Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Welcome Summer ~ the Summer Solstice is June 21st where Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.
As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.
Celebrate the longest day of the year with the freshest summer foods and the whimsy of warm-weather decorating. When the sun lingers in the sky well into the evening, it’s the perfect opportunity to throw an outdoor party. Indulge in a few frozen fruity drinks, some chilled appetizers to keep things cool and decorate with bright, festive colors that match the intensity of the climate. Enjoy the sunshine, your friends and celebrate the beginning of summer.
I love the menu of Rebecca Lang in her “Girls’ Night In ~ Summer Solstice Celebration”
1 (12-ounce) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed and divided
3/4 cup vodka, divided
3/4 cup water, divided
4 cups peeled and cubed fresh, ripe peaches (about 6 large), divided
Process half quantities of first 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Fill blender with ice to 5-cup level, and process until smooth. Pour into a pitcher. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients. Garnish, if desired
Makes 10 cups (from Coastal Living)
10 ounce (1 1/4 cups) citrus-flavored vodka
1/2 cup Rose's lime juice
2 cups cranberry juice
4 ice cube trays
Combine vodka, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a pitcher with 2 cups water and stir to blend. Divide between ice cube trays and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight (the drink cubes will freeze only partially). Just before serving, empty trays into a large bowl and using a fork, break up cubes to loosen ice crystals (the ice will be slushlike). Spoon slush into tall stemmed glasses and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings (from Real Simple)
1/3 cup tequila
2 cups crushed ice
2 cups seeded, chopped watermelon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
1 tablespoon vodka
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
Coat rims of cocktail glasses with lime juice; dip in sugar. Process next 7 ingredients in a blender until slushy. Pour into prepared glasses. NOTE: To make ahead, place mixture into a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; freeze up to 1 month. Let stand about 30 minutes before serving. Makes 5 cups (from Southern Living)
Also remember, good old fashion lemonade and ice-tea, along with many options for non-alcoholic drinks.
4 cantaloupe chunks
4 honeydew melon chunks
4 watermelon chunks
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
Thread 2 cantaloupe, 2 honeydew, and 2 watermelon chunks alternately onto each of 2 (10-inch) skewers. Place in a shallow airtight container; drizzle juice over kebabs, and sprinkle with mint. Cover and chill. Makes 2 servings (from Cooking Light)
Citrus-Cream Cheese Dip
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lime, lemon, or orange rind
1 cup whipped cream
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer, stir in citrus rind. Fold in whipped cream. Makes 3 cups (from Southern Living)
Chilled Salmon Appetizers
12 slices party pumpernickel bread
1 (4-ounce) package hot smoked salmon
Chopped fresh chives
Slice bread in half diagonally. Spread about 1 teaspoon sauce on bread, and top with small chunk of salmon. Sprinkle with chives. Makes 2 dozen
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon capers
1 egg, hard-cooked and finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Combine all ingredients; mix thoroughly. Chill sauce 2 to 3 hours before serving. Makes 1 cup. (from Coastal Living)
Goat Cheese Truffles
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (4-oz.) container crumbled goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Cover tightly, and chill at least 1 hour or until firm (can chill up to 3 days).
Roll cheese mixture into 3/4-inch-round balls. Roll each ball in pecans. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve. If chilled, let stand 30 minutes before serving. Serve with dried figs and apricots. Makes 6 appetizer servings. (from Southern Living)
For favor gifts give a bottle of sunscreen, a fun pair of sunglasses, flip-flops, or a summertime themed cookie in a cellophane bag tied with ribbons of orange, yellow and green. You could also give small votive candles with the same theme or even floral scented bottles of lotions.
Pre-select your summertime music to create a fun and upbeat atmosphere. Try the 100 greatest summertime songs at http://www.nutsie.com/top100sradio/Top%20100%20Summer%20Songs/13033421
Keep bugs away with some citronella candles and spray handy for those that might need it. Also, have a backup plan in case of rain. You might want a sheltered area or to just stay inside if the weather is too uncooperative. Most of all, have fun, celebrate you, your friendships and the beginning of summer!