Close your eyes and envision the perfect salad. What does it look like? Mine has whole grains, veggies, fruits and cheeses! Would you like my tips for creating the perfect salad? Great! Grab them below along with my recipe for Summer Grain Salad below!
Ahhh, the food of summer. It makes me so incredibly happy. Take corn, for example. In the winter, at least here in the midwest, you can’t find it. Well, you can, but it’s in the freezer section. That’s fine and good, but give me that sweet summer corn! I long for it and I am beyond joyful when it shows up in my store!
Can it be? Is summer really almost over? Perhaps a Blueberry Crumble Bar could save my end-of-summer-sadness!
If you’re like me, this happens every single year. I get to the end of August and think “what the heck? How can it almost be September?” Well, of course time inevitably keeps propelling us forward, but for some reason, my mind just doesn’t accept that sometimes. I mean, I swear it was just a few weeks ago when I finally felt safe stuffing my long, dark heavy winter coat in the closet. I literally stuffed it in there too – jammed it in – as I had no interest in even seeing a glimpse of it for the next several months.
Growing up in Indiana, I always looked forward to summer.
What kid doesn’t, right? Summer meant no school and that meant lots of warm days and nights filled with fun. I remember playing so hard that when my head hit the pillow, I almost instantaneously fell asleep. Those thoughts and memories make me smile, because I love remembering how easy and wonderful life was then. Summer to me also meant sweet, delicious fruit. And I loved it all, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, peaches, strawberries and WATERMELON!
Bored with water? While I never tire of it, I know there are plenty of people out there who do. My advice? Make yourself a pitcher of what I call “fancy water” or simply water that’s been flavored. Yes, pretty fancy indeed. To make your experience with fancy water fun, I’ve come up with a recipe that’s perfectly light and refreshing. Watermelon is a great base and the simple syrup is a sophisticated little addition that’s sure to please the adult palate.
But don’t forget the kids! They like this one too and you can skip the simple syrup if you don’t want the added sugar. Just prepare as described below and toss in some crushed ice and shake it in a glass until it’s kind of fizzy on top. Your kids will think you’re pretty cool…or not, but who cares because they’ll drink it up regardless!
The perfect drink to cool you off on a hot day. Fresh watermelon is blended smooth and sweetened with a light touch of lime and basil infused simple syrup.
For the simple syrup
- 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 lime, zested
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
For the watermelon cooler
- 3 cups diced, seedless watermelon
- 1 cup water
For the simple syrup
- Place the basil and lime zest in a bowl.
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Let mixture come to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour over the basil and lime zest. Let cool.
For the watermelon
- Place the watermelon in a blender and pulse a few times. Add the water and puree until smooth. Work in batches if necessary.
For the cooler
- Pour the watermelon mixture into glasses. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the simple syrup. Stir, add ice and serve.
- Makes about 3 cups.
- There will be extra simple syrup. Store it covered in the fridge and use it to mix into still or sparkling water.
- You can a little more water to dilute for a milder watermelon flavor.
- Add jalapeno slices to the simple syrup for a little kick.
- Calories: 338
- Sugar: 79
- Sodium: 18
- Fat: 1
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 86
- Protein: 3
- Cholesterol: 0