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Posts Tagged ‘watermelon’

For a luncheon one weekend at the cottage, I served the Empanadas because I wanted something reasonably fast as we were leaving to get back to the city. While the Empanadas were warming in the oven, I put this simple, yet tasty salad together. The salad really should have been entitled The Kitchen Sink Salad because in all honesty I was just trying to use up some ingredients we had left on our cottage weekend. It’s a delightful combination of salty, sweet and peppery. If you don’t like feta, add some crispy fried bacon. But don’t leave out the watermelon or avocado!

salad

Watermelon, Avocado and Feta Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cubed watermelon
  • 2 ounces feta
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • a handful or two of arugula and spinach mix
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • t tsp Dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients to the arugula mix.
  2. In a small glass jar, combine the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and Dijon and shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Toss salad just before serving.

 

Empanada and salad2

A really tasty lunch.

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A nice thick soup to help keep ourselves cool over the summer.

A nice thick soup to help keep ourselves cool over the summer.

Recently we had a half a watermelon left over from a weekend and I needed some space in the fridge for a styling gig so I had to do something with the watermelon, pronto! Summer was still in full swing so something cool and refreshing was on my mind. I’ve been seeing a lot of almond milk on the blog-o-sphere so I thought I’d like to get in on the band wagon and incorporate it into this soup. The almond meal adds some lovely texture and a subtle almond flavour, so I beefed it up with a small splash of pure almond essence. The yogurt make it very creamy and the basil and mint flavourings are just subtle background flavours. A sophisticated soup for a warm cottage evening.

This soup has body.

This soup has body.

Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho Scented with Almond, Basil and Mint

Serves 4 as appetizers

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg water melon
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond essence
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tsp chopped mint
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop watermelon into a large bowl, add the almond flour, essence, yogurt and herbs. Blend until very smooth. Set aside in the fridge for 2-4 hours so the almond flour has time to absorb some liquid and thicken the soup.
  2. Blend again and press through a fine sieve. Serve chilled garnished with pomegranate seeds or more mint.

A brighter Watermelon Gazpacho can be found here.

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These days life goes like this
Wake up, check that off of some list
Gotta be a little something more than this
The bottom of my coffee cup.**lyrics from Bon Jovi’s Summertime

We’ve talked about lists before (here and here), it’s nothing new and as I was compiling yet another list I started to wonder how many lists I’ve made over the years. I usually start a templated list if I find myself creating the same list more than twice, or if I do the same stupid thing twice, or …

At the risk if sounding a little crazy (ok, maybe a bit more than a little!) I thought I’d share a few more lists I keep (don’t worry, it’ll just be the titles, not the entire list!)

Books that I’ve read (title and author): I started this list about 27 years ago after a couple of times I had purchased the same book twice because they had changed the cover graphic and I thought it was a new novel from that author (soooo annoying)! I wish I had done the same for movies (I tend to block out the ones that sucked and for some reason we keep wanting to watch them).

Menus for dinner parties: again, this list goes back 20 years, started it so I wouldn’t duplicate meals for the same guests. I used to keep this list in a notebook but about five years ago have switched over to electronic lists in my Notes/Reminders on my iPhone.

Preferences or allergies of my friends and family: This is really a no-brainer because it keeps things simple and you won’t poison one of your friends.

Work outfits: I started this list for my very first full-time job so I wouldn’t wear the same thing twice in a week; the list took a hiatus for about fifteen years (read, I got bored) but I’ve recently started it again because my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.

General household measurements, like table sizes for table cloths, window sizes etc.

General shopping lists for standard items, for example  I keep a list of everything I buy at Costco and then I need only to check off the things I need on that trip.

Wish lists, we always seem to come up blank when we ask each other what we’d like for Christmas, but I know darn well we had a bunch of things in mind over the year.

My favourite restaurants: from time to time I am asked where to eat out in TO so instead of reinventing the wheel, I keep a running list that I review every so often and that way I just copy and paste that list into an email.

My shopping routes in NYC, Chicago and Paris: I know that sounds pretentious but we don’t go that often that I sometimes forget about that little tucked away place (kitchen gadget store), plus it’s handy if I get asked.

Travel wardrobes: This is a list of outfits I put together for various holidays, it’s handy if we go to the same place at the same time of year, I start with that list and amend as necessary. This list also helps me remember all the accessories needed for specific outfits (I’ve forgotten a belt or scarf before and that just makes me annoyed because I refuse to buy something I already have a perfectly good one at home). It also helps me maximize the clothes by coordinating pieces to make more than one outfit. Somehow I always end up tossing in a few extra things just in case (never can have too many shoes, Kristy!)

General ideas: in the old days I’d keep a pad and paper beside my bedside just in case I come up with something great in the middle of the night, now it’s in my iPhone.

Christmas Baking: I like to change it up a bit year to year and a year is a year!

Christmas cards: to whom I sent and from whom I received.

Cottage menus: but you already know that: I found a Meal a Plan app that I’m trying out, it stores recipes and pantry items (including inventory), you create a meal plan calendar and it pulls your shopping list for you. Once I’ve used it a few more times, I’ll do a review.

Blog post ideas: self explanatory.

So you see, I’ve designed my list keeping in a way that will save me time and headaches for things I do often! And there is one more list for this post: the ingredient list for this tasty recipe. This recipe just happened one morning at the cottage when I didn’t just feel like a plain poached egg on toast. Combining the rich avocado and setting it off with the sweet watermelon really worked; I also added a drizzle of balsamic just to make things interesting.

Do you make lists to help keep you organized or because you have a bad memory? Share what you make a lists of in the comments, it may help someone organize a bit better.

PoachedEgg_2791

A surprisingly tasty combination of flavours!

Watermelon, Avocado, Tomatoes and a Perfectly Poached Egg on Arugula

Makes enough for lunch for two

Ingredients:

  • handful or two of arugula, washed and dried
  • 2 slices watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 4 compari tomatoes, cut into quartered
  • 2 eggs, poached perfectly
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. On each of two plates, place a handful of arugula, casually top with cubed watermelon, sliced avocado, quartered tomatoes and one perfectly poached egg.
  2. Combine balsamic, EVOO, Dijon and salt and pepper (be careful though, the Dijon has a lot of salt in it already) and whisk. Drizzle over each salad evenly.

The runny yolk adds to the richness of the dressing, that’s why the dressing is just drizzled and not tossed!

 

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When I wrote this post in early June, it was supposed to be summer in Toronto but the temperatures had not been warm to say the least and we’ve had to turn the heat on or have had a fire in our wood burning fireplace a few more times than I would have liked in June, but being a Canadian just means we buckle down and bear it; I refused to stop wearing my open toe shoes and sandals and I’m cooking like it’s summer. But now, the high humidity has rolled in and lots of rain and thunder, so this is a perfect little refresher particularly when it’s dark and drizzly outside.

We had my best friend from University Kim and her hubby here for a brunch the other week and I wanted to make a chilled soup with lots of colour so I did what I normally do, I Googled it. Up came the New York Times 12 cold soups and I was immediately smitten! I loved the layout of this spread, the colours and the variety if soups. I settled on the Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho because the combination of ingredients really called out to me — so fresh and clean and the colour is gorgeous. Do check out the link because you too will be impressed; I know I will be inspired to make a few of these beauties over the summer months. I would suggest you make extra and freeze it, it makes a gorgeous little amuse bouche for your next dinner party, served in little shot glasses.

The original recipe can be found here, but of course I had to change it up a wee bit. Thanks to Kelly at Inspired Edibles for putting me onto Pineapple Sage, I found it at my garden centre and immediately bought a plant for my patio and I was inspired to add a few leaves to this delicious soup.

WatermelonGazpacho_0221

This soup is AWESOME!

Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho

Makes 500 mL give or take (100 mL each of four servings with 100 mL to freeze for another dinner party)

Soup Ingredients:

  • 700 g seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 200 g seedless cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • 150 mL (1/2 cup) seedless, skinless tomato purée
  • few leaves of lemon mint
  • 1 large mint leaf
  • 2 large pineapple sage leaves
  • 1/3 up lime cordial (or just use lime juice if your watermelon is super sweet, ours was not)
  • splash of lime juice

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 150 g finely cubed seedless watermelon
  • 60 g finely cubed seedless cucumber
  • 50 g finely cubed celery
  • 4-6 tbsp crumbled sheeps milk feta
  • 1 mint leaf, fine julienne
  • 2 pineapple sage leaves, fine julienne

Directions:

  1. Put all the soup ingredients into a large bowl and purée with your immersion blender until you get a smooth thick soup. Strain through a fine sieve.
  2. Refrigerate overnight so flavours can build.
  3. Combine the finely cubed salsa ingredients and toss with the herbs of herbs.
  4. Serve in chilled rimed soup bowls, garnish with a spoonful or two of the salsa.
WatermelonGazpacho_0217

The bright colour of the soup tells the story of the flavour

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A refreshing combination of flavours

We had one gorgeous day and then it turned cold and rainy again.

We had one gorgeous day and then it turned cold and rainy again.

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