By By Lisa Tindell
What happened to Spring? We had a few days of mild temperatures but it seems a little early in the year to be experiencing temperatures in the mid to upper-80s. With that warm weather beating down on us, and the end of school at hand, now may be the perfect time to pull out the recipes for a nice cool drink.
Some of the recipes included in today's column are for frozen treats for the kids. You can make several recipes ahead of time and have them ready when those little ones (and big ones) come in from a day of work and/or play.
You will find that a few of the recipes call for a little extra "something" to give it a kick. I don't plan on using these ingredients and you can simply omit them if you choose. I'll let you decide.
Sparkling Strawberry Tea
10 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed
1 and one-half qts. boiling water
3 family size tea bags
One-half cup sugar
6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda
Place strawberries in blender and process until smooth, scraping down the sides during processing. Pour boiling water over tea bags and cover. Let steep for five minutes. Remove the tea bags, squeezing them gently. Stir in sugar, lemonade concentrate and strawberry puree. Chill. Stir in soda just before serving over ice. Makes about a gallon.
Deep Blue Sea Pops
2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup lemon juice
Blue food coloring (tint as desired)
Bite-sized fish-shaped, fruit snacks
Combing all but fruit snacks and pour into paper cups or popsicle molds. Drops fruit snacks into each cup and freeze for one hour. Insert a wooden popsicle stick or plastic spoon into each cup. Freeze until firm.
These next few recipes are for "adult" beverages. When the recipe calls for sparkling wine or champagne, you can substitute using sparkling grape juices usually found in the juice isle at the grocery store.
Three-fourths cup sugar
1 and one-half cups water
Three-fourths tsp. grated lemon rind
One-fourth cup orange juice
One bottle champagne or sparkling wine
Combine all ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into an 8×8 pan and freeze just until firm. Break the frozen mixture into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Beat the mixture on low speed with a mixer until smooth. Return to the pan and freeze until firm. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
4 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice
One-fourth cup packed brown sugar
One-half cup cream sherry
One-fourth cup grenadine
Combine grapefruit juice and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and chill. Add sherry. Pour into clear glasses. Add one tablespoon of grenadine to each glass and watch the reaction.
And finally, here's one last tea recipe that is very versatile. You can change the flavorings to suit your tastes. Just remember, on a hot day, nothing beats a good, cold glass of Southern Iced Tea!
1 cup boiling water
5 regular tea bags
1 and one-half cups sugar
4 cups water
Three-fourths cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla flavoring
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1 qt. ginger ale, chilled.
Pour boiling water over tea bags and allow to steep, covered, for five minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in sugar, water, lemon juice and flavorings. Add ginger ale just before serving over ice. This makes about three quarts.
To change up the flavors, try using lemon flavoring and lemon-lime soda. Orange tea is also good using orange flavoring and orange soda. You may want to try a little mint flavoring and lemon-lime soda for a snappy change.
Here's hoping is hot enough for you this summer and that you'll have a safe and happy season. Be sure to check back here next week for a few unusual salad ideas. And don't forget, if you have a recipe idea, a question, or just want to drop me a line, you can do that by email at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!