Very affordable, very E-Z
Visited Humble, Kim, and Colleen, the terrific morning team at EZ Rock today (so that's what the subway looks like at 7 a.m.!) As usual, it was a blast, especially the part where we gave away a summer prize package to a listener, with outdoor oil lamps from Urban Barn, and an Oster blender in my fave new garden tub from Garant.) We talked about fun ways to add a little elegance to your summer without breaking the bank. One idea was to splurge on some outdoor lighting. I’m loving solar options right now, but also can’t resist the lanterns from Urban Barn(see pic at right) we gave away. Such a cool shape, and I love the silver finish – very old Hollywood. These little beauties are just $16 for the small size and $24 for the larger. Another easy idea — if you have older glassware that you don’t use much (it’s easy to pick it up for a song at garage sales), dust it off, set a tealight inside each one and place them on the table. You’ll get amazing sparkly light that will look great in the garden. Cut crystal brandy snifters are especially effective.
Another great summer indulgence? Fruity drinks with cheap and cheerful (okay, they're also kinda silly, too!) umbrellas. Invest in a blender and mix up a batch of fun summery drinks like Margaritas or whip up healthy fruit smoothies. Serve them with chips and salsa, or fresh fruit and cheese, and invite a crowd over. Try the Oster blender. At about $50, it’s very affordable - it has a perfectly respectable 700 watts, and is darn good at crushing ice, a central star in summer bevvvies. (Check out the recipes below.)
Beach Ball (5 servings)
What you need
- 6 oz. citrus-flavored vodka
- 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 1 medium banana
- 3 cups ice
- 2 tsp. sugar
- Garnish: watermelon triangles
What to do Put all ingredients except ice into blender. Cover and process until smooth. With motor running, remove feeder cap and add ice cubes. Continue to process until smooth. Pour into tall glasses. Garnish with watermelon triangle. Creative Cook’s Note: For variety, substitute cantaloupe or honeydew melon for the watermelon and use the same type of melon for the garnish.
FROZEN SUNSHINE (4 servings)
What you need
- 4 oz. vodka
- 2 oz. clear orange-flavored liqueur
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate
- 4 cups ice
- Garnish: orange slices and paper umbrellas
What you do
Put all ingredients except ice into blender container. Cover and process until smooth. With motor running, remove feeder cap and add ice cubes. Continue to process until smooth. Pour into stemmed glasses. Garnish with orange slice and paper umbrella.