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The Garden, Pretty In Pink A DIY Rhubarb Cordial And A Smoothie

This post is just for fun, nothing earth shattering but I have to say I am so proud that my tomato plant is doing so well, as is my basil, the zucchini is questionable but it’s living. As I have mentioned before I am not a gardener, I am pretty much the opposite, I dislike working in the backyard in dirt, I don’t like the heat or the sun beating down on me so working in my garden except on cool overcast days is out of the question. It’s torture watering in the blazing hot sun for me. Now that I got that out of my system, I am so happy that my tomatoes are doing so well. I even have cute little tomatoes. This morning I staked them because they are getting so tall. I can’t wait until they ripen,  I am just hoping the squirrels don’t abscond with the fruit of the vine. If anyone has suggestions for some sort of protective device that will keep the pesky rodents out let me know and I will buy it forthwith.

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My zucchini is a disaster waiting to happen I’m afraid. I planned on planting it in the ground but never got around to it and it has been somewhat comfy in the large pot don’t know what will happen and the jury is out as to whether or not I actually get a squash.

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The leaves are drying and I am not sure whether or not thats supposed to happen, I think I need to do some research, but no sooner than one leaf dries new ones pop up.

My basil which I figured would never grow and looked awful is huge now. Even my Thai basil came back from the dead, I named it Lazarus.

Big basil

Big basil

This rose bush I bought at the supermarket to put in my air bnb room for a Valentines Day guest. This summer it was planted in a pot outside and has tripled in size and has multiple blooms.

Grocery store rose bush

Grocery store rose bush

When Nando passed a kind and thoughtful neighbor brought me a red geranium which didn’t last the winter so now it is a ritual for me to plant a red geranium to honor my sweet Nando and Izzy. Maybe I will try bringing it in this winter and see if it survives.

Izzy and Nando's geranium

Izzy and Nando’s geranium need to dead head that wilted stem.

Almost a month ago I got almost 2 pounds of rhubarb in a CSA box, I decided to try this Rhubarb Cordial that I saw eon’s ago on Food 52, I thought that it would be a great addition to summer cocktails. All you need is rhubarb, sugar and vodka, put into a clean glass jar, give it a good stir and aside from shaking it periodically to make sure the sugar dissolves it’s something you can make and forget about until the sitting time is up.  I am short on patience and couldn’t wait to try it so I strained and bottled it about a week early. It is really delicious and I plan on making some cocktails and also incorporating in some dessert recipes which will be posted once I figure out what I will make. My bartending skills are about equal to my gardening skills, pretty much non existent but I will try to come up with something nice and refreshing.

rhubarb cordial

rhubarb cordial

In the photo you can see in the corner a sweet little pink cake stand and some peaches which are from frog hollow farm, all from the Food52 shop. I feel like I am esconced in pink kind of like George Costanza was in velvet (If you watched Seinfeld you may get it).

I can’t forget Fiesta Friday #124 and this ice cold rhubarb cordial will be a great addition to the festivities. This weeks party is going to be great Angie’s co hosts are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.  Along with the cordial I will bring some club soda and a few bottles of prosecco some strawberries and peaches!!

Since I was thinking pink I had some farm fresh strawberries I needed to use and some buttermilk so I made a smoothie, summer is a great time for smoothies, light, refreshing, healthful and delicious. I like to use coconut water in smoothies an easy and convenient way to store your coconut water is to pour it in ice cube trays and freeze, once frozen simply remove the cubes and store in zip lock bags and you have  coconut water ice cubes whenever you need them.  I added a little bit of stevia to the drink because it was a bit sour, the strawberries were not super sweet.

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

I quickly wanted to mention what fun I have on the new Food52 app, #notrecipe or #norecipe the app is free in the app store and is available for iphone and iPad. It’s the way so many of us cook and it’s a wonderful platform for homecooks to hone their creativity in the kitchen without the confines of a recipe. I have submitted photo’s of a number of dishes, here are a few. Top left to right, zoodles in garlic and oil with shrimp and scallops in butter/garlic/parsley sauce) Seared scallops with a persillade (thanks Mimi) individual skillet with micro potato, avocado, kale, tomato and sunnyside up egg with gruyere, smoothie with kale, avocado, pineapple, banana, coconut water, ginger no added sugar.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t wish all the Dad’s a Happy Fathers Day, I hope you have a wonderful day today!!

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80 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, Suzanne. This post is a plethora of pleasing possibilities! I’ve no experience with cordials, but the color alone is so lovely, I’d like to try. Thanks for letting us visit your garden. I dislike all the things you mentioned. Additionally there seems to be a neon sign floating above my head, inviting all mosquitoes and biting insects to feast on the free human sushi bar (me)! Thanks for this unexpected and wonderful post. Cheers!

    June 19, 2016
    • Thanks Teagan, I share the same neon sign and sadly my garden is off limits to me when the mosquitoes are abundant. The cordial is such a beautiful color, I think that is what initially attracted me, not so much the cordial itself. I love pink, pale pink especially and I just love looking at the bottle. Happy Sunday!!

      June 19, 2016
  2. Lovely garden and yes the mosquito has quite large population this year. We are in Texas and with all the rain….terrible. The cordial is beautiful 🙂

    June 19, 2016
    • Oh I used to live in Texas and the mosquitoes were terrible there. They are bad here also thankfully not yet though. Thank you so much.

      June 19, 2016
  3. DELICIOUS…❤…HAPPY SUNDAY

    June 19, 2016
  4. Your garden looks wonderful nd love the roses so much. Best luck

    June 19, 2016
  5. Looks like you have a green thumb to me Suzanne, your plants look like they are doing very well. So sweet to plant a geranium in honor of your dogs!! Chuckled at the Seinfeld reference. Take care!

    June 19, 2016
    • LOL, I still love that show. It’s such a classic and so funny. Thanks Cheri have a great day.

      June 19, 2016
  6. Hi Suzanne-love this post!!! xx

    June 19, 2016
  7. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
    Lovely flowers and the food looks good as always. A bit of Lavender essential oil on your pulse points will keep you bug free, you will need to reapply often. I too am a mosquito buffet and limited to out door time but the lavender essential oil do give me a bit more freedom.

    June 19, 2016
  8. lol loved the “George Costanza was in velvet”!!! 🙂

    June 19, 2016
  9. Very charming views – your garden is a success – and so your menu with fresh green food.
    Yesterday I appreciated rhubarb and strwberry crumble – a season treat !
    Do have a nice sunday evening, dear Suzanne – amitiés et bises 🙂 de france

    June 19, 2016
  10. Thank you so much France. Oh yes Strawberry and rhubarb together are so delicious. A seasonal treat and something I look forward to every year.

    June 19, 2016
  11. I enjoyed this post and the walk through your garden. I’m a fair weather gardener. All gung-ho in the spring and then come August I’m like die already!

    June 19, 2016
    • LOL, thats me too Julie. I am gung ho starting in April and by August or even mid to late July I’m finished. The heat and mosquitoes are more than I can bear.

      June 19, 2016
  12. I totally got the Seinfeld reference, lol! You do seem to be on a scallop kick but all the dishes look fab (of course!) and really, your garden seems to be doing just fine! Now I just wish that Food52 app would work on an android, darn it! xoxoxo

    June 19, 2016
    • I am, shrimp and scallops are something I want all the time right now. Weird right? The garden is only doing ok by a miracle. I’m not a gardener and actually love container gardening more than having the kind in the ground. Here’s hoping I get a zucchini or two. Thanks Kathryn and have a great day.

      June 19, 2016
  13. Love your garden, especially your Lazurus Thai Basil! The cordial looks delicious and very interesting.

    June 19, 2016
    • Thanks so much Michelle. I can’t believe how my basil has grown, it was on deaths door and came back. LOL, The cordial is lovely, ice cold it’s a really nice drink. I’m not a mixologist so have to look up some recipes I can incorporate this liquor into.

      June 20, 2016
  14. I can understand you Suzanne, I am not an avid gardener myself . I just like to play with my compost and my worm hotel. My zucchini plants look a lot like yours. I am going to check out your non- recipes on the food 52 app. Have a lovely Sunday.

    June 19, 2016
    • Worm hotel, LOL, really you should post that on your blog. I am intrigued. Thank you so much.

      June 20, 2016
  15. Suzanne – I don’t believe for one second that you’re lousy in the garden or at bartending! You’re amazing at everything you do. Seriously. I’ve followed you long enough to know that’s a fact.
    I love your photographs here – your garden is well ahead of mine. My tomato plant has not even got flowers on it yet.
    And your rhubarb cordial is so pretty. And the fact that you’re bringing it to Fiesta Friday with some prosecco, etc. – FANTASTIC.
    Too bad it’s only virtual!
    A girls can dream… ♥

    June 19, 2016
    • Thank you so much Lindy, I wish it were really a party would be so much fun to have a drink together!!

      June 19, 2016
  16. Was hoping to see some photos of the rest of your garden. At least your tom plant is thriving. So I’m hoping the rest of your plants are doing equally well. Apart from the zucchini…mine produced several flowers and nothing else! No advice there. 🙂

    June 19, 2016
    • Thanks Johnny, the rest of the garden is a bit of a mess now, weeds are popping up everywhere. Will post some pics once I clean it up a bit. The zucchini is on life support I think. Hope to to get at least one squash.

      June 19, 2016
  17. The colour of that rhubarb cordial is delightful!

    June 20, 2016
  18. That rhubarb cordial looks so refreshing and I love the colour. Thanks for the tour of your beautiful garden😊

    June 20, 2016
  19. What a great post, lovely to see your plants and how they are doing. The roses looks beautiful 🙂

    June 20, 2016
    • Thanks Elaine, as someone who is not an accomplished gardener I am so thrilled and happy my tomatoes and basil are doing well. Thank you so much.

      June 20, 2016
  20. I loved seeing your garden plants, Suzanne. For not liking to garden, they sure look good. Your rose is such a beautiful variety and the rhubarb cordial is so fun! I look forward to seeing what cocktails you make out of it.

    June 20, 2016
    • That rose bush is so cool. the flowers are deep red and white variegated. It’s tripled in size. Amazing really. Thank you so much.

      June 20, 2016
  21. Such a pretty post! I’d love to taste that cordial!

    June 20, 2016
    • Thank you Mimi, it’s delicious but I think I am most attracted to the color, it’s so beautiful.

      June 21, 2016
  22. Love love the garden photos Suzanne!! I am not a avid gardener either– but since I retired this week, developing a little greener thumb is on my list! I have an out of control cherry tomato plant in a pot on the back porch that may be a cousin of yours! — and I always thought that zucchini were indestructible and produced more squash than you could possibly eat!! so maybe there’s hope yet! Anyway, hope you have a bumper crop of everything. xox

    June 20, 2016
    • Ha, my tomatoes cousin is in your yard. I learned my lesson to put tomatoes in a pot rather than the ground. Years ago I planted cherry tomatoes and they took over the yard I had every squirrel from miles munching on them. I just found a protective screen on Amazon that should be arriving soon so that the squirrels will not get to snack on them. Can’t wait until they are ready to eat. Thanks so much.

      June 21, 2016
      • We have tiny crop going now– going to drop them in a taco salad today. Squirrels!! I didn’t know they ate tomatoes! Happy “farming” Suzanne!!

        June 22, 2016
      • Oh well, Brooklyn squirrels seem to really like tomatoes, they also love tulip bulbs. Yum your taco salad sounds delish.

        June 22, 2016
  23. P.S. love the variate rose. so spectacular!!

    June 20, 2016
  24. Your garden is looking beautiful! That rhubarb drink looks fab & Yummy. What a lovely post too,…that is the way tongo with tomato plants.

    June 21, 2016
    • I can only aspire to be a gardener like you. I see the beautiful vegetables you grow and am green with envy!! Thank you so much.

      June 21, 2016
      • It is a learning progress, you know. It has only been 2 years that Peter & I are gardeners. You do great!

        June 21, 2016
      • Yes still learning one day I will have a garden like yours.

        June 21, 2016
      • xxx

        June 21, 2016
      • xoxoxo

        June 21, 2016
  25. A lovely summery post Suzanne – gorgeous food and the bounty of the garden – I did once grow zucchini in a pot and did get fruits though they were quite small!

    June 21, 2016
    • I had 4 zucchini blossoms and it looks like something is happening that could be the start of a squash but having never seen a plant before I don’t know what I am looking at. Thanks so much Andrea.

      June 21, 2016
  26. I really love posts like this, with such a mix of things going on. Your garden looks like a lovely place to be – when it’s not too hot for you, of course – and the recipe for rhubarb cordial sounds great. And who wouldn’t like that strawberry buttermilk smoothie?

    June 21, 2016
    • Thank you, my garden is a source of pleasure in the spring and early summer. Summer in NYC is drought with mosquitoes and terrible hot humid temps. I hope that this summer will be enjoyable for you thank you so much!!

      June 21, 2016
      • I think we could do with some of your drought over here (although I wouldn’t like the mosquitoes). We’ve had so much rain and we’re all hoping summer will eventually begin properly.

        June 21, 2016
      • Here’s hoping your rain ends and that we get some 😃😃

        June 21, 2016
  27. Liz #

    What a fun post! Like the idea of rhubarb cordial. And you have fun stuff up on food52. Yum on the shrimp. You go girl 😀 And re: garden. We’ve always failed miserably at zucchini. The one vegetable that is supposed to grow like a weed and we have some sort of bug that eats it. But there are always neighbors, haha. Love that you have so much fun with your garden.

    June 22, 2016
    • I can’t tell if I will get any zucchini,I had the zucchini blossoms does that mean you will get the vegetable. I don’t know must look it up online, I thought I would have had one by now but we shall see. Thank you so much Liz.

      June 22, 2016
  28. I love that you named your Thai basil Lazarus. That is just perfect 😀 I need to experiment with rhubarb more…the drink looks tasty.

    June 23, 2016
  29. Well, your tomatoes are ahead of mine. I haven’t even put mine in the ground! I hate working in the heat, too. And to think I used to call myself the gardener, lol, albeit TheNoviceGardener. Anyway, that cordial sounds refreshing 😋😋

    June 23, 2016
  30. So much fresh food fun! I love the red geranium. ❤ ❤ ❤

    June 26, 2016
  31. Lovely to see the progression in your garden Suzanne. Everything is looking so good. I’ve tried over wintering my geraniums once. You put them in a brown paper bag in the basement and turn the bag upside down (for whatever reasons), they did survive till the spring. We will be away for 3 weeks and I worry about the state of my garden when we return. I will have someone come in and water periodically. I too can’t stand the heat or humidity the July/August weather brings, so I’m usually up early with the birds, and do all the watering, weeding and tidying up before shutting myself indoors :). it’s getting close to that here. Thanks for the tour, I love seeing gardening posts and getting ideas.

    June 28, 2016
    • Well seeing your beautiful garden makes me green with envy, I am not a gardener and you obviously have a bright green thumb. Thank you so much Loretta, hope you garden does ok while you are away. Enjoy your vacation.

      June 28, 2016
  32. Rebecca #

    Your garden looks absolutely beautiful. I wish I was able to help the little plants grow, but I’ve not been given that gift, unfortunately. I really do not believe you at all that you are bad at planting, for your plants have thrived, and that is the complete opposite of being bad haha! Thanks for the great post!

    xx | http://www.recavi.com

    June 28, 2016
    • LOL, thank you so much Rebecca, my plants grow no thanks to me. I am pretty good about watering, terrible about weeding, not good at trimming and clipping but as long as the plants are fairly low maintenance I am ok. Thank you for stopping by!!

      June 28, 2016
  33. What a wonderful post! That cordial looks lovely, well, everything does! I made something like that with cranberries one fall – by the way, we hate squirrels. Just despise them because they manage to foil every bird feeder I’ve ever bought, each more expensive than the next, lol. Ratty little things…When I was laid up after a bad car accident about 16 years ago, my daughter moved one of our feeders on the deck in front of my bedroom window – the squirrels found it and I’d wave my arms & yell at them aaagrhh and throw rolled up socks from my bed to chase them away – my son, who was quite young, picked up the idea that one should yell at squirrels and after I recuperated (I began with very short walks) he’d chase at every squirrel he saw, waving his arms and yelling aaaghh! lol!!

    July 2, 2016
    • Ha, I hate them too and don’t like to even say that because I am such an animal lover but those little buggers make me so made. They destroyed 2 bird feeders of mine as well. In one night ate 50 tulip bulbs, pulled up my herbs, They would partially eat my neighbors green tomatoes and throw them over the fence into my yard. Brooklyn squirrels are fearless and aggressive. Not nice. Thanks so much Mollie!!

      July 2, 2016
      • lol! Did the neighbors think you were stealing the tomatoes???

        July 2, 2016
      • Maybe until he saw the furry culprit sitting on the fence with one of his tomatoes and he saw him throw it in my yard. I have tomatoes this year and have them partially covered but I know those little thieves are going to get into them. Oh how I hate squirrels .

        July 2, 2016

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