Oh yeah, it’s summer baby!  Although our Washington weather has been a little confused, it seems it’s finally really summer, the heat is on!  This cherry limeade is the perfect refreshing treat for a hot summer’s day.  I first got the idea at Eric’s parents house when we were hanging out with them keeping an eye on their burn pile on a hot day.  We were all drinking tons of ice water and I noticed a bowl of cherries and a bowl of limes on the counter next to the sink.  So I mushed some cherries and limes in the bottom of my glass with sugar (I think the official term is muddled), then topped with ice and poured water over it.  It turned out really yummy, but I knew I could make it even better.

We’ve been house/cat sitting for them this week and it was time for a cherry lime party in a glass.  They still had a bowl of limes, but this time I brought the cherries.  I decided I’d get way more flavor by making a concentrated syrup with the limes, cherries and sugar.  Boy was I right!  Trust me, once I got a spoonful of this concoction simmering on the stove (after blowing on it) it was all I could do to not drink the boiling hot napalm straight from the pot!  But I restrained myself :)  Make sure you smush the cherries with a spoon several times during the simmering process, it helps get a really strong cherry flavor.

I made mine pretty tart, you might want to add more sugar if you need it sweeter.  Straining is not a necessity, just makes it less cloudy and pulpy.  There was really very little cherry pulp left, and by the way, it’s super tasty.  Also, the lime and cherries in the glass aren’t required, but they’re just so pretty!  This was so delicious that both Eric and I smacked our lips and said “Ahhhh” at the same time after our first sip.  Yes, lip smacking good, that’s what I said.

Now speaking of tasty… I have a new project I’m working on and so excited about.  It’s called Tastecasting and it’s about as cool as you can get.  Basically, people who are connected in social media (facebook, twitter, blogs, etc) get to eat and drink at venues for free.  During and after the event, the guests tweet, blog, and post about their experience.  This means the venue gets tons of personal advertising to a whole new set of potential customers! 

I volunteered to be the captain of the Seattle Tastecasting team, which started out a little overwhelming as it’s been solely my responsibility to recruit people.  Then I was contacted by Mary Jothis week and now I have a co-captain to help, woo-hoo!  I’m really excited to work on this with her.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be building up the team so that in August we can start scheduling events.  One of the many cool things is that there’s not a required time committment, it’s just whatever events you’re able to attend.  I’m so excited to get this going, so if you’re connected in social media and in the Seattle area (or willing to drive there) leave a comment letting me know you’re interested in being a part of the team.  Or maybe you know someone in the area who might be interested, send this post to them so they can check it out.  By the way, I’m going on vacation tomorrow, but don’t despair!  I’ve got a week of zucchini recipes all ready to go for you.  It’s such a versatile vegetable and I love playing with it, so I’ve got lots of cool dishes to share. 

Cherry Limeade

serves 4

Ingredients

6 limes juiced
20 cherries pitted
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cups water
ice
limes and cherries to garnish

Instructions

Mix lime juice, cherries, sugar and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan.  Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes or until cherries are very mushy.  While simmering, smash cherries occasionally with a spoon.

Remove from heat and pour through a strainer.  Mix with 2 cups of water.  Layer ice, lime slices and pitted cherries in glasses.  Pour cherry limeade over the top.

Approximate cost per serving: Practically nothing right now. I got 10 limes for $1 and a pound of cherries for $1.  I didn’t use all of them so with the sugar it came out $1.20 so, just 30 cents a serving!  You’d pay a good two dollars in a restaurant!

Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes on both counts!


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