Peach White Wine Slushies

Warmer weather means getting together with good friends and soaking in the afternoon sunshine or enjoying the special light from the days last rays. Pair those moments with a special cold concoction. Frozen Peach White Wine Slushies are an almost effortless cold cocktail. Your favorite fruity wine and juicy frozen peaches are a match made in slushie heaven.

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Salted Caramel Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Does anybody else remember where they were and what they were doing in the Blizzard of ’96? I was 9 and in 5th grade. We’d just barely returned to school from Winter Break, and a snow storm hit most of the East Coast (arguably one of the top 3 worst in a century), dropping 8-10 inches of snow on Central Va in less than one day, followed by several inches of sleet, before finishing with another 8-10 inches of snow over the next two days. Everything shut down. A few days later, another system dropped another 6 inches on us. I thought it was great. It was magical. Snow as far as the eye could see. I remember walking with my parents and all of our neighbors to the Elementary School in our neighborhood where we spent every day and most of the evenings sledding down the hills behind it. It was the first, and last time, the snow was so thick that it was safe to ice skate on the lake we lived on. I remember walking up to the neighborhood convenience store with my Dad pulling one of our sleds behind us, to re stock on bread and batteries. School was out for almost another two weeks, before life began to return to normal. 

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Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks

It’s summer and the kids are soaking in every minute of it. There’s been fishing. Plenty of time spent at the pool. And of course bike riding, and any other outdoor activity you can possibly think of. Like running. So much running. And it’s great. Except then they come in soaking wet, clothes stuck to their bodies, dripping salty puddles everywhere and smelling like stinky little puppies. And while a good dunk in the tub solves most of this, it doesn’t help replace all that their losing in sweat alone. It doesn’t do much to re-hydrate them. Even if they do manage to swallow some bath water. Shoot, even the copious amounts of actual water their gulping down isn’t enough. And I’m not trying to keep them cooped up in the house, or have any kids keeling over from dehydration. So a good electrolyte drink is key to keeping the summer fun coming around here.

I’d seen this idea before, but have always been disappointed in my previous attempts at a good for you, and good tasting, homemade electrolyte cocktail. I’m glad I decided to give it yet another go after seeing Heather of Mommypotamus‘ recipe ideas. These drinks are perfect for hydration by replacing vital minerals and electrolytes they’ve lost. They’re also contain easily absorbed simple carbs that help boost energy, too. All of the ingredients contain key components that help during and after their exercise and recovery periods.

 Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks

Orange Twist Sports Drink

3-4 cups water (depending on the concentration you prefer)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2-3 oranges)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup, or more to taste
a few drops of Concentrace minerals drops (optional)

Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks 3

Herbal Cooler

4 cups herbal tea (citrus flavored teas work well, and we also like using berry flavored ones)
2 -4 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
a few drops of Concentrace minerals drops (optional)

Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks 2

Lemon Sports Drink

4 cups filtered water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raw honey, or more to taste
a few drops of Concentrace minerals drops (optional)

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients together and STORE in the fridge. Usually we make enough to consume at one time, but using honey (which is naturally antimicrobial) and keeping it cold in the fridge it has kept for up to a week..

Sous Chef Sunday: Copy Cat Sonic’s Ocean Water

Despite its name, it tastes nothing like the ocean. Which is probably a good thing. But it is blue, with a tangy flavor and a hint of coconut. And let me just say, that Sonic hit the nail on the head with this one.

 Copy Cat Sonnic Ocean Water 2

It’s arguably one of the best drinks they offer, and it’s pretty unique to them as well. At least I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else. It’s just so refreshing. One sip and you won’t be able to stop the ‘ahhhhhh’ from happening after downing that first taste. You might even find yourself staring at your glass wondering how so much flavor got into one little cup. It’s a perfect little summer cocktail for kids and adults to enjoy. I know with the heat wave hitting us this weekend with over 100 temps (where ya at spring?!) an ice cold cup of Ocean Water sounds absolutely perfect.

Copy Cat Sonic’s Ocean Water

Copy Cat Sonic Ocean Water

4 tbsp of regular white sugar
4 tbsp of water
24 oz of lemon-lime soda (2 – 12 oz cans works great!)
1 1/2 tsp of coconut extract
3 drops of blue food coloring

Directions

1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix the sugar and water and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. This should dissolve most of the sugar. Alternatively, heat the water and sugar over medium low heat, stirring until most of the sugar has dissolved. Add the sugar mixture to the lemon-lime soda, coconut extract and food coloring to a pitcher and mix gently. Allow the mixture to cool slightly if warm or hot.
2. Serve over ice and enjoy!

To be even more true to the original version, if you can find blue coconut snow cone syrup, then a pump of that into a cold glass of Sprite is 100 % authentic, but since I couldn’t we just made our own homemade coconut syrup 🙂 We couldn’t taste the difference, but in case you can, now you know!

Sweet Southern Strawberry Iced Tea

If you’re in our neck of the woods right about now, you’re probably seeing red. Strawberry red that is. Local markets and grocery stores are being flooded with them. And this year should be a particularly good haul when you take in the April showers leading to May flowers and all. And while the prices right now, and the produce, are fantastic there’s nothing quite as good as the strawberry you pick off of the vine yourself. If you haven’t already, my advice would be to find a local patch in your neck of the woods, and get in on some of the pick your own berry goodness. It’s a fun afternoon for the whole family, and we always leave with gorgeous pictures of the kids with their strawberry stained lips and fingers. It’s the perfect natural back drop. I’ve got to confess though, that I can’t wait another week until our patch opens for picking. So, I bought a few tubs from the store. I’ll just call it ‘anticipation building’ for the main event. And one of my favorite things to make with them, and the first batch this year, is this sweet southern tea infused with all the fresh strawberry flavor. Now, doesn’t that just look like a glass full of yum.

Southern Style Strawberry Sweet Tea 2

A cold glass of this is the perfect thing to enjoy on a warm Spring day. And while it tastes all kinds of complex and you’d assume it’s complicated to make, it’s not. It’s so simple. The whole world should know. So, whether you choose to purcahse or pick em, embrace that Southern drawl, get your pitcher of tea ready, and find a front porch with a rocking chair, or even a swing, and get to sippin ya’ll!

Sweet Southern Strawberry Iced Tea

Southern Style Strawberry Sweet Tea

2 1/2 cups strawberries, washed
5 tea bags of your favorite tea.
1 cup sugar.
1/3 cup lemon juice

Directions

1. Start by making the tea. Bring four cups of water to a boil and then let the tea steep , for about 5 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. In a food processor, or in a blender, frappe’ the strawberries.
2. You will need about 2 lemons to get 1/3 cup of lemon juice, or the stuff from the bottle works just fine.
3. After the tea has steeped for 5 minutes remove the tea bags.
4. Add the sugar to the hot tea and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
5. Fill a pitcher or carafe up 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with ice cubes.
6. Pour the strawberry frapp into a mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Using a wooden spoon rub the strawberry juice through, while leaving behind as many of the seeds as possible. Pour the strained strawberry juice and the lemon juice into the pitcher.
7. Pour the tea in the pitcher and stir to combine everything.
8. Refrigerate until served.

Candy Corn Layered Drinks

By this time, I’m pretty sure everybody (well, everybody on Pinterest at least) have seen the 4th of July layered drink recipes floating around the interweb. They’re fun, they’re easy, and the little guys and gals, think you’re a bad-a**, magic wielding Mama when you whip em out at your backyard barbecue. This year, we thought Halloween might want in on a little bit of the action. The drinks couldn’t be any simpler to make and the whole thing revolves around the simplest of scientific terms: density. The more sugar in a liquid, the ‘denser’ it is. By halving the sugar content of layers two and three, we created pretty little (educational) layers. The sons know by now, even if it’s fun, if there’s an opening for any kind of teachable moment, I’m all over it.

Back to the drink though…

Candy corn is a Halloween staple, and though some people love it or hate it, I think everyone can and will enjoy these layered candy corn drinks. The sons got a tickle out of them, especially the younger two. It was also pretty neat to watch the discover each different flavor. Festive and fun? That’s my kind of party.

Aaaand, speaking of parties, layered drinks can be so fun for parties, and there’s no doubt in my mind that these would be perfect for any Halloween party! Serving a crowd? Don’t have time to make multiple individual servings? Follow the same recipe, but make it in a punch jar instead of a glass.

The layers are easily seen up close and personal, but if you really want them to stand out, especially the white top layer, use less yellow and more white.

Candy Corn Layered Drinks

 Candy Corn Layered Drinks

recipe originally from High Heels & Grills

Ice
1/3 part Crush (store brands work as long as the sugar content is just as high) orange soda
1/3 part yellow Gatorade
1/3 part zero calorie lemonade Vitamin Water

Directions

1. Fill your cup/pitcher/whatever you are using up to the very top with ice.
2. Pour the orange soda in first until you’ve filled about 1/3 of your glass.
3. Next, slowly pour the Gatorade directly on top of the ice and let it trickle down on top of the orange soda until it fills 2/3 of your glass*.
4. Finally, slowly pour the lemonade on top of the ice and let it trickle down on top of the Gatorade.

*Do not stir the liquids or this won’t work.

Good Girl ‘Moonshine’

Both ginger and apple cider vinegar have been widely noted for helping aide weight loss and digestion. Trying to eliminate soda from your diet? Just trying to find a tasty, healthy poolside option? Either way, give this ‘mocktail’ a try. Detox and alkalize your body, all while staying hydrated and healthy this summer! Instead of pure drinking water, use seltzer water for a fun, fizzy effect.  It’s refreshing taste will have you sighing and saying, ‘Ahhhh’ after your first sip. Happy sipping guzzling. 🙂

Update: It’s been brought to my attention that this drink is essentially a ginger switchel. After a look into this, I was even more impressed with it as it’s benefits just keep on piling up. The exact source of the switchel isn’t known, but some speculate it came up to the Colonies from the Carribbean. What is known is that in Colonial days, with no modern conveniences like central air, or even ice cubes, a day spent out working in the field or on the farm could be grueling in the summer heat. To stay hydrated, they drank a quenching beverage that functioned much like modern sports drinks: switchel, also called switzel or haymaker’s punch. It contained water, a sweetener—either molasses, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar—ginger, and cider vinegar. All the ingredients (except water) happen to be sources of potassium—an electrolyte. Molasses is especially high in potassium. You could easily swap in some molasses for the stevia if you wanted to go old school. Also, another fun fact, it’s the bite of the ginger that resembles the taste of alcohol and apparently this was another reason the switchel became so popular among the colonial poor during the growing temperance movement of the 19th century.

Good Girl ‘Moonshine’

 Fit Mama 'Moonshine' Mocktail

recipe adapted from The (Gluten-Free) Food Gurly

enough ice to fill a quart jar to where the ring screws on
1 teaspoon ginger
4 teaspoons sugarless sugar (stevia)
2-3 tablespoon. apple cider vinegar
enough pure drinking water to fill the quart jar after filling with everything else

Directions

1. Fill your mason jar up to the first line where the ring/lid begins to screw on.
2. Sprinkle the ginger ans sugar over top of the ice.
3. Add the apple cider vinegar.
4. Fill with pure drinking water, stopping when it’s reached the first line where the ring begins to screw on.
5. Stir well until all the sugar has dissolved.
6. Enjoy!

I mostly added in the apples for aesthetic appeal, buuut they do significantly enhance the flavor. So if apple is your thing you’ll definitely want to throw in a few slices.

Healthy Peach ‘Milkshakes’

Nothing reminds me more of Spring & Summer than a yummy peach milk shake. I remember my Grandma making up some reason for taking us to Hardees for them as a special treat anytime the weather was warm. I used to take my own boys for peach shakes from Chik-Fil-A for their own special warm weather memories. Lucky for me, a cold, creamy milk shake is a treat to your taste buds anytime of the day or year, and a good peach shake is no exception. All that tastiness comes as a cost however. The most delicious ones are almost always a calorie bomb. The solution? We make our own ‘skinny’ version at home. Now anytime I get a craving, I can whip a batch of these babies up and enjoy a guilt free dessert. Now that’s my kind of treat! Although I call these ‘milkshakes’, there’s no actual milk involved. Their delicious deception only adds to my enjoyment.

Healthy Peach ‘Milkshakes’

4 Sons 'R' Us: Healthy Peach 'Milkshakes'

recipe adapted from Mia’s Domain

2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup peach-flavored Greek Yogurt
2 cups frozen sliced peaches
2 tbsp sugar, or more to taste
1 tsp nutmeg

Directions

1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Serve shakes cold. For added presentation, add fresh peach slices to each glass.