Melon Mojitos!

It’s been HOT here in Ottawa. Very hot, like with heat warnings at least half of every week. Fusselette has been in town on furlough from her job up in Northern Ontario and she brought down with her a small pot of pineapple mint, which I’d never heard of before.

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And when in possession of mint in the hot summer, one must make mojitos. Obviously. And these ones were just a wee twist on the classic.

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Grab a couple glasses and scoop a few balls of watermelon into each one. You can use cubes if you don’t have a melon baller. You’re just gonna squish ’em anyway. Slice up some lime wedges and add them in as well.

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Yes, those are key limes. Just wait for the post where I deal with them. Add some mint leaves (pineapple mint!) to the glass as well. I also added an extra splash of lime juice because of my wee limes.

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Use a muddler (or in my case, my trusty spurtle) and mush those up. LongJohn helped, as you can see.

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Let them sit for a few minutes so the juices can meddle with each other.

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I added in a few more balls of melon, then 2 ounces of white rum.
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Top that up with club soda.

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Garnish with more mint and enjoy in the summer sun!

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Watermelon and Feta Salad

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Mrs. Nice made this delightful dish for us when we were over for lunch last week and it really hit the spot during that blasted heat wave. She learned it from a man at the grocery store who had been setting out samples and she was immediately hooked.  After tasting it, so was I, and so I made it for a further lunch (on my family’s side) the following weekend.

A note in advance: keep all your ingredients chilled and separate until just before serving or everything will go mushy.

Start with a decently-sized seedless watermelon (or mostly seedless, as was the case here).

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Crack that puppy open by cutting off the ends and paring off the rest of the rind.

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Cut it into slices and then chop those up into cubes and chuck them in a large bowl.

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Chop up as well a large red onion.  That can be pitched into the bowl as well.  You might want to start tossing the ingredients together with your hands so you don’t destroy the watermelon.

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Grab yourself a bunch of fresh mint.

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Pull off the leaves and chop those up finely as well.

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Sprinkle those over your watermelon.

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Finally, haul over a good-sized hunk of firm feta cheese and cut that up as finely or as coarsely as you like.

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Dump that in the salad as well and toss to mix it all up.

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Juice a lime and pour the juice into a bowl.

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Add in about 1 tablespoon (a glop) olive oil and whisk to emulsify.

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Drizzle that over your salad and eat it all up!
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Fruity Yogurt Parfait

On a hot day there’s nothing better than a cool and refreshing fruity dessert.  And if it looks a little fancy, then all the better.

This dessert is quick and easy to make.  In a tall glass, drop in a dollop of your favourite yogurt.  I love the Astro Balkan style plain yogurt (full fat of course).  Add a little bit of your favourite jam or honey (we used Newfoundland partridgeberry jam here) and a few leaves of fresh mint.Then drop in some fresh watermelon and blueberries.  They really work well with the mint.Layer with some more yogurt and repeat the whole process until the glass is full.  It makes for a quick and elegant breakfast as well.

Fruit Porn Salad

Happy Birthday Ando!

Bow-chika WOW wow, chika-chika WOW, chika-chika WOW-wow.

Okay enough of that.  People call food writing food porn, and just last week on Freshly Pressed there was a blog about how sensual fruit salad is, so I just put two and two together.  I’m sorry.  Won’t happen again.

I am a total fruit hound.  It’s ridiculous how often I make myself sick over-eating when it comes to fruit.  The Pie just shakes his head at me and tells me I am a grown-up and should know better.  Then he goes and gets the Rolaids for me.

Fruit salad is the perfect summer dessert, especially after a dinner party where you have all stuffed yourselves silly.  This one I made for just such a party.  I find it’s good to make fruit salads the day before and leave them overnight in the fridge to let all the flavours mingle and get to know each other.

I left my regular camera in my in-laws’ truck, and so had to make do with my old one for this, which, despite weirdly exposing everything and turning every second photo a vivid purple, worked out rather well.

I happened to have a pineapple, which I expertly cored:

A watermelon, which I expertly cubed:

Some kiwi, which I expertly peeled:

Some local strawberries, which I inexpertly hulled:

Some leftover plums from the macaroon incident, which I pitted and quartered:

And a can each of mandarin orange segments and freestone peaches:

I set everything up in a mis en place so I could figure out how I was going to layer this sucker.  A fruit salad should be as pretty to look at as it is tasty to eat.

Into a pretty crystal bowl went all the watermelon, pineapple, peaches, oranges, and plums.  I added the juice from the pineapple as well.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up with your hands.  It goes with the whole sensual thing.  Plus your hands don’t tend to damage the more delicate fruits like metal spoons do.

Then around the outside I layered the kiwi, about two slices wide.  The strawberries I piled in the centre of the ring.

This final step is up to you, but I like to add about 2 ounces of a clear spirit, like vodka, to the mix, just to enhance the fruit flavours.  Today I had tequila, so I made do with that.  Cover it with plastic wrap and chuck it in the fridge overnight.Sensual?  Maybe.  Tasty?  For sure.

The Best Way to Cut a Watermelon

I found this a few weeks ago on the WordPress blogs, but now I can’t find it again, alas.  If you see it, let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.  Regardless, it’s a great trick and it takes no time at all.

Take yer watermelon.  Make it a nice big one that sounds good and dense when you thwack it.

Cut it in half, flip it cut-side-down on yer cuttin’ board, then lobotomize the sucker (cut off the stem and bloom ends).

Then start carving off the rind, following the angle of the melon.

Get it all off, as well as all the white stuff you don’t want (I quite like the white stuff, so I’ve left a lot of it on).

Now you can use the rind in pickles or whatnot without waiting for people to finish gnawing on it.

Take your peeled watermelon and cut it in half.

Slap the knife down to section it.

Flip it on its side and section it some more.

Then you end up with cubes!

Good for plopping into fancy summer drinks, fantastic with a drop of balsamic vinegar in the centre, or just cold and refreshing from the fridge.

Gotta love summer.