Tag Archives: strawberry

Strawberry Lemonade/Spring



(Sorry, but I had to yell that at you. HAD TO.)

Today we have a deliciously grownup Strawberry Lemonade from Janessa, perfect for the impending bucket-loads of strawberries that will be hitting the markets.

And, a few links to recipes from the Bazaar Spices blog, written by yours truly:

Braised Collard Greens with Black Cardamom and Coconut Milk – I know you might not feel like braising these days, but trust me and just do it one last time before you start quickly blanching things and eating salads.

Smokey and Sweet Roasted Nuts – These are ADDICTIVELY good, and now that I’m on my own blog and not that of a professional establishment, I can be immature and giggle. Anyways, go make these nuts. (Tee hee).

And now, Strawberry Lemonade!



Strawberry Lemonade (My Way)

FOREVER ago, Kara asked me to come up with a unique-ish drink.  I did, took pictures, but forgot to write about it.  When cleaning up and organizing iPhoto a couple days ago, I ran into these pictures again.  I figured there is no harm in sharing it with you all now!

I love strawberries.  Fresh, juicy strawberries make me happy.  Unfortunately, when making this drink, we didn’t have any.  Frozen strawberries aren’t the same, but they worked fairly well.

Ok, so either thaw a handful of frozen strawberries and chop them, or slice the yummy fresh kind.  Add a little bit of sugar (probably 2 teaspoons) to soften the berries as well as provide a delicious bit of juice.

Strawberry mush

Next, measure 1.5 ounces of vodka using nifty shot glasses.



Fill a cup with ice, add some of the strawberry mixture, and the vodka, and top with lemonade.


Add lemonade


Ta-da!  Easy, and delicious!  I added a bit of basil to the top of my glass.  It was aromatic and mmmmm.


Topped with basil


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For Picnics, Potlucks, or Celebrations at Home – Make it Red, White, and Blue

Quick Quiz: What’s fast and easy, delicious and nutritious, pretty and patriotic?  If you answered “Berry and Mozzarella Salad,” you pass the quiz with flying colors.  And speaking of colors, isn’t it nice that Old Glory comes in such appetizing colors?  Raspberries and blueberries have to be among the best flavors of summer, and not only that, they are beautiful!

I’ve always loved the Fourth of July, not only for what it represents historically, but also because I think of it as a relatively low-stress holiday.  No gifts to worry about, no cooking marathon, just relaxed summer fun.  When we lived in WA, it usually meant an extended family gathering at the lake, or sometimes a Spokane Indians baseball game followed by fireworks.  This year we’re going to a friend’s for a big cook-out, and I’m taking this fruity riff on insalata caprese.

Berry and Mozzarella Salad

  • 1-2 cups fresh raspberries and/or halved strawberries
  • 1-2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 8 – 16 ounces fresh mozzarella (the mini balls are nice halved, or cut regular-sized balls or logs into slices and quarter each slice)
  • Fresh basil or other herbs if desired (I like lemon thyme)
  • 1-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar reduction (see note below)

This salad is best assembled shortly before serving, but you can go ahead and cut the mozzarella and wash the berries in advance.

Arrange the berries and mozzarella pieces on a serving plate along with basil leaves if you are using them.  Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction.   That’s it!

Note about the balsamic vinegar: I use a commercial cranberry-infused balsamic crema that I found in a little shop right here in my village, and the flavor and color is perfect for this salad.  If you don’t find something like that, any good white or dark crema will work, or you can make your own reduction (a red balsamic vinegar would yield a nice color).  I made some just to try it – all you have to do is pour the vinegar into a stainless steel pan and stir occasionally over low heat until the volume is reduced by 60 – 75 percent and then let it cool (you’ll want to ventilate the kitchen because the vinegar fumes are strong).


Happy Independence Day!


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Hi there

Hey, everyone. It’s been a while, I apologize. But! I’m going to show you something tasty and so quick you’ll be eating a satisfying lunch or snack in no time.

Ready? Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

Strawberry basil grilled cheese
adapted (barely) from here

Notes: I used Russian black bread, which was lovely. I think any bread you’d like to use for a sandwich would be nice. As for the cheese, I used mozzarella. The original recipe recommends smoked cheddar or jack. I think gouda or a few dots of goat cheese could be interesting. Or then again, why not brie?

  • 2 slices bread
  • enough slices of cheese to fit comfortably on your sandwich
  • 3 or 4 basil leaves
  • a handful of strawberries (I used about 8-10 small ones)
  • splash of balsamic vinegar

Rinse and slice strawberries, place in a small bowl or cup. Splash with balsamic vinegar and let sit for 15 – 30 minutes.

Start a small pan heating with a touch of olive oil over medium-low heat.

Assemble sandwich: layer cheese, strawberries, and basil leaves onto bread, top with other slice.

Cook in pan, pressing down a few times to get a nice browned and slightly panini-esque flatness to the sandwich. Grill, flipping occasionally to prevent burning, until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes total. I like to place a lid over the sandwich to speed the cheese-melting along. Or, use a panini press.

Tah dah, you have a sandwich. Also, we think this formula would work wonderfully with all sorts of fruits and herbs and cheese. Peaches splashed with balsamic or red wine vinegar + fresh ricotta + basil, maybe? Plums dashed with cider vinegar + mozzarella + arugula (+ prosciutto or other cured ham?!).

What other combinations would you try?


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