Celebrate the weekend by making this naturally sweetened Spiked Blueberry Lemonade! Fresh lemon juice is combined with honey simple syrup, water and frozen blueberries in the blender, then add in a shot or two of vodka for a perfect summer cocktail!

Celebrate the weekend by making this naturally sweetened Spiked Blueberry Lemonade! Fresh lemon juice is combined with honey simple syrup, water and frozen blueberries in the blender, then add in a shot or two of vodka for a perfect summer cocktail!

It has been A. WEEK.

Y’all.

Could we take a moment to talk about how thankful I am that it’s Friday and that our air conditioner installation is DONE? Because that’s how I feel. And that’s where I’m at.

Aaaaaaaand I’ve needed a drink like this, oh, all darn week. Especially Wednesday… when the A/C folks arrived a bit late, then a pipe in our irrigation system decided to burst, flooding our lawn and street for a few hours until we could get the water turned off.

It was awesome.

And when I say awesome, I mean incredibly, stupidly stressful.

Celebrate the weekend by making this naturally sweetened Spiked Blueberry Lemonade! Fresh lemon juice is combined with honey simple syrup, water and frozen blueberries in the blender, then add in a shot or two of vodka for a perfect summer cocktail!

I’m not someone who will tell you, “Oh, just go make yourself a drink!” when the going gets stressful, but there were several moments where a drink sounded like the only thing that might keep me from losing my mind on Wednesday.

I made it through, though. Without alcohol. But with the help of friends and my husband.

And now? I am lounging in a ridiculously cold house.

So Friday for the win!

Celebrate the weekend by making this naturally sweetened Spiked Blueberry Lemonade! Fresh lemon juice is combined with honey simple syrup, water and frozen blueberries in the blender, then add in a shot or two of vodka for a perfect summer cocktail!

This boozy lemonade is a new favorite of mine. It’s super simple to make. It’s super tasty. And if you’re into a cocktail that requires sipping due to said drink being strong? Well, this is for you.

If you like less strong drinks, simply add less vodka.

And if you don’t like alcohol in your drinks, avoid the vodka and call it a day.

This drink is a winner across the board. And I totally suggest making one, especially if you’re having a rough week. It would also be perfect to keep cool beside the pool or to sip at a picnic.

Here’s how you make it:

Spiked Blueberry Lemonade
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 4 cocktails
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup honey simple syrup
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 4 oz. vodka
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Blend together until smooth.
  3. Pour over ice (or chill) and enjoy!

Celebrate the weekend by making this naturally sweetened Spiked Blueberry Lemonade! Fresh lemon juice is combined with honey simple syrup, water and frozen blueberries in the blender, then add in a shot or two of vodka for a perfect summer cocktail!

How has your week been?

  • EileenJuly 31, 2015 - 12:47 pm

    That definitely sounds like a stressful week! It must be such a relief to have it all be over. A glass of this beautiful lemonade sounds like a great way to take a deep breath and kick off a more relaxing weekend. :)ReplyCancel

    • ErinAugust 1, 2015 - 12:10 pm

      It wasn’t the best week, Eileen, but I’m thrilled that it’s all done. And this lemonade is a fantastic way to take a deep breath AND kick off a relaxing weekend. I hope you’re having a good one!ReplyCancel

  • WhitneyAugust 1, 2015 - 4:12 pm

    OMG these look absolutely delicious!! I LOVE those glasses too — super cute!! And now that its the weekend I don’t feel too guilty about having a boozy drink. I’ll have to try these! Yum! Pinning!ReplyCancel

    • ErinAugust 1, 2015 - 4:25 pm

      Thanks so much, Whitney! I love those glasses, as well, and I wish they were sturdier — I’ve already broken one because the glass is super thin! Enjoy this boozy drink — it’s perfect for the weekend. And it’s not all bad for you. You know, since it’s naturally sweetened and stuff… 😉ReplyCancel

  • Dorothy @ Crazy for CrustAugust 3, 2015 - 8:35 am

    Oh my gosh A/C installation. I remember ours at our last house and I’m dreading this one. It’s always the hottest day of the year even if it’s only spring!! Love this cocktail, I’d drink one right now if I could!ReplyCancel

  • JuliaAugust 4, 2015 - 10:51 am

    Ah yeah, if my AC was broken, I probably would be drinking (or stationed at an air conditioned bar) until it got fixed, lol! This bluuueberry delight looks amazing! Definitely a fresh and fun cocktail to get through the week and celebrate the weekend!ReplyCancel

  • AshleyAugust 4, 2015 - 3:55 pm

    Yay for blueberry lemonade!! I love that you spiked yours! Perfect for after one of those weeks :) And seriously, can we talk about those glasses??? I kinda feel like I need those in my life!ReplyCancel

Guys. It’s hot.

Like, really, really, ridiculously hot. And even though that the temperature gauge at DFW International — the place that apparently records the official temp of the Metroplex — has yet to hit 100°F, it’s been hovering around that in our neck of the woods daily.

The good news is we’re getting the A/C fixed this week.
The bad news is we have to wait until Wednesday to start the process.

And with the indoor temperature climbing to 80°F nightly, I’m so over this summer heat. Unfortunately for me, it won’t go away anytime soon, so I’ll take comfort in our air conditioner replacement this coming week.

That being said, it has been a fantastic week in Dallas, and we’ve had a LOT of fun in spite of the warm home.

Who’s ready for some snippets?

Sunday Snippets: The Broken A/C Edition // The Speckled Palate

1. You might’ve seen on Instagram, but we took a family walk yesterday morning. Our dog, the goofball that she is, sprinted through several sprinklers, then proceeded to roll in the grass. Numerous times.

2. Even though it’s hot as blazes, I am doing my best to get in a daily walk. I’m sure it’s a comical sight because I walk with the dog AND the baby. Lu likes to occasionally pull, so walking her AND the stroller is an occasional challenge, but I’m up for it! It’s always fun, and I like how it gets me out and moving.

3. Bonus points? Both dog and baby also love our daily jaunts.

4. Speaking of walks, I bit the bullet and purchased a FitBit last week. I’m now that crazy person who paces the house at night(or, umm, jogs in place as she scrubs dishes) if I haven’t met my allotted daily steps. (Are you a FitBit person? If so, let’s be friends!)

Sunday Snippets: The Broken A/C Edition // The Speckled Palate

5. My friend Rachel and I tried out the Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. this past week. Rachel got a JK’s Favorite — and it was divine — and my Patty Melt wasn’t shabby, either. If you’re in the mood for grilled cheese, though, don’t get the patty melt. Because, well, you know, they’ve got tons of unique grilled cheeses on their menu for that kind of craving.

6. I started reading How to Start a Fire this past week, and I can’t put it down. Have any of y’all read this book? If so, what did you think? If not, do you plan to read it?

7. Will someone please tell me I’m not the only person watching UnReal TV? Because oh my goodness, y’all. It’s so ridiculous and so good. In fairness, I was totally skeptical of the premise since I don’t watch reality television (other than food reality TV, which is vastly different), but I set a series record because I love Shiri Appleby… From episode 1, I was hooked, and I’ve gobbled this season up!

8. Did y’all see all the goodness that was shared during Popsicle Week? I really want a Strawberry Pina Colada Popsicle, a French 75 Cocktail Pop and a Moscow Mule Popsicle. Not all at the same time or even on the same day… but I need all three in my life eventually.

9. Vegan Meringue is a thing! And Abby from The Frosted Vegan shows how, even if it sounds kind of weird at first. Who’s down to try this with me sometime soon? I’m envisioning it on a Chocolate or Lemon Meringue Pie!

10. Since there’s no chance that my oven will running until the A/C is fixed, y’all better believe I’ll be bingeing on Feast + West’s No-Bake S’more Cookies soon!

And that’s all I got for y’all today.

What are your snippets?

How has your week been?

  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and VeggiesJuly 27, 2015 - 11:11 am

    Gah, no AC? The fact that you’re doing anything but sitting in front of the fan is pretty impressive! I wish there was a grilled cheese restaurant here, that sounds right up my alley.ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 29, 2015 - 10:19 am

      Technically, we still have AC… but it’s not working well. And I totally support you finding a grilled cheese restaurant in your area OR coming to Dallas to try this one out because it’s pretty darn good!ReplyCancel

  • AshleyJuly 28, 2015 - 7:18 pm

    Oh gosh, our AC broke last summer (the day we were having a party) and it got soooo hot in our house!! Miserable! And we had to wait quite a few days for it to get fixed!

    I hadn’t heard of that book …. but I’m always looking for new book recs!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 29, 2015 - 10:40 am

      Of course y’all’s AC broke the day you were having a party! That sounds miserable. Ours is getting fixed today, so hooray! And I hope you like that book if you have the chance to read it!ReplyCancel

Stay cool during the dog days of summer with this refreshing Strawberry Sweet Tea! Singing of strawberries and summertime sweetness, this tea is perfect to sip during a warm afternoon.

Strawberry Sweet Tea | Stay cool during the dog days of summer with this refreshing Strawberry Sweet Tea! Singing of strawberries and summertime sweetness, this tea is perfect to sip during a warm afternoon.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind, y’all, and I still feel like I’m catching my breath.

I spent last week in my hometown of Memphis, introducing our baby to several friends who live there. We spent a ton of time with my family, too, letting everyone hold the babe and get some good quality time. “Good quality time” includes squeals and laughs of delight, the occasional screaming fit and the baby potentially falling asleep on your shoulder. Because those all happened while we were visiting.

We drove back to Dallas on Sunday… and arrived home to a dying air conditioner.

Strawberry Sweet Tea | Stay cool during the dog days of summer with this refreshing Strawberry Sweet Tea! Singing of strawberries and summertime sweetness, this tea is perfect to sip during a warm afternoon.

Our A/C still works, just barely, but it’s in the process of kicking the bucket… and every afternoon inside the house just feels a little hotter.

Needless to say, our home is entirely too warm to do any baking or cooking. So I started thinking of foods and drinks that were cool and delicious… and realized that tea is a pretty fabulous summer drink.

What makes tea better? If it’s sweet. And if you add strawberries. Duh.

So I whipped up this impromptu version of tea, and it was g-o-o-d. Like, surprisingly, ridiculously good — especially since I’m not a regular tea drinker — and super strawberry-y. (I’m making that a word. Sorry not sorry.)

I’m sharing my Strawberry Sweet Tea recipe over at My Cooking Spot today. I’d love if you joined me over there and told me your favorite summertime drink.

  • Alex @ Sew, Simmer, and ShareJuly 24, 2015 - 10:07 am

    Oh nooo!!! July is not the time you want your AC to die! Your strawberry tea looks delish though, I’m heading over to check out the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • KrystenJuly 24, 2015 - 2:10 pm

    So the batteries died in our thermostat the other day, and the house instantly went to, like, 80 degrees without the thermostat to tell the A/C to stay on. Before we figured out it was just the panel, though, you should have SEEN the look on Charlie’s face as he contemplated the thought of having to replace our air conditioning unit. The sheer panic was palpable.

    Also, this tea looks delicious.ReplyCancel

Take advantage of fresh produce this summer and make Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers, a delicious dinner of rice, the holy trinity (of onion, celery and bell pepper) and ground turkey, baked inside a bell pepper!

Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers | Take advantage of fresh produce this summer and make Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers, a delicious dinner of rice, the holy trinity (of onion, celery and bell pepper) and ground turkey, baked inside a bell pepper!

I’m really bad about eating my vegetables.

There, I said it.

It’s not that I dislike veggies… but given the choice, I’d rather eat bread. Or baked goods. Or something sweet, healthy or unhealthy.

That being said, I know I need to eat my vegetables, especially now that I’ve got a babe who I’m currently nursing and who will look to me for food decisions in her future. I want her to love vegetables, and because of this, I’m making a noticeable effort in my daily life to eat more veggies so that when she notices what is on my plate, she’ll realize there’s a nice balance. And that I usually make a happy plate because said plate is properly portioned.

Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers | Take advantage of fresh produce this summer and make Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers, a delicious dinner of rice, the holy trinity (of onion, celery and bell pepper) and ground turkey, baked inside a bell pepper!

When I lived in the sorority house years ago — could we just stop for one second because I just realized I lived in the house more than TEN years ago?! Because holy cow, y’all, where has the time gone? — we all had a meal plan.

That meal plan included breakfast, lunch and dinner at the house on weekdays.

And once a week, the cooks usually prepared a rendition of stuffed bell peppers.

During that time of my life, I was on the fence about bell peppers and would eat my dinner, rather unimpressed, as I chatted with my sisters around the table. Or if I had a late class or an activity that evening, the meal was consumed in my room with my three roommates after the fact.

I never thought I’d make stuffed bell peppers at my own house because, well, I didn’t really like them.

That, of course, was up until a few weeks ago, when I realized that I could put JAMBALAYA (!!!) into a green bell pepper and call it a complete meal.

One pot wonder, for the win!

Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers | Take advantage of fresh produce this summer and make Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers, a delicious dinner of rice, the holy trinity (of onion, celery and bell pepper) and ground turkey, baked inside a bell pepper!

These Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers are the perfect way to combat this whole veggie apathy thing I’ve got going on these days. They’re chock full of the Creole Holy Trinity — onions, green bell pepper and celery — and baked INSIDE a bell pepper.

Yes, this dish involves rice… but it’s brown rice, and there’s not too much of it… and ground turkey, though you could easily sub the turkey for chicken or beef if that’s more your speed. If you’re a vegetarian, omit the meat, and you’re good to go. (After all, there are plenty of veggies, so it’s not like you’re eating a dinner of rice.)

Basically, these Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers are a full meal INSIDE a giant vegetable, which makes me super happy. They’re also delicious.

Here’s how I made them:

Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 large bell peppers, cored and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 small white onions, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ large green bell pepper, diced
  • 16 oz. lean ground turkey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons Tony Chachere's Salt Free Creole Seasoning
  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and diced bell pepper, cooking until soft.
  2. Remove the vegetables from the pan, and add the turkey to the skillet. Season with salt and Tony's, breaking up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the turkey is browned and cooked through.
  3. Add the vegetables back into the pan, and measure in the cooked rice. Stir it into the other ingredients, cooking for a few more minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a large baking dish (or sheet pan) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  5. Season the whole bell peppers, which have been cored and cleaned, with salt and pepper. Set in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Scoop the jambalaya mix into the bell peppers. Repeat until all the bell peppers are full.
  7. Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy warm!

Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers | Take advantage of fresh produce this summer and make Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers, a delicious dinner of rice, the holy trinity (of onion, celery and bell pepper) and ground turkey, baked inside a bell pepper!

How do you feel about vegetables?

Are you a stuffed bell pepper fan?

  • Jenna @ A Savory FeastJuly 22, 2015 - 4:53 pm

    Mmmm! You gotta love an all-in-one meal like this. Perfect for busy nights! I’m not huge on bell peppers but your turkey jambalaya makes it worth a try for sure.ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 22, 2015 - 8:32 pm

      Thanks, Jenna! You really do have to love the all-in-one meals like this one, especially since most weeknights are crazy busy. I’d be curious to know what you think about this since you’re not the biggest bell pepper fan. I don’t love them by themselves, but they’re fantastic with the turkey jambalaya stuffing.ReplyCancel

Cool down on a hot summer’s day with Spiced Rum Horchata Pops! These vegan popsicles are cinnamon-y, creamy and utterly decadent as an afternoon (or evening) treat.

Vegan Spiced Rum Horchata Pops // The Speckled Palate

It’s POPSICLE WEEK!

*does the Snoopy happy dance*

*claps my hands*

*shuffles to the computer screen to actually write about these gorgeous pops after expending entirely too much energy dancing and clapping*

Yeaaaaaaaah. So I’m a bit excited about all the beautiful popsicles that are being shared around the blogosphere this week, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Today, I’ve got a fun spiked (!) vegan (!) popsicle for y’all. Because everyone deserves a spiked vegan popsicle on a hot day. And Lord knows it’s been hot recently.

Vegan Spiced Rum Horchata Pops // The Speckled Palate

I’ve heard read a lot about horchata before, but I’d never tried it. However, it sounded like the perfect thing to use as a dairy free popsicle base, so I decided to do some kitchen experimentation.

I used Averie and Susannah’s recipes as guides to make horchata from scratch without ever having tasted it, tinkering and sampling as I went along because the flavor profiles in both their recipes sounded divine.

Here’s the thing, though. As someone who’d never actually drank horchata before, seen it anywhere or actually heard someone say the word, it turns out I was mispronouncing it this entire time.

You’d assume that as someone who took five years of Spanish and currently lives in Texas, I would know how to pronounce horchata.

But, yeah, well, I didn’t.

And it’s kind of horrifying because I should’ve known about that silent H.

It wasn’t until I was telling my sister about them without using the name horchata in the description that she said, “Oh, horchata! I love that stuff.”

Vegan Spiced Rum Horchata Pops // The Speckled Palate

It goes without saying that these popsicles are ridiculously delicious. They’re creamy, they’re flavorful, they’re vegan, they’re free of processed sugar.

All kinds of good things, y’all.

And everyone who’s tried one has loved it, so you’re not just getting a ringing endorsement from me.

And one of the best parts? If you don’t drink alcohol or want to make these for kids, just leave out the rum and add a bit more cinnamon for spice. Easy peasy.

Here’s how you make them:

{Dairy Free} Spiced Rum Horchata Pops
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Cool down on a hot summer’s day with Spiced Rum Horchata Pops! These vegan popsicles are cinnamon-y, creamy and utterly decadent as an afternoon (or evening) treat.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 14 popsicles
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup uncooked white rice
  • 2¼ cups warm water
  • 1 5" cinnamon stick
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup spiced rum (or a bit more, to taste, if that's your thing!)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, measure out the cashews, white rice and warm water. Add the cinnamon stick on top. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, pour the soaked ingredients into the base of a blender. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  3. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and additional water to the mix.
  4. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Using a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, strain the popsicle base. (Doing this more than once will ensure your popsicles aren't gritty. I strained mine twice, and mine turned out pretty smooth.)
  6. Once the popsicle base is strained, add the rum, stirring until well incorporated.
  7. Pour the popsicle mix into a popsicle mold. Transfer to the freezer, and freeze for one hour before adding the popsicle sticks.
  8. Freeze for an additional 6 hours, or until the popsicles are solid.
  9. Enjoy cold!
Notes
Please note that the prep time does NOT include the 8+ hours of soak time overnight.


Vegan Spiced Rum Horchata Pops // The Speckled Palate

Spill the beans: Did you know how to pronounce horchata before reading this post? (And did you know what horchata was?)

What is your favorite kind of popsicle for a hot summer’s day?

  • Alex from Sew, Simmer, and ShareJuly 15, 2015 - 2:27 pm

    Yesssss! I love horchatas and though I’ve never tried it, I assume I’d also love them in alcoholic popsicle form!! Looks delish!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 22, 2015 - 9:03 pm

      If you love horchata and you like rum, I’d venture to say you’d be a fan of these popsicles! Thanks for the comment, Alex!ReplyCancel

  • Erica @ Coming Up RosesJuly 16, 2015 - 9:01 am

    These. Look. AMAZEBALLS!!! Nothing beats a spike pop on a hot summer day! And PS, this is the first foodie blog I’ve seen that I genuinely just LOVED, from the heading and tagline to your little about section…you just scream unique and I want to be your friend. Have a great Thursday!

    Coming Up RosesReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 22, 2015 - 9:00 pm

      Aww, thank you, Erica! You’re totally right: nothing beats a spiked pop on a hot summer’s day! And THANK YOU. You’re too sweet! Your comment made my day! Let’s be friends!ReplyCancel

  • BrittanyJuly 17, 2015 - 6:41 am

    You are a GENIUS!!! Sharing these like crazy!!!ReplyCancel

  • Logan CanJuly 21, 2015 - 2:33 pm

    These look fantastic! I LOVE popsicles! They are a great way to cool of during the summer!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 22, 2015 - 8:58 pm

      Thanks so much, Logan! Popsicles are the best for the summertime, and these are great!ReplyCancel

  • Meg @ Noming thru LifeJuly 22, 2015 - 1:11 am

    These are seriously one. of. the. greatest. things. ever!! For reals! I loooove horchata, and then to make it into a drunken popsicle. Oh yeah, I am all over that!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 22, 2015 - 8:51 pm

      Thanks so much, Meg! Who doesn’t love a drunken popsicle? It’s kind of the best thing… and the horchata is pretty darn delicious, too!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaJuly 22, 2015 - 12:39 pm

    Mmm, horchata! I love it. I’ve had it both hot and cold, and I’m addicted. I can’t wait to get obsessed with this recipe too! :)ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 22, 2015 - 8:36 pm

      Hold the presses: You can have horchata WARM!?! How come I’ve never heard of this? Totally making a note to try that come wintertime. And I hope you enjoy this recipe — we’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the pops!ReplyCancel

      • AmandaJuly 22, 2015 - 9:34 pm

        Yeah, I had it warm at a coffee house one time. They had both hot and cold options. I have to say, when it’s warm it tastes like concentrated Christmas. Party time! Yum. Haha.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and FullJuly 22, 2015 - 2:53 pm

    I love horchata (the beverage, not the vampire weekend song). 😉 These popsicles look great!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJuly 22, 2015 - 8:35 pm

      I love horchata, too, and I hope you enjoy these popsicles! Also? I now want to listen to this Vampire Weekend song since I’ve never heard of it before!ReplyCancel