Lemon-Thyme Vodka Lemonade

The perfect spring refresher! 

Infusing sugar syrup with fresh thyme gives this vodka lemonade sophisticated, seasonal flair.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2003


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 24 lemons
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups vodka


1. In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the sugar and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.

2. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup; discard thyme. You should have 2 cups syrup. Cover with plastic; chill.

3. In a large serving pitcher, stir together lemon juice, vodka, and chilled syrup; garnish with thyme. Divide evenly among eight tumblers filled with ice; serve immediately.

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Holiday Cocktail: Maple Butter Kiss

Tastes like the holidays in a martini glass!
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Red, White, and Blueberry Truffle

  • Total: 8 hr 45 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Level: Easy

  • Ingredients


    Trim and quarter the strawberries and set aside. Combine the blueberries, blackberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup water, lemon zest, juice and salt in a medium saucepot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries break down and the sauce thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. 

    Place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup cream, the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. In a second large bowl, whip the remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-quarter of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until lightened, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. 

    To assemble the trifle, rip or cut the angel food cake into 2-inch pieces. Place half the cake pieces in the bottom of a 12-to-14-cup trifle dish or large bowl. Top with about half the blueberry sauce, half the cream and half the quartered strawberries. Repeat the layers with the remaining cake, berry sauce, cream and strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or overnight. Before serving either dust with confectioners' sugar or heat the apple jelly in the microwave for 25 seconds to loosen, and then brush over the strawberries.

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    Mother's Day Brunch: Recipes

    This Sunday is all about one special lady: MOM. Make the day full of pampering and R&R for her (You know she more than deserves it).

    The best way to get the day started: Let her sleep in, serve her coffee in bed, then prepare this incredible brunch (maybe serve it in bed, too!).

    Ham & Cheese Crepes

    Serves 4


    • 4 Simple Crepes
    • 8 slices black forest ham
    • 4 large eggs
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • Chopped fresh chives


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 crepes on a rimmed baking sheet. Place 2 slices ham on each crepe. Crack 1 egg into center of each; fold edges toward center. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg white is set and yolk is still runny, 12 minutes. Top with chives.


    Pistachio-Apricot Granola

    Yields 5 cups


    • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

    • 1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios

    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    • 1/3 cup honey

    • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

    • 1 cup dried apricots, diced medium


    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats and pistachios. In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, cardamom, and salt over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts, about 2 minutes. (Or, place ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until butter melts, 1 to 2 minutes; stir until combined.) Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake until oats are lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack, 20 minutes, then stir in apricots.


    Riesling Sangria with Lychees

    Serves 10


    • 1 orange
    • 1 cup raspberries, halved
    • 1 Asian pear—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup dry sake
    • 1/2 cup bourbon
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup triple sec
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • One 20-ounce can lychees in syrup—lychees halved, syrup reserved
    • Two 750-milliliter bottles slightly off-dry Riesling, chilled
    • Ice


    Using a knife, peel the orange, removing the bitter white pith. Working over a pitcher, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze the juice from the membranes and discard the membranes.

    Add the raspberries, pear, sake, bourbon, lemon juice, triple sec, sugar and lychees with their syrup. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    Stir in the Riesling and serve the sangria in ice-filled wineglasses.

    Recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart & Food & Wine.

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    Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub Recipe

    It's September - officially Pumpkin Spice season! If you love it like we do, you - and your skin - will love this nourishing DIY Pumpkin Sugar Scrub from The Idea Room. (Also - great for the upcoming holidays, both as a hostess gift and to help you relax amidst the bustle.)

    Supply List

    • 2 cups Brown Sugar
    • 1/2 cup White Sugar (or Raw Sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
    • 1/3 cup Almond Oil or Coconut Oil (add more if needed)


    1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the sugars and spices.
    2. Mix together with a wooden spoon.
    3. Slowly pour in the Oil and stir until well blended.
    4. You may add more if your scrub is too dry.
    5. You don’t want it to be runny, just a nice damp texture.
    6. Cover in a tight container.
    7. Store in the refrigerator up to 8 weeks.

    No time to make your own? Shop our Sugar & Shea Ranch Rub >>

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    Al Fresco Dining: Recipes

    Nothing says summer like dining outdoors. And here on the ranch, we like to do it as often as possible. Sometimes simple (just take the plated food out and go), sometimes more festive (hung lights, decked out table, set bar) - either way, it makes summer meals with friends and family so much more memorable.

    The following recipes are from Food Network, and are a perfect way to kick off your summer nights.

    Grilled Vegetables

    Total Time:
    40 min

    6 servings


    3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
    3 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
    3 zucchini (about 12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
    3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
    12 cremini mushrooms
    1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
    12 green onions, roots cut off
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves


    Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill.

    Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

    Steak Florentine

    Total Time:
    1 hr 25 min
    6 servings


    2 large garlic cloves, halved
    3 T-bone steaks (each about 1 1/2 pounds, and 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches thick)
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 lemon, halved
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    Grilled Vegetables, recipe follows


    Rub the garlic cloves over the meat and the bone of the steaks. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator and allow seasoning to permeate the meat, for about 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilling, allowing the meat to come to room temperature.

    Place a grill pan over high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the steaks until cooked to desired doneness, turning once, about 5 minutes per side for rare, 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. The key to getting those great grill marks is to place the steak down and not move them. After you flip them, do not shift the steaks.

    Allow the steaks to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing, otherwise all the juices will be run all over your cutting board. Run your knife along the bone and carve the meat off the bone. Slice the meat into 1-inch slices. Transfer the slices to a platter. Squeeze the lemon over the steaks. Drizzle with the oil and serve immediately with Grilled Vegetables.

    Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese

    Total Time:
    35 min
    6 servings


    Olive oil
    3 firm but ripe peaches, pitted, quartered
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons brandy
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup dry white wine


    Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Lightly brush the grill pan or rack with oil. Place the peaches on the grill pan and do not move the peaches, otherwise you will not have those great grill marks. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes per side to get those grill marks. Grill the peaches until the grill marks are formed, slightly softened and heated through, about 5 to 6 minutes total.

    Meanwhile, stir the sugar, brandy, and lemon juice in a medium bowl to blend. Set the brandy mixture aside.

    As the peaches are ready, remove them from the grill and place them in a shallow baking dish. Top them with the brandy mixture, and toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes and allow to marinate, tossing occasionally.

    Meanwhile, stir the mascarpone and vanilla in a small bowl to blend.

    Divide the grilled peach mixture equally among 6 coupe dishes. Pour the wine over the peaches. Dollop the mascarpone mixture atop the peaches, and serve.

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    The perfect day for Mom

    She gave birth to you. She put up with everything from your Terrible Two's to your less-than-stellar rebellious teen years. 

    She deserves a day to be spoiled.

    Make this Mother's Day extra indulgent for Mom with these tips.

    1. Start with this breakfast (here are the recipes) - Serve it in bed? Even better!


    • Blood Peach Bellini
    • Crêpes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce
    • Soft-Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Sablefish and Trout Roe Total


    2. Gift her.  Something that she'll enjoy - and that she can keep treating herself with.

    This Happy Trails gift set is a Mom-favorite: a luxurious cowhide purse filled with indulgent lotion, wash, and two of our triple-milled goat milk soaps. Get mom one in her favorite scent here.


    3. Dine al fresco.

    Treat mom to her favorite meal (don't forget her favorite wine!) in the fresh air - and don't you dare let her clean up after.


    3. Pamper her one more time.

    If you still have young children, take over bed time duties and send mom straight to the bath tub for some quiet "me time" (something she probably rarely gets). Better yet, have this amazing brown sugar and shea body scrub there waiting for her.

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    Mother's Day Brunch Menu

    Crêpes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce

    Active: 40 MIN Total Time: 1 HR Servings: 4

    The Good News Nichole Birdsall tops these crepes with strawberries, a superfruit high in vitamin C and potent antioxidants, and a creamy, orangey sauce sweetened with a splash of Bonterra Muscat dessert wine instead of sugar.


    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup skim milk
    • 1 large egg
    • Vegetable oil
    • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1 tablespoon Muscat dessert wine
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
    • 24 strawberries, sliced
    • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


    In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Add the milk, egg and 1 tablespoon of oil and whisk until smooth. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. In another small bowl, whisk the yogurt, honey, Muscat and zest.

    Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Rub the pan with an oiled paper towel. Add about 3 tablespoons of the crêpe batter, swirling the pan to coat evenly; pour off any excess. Cook the crêpe over moderate heat until the bottom is brown in spots and the sides are crisp, about 2 minutes. Flip the crêpe and cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer to a baking sheet; repeat to make 7 more crêpes.

    Fold the crêpes into quarters and bake until hot, 4 minutes. Place 2 crêpes on each plate. Top with the yogurt sauce and garnish with the strawberries. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

    Soft-Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Sablefish and Trout Roe Total

    Time: 20 MIN Servings: 2

    Andrew Carmellini's luxurious, creamy eggs are heavenly on their own, but serving them with smoky sable, briny roe and rich sour cream puts them over the top.


    • 6 large eggs, beaten
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • Kosher salt
    • 4 ounces smoked sablefish, sliced 1/4 inch thick (see Note)
    • Trout roe (see Note), thinly sliced scallions and sour cream, for garnish
    • Toasted sesame, everything or plain bagels, for serving


    In a medium nonstick skillet, combine the beaten eggs with the heavy cream and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Cook the eggs over moderately low heat, whisking them constantly, until small curds form and the eggs are creamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.

    Gently stir the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter into the eggs and season them lightly with salt. Spoon the eggs into 2 serving bowls and top with the sliced sablefish. Garnish with trout roe, sliced scallions and a dollop of sour cream. Serve right away with toasted bagels.

    Notes If smoked sablefish and trout roe are unavailable, smoked salmon and salmon roe can be substituted.

    Suggested Pairing Fragrant, vivid Chardonnay-based Champagne: NV Pierre Moncuit Hugues de Coulmet Blanc de Blancs Brut.

    Peach Bellini

    Blood Peach Bellini

    Servings: makes 1 drink

    The Blood Peach Bellini was originally made using super-seasonal summer blood peaches. This variation combines Campari, grenadine and white peach puree to approximate the rare fruit's flavor and color.


    • 4 ounces chilled Prosecco
    • 1/2 ounce Campari
    • 1 ounce white peach puree (see Note)
    • 1/2 ounce grenadine, preferably EO (see Note) or homemade


    In a pint glass, gently stir all of the ingredients. Pour the drink into a chilled flute.

    Notes Les Vergers Boiron and the Perfect Puree of Napa Valley (perfectpuree.com) both make high-quality fruit purees, including white peach. They're available online and at specialty food stores.

    EO grenadine, made by the team at Employees Only, is available at employeesonlybrands.com.

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    Spring Brunch: Open-Face Bacon-and-Egg Sandwiches with Arugula


    Servings: Makes 2
    • 5 bacon slices, halved crosswise
    • 1 4-inch square ciabatta or focaccia bread, halved horizontally
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 4 large thin tomato slices
    • 1 small shallot, chopped
    • 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 1 cup (packed) arugula
    • 2 large eggs
    • Parmesan cheese shavings


    prep: 30 min total: 30 min
      Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain.
      Wipe out skillet. Brush cut sides of bread with 1 tablespoon oil. Place bread, cut sides down, in skillet. Cook over medium heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Place 1 bread square, golden side up, on each of 2 plates. Top each with half of bacon, then 2 tomato slices.
        Whisk 1 tablespoon oil, shallot, and vinegar in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Add arugula and toss to coat.
          Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until whites are set and yolks are cooked as desired. Top each bread stack with egg, then arugula and cheese.
            Recipe by Nick Vidargas
            Photograph by Brian Leatart
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              Valentine's Day Dinner: Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

              Total Time:
              25 min
              10 min
              15 min

              3 servings



              Vegetable oil
              1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
              3/4 pound linguine
              3 tablespoons unsalted butter
              2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
              1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
              1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
              1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
              1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
              1/2 lemon, zest grated
              1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
              1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
              1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes


              Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

              Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

              When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

              Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved
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