July Birthdays and Raspberry Lemonade

July is bumpin with birthdays- including my own. I like to keep it low key and have dinner with my family. This is NEVER good enough for my mom. She tries to sneak over friends. She means well and I love her for caring. In this regard, some people would call me spoiled. I don't think I'm spoiled because that implies I do not appreciate my family. On the contrary, I am all too aware of my luck and am grateful beyond words. I feel loved and for some reason that makes me want to cry. Ack, tearing up. Anyways. We'll get to the raspberry lemonade in a second....

For the weekend Asako, flew down from Michigan. We surprised Yen-Nei, the other third to our trio. Ako and Nei were my apartment-mates in college. The funny little scream from Yen-Nei was well worth the stress of planning the weekend. We went rafting and had a nice get together that night. It was great to see old friends. Thanks for coming out guys! Brandon- I heart biters!

To help unwind, I made some raspberry lemonade to kick it. I found this from Joy the Baker. The flavor is on point and 100% natural. Yes, I'm sold! You can even make this into a cocktail! Make the lemonade as follows and top with champagne/prosecco. Serves 6.

Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar, for a less sweet lemonade, take the sugar down to 3/4 cup
1 cup water to make the simple syrup

1 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups cold water

Raspberry Sauce
6 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar

Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength.

Place the raspberries in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Add sugar and water and mix until the raspberries form a smooth puree. Transfer raspberry puree to a fine mesh strainer fit over a bowl. Press the puree through the strainer, until only the raspberry seeds and a bit of pulp remain the the strainer, and a beautiful raspberry sauce is all that’s in the bowl. You don't have to throw it away, save it to top on some plain yogurt or ice cream!

Add 2 tablespoons- 1/4 cup of the prepared raspberry sauce and stir to combine. It's however strong you want the raspberry flavor.

Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it. Too tart, add some more sugar.

Serve over ice. Enough for 6. Kick back on a warm summer night.