Lots of Lemonade!

Lemonade.jpg

We all know the saying, “When life hands you lemons….” well today on Drink Week, I thought I’d make lemonade out of those lemons. And not just any lemonade of course! Sure, I’m going to start out with a classic straight forward lemonade, but then we’re going to switch it up with some wonderful plays on the golden oldie. I’m talking about adding varieties of herbs and different fruits to the mix to bring out a different taste than you might be expecting. You can even make an “Arnold Palmer” by mixing one of today’s recipes with one of yesterday’s iced teas, for a great summer treat.

As always, please be sure to check out our produce checking guide by clicking here to learn how to clean the different fruits and herbs used in the recipes below. As well, don’t forget to scrub the lemons and other citrus before cutting it up to use as garnish.


Classic Lemonade

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 12 lemons)
7 cups water, divided
ice and lemon slices to serve

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved; let cool. In a pitcher, combine the syrup with the lemon juice and 5 to 6 cups water. Serve over ice with slices of lemon.


Hibiscus and Mint Lemonade

Ingredients:
8 bags hibiscus tea (such as Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger or 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers)
4 cups fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for serving
¼ cup sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
6 cups water, divided
ice for serving

Directions:
In a small saucepan, steep the tea and mint in 4 cups boiling water, using a wooden spoon to gently mash the mint; let cool. Discard the tea bags and mint. At the same time, in another small saucepan, combine the sugar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved; let cool and mix with the fresh lemon juice and remaining water. In a large pitcher combine the tea and lemonade. Serve over ice and garnish with the mint sprigs.


Strawberry-Thyme Lemonade

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
8 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for serving
1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 2 ½ cups)
1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
6 cups water
ice for serving

Directions:
Combine the sugar, thyme, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool and discard the thyme.

Combine the thyme syrup with the strawberries, lemon juice, and 5 cups cold water in a large pitcher. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours. Serve over ice, garnished with additional thyme.


Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups white sugar
8 cups water
7 slices fresh ginger root
2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 12 lemons)
1 lemon, sliced
ice for serving

Directions:
In an 8-quart saucepan combine sugar, water and ginger root. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Cool 15 minutes. Remove ginger. Refrigerate lemonade at least 1 hour, or until chilled. Serve over ice, and garnish with the lemon slices.


Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients:
12 ice cubes
¼ cup dried lavender
2 cups boiling water
¾ cup white sugar
1 ¼ cups fresh lemon juice (from about 8 lemons)
5 cups cold water, or as needed
ice and lemon slices to serve

Directions:
Place ice cubes into a 2 quart pitcher. Place the lavender into a large heat-proof bowl, and pour boiling water over it. Allow to steep for about 10 minutes, then strain out the lavender and discard. Mix the sugar into the hot lavender water, and stir to dissolve. Pour the lavender water into the pitcher with the ice. Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the pitcher, getting as much juice as you can. Top off the pitcher with cold water, and stir. Taste, and adjust lemon juice or sugar if desired. Serve over ice with lemon slices.


Watermelon Lemonade

Ingredients:
½ cup white sugar
½ cup water
4 cups cubed watermelon
3 cups cold water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
6 cups ice cubes

Directions:
Place the watermelon into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 cups of cold water and the lemon juice. Divide the ice into glasses, and scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of watermelon puree over the ice, then top with the lemonade. Gently stir before serving.


Citrus Lemonade

Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
4 lemons, juiced
4 limes, juiced
4 oranges, juiced
3 quarts cold water, divided
1 lime, sliced into rounds (optional)
12 cups ice cubes

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved; let cool. Pour the sugar water, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice and remaining water into a gallon-sized container; stir to combine. Serve over ice with a slice of lime if desired.

Roasted Cornish Hens with Apple, Date & Almond Stuffing and Honey Pomegranate Glaze

Cornish Hens

So on Rosh HaShanah we eat many symbolic foods, in order to have a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. This entrée includes 4 of these foods! The apple symbolizes Gan Eden(The Garden of Eden), which according to the Sages had the scent of an apple orchard. The word date in Hebrew is תמרים and related to the word תם – to end. So on Rosh HaShanah we eat dates so that G-d will bring an end to our enemies.

Honey, as you know is sweet, and what could be a better symbol for a sweet new year? Lastly, the pomegranate is full of seeds (some say 613 seeds to be exact, just like the number of laws in the Torah). So we eat pomegranates so that we will be as full of mitzvot (good deeds) and the pomegranate is seeds. This recipe is geared for 8 guests, and will give some extra stuffing and sauce to serve along with your final dish. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

¼ cup unsalted margarine (½ a stick)
8-12 (about 4 pounds) Fuji apples, chopped
20 Medjool dates, pits removed, chopped*
2 lemons, zest and juice**
2 oranges, zest and juice**
1 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
8 Cornish hens (1 ¼ pounds each)
¾ cup dry white wine
⅓ cup chopped shallots (about 1 ½ large shallots or 3 small ones)
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons margarine

* Click here to learn how to inspect dates.
** Click here for my tips on zesting lemons and oranges.
♦ Click here to learn how to truss a Cornish hen.

Directions:

Melt margarine in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add apples and sauté, stirring occasionally, until brown but still crisp, about 15-20 minutes. Add dates, zests, and juices; cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat, cool, and stir in almonds and salt.

Place the chopped onions, carrots and celery in the bottom of a large roasting pan (or divide into two smaller pans) and mix the vegetables so that they are combined.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Remove and discard the giblets and necks from the hens. Rinse the hens under cold water and then pat dry. Trim off any excess fat. Season each cavity with salt and pepper, and then loosely stuff with apple mixture. Truss the hens♦. Place the hens, breast-side up, on top of the chopped vegetables.

Boil the wine and shallots in a heavy small saucepan until most of the wine has evaporated, about 4-6 minutes. Add the broth, pomegranate juice and honey. Boil again until the sauce has reduced to about 1 ¾ – 2 cups, about 7-9 minutes. Whisk in the margarine and then remove from the heat.

Brush the hens with the honey-pomegranate sauce. Roast the hens at 475 degrees for 15 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 35 minutes, or until juices run clear. While the hens are roasting, baste them occasionally with more of the sauce, about every 10 minutes or so. Serve the hens with any remaining stuffing and remaining sauce.

Safety Note: Before serving the remaining sauce or giving a final basting to the fully cooked hens, put the sauce back on the stove and bring it back up to a quick boil. The reason for this is because you have been dipping your basting brush back and forth between the hens while they were cooking, and therefore at various stages of rawness, and then dipping the brush back into the sauce pot. You want to eliminate any chances of salmonella or other food borne pathogens from contaminating your final dish. The re-boiling of the sauce will kill off these pathogens. Safety first!