Summer Virtual Progressive Dinner: Drinks

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Welcome to the Summer Virtual Progressive Dinner blog tour hosted by Lilly’s Table!  I’m excited to be the first stop on the tour and share these summertime beverages with you!  Lilly selected my Peach Cucumber Basil Infused Water and Watermelon Rum Fizz for this starter course – they’re fantastic picks for leading us into the warm months when you need a refreshing cool down!

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Apple Sage Sparkler + Holiday Cocktail Roundup

Apple Sage Sparkler
It’s time to celebrate!  The holidays are here and New Year’s Eve is next week!  Whaaaat!?!  I can’t believe another year has flown by!  As we say goodbye to 2014 and “Hello” to 2015…let’s celebrate with homemade cocktails!  This Apple Sage Sparkler is simple yet elegant; perfect for a party. Plus, I’ve rounded up 20 other delicious cocktail recipes within 4 categories: herbs, spice, citrus, and punch.  Let’s drink!

Watermelon Rum Fizz (+ mocktail version)

Watermelon Rum Fizz

Watermelon in October?  Yep!  Watermelon are still popping up at my local farmers markets and last weekend at our CSA farm tour my son found a huge one that we got to take home!  We couldn’t eat all of it in time, so I ended up juicing it.  I got 3 quarts of delicious, sweet pleasingly-pink juice outta the sucker!

Infused Water: Peach Cucumber Basil

Peach Cucumber Basil Water

Time for some real talk.  I don’t always get to all the glorious fruits and veggies hanging out in my fridge.  I shop the farmers market with recipes in my head, but they don’t always get made.  I have honest intentions, but real life can throw those off.  Or, you just forget.  You open the fridge and move the half eaten jar of olives, near empty egg carton, and leftover dish of I-don’t-even-know-what-that-is-anymore only to discover a couple wrinkly-skinned peaches laying there nearly lifeless.

Grapefruit Tarragon Gin & Tonic

Grapefruit Tarragon Gin & Tonic
If I was to choose one boozy beverage to sip for the rest of my days it would be the classic “G & T”…gin & tonic, with a squeeze of lime.  It’s refreshing, lightly fizzy, lovingly sour, perfectly bitter, and just a smidge sweet.  Most people tend to sip it in the warm spring or summer months, but I indulge year ’round – although there is little else that’s better than an ice cold gin & tonic on a hot, sunny evening after a long day’s work.  And that’s about where we’re at right now – it’s officially G & T season!

Irish Stout Floats

Irish stout floats
Although there isn’t a drop of Irish blood in my family tree, without fail every March 17th my mom would cook up a HUGE batch of corned beef and cabbage…I say huge because I’ve got 6 brothers and sisters, so 9 of us all together–we’re pretty much our own baseball team.  We all devoured it, dressed in as much green as we could possibly find to cover us head to toe.  And woe betide the sibling who forgot…our pinchers were at the ready, and we weren’t a gentle bunch!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate by the Seasonal Veg Head

The holidays.  They make me a little nuts.  Each year just when I think I have my sh…stuff together, I realize I’m waaaaay behind.  Gifts need to be made, groceries bought, presents wrapped, cards sent, meals planned, goodies baked, gatherings attended, along with all the usual work/kid/husband/house type of stuff.  My mind / not handle.  AHHH!

What I really want is just to chill out.  Enjoy it.  And maybe shove some chocolate in my face.  No bigs.

This winter staple puts you squarely in the intersection of soothing peppermint tea and rich, comforting chocolate…it’s relaxing yet invigorating.  Peppermint is a natural stress reliever and has several health benefits and chocolate solves all worlds problems.  Um, that’s not true, but it does make people very happy.  This is your time out.  Indulge and reenergize.

Homemade Strawberry-Rhubarb Vodka

Rhubarb is one of those foods I’ve always been leery of.  It kinda looks like celery, but people make pie out of it…huh?  Is it a fruit?  Is it a vegetable?  Are you really supposed to eat it?  Or is it just one of those foods that people “back in the day” happened upon, were hungry, and had to figure out a way to make it edible.  To me, rhubarb is one of those weird ingredients my grandma used, mostly in pies or crisps.  But is it really necessary these days?  We have so much other incredible fruit available that rhubarb seems a bit…um, old school.  Plus, it’s so tart and sour you have to add a butt-load of sugar just to make it palatable (yes, “butt-load” is a technical term in my kitchen).

Nonetheless, as suspicious as I am of these odd, pale green and blush pink stalks, my culinary curiosity gets the best of me.  It’s in season and starting to pop up at farmers markets and through my CSA.  So, what can I make with this stuff that ISN’T pie?  When in doubt, add booze!  I’ve made several flavored vodkas (cucumber, peach, hot pepper) and figured that was the perfect vehicle for this peculiar, in-your-face-flavored perennial…and it’s so darn simple, plus it makes a really cool gift!  Here’s the gist: wash fruit or veggies, chop, add to jar, pour in vodka, let sit for a week, strain, get drunk…I mean, enjoy!

Boozy Tea Party!


I am usually very skilled at killing plants.  Though my intentions are good and I try my best to keep them alive, they’d much prefer to croak than endure my underwatering/overwatering/too much sun/not enough sun/is this the right kind of soil efforts.  If having a green thumb is necessary to sustain the lovely gifts of nature, then I’m all fingers.  Until now.  About a month ago I was given a gorgeous peppermint plant and somehow have been able to prevent the thing from succumbing to it’s Jaime-induced demise.  In fact, it’s growing like crazy!  So what’s a girl to do with all this beautiful mint?  I decided to have a nice, little tea party.  Mint-themed, and with gin. Heck yeah!