Friday, May 17, 2013

Sweet Summer Drinks

Whenever you are sitting outside in the sunshine, a nice refreshing drink should accompany you.  Ranging from fruity to sweet to whatever your taste buds can handle.  Here are some alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with the recipes to help.


  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • 1 spear cucumber for garnish
  • 8 leaves of mint
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 ounce Basic Simple Syrup
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 ounce yellow chartreuse
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber slices with 7 of the mint leaves, the salt and the simple syrup.  Add ice and the tequila, chartreuse, and lime juice and shake well.  Fine-strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the cucumber spear and remaining mint leaf.


  • 2 ounces of gin
  • ounce of maraschino liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ounce of violet liqueur
  • 1 marasca cherry, for garnish
Fill cocktail shaker with ice.  Add all of the ingredients, except the cherry, and shake until chilled.  Strain the drink into a coupe glass and garnish with a marasca cherry.



  • 1 1/2 pound sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mild honey (such as orange blossom)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
In the bowl of a food processor, place watermelon and process until very smooth.  Strain through a coarse sieve set over a bowl, stirring to push through any pulp.  Pour juice into a large pitcher.  Add lemon zest.
 In a bowl, whisk lemon juice and honey until honey dissolves; stir into watermelon juice.  Stir 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold.  Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices


  • 2 cups seltzer
  • 2/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 3 ounces raspberry-flavored syrup, or Chambord
  • ice cubes
Combine seltzer, raspberries, mint and raspberry-flavored syrup (or  Chambord) in a small pitcher.  Pour over ice.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Slice of Heaven: Banana Split Pie

When it comes to baking, there is nothing more satisfying than biting into a piece of sweet and savory pie especially the kind that melts in your mouth and leaves you speechless. One of those types of pies is the banana split pie. Filled to the brim with fresh bananas, grated semi-sweet chocolate, powdered sugar, and an entire stick of butter, the banana split pie will remind you of the comforts of home and sweet childhood memories. Nostalgia comes naturally as the process to prepare this pie comes to fruition. Before adding the prescribed whipped cream topping, you should think about this tasty alternative: whipped egg whites, a tablespoon of vanilla, and half a cup of sugar. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get the egg whites whipped enough that it forms stiff peaks, but the result is more satisfying. Once stiff peaks have formed, stuff the topping into a small plastic Ziploc bag and cut a hole in the corner to squeeze out onto the pie filling.

Once the filling and topping are finished, be sure to garnish the pie with walnut pieces. It adds a wonderful crunch and flavor burst to the predominately banana flavor. Happy baking!

1.     1/2 cup butter
2.     1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3.     3 eggs
4.     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5.     2 bananas
6.     1 tablespoon lemon juice
7.     1 (1 ounce) square semi-sweet chocolate, grated
8.     1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

  1. Cream together butter or margarine and confectioner's sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time; beat for 3 minutes after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Slice 2 bananas, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Fold grated chocolate and bananas into sugar mixture. Turn filling into cooled pie shell. Garnish with walnuts, banana slices, and whipped cream.