Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lavender Ginger Lemonade or Limemade

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

My lavender is just about to bloom and I wanted to use it in a refreshing drink. This fits the bill! This will be the new drink of the summer at our house.

In a saucepan, add:
8 c water
2 T chopped ginger
4 T lavender buds--I just dropped in the trimmed, top part of the lavender with buds
Bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, steep 15 minutes, then strain the liquid. The liquid will smell wonderful and be brownish in color. Cool completely.

In a pitcher, add 2 cans of lemonade or limeade frozen concentrate and the cooled liquid and mix together. To a blender, add 4 C of ice cubes and about 1/3 of the ade mix. Crush the ice and pour into the pitcher.

Serve over crushed ice or ice cubes and enjoy.  This was a wonderful surprise at our house today!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Strawberry Sorbet

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

The fresh strawberry season is waning and I've done a number of strawberry desserts: strawberry rhubarb pie, and fresh strawberries with scones are two of the favorites. But it's hot today so I decided to do something cool. The farmers market had several vendors with strawberries today so I brought home quart with sorbet in mind.

This is so easy!

To a blender, add:
1 qt, about 4 c, strawberries
1/2 c very cold water

Blend only about 30-45 seconds so that there are still chunks of fruit in the mixture.
Pour into a bowl and add:
1 c sugar
1 T lemon juice
1 T vodka--I used grapefruit vodka. The vodka is important; it adds no alcohol taste but keeps the sorbet from forming crystals as it freezes. The vodka is the key to smooth sorbet.

Chill 3-4 hours until completely cold. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow directions. My ice cream maker has a canister that is frozen before using it and the liquid is poured into the chilled container and churned by the machine. It takes about 20 minutes.

Scoop the sorbet into a freezing container, cover and freeze for 1-2 hours before serving.  Perfect!