Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

This is a light and refreshing sangria that is perfect for summer and the festive colors make it the go to drink for the 4th of July. Want to make a pitcher for the kids, substitute the wine with white grape juice.

1  1.5 liter bottle of Pinot Grigio

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/4 c basil

1 c white grape juice

1 c strawberries washed and cut into quarters

1 cup blueberries

1/2 liter club soda

Place Strawberries and blueberries in a large pitcher, cover with 1 cup of wine and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour- overnight.

Basil Berry Sangria

In a small sauce pan add sugar, water and 4 large basil leaves. bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and then turn off heat and let cool. This is a basil simple syrup. It is great for many mixed drinks. I like it with Gin and tonics.

Basil Simple Syrup

Add 1/2 basil simple syrup (straining the leaves out) the rest of the wine, grape juice, and club soda to the pitcher with the fruit.  Taste and add more simple syrup if needed ( This will depend on your tastes and the sweetness of your wine) Add some more fresh basil leaves. Serve over ice. Garnish with more basil and fruit if desired.

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria, perfect drink for the 4th of July

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Memorial Day Weekend Menu

Looking for some new recipes to celebrate your long weekend. Here are some of my favorites.

Oma's Potato Salad

Oma’s Potato Salad

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red, White, and Blue Salad

Red White and Blue Salad

Barbecued Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Easy 3 Ingredient Key Lime Pie Dip

3 Ingredient Key Lime Pie Dip

I made Key Lime Pie last week, one of my family’s favorites, and as I was licking the spoon and bowl I had an idea. Why not make this into a dip that I could eat on graham crackers and fruit?  So here it is, tastes just like the pie,I don’t have to lick the bowl anymore and it’s so easy with only 3 ingredients I will be making it all Summer.

Key Lime Pie Dip

1 c sweetened condensed milk

1 c sour cream

1 1/2 T key lime juice

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. Garnish with a lime slice and graham cracker crumbs if desired. Serve with graham crackers, apples, strawberries, vanilla wafers etc..

3 Ingredient Key Lime Pie Dip

 3 Ingredient Key Lime Pie Dip

Thats What Friends are For: Hedy Goldsmith’s Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

It always happens, you can go for weeks with nothing to do, and then you plan something and there are a million things to do on that same date. My husband and I planned our 20th anniversary trip to Iceland so I could see the Northern Lights, a bucket list item for me. It was a gorgeous, awesome, romantic, fun and adventurous trip. Everything I could ever hope for. But at that same time here in my home town was Food and Wine’s Buick Discovery Tour with my Simon LeBon of chefs Hugh Acheson. What, how could I miss Hughnibrow, the funny judge on my favorite show Top Chef?  Never fear, I have the greatest best friend in the world. She went, she’s not really a foodie but I think she’s converting, and guess what she got me.
Hugh Acheson

Look he even spelled my name right! She gave me all her recipe cards (equivalent of baseball cards for foodies) from the event, including this delicious Basil Panna Cotta from Hedy Goldsmith. I love Panna Cotta and the addition of basil added a fresh and yummy flavor, I would also like to try it with mint some time. I did not make the Strawberry Consomme, we had some delicious fresh berries in the fridge so I just threw those on top, still tasted fantastic. Here is the recipe, the only thing I changed was the vanilla bean, I did not have one so I just added 1tsp of vanilla extract instead. One thousand Thank Yous to Hugh and my Bestie, I think I will frame my recipe card and put it next to my framed Madison Square Garden Duran Duran ticket.

Hedy Goldsmith's Basil Panna Cotta

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Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

Hunker Down and Eat Cake : Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with Strawberries

It’s that time of year here in Florida, hurricane season. Tropical Storm Isaac is making his way into the Gulf of Mexico and even though we are not in the direct path (yet) we will still have some wind and rain. They even canceled school tomorrow, my kids are really disappointed (yeah right ). So I am posting a favorite cake recipe, I find I like to bake on rainy days. This one is dark and decadent, a favorite from my Southern Living Cookbook.

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with White Icing and Strawberries

8 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chopped

1 16 oz can of chocolate syrup

1 c butter softened

2 c sugar

4 eggs, large

2 1/2 c flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1 c butter milk

1 t vanilla extract

For Frosting

2 c powdered sugar

3-4 T milk

1 t vanilla extract

Garnish:

1 c halved strawberries

 

Pre heat oven to 325. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. stir in chocolate syrup and stir until smooth.

In a large bowl or stad up mixer, beat butter on med speed until creamy and add sugar, then eggs 1 at a time. In a med bowl mix together flour baking soda and salt. add 1/2 to butter mixture  mixing on low speed. Then the buttermilk then the rest of the flour, mixing the whole time. stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture and pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for 1hr and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 min then turn pan and invert cake on to the wire rack, cool for another 30 minutes.

For frosting, stir together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour over cooled cake and top with strawberries.

 

Pinspired: 4th of July Chocolate Covered Strawberries

This was one of my very first pins on Pinterest, I think I saw it on my sister in laws page. The original idea as far as I can tell came from Three Sisters Cafe, you can see their version here. This was an easy and fun project for me and my son and although some came out better than others, there was really no way to fail on this one. Try it for the upcoming holiday, I think I will make them for Christmas too just switch the blue sugar to green.

Wash and let whole strawberries dry completely.

Dip 2/3rds of the strawberry into melted white chocolate (we used the kind in the cup and microwaved it for easy clean up), then dip the bottom third into blue colored sugar.

Set on parchment or wax paper to dry.

Chicken and Fruit Salad with Orange Jalapeno Dressing

For the salad:

1 bag or box of mixed greens

1 rotisserie chicken cut into bite size pieces

1 cup diced honey mango

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

4 oz crumbled feta cheese

1/4 sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or platter, serve with Orange Jalapeno dressing

Orange Jalapeno Dressing:

1/2 t minced jalapeno

1/4 cup orange marmalade

2T apple cider vinegar

2T extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl, drizzle over salad

Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Muffins

ImageIt’s Strawberry season and we always are left with some in the refrigerator that are kind of on their way out. So to prolong their life a little I try to incorporate them into recipes. My kids love these muffins for breakfast or an after school treat.

Preheat oven to 375

 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 white sugar

1T baking powder

Freshly ground nutmeg

Pinch of salt

(Whisk these ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.)

1/2 c of melted butter

1c of whole milk 

2 large eggs

1 T of grated Meyer Lemon Zest

1T Meyer Lemon Juice

1/2 of pure vanilla extact

1 1/2 c of fresh clean strawberries sliced

 

In a bowl whisk together melted butter, milk, eggs, zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Get your dry ingredients and make a small”well” in the middle, pour in the wet ingredients and stir by hand until incorporated but not over mixed (there may be some lumps). Add sliced strawberries and mix gently. Divide batter into 12 large muffin tins (I use and Ice cream scoop for even sized muffins) bake until golden brown about 25 minutes (check by inserting a toothpick into the muffin, it should come out clean)