Does life ever slow down? My short “winter weeks” seem to be running down a racetrack to win the prize of busy days much faster then I wanted. I’ve been delighted to have the opportunity to take some naps, have a little more peace of mind, and read more then I allowed myself before. We have also been having some really hot days, and it looks like we are headed into another week of hot weather. My menu plan will be kept simple again, with plenty of slow-cooker recipes, cooking large amounts of grains to reheat quickly later in the week, and premade breakfasts.
But what about snacks and beverages suitable for this hot season? Here are a couple of my favorites – none of which take long to make. I am currently wilting in the heat, so these help a wilting mother out.
Frozen Grapes (Shown above)
Grapes are delightful in the summer, but on a really hot day, frozen grapes are especially nice! I give mine a quick rinse and let them drain, and then roll up in a clean kitchen towel and place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Frozen grapes are almost like little mini sorbets in bite size pieces. I love them! What you see in the pictures is champagne grapes, which are very small and slightly tart yet sweet.
Cucumber Ice Water
Our local sustainable sushi restaurant, Bamboo Sushi, serves a glass of ice water with a single slice of cucumber in it. I love how refreshing it is! I take a small jug and fill it with water and ice, and add 3 slices of cucumber and leave it for a couple of minutes. It adds a refreshing flavor to the water, and you can keep filling up the jug with water with the same cucumber slices a couple of times and still get a nice flavor.
Plain Yogurt with frozen berries
Dr. Jonny Bowden, the author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, recommends stirring in a handful of frozen berries of cherries into a cup of plain yogurt. The frozen berries instantly slightly freezes the yogurt, creating faux frozen yogurt treat.
This “ice cream’s” base is frozen bananas which also act as the sweetener! In this recipe I add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
Simple Tomato Salad
On one of the really hot days recently, I made a quick tomato salad using some of the yellow and red tomatoes from my garden. I sliced them, added fresh basil, gave a quick sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper, and drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So quick, but so good too!
This simple iced tea is both relaxing and refreshing – plus simple to make too! I love sipping on this tea while reading a good book. That’s my idea of a relaxing afternoon moment.