Cuppow!

jpeg.jpg

I love the look of a canning jar, whether for holding a drink (probably with a striped straw in it) or for flowers, but I've never thought about using my canning jar to go until I read this post.  Cuppow, a company in Somerville, Massachusetts, developed a plastic lid for canning jars so you can use them as a travel mug (and for only $7.99 plus shipping).  All images are courtesy of Cuppow.

cuppow3.jpg
cuppow-3.jpg

Strawberry Slushies

 

=

If you are looking for an easy way to mix things up at your Labor Day BBQ, think about serving these Strawberry Slushies.  These delightful drinks take only a few minutes to make and you could whip them up and store them in your freezer until ready to serve.  I followed the recipe and used fresh strawberries, but I imagine they would be great with peaches (I recommend removing the skin), raspberries or blackberries.  Of course, the slushies ought to be served with a festive straw!

Strawberry Slushies
Bon Appétit, August 2011 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups hulled strawberries
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry Riesling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Purée strawberries, Riesling, lemon juice, and sugar in a food processor until liquefied. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.  Divide among cups.  Serve immediately with straws, or transfer to a container and freeze.
If you prepare these in advance and freeze, remove frozen slushy mixture 15-20 minutes ahead of planned serving time.

Watermelon Agua Fresca

We spent last weekend in the fantastic city of San Francisco. We had an adventure-filled 48 hours that included the Double Dipsea (an amazing trail race beginning in Stinson Beach), a hike on Angel Island and delicious brunch at a small Mexican restaurant in Sausalito. I always prefer coffee to juice at breakfast, but when I saw the Watermelon Agua Fresca on the menu, I had to give it a try.... it was cold and refreshing and sweet from the watermelon but didn't seem to have any added sugar.

Last night we had friends over for a (slightly obstructed) view of the fireworks in Denver from our roof deck. It is still excruciatingly hot here and I wanted to offer a refreshing, summer beverage in addition to beer and wine and water. This agua fresca takes 5 minutes to make and was a hit. You can make it with either tap water or sparkling water (it was a bit more bubbly and refreshing with sparkling water) and I, of course, think it is best consumed through a straw.

Happy 4th of July!


Watermelon AguaFresca
Yield = 1 pitcher

8 cups watermelon, cubed and puréed (approximately 6 cups after blending)
4 cups sparkling water or tap water
1 lime

1. Blend the watermelon to a purée. Pour puréed watermelon into a pitcher to chill.

2. When ready to serve, fill half a glass with the watermelon puree. Add sparkling water or tap water to fill the glass. Squeeze the juice from a slice of lime into the agua fresca and garnish with a lime slice. Serve chilled (and over ice if you'd prefer).

Tips & Variations
You can prepare the watermelon puree up to two days ahead of time. You can also add tap water to the watermelon puree and strain it before chilling it if you prefer no watermelon flesh in your drink. To do this, add 1/2 cup of water to the puree and strain it to leave only the watermelon juice. Also, if the watermelon alone is not sweet enough for you, try adding 1/3 cup of sugar (this recipe from Eating Well might be helpful if you want to add sugar).

Rhubarb Soda

When we were in Alaska, we had lunch at the Flying Squirrel Bakery & Cafe in Talkeetna, Alaska. The food was delicious but the highlight of the lunch was the "Rhubarb Ade" they served. It was fizzy and lightly sweet and a lovely shade of light pink (apparently I am on pink kick).

Given the frequency with which rhubarb appears on this blog (Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata, Strawberry-Rhubarb Birthday Pie and Classic Strawberry Shortcake with Rhubarb Compote), you won't be surprised when I admit that I love this tart fruit (yes, it is considered fruit in the United States). It has been a few weeks since we were in Alaska, but I am still thinking of that rhubarb soda and this weekend I replicated it.

Who knew Rob is a flying squirrel?!

Two years ago, I received a SodaStream Penguin sparkling water maker for Christmas (thank you, Mom and Dad). I LOVE it and use it constantly. You can exchange the refillable CO2 cylinders at your local Williams-Sonoma store and by making your own sparkling water and storing it in the glass carafes that come with the Penguin, you avoid buying sparkling water in cans or plastic bottles.

So, I dusted off the penguin, perused the internet for rhubarb syrup recipes and got to work! I wanted the rhubarb syrup to be super-rhubarby, so I settled on a rhubarb syrup recipe from Food & Wine, which I adjusted by decreasing the sugar. I'm afraid I can't be super precise about the yield from this recipe because it really depends on how much syrup you'd like in your drink... but I've had 4 glasses already and still have enough syrup for at least 4 more!



Rhubarb Soda
Ingredients
6 cups (approximately 2 lbs) of rhubarb stalks, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
sparkling water or club soda

Preparation
1. In a medium or large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the syrup and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Use the remaining rhubarb pulp as a compote for on top of yogurt, in a pie or as a garnish/sauce for meat.

2. Combine the chilled rhubarb syrup with the sparkling water or club soda over ice. The ratio of syrup to sparkling water is up to you - mine is approximately 1/4 syrup to 3/4 sparking water but this recipe, for example, calls for equal parts syrup and water. 

I don't know about you, but I prefer a fizzy drink to be sipped through a straw.  These are my favorite!