Holiday

Leebreeze

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & MochaWhat wondrous sight do you see before you? Alas! Lemon & Mocha’s first ever drink post! Time to break out the cups, ice and don’t forget the vodka!

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

We aren’t just saying “cheers” to this post though, we are wishing my amazing dad a happy birthday. My dad is known for his Leebreezes so there seemed to be no better fitting tribute than this perfect summer cocktail.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

The Leebreeze is a variation of the traditional sea breeze drink, and by variation I mean it’s the same thing with a different name. A sea breeze consists of cranberry juice, grapefruit juice and vodka. Don’t forget the vodka. While you can make little onesies and twosies of this drink it is best prepared in a big pitcher for all party-goers and barbecue attendees to enjoy.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

For those of you that don’t know or haven’t guessed thus far, my dad’s first name is Lee, hence the Leebreeze. The naming was the genius work of one of my cousins a couple years ago. While my dad certainly didn’t invent the sea breeze, nor the Leebreeze for that matter, he brought the sea breeze a certain attitude that only my dad could.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

My dad is often the life of the party with his laugh heard from three rooms over and he wants everyone to have a great time. The Leebreeze isn’t just a relaxing fruity cocktail; it’s a let’s-get-this-party-started-go-to. So when your barbecue needs a little perk this summer, break out a pitcher of Leebreezes and turn it up a notch.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

Leebreeze
 
Yield: 8 servings or 1 drink
Ingredients
for a pitcher
  • 12 ounces vodka, room temperature
  • 30 ounces cranberry juice
  • 16 ounces grapefruit juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Grapefruit slices for garnish
for a single drink
  • 1.5 ounces vodka, room temperature
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Grapefruit slice for garnish
Directions
for a pitcher
  1. Fill a standard gallon pitcher half to three quarters full with ice. Pour the vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice over top then stir. Taste and adjust amounts of ingredients if needed. Pour into glasses and garnish with grapefruit slices.
for a single drink
  1. Fill a glass with ice. Pour the vodka over top. Pour in cranberry juice until the glass is three quarters full. Top off the remaining quarter with grapefruit juice. Stir, taste and adjust amounts of ingredients if needed. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

 

Bruschetta Hot Dogs

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Something about summertime makes me want hot dogs. I won’t eat a hot dog all fall and all winter, but the minute it gets warm outside I buy a package at the grocery store.

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If I’m at a barbecue and the hosts went all out for some delicious steak and chicken, deep down I’m disappointed I couldn’t have just a couple bites of a classic hot dog.

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

As perfect as that classic hot dog is smothered in ketchup, mustard and onions, there are too many amazing hot dog variations out there that have been ignored for far too long. It’s time to elevate our barbecue hot dogs so they can stand there proud with the steak and chicken!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

These bruschetta hot dogs do just the trick. Hot dogs are grilled, placed in a toasted Italian bun, then topped with tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Dang-nabbit, these hot dogs are good!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

The bruschetta ingredients bring freshness, acidity and complexity to the hot dog, while the crusty bun envelopes the dog with enough room to hold the flavorful topping in place.

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’re someone who can’t imagine a hot dog without ketchup or mustard trust me when I say the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil provide no need for condiments. Elevate your barbecue hot dogs this summer and make some fancy bruschetta hot dogs!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Bruschetta Hot Dogs
 
Yield: 4 hot dogs
Ingredients
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 large leaves fresh basil, torn
  • Salt
  • 4 hot dogs, grilled
  • 4 Italian buns, toasted
Directions
  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the diced tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, and salt to taste.
  2. Place the grilled hot dogs in the toasted buns then top with the tomato mixture. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Recipe from July/August 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Pasta Tuna Salad

Pasta Tuna Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I don’t have some great tale associated with this recipe. It doesn’t come from some heartfelt childhood memory. Nor did I stumble upon it in a cookbook with excitement and rush to make it. And it’s definitely not a copycat recipe from my favorite meal at my favorite restaurant.

Pasta Tuna Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The story is quite simple. One day I was deciding what to have for lunch. I had leftover noodles and tuna fish so I mixed them together with some raw veggies. It was yummy so I kept making it. The end. Sometimes the best recipes are the most simple ones.

Pasta Tuna Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Many years ago this was my most requested dish from my friends for all our summer barbecues. This was before I ditched the boxed cake mixes and started baking these Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes of course.

Pasta Tuna Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I don’t make it as often now since Matt is a tunafish-hater. Do you have anyone like that in your house? I rinse the can, toss it in the enclosed trash, run the disposal and eat the evidence, yet as soon as Matt walks in the kitchen the first words out of his mouth are, “Did you make tunafish?” Insert scrunched up grossed out face here. Is he a secret detective or do all tunafish-haters have such a ridiculous tunafish radar?

Pasta Tuna Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyways, back to this delicious pasta tuna salad. The creaminess of the mayonnaise mixed with the pasta and delightful tunafish make this a perfect barbecue side dish, but the best part comes from the crunchy sweetness of the peas, bell peppers and grape tomatoes. I keep mine pretty basic, but feel free to jazz yours up with different veggies, different seasonings or even sun-dried tomato mayo.

Pasta Tuna Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pasta Tuna Salad
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tri-color short pasta, cooked al dente
  • 12 ounces tunafish, drained and flaked
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise, more if desired
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces frozen green peas, cooked and cooled
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Combine the pasta, tunafish, bell pepper and mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Carefully stir in the tomatoes and peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
If serving after being refrigerated stir then add more mayonnaise if desired to renew it’s creamy texture.

Fourth of July Inspiration

Lemon & Mocha has been all about Fourth of July the last couple weeks so why stop the trend now? I’ve never done a roundup post before, but with this delicious and patriotic holiday only one week away I decided to share Lemon & Mocha’s favorite barbecue recipes. Hopefully this post will provide some inspiration for your own holiday meal! You can view even more Fourth of July inspiration from around the web on the Lemon & Mocha’s Fourth of July Pinterest board.

Sun-dried Tomato and Smoked Paprika Deviled Eggs with Crispy Shallots. The quintessential barbecue appetizer with a tasty twist.

Grilled Pineapple Guacamole. Heat up your grill for this sweet and smokey dip.

Grilled Steak and Peach Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing. Bring some refreshing summer flavors together in this flavorful salad.

Mushroom Overload Cheddar Burgers. Lemon & Mocha’s first burger recipe is still my favorite!

Dallas Burger with Barbecue Sauce and Coleslaw. This burger is so yummy it doesn’t even need cheese.

Crispy Baked Kale Chips. The perfect healthy snack for your Fourth of July barbecue. You don’t have to feel guilty about munching on these all day!

Sun-dried Tomato Mayonnaise. This condiment needs to be on your picnic table next week!

Coleslaw. Not just a side dish; use this on top of your burgers and hotdogs.

Summer Berry Trifle. Not only does this dessert scream Fourth of July, but you won’t be able to stop eating it. Your guests won’t even know it’s low fat!

Stracciatella Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Pie. Wow your chocolate lovers with this life changing treat.

Croissant S’mores. There couldn’t be an easier sweet that everyone will enjoy.

S’mores Fudge. Bring summer to your barbecue with this addictive make ahead dessert.

Lemon Curd Tart with Fresh Berries. Simple and fresh!

Don’t worry; I’ll have even more Fourth of July tastiness to share with you next week! Happy Friday, friends!

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus has always been one of my favorite vegetables, even when I was a picky little kid. Everyone always loves the tops, which for some reason are my least favorite part. My dad doesn’t like the stems so sometimes we swap. Just like how Matt’s favorite Starburst are the red and orange, while mine are the yellow and pink. You can’t force these things. Only fate can cause the food stars to perfectly align.

My favorite way to cook asparagus is to roast them. It is incredibly simple and I am all about ease of preparation, especially on weeknights, but more importantly roast asparagus are delicious. They are tender, yet crunchy, have a slight char, and they soak up all the flavor from the olive oil and seasonings.

You might be nodding your head and thinking, “Yeah, roast asparagus are the best! They are so tasty there’s nothing in the world that could make them taste even more awesome!” But, my friends, you need to go one step further.

Prosciutto. Salty, delicate prosciutto makes everything better. Especially when it’s blanketing a spear of roast asparagus. I’ve had prosciutto wrapped asparagus a variety of ways, but I’m really digging this crispy version. The prosciutto is wrapped on the raw asparagus before being broiled to crispy perfection.

Served warm or cold, these are right on par for your next gathering this spring. Easy to make and so tasty everyone will be fighting over vegetables. What’s better than that?

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Place an oven rack about 5-6 inches below the heating element then preheat the oven to broil.
  2. Lay the asparagus on a baking sheet then toss with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Wrap each stalk of asparagus with a slice of prosciutto. Take 1 piece of prosciutto and wrap it tightly around the asparagus stalk in an upward spiral starting at the bottom of the stalk. Repeat for the rest of the asparagus.
  4. Spread the wrapped asparagus out on the baking sheet so that none of them are touching each other. Broil the asparagus for 3 minutes, flip the asparagus, then broil for 3 more minutes. The prosciutto should be crisped and lightly browned.

Recipe from CHOW.