Spiked Vanilla Lemonade

Celebrate the end of summer with some spiked vanilla lemonade, perfect for a poolside party.

Spiked Vanilla Lemonade

This summer has passed by at the speed of light and I’ve hardly had any lemonade. As you know, I’m a huge lemonade fanatic. I practically live off it all summer and even in the winter, too. I love playing around with the different variations and trying new flavors. But it really does feel appropriate to sip it poolside during the scorching months.

To celebrate the end of summer, I threw together some grownup lemonade instead of just the standard sip. It needed to be jazzed up just a bit. So why not with a little bit of rum and some vanilla?

Spiked Vanilla Lemonade

 

Spiked Vanilla Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 2 Tbsp. rum per glass of lemonade

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour the sugar into a pitcher along with the lemon juice and vanilla. Stir.
  3. Pour in the water and stir well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Once ready to serve, pour 2 Tbsp. of rum into a glass and top with lemonade.
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If you like this recipe, try a few others that are just as tasty!

Pretty Pink Lemonade

Pretty-Pink-Lemonade

 Jalapeno Lemonade

Jalapeno-Lemonade-1024x816

Maple Oat Pecan Scones

Maple Pecan Oat Scones

I am a BIG fan of scones. Such a big fan that when we sing Fancy around here, we change the words to be “Can’t you taste this scone?” It makes sense. Why wouldn’t Iggy like this delectable breakfast bite? I know I do. So when I received my email for the Secret Recipe Club and saw that my partner, Avril, had a bunch of delicious scone recipes, I was super excited! Have you seen Avril’s blog, Baking and Creating with Avril yet? If not, you simply must head over there now. So many delicious recipes, it was certainly hard to choose just one.

In the end, I went with the maple oat pecan scones. I love how the maple syrup gives them just the right touch of sweetness. Not too much, just right. Avril topped hers with a maple glaze that is absolutely to-die-for but I opted to skip it. I wanted to pack these for breakfast and glaze – while amazingly sweet and delicious – tends to be a little sticky. They are perfect without it but if you are choosing to make them for company, whip up some glaze and have it on the side for guests.

Be sure to head over and check out Avril’s fantastic recipes! And also, check out the Secret Recipe Club and all the delicious foods, treats and goodies other members have made time around. It’s not to be missed!

Maple Oat Pecan Scones

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp. maple extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a food processor, grind the oats until they are fine. Add in flour, sugar, salt and baking powder until well mixed.
  3. Add in maple syrup and butter and pulse until combined.
  4. In a bowl, beat together egg, cream and extract. Pour into the food processor and mix until fully combined. Fold in pecans.
  5. Place on a floured surface and pat into a 10" circle. Cut into 8 slices, much like a pizza.
  6. Place the wedges onto a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned.
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Pickled Watermelon Rinds

Pickled watermelon rinds are a yummy, flavorful end-of-summer treat you’ll never be able to resist.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

One of the things I’ve been trying to work on lately is food waste. We aren’t big on leftovers around here, for some reason. And fruits and veggies often turn brown and wilt before my eyes from lack of use. So I try to minimize the amount of food I waste and maximize flavor for the best outcome. One way is by using as much as possible. Take, for example, these pickled watermelon rinds.

I know most people end up tossing the rind away after chopping their watermelon. But trust me, after trying this, you’ll never toss those white rinds away again. Cube them up, toss them with a little vinegar, some sweet spices and a bit of sugar and they turn from bitter rind to sweet, crunchy little bites that can be eaten alone or tossed on top of salad, into buttermilk fried chicken tacos or scarfed with shrimp.

One thing to note: the green is gross. Still cut off and toss the green when you are using the rind for pickling.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds watermelon rind, cut into 1 inch squares (eliminate all the green, keeping only the white rind)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Combine the rind, vinegar, water, sugar, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir, dissolving the sugar. Simmer for one minute then remove from heat.
  3. Cool for one hour.
  4. Transfer rinds to a large container and add the vinegar mixture to the container as well. Refrigerate.
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Grilled Fruit Sangria

Sangria is a summertime staple. Instead of using the traditional fruits, try tossing some stone fruits on the grill for an interesting twist with this grilled fruit sangria.

Grilled Fruit Sangria

For some reason, this summer has been different than summers past. Last year, I rushed the summer, anticipating fall and just watching for the leaves to change. I had no real vested interest in keeping summertime around. And this year, I am still excited for fall. But I am in no rush for summer to end. I’ve been enjoying the beach, the water, hanging by the pool, eating delicious foods and sipping fun summer libations.

Grilled Fruit Sangria

And this grilled fruit sangria is one of those drinks. Sangria really is the summer drink. Sure, you can have it any time of year but really, it must be had during the summer months when fresh fruit is at its prime. And while I love sangria, I wanted to change it up a little and try something new. So the fruit hit the grill. It gives this sangria an extra dimension of flavor, a charred, smoky flavor. Have you ever grilled peaches? It is insane the sweetness that comes out when you toss them onto a grill. The skin just peels right off and the flavors intensity to an amazing degree. Now that I’ve had them grilled, I’m not sure I’ll eat them any other way.

Grilling the fruit before making the sangria really amps this version up. It is ideal for a summertime pool party. This week, I’m joining a few friends for a splash party. Check out some of their posts. If you put everything together, you’ve got one heck of a summer party on your hands!

 

Grilled Fruit Sangria

Grilled Fruit Sangria

Yield: 1 large pitcher of sangria

Ingredients

  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 2 apricots, sliced
  • ½ cup cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 bottles of White Zinfandel
  • 12 ounces sparkling water

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to medium high and spray it with non-stick spray.
  2. Once hot, place the oranges directly on the grill. Place the cherries in a foil box and place them next to the oranges. Place the peaches and apricots on the top grate of the grill.
  3. Grill the fruit until it begins to char then flip. Grill until slightly charred on the opposite side.
  4. Remove from the grill and allow to cool. Once cool, peel the skin off the peaches and apricots. It should easily peel off.
  5. Place the fruit in a large pitcher. Top with wine and sparkling water. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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