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Here's looking at you kid

As a fan of Humphrey Bogart, "Here's looking at you, kid" takes on new meaning to me as a mother. It's the perfect way to say cheers with your children.
A cocktail is any mixed drink (alcohol or not).

Think beyond the Shirley Temple! When you play in your kitchen, you become your own chemist. Keep it simple, you really can't mess it up! To make a great drink, it is a must that you have fresh ingredients. It's so much fun to experiment! Put some watermelon in the blender and add what sounds good: vanilla ice cream, freshly squeezed oranges, chocolate mint, and lots of ice...

Summertime and the livin' IS easy, fish are jumpin' and the cocktails are DRY. I like to think "dry" means pure and clean!

Just like your car runs better when it's clean, a cocktail tastes better when sipped from a fabulous glass. And just like accessories make an outfit, it's the details that make summer refreshments so special; umbrellas, colored sugar and straws can make your children say wow! Your kitchen should be supplied with all the favorite fresh fruit summer has to offer with some heavy cream, ice cream and plenty of "accessories!"

If you are what you drink...I am champagne: bubbly, surprising, and like Tinkerbelle, I have some hidden pixie dust I save for special moments (as all moms do)! The moment Dom Perignon discovered champagne he said, "Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!" Champagne is always enchanting, but especially in summer!

When I was pregnant, I was never so appreciative that I had married a bartender! He mixed his magic and made me feel like a very glamorous pregnant woman. When you are pregnant in the HOT Texas summer you just want something cold and refreshing. Cocktails are the perfect answer. Children enjoy the same cold refreshments. When I walk outside with my children's special drink cups, my daughter comes running, "Oh, Mommy! What did you make?" It's as good as a popsicle, but perhaps even more hydrating and definitely more sophisticated!

There are many a morning we have faux mimosas at our breakfast table, substituting Pellegrino for the champagne. Both are a staple in my refrigerator but the Pellegrino gets much more use.

Hemingway said, "In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a was as natural as eating and to me as necessary." Oh how I love Hemingway!! I find this quote so relatable. I prefer to drink wine with my food because it enhances the taste. But a little cocktail is like a cold refreshing appetizer to keep you staying and playing in the pool with your kids until dinner is ready.

My favorite summer cocktail is a watermelon martini. Grocery stores are overflowing with watermelon, go on and take advantage of that sale. Your kids will appreciate it and so will you! Like Sandra Lee says on her Semi-Homemade Food Network show, "It's cocktail time!"

Derek's Watermelon Martini
2 C watermelon
½ C strawberries
2 banana popsicles (I like vanilla ice cream too)
1 T powdered sugar
¼ C crushed ice
*optional ¼ C raspberry vodka and ¼ C orange vodka
Blend and garnish

My first trip to New Orleans with my husband to be we ate at an outside café on a sultry late August day and had gumbo and Bloody Mary drinks. My drink was so good I told Derek I could marinate anything in it! Ever since I said that, Derek likes to make them for me often! My mom and I also like to make bottles of the mix for Christmas gifts.

Ashley's Bloody Mary Mix
3 C tomato juice
2 t horseradish
1 t salt
½ t freshly ground pepper
1 ½ t freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 t Worcestershire sauce
¾ t Tabasco

*add vodka as you like
Stir together all ingredients. Using a funnel, pour into an airtight bottle. Refrigerate up to one week.

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