Gigi’s Peach and Bourbon Sangr

YIELDS | 1 Pitcher, about 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | X MINS

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Fresh, juicy peaches, mixed with sweet nectar and bourbon make this cocktail especially light and refreshing with a kick from Kentucky Bourbon. This is a great transitional cocktail and once you make this recipe you may not go back to traditional sangria again.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 lb fresh yellow peaches, sliced, about 3-4 medium plus a few slices for garnish
* 10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1/4 cup sugar or to taste, optional
* 1/2 cup peach liqueur or peach schnapps
* 1/4 cup bourbon
* 1 bottle light wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Rose.
* One cup peach nectar
* Club soda to top off.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the thyme to infuse the mixture.
2. Pour into ice-filled glasses, top off with club soda.
3. Garnish with a slice of peach, a couple thyme sprigs, optional.

NOTES

Tomato Peach and Panzanella Salad

YIELDS | 4-6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS plus 20 MINS marinating

COOK TIME | 25 MINS with grilling

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This recipe is a take on the classic Italian Panzanella bread salad. I decide to take full advantage of this seasons gorgeous tomatoes and ripe, juicy peaches. I omitted the onion and basil and added mint and oregano to brighten the dish. Grilling the peaches highlights the rich, sweet flavors of the peach and combines beautifully with the fresh tomatoes. The burrata, optional, adds a creamy cool note that brings this salad together.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 loaf crusty bread, torn into chunks about 5-6 cups
* 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to drizzle
* 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
* 3 large tomatoes, quartered
* 3 large ripe peaches, pitted, sliced. I like to grill the peaches but this is optional
* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 1-8oz ball burrata cheese, ripped into pieces, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper plus more as needed
* 2-3 sprigs each, fresh mint and oregano, stems removes and chopped
* 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large bowl, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil. In one layer, place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet I and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through the cooking time and bake until golden brown. 

2. While the bread toasts, in the same large bowl, add the tomatoes, (if grilling the peaches do this now, let cool) and then add the peaches, remaining olive oil, vinegar and a sprinkle of kosher salt and mix gently. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
3. Place the tomatoes and peaches onto a serving platter but leave the accumulated juices in the bowl. To the bowl, add the remaining olive oil, vinegar and a few cranks of fresh ground pepper.
4. Scatter the bread mixture evenly over the tomatoes and peaches, sprinkle on the fresh herbs and then nestle in the burrata cheese into the salad. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad.
6. Finish with a garnish of pine nuts, a generous drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt to taste.

NOTES

I like this salad served at room temperature. I let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving to allow for the bread to soak up some of the dressing but not get soggy.

Celery, Lemon and Green Grape Juice

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 5 MINS

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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Feeling the need to detox? Try this cooler made from celery, lemon and green grapes to do the trick.Celery contains essential vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. It is also packed with antioxidants and enzymes, Lemon purifies and grapes contain contain a chemical compound called resveratrol. Studies have shown that resveratrol can help your body metabolize fatty acids, increase your energy level, and improve your overall metabolism, all of which can help with weight loss.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups celery, coarsely chopped about 4-5 stalks

* 1 lemon, peeled, halved with seeds removed

* 1 cup green grapes, halved

* 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

* Kosher salt


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add celery, lemon, grapes, cucumber and 1 cup cold filtered water to a high speed blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
2. Strain liquid into a container and refrigerate for an hour or longer. Serve ice cold with a small pinch kosher salt and enjoy.

NOTES

Make ice cubes from this elixir and pop into sparkling water for a refreshing drink and beautiful presentation.

Cherry Caprese Salad

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 30 MINS

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This is the quintessential summer salad. The sweet balsamic vinegar reduction mixed with the rich Burrata and creates a heavenly sauce that pairs perfectly with the sweet, tart cherries and the vibrant cherry tomatoes. I like to use Bing cherries but rainier cherries work, too.

INGREDIENTS

• 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 8 ounces Burrata cheese
• 1 pound fresh, sweet cherries, pitted about 3 cups
• 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
• 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer.
2. Simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until the vinegar is thick and reduced to about 1/4 cup.
3. Rinse the Burrata and pat dry.
4. Break up and spread the cheese over one side of a medium sized-platter.
5. Arrange the cherries and tomatoes to the left and around the cheese.
6. Drizzle with the reduction and olive oil.
7. Sprinkle with kosher sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

NOTES

This makes a beautiful presentation for brunch.
Happy Eating!

Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

YIELDS | 8-10 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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Summer is finally here, Yay! Here is one of my all-time favorite summer salads. It is a combination of watermelon, mint and feta cheese, a little olive oil, a big squirt of fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. It’s so VERY easy and full of nutrients in every-juicy-bite.

INGREDIENTS

* 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp. Kosher salt
* 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice or to taste
* 4 Cups cubed seedless watermelon
* 1 Cup Feta, coarsely chopped.
* 1/2 Cup mint or more to taste, coarsely chopped plus more for garnish
* Flaky sea salt
* Freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, and lime juice. 
2. To a large large serving bowl, add the watermelon, cucumber, feta, and mint. Pour the dressing over the fruit and toss gently to combine.
3. Garnish with more mint and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. 

NOTES

Salt brings out the sweetness in watermelon.
I prefer to use regular Feta cheese over pre-crumbled feta. Regular Feta cheese adds a wonderfully creamy texture.

Watermelon and Cucumber Slushy

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 minutes plus freezing time

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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Luscious, watermelon and cucumber, slushy and/or very EASY adult beverage. Full of juicy watermelon, fresh cucumber lime and mint. No extra sugar but big on taste!

INGREDIENTS

* 6 fresh mint sprigs
* 1 medium, hothouse cucumber, peeled and chopped, Reserve a few slices for garnish
* 4 cups frozen watermelon chunks
* 1/4 cups fresh lime juice
* 3/4 or more vodka, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a high speed blender, add the cucumber, vodka if using, lime juice and frozen watermelon chucks and blend about 10-20 seconds or until it reaches the desired consistency. 


2. Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish with mint sprigs and cucumber slice. If using vodka, you may want to add additional ice as the slushy may melt a little quicker than if not using alcohol.

NOTES

Happy Drinking!