Now that schools are opening their doors, the last days of summer are here.
If you are like me, you had a whole bucket list of activities planned and well…a lot of them have yet to be crossed off. Just because September is rolling around doesn’t mean you can re-create a last minute Summer Bucket List with my top 3 summer food and beverages. Try to squeeze them in this weekend and get the most out of our sunny summer finale.
I chatted about How to Create a Gourmet S’mores Bar on WCIU, but neglected to actually put it in practice until my family was up in Michigan.
These aren’t your traditional Stay Puft (and yes, I just found out it was Stay “Puft” not “Puff,” mind blown) high fructose chemical bombs, they are hand-crafted gourmet goodies from XO Marshmallow.
I brought a box of Vanilla mallows, a box of Nutella mallows, homemade graham crackers (they are DIVINE- think gingerbread) up to our lake home in Michigan. Every time we take a trip to Torch Lake, my dad builds a fire and we roast marshmallows. My kids couldn’t believe how much better these were than the traditional ones.
You can add flavored chocolate from Ghiradelli or Vosges as well- imagine a Milk Chocolate Bacon Bourbon S’more. YUM!
Marshmallows, Mars’halos (they fit right in your hot chocolate cup), and s’mores kits can be ordered on the XO Marshmallow website. You can also stop into their newly opened cafe in Rogers Park- the first marshmallow cafe EVER- and grab a marshmallow inspired treat. Next time I go I am grabbing a Frozen S’more- dark roast cold brew + cocoa + torched marshmallow + chocolate drizzle and graham cracker crumbs. Swoon.
When I was younger, we would always have watermelon seed spitting contest off the back porch. Now they make seedless watermelon- not nearly as fun, but fabulous for making Watermelon Margarita Popsicles.
I debuted these on a food an beverage special on WCIU, and yes…I was eating them at 7am after the segment. I couldn’t help myself- they are AMAZING.
Cut watermelon into triangles and insert popsicle sticks into the rind.
Using a cookie sheet, pour in 2 shots of silver tequila, juice of 1 lime and a shot of Cointreau and swirl to mix. Coat triangles in the mix and leave on tray. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight; sprinkle sea salt on prior to serving.
I don’t think anything screams SUMMER more than an ice cold glass of sangria being sipped on a patio. There is something about that potent fruity concoction that conjures up memories of beach parties, upbeat music and summer sun.
I recently sampled Bass Note Sangria with a few friends- their motto is “Wine is serious, Sangria is FUN!” With artisinal flavors like Blackberry Sage, Peach Tarragon and Cherry Lime, they are elevating sangria to a new level of sweet, slightly savory summer sips.
I added frozen peach slices to the Peach Tarragon and a sprig of rosemary for serving. These sangria flavors are more on the sweet side, so you can even make a sangria spritzer by adding sparkling water without taking too much away from the flavor.
Want to try them out? Use code “Cheryl” at checkout for free shipping on 3, 6, or 12 bottles and also get 10% off a full case. You can mix and match flavors in order to sample each.
Cheers to celebrating the end of summer with a bang!
Disclosure: I was given product samples for review purposes, but all opinions are honest and my own as always.