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Blog

Filtering by Category: beverages

Lavender Lemonade

Patricia Reitz

Who loves lavender?  Not only does it smell wonderful - it tastes great too, but it's very strong so you have to be careful not to use too much.  Here, dried lavender buds are gently steeped in hot water to make a tea which is then combined with water and freshly squeezed lemon juice to make this refreshing lavender lemonade.

how to make lavender lemonade - recipe and how-to photos

The ingredients needed are pretty simple, fresh lemons, water, sugar, and dried lavender.  If you grow your own lavender, you can dried the buds yourself, otherwise they're pretty easy to find online (this is what I purchased).

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Gorgeous lemons!!!

Lavender lemonade recipe

We need a lot of freshly squeezed lemon juice (don't even think about using the stuff in a bottle!).  You can squeeze the juice by hand (this is my favorite style for manual squeezing), but for large jobs, I love using my electric juicer.  Sadly, this one is no longer made, but there are plenty of similar models available online (here).

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Over high heat, combine some of the water with the sugar. 

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Stir the sugar until it dissolves.

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Bring the mixture to a boil.

recipe for lavender lemonade - how-to photos and recipe

Turn off the heat and add the dried lavender flowers; steep for 10 minutes.

How long to steep lavender to make lemonade - recipe and how-to photos.

After 10 minutes, strain the lavender out and discard.  Add the remaining water and freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve over ice.

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Oh, and here's a tip - store the empty lemon halves in the freezer.  Whenever you need lemon zest, grab a frozen half and run it over a microplane grater.  You'll never be without lemon zest again! 

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Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Lavender Lemonade

makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water, divided

  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or more to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender

  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • optional: a drop or two of blue or purple food coloring

  • garnish: lemon slices and fresh lavender petals

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.

  2. Remove from heat and stir in dried lavender; steep for 10 minutes.

  3. Strain lavender from mixture and discard.

  4. Place lavender-infused water in large pitcher; add remaining water, lemon juice, optional food coloring and stir well.

  5. Serve over ice.

Freshly Squeezed Lemonade

Patricia Reitz

You are only 3 ingredients away from freshly squeezed lemonade - one of life's simple pleasures.  

Start by combining water and sugar in a saucepan.

Heat gently and stir to dissolve sugar.

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When the water changes from cloudy to clear, the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat.

Cut a bunch of fresh lemons (I used 10).  

Here's a tip:  cold lemons don't like to give up all their juice so make sure your lemons are room temperature or slightly war before juicing.  You can warm them by covering with warm water or pop each one in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until warm.  Rolling the lemons on the counter using moderate pressure before squeezing helps as well.   

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Time to juice those lemons - an electric lemon juicer makes very quick work of it.  This kind of handheld juicer also works well.  

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Pour the remaining water, lemon juice, and sugar/water mixture into a large pitcher and mix well to combine.  Serve over ice.  

Items used to make this recipe:


Freshly Squeezed Lemonade

makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water, divided

  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or more to taste)

  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.

  2. Pour remaining 6 cups of water into a large pitcher; add sugar water and lemon juice, stirring well to combine.

  3. Serve over ice.

Berry Breakfast Smoothies

Patricia Reitz

Our youngest is home from college this summer and we've been treating ourselves with smoothies each morning.  Too much work that early in the day?  No worries, just put everything in your blender jar the night before so the only thing you'll have to do in the morning is to walk your groggy self into the kitchen and hit the power switch.  

This recipe was inspired by Alton Brown.  It's not only delicious, but it contains high vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber so it's nutritious too!  

fruit smoothie/smoothies inspired by Alton Brown - ButterYum

Start with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and bananas (amounts given in the recipe below).  You can use fresh or frozen fruit.

If you use frozen fruit, place it in the blender jar and store overnight in fridge (to partially thaw) or on the counter (to fully thaw) before processing.  Makes for quicker morning prep too. 

antioxidant breakfast smoothie recipe - ButterYum

Add pomegranate juice and milk (or milk substitute).

Blend until smooth.

Gotta love how fast and easy smoothies are to make. 

Breakfast for two - one for me and one for you.

And here's my little tip for cleaning that dirty blender jar.  Fill it with some water and ONE DROP of liquid dish soap.

Cover and blend, blend, blend.

All the junk is dislodged from the jar and lid - just a quick rinse and it's ready for breakfast tomorrow.  

Items used to make this recipe:


Berry Breakfast Smoothie

makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 ounce strawberries

  • 4 ounces blueberries

  • 4 ounces peaches

  • 4 ounces bananas

  • 4 ounces pomegranate juice

  • 4 ounces milk (or milk substitute)

Directions

  1. Weight all ingredients and place in blender or food processor; blend until smooth.

adapted from Alton Brown

 

Coconut Hot Chocolate

Patricia Reitz

Coconut Hot Chocolate - ButterYum.  Coconut hot cocoa recipe.

A few weeks ago we were enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures here in Virginia, but this week we've been suffering through unseasonably cold temperatures.  The perfect kind of weather to enjoy a steamy cup of creamy hot chocolate, but not just any hot chocolate, a thick, rich, completely indulgent mug made with creamy coconut milk. 

Coconut Hot Chocolate

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 14 ounce can coconut milk

  • 2 1/2 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate (in the 60-70% range)

Directions

  1. Pour entire contents of canned coconut milk into a 2-cup glass measure (don't be alarmed if your can contains clear liquid as well as a creamy white solidified layer).

  2. Microwave for several 30-second bursts, stirring between each, until hot and completely liquified.

  3. Add chopped chocolate and allow to soften for several minutes to soften before whisking to combine completely (if any chocolate chunks remain unmelted, gently heat a bit more and whisk again).

  4. Pour into mugs and enjoy

coconut milk hot chocolate recipe - ButterYum

I served my hot chocolate with these imported Amaretti cookies.  They're so addictive - I can't stay away!

Coconut macaroons would have been lovely as well.  You can find my recipe here.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Patricia Reitz

It's been unseasonably warm this week and that makes me long for Spring to arrive.  I'm already thinking about all the warm weather recipes I want to share with you.  For example, this Vietnamese Iced Coffee - it's sweet and full of warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom, but it's served over ice which makes it very refreshing.  

Here's what you'll need:  ground cinnamon, whole cloves, ground cardamom, ground coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and fresh nutmeg (it's like a gazillion times better than ground).

I love fresh nutmeg - the flavor and aroma is so much better than any brand of pre-ground stuff you can find.... and check out what the inside of the nutmeg looks like after it's been grated on a microplane.  So cool.  

And here are the coffee and spices measured out.  Even before steeping, the room smells amazing!  

I like to mix the coffee and spices together.  You don't really need to, but it's quite satisfying - like playing with an aromatic zen sand garden.  I need a little sand rake!

Heat the water until it boils.

Turn off the heat and add the ground coffee and spices.

Stir it will until no sign of dry ingredients remain.

That looks about right.  Now allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes.

Using a sieve, strain the large solids from the steeped coffee mixture.  I find that's enough straining, but if you want to remove the ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, continue with the next step.

Pour the remaining coffee mixture through a coffee filter.  Because the ground spices are so finely milled, they will clog the coffee filter quickly so this step will take a long time.  That's why I usually skip it. 

But today I did it just for you - I rested the coffee filter holder from my husband's beloved coffee maker over a large glass container and let gravity do it's thing while I took care of the dishes.

We're almost done - can't wait!!! 

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large pitcher (I like this classic style).  I start with 10 ounces - you can always add more if you want your iced coffee to be sweeter, but you can't take it away so start with less.  

Add the strained coffee mixture and stir to combine.  

Serve over ice and enjoy! 

Items used to make this recipe:


Vietnamese Iced Coffee

makes 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ground coffee

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 8 cups water

  • 10 to 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (start with 10 and add more if you like)

  • ice

Directions

  1. Combine coffee, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl; set aside.

  2. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring water to a boil; remove from heat.

  3. Stir coffee and spice mixture into hot water and steep for 10 minutes; strain and discard the coffee grounds.

  4. Stir strained coffee and sweetened condensed milk together and serve over ice (add only 10 ounces of sweetened condensed milk to begin, then add more if you like).

Pomegranate Fizz Mocktail

Patricia Reitz

Pomegranate Fizz Mocktail - ButterYum

Pomegranate Fizz Mocktail - ButterYum

Here's a festive mocktail that everyone will enjoy.

Pomegranate Fizz Mocktail

makes 4 servings

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups pomegranate juice, chilled 
  • 1 liter lemon-lime soda (or ginger ale), chilled 
  • optional garnish - fresh pomegranate arils (seeds)

Directions

  1. Combine one part pomegranate juice to three parts lemon-lime soda per glass.
  2. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds if desired.

Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino

Patricia Reitz

My husband loves coffee and likes to occasionally stop at a popular coffeehouse for a large, steamy, freshly-brewed cup.  On the other hand, I'm not much of a coffee drinker so I order a small, icy, vanilla cream beverage.  It's a very simple treat, but they're not cheap so I decided to come up with my own version that I can make at home for a fraction of the cost.  For the best results, be sure to use premium quality ice cream, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla bean powder.  

Let me show you how it's done. 

Start with ice, whole milk, and your favorite premium quality vanilla ice cream.  We like Haagen Dazs or Kirlkand  from Costco.

We'll also need a little sugar, the best vanilla bean paste, and pure vanilla powder.

Place everything in a small blender that can handle chopping ice cubes.  I really love this model - have had it for years, it's not expensive, and it works great!  

Starbuck's copycat frappuccino recipe with photos

Pour the liquified mixture into a glass and top with copious amounts of real whipped cream.  To keep things on the light side, use canned whipped cream, but if you want to be extra indulgent...

...make your own.  

In a small mixing bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, confectioners sugar, and pure vanilla bean paste (it tastes so good and adds those lovely specks of vanilla seeds).

Use a hand mixer to whip everything together.  If yours has a whisk attachment, that works very well, but the standard beater attachments will work too.

When you start seeing tracks in your cream, it's almost done.  Just a few seconds longer.

Now for the fun part - putting the whipped cream into a large disposable piping bag fitted with an open star tip.  Today I used this tip to pipe my whipped cream, but this is another one of my favorites.  

Recommendation:  When purchasing disposable piping bags, I suggest you get large bags (like these) instead of 8 to 12-inch bags, which are more common.  The small bags are hard to fill, they don't hold very much, and they're nearly impossible to refill once they've been used.  The bags I recommend are much easier to use, fill/refill, and you can always cut them down if you find yourself in a situation that requires the use of a smaller bag.  Just saying.

Fill the disposable pastry bag with the whipped cream and pipe a mountain of swirly goodness on top of your frappuccino.

How to make Starbuck's Vanilla Bean Cream Frappuccino Recipe, How to make Starbuck's Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino Recipe.  

Add a green straw if you have one and go for it!  Mmmm.

Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino

makes 1 serving

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large scoop vanilla ice cream (premium quality)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder
  • whipped cream for topping

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a personal blender and pulse to break up the ice cubes, then blend until mixture is smooth.
  2. Pour into serving glass and top with whipped cream.  Serve immediately.

 

 

Concord Grape Juice

Patricia Reitz

DIY Concord Grape Juice - ButterYum

DIY Concord Grape Juice - ButterYum

I received a few pounds of concord grapes from the farmers market this year and decided to use them to make grape juice.  Wow did it taste good, and it was so easy to make too - let me show you how it's done. 

Start with delicious concord grapes.  These were super sweet and juicy.

Remove all the stems and give them a good rinse.

Place the grapes in a large casserole pan or deep skillet and use a potato masher to squash them really well.  Did you know the inside of those dark purple grapes were light green?  

Add a cup of water to the pan...

And keep mashing.  Mash, mash, mash.

Simmer gently, mashing every now and then until the grapes completely break down.

When the mixture looks like this, you're almost done.  Just a few minutes longer.

And here it is - all the grape insides have broken down and we're left with a whole bunch of empty grape skins.

Strain the liquids from the solids using a sieve

Wow, just look at that color!

Don't be afraid to press the solids to get all that juice.   Cool completely and taste carefully - the juice is very concentrated at this point so dilute with cold water as needed.  For my batch, I added 1 part water to 1 part concentrated juice.  That's all there is to it folks!

DIY Concord Grape Juice with how-to photos

Concord Grape Juice

makes 4 servings

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound concord grapes, rinsed and stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • more water, as needed, for serving

Directions

  1. Place grapes and water in a large casserole pan or deep skillet; use a potato masher to squash the grapes.
  2. Simmer over medium heat, mashing occasionally until the grapes break down as shown above.
  3. Remove from heat and strain grape seeds and skins from the liquid; cool completely.
  4. Taste juice and add cold water to dilute, if needed (I diluted my juice with equal parts water).  Refrigerate for up to a week.
$298.52
$39.95
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$12.47

Blue Pom Chia Smoothie

Patricia Reitz

Blueberry Pomegranate Chia Seed Smoothie - ButterYum

Blueberry Pomegranate Chia Seed Smoothie - ButterYum

This smoothie is not only delicious, but it contains blueberries, pomegranate juice, greek yogurt, and chia seeds making it high in protein and antioxidants too.  

This recipe uses gelled chia seeds (directions below) which need to be made ahead.  I like to make a big batch of chia seed gel each week to keep in the fridge so we can make our own smoothies and chia seed drinks (like these) whenever the mood strikes.  

Fresh blueberries - considered a "super food" and they happen to be my favorite berry - Yum!

Plain greek yogurt - full of protein.

Pomegranate juice - full of nutrients and antioxidants.

Blueberry Pomegranate Chia Seed Smoothie Recipe

Blend until smooth.

Chia seed gel - full of nutrients, fiber, protein, and antioxidants.  Super great stuff!

how to make a blueberry pomegranate chia seed smoothie recipe

One part blueberry, pomegranate, greek yogurt mixture and one part chia seed gel.

Stir together and Enjoy!

Blue Pom Chia Smoothie

makes 2 servings

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or thawed)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • gelled chia seeds (recipe below)

Directions

  1. In a personal blender, combine blueberries, greek yogurt, and pomegranate juice; blend until smooth.
  2. In 2 tall glasses stir together one part blueberry mixture to one part gelled chia seeds.  

Note:  to make 1 cup of chia seed gel, combine 3 tablespoons chia seeds and 1 cup water, stir occasionally for about an hour, then store in the fridge for several hours until the seeds absorb all the water - this usually takes a few hours.   I like to make a big batch of chia seed gel each week to keep in the fridge so we can make our own smoothies and chia seed drinks (like these) whenever the mood strikes.

$55.20
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Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

Patricia Reitz

Strawberry Lemonade for One - ButterYum

Strawberry Lemonade for One - ButterYum

Is the weather sweltering where you are?  The outside temperature here has been hovering around the 100 degree mark.  Perfect weather to make a quick glass of fresh strawberry lemonade. 

fresh strawberries

fresh strawberries

freshly squeezed lemon juice

freshly squeezed lemon juice

water

water

sugar

sugar

blitz

blitz

serve

serve

Strawberry Lemonade

makes 1 serving

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (or more to taste)

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in a personal blender and blend until smooth.
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