Thursday, August 11, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ Something Cold!

(Whew!  I barely made this one!  Here I go and say "I will post every Thursday" and I almost miss the first one!  I really have an excuse this time though.  Yesterday, our computer took a shocking turn for the worse and has fallen into some sort of coma.  Praying that it is resolved soon and doesn't need to be replaced!  Thankfully, my parents live just down the road so I'm posting from there!)

Summer is finally here in Oregon (I think) and with summer comes the ever constant issue of wanting something cold to drink. 

David comes in from a long, hot day of work and I say, "Can I make you some iced tea?  It will be ready in four hours."  Somehow it's just not quite right.  So my goal this summer was to always have something cold and ready to offer my hard working man.  It also is so fun to have something ready to offer anyone who enters my home.

Here are a few of this summer's favorites!

Iced Coffee~  Got the idea from Pioneer Woman and simplified!  All I do is put one cup coffee grounds in a pitcher, fill with cold water and let sit for at least eight hours.  Then I strain it through my tea strainer (or you could use cheesecloth.  I don't own cheesecloth.  Please feel sorry for me.  Or just think I'm strange.), and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  At least that's what Pioneer Woman said.  Ours has never lasted that long!  When we're ready for a drink I just pour it over ice, add a little (or a lot) creamer and we're ready to roll.  This is SUPER yummy!  Just as good as anything I've ever spent four dollars on at a coffee shop!

Raspberry Lemonade~  Put one cup sugar, one cup lemon juice (or maybe a little less) in a pitcher.  Blend 1/2 cup raspberries (or strawberries, but then you would have to change the title to Strawberry Lemonade) with enough water to cover them.  I use my Bullet Blender that my husband got me for Christmas (big smile!), but a blender would work just as good.  Add the raspberry puree to the pitcher, fill with water and stir.  This will make a pretty strong batch, but I like it that way!  If isn't strong enough, add more lemon juice.  If it's too strong, add more water!  (I love recipes like this!).

Iced Tea~  Very basic I know, but this hits the spot like nothing else on a hot day!  I know there are a million different ways to make iced tea, but this is how I like it.  Fill a heat safe pitcher with boiling water.  (What is a heat safe pitcher?  One that doesn't crack or melt when you pour in the boiling water.)  Add three tea bags, 2/3 cup sugar and just a tiny pinch of baking soda.  Let cool for about an hour, then cool completely in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.  This is pretty sweet, but guess what!  I like it that way!

I love trying out different kinds of iced tea.  Some of my new favorites are Mint Harmonies and Lavender Lemongrass from our gracenotes teas.  I even like these without sugar, if you can believe it!

Planning ahead and keeping something ready and cold in the refrigerator has made me feel so much more equipped to practice unexpected hospitality as well as prepared for any sweaty husband or rosy cheeked little munchkins.  We usually have two pitchers ready for different options because as Havilah says'  "Caffeine makes you WILD!".

Enjoy these last few summer days!


Charlene said...

Sounds refreshing. What does the baking soda do for the iced tea?

Ginger said...

I have never heard of baking soda in iced tea. Do tell.
That raspberry/strawberry lemonade looks awesome.

Mrs David W said...

These sounds delicious! I am a big big iced tea drinker. One thing, I love to buy the Organic Lemonade when it is on sale from our local store. It comes in large glass bottles. When it is about halfway gone, I make Arnold Palmers for my husband. Plus, they are a "green" portable bottle.
Also, I must ask what the Baking Soda is for? To preserve?
Keep on drinking the refreshing stuff! Have a good rest of the summer.

Gretchen said...

I drink waaaaaay too much of The Pioneer Woman's iced coffee! ;) Yes, do tell what the baking soda is for--quite curious!