Blackberry Lemonade

Remember a short while ago we discussed making lemonade at home? I decided to take that lemonade up to another level by making blackberry lemonade!

Earlier this summer I saw a recipe on another blog featuring blackberry lemonade and I was intrigued by this and immediately read the recipe only to be disappointed in the results.

The person used store bought lemonade.


Being that it is so easy to make lemonade, it’s silly to purchase lemonade.  I made a mental note that once I mastered making lemonade, that I would then turn my efforts to blackberry lemonade.

This time I was greatly rewarded.

Andrea’s Blackberry Lemonade

  • 5 Lemons
  • 1/2 Pint Blackberries
  • 3/4C Cane Sugar

Follow the basic lemonade recipe, this time add 1/2 a pint of fresh blackberries in with the lemons.

The blackberries are going to get steeped in with the lemons.  Blackberries are delicate berries so you can expect them to fade and start to fall apart.

This is normal and acceptable! While the blackberries will fade, that color is going to seep into the lemonade mixture.  This is exactly what you want.

After a half hour of steeping, squeeze out the lemon halves and discard.  In a large gallon beverage container add in sugar then strain the lemonade and blackberry mixture with a fine mesh strainer as you pour it into the gallon container.  Discard any lemon pulp and blackberry bits.  Stir mixture and add in cold water to help dilute the lemon and blackberry mixture.

Stir, pour into glasses and serve!

Just to reiterate, to make the blackberry lemonade, you’re going to do all of the same things that you do to make regular lemonade.  The only change is adding in 1/2 a pint of blackberries.  Make sure you look over or print out the lemonade recipe so you have that on hand.

With it being blackberry season right now, this is a perfect thing to make to quench summer thirsts.  The blackberries create a gorgeous color for the lemonade and add a bit of sweetness to the drink as well.

Everyone will be a fan of this drink and you can make it even more fun by adding in some seltzer to it for a bit of fizzy action.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!

Homemade Lemonade

Lemonade was not something that I grew up drinking.  In fact we never had it.  Ever.  The first time I had lemonade was at some point during my teenage years.  My sister and her then boyfriend (now husband), owned a boat and we headed out on the water one day.  She brought food and drinks to go with us and one thing she made was lemonade.

It was the basic instant mix kind but one sip on a very hot Western PA summer day and I was hooked.  It was amazing.

Sweet and slightly tangy, to me it was perfection.

After that point I started making lemonade on my own using the same instant mix.  Then flavors started appearing and raspberry lemonade was about the best thing on earth at that point.

Eventually I realized that instant lemonade is not good for you at all.  Much like instant tea, it’s full of icky things we don’t need.  I stopped making lemonade for years after that.  A few times we’ve purchased lemonade at the store. The kind that’s located next to the OJ in the fridge section.  It was alright but I thought to myself, “It can’t be that hard to make lemonade.  It’s just lemons, water, and sugar.”

And indeed it is just that simple.

Andrea’s Lemonade

  • 5-6 Lemons
  • 8C Boiling Water
  • 1/2-3/4C Cane Sugar

Fill a tea kettle and place it on the stove to boil.  Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a very large glass pitcher. After squeezing, place the lemon halves in the pitcher as well.  Once the water reaches a boil, pour the boiling water into the glass pitcher with the lemon juice and lemons.

Allow to steep for at least a half an hour.

In a large gallon container (pitcher, beverage container, whatever you have), add in the sugar.  Start with a half cup, taste when you’re done and see if you have to adjust the sweetness from there.  Squeeze the lemon halves again to get all the remaining juice and water out, then discard.  Place a fine mesh strainer over the gallon container. Gently pour the lemon infused water into the gallon container allowing the mesh strainer to strain out all the pulp and seeds.

Stir the lemon water and combine with the sugar.  Top off with more cold water until the container is full.  Stir, taste and see if more sugar needs to be added.

Serve immediately in a glass with ice or place in the fridge to chill.  Drink and enjoy!

I let the lemons steep in the boiling water because I wanted as much lemon flavor as I could get.  Since the rind has a bunch of flavor and oils, I thought steeping would yield me the most lemon power and I was right!

I’ve also done this with a combo of lemons and limes.  The limes add a lot more tartness and require a little bit more sugar but the taste is refreshing, especially on a hot summer day.

It’s easy and an very inexpensive to make lemonade at home.  You can drink it as is or you can add some seltzer to it for a little fizziness and fun.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!

Ohio Summer Spritzer

Yesterday evening, Camelot Winery unveiled it’s new look with a Grand Re-Opening event.  I was lucky enough to get invited not only to the event but to also provide some appetizers as well.

The inside looks completely different and definitely has a more welcome and cozy feel to it now.  You can expect a full post on what’s new soon!  The event was a huge success and many people arrived ready to check out the new look and to sip on some wine.  Luckily I was able to make my way around the place a few times and got a chance to chat with friends and introduce myself to new people.

For the appetizers I made mini cheddar corn fritters using Ohio Sweet corn.  I made 240 little fritters with the expectation that most people would take two.  I don’t know about everyone else but Scott and I definitely had more than two!

To help celebrate the new ownership and new look of Camelot, I put together a summer inspired drink featuring one of their wines.

Andrea’s Ohio Summer Spritzer

  • 1 Bottle of Camelot’s Sonoma Dry Creek Chardonnay
  • 3 Peaches, sliced
  • 1/2C Fresh Raspberries
  • 1/2C Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Liter of Seltzer, refrigerated

In a large pitcher, add fruit and then pour wine over top.  Let chill in fridge for at least six hours before serving.  Gently stir occasionally as the the wine and fruit mingle in the fridge.

When ready to serve, add in the seltzer and gently mix.  Serve and garnish with fruit from the pitcher.

To help keep the drinks cool, freeze some of the blueberries and raspberries.  Add them to the drink when serving, they are decorative and will help keep the drink on the cool and crisp side.

Pina Colada Smoothie

It’s the end of March and yesterday Columbus was blessed with a snowstorm that lasted all afternoon.  It was the last thing that any of us wanted. Okay, well there might be a few residents who don’t mind but the rest of us were cursing and shaking our fists in the air.

So to beat the winter blues, I’m posting something springy and fun!  Something that nourishes both the body and spirit.

Pina Colada smoothie!  Super green in color to perk up any blah winter day and tasty enough that you might start looking around for some rum.

Andrea’s Pina Colada Smoothie

  • 1C OJ
  • 1C Unsweetened Coconut Milk (like SO Delicious)
  • 2 Large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/2 C Frozen Pineapple
  • 1/4C Frozen Mango

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  This will be a thicker smoothie, like milkshake or frozen drink style.  Makes enough for two large glasses.

Perfectly tart and creamy. It tastes just like a pina colada but looks like spring. The amounts of frozen pineapple and mango are estimates because I didn’t measure those out.  Go by what you like.  The pineapple is more tart while the mango is more sweet.  You need to use enough pineapple to ensure you get the pina colada taste because that’s what makes the smoothie.

I’m telling you it’s tart so be prepared! But it’s refreshing and will remind you of the warmer temps that will be arriving soon!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!

At Home Barista: Pumpkin Latte

Since it’s Pumpkin Month it’s about time we get some pumpkin goods up in here, am I right?  As soon as the end of August starts getting near and the thought of September hits our consciousness, what does everyone start thinking about?

Pumpkin Lattes!

Don’t play, you know it’s true.

The concept I’m about to discuss is not one that I came up with, I have to acknowledge Mama Pea for this inspiration.  Last fall she discovered that a pumpkin latte from Starbucks made with soymilk and no whip is in fact not vegan.

Apparently there is some dry milk or something similar in the pumpkin spice syrup used to flavor the coffee.  I’m not really down with that.  I’m not vegan by any stretch but my preference for dairy comes in the form of cheese.  If I don’t want dairy and I’m actively trying to avoid it in food products, I really don’t appreciate having it snuck in behind my back.

A pumpkin spice syrup really doesn’t scream out that it requires milk, right?  So why have it in there?

Mama Pea came up with her own pumpkin spice latte and I turned around and made my own version as well.  It produces a rich creamy drink that is actually very filling!  We have been enjoying pumpkin lattes ever since!

We typically have a pumpkin latte on the weekends when we have a bit more time to relax and enjoy morning coffee.

Andrea’s Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 1 1/4C Vanilla Soymilk (or vanilla nondairy milk of your choice)
  • 1 1/2TBSP Pumpkin Puree
  • 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/4tsp Ground Clove
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4tsp Molasses

Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.  Makes enough for two mugs of pumpkin latte.  Fill mug close to half way with pumpkin mixture, then add in your freshly brewed coffee.  Stir and enjoy!

Frothy, delicious, and totally makes you think of fall weather.  It also smells mighty fine!  Now the next time you’ve got a hankering for some pumpkin spice lattes, you can make them at home!

Want a pumpkin spice latte using a homemade syrup?  Brandi just made some and she shares her technique!  Check it out!

Happy Pumpkin Month! :pumpkin:

Coconut Lime Spritzer

Guys I am so behind on recipe posting!  I have a ton in my little notebook of stuff that I need to get written up and published ASAP!  So be prepared for a recipe posting spree over the next few weeks, K? :)

I again bring your attention to the fact that it’s summertime and that means HOT.  Or if you live where I do, it means HUMID with a side of sticky.  You don’t really want to do much of anything except take time out to sip on something delicious and preferably very cold.

I do not drink mixed drinks because that kind of alcohol always seems a little heavy on my stomach.  Plus a lot of drinks are made so they are super sweet and I’m not one for sweet.  Even with wine I do not like sweet.  Scott on the other hand likes mixed drinks a great deal and I will occasionally make him a little sumptin’ sumptin’ to sip on while dinner cooks or perhaps while he’s manning the grill out back.

This new drink just came to me not that long ago and it ended up being a beautiful combo.  Scott loves it and it’s super easy to make.

Andrea’s Coconut Lime Spritzer

  • The juice of half a fresh lime + one slice for garnish
  • 2oz of Coconut Rum
  • Lime Seltzer

In a small tumbler squeeze in the lime juice and add the rum.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with the lime seltzer.  Stir, add the lime slice for a garnish and serve!

Does it get any easier?  Even I can take a few sips of this drink and be very happy about it!  The drink is cool and has a crisp taste from the lime and the seltzer.  The rum isn’t overpowering and the drink doesn’t come across as overly sweet.  It’s a nice sipping cocktail and perfect for a hot day.

Having a party?  Make this your signature drink!  One of the best party tips is that if you are going to serve drinks, consider making a signature drink to serve instead of having multiple types of beer or wine available.  This way it helps you stretch a buck while still entertaining your guests with class.

This drink is perfect for that!  Because does it get any cheaper than seltzer?  You can get liters of it for under a $1.  Most stores will even offer up deals where you can buy 5 for $5.  I know that Giant Eagle and Whole Foods both have such deals.  I prefer the Whole Foods seltzer because it’s a bit fizzier in my opinion but any seltzer will work!

Now you have a nice refreshing drink for Thirsty Thursday!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food drinks!  Enjoy!

Kentucky Summer Sippin’ Tea

To me, one of the best things about blogging is that it gives you the chance to meet people you otherwise might never have crossed paths with.  It makes the world a little bit smaller and helps us make meaningful connections with others.  I have met so many people because of this lil blog and I’m so thankful for that.

Blogging also helps us get the chance to sample products we might otherwise never have known about.  One of my blogging buddies, Lori, sent me this tea for my birthday earlier this year.  She’s in Kentucky and sent me a blend of tea made at a local Inn.  Elmwood Inn is located in Perryville, KY and they’ve been making teas since 1990.  Once a public tea room, they now focus exclusively on selling and importing teas.

The tea Lori sent me is Elmwood’s Kentucky Blend Tea which is a combo of different Chinese black teas.  The first mug of this I had, was on an unseasonably cold April afternoon.  It was perfect!  Sometimes black teas can have a bit of a bitter finish to them but this was very smooth and needed very little honey to help balance it out.

Right away I knew that I wanted to make a drink with this tea!  Since the Inn itself has a deep Kentucky history and because the name of the tea also includes Kentucky, I had to obviously honor the state south of me.  After some thinking, I came up with a great afternoon drink!

Andrea’s Kentucky Summer Sippin’ Tea

For my iced tea, I used 3 bags of Elmwood Inn Kentucky Blend Tea and 3 bags of regular black tea.

Add the juice of half an orange into a glass, then add the bourbon.  Pour the iced tea on top and stir.  Garnish with an orange slice and start sippin’ away!

This tea was so good!  I’m not a huge hard liquor person so I literally only had a few sips but what I did have, I honestly enjoyed.  I made this for Scott to sip on while he manned the grill for our Homespun Sunday Supper.  He loved it!

The bourbon doesn’t weight the tea down at all, it stays light and sweet.  The orange juice brings just a bit of freshness to the tea brightening up the flavor.  It goes down very smooth and you’ll most definitely contemplate having another with your meal.

I think some mint leaves or a squeeze of lime added to the mix would also work here!  We have more tea left so I’m going to assume that this will get made again in the near future.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!

Making Iced Tea

I grew up drinking iced tea, sweetened with sugar.  Not the instant kind made from a powder that smelled strange and had a fake lemon aftertaste but actual iced tea that you brewed.  Not sun tea either although my mom had tried that a few times early on but then stuck to regular iced tea.

My mom even had a Mr. Coffee iced tea maker for a while but to be honest I was never really down with it.  It worked alright but it didn’t make things any easier really.  Making iced tea isn’t something that is very hard or time consuming.

When Scott and I first moved in together, our iced tea worlds collided.  He comes from an Instant Family so you can see how we would have butted heads.  I couldn’t get over someone liking a “fake” tea spawned from a powder containing lord knows what, when I could make iced tea that had three ingredients: Tea, water, sugar.

Eventually his addiction to powdered tea phased out and now he’s converted to proper iced tea.  I tell myself this is a result of his ever developing palate and not due to the fact that I finally declared that, “I’m not buying that stuff anymore.”  I’m pretty sure it’s the first scenario.

Making iced tea is really simple! And it can be a great beverage to have on occasion and especially handy when entertaining guests.  Plus, tea is really versatile and you can make so many different kinds!

Andrea’s Basic Iced Tea

  • 6 tea bags (like Lipton or your choice of whatever)
  • 2 Quarts boiling water
  • 1/2C Cane sugar
  • 1 gallon glass pitcher
  • Extra water

Either in your gallon pitcher or another glass container, add the tea bags and cover with boiling water.  Allow to steep for at least half an hour.  Remove tea bags and add the sugar, stir.  If you are not using the gallon pitcher for steeping the tea bags, then pour the tea into that at this point.  Top off with cold water until the gallon pitcher is full.

Chill, serve over ice, and enjoy!

When I say that tea is versatile, I mean that with this basic recipe you can change it up to suit your tastes!  Maybe you like green tea, use those instead.  Like mint tea?  Use half regular tea bags and half peppermint tea bags.

For fruit teas, the same half and half rule applies with using your favorite fruit tea or herbal tea blend.

Only have loose leaf teas?  Use a tea infuser!

Fresh fruit can be added to iced tea for some extra flavor and punch.  Even fruit juices can be added to teas!

Fresh herbs can be added to tea for a savory or minty background note.

Want a stronger tea? Just use more tea bags and steep for a bit longer.

I love iced tea most especially in the summer.  It’s a great drink to have as you’re sitting on the back patio enjoying a quiet moment or a tending to the grill.

Are you an iced tea drinker? What is your favorite kind of ice tea?  A Long Island Iced Tea doesn’t count!

Andrea’s Favorite Smoothie

I make smoothies everyday for Scott and I to have with our lunch.  We’ve been doing this for almost a year now and love it! Back when I was doing the oh so boring Food-Log style entries, you could see my smoothies everyday.  Now they only get busted out for special occasions. ;)

This particular smoothie combo is my very favorite. It’s clean tasting and very filling.  I don’t have it too often because I want to keep it special and I also save it for the times when I feel like my bod could use some very straight up clean eats.

You know those times when you’re feeling just a bit rundown.  Or maybe you had too much wine/beer/Boones the night before because it was Aunt Sally’s 80th birthday and how can you turn down an 80 year old on their birthday? Even if that would put the tally up to your 6th glass of Wild Island.

Maybe you just had a really bad dining experience the night before where the salmon was farm raised, the asparagus just showed up from Mexico covered in Shed Spread, and what should have been Himalayan rice was actually Uncle Ben’s quick fix.

Basically you just feel like you need to work some stuff outta your system and replace it with some clean stuff.  You dig? This smoothie is the ticket.  At least for this bod.

Andrea’s Favorite Smoothie

  • 1C Carrot Juice
  • 1C Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
  • 1C Soymilk
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1-1.5 Frozen bananas
  • Frozen Blueberries (about1/2C)
  • Frozen Pineapple (literally like 5-6 pieces)

Blend in a blender until smoothie and creamy.

The liquid measurements are exact but the others are not.  Don’t overload too much on the spinach or you run the risk of the smoothie being gritty.  Kale works here as well.  The pineapple I keep to a minimum because I just want it to brighten the flavor a bit, I don’t want to feel like I’m in the tropics.  The soymilk along with the frozen fruit make this a very thick smoothie, like a shake.

This makes a lot of smoothie!  It’s enough for Scott and I each to have a big glass plus extra for Scott to have some more.  Both of us love it!

Everyday smoothies start off with the same liquid combos, just replace soymilk with water and change up the frozen fruit from time-to-time.  Smoothies never get old to us!

Enjoy guys!

P.S. Stop thinking about Wild Island!

Review: POM Wonderful

POM Wonderful

POM Wonderful

I had been seeing POM Wonderful pop up on foodie blogs for a while.  Apparently the POM Fairy was super busy dispensing POM all over the place.  POM had been winking at me and catching my eye while I grocery shopped.   But it didn’t flirt with me enough or offer to buy me a drink so I ignored it.  Finally I decided to be a modern woman and make the first move.  And also I was tired of waiting around for the POM Fairy to call me and tell me it had a surprise just for me.

My next grocery trip, I grabbed the POM by the handle and took it home to have my way with it and do my own review for the blog, gosh darn it!  A little side note, POM does not mind being roughly handled.  Take that as you will.

I had heard rumors that your first time with POM might not be like what you’ve read about in books or have seen in movies.  It’s sort of tart and a little bit more assertive than what you’d expect from something labeled as Wonderful. It can catch you off guard if you’re not prepared.

Because of this, I decided to play it safe and made sure I warmed myself up beforehand so that I would be ready to handle whatever Wonderful came my way.  I poured a bit in a glass, held my breath, and jumped in with both lips.

All that warming up was for nothing.  POM Wonderful is exactly that.  Wonderful.  It’s not tart at all or assertive, at least not to my experienced palate. It’s sweet and a bit thicker than most fruit juices.  I love it!  In fact I might like it even more than my current top choice, unsweetened cranberry juice.  Which is assertive and can leave your throat a bit dry if you don’t know what you’re doing with it.  POM is sweet glorious nectar.



We drink a lot of “fizzies” in this house.  Fizzies are basically seltzer and whatever else you want to toss in there.  I typically keep it to juices but my husband likes things with a little more kick sometimes.  Because I’m an awesome wife, I have no problems keeping things spicy for him.

This resulted in the POMtini.  I’m sure this has been done numerous times and in numerous places but this is my version.

Andrea’s Quickie POMtini

  • Chilled vodka (how much depends on you)
  • Chilled POM Wonderful (3x’s that of the vodka)
  • Splash of lime juice

Stir and serve. You can get even fancier by rimming the glass with sugar and adding a slice of lime for garnish. Make it green sugar and the drink will pop even more.  Plus it’s festive for the holidays!

We have even tried the POM Wonderful with Blueberry and it’s fantastic too.  You can smell the blueberries as soon as you pour it into your glass.  Admittedly POM can be a bit on the pricy side.  However, it’s totally worth it because sometimes you just have to branch out and experiment a little bit.

Next time you’re at the store, give POM Wonderful a try! Your experience will probably be a lot more enjoyable than you think! ;)