Summer Beer Cocktail: The Wobbly Flamingo

melon vodka cocktail

I think I have a new favorite Summer cocktail, and I invented it myself! After a round or two of testing and polling from friends and family… it’s been dubbed “The Wobbly Flamingo,” and it’s here to stay!

It makes use of one of my favorite seasonal beers: 21st Amendment Brewery’s Hell or High Watermelon as a bubbly base for a fruit-filled punch. Making guest appearances: melon vodka, pink lemonade, and fresh berries! I implore you to give it a try.

watermelon beer punch

21st amendment watermelon beer cocktail
Make sure all your ingredients are nice and chilled before mixing up!

For a round of 4:
1 – Hell or High Watermelon beer
4 oz – melon flavored vodka
1 1/2 cups – pink lemonade
fresh strawberries (muddled)
fresh blueberries

pink lemonade punch with beer and berries

Stir all these ingredients together in a pitcher with some ice, muddling the strawberries beforehand to add extra flavor and color!

summer cocktail with muddled berries

In each chilled glass, muddle a few strawberries, then add the punch. Top off with a handful of blueberries, and garnish as you like! I found these awesome pink flamingo cocktail stirrers in the Target dollar bins a while back, and they were perfect!

wobbly flamingo watermelon beer lemonade
Ta-Da! The Wobbly Flamingo. I will definitely be making a batch of these at our next summer get together.

watermelon wodka beer cocktail
CHEERS!!! :)

Coconut Creamsicle Smoothies (and Popsicles!)

orange coconut smoothie recipe

We’ve been having some very hot summer days here lately, and I was in need of a cool refreshing treat.
I am one of those people who likes absolutely anything with coconut. I wanted to give a coconut-y spin to the classic combo of orange and cream, so I blended up these Coconut Creamsicle Smoothies for the boyfriend and I one afternoon.

I’ll definitely be making them again and again, because they are downright delicious! Cool and creamy, they’re great for summer breakfast or dessert.

Orange and coconut smoothies or popsicles

The main components I used were frozen orange juice concentrate and coconut milk, but the full ingredient list includes:

1 12oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2  12oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup sugar
a handful of ice cubes (to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup finely shredded coconut
coconut rum (optional)

making smoothies with juice concentrate

Throw the coconut milk, OJ, sugar, vanilla, and ice all in a blender and blend until fully combined and creamy. Then you can either blend the shredded coconut in if you like a smooooooth smoothie, or simply stir it in if you like the added texture (I do)!

shredded coconut in smoothies

I absolutely love this brand of coconut flakes for everything from baking to yogurt topping. It comes in this fine shredded texture and also in big flat flakes that are awesome for food decoration or adding to granola! I find mine at Wegmans.

DIY coconut orange juice smoothies

Pour into frosty glasses, add some festive toppings and stick in a straw for easy sipping! Next time I am definitely going to try these with a big dollop of whipped cream on top. Yum.

You could make this a boozy smoothie as well, by adding in some coconut rum or vodka!

coconut creasicle popsicles

If you have leftovers, pour them into popsicle molds! Keep the frosty treats comin’!

coconut creamsicle smoothie

Happy summer sipping everyone!

Chewy Blueberry Cookies Two Ways

cookie exchange cookie recipe

 

C is for <chewy blueberry> cookie that’s good enough for me! Well, they’re actually good enough for not just me, but to share with the internet world as well! I set out on a cookie journey experiment to come up with a sweet, chewy, but not flimsy cookie dough recipe that would remind me of summer, and man did this do the trick. These cookies use a combination of sugars, and an additional egg yolk to keep them moist & chewy and obviously divine. Basically, I’ve come up with jacked up versions of white chocolate chip macadamia nut and lemon tea cookies with my new secret ingredient…dried blueberries.

dried blueberry cookies

I’ve been addicted to cookies and a non-discriminatory dried fruit consumer for years, but never thought of combining the two (aside from that traditional oatmeal raisin, which I don’t actually ever make). You heard it here first, friends. Dey goooood. They’re smaller and sweeter and more flavorful than your average raisin, and have an added tartness that pairs them well with a sweet cookie. Plus they’re chewy, and the cookies are chewy, and blueberries are summer and raisins are fall, and it all just makes sense.

Ingredients:
-2 cups all purpose flour
-½ t baking soda
-½ t salt
-1 cup butter, unsalted (2 sticks) room temperature
-1 cup light brown sugar
-½ cup granulated sugar
-1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
-1 T vanilla extract
-1 ½ cups of dried blueberries
-½ a bar of good quality white chocolate
-a few handfulls of macadamia nuts
-1 lemon
-1:1:1 ratio of brown sugar to flour to butter, optional (2T each)

how to pack brown sugar

Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and two sugars until fully combined and airy. Add in the eggs (save the white for breakfast later?), and vanilla, and mix until just combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this dry mix into the wet mix until fully incorporated – don’t over mix, ever! Next, stir in all of tbe blueberries.

blueberry cookie dough

Here’s where things get interesting. I separated the dough into two, because I wanted to experiment with the same base cookie but two different recipes. Originally, I thought one would fail and one would be succesful, but as it turns out lady luck was on my side and they were both delicious! Feel free to follow the recipe out for both cookies by separating the dough, or just pick one flavor and go with it! Be sure to double the add-ins if you aren’t separating the dough, so that the flavor combination is just right.

white chocolate chip macadamia nut blueberry cookies

For the macadamia nut cookies – chop up the chocolate and nuts and add them to the cookie dough base. Using a spoon or mini ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto a parchement lined cookie sheet (about 1 ½ T of dough) with some space in between so they can spread out. Bake for 12-14 minutes, then cool.

cookie dough balls edible

ice cream scoop cookie dough

chewy cookie recipe

white chocolate chip blueberry macadamia cookies

For the blueberry lemon “cobbler” cookies (the fan favorite) – add in the juice of lemon, and stir. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This is important. I didn’t do this the first time, and the added liquid from the lemon made them spread so much thinner than I had expected! They will be thin regardless of cooling time – and still so so so so perfectly chewy – but the refridgeration helps keep them at just the right texture. While they are baking, mix together that “optional” 1:1:1 combination until it looks like crumb cake topping, and at the 8 minute mark, sprinkle it on top of each cookie. It doesn’t look perfectly like a crumble when they are done baking, but that added buttery-sugar mix is divine. I also sprinkled on some coarse sugar for texture. In total, these cookies bake for about 10-13 minutes.

blueberry cobbler cookies

Both versions were delicious, and so easy to make. The key here is to find a base dough recipe with a flavor and texture that you like – that is also sturdy enough to handle hefty add-ins or a little extra liquid – and experiment! This was the first time I made this base recipe and definitely not my last. What combinations should I try next? Let me know in the comments below, or by commenting on our Instagram @whattodowithlemons!

blueberry lemon cobbler cookies

DIY Mason Jar Porch Lanterns

DIY Tissue paper Jar Lanterns

On a warm summer night, some pretty little luminaries can really set a relaxed mood. We are lucky enough to have a screened-in porch where bugs are not a problem, so we sit out there for dinner or drinks almost every night when the weather is right. I like the space to feel relaxed and fun, so I decided to make some colorful jar lanterns as a funky decoration and light source. Years ago, I also made dozens of these guys for my high-school graduation party. They are one of my favorite little projects to make!

Mine are all made from recycled jars in different shapes and sizes that I washed out, but if you are going for a more cohesive look, you can start with a pack of humble Mason jars!

tissue paper and mod podge lanterns

One of the coolest things about these lanterns is that they are very cheap to make. You probably have most of the supplies already lying around your house! Heres what you’ll need:

– clean glass jars
– tissue paper
– ModPodge and sponge brush
– wire

tissue paper jar lanterns

To get all prepped, cut some tissue paper strips that are a few inches wide and about the same height as the jar you are covering.

mod podge jar tissue paper

Working your way around the jar, adhere the paper to the glass with a brushing of ModPodge, then smooth over the top with some more ModPodge. Don’t be afraid to slather it on! It will dry clear and help to seal the paper down. Keep working your way around, overlapping strips as you go, until you’ve covered the whole jar.

jar luminary handle

Once the paper layer has dried, use the wire to add a handle. Wrap it securely under the lip of the jar, and twist together, leaving a six inch tail. 

wire jar lantern handle DIY

Loop the rest of the wire up and over the opening of the jar, creating a handle shape. On the opposite side, slip the end under the wrapped wire, and twist around itself to secure.

DIY hanging mason jar lanterns

Use a pen or a chopstick to wrap the excess wire, creating little curlique ends.

DIY Mason Jar Porch Lanterns

Fill your jars with candles or battery operated tea lights and GLOW! You can add any kind of “flair” that suits your fancy, like washi tape, beaded string, or stamps. Go crazy!

Mason Jar Luminaries

Summer Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

 Strawberry Salsa Recipe

 

Another bright, summer celebrating, share with friends recipe comin’ atcha! We’ve got a new sweet & healthy remix to a summer party staple – move over chips & queso!!!

This is not my original idea – one of my best friends (and sorority little) used to bring this to movie nights and other social gatherings, and it was the perfect treat – Thanks LAURA :)  Sweet and light,  this fruit salsa hits all the major bases of versitale entertaining.  Its customizeable, and great for individuals with food allergies – plus, it’s a guilt-free-eat-all-day treat that is so satisfying, and so unpresent at most get togethers…you won’t ever have to worry about someone else bringing this recipe to the party…and you can make it in advance!  Left overs make great cereal, yogurt, and ice cream toppings, if you’re lucky enough to have any.

 Healthy Fruit Salsa

Ingredients:
-Your favorite seasonal fresh fruit!
-Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips OR a DIY sweet pita chip – see recipe ideas under the instructions below!
-Citrus juice, Mint leaves – optional

Healthy Summer Dessert Recipe

Instructions:
Buy, wash, and dry your fruit. I used one pint – minus a few, for quality assurance/side snack purposes – of strawberries, one white nectarine, one yellow nectarine, and some blackberries to top it off.  When picking your fruit, always go for seasonal bunches and when you can, local and organic! (ugh, she said organic – re: be kind to the bees! and yourself).   Also try and choose fruit that’s either just ripened or still slightly firm, that way you can dice it up and mix it around without it turning to mush.

Fruit Salsa Healthy Summer Recipe

Next, dice up your fruit into little cubes – layer in a bowl, gently toss (here is where you would add lime/orange juice if you want an extra POP of flavor, and a mint garnish), and serve!

 Summer BBQ dessert recipe

 

I used store bought pita chips, mostly for convenience purposes, but also because they’re just really good…

 Healthy Fruit Dessert Recipe

But, if you want to make your own, it’s simple! Take your favorite tortilla – this is a great idea if you have food alergies, or too many tortillas lying around – brush with coconut oil, sprinkle with a 1:1 ratio of sugar to cinnamon, and place on a foil lined baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes or until crispy.  Then break them up and serve!  You can always get creative with the flavors too, of course…try adding some more cinnamon sugar while they are still warm but after they’ve baked, or substitute some white sugar for brown sugar, add some nutmeg, mabye even some citrus juice! 

 Summer Fruit Salad Recipe
Guess I’m making more, because I definitely want to try that last brown sugar orange cinnamon combo. Remember our brownie batter hummus recipe? Let us know if you’d like more sweet & healthy summer recipes on instagram @Whattodowithlemons, and don’t forget to try and tag your creations using the hashtag,  #WTDWLemons!

DIY Waterproof Oilcloth Bike Seat Cover

DIY bike seat cover tutorial oilcloth

Last year, as a birthday gift to myself, I bought a vintage women’s bicycle. A green, 3-speed, Raleigh Sport, made in England in the 1970’s. It’s crowning glory is it’s leather Brooks saddle seat!

My bike is a prized possession, but it’s also a functional one! What good is a cool retro bike to anyone if it’s just sitting in a garage gathering dust? Since I do ride my bike around, I try my best to keep it protected and in the best condition possible. So, I decided to craft up a cute and fitting waterproof cover for my seat, to keep it protected from the rain and sun.

I used a fabric called oilcloth, which is waterproof, inexpensive, and comes in tons of cute patterns! If you’re making one yourself, you will also need some nylon cord, a sewing machine, and some plastic cord stops (optional).

bike seat cover materials

Trace around the top of your bike seat and cut out a piece in a matching shape. Then, using a piece of yarn or string, find the length around the outer edge of the piece you’ve just cut. Cut out a long strip of oilcloth measuring that length by about four inches wide. Cut that strip in half lengthwise.

how to stich a bike seat cover

Working with one strip at a time, pin the edge piece to the top piece with right sides together and stitch around. Join at each end with a straight stitch. This can be a bit tricky since the oilcloth is somewhat stiff, but just take your time!

how to sew a waterproof bike seat cover

Turn right-side out, then fold down about three inches of the edge strips all the way around, pinning down as you go. I did this based on the shape and size of my own bike seat, so you may want to slip the cover over your own seat at this point to double check how much to fold over. Stitch around where you’ve placed the pins, creating an open canal for the drawstring to thread through.

making a drawstring bike seat cover

Cut two slits in the back end of the cover, on either side of the back seam. Then, using a safety pin as your guide, thread the cord all the way through.

oilcloth seat cover with drawstring

Use a lighter to melt the ends of the cord slightly so that they don’t fray. Here you can add two small or one large cord stop if you like, or you can simply tie the cords together.

DIY waterproof bike seat cover

Slip the cover over your seat, pull the drawstring until snug, and off you go! Rain or shine, you and your bike will be happy and looking fly!

DIY drawstring bike seat cover

I have some extra oilcloth leftover, so maybe I’ll make a matching storage pouch to attach to my handle bars!