesecake-filling

2. Using a mixer, blend cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract, mixture will be quite thick (I did not wait for the cream cheese to soften).  Slowly add milk until mixture is of desired consistency.

Cheesecake-Berry-Baskets-1st-layer-cheesecake-filling

Cheesecake-Berry-Baskets-raspberries-preserves-layer

3. Layer cream cheese mixture and preserves into cooled pastry shell, starting with cream cheese and ending with cream cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cheesecake-Berry-Baskets-filled-and-topped-with-berries

4. Add fresh berries just before serving.

 

Cheesecake-Berry-Baskets-garnished-with-chocolate

5. Garnish as desired.

 

The nice thing about this dessert is that you can do all the prep work early, and the baskets can remain in the fridge all day until you garnish them with fruit and or a sauce of some sort, just before serving.  I got this recipe from the side of the Pepperidge Farm box, it is not on their website.  Enjoy!

This could be a cute Easter basket;

1. Use licorice to make a handle.

2. Sprinkle some green tinted coconut on the top layer of cheesecake.

3. Top the Easter grass with mini chocolate eggs, jelly beans, or a Peep©.