Now with summer here, what better way to enjoy warm, sunny days than with a few refreshing summer recipes? Enjoy!

Garden Fresh Lemonade

1 cup sugar

4 cups water
8 large sprigs of fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, shredded
4 lemons

Stirring over high heat, bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil. Add ginger and mint; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook the syrup at a slow boil until it is slightly thickened. Using a wire strainer, pour syrup into a bowl, pressing against the herbs to release flavor.

Set aside and cool. Add the juice from 4 lemons (about 3/4 cup juice) and lemon zest into a pitcher. Stir in syrup and 3 cups water, mixing well. Serve over ice; garnish with mint or thinly sliced lemons.

Basic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon gourmet mustard
1 tablespoon fresh herbs
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator.

Note: Suggested herbs include thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, marjoram and rosemary.

Veggie Salsa

1 large avocado, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup purple onion, chopped
8 oz pack of Feta cheese, crumbled
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix together and serve with organic tortilla chips.

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