I started writing tonight and found myself pouring out my heart about what it feels like, as a divorced woman, planning my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary … thoughts on what I wish I had known when I was younger … what I hope my kids will know and what I STILL haven’t figured out yet … and all sorts of things about love and life and being true to yourself and finding the right person …
… but you probably don’t want to hear all that stuff. You came here for the recipe. It is a recipe I stumbled across because of the A-Z Health Challenge I’m doing on facebook … the other day we talked about the health benefits of lime and everyone was sharing their lime recipes and this Maple Lavender Limeade was one of them. Maple Lavender Limeade … doesn’t that sound like such a lovely thing to drink? I grew lavender this year. I bought this teeny plant and it has been growing … It hasn’t bloomed yet, so I have just been waiting … but … hey, here is something I could use it for now!
Oh I had to try it! … I really really really MEANT to leave the recipe alone, but as I finished up the syrup part, I couldn’t help but think ooh, what if we did this with bubbles? … and then, well, hey, it’s Friday, it needs a little alcohol and I have this pretty rose vodka … so I had to add it … so that’s my story of how the Lavender Lime Rose Fizz came to be
… and then I went out for dinner with my two teenagers and we had a nice waiter and ate well and everything was so lovely that my son urged me to give him an extra nice tip … so I did.
Lavender Lime Rose Fizz
Adapted from Project Healthy Ever After. You can use rosewater if you don’t want the alcohol … or if you’re making this for young ones who are not ready for adult beverages yet. Or leave out the roses and just make limeade. It’s really wonderful just like that too.
For the lavender lime syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup Grade A maple syrup
- 2 sprigs of fresh lavender (or 1 1/2 heaping tsp. of dried culinary lavender)
- 1 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice (for me, that was about 7 limes)
Put the water and maple syrup in a pan and bring it to boiling. Remove from heat, add the lavender, then cover it up and let it steep for at least 15 minutes. Let it cool completely, then add the limes. Use immediately or funnel into a bottle and store in the fridge for future use.
To make each drink:
- Lime wedges (use the ones you squeezed for the syrup!)
- Club soda
- 1/4 cup lavender lime syrup
- 2 Tablespoons rose vodka (or rosewater for a non-alcoholic drink)
Stick a wedge of lime in the bottom of a tall glass, add ice & lime wedges to fill it. Pour in a splash of club soda on the bottom, then the lavender lime syrup and the rose vodka or rosewater. Top with club soda, then taste it. Add more of the lime syrup and/or maple syrup to suit your tastes. Garnish with a fresh organic rose, if you have one, or a slice of lime if a culinary rose isn’t available.
I made this sangria last weekend and finished it off last night and I miss it already. I am going to have to go get more fruit so I can make it again … the recipe came to me when I read my friend Ann’s recipe for classic Spanish Sangria. It looked so good, but of course I had to mess with it. I can never follow a recipe. I had to add some of my current obsessions … cherries. and rosemary. yes. wouldn’t that be perfect in Sangria? OMG, it was … soooo perfect.
(Slight basil tangent here, but bear with me, this will make sense later …) Last weekend at my party when I was explaining to one of my friends “what that taste was” in the watermelon sorbet … (basil) … and also mentioning that I put basil in my daughter’s berry syrup for the Italian Cream Sodas … he said (jokingly) “Ann, it sounds like you need a basil intervention!” … I laughed so hard! … yes, I probably do … I really love basil … (and can you believe I didn’t even mention the basil gelato!)
Of course then I mentioned this basil intervention joke on facebook and another friend said I need an intervention for roasted garlic and rosemary too. Yes, he’s right. On both counts. I have two garlic cookbooks from the Gilroy Garlic Festival (which I dream of attending someday!) … and I have a rosemary plant that I tend in a pot year round so I ALWAYS have rosemary. Yes, you could definitely say I have a rosemary obsession. I recently discovered it goes very well in drinks. Water (yes, water! put a sprig of rosemary in a jar of water in your fridge in the morning … it adds such a lovely flavor to it!), cocktails, and now, sangria. I have yet to try it in tea, but yes, I will try that too.
So this beautiful dark red sangria features two of my current obsessions: rosemary and cherries. It has been years since I’ve had fresh, sweet cherries so I am reveling in them.
Red Cherry Rosemary Sangria
Adapted from the Fountain Avenue Kitchen
- 1 lime, halved and sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- 2 handfuls of sweet cherries
- 1 tablespoon rosemary syrup (recipe here)
- 1 bottle fruity red wine (I used a bottle of my dad’s Trinity Red)
- 1/2 cup berry or cherry brandy (I used my mulberry liqueur)
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
- A couple sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 cup seltzer or club soda, chilled
- ice cubes
- In a large pitcher or bowl, add the lime and some cherries. Muddle the fruit a bit with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the seltzer or club soda and ice.
- Chill several hours or overnight. Just before serving, stir in seltzer or club soda and ice. What I did, actually, was as I mixed each glass, I put a few cubes of ice in the glass, add some fruit from the sangria, add a bit more ice and fruit, then pour in the sangria to fill 3/4 of the glass and put a splash of club soda over each glass.
This is my self-portrait/blooper shot. Do you see me there?
If you happen to have a rose bush that produces tons of flowers (or an organic florist), you can make this easy rose vodka with them. You’ll need at least a dozen big-sized roses that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides for at least a couple years. My house came with three big rose bushes in the front: two pink ones and a red one. The red one is my favorite, but together they bring so much color and joy to my front door.
It was my friend Melissa at ChinDeep that got me started on the idea of doing something besides looking at my roses. She makes wonderful things like rose butter tea sandwiches and rose petal ice. I tried rosewater first which was insanely simple, so I thought it can’t be too hard to make rose vodka either.
Whether you want to make rosewater or rose vodka, first you need some roses. Pick them and wash them to make sure they are free of bugs.
Then pluck off the petals, removing the white part at the base of the petal (that I hear can be kind of bitter). Put them in a quart jar. Keep packing rose petals into the jar till the jar is packed full of rose petals, then pour vodka over the rose petals, covering them completely. If any stray petals are sticking up out of the liquid, push them back into the vodka.
Set the jar in a dark place and let it sit for at least 10 days. Shake the jar every few days. You’ll notice the color from the rose petals will fade into the liquid over time.
Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth with a bowl underneath to remove the rose petals and funnel the liquid into a bottle. Once it’s strained it’s ready for making insanely romantic drinks like Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea.
To make culinary rosewater:
Follow the same process to fill a quart jar with rose petals, but instead of pouring vodka over the petals, pour boiling water over them to cover. Let the roses sit and steep in the water at room temperature for 24 hours, then strain through a cheesecloth. Keep in a covered bottle in the fridge. I like making watermelon slushies with rosewater. They make my daughter happy because she loves roses.
Hey, it’s Friday! Time for a cocktail … I’m using my roses and rosemary to make a beautiful cold beverage to cool me down on this hot summer night. And there is so much to celebrate! So many of my foodie friends are reaching 3k and 5k milestones and my page is up to 8,000 plus … wow. I’m so grateful and blessed and happy. Thank you. We had a garden party to celebrate … if you want to see all the wonderful things my friends brought, go visit the Pinterest board.
Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea
You can buy the rose vodka or if you have a good organic rosebush, it’s quite easy to make! (Rose vodka recipe is here.)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened fruity iced tea (I made up some Lipton Peach Passion Tea using one of their iced tea bags and a quart of hot water)
- 2 Tablespoons rose vodka
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary syrup (recipe below)
- 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Club soda to top
- Garnish: Organic rose or other edible flower petals, frozen into the ice cubes + a sprig of fresh rosemary
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes (for extra effect, freeze rose petals in the ice cubes). Add the tea, rose vodka, rosemary syrup and vanilla and stir to mix the flavors, then top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of rosemary (or better yet, a rose!) … and enjoy
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar (to reduce calories, substitute stevia for part of the sugar)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup rosemary leaves (I just cut a bunch of twigs from my little rosemary plant … I didn’t measure them, and I didn’t bother to take them off the stalks either … they are going to get strained out in the end, after all)
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and water for the rosemary syrup and heat to boiling, stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the rosemary. Let the rosemary sit and steep for at least 15 minutes, then strain out the rosemary. Store in a covered bottle in the fridge.
Soooo I found another use for that wonderful Very Berry Syrup from the Very Berry Italian Cream Sodas. Add it to a little white wine with some club soda and it makes a really nice refreshing spritzer. The thing that makes this magic is really the syrup, which has two kinds of berries and a bunch of basil in it, along with a splash of vanilla. It’s delightful.
This is what I was sipping on as I was grilling up the pizzas last night …
Very Berry Basil Wine Spritzers
- White wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
- Very berry syrup (recipe here)
- Club soda
- Ice cubes
- Garnish: basil leaves and/or edible flowers like violets
Fill a wine glass about 1/2 full of wine, add a few ice cubes and a teaspoon or two of the very berry syrup. Taste it to see if it’s to your liking, and add wine or a bit more syrup to adjust to the level of sweetness you want, then add a splash of club soda (for the bubbles!) and garnish with flowers and/or basil leaves.
This recipe was shared at Newlyweds Recipe Linky.
Last week was an incredible week … I was awarded the Versatile Blogger award FOUR times! I am so grateful to have such awesome foodie friends.
Three Rules come with this award:
- Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
- Share 7 things about yourself
- Send it along to 15 other Bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!
First a GREAT BIG HAPPY THANK YOU!
As a special thank you, I made some delicious Yellow Watermelon Basil Sorbet! (made with yellow watermelon … and a bit of tequila) I SO wish we could all sit down and have some together.
Second, the 7 things about me:
- I have a black cat who I think secretly wants to keep me all to himself. He sits right next to me all day every day while I’m working, blogging or facebooking. He’s fat and he’s lazy but he loves me and I love him. Even if he is the stinkiest cat ever.
- I have two wonderful children. (Well okay, maybe that’s not such a secret.)
- I love trees.
- My favorite color is purple.
- Both my kids are now taller than me. And they really love that.
- My kids and I all do TaeKwonDo.
- I sing in a choir. It makes me happy.
And FINALLY: The Winners!
So now I get to honor 15 other awesome bloggers! The most wonderful thing about having a food blog is meeting such wonderful people along the way! Every day I meet more foodies and the whole community is just infused with joy and love and sharing.
I always have a hard time selecting awardees … there are SO many great foodies who deserve it. So yeah, I couldn’t quite stick within the limit (can’t follow a recipe either …) On this list are great cooks, amazing people, fantastic photographers, and some health and nutrition experts. Eat well, live well, be well, my friends.
- The Southern Lady Cooks
- The Naptime Chef
- Dine & Dish
- The Spicy RD
- Mother Thyme
- Family Fresh Cooking
- The Truffled Pig
- DeeDee’s Delights
- Linda’s Italian Table
- Thyme Square Garden
- Reluctant Entertainer
- Barefeet in the Kitchen
- Debz Delicious Meals
- Sunday at the Giacomettis
- Yummy Mummy
- I Can Cook That
And I know you’ve all been waiting for the recipe for the Sorbet:
Basil Watermelon Sorbet
This is sort of a cross between a watermelon tequila slushie and a sorbet–if you want it to be more of a slushie beverage than a sorbet, add more alcohol. If you’re making it for the kiddos, leave out the booze! It’s very refreshing. You could probably substitute stevia or agave or honey for the sugar if you like.
The subtle basil taste with the watermelon is just heaven. I really love the added little bite from the tequila too.
- 4 c. cubed, seeded watermelon. I used a yellow watermelon from my mom and dad’s garden. Have I mentioned I am a very very lucky girl?
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. water
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 c. tequila (Add extra watermelon flavor by using watermelon tequila in this recipe! Just fill a jar with watermelon cubes and fill with tequila. Store in the fridge for two weeks. Then use the watermelon and tequila as you like. It keeps in the fridge for a LOOOOONG time and it’s awesome in watermelon margaritas!)
- 1/8 c. Cointreau
- Put the watermelon in the blender and blend till the watermelon turns into juice. Strain through a strainer to catch any missed seeds and remove the excess pulp.
- In a small pan, boil the sugar and the water till the sugar dissolves. Add the basil and remove from heat, allowing the basil to steep in the syrup for about 5 minutes. Strain the syrup to remove the basil leaves. Cool the syrup before adding to the watermelon juice.
- Combine the watermelon juice, the syrup and liquors, then freeze in a ice cream freezer (I have one of those little Cuisinart jobbies and I just love it!) until it’s frozen.
- Enjoy immediately or freeze for later. If you make this without the liquor, you’re going to want to eat it right away because it will get too hard in the freezer.
Recipe adapted from Rosemary and the Goat
This is part of my series of 31 Days of Warmer Connections. Every day in October, I am blogging about connections through food.
This recipe was shared at Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursdays.