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A COOL TREAT  Friday, May 28, 2010

Lemonade is the quintessential summer refresher. An icy glass is the perfect way to quench your thirst. After the first few sips, though, it becomes all watered down. Guzzling down the glass is one strategy, but that’ll just leave you feeling bloated. A much better remedy is to make fun, fruit-filled ice cubes. Use whatever berries are in season, like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, and add a few to each ice cube compartment before filling it with water. You can also cut up bigger ones, like strawberries, into smaller bits before adding to the tray. Then drop a few fruity cubes into your glass and soon you’ll be sipping your way to a tasty treat at the end of your drink.

Summer Citrusade
Makes 8 cups

2 cups freshly squeezed mix of orange, lemon and lime juice
6 cups cold filtered water
simple syrup, to taste

  1. Prepare the freshly squeezed juice using the citrus juicer attachment on your Cuisinart Stand Mixer.
  2. Combine juice and water in a large pitcher. Add simple syrup, to taste, and stir well. Chill until ready to serve.

Simple Syrup
This recipe is as easy as it sounds—just equal parts water and sugar, so you can make or less if you remember your fractions from elementary school.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Combine ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Cook on HIGH for 4 minutes*, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir, then let cool completely before using. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to two months.

*based on a 1000-watt microwave

AN ALL-NATURAL SODA POP  Monday, May 17, 2010

Countertop seltzer makers are quite popular these days, and that’s good news for a family budget and the environment. You can get your fizzy-fix for practically pennies and use refillable bottles. The downside are all the sugary syrups sold to make your own soda pop. We’ve got a better idea for a healthier sparkling pick-me-up: all-natural sodas made with homemade fruit purees.

It’s a fast, easy and a delicious way to add some extra fresh fruit to your diet. Simply add cut up chunks of your favorite in-season fruits to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You can pour fresh pureed strawberries and raspberries through a fine sieve to strain the seeds, but, don’t stop at just berries. Imagine watermelon and peach-flavored drinks made in your very own kitchen. For a sweeter sip, add some simple syrup, as much or little as you like, for a quick homemade soda, with an ingredient list you can feel good about.