Hands down my favorite summer drink, the mojito is crisp and refreshing without being overly sweet. At the end of a hot summer day with dinner sizzling on the grill, this is what I want. My husband came up with a brilliant, super fast, no fail method to a perfect mojito. We have a mint patch in our backyard that exists for the soul purpose of satisfying our mojito addiction. Don’t laugh…once you’ve tried this out, you just might be doing the same.

mojito 1Mojito

1 sprig fresh mint

2 heaping teaspoons frozen limeade concentrate Carbonated water 1 to 1 1/2 shots of rum (Different varieties lend different flavors.Experiment to find your favorite.)

With a muddler in your glass, or with a mortar and pestle, smash up your mint leaves. This releases all their flavor.

Add limeade concentrate and rum, stir to combine.

Add some ice to your glass and top it all off with carbonated water.

Give it a final stir and taste to see if you want to make any adjustments.

Aah, summer!

Oh, how I love these cookies! They’ve got everything I would want an ultimate chocolate chip cookie to have – rich brown sugar batter stuffed with chocolate chips and buttery toffee bits, and great texture from the sliced almonds and toasted coconut. Cardamom and allspice round out the flavors and make the cookies smell even more amazing when baking. If you haven’t used those spices before, don’t be afraid…they aren’t key players here, so they don’t overwhelm, which is the perfect way to experiment with something different.

Chocolate Chip – Blondie Cookies Yield – approximately 3 dozen cookies

•1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

•¾ tsp. baking powder

•½ tsp. baking soda

•¼ tsp. cardamom

•¼ tsp. allspice

•½ tsp. kosher salt

•¾ cup butter, softened

•¾ cup light brown sugar

•1/3 granulated sugar

•1 tsp. vanilla extract

•1 large egg

•1 cup dark chocolate chips

•½ cup toffee pieces

•¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted* and chopped

•1 cup flaked coconut, toasted*

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, allspice, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and egg. Add flour mixture and beat gently until just combined. Gently stir in chocolate chips, toffee, almonds, and coconut.

Drop by rounded tablespoon (or use a small scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Bake for 8-11 minutes until edges are a light golden brown. Cool on pans.

*You can toast the almonds and the coconut on separate sheet pans in a 350 degree oven, check at 8 minutes, stir as needed. Both should be golden and fragrant when done. Let cool before mixing into batter.