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Month: September 2016

Kiwi Berry Gin and Tonic

Kiwi Berry Gin and Tonic

Several weeks ago, I noticed that the local markets were selling kiwi berries, which just look like miniaturized kiwi fruit.  Usually, I’m quick to try a new fruit, but I’d purchased some gooseberries early in the season and then let them linger in the fridge until they were unusable.  I was hesitant to jump on the kiwi berry bandwagon until I knew what I could actually do with them.

But if you linger too long…I finally bought one little pint of fruit and fell instantly in love.  It turns out that kiwi berries can be eaten as is – skin and all.  They really are just little kiwis, with a slightly sweeter taste.  They were so lovely, I went back to the store the next day to get more (because they also looked very photogenic, but I ate/used all of them before I got a good photo for the blog) and they were all gone.  I searched around town and couldn’t find any more.

Fortunately, I’d split about half the berries and infused them in some gin, which means I do get to enjoy the kiwi berry season for a little longer than they are available.  If you can’t find kiwi berries in your market, you can definitely use regular kiwis for this recipe.  The kiwi infuses a slightly sweet tart tone to the gin.

If you live in a mild climate, you can grow your own kiwi berries.  I think I see a garden project coming on for next year.  In the meantime, I’m going to sit back and enjoy a kiwi berry infused gin and tonic.


The front picture is the kiwi berry infused gin.  The back picture is fig infused brandy – I’m sure you’ll be seeing a cocktail inspired by this in October.  I love this photo, as it seems a bit mad-scientist-about-to-go-awry.


Kiwi Berry Gin and Tonic
Serves 1

2 ounces kiwi berry infused gin (recipe below)
1/2 lime
tonic water
1 kiwi to garnish (or a few kiwi berries)

Pour the lime juice and infused gin over ice cubes in a cocktail glass.  Add the tonic water and stir.  Garnish with kiwi slices or kiwi berries. Enjoy!

Kiwi Berry Infused Gin
5 to 7 kiwi berries, sliced in half (or 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced)
Gin to cover the berries or kiwi slices

In a pint jar or similar container with a lid, cover the kiwi berries or kiwi with gin.  Refrigerate for at least a week.  When the flavor is to your liking, strain the fruit out using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.  Refrigerate and enjoy!


Egg and Sausage Poutine

Egg and Sausage Poutine

Egg and sausage poutine is a glorious comfort food.  I could easily eat it for breakfast (preferably with a Bloody Mary), but am just as happy to make this for dinner, particularly on a cool, rainy autumn night, served with a crisp Chardonnay and eaten watching a comedy.

My husband, Clay, is the person who brought poutine into our world.  I am pretty sure he found a recipe for it on a video on Facebook.  My initial reaction was one of skepticism – sure, it was a food that included French fries and cheese, but gravy?  After some trial and error though, this has gone into my rotation of go-to comfort foods for days I’m feeling especially stressed out or unhappy.  It’s a tie for me which is better – poutine or pasta carbonara.

Some food trivia: poutine is a dish that originated in Quebec and is very popular in Canada and some of the states that border Canada.  In its simplest form, it is fries, curds, and gravy, but you can definitely add other things to it, including bacon (my favorite), ham, etc.  I suppose if you felt really guilty about eating it, you could add a veggie component – I can imagine (though have yet to try) that some shaved and crisped Brussel sprouts could be really lovely with this.


Egg and Sausage Poutine
Serves 4

Brown gravy (recipe below)
1 bag frozen French fries
1 package link breakfast sausages
4 eggs
1 package cheese curds

Brown Gravy
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth

Bake the fries according to the package directions.  As the fries bake, cook the breakfast sausages until they are browned.  While fries and sausage cook, make the gravy.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan and gradually whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Cook the roux for a minute, continuing to whisk.  Pour in the beef broth and continue to whisk.  Cook for about five minutes or until the gravy comes to your preferred thickness.  Remove the gravy from the heat and set aside.

Set aside the sausage.  Fry the eggs – I prefer a slightly runny yolk with this recipe, but you can also cook the eggs until the yolk is set if you prefer.  Once all components are cooked, plate the poutine by setting down a base of French fries on each plate.  Divide the curds over each plate of fries.  Drizzle some of the gravy over the top.  Place the sausages and egg on top and top with more gravy.  Enjoy!


Kale, Walnut, and Prosciutto Flatbread

Kale, Walnut, and Prosciutto Flatbread

I’ve been toying with the idea of making flatbread for lunch for a while now, so when I saw a big bunch of Lacinato Kale at the market this weekend, I decided it pair it with walnuts and prosciutto to make kale walnut, and prosciutto flatbread.  This is a riff on a pasta dish I used to make all the time that included kale, walnuts and feta cheese.  If you wanted to do a vegetarian version of this flatbread, I think feta would make a lovely substitution for the prosciutto.

At the same time that I start to miss tomato season, fall in the PNW responds with an abundant of fall veggies, including kale.  I enjoy the texture of Lacinato Kale (and particularly love the fact that it’s more common name is Dinosaur Kale – I envision large primordial kale plants being munched on by some veggie loving dinosaur).  Walnuts and kale are such natural partners, especially when the walnuts are lightly toasted.

You could use a pre-made flatbread for this, or use my quick no-rise focaccia recipe.  The top of the focaccia was very uneven, so I flipped it over and used the bottom for the top of the flatbread.  I’ve been eating this for lunch this week, along with the last of the figs of the season with some Greek yogurt.  It’s been a good lunch for cooler days, particularly after I’ve taken a little break to walk around the neighborhood where I work and watch the leaves fall.


Kale, Walnut and Prosciutto Flatbread
Serves 4

No Rise Focaccia
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons yeast (or one package)
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Prepare two cake pans by either cutting out parchment paper to fit the bottom and up a bit on the sides or thoroughly oiling them.  Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix.  Flour your hands (the dough is very sticky) and split the dough into two pieces.  Pat each piece into a cake plan until the dough covers the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden and the bread sounds hollow when gently tapped.  Set aside on a cooling rack to cool.

Kale, Walnut and Prosciutto Flatbread
2 no-rise focaccias or 2 store-bought flatbreads
1 bunch Lacinato kale, de stemmed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
8 pieces of prosciutto
½ cup parmesan cheese

Set your oven to broil.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the kale and salt.  Sauté until the kale is wilted.  Divide the kale between the two flatbreads, spreading it evenly over the surface of each.  Layer the prosciutto on top and sprinkle with the walnuts.  Top with parmesan cheese.  Broil for five minutes or until the cheese is gently browned and melted.  Enjoy!

Sausage and Spinach Mac and Cheese

Sausage and Spinach Mac and Cheese

The past weekend was the weekend for comfort food, including this sausage and spinach mac and cheese.  As the weather turns gloomy and we realize that the three hour move north really will make a difference in terms of the number of cloudy days and rain, I’m starting to dig around more in Pinterest and my own recipe archives to find foods that evoke warmth and coziness.  Mac and cheese is definitely one of these – it’s super indulgent and satisfying.

I much prefer making my own cheese sauce rather than eating mac and cheese made out of the contents of a box.  Making cheese sauce can be intimidating, as to get it to the proper thickness, you start with a roux.  A roux definitely borders the line between easy cooking into a more Martha Stewart or Nigella Lawson world, but I promise you, it’s not nearly as complicated as it might seem.  The key is low heat and paying attention to the butter and flour in the first stage and then keeping a close eye on the milk or cream in the second stage.  Keep it on low, use a whisk to keep stirring, and just keep stirring and it will turn out just fine.

I recommend some sort of chicken sausage for this recipe – I used an Olympia Provisions sausage (OP is quite popular in this part of the PNW).  Spinach is a good go-to green to include, though this would work well with chard or kale, as well.

baked-mac-cheese-sausage-and-spinach mac-cheese-sausage-spinach-comfort-food

Sausage and Spinach Mac and Cheese
Serves 4

Cheese Sauce
1 head roasted garlic (optional)
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons flour
1 cup half and half or milk
2 cups cheese (gruyere works well, as does cheddar)

4 precooked sausages, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 bunch spinach
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ package rotini pasta or similar

Breadcrumb Topping
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil

Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the pasta according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, wash and chop the spinach.  Sauté the spinach on medium heat in 1 teaspoon olive oil until it is wilted.  Remove from the heat and drain in a colander to remove excess moisture.  Set aside.

Make the cheese sauce.  Add the butter and roasted garlic (if using) to a small sauce pan.  Melt the butter over low heat and mash the garlic as the butter melts.  Once the butter is melted, add the flour a little bit at a time and whisk it into the butter as you add.  When all the flour is incorporated, cook on low for a minute, continuously whisking.  Add the milk or half and half and continue to stir for about 5-7 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.  Once thickened, remove from heat and add the cheese, stirring to incorporate.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Assemble the pasta, sausage, and spinach in an oven-proof pan.  An 11 x 13 Pyrex pan works well for this. Spoon the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and gently fold in.  In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the breadcrumb topping and then spread the topping over the mac and cheese.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.  Enjoy!

Mostly Classic Manhattan

Mostly Classic Manhattan

Last week, I was happily sitting outside in the sun and sipping away at a melon mojito; this week, I’m cozied up under a blanket with dog snuggled tight against me under an afghan and sipping away at a very classic fall drink – the Manhattan.  I’m calling this a mostly classic Manhattan, as I did make a few small tweaks to the common recipe.

First off, as I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been slowly rebuilding my liquor cabinet contents since we moved back in March.  I had more storage space, for one, in our old house, so had plenty of room to have things like a quarter full bottle of Midori floating around forever.  In this house, if it doesn’t have an immediate use or purpose, there just isn’t enough room to keep it around.  As a result, most of my half-open bottles of various liquors were donated to friends before we left, which apparently included both my whiskey and bourbon.

And then we moved and in the chaos of the move and setting up in a new place, my brain said – of course you still have whiskey and bourbon; why would you have left these staples behind?  If only my moving brain and my current brain could get on the same page, I wouldn’t be left mid-recipe back in July for bourbon ribs having to scurry over to the liquor store to buy bourbon…

I digress, sort of.  I did buy bourbon.  I did not, however, replace the whiskey, which I, of course realized after I got home from the liquor store to buy the sweet vermouth and bitters for this recipe.  So…substitution time.  I made my mostly classic Manhattan with a honey bourbon, which is what I had on hand.  I actually really liked the soft and subtle honey flavor in this and the orange bitters really complimented it.  The orange bitters are not really classic – a true Manhattan would use Angostura bitters, but I have been in a citrus kind of mood, so quite enjoyed the blending of flavors that the bitters added.

This is a great sit-by-the-fire-and-sip drink.  Serve it over ice and feel free to garnish as you choose – brandied cherries would be lovely in this, but the candied lemon was great, too.  Yay for fall!

candied-lemon-slices manhattan

Mostly Classic Manhattan
2 ounces whiskey or bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
A few dashes of orange bitters
Candied lemon (recipe below)

Add the whiskey or bourbon, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake.  Serve over ice.  Garnish with candied lemon.

Candied Lemon
1 lemon, sliced into 1/8th inch slices and de-seeded
2 cups water
1 cup sugar

Boil 1 cup of the water and add the lemons.  Boil for 1 minute and then drain.  This blanching step helps to pull some of the bitterness out of the lemon rind.

Combine the remaining 1 cup of water and the sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Add the blanched lemons and cook on a low boil for an hour.  Remove the lemon slices and let dry on a parchment lined baking sheet for 24 hours.  These keep well in an airtight container.

Pear and Chocolate Scones

Pear and Chocolate Scones

These pear and chocolate scones came about because I drank a cup of Earl Grey tea the other afternoon and decided that my next cup of tea needed to be accompanied by scones.  That, and, through a moment of marital miscommunication at Trader Joe’s last weekend, we ended up with two boxes of butter, two dozen eggs, and two containers of heavy cream, which neither of us realized until we were home and unloading the groceries.  Fortunately, scones use heavy cream, eggs, and butter and even more fortunate still, it was a rainy and gloomy weekend, which made it perfect for scone experimentation.

I also bought pears, which are a somewhat ambivalent fruit for me.  I like pears and I feel obligated to buy them in the fall.  Unfortunately, I often forget that they are lurking in the fridge (though I recently read they shouldn’t be stored in the fridge at all), and end up with pear mush.  This time of year, I see all the lovely pear recipes – pear galettes, pear tarts, fancy whole pears in cakes – and think, this will be the year I make something fancy with pears.

I don’t know that these scones exactly fit the bill of fanciness with pear.  However, they are a good start in that direction and may inspire me to break out the rough puff pastry next week and cook up some pastry laden pears.  In the meantime, these go really well with a cup of coffee, as well as with a cup of tea.  They were fairly quick to put together, too, and can last a few days in an airtight container, so make a great morning-at-work snack.


(I didn’t mean to cut these as crazily as I did – I was aiming for mini-scones and went off the rails.  My advice – make the cuts like you would for a pizza.)



Pear and Chocolate Scones
Serves 12

2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pear, chopped into small pieces
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter into slices.  Add the butter into the dry mixture and either use a pastry cutter or your hands to incorporate the butter until it forms pea size chunks.  Add the heavy cream, egg and vanilla and gently incorporate until all the flour/butter mixture is wet and sticks together in a shaggy dough.  Add the pear and chocolate chips and gently incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and form into a circle.  Cut the dough into twelve pieces that radiate out from the middle of the circle.  Gently separate each piece – you want just a bit of space between each scone so that they can rise.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the scones are golden brown.  Enjoy!

Crockpot Posole

Crockpot Posole

I recently ran across a great blog that combines the best of two worlds: food and books.  I’ve previously participated in the Novel Food challenge on Simona Carini’s beautiful blog, and was very excited to find Cook the Books Foodie Book Club.  The book chosen for August and September was F.G. Hachenbeck’s The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo.  This is a slightly odd book that fictionalizes Frida Kahlo’s life in context of a little recipe book that Kahlo might have kept.  Recipes are sprinkled throughout the book, and then there are a few of made-for-modern-taste versions of those recipes in the back.


I was especially excited to see a book about Frida Kahlo as the focus of this blog adventure.  I have been a Frida fan for a long time now – and funny enough, my first really significant encounter with her art is also tied to a food memory.  When I was in my late twenties, I took off for a road adventure by myself.  I was newly single and trying to find my way.  That way led to a road trip to Portland, OR and then all the way up Highway 101 to Tacoma and into Seattle.  I stayed at the Edgewater hotel in Seattle and walked everywhere, including the Seattle Art Museum, which was having a spectacular exhibit of both Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s work.  I was transported by Kahlo’s paintings – in life, they are even more stunning than in photos.  After spending hours wandering through the exhibit, I went across the street and stumbled into a Vietnamese restaurant and ate Pho for the first time.  Different cultures, different foods, different times, but for me, soup and Kahlo are inexorably linked in my memory because of that trip.

I’ve read other books about Kahlo, but I will say I enjoyed this venture into magical realism.  Like Kahlo’s paintings, the book merges the real with the surreal and takes us to the very personal relationship that Kahlo had with death.  And with food, of course.  This book is filled with rich description of food and the rich relationship that the characters have with food.  I doubt the truth of some of the book, but do like the thought that Frida Kahlo had such a rich life full of so many interesting people coming and going.

My book is now very sticky-noted with all the possible recipes I may yet try to adapt.  For this particular blog post though, I decided to go with Posole, largely because it hits that note of comfort food that rings for me when I think of my encounter with Kahlo’s paintings.

Not so long ago, I ran across directions for making hominy through nixtamalization – the process of turning maize into hominy.  I think it may be something I try someday (this is a farm fantasy moment – that day when I can grow my own maize, have chickens and goats, and so on).  For now, I’m sticking with buying hominy in the store.  I advise using dried white corn posole.

white-corn-posole-package white-corn-pre-soak

This adds a step (the white corn posole needs to be soaked overnight), but also gives the soup a better flavor than canned hominy.  I’ve added a few more ingredients than what is called for in the book and have also gone with a pork loin roast (rather than a pork head or other parts, as advised in the book).  This is a great Sunday Supper meal, as it can be tossed in the crockpot in the morning and can cook all day.  It also makes a good freezer meal.

Here’s a picture of the pork loin all rubbed in spices:


And then the end result, seven hours later.  This is definitely a soup that will be added into our winter crockpot meal rotation.


Crockpot Posole
Serves 6

White corn posole, soaked overnight
1 chopped onion
2 roasted Anaheim peppers, peeled and deseeded
1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
4 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water)
Pork Loin roast – between 1 and 2 pounds
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ancho chili powder

Combine the seasonings and rub on the pork loin roast.  Add any remaining seasonings, the pork loin roast, and all other ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until the pork can be easily shredded with a fork.

Serve with wedges of lime, chopped up cilantro, and sliced avocado.  Enjoy!


Pasta in Pesto Cream Sauce

Pasta in Pesto Cream Sauce

My pasta in pesto cream sauce recipe was created in response to a serious craving I’ve been having lately for Noodles & Company’s Pesto Cavatappi.  The problem is, I know darn well that the minute I go and order pesto cavatappi and then actually taste it, I’m going to be disappointed.  It will be too salty or too bland or too not what I remember from the many years ago I lived in the Denver area and Noodles & Company opened up in Lakewood and my ex and I would go there for dinner every weekend.

Part of the problem with food memories is that in memory, everything looks so tasty.  However, in the past ten years or so, I’ve greatly reduced the amount of sugar and salt in my diet, and I am starting to suspect that what made things tasty before I did this was probably the sugar and salt.  Now, the same ingredients make things taste “not right”.

In some cases, my solution has been to create the dish I think I remember, which is what I’ve done with this pasta in pesto cream sauce.  I would love for it to have been cavatappi in pesto cream sauce, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find cavatappi noodles anywhere.  I settled for orecchiette, though any pasta would be fine.

I had a bit of basil and some tomatoes left in the garden, so it seemed appropriate to finish out the last few days of the official summertime with pesto and tomatoes.  I used oyster mushrooms, but any mushroom would work.  Though this has a cream sauce, it freezes just fine – when you reheat it, just be sure to give it a good stir before you eat.


Pasta in Pesto Cream Sauce
Serves 4

Pesto Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup half and half or heavy cream
Splash white wine (optional)
¼ cup pesto

Pasta and Toppings
½ package pasta (penne, orecchiette, or similar)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
½ pound mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Boil water for the pasta in a large pot.  Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron pan.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft.  Add the parsley and turn off the heat.  Set aside.

To make the cream sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  When butter is melted, incorporate the flour a bit at a time, whisking with each addition.  When all flour has been incorporated, cook for a minute, whisking the entire time.  Add the half and half or cream and continue to whisk and cook over low heat for about 5-7 minutes (or until sauce is thickened).  Take the sauce off the heat and add the pesto.

Plate the pasta in four bowls.  Add the toppings to each bowl.  Pour the cream sauce over each bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Add salt to taste.  Enjoy!

Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar Calzones

Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar Calzones

For this week’s Sunday Supper, I want to share one of my comfort foods: chicken, broccoli, cheddar calzones.  Calzones are such a perfect food – dough and filling.  Best yet, they are very, very freezer friendly, so, though they can take a bit of time to put together, they work well for super easy weekday meals: pull the calzone out of the freezer and toss it in the oven (still foil wrapped) for 45 minutes or so at 350 degrees.

It’s started to rain again in my part of the PNW, so I have little desire to do much beyond sit around, read, and cook comfort food.  With this weather, I’m also much more likely to want to cook something “fancy” on the weekend, so you’ll likely see a few posts like this one this fall and winter.  I also can’t resist roasted garlic – so if you aren’t a fan, feel free to leave it out.  Calzones are so very versatile – I highly encourage you to think of other great combinations for the filling and use the dough as a base for your own creations.

baked-calzones cheesy-broccoli-and-chicken-calzones-both-sides


Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar Calzones
Serves 6

Calzone Dough
2 cups warm water
2 packets active dry yeast (or 4 ½ teaspoons yeast)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups flour

Cheese Sauce
Roasted garlic from one head roasted garlic
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup half and half
¾ cup shredded cheddar or gruyere cheese

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head broccoli
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place chicken thighs into an oven proof dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with one teaspoon salt.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.  Once thighs are cooked, set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, make the dough.  Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for a few minutes until the yeast becomes foamy.  Add the olive oil to the yeast, and then one cup flour and the salt.  Mix.  Continue to add flour until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball.  Turn out on a well-surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes.  The dough should be a bit sticky still but not so much so that it sticks to your hands or to the surface.  Let the dough rise for an hour in a bowl covered with oiled plastic wrap or a few clean tea towels.  Punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.

Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees.

In the last half hour that the dough is rising, prepare the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and add the roast garlic.  Stir a few times and then whisk the flour in a little bit at a time.  Once the flour is fully incorporated, let cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a minute.  Add the half and half slowly, continuing to stir until it is fully incorporated. Continue to stir until the sauce starts to thicken.  Take the sauce off the burner and stir in the cheese. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Chop the broccoli into small pieces. Sauté in a non-stick pan for five to seven minutes to slightly soften. Chop the chicken into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, broccoli, sauce, and remaining shredded cheese. Stir well.

Punch down the calzone dough and split into six pieces. On a well-floured surface, roll out the first piece into a circle. Place 1/6th of the chicken and sauce mixture in the middle of the circle and fold half over the filling. Crimp down around the edges and place the calzone on the parchment lined baking sheet. Do the same with the remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the calzones are golden brown on top and bottom. Enjoy!

I’m pleased to have this recipe on the Saucy Saturdays Blog Hop.  Please take a minute and check out the links to the hosts’ websites – these are some of my favorite blogs and Instagram feeds!

La Petit Chef
Mid-life Croissant
Take Two Tapas
The Flavor Blender


Late Summer Melon Mojito

Late Summer Melon Mojito

I keep thinking that the last of summer is surely around the corner.  I’m ready for sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, and lots and lots of rain (it’s the PNW after all – shouldn’t it be raining already?).  I know there is a change coming in the weather; I’m just impatient, that’s all.  In the meantime, I figure if it’s going to insist on being in the mid-eighties, I might as well enjoy a last (maybe) summer cocktail or two.

It’s sometimes challenging to be in a family with food allergies.  There’s a list of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that Clay is sensitive to, including melons.  This means that anytime I buy a melon, I’m on the hook for finishing the entire thing.  This leads to the purchase of about one melon per season.  This year, I picked up a Galia melon from the farmer’s market.  In addition to eating it as part of my lunch, I also saved a quarter of it for this mojito.

Somehow or another, I also managed to go the entire summer season without making a single mojito.  I’m going to blame a much diminished liquor cabinet (our new kitchen doesn’t have space for much beyond the pantry basics), as well as limited access to mint.  I’m keeping everything contained in pots, so my one mint plant has had to battle it out with oregano and chard.  I didn’t realize anything could hold its own with mint, but the oregano has done a fine job.


Late Summer Melon Mojito
Serves One (but could easily be doubled)

¼ melon
3 sprigs mint
Juice from one lime
2 ounces white rum
Club soda

Combine the melon, mint, lime juice and rum in a cocktail glass and thoroughly muddle.  Add ice and top with club soda.  Enjoy!