Honey-Sweetened Peach Lemonade

Fruity and light, thirst-quenching and utterly delicious, this Honey-Sweetened Peach Lemonade is the perfect finish to summer.

As long as there are peaches to be had, you can be sure we’ve got a basket ripening on the counter for salads, cobblers, and juicy snacks.

They are Noah’s absolute favourite fruit, which is why it made sense to feature them in a honey-sweetened lemonade for his recent birthday party. We celebrated Noah’s ninth birthday on Sunday – which is just mind-boggling because didn’t I just make this robot cake for his seventh? And his third doesn’t seem all that long ago, come to think of it.

Perhaps I’ll post a few more photos from the party later in the week, but this recipe for peach lemonade had to be shared as soon as possible. Hopefully you haven’t moved onto apples and pumpkin just yet; there’s plenty of time for that later in the fall.

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Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins Party Punch

I almost passed them over during the purge of my chest freezer last week: a bag of greyish-coloured chopped rhubarb and a solid lump of last year’s raspberries.

The fruits were encrusted with a layer of ice and most likely freezer burnt. I nearly tossed them in the bin, along with the other unwanted items from the recesses of my deep freezer, but I hesitated. Sure they were not as appealing as the fresh new rhubarb stalks that are pushing up in my garden, but what if I cooked them down for their juice? It was worth a shot.

Together with sugar, water and a splash of lemon juice, I simmered the rhubarb and the raspberries in a pot while I finished emptying my freezer. It wasn’t long before the concoction began to emit the intoxicating smell of raspberry-rhubarb pie, or something very similar. My taste-buds watered and I dipped a spoon in for a sample: tangy and sweet, it tasted of spring even after a year in hibernation.

I strained the bright red syrup through a coffee filter to keep it clear and stashed it away to cool. Obviously it would make a terrific base for a celebratory Mother’s Day sip, something along the lines of a Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins Party Punch.

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Two smoothie recipes: Meyer Lemon Blueberry Buzz and Green Pina Colada

Last fall I went from fiddling around with a blender that I deeply despised to owning a blender that I truly love. That simple upgrade transitioned us instantly into a family of smoothie-slurping fiends.

I’m not exaggerating in the least. When you have a great machine that whips kale, frozen banana and chia seeds into a perfectly smooth and creamy treat, it’s hard not to want a smoothie every day for lunch, Saturday included.

Most of us now have our custom preferences: I’m addicted to Autumn’s Date & Tahini combination, Noah loves a creation he’s named ‘Mango Tango’ and Mateo swoons over anything with strawberries. Clara and Danny are happy to sip whatever is handed to them.

Today I’ll share two of our current favourite smoothies. They are simple to make, vegan, dairy-free, kid-approved and downright delicious! [Read more…]

Mint and Melon Agua Fresca

I am learning a lot of things from the Brady Bunch re-enactment happening at my house this summer, but one thing I now know for certain is that blending drinks is surely easier than blending families. Both, however, make a hot summer day a lot more interesting.

The challenge for me this summer has been learning how to be a parent to kids that already have parents. It is as tricky as it sounds.

Parenting my own three girls along with my husband’s three kids is an intricate dance that requires a lot of fancy footwork to figure out when to compromise, when to give in, and when to hold true to what I think is best as a parent.

My new kids like sugar cereals and potato chips and boxed macaroni & cheese, but I like to shop at the farmer’s market. I now have two video game loving boys, though I haven’t owned a television (on purpose) for more than six years. Even my idea of a good time requires negotiation: Libraries vs. Movie Theaters.

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Drink well, spend less: 5 fresh ideas for summer sips (Watermelon Agua Fresca)

We packed a picnic lunch on Saturday and spread a quilt over the violets and ferns of the forest floor. There were smoked salmon stuffed bagels to enjoy, along with chocolate pots de creme, but it was a bottle of chilled Watermelon Agua Fresca that stole the show.

Whizzed up in the blender with a few ice cubes, it was thrown together just 5 minutes before we left, while my boys pressed their noses against the screen door and inquired when lunch would be ready.

Our blush pink ‘fresh water’ was enjoyed by even the smallest member of the family, who guzzled her watered-down version before anyone else had finished theirs. I take it she approves of both picnics and summer beverages.

watermelon agua fresca and a picnic box

The season for fresh, fruity drinks is upon us, and will last through September, when it is overtaken by pumpkin spice lattes and spiced cider. For now, however, berries, stone fruits and melon flavor our sips, paired with herbs and other aromatics.

Whether we are picnicking with just the five of us or entertaining a group of guests, we’re drinking homemade, non-alcoholic beverages all summer long. We don’t load up our shopping cart with cases of soft drinks or juice boxes, and wine is reserved for special occasions.

Cocktails? Yes, they make a fairly frequent appearance, but this post is about the thirst-quenchers, suitable for the whole family. Okay, except for the iced tea and coffee.

Making agua fresca, iced tea or lemonade is one way we infuse our summer drinks with seasonal flavors and skip the sugar and artificial ingredients contained in most store-bought versions. We also manage to save a little money in the process.

Drink well, spend less? That works. It also happens to fit into our theme for this month’s Eat Well, Spend Less challenge: summer entertaining on a budget. Read on for my 5 fresh ideas for summer sips and a recipe for Watermelon Agua Fresca.

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