Monthly Archives: July 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons…Make Lemonade!

Ahh, the dog days of summer…the sun is blazing, the sprinklers are sprinkling, and the kids don’t have a care in the world.  A cold and icy  glass of lemonade comes to mind. And I don’t mean the store-bought, fructose-laden, preservative-filled, sickeningly sweet, syrupy, neon yellow lemonade.  I’m talking real lemonade! Make it from scratch.  All you need are lemons, sugar, water and ice!

Joe, Heather and I were shooting at my house one summer day.  I made a fresh batch of lemonade.  We all agreed to take advantage of the beautiful perennials in my backyard and use them as a backdrop to shoot it.  It was a great day. And afterwards, we all sat on my deck and relaxed with refreshing  glass of lemonade.

Here is my recipe.  You can control the sweetness, and you will not believe how much better it is than anything you can buy.  Add a sprig of mint from your garden and you are good to go!!!

as photographed by our team, à la Carte Partners

Cathy’s Fresh Lemonade

Makes  about 7 cups

7 lemons
1 cup sugar
6 cups cold water
ice
fresh mint

– Cut  6 lemons in half and squeeze out juice  to make about 1 cup of juice. Remove any seeds.

– Pour fresh lemon juice and sugar into a large pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add water, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

– Just before serving, slice remaining lemon.  Add to pitcher with ice and mint.

Tips

– To maximize the amount of juice you get from a lemon,  roll the lemon firmly on counter top before cutting in half .

– Avoid using bottled lemon juice.  The flavor will just not be the same.

– Adjust the sugar to your palate.

– Adding fresh fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries, will add another whole dimension to your lemonade!

– For an adult version, try adding a splash of  flavored vodka!!

Cathy


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Filed under Drinks, Entertaining

Trick or Treat for Foodies!

“It’s like Trick or Treat!” exclaimed Karen as she placed a sample of artisanal chocolate into her bulging shopping bag. Karen is our graduate intern/social media consultant and she accompanied us to the Fancy Food Show last week. It was really fun to see the show through her very enthusiastic eyes, and we especially enjoyed watching her alarmed expression as she tasted a very strong espresso at the Italian Pavilion!

I agree with Karen’s Halloween analogy. I always feel like a kid  when I attend the show. Row after row of exhibitors showcasing the finest gourmet food products is a dream come true to a foodie. Olive oils, spices, salts, chocolates, coffees, teas, vinegars, chutneys, cheeses, wines, candies, the list goes on and on. As an attendee, the best strategy is to grab a shopping bag for samples and pace yourself. There is only so much tasting you can do in a day!

I cannot tell you how much fun it is to take in the sights and sounds of this show each year. The show, sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, is open to the trade only. It features more than 180,000 foods and beverages, has more than 2400 exhibitors from 77 countries, and about 24,000 attendees.

As you might imagine, it’s a bit overwhelming, but we do our best to cover as much ground as possible. We like to check out the new products and trends, and of course we pay close attention to the food photography. This year we noticed lots of flavored grilling sauces and spice blends, gluten-free foods, whole-grain crackers, and tea, tea, tea! Watch for upcoming posts on some of the more intriguing new products and recipes we discovered. We can’t wait to share them with you!

Here is a photo by our team alacartepartners that shows a sampling of what we found at the food show.

Heather

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Filed under Foodies

Put Some Pop In Your 4th!

A  Fourth of July tradition dear to my heart is the annual party given by my friends John and Terry. We have been a part of it for the past 30 years, give or take a few missed ones. Things change from year to year, whether it be moving to different towns, kids growing up,  or jobs changing, but two things that stay the same are the excellent company and the delicious food John & Terry serve. We all bring appetizers and desserts, and  this year I’m going to steer away from the norm and bring a little “pop” to the party!!!  Seems appropriate, yes?

We photographed this recipe for the Popcorn Board back in December, and we thought it would be a perfect sweet treat for  the Fourth since Heather propped it with an all-American theme.

Parties, pools, baseball, fireworks, and popcorn—what could be better than that! Enjoy this recipe — I know John and Terry’s guests will!!!

Homerun Sugar Popcorn
Makes 8 cups

1/4 cup vegetable oil for popping
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
3 tablespoons white sugar

– Heat oil in medium-sized pan until hot.
– Add popcorn and sprinkle all of the sugar over it.
– Cover and shake continuously until popped.

Recipe courtesy of the Popcorn Board…

as photographed by our team, alacartepartners

Cathy

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Filed under Popcorn, Snacks, Sweets