Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines

One of the main things I wanted to do when we moved into our new place was to give our patio a makeover and get it all prettied up for outdoor entertaining and lounging. I’m happy to report phase one of that is done! (I’ll be sharing more about that soon.)

To celebrate I invited some of my new neighbors over and threw a little shindig with the help of Risata Wines. My neighbors didn’t want their photos shown because of privacy reasons, but I did get some photos of my pre-party set up on the new patio.

Hooray!

Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 3I invited everyone over for a quick meet and greet so I set out different types of Risata Wines and some snacks to nosh on. Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 4Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 6I wanted a casual vibe so all I did was lay everything out on a table and a few chairs scattered around.Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 5We also hung string lights to add a nice glow in the evening hours. Don’t the mylar balloons spelling out happy phrases look great against our new hedge? I’m thinking about leaving these up full time!Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata WinesSalute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 2We also served a fruity moscato punch that’s super easy to make. All you have to do is puree a handful of strawberries and a handful of pineapple in a pitcher.Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 7Then pour in a bottle of chilled Risata Moscato d’Asti and give it a quick stir.Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 8 Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 9Serve cold with a strawberry to garnish!

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I can’t wait to entertain more here!Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 11Cheers to summer celebrations!

Salute to Summer Patio Party with Risata Wines 12

 

This post was sponsored by Risata®, but as always all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

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Melodrama Summer Playlist 2016

President Obama and others have been sharing their summer playlists so I figured it was about time I shared mine as well. Here are some of my favorite summer songs for you!

Click here for Melodrama Summer Playlist 2016

What are your favorite summer tunes? Let me know in the comments!

 

Summer Picnic Idea: Riondo Prosecco and Peach Sorbet

This post was sponsored by Riondo Prosecco through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Riondo Prosecco, all opinions are my own.

One of my favorite things to do during summertime is to pack an evening picnic, complete with Riondo Prosecco, and sip away while watching the sunset.

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Even though this prosecco can be thoroughly enjoyed on its own, my current favorite thing to do is pour it over fruity sorbet!image1 (1).JPG

Peach sorbet is my personal favorite. Serving it with Riondo Prosecco is a summery combination that’s perfect for a warm evening spent watching the sun go down.

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Trust me. Now go pack a cooler, grab a couple of glasses, and relax with this tasty summer combo.

Cheers!

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

First of all, Happy Fourth of July weekend! I’m literally sitting on the beach right now as I type this but I just HAD to share the amazing strawberry and blueberry cornmeal skillet cake my husband made for breakfast this morning.

It was so good I forced him to write down the recipe for you guys because you need this in your life. It has crispy buttery edges and a nice tender middle with lots of tart berry flavor. It’s so easy to make, too! Ok blah blah blah enough talk. Here’s the recipe.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Stick of unsalted butter, melted, set aside 1 tablespoon for skillet
6 oz fresh blueberries
8 oz fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a 10-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and the melted butter, reserving 1 tablespoon for the skillet. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the skillet; scatter the blueberries on top, and place the strawberry halves evenly over the blueberries. Sprinkle with as much sugar as you’d like, we used about 3 tablespoons.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is evenly browned. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

 

DIY 4th of July Sparkler Cupcake Toppers

I love the 4th of July. It’s probably my third favorite holiday, and definitely my favorite summer holiday. I love everything about it.I can’t think of a better way to spend a hot summer night than eating hamburgers and blowing things up in the street. It’s just so…American.

The main requirement of Independence Day is that you use as much red, white, and blue themed things as possible. Even foods must be adorned with American flags or patriotic flair or you are doing it wrong. Here’s a fun, easy, and inexpensive little embellishment for your food flair needs.

DIY 4th of July Cupcake ToppersAll you need are a few dollar store items:

White, white, or blue tinsel garland
Double stick tape
Skewers or toothpicks

All you have to do is cut a piece of tape and wrap it around one end of your skewer or toothpick. Then cut 2 inch piece of garland and wrap it around the taped end. July 4th Cupcake Toppers DIYFluff it up so it looks like a firework or a sparkler! (Except this one doesn’t result in 2nd degree burns.)

DIY July 4th Cupcake ToppersStick it on a cupcake or something equally as delicious for ultra Americana cuteness.

DIY 4th of July Cupcake Toppers

Happy 4th of July!

DIY 4th of July Cupcake Toppers

 

 

3 Boozy Low-Calorie Zevia® Granita Cocktail Recipes

As you’ve probably guessed by looking at my gallery of recipes, we cook and bake a lot at Casa Melo. And because of that sometimes my pants don’t fit. We’ve been having a lot of fun in the “test kitchen” lately, so it’s about that time of the year where I take a little break from sugar. One of the hardest things for me to give up is fizzy drinks and cocktails, but now I figured out a way so I don’t have to.

I’ve partnered with Zevia® to bring you 3 low calorie and delicious granita cocktails made with their new colorless, non-GMO, naturally sweetened sodas. They’re basically snow cone cocktails!

Making a granita is easy, but you need to be prepared to walk back and forth to the freezer every 20 minutes for a couple of hours.

First you need a flat-bottomed dish, like a Pyrex baking pan. Empty your Zevia soda flavor of choice into the pan and let freeze for 20 minutes. Then stir with a fork, scraping down the sides and bottom of the pan. Repeat this every 20 minutes until you have a snow-like consistency.

Zevia Granita Cocktails via Melodrama

Once that is done, you can assemble your cocktail. Start with combining your ingredients in a glass and then pile in the icy granita. Once the granita hits the alcohol, it’ll start to melt creating a slushy beverage much like an adult Slurpee. Basically what my dreams are made of.

Zevia Granita Cocktails via Melodrama

Here are my 3 favorite tried and true Zevia Granita Cocktail recipes.

Zevia Granita Cocktails via MelodramaLemon Lime Twist Zevia with Tequila
Prepared Lemon Lime Twist Zevia granita (2 cans)
1 1/2 oz shot of silver tequila
Juice of half of a lime
Lime to garnish

Mix tequila and lime juice in an 8 oz glass. Then fill glass with prepared Zevia granita. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve with a spoon and straw.

Ginger Root Beer Zevia and Whiskey
Prepared Ginger Root Beer Zevia granita (2 cans)
1 1/2 oz whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Mix whiskey and bitters into an 8 oz cocktail glass. Then fill with prepared Ginger Root Beer granita. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Serve with a spoon and straw.

Strawberry Zevia and Aperol
Prepared Strawberry Zevia granita (2 cans)
1 oz Aperol
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Juice of half a lime

Mix Aperol, bitters, and lime into a glass. Then fill glass with prepared Strawberry Zevia granita. Garnish with a wedge of lime and a cherry.

Zevia Granita Cocktails via Melodrama

That’s it. Easy peasy. Now go make some granitas with your favorite Zevia flavors and mix them with your favorite booze to see what flavor combos you can come up with.

Oh! And make sure you’re following @melodramablog and @ZeviaLife on Instagram for your chance to win $500.

This post was sponsored and made possible by Zevia®. 

Bourbon Date Shake Boozesicles

After making my last batch of boozesicles I was feeling creative and took to the bar cart to see what other concoctions I could get into. I picked up the bourbon because it’s my husband’s fave and because he not so subtly requested it. We have a few pounds of dates left over from our trip to the date farm and I thought those would probably taste really good with bourbon. In fact when ever I mention making a recipe with dates he’s all “…with bourbon?”. He loves date shakes so, BOURBON DATE SHAKE…POPSICLE.Bourbon Date Shake BoozesiclesThese turned out just as I’d hoped. They’re creamy and they have little chunks of dates, just like a date shake spiked with bourbon.

Ingredients (4 standard sized popsicles)

5 large medjool dates
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used Silk Original)
4 tbsp simple syrup

In a small sauce pan, warm bourbon over a low flame. Roughly chop the dates and toss them in to the bourbon. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand to cool. The dates plump up and the bourbon gets all syrupy and delicious.
Next, blend the almond milk, the dates, 4 tbsp of the infused bourbon, and 4 tbsp simple syrup in a blender (or with an immersion blender). Pour into molds and freeze for at least 5 hours or until solid.

Bourbon Date Shake Boozesicles