I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at Fitbloggin’ five times, but I think this year in Denver will go down as my favorite. Sharing the stage with one of my dearest friends, Kacy Meinecke (a first timer!), we served up an interactive, educational, downright fun session about food photography and blogging. And delicious, let’s not forget how delicious that hour was!
You can see the live blog recap here, full of juicy tips and tricks.
As we prepared for our session, we had to come up with two recipes that we could prep, shoot, and share that met a few criteria. One, it had to be pretty! No one wants to photograph ugly food (or eat it!). Two, it had to be fairly easy. We were in a hotel ballroom with no sink, limited utensils, and no cookware. Three, it had to be delicious. Duh.
That’s how we landed on the blueberry lemonade (and guacamole!). Since I was not about to stand there and squeeze a dozen lemons in front of you fine people, I did all the prep at home the day before. For this recipe, we focused on “plated” shots rather than prep and process. The results were spectacular!
I first made this lemonade last summer during my family’s epic road trip. From May through September in 2014, we embarked on what we called #HappySummr. (not a typo) We traveled from Wichita to Denver, then down to New Orleans and on to Savannah (of course!). Then we spent the rest of the summer working our way up the east coast before spending a week in Maine and moving west again. At the end of our trek we uprooted from ten years in Wichita and made our home in the foothills west of Denver. It was one of the single best decisions we have ever made.
Almost all of my memories of the trip involve food, like this blueberry lemonade. While spending two weeks in Providence, Rhode Island, my daughter and I found a pick-your-own blueberry farm and filled a bucket with berries. We made muffins, we made a pie, we made crumble bars, and we made blueberry lemonade. We squeezed the lemons, mashed the berries, and mixed up one of the most refreshing, best-tasting drinks I’ve ever enjoyed.
It’s since become a family favorite and I was all too happy to share the recipe with my Fitbloggin’ tribe.
Happy Summr Blueberry Lemonade
serves 8, 6-ounce glasses
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 to 1.5 cups simple syrup (sweeten to taste. I use raw cane sugar.)
48 ounces water
1. Prepare the simple syrup and set aside to cool.
2. Juice the lemons. I prefer hand-squeezed to machines because the peel can affect the flavor. Pour the juice through a mesh strainer to catch the seeds and pulp. Pour into a large pitcher.
3. Put the blueberries in a food processor with about 1/2 cup of water. Puree until liquified. Then place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the puree through it. Use a rubber spatula to push the juice through. Add the juice to the lemon juice.
4. Add the simple syrup and water to the juice in the pitcher. Start with a cup of syrup, stir and taste. If you need it sweeter, add more syrup. If you want it more tart, squeeze another lemon.
5. Stir well and serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and blueberries. Can keep in the refrigerator for a few days.
Looking for the guacamole recipe? Find it exclusively at California Avocado!