Watermelon Coolers

I was searching for something new and different to do with watermelon.  Found two drinks that sounded refreshing.  I may be trying them this weekend.  Give you an update then.

The first one is from the FoodNetwork:

From FoodNetwork.com

Watermelon Cooler

  • 1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed
  • 1 cup lemon sorbet
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • Watermelon wedges and mint, for garnish

2 large glasses

In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet, and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.

The next one is a melon cooler with a kick.  Definitely an adult beverage.  I combined several options for this one:

Kicked Up Watermelon-Strawberry Cooler

  • 4+ pounds watermelon
  • 2 lb strawberries, washed and hull all but 6
  • 1/2 cup vodka (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec (more to taste)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 wooden skewers

Fine strainer or cheesecloth

    6 glasses and 1 pitcher

    Cut the watermelon in half and make 6 melon balls.   Place one melon ball and one unhulled strawberry onto skewer.  Set aside.

    Remove rind and seeds from the remainder of the watermelon, cut into large chunks.  Puree watermelon and strawberries.  Strain out pulp, add alcohol, 3 tbsp limejuice and fruit juice to pitcher filled with ice, stir.   Mix sugar and 3 tbsp of limejuice on flat plate and dip glass rims in the mixture.  Pour into glasses, garnish with fruit skewers.

    Roast Chicken with Fettuccine

    Thawed a whole chicken overnight in the fridge.  I was torn between roasting it in the oven or out on the grill.  My basic laziness won out, I did it in the oven.  Nothing you haven’t seen here before so I won’t go into it.  I will talk about the cheese sauce for the fettuccine.  I had some fresh goat cheese that wasn’t getting any fresher, and a bunch of asparagus that needed dealt with so I plugged those into the Great Gazoogle Recipe Finder.  Plenty of recipes to choose from, I sampled several and went with none of them in particular and several in general.  If that makes any sense.

    I ended up roasting the asparagus in a 400 oven for about five minutes after tossing them in olive oil.  For the cheese sauce I made a roux of butter and flour and stirred in some heavy cream and half & half until it thickened and then added about six ounces of the goat cheese and a good dollop of ricotta.  Grated in some lemon zest, and some parmesan.  Dumped the pasta and the sauce into a bowl with the asparagus and tossed it together.  Sliced the chicken into chunks and layered that on for a picture then plated some for Mrs J and myself.  Good stuff.  The sauce got a bit thick, perhaps some of the pasta water stirred into the sauce would have helped that.


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    Lemon Curd

    Not the best name for it, you ask me.  Looks like we’re stuck with it-teh Google found 608,000 hits for it.  I’m needing some for a recipe later today so I made a batch. I used this recipe as a jumping off point. Opened an egg carton and found 5 eggs left in it so I adjusted the recipe a bit to use them all.  Also used Splenda in lieu of the sugar.  I had some lemons on hand so I used them, the recipe linked above sniffs with disdain at bottled juice so I used some of that, too.  Just the way I roll.

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    Thursday Night Menu: Let’s Get the Grilling Started

    I had this chicken at a friend’s cookout years ago and really liked it, so I made note of the recipe. It’s simple, moist and tasty. Because the chicken is pounded, it grills up quickly. I was going to post a fancy dessert, but since it’s time to pull out the summer clothes, I’m skipping the desserts this week. Next week I have two birthday cakes to make, so we’ll see how long that resolution lasts. I really like the jarred or refrigerated citrus chunks, they’re a nice finish to this meal. But if you need a more decadent dessert, may I suggest this one?

    On the board tonight:

    1. Yogurt Dill Chicken
    2. Lemon Peas
    3. Couscous
    4. Citrus Chunks

    Yogurt Dill Chicken (marinate 1 hour or overnight)

    • 2 cups plain yogurt
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp dry dill, crushed
    • ½ tsp thyme
    • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded*

    large shallow covered dish

    Mix together yogurt, mustard, dill, thyme. Place pounded chicken in dish, spoon yogurt mixture over, cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Grill for 5-15 minutes each side, until fully cooked at center.   Serve with couscous.

    *The easiest way to pound chicken is to wrap in plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet. Keeps the meat from splattering.

    Lemon Peas

    • 16 oz peas
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • salt & pepper to taste


    Add peas to saucepan; add enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes, until heated through. Drain water from saucepan. Add butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper. Toss well, heat until butter is melted.

    Shopping List:

    • Citrus chunks
    • 1 pkg couscous
    • 16 oz plain yogurt
    • 4 boneless chicken breasts
    • 16 oz peas

    Also: butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme, dry dill, Dijon mustard

    Thursday Night Menu: Lemon-Nut Pork Chops and Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake

    I hadn’t made the poppy seed cake in a while and since I love poppy seed cake and raspberries, I thought I’d go ahead and recipe test it once again before tonight’s menu went up.  I know, I know, the things I do for you guys.  Decided to take most of it into work today and since there is none left, I’m going to declare this one a success.

    On the board tonight:

    1. Lemon-Nut Pork Chops
    2. Baked Potatoes
    3. Steamed Asparagus
    4. Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake

    Lemon-Nut Pork Chops

    • 4 boneless pork loin chops (approx. ½” thick)
    • ½ tsp crushed garlic
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp pepper
    • ¼ tsp lemon zest
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • ¼ cup finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts (the finer the grind, the better this works, if you have a coffee grinder that’s best)
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 1 lemon, quartered


    Rub chops with garlic, salt, pepper, & zest. Melt butter in skillet on medium heat. Brown chops, 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Spread 1/4 nuts on plate. Remove chops 1 at a time and press 1 side into nuts. Add ¼ more nuts each time. Sprinkle any remaining nuts over chops. Stir lemon juice into pan drippings, deglaze, heat for 1 minute and spoon over chops. Serve with lemon wedges.

    Baked Potatoes – scrub well, rub with olive oil and kosher salt. If you have them, use metal skewers to speed up cooking.  You can place two potatoes per skewer.  Bake at 450 degrees, for about 30-45 minutes, depending on size of the spuds.

    Asparagus – snap ends off each stalk by grabbing the lower, tougher end of the stalk and then tugging on the flower end until the tough bottom stalk snaps off. I use a skillet to steam with just enough water to barely cover stalks, cover and cook for 2 to 8 minutes, until stalks are bright green, but still slightly crisp. Serve with butter or vinaigrette.

    Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake

    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • ½ cup butter
    • 2 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tbsp poppy seed
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 ½ cup flour
    • ½ cup sour cream


    • 2 cup raspberries (about 12 oz)
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp flour
    • ¼ tsp nutmeg

    10” springform pan, greased & floured and 2 bowls

    In one bowl, beat sugar & butter until fluffy. Add zest and egg. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. In second bowl, mix together poppy seeds, soda, flour & salt. Add to butter mixture. Add sour cream. Mix well. Spread batter in springform pan. Combine filling ingredients with a fork, mashing slightly and spoon over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

    Shopping List:

    • 4 boneless pork loin chops (approx. ½” thick)
    • 2 oz finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts
    • 2 oz lemon juice
    • 1 lemon
    • 4 baking potatoes
    • 1 lb asparagus
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1-1/2 sticks butter
    • 2-1/2 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tbsp poppy seed
    • 4 oz sour cream
    • 1 ¾ cup flour
    • 12 oz raspberries

    Also: baking soda, salt, nutmeg, pepper, crushed garlic, olive oil, kosher salt

    Ah, Now I Get It

    I teased this in my last post, no more waiting.

    We spent the evening working up this recipe. The cookies were processed in the food machine to fine crumbs and were tamped down in the cake tin.  We don’t have a spring form pan, sure could have used one.  Protip:  Put some paper under the crumbs so you can get the thing out of the tin.  Grr.

    This old machine still works like a champ.  We got it for our wedding anniversary 35 years ago next month.

    When the cheeses and eggs and all are creamy, pour the mixture onto the crust.  Take the tin and put it into a water bath, then into a 350 oven for an hour.

    Cool that thing down, we dumped the hot water and added ice cubes and cold water and then stuck it into the freezer for a while.