Bourbon slushes

It’s Lissa‘s birthday! Despite the fact that we’re a few states away from each other these days, I’m celebrating with her bourbon slushes. These are such a great hot-weather drink, and are easy to make for a crowd, something Lissa almost always has at her house. :) You should keep these in your freezer this summer!

Bourbon Slushes

Ingredients

  • 2 tea bags
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 6 oz lemonade concentrate
  • 6 oz orange juice concentrate
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups bourbon
  • 7-Up

Instructions

  1. Steep the two tea bags in the 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  2. Stir in lemonade and orange juice concentrates, water, and bourbon to the tea in a freezer-safe container
  3. Freeze for 24 hours or so (it won’t freeze completely solid because of the bourbon), then use an ice cream scoop or sturdy spoon to scoop into glasses
  4. Top with 7-Up, stir and serve

What are other summer drinks you love??

Happy birthday, girlfriend!

Peach pie

This is Magee’s peach pie recipe and I just love it. She scribbled it on a post-it note for me years ago and I go back to it every year. As you can see in the picture, I have a hard time waiting for the pie to actually cool before I eat it, so mine gets messy. Maybe you’ll have more patience than I do. ;)

Informal poll! How do you like your peach pie? Plain? With ice cream? With whipped cream? My Grandpa used to top his apple pie with half a slice of American cheese; I was never sure how I felt about that.  What’s your vote for peach pie?

Peach pie

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts of your choice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 cups peaches, sliced (this can be approximate)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F
  2. Place one pie crust in your pie pan and brush with some of the egg (so the crust doesn’t get soggy)
  3. Gently mix together the peaches, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg, then pour into pie pan
  4. Cut up the butter and dot it over the top of the pie, then top with the other pie crust. Be sure to cut slits or use a pie bird so the steam can escape, and brush the top crust with the rest of the egg
  5. Put the pie pan on a foil-covered cookie sheet for easy cleanup of any spillover, then bake for 10 minutes 450, then add a pie shield or cover the crust edges with foil
  6. Reduce temp to 350F and bake another 30 minutes or so, until juice is bubbling through crust vents

 

North Carolina pie

This recipe comes from Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C. by way of Katie Workman, by way of NPR. It was tweeted and retweeted and favorited all over the place till I decided I just had to try it out. This turned out to be an excellent decision.

It’s very similar in construction to key lime pie , with the obvious difference of a Saltine crust, which is fabulous. This pie is sweet and tart and salty all at once — everything a summer dessert should be.

North Carolina pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sleeves Saltine crackers
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • whipped cream and coarse sea salt for garnish (which I completely forgot)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush the crackers pretty finely, but not to complete dust. Add the sugar and knead in the butter till the mixture holds together like dough
  3. Press into an 8 inch pie pan, chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned
  4. While the crust is partially cooling, beat the egg yolks and milk together, then mix in citrus juice, making sure everything is completely combined. Pour into the pie shell (it doesn’t need to be completely cooled), and bake for 16 minutes or until the filling has set
  5. Chill pie completely now, and serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt

Make this. You will not be sorry. :)

S’mores pops

 

It’s summer! I don’t know about the rest of y’all but we’re already kind of sweltering in Nashville. Baby Peanut is rocking a heat rash on her neck and thinks that cold bananas are the best thing ever right now. Kiddo is all about “cold water with LOTS of ice cubes!” I may or may not be sneaking my feet into the wading pool in the back yard.

In the midst of all this heat, the folks at Aldi sent me a summer care package: graham crackers, marshmallows, cute sprinkles and a chocolate bar. S’mores! I love s’mores. However, since it’s hot outside (have I mentioned it’s hot?), by the time the package hit my front porch the chocolate was rather melty, so traditional s’mores would be hard.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

I thought about what else I could do that would be yummy, and I came up with these: s’mores pops. I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to invent these, but since I totally thought of them one night I’m not going to google them and see how many other people came up with them before I did. ;)

You need these in your life!

S’mores pops

Ingredients

  • 4 graham crackers
  • 1 large chocolate bar
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • Sprinkles, optional but totally fun
  • Popsicle sticks, skewers or craft sticks
  • Wax paper lined cookie sheets or trays

Instructions

  1. Melt or temper the chocolate. I used this method for tempering. I’m honestly not sure if the chocolate really needed to be tempered or just melted in the microwave; tempering seemed like a good idea and not hard so I went with it
  2. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or in a zip top bag with a rolling pin, then put the crumbs in a bowl
  3. Skewer the marshmallows, then dip in the chocolate. Let it drip a little bit, then dip in graham crackers and sprinkles in whatever method and order you like — go crazy, have fun! — then set them on the wax paper to let them cool

 

See how easy this is? If grown-ups do the melting part, kids can absolutely step in and make their own creations with different sprinkles and combinations. Make some and show me what you’ve come up with!

Snow cones

Somehow the stores are gearing up for back to school. Apparently fall is coming? (Someday?) But it’s still 110 degrees in the shade right now and I’m HOT. And so are the kids. Enter: snow cones!

There are a bunch of recipes floating around the interwebs for snow cone syrups so I just picked out the bits that sounded good and came up with this one.

Snow cones

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 packet Kool Aid (or whatever brand; Kool Aid does not know I exist)

Instructions

  1. Stir the sugar and water together in a saucepan and heat till boiling; boil for one minute and remove from heat, then stir in drink mix
  2. Let it cool completely then funnel into a bottle (a Wilton-type squeeze bottle or a water bottle with a sports top work brilliantly)

Sadly, I do not own a groovy Snoopy snow cone maker, but I do have one of these spiffy blenders that I used to grind ice into little snow cone cups I picked up at Target — mission accomplished! The kids had a great time getting to pour on the syrup themselves, and eating them on the back patio meant minimal cleanup. Go make some!

Caesar dressing

We had one glorious almost-70-degree day here in Nashville and it made me SO READY for spring rightnowthisinstant. This, of course, made me want a good salad! I found this dressing recipe in Rick & Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures, which I love. The recipe is insanely quick, easy and good, which I also love.

Caesar dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp. water

Instructions

  1. Crush peeled garlic (putting it in the microwave for about 5 seconds first will make this easier) into a 2-cup glass jar with a lid
  2. Add all remaining ingredients into the jar, cover tightly and shake
  3. Store in jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Enjoy, y’all. Spring is coming!

Fresh limeade

Summer’s not quite over yet (as evidenced by the 90+ degree September we’re currently having in Nashville), so I thought I’d pass this one along while there’s still some heat in the air.

You can make this with lemon, lime, key lime or any combination thereof; today I had a bunch of limes so limeade it is.

Fresh limeade

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups lime juice (or lemon or key lime)
  • Additional 4 cups water

Instructions

  1. Heat the water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved; you can do this in a saucepan on the stove or in a glass Pyrex in the microwave
  2. Let the sugar mixture cool and stir in juice and additional water
  3. Serve over ice, ideally on a veranda.

This may or may not be great with a splash of vodka. I haven’t heard either way. Ahem.