Grapefruit Campari Sorbet

dsc_0991What do you do when you serve a perfectly delicious gazpacho to your family and one person groans and calls it “g-ASS-pacho” and another complains that the shrimp in the soup look like the tails of hairless cats? Move straight to dessert. A boozy dessert.

Grapefruit Campari Sorbet is the perfect summer treat — zippy, refreshing and laced with just enough alcohol that the kids have to leave it alone. In addition to tasting like frozen sunshine, this sorbet is a spectacular pinky-coral color that most definitely needs to be O.P.I.’s next nail polish hue. That’s right, I said it. I want to paint this stuff on my toes. I’m obsessed.

Campari is bracingly bitter, but don’t let that be a deterrent. As I frequently remind my husband, cloying sweetness is bland – in both spouses and desserts. You need a little bitter to keep things interesting. He just rolls his eyes. But he does like the sorbet.

The recipe is an easy mix of grapefruit juice, Campari and sugar. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can pour the base into a glass 9×13 dish, pop it in the freezer and scrape the mix with a fork every 30 minutes until you’ve made granita. Can’t be bothered to scrape ice crystals every half hour? Pour the mix into popsicle molds instead.

Sorbet, granita or popsicle – this recipe is worth a try. It’s delicious, easy to make, and apparently much better than my gazpacho.

Grapefruit Campari Sorbet
Recipe from the ice cream king himself,  David Lebovitz

3 cups fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice (I was able to get almost 3 cups of juice from 4 grapefruits and then just topped it off with a splash of orange juice from the fridge)
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup Campari

Warm 1 cup of the grapefruit juice and the sugar over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and stir the mixture into remaining grapefruit juice. Add the Campari and stir well.

Chill the mixture and then freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Or make granita. Or make popsicles. Just make it.

A Goodbye and a Promise

The routine never wavered – head to the beach and stay until the ocean swallowed the sun, always hoping to wring out 30 more minutes from the day.

We emptied five bottles of sunscreen that week, yet emerged with tans dark enough to make a dermatologist wail.  The kids’ hair bleached white by the sun, framed eyebrows so light they disappeared into golden faces.

We tried to slow the last sunset – for just one more wave, one more sand castle, one more walk along the shore.  When at last it was time to go, we paused, whispering both a goodbye and a promise: we’ll be back…

Watch This!

Although the Tebowing trend has probably run its course, we live in the ‘burbs, where cool things go to die.  Slowly.

“MOM!  Mom mom mom mom mom mom mom.  WATCH THIS!”

When I’m interrupted in this manner, it’s usually for something along the lines of hey-stop-what-you’re-doing-and-cheer-for-me-while-I-put-peanut-butter-on-my-sandwich.

But this time?  Totally worth it.

Flip Flop Tans and Lounging Pajamas


Signs We’re Heading Into the Last Weeks of Summer Vacation

 I’ve watched so much TV with the kids, I may have developed a crush on one of the Wizards of Waverly Place.

 During a bout of boredom, the kids discussed the merits of playing, “Let’s lock ourselves in a room, fart and blame it on the other person.”

I have an awesome flip flop tan.

Image We’ve made s’mores with a kitchen torch.

 The kids got so bored, I walked into the kitchen to find one with peanut butter smeared all over his face and the other throwing Rice Krispies at him, trying to make them stick to form a Rice Krispie peanut butter beard.

 I’ve found my summer cocktail. Why do I need a summer cocktail?  See: Rice Krispie peanut butter beard.

 We’ve built a house of cards the size of Rhode Island, using every deck of cards we own.


We’ve hosted a double sleepover and lived to tell the tale.

 Changing out of “sleeping pajamas” and into “lounging pajamas” now counts as getting dressed around here.

Happy August!


Let’s hit the beach!

In two hours a bell will ring, releasing my kids from their last day as first and third graders.

Summer can feel simultaneously expansive (so much free time!) and claustrophobic (so much togetherness!).  But instead of fretting about the inevitable messy house, bickering kids and the dastardly duo of “I’m bored” and “I’m hungry,” I’m going to surrender to the chaos and enjoy it.

We’re at the beautiful sweet spot of the kids being old enough to be really fun, but young enough to still want to play with us.  I am greedily soaking all of this up before they outgrow me and move on to friends that offer a better fit.

We walked to school this morning behind a mom taking her daughter to her final day in elementary school.  She got teary as they navigated the crosswalk for the last time.  Later today, my friend will watch her son graduate from high school and in a few months will send him off to college 3,000 miles away.  Evidence that time races by is all around me and I hope that this summer will be a chance to apply the brakes, if only for three sun-filled months.

The start of summer vacation feels a lot like New Year’s Eve – a blank slate with lots of promises of things we’re going to do.  I know my “surrender to the chaos” manifesto might seem laughable as I limp into late August, completely stir crazy and wondering if bourbon would go well in my morning coffee.  But for now, I am hopeful, perhaps a bit naïve, and very much looking forward to our adventures ahead.