I love June. The return of watermelon, running through sprinklers, lemonade, Otter Pops, days spent in swimming suits, sunny days, and lots of gardening. *sigh*
Also, the return of my favorite summertime drink. I only have it the summertime so I don't go totally nuts and get burned out on it (kinda like how I only let myself drink eggnog during the Christmas season). It's really simple, takes hardly any time to make, and it's gooood. It's not too sweet and it's really refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.
I can take no credit for this delicious drink - it's basically a copycat version of Starbucks Iced Passion Lemonade, only my version isn't nearly as sugary.
Nothing against the Starbucks version. I first tried it years ago, in my pre-kids days, when I worked as a Community Relations Manager at Barnes & Noble. Mormon girl that I am, my drink choices at the Starbucks mini-cafe were pretty limited (since we Mormons don't drink coffee or tea). I pretty much only drank the cream-based frappuccinos (mmmmm....double chocolate chip frappuccino...). Then one day, I saw a co-worker drinking a bright pink drink and I had to ask what it was. To my delight, they had an iced tea that was totally herbal (while Mormons aren't supposed to drink tea that contains tea leaves, herbal tea is totally cool). So, I had one of those pretty much every day from then on. Yum.
Anyway, I make my own iced passion tea at home throughout the summer. You can buy the Tazo Passion tea at pretty much any grocery store. I simply heat up a cup of water (usually in the microwave -- no sense heating up the kitchen in the summer heat by using the stove), put a couple bags of the Passion tea into the water, let them steep for about three minutes, and then pour it over ice. Like the Starbucks version, I sweeten the iced Passion tea with lemonade. I really like raspberry Simply Lemonade. I don't use much lemonade -- maybe ¼ cup at the most. I've used other sweeteners in the past (like agave nectar -- which I found isn't really that healthy after all), but I like the raspberry lemonade the best. Try it -- I think you'll like it. (FYI -- I've heard that hibiscus tea -- which is what the Passion tea is partly made up of -- isn't a good choice to drink while pregnant. I was pretty bummed when I learned that in the summer of 2010, let me tell you.)
On to the Lovely Links...
Here are a few links that have caught my eye or that are relevant to life in June or that I've rediscovered whilst looking through my many, many pins on Pinterest.
A toast to the beginner, or, what to do with garlic scapes :: Eating from the Ground Up
Garlic Scape Pesto :: The Garden of Eating
If you hadn't guessed by the photo or the links already, I'm so excited about the latest thing to come from our garden: garlic scapes! Our garlic is almost ready to harvest (more on that when the time comes) and recently the bulbs sent out the flowers (called scapes). You're supposed to cut these off before they bloom so that the energy stays in the bulb so you have stronger-flavored garlic. We've never had scapes before and I'm so excited to cook with them! I'm not sure my boys want to eat them quite yet -- they've been having too much fun curling them around their arms and walking around with their arms outstretched, a la The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
DIY Project: Kate's Grocery Planner :: Design*Sponge
In my ongoing effort to be an organized person (sigh), I've been trying out different menu planning/grocery list templates. Of the ones I've seen or tried, I'm liking this one best (I use the menu grocery list). I also really like how she made a cute clipboard for it -- I'm going to work on mine this weekend.
Clean Your Air Conditioner Unit :: The Family Handyman
This is on my to-do list (okay..let's be honest...it's really going to end up on my husband's to do list.) because I've heard that cleaning your A/C unit can save you a bunch of money on your cooling bills. Also, having had our A/C go out last summer (not fun) because we hadn't been so great at maintenance, I've decided to be a little more proactive.
Campfire Eclairs :: Making Memories with Your Kids
Oh my. These look dangerously good. My only change would be to use homemade chocolate frosting (the store-bought stuff is gross and has nothing on this recipe). We're going camping at the end of the month and I'm thinking these might be a must.
How we stopped living (less than) paycheck to paycheck :: Simple Mom
This is how you do it, people. Little things add up. I love, love, love this post.
Hoping this June weekend is wonderful for you!
Note: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have disclosed.