Tag Archives: fourth of july

Cherry Berry Fizz

 

I know I’ve talked before many times about how drinking enough water is such a crucial aspect of being healthy. I’m pretty sure I’ve also talked about how much I struggle with this! For all my good habits and self-control, drinking enough water is just. so. difficult.

It’s not that I mind the taste, or dislike it. I just forget.

I’ve begun leaving water cups with straws all over the house and at work and in my car… I find that a straw really helps! For some reason, I can drink more at once and keep drinking more water when there’s a straw involved versus just a cup. It’s funny, because hubby has the exact opposite preference, he hates straws and drinks much faster in gulps.

But I digress.

The other way I’ve found to trick myself into my 8-to-10 daily glasses is fizzy water! I used to think that seltzer was so gross, and why would anyone want fizzy water when they could just have a pop? (NOT that drinking pop regularly is ever a good idea, please don’t. But still.) I just didn’t get it.

Well, fast forward to last year, a coworker of mine had cans of fizzy water regularly. There were all kinds of different flavors, setlzer and not. (I’d recommend ones without added sugars, even the fake kinds, but beggars can’t be choosers and if it gets you into the water habit to start with, do what you must). I reluctantly tried one… and liked it. And so I bought another. And then a case.

And then I had a new habit! Which is great… ish. Fizzy water is still water and is so good for me. But it is not so great for my bank account, or my planet. All those cans and bottles, just going to waste. Even if I recycled, I still felt that twinge of guilt each time I tossed a can or bottle and heard it hit the inside of the bin.

Berry cherry fizz

Since then, I’ve also gotten hubby onto the fizzy water bandwagon. It’s a perfect beverage with dinner, while watching TV, or a great alternative to alcoholic beverages for just any random weeknight when you want something fun and different. So now we were going through twice the aluminum and plastic!

After some research and discussion with many friends, we decided it might be time for a fizzy water machine. There would be a larger up-front cost, with small ongoing fees (CO2 replacements mostly) but the perks included: cheaper overall, no more bottle/can waste, we know where the water is coming from and what flavorings are added.

We crunched the numbers, and decided on a SodaStream Fountain Jet. And then my wonderful inlaws surprised us with it for Christmas! So that saved us the initial investment as well. (THANK YOU!). The 60L tank claims to make something like 50L of fizzy water, so by the time we finish our first refill (i.e. 2 tanks) even at the cheapest I’ve ever seen a liter on sale at a store we will be ahead financially. And we intend to use this bad boy for many years to come too.

You don’t have to have a SodaStream for this recipe, you can use bottled fizzy water of course. Or even regular tap water. But if you buy it bottled, try buying a 2L at a time, for less waste. This is refreshing, light and fruity, and perfect for summertime or after a hot and sweaty run. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fizzy water
  • 1/2 cup pure cherry juice
  • Handful frozen berries (I used blueberries)

Step 1: Pour the frozen berries into a cup, these will be your ice cubes. They won’t water down your drink, and you get a healthy snack at the end!

Step 2: Pour in the cherry juice (you can use any kind of juice here, try for no sugar added organic kinds if possible) and the bubble water.

Step 3: Hydrate!

This also looks very pretty, the bubbles lift the berries around the glass like a lava lamp. And with the red and blue colors, this would be an ideal beverage to serve for a Fourth of July party! You could even add a shot of a little somethin somethin, I won’t tell… 😉

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Red, White, Blue & Good For You!

 

My, how time flies when you’re having fun! Can you believe it’s nearly time to celebrate Independence Day by eating ourselves sick and blowing things up? It’s the American way.

I’ll leave the blowing things up and lighting things on fire part to my fiance; as for me I will be covering creative kitchen duty. The grill will be fired up all weekend long, patriotic beverages will be flowing, and family will be sharing stories and laughs as we wait for dusk and fireworks to light up the sky.

Hope you find some last-minute inspiration here for your own Fourth Festivities! God Bless America.

 

Yes, I know these aren’t red, white & blue, but rather green, but still… aren’t they adorable?! And if you find a way to make basil blue, bless your heart and patent that immediately. Or share with me…

Caprese Appetizers on a Stick

Caprese Party Skewers

How about a patriotic fruity salsa to get the party started? Serve with blue tortilla chips, or a white or dyed-red hummus. This would also be a delicious salad topper.

Red White and Blue Salsa

Red, White and Blue Salsa

For a hearty main dish that impresses with its presentation, look no further! Lasagna is always a sure crowd-pleaser, and is easy to adapt to vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free diets based on the pasta noodles and contents.

Flag Lasagna

4th of July flag lasagna

Since that grill is fired up anyways, why not make your burgers make you want to sing the national anthem? Bleu cheese is tangy, tasty, and naturally punny on this national holiday. Stock up on thick tomatoes for slicing & some stinky cheese for some delightful:

Red White & Bleu Burgers

Red White and Bleu Burgers | 2CookinMamas

And of course, no picnic or party is complete without something sweet. We all have a sweet tooth, some more voracious than others, and luckily red & blue are natural berry colors! Therefore, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries lend themselves well to patriotic desserts.

What is cuter than a personal-sized-serving of a refreshingly light dessert? Not much!

Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar

 

For a bolder presentation piece that is super simple to create, how about this pretty berry tart? Guests, family, and friends will be wowed at whatever design you dream up on top.

Summer Berry Tart

Summer Berry Tart

If you have molds already, you should definitely use this opportunity to whip up these delicious and quite healthy popsicles! In great American flair, these striped refreshers will keep the heat of the day at bay. Beware though, these colors will run in the sun!

Red White and Blueberry PopsiclesRed, White and Blueberry Popsicles (GF, DF, SF, V) - A Dash of Megnut

Last but certainly not least, we can’t forget to hydrate!

Of course, the best option is water; add a few fresh berries for a splash of color, or some sparkling water for interest. You can do the same with tea or lemonade, or dye it red or blue.

For the grown-ups in the crowd who like to imbibe during the celebrations, below is a great resource for several types of cocktails of varying ingredients and degree of strength. Use your best judgment and safety first always! Especially if sparklers are involved.

1. Fourth of July Cocktail 2. Strawberry Sucker 3. Watermelon Mint Cooler 4. Patriotic Margarita 5. Red, White and Blue HYPNOTIQ Blue Martini

Patriotic Cocktails

Happy Fourth!