strawberries with balsamic vinegar

So we’ve been away for a little while.  Two months, to be exact.  Tending to other things.  Our hearts, our souls, our peace-of-mind, our new (to us) cottage in Northern Michigan where we’ll happily watch the weather in the desert on our smartphones and say, “Oh, how good it is to be here in Northern Michigan.”

With two months of projects, including a white picket fence, I’ve been otherwise occupied with gardening, and beach walks and campfires.  The simple pleasures of life.  With that said, and with summer berries in abundance, I bring you another simple pleasure.  Some of the best and most simple pleasures of summer: strawberries and balsamic.  And vanilla ice cream.  Moomers, of course.

This is so easy to make and is so incredibly delicious, you’ll never want to put anything else on your vanilla ice cream, again.  Guaranteed.  Enjoy!!

berries©zouptonuts

brownsugar©zouptonuts

balsamic@zouptonuts

 

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar (recipe courtesy Traverse Magazine, June 2012)

 Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/8 cup light brown sugar
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring vinegar, granulated sugar and lemon juice to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Simmer until syrup is reduced by half. Cool.
  3. Toss berries and brown sugar in a bowl.
  4. Pour vinegar syrup over berries, add fresh black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve over vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.

vanilla©zouptonuts

sauced©zouptonuts

 

***Cook’s Notes:  Use the very best balsamic vinegar you can afford…which is true no matter what you’re making.

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fizzy strawberry lemonade

It’s hot.  So. Very.  Hot.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I live in a desert.  I know.  Quit my complaining.  But I am better suited for something a little more temperate.  Oh, who am I kidding.  I’m better suited to someplace cold.  But, to be honest, we’re headed off to spend a good bit of the summer in Michigan, so I really should just count my blessings.  Except right now there are about 108 reasons to hate life and I’m singularly focused on all of them.  All 108 really hot, miserable reasons!  Unless, of course, I make lemonade.  In that case, I can and will sit happily under the AC vents sipping this most delicious beverage….counting the days until we’re outta here.  I know it’s been hot pretty much everywhere, so make this.  It’s cool.  Enjoy!

Fizzy Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 1  12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 2  25-ounce bottles sparkling water
  • 8 to 10 fresh strawberries, hulled
  • lemon slices, optional

Directions:

  1. Place the frozen concentrate in a pitcher and mix according to the label directions, replacing water with the sparkling water.
  2. Put the strawberries in a blender and puree until very smooth. Mix the strawberry puree into the lemonade.
  3. Garnish with lemon slices (if desired) and serve.