Watermelon Limeade #SundaySupper

It’s seems to be a winter that’s getting longer by the moment. As I sit here typing, on March 22, it’s SNOWING again! Just as my head is turning toward starting some seedlings for planting and planning out our garden. It’s SNOWING! AGAIN! I ned something spring-like. Something summer-time cool to chase away the winter blasé mood.

It was a combination of events that led me to try this recipe … first, Sunday Supper’s theme of Citrus Recipes That Will Make Your Smile, hosted by Lisa at Jersey Girl Cooks AND walking through the supermarket and finding watermelon! I know, I know, it’s the wrong time of year. I don’t care. It looked fab and I needed a cocktail.

The original recipe did not call for gin. To me, it called for gin!

  • 6 cups 1-inch-pieces watermelon (from about 1/2 5-pound watermelon)
  • 1/2 cup cup fresh lime juice
  • 2–3 tablespoons light agave syrup (nectar) or honey
  • Lime wedges (for serving)
  • GIN

Purée watermelon, lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. agave syrup in a blender until smooth. Add 1 Tbsp. more agave, if desired. Strain into a large pitcher filled with ice and stir in 1/2 cup water. Serve over ice and garnish with lime wedges.

Sunday Supper Citrus Recipes That Will Make You Smile

Appetizers

Breakfasts

Main Dishes

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pear Liqueur

pear-liquor

I’ve just returned to Maine after having spent Christmas and New Year’s in New York with  my family and friends. The Dear One – whose name I may now change to Dear Husband, we were married in October – was away in Antarctica working. It was wonderful being able to spend so much time with my family and friends, and also wonderful to return home to Maine. At times it feels as though I don’t feel quite settled in either place.

One of the questions I am constantly asked is “Do you miss New York?”

This is a question I have asked myself many, many times. I have no solid answer. I have more of a pro and con list for both New York City and Bar Harbor.

Bar Harbor is a car culture. I find myself at work going through my cabinets and fridge and freezer to figure out what I need at home. Once home, it’s 6 miles to the nearest store. In NYC, you can find anything you need or want at any time of the day or night – and within walking distance. I walked  more in NYC over my three week visit than I have in Bar Harbor in three months.

New York City wins HANDS DOWN restaurants, supermarkets, ability to find unusual ingredients – well, anything a foodie may need or desire. Bar Harbor is a barren foodie land. There are very few restaurants open here during the off season and those pickings are slim and not necessarily diverse. As for ingredients? OH PUH-LEASE! Thank goodness for Amazon!

Bar Harbor is beautiful and quiet. We hear no sirens or honking of horns. As you drive down roads there is one beautiful view after another. Breathtaking at times. Don’t get me wrong, there are views in NYC that are unforgettable, but they’re only enjoyed with the 300 or 400 people swarming around you.

The sidewalks are not as crowded in Bar Harbor. Not crowded from October to May and increasingly crowded May to October with tourists. But, no one is walking down the street with their heads down staring at an illuminated screen missing the world going on around them. Or a phone in one hand and a cup of Starbucks in the other behaving as though no one else is walking down the street.

People here say please and thank you regularly. I’m greeted by name in the bank and post office and supermarket. There’s a friendly spirit amongst the residents of this bucolic town.

I would say that the major disadvantage between NYC and BH is my family and friends. They’re all in NYC. I miss my family and friends desperately. That sense of community, of belonging, of loyalty, being a member of and a part of a family – whomever that is made up by – has not yet been found here. We all have those people – friends and family that call when you’re alone or not feeling well, that like to spend time together, gravitate toward each other; the phone that rings at just the perfect moment when you’re wandering around a big house all alone with a voice inviting you to dinner or a movie or a walk or just a chat. People who are truly intertwined in each other’s lives with more than just ‘saying’ they are. Perhaps it’s being the new person, or not being ‘from’ here. Quite frankly, I have met a small handful of people who actually are ‘from’ here. Everyone was new at one time or another.

Boy, oh, boy do I miss that. I’m not sure how to find that here or if it even exists. I’m still looking. I’m open to it actually happening, but after 3 years, I’m not sure if it will happen.

Wish me luck! Fingers crossed.

pear

After reading all of that, we’re finally at the foodie portion of this blog post.

One of the best things about living in Bar Harbor are our lovely gardens. Flowers and herbs and veggies and fruit trees. We have cherry trees and apple and peach and pears. Some years there are bumper crops of each and some years not a one. We were blessed with a bumper crop of pears.

The first time the trees had pears! We have three. Two were here when I  moved in and one we planted. The two that were here were very strange. They were alive, they had leaves, but never a flower. Early the first spring I spoke to them and mentioned that if they didn’t flower, they would be cut down and replaced. One tree flowered, one didn’t. The next spring, I spoke to the unflowering one and nicely asked it to catch up to the other and at least flower – or else. We planted the third tree. That spring two flowered, but not the new tree. The third spring, I was very adamant about them ALL flowering and having at least ONE pear EACH! And KA-BOOOOOOOM!

Pears! Our pears had pears! The question is, what do you do with PEARS? Bushels of pears. They don’t have a long shelf life. You cannot do a lot with them. I made pear butter, pear sorbet, many blue cheese, walnut and pear tarts … now what?

Pear liqueur here we come! It’s easy to put together. Most of the time preparing this comes during the waiting, waiting, waiting for it to be finished. But the jar is sitting in the dark just getting ready to bring you great joy.

The liqueur is sweet and fragrant, warmly infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, just a hint of citrus from the orange peel. We served this ice cold from the freezer in small glasses – you really cannot drink a lot of this (well, one person drank an entire jar – the last jar!)

I used a good, inexpensive vodka. Please don’t spend oodles of money on a top shelf vodka. The vodka here is really just a vehicle for the pears and spices.

If you have an abundance of pears or can get your hands on some beautiful, fresh pears, give this a whirl. I’ve also done the same with peaches and made a peach liqueur, so keep an eye out!

pears

1 large pear
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 nutmeg broken into small pieces
2 strips of dried orange peel
6 cloves
500ml vodka
150g (5 oz) caster sugar

NOTE: I quadrupled this recipe.

Make sure you have a ripe yet unblemished pear. Rinse and pat dry.

Pierce the pear all over with a fine skewer Place the pear in a sterilized glass jar that it fits quite snugly in. Make sure it’s large enough to hold the 500ml vodka. Add the spices and orange peel.

NOTE: To make the dried orange peel, use a potato peeler to peel strips of skin off an orange, making sure you just take the skin and not the bitter white pith. Leave this on a radiator or in an airing cupboard overnight, or warm in a very low oven till completely dried. I used the oven method for quickness. This intensifies the wonderful orange flavor.

adding-vodka

Fill the jar with vodka and close the lid.

ready-to-age

Set on a sunny windowsill for 2 weeks.

After 2 weeks open the jar and add the sugar. Shake well and set aside in a cool dark cupboard for a further 6 weeks. Shake every day or so that the sugar to completely dissolves.

After 6 weeks, remove pear and spices from the jar and strain the liquid through a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin. Do this part twice to get a really clear liqueur.

NOTE: I used a sieve with a coffee filter set inside.

Decant the liquid into a sterilized bottle and enjoy! It’s best served ice cold, so keep the jar in your fridge or freezer.

Strawberry Limeade

Done

I must first apologize for my absence. It’s been a long summer! There’s been WAY too much work and WAY too many things going on in the garden and greenhouse! We planted 58 – that’s not a typo – 58 tomato plants! There will be many, many tomato based recipes coming your way! And beans … and peppers … and cucumbers … yikes …

But …

One fine spring morning, the Dear One wakes up and looks at me, a twinkle in his eye … what do you want to do today? I don’t know. WHat do you want to do today? We should do something. (It’s like an often repeated scene from the film Marty!) I should have known he was waiting for this opening, this tiny bit of indecision on my part.

Well, I have an idea! Those five little words always bring a tiny bit of terror to my soul.

Let’s go pick strawberries! Ummm, okay. And off we go, girls in tow, to pick the strawberries that grow in a row. (Huh, huh, how’s that for a rhyme?!)

Here I’m thinking strawberries. The Dear One was thinking STRAWBERRIES. I think we picked fifteen quarts of strawberries. Some were greedily eaten, some went into smoothies, some into an incredible ice cream you’ll see next, and bags and bags and bags went into the freezer.

And some were lucky enough to make their way into this strawberry limeade.

I’ve made this a number of times, and used the frozen strawberries in my freezer, once the fresh ran out. Frozen strawberries quarter very easily. Lime juice, strawberries and sugar. Doesn’t get easier than that. The sugar is adjusted to your liking. We’re not an awfully sweet group here, so I always make it a bit on the tart side.

  • 1 1/2 C quartered fresh strawberries
  • 1 C fresh lime juice
  • 5 C cold water
  • 3/4 to 1 C granulated sugar (depending on how sweet the strawberries are)
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime slices-for serving, if desired

Ingredients

 

Blend strawberries and lime juice in blender or food processor until smooth.

Pour strawberry and lime mixture into a large pitcher. Add cold water and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Pitcher

 Add in ice cubes and pour into individual glasses. Garnish with lime, if desired.

Glass

 Pour over ice cubes in tall glasses; garnish each with strawberry or lime wedge, if desired.

 

 

Salty Dawg

Drink

It’s spring!

Yeah, right!

Spring is what they say … it’s what the calendar says … it’s what all the cute clothes and shoes are saying in the stores … but raining and snowing and sleeting and yucking is what it has been doing in Maine.

The weather in the last two weeks must be Mother Nature’s way of making sure we all know who is really in charge around these parts.

So while (again) waiting for the Dear One to finally make it home after delayed, missed and cancelled flights, a new cocktail seemed in order.

This recipe was tested, many times, by Lisa and I so that it would be perfected by the time the Dear One finally arrived.

While squeezing the last of our fabulous ruby red grapefruit from K-Y Farms in Texas, I made some ruby red grapefruit ice cubes to plunk in this drink. Thank you Paul and Susan for the fabulous grapefruit! Just as an aside, if you haven’t had ruby red grapefruit from Texas, you don’t know what you’re missing! I thought they were all alike … until I tried these!

It’s a great drink to make by the pitcherful, just sprinkle the Maldon salt on each drink as you pour. The salt doesn’t really make the drink salty, it just brightens the flavors of the citrus while giving it just a wee bit of brininess.

So, while it’s not spring-like outside, this drink makes you think and feel as though spring has truly arrived!

  • 1 1/2 ounces of gin
  • 3 ounces fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Pinch Maldon salt

NOTE: I used Tanqueray gin. Use any sort of grapefruit you prefer. I think the red or pink is better than the white … and it’s pretty!

Add gin and grapefruit juice to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into ice-filled glass, add salt on top and serve.

salting

NOTE: To make a pitcher, just multiply the ingredients by the number of cocktails you’d like. I mixed it all in the pitcher and stuck it in the fridge so it was good and cold and poured it over the grapefruit ice cubes when serving.

Ciderhouse Whiskey & Giveaway #CocktailDay

Ciderhouse Whiskey

Welcome to Cocktail Day, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic, Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and Donna of Cookistry.

Cocktail Day
We are raising our glasses to toast you all with some unique and delicious cocktails and mocktails in anticipation of the Big Game and Valentine’s Day. Be sure to bookmark or pin these creative beverages for your next gathering. We hope you enjoy this marvelous event and the incredible giveaways from our generous sponsors. Cheers!

All prizes

Well, how excited am I to be part of this fabulous event!! But what sort of cocktail can I bring to this party of fabulous bloggers? I really can’t drink any of the clear alcohols. Truth be told, I like bourbon. I have been told I drink bourbon like a sailor … not quite sure if that’s a compliment or not, but okie dokie … so bourbon it is.

And then I remembered that while the Dear One is away … for a month … there was a bourbon (his fav too!) cocktail I wanted to perfect to have at the ready when he returns.

Enter the Ciderhouse Whiskey, simply made with bourbon and cider syrup.

Cider syrup? Oh, what’s that you say? Really simple to make, smells heavenly and produces this thick, apple intense, lovely syrup that I can see on ice cream and on pound cake on … well, my sisters were eating it right off spoons!

So the combination of sweet, syrupy cider and mellow bourbon made this the drink of choice to have ready to pour when the Dear One returns from his chilly adventures!

But before we get to the recipe, check out these great prizes!
2 Individual Copies of Molecule Gastronomy by Molecule-R Cookbook
1 Set of Mojito R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Set of Margarita R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Set of Cosmo R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Copy of The Architecture of the Cocktail sponsored by Race Point Publishing
1 Copy of Apothecary Cocktails sponsored by Fair Winds Press
1 Copy of The Best Craft Cocktails and Bartending with Flair sponsored by Page St. Publishing
1 Not So Simple Gift Basket
1 Microplane Bartender’s Garnishing Tool
1 Microplane Citrus Tool

TO ENTER, CLICK ON THIS LINK——-> a Rafflecopter giveaway

***This giveaway is intended for each prize to have a separate winner! No person can win multiple prizes. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only . Winners will be chosen by random draw. The winners will be notified via e-mail, and have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

Now back to the cocktail!

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. boiled cider or cider syrup (see note)
  • A strip of lemon zest

Combine bourbon and cider syrup over ice and stir gently. Twist lemon zest and drop into drink, stir again, and serve.

Note: Cider syrup is so simple to make, gently boil a gallon of apple cider in a heavy-bottomed pot, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to ⅛ (making 2 cups syrup), about 2 hours. Let cool to room temperature and store, refrigerated, in an air-tight container. To  know how much 2 cups is simple – pour 2 cups of the cider into the pot and measure with a chopstick or wooden skewer so you know where the 2 cup mark is. Pour the rest of the cider in and follow the above instructions until it boils down to the mark on your chopstick. This takes many hours. I’ll post this process soon.

Other Fabulous Bloggers Mixing It Up with Us for Cocktail Day:

Panorama

Our sponsors for Cocktail Day are Molecule-R, Page St. Publishing, Race Point Publishing, Fair Winds Press, Microplane, and Not So Simple Syrup.

Molecule-R can be found on Facebook, and YouTube. Molecular gastronomy can be defined as the fusion of food science and culinary arts. Molecular gastronomy by Molecule-R is a cookbook with stunning recipes explained and illustrated with the intelligence and aesthetic beauty that defines the MOLECULE-R brand. Mojito R-Evolution teaches you how to deconstruct your mojito into floating mint caviar and spectacular foams or encapsulate your favorite cocktail into a sphere that will explode in your mouth. Margarita R-Evolution teaches you how to create a margarita slush topped with a fresh lemon mousse, add a splash of colour by creating blue azure suspended pearls or encapsulate your margarita into an edible cocktail! Cosmo R-Evolution teaches you how to add a molecular twist to your traditional cosmo sure to awe your guests! Serve a cosmopolitan bubble on a spoon that will pop in your mouth, top off your cocktail with a light fluffy cranberry foam or suspend citrus caviar in your drink.

Microplane can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Microplane is a division of family-owned Grace Manufacturing Inc., a long-standing company specializing in the crafting of precision thin metal parts for home and industrial use. The versatile Ultimate Citrus Tool features Microplane’s surgical grade stainless steel Fine blade. In addition, the Ultimate Citrus Tool features two decorative garnishing blades in a large (.300-inch diameter) and small (.180-inch diameter) size. The blades are made in the USA and are dishwasher safe. Microplane’s sleekly designed and multi-functional Bartender’s Garnishing Tool easily opens bottles, effortlessly zests oranges, lemons, limes, and other types of citrus fruits, and is dishwasher safe.

Not So Simple Syrup can be found on Facebook, and Twitter. Not So Simple Syrup is a a small, local maker of simple syrups. Heidi and Barbie’s passion is to create all natural syrups that inspire and stimulate your pension for amazing mixed drinks as well as iced teas and non-alcoholic beverages too. They pride themselves on individual service. When you purchase a NSSS product, you can be sure that it received their personal stamp of approval. The Not So Simple Syrup Survival Gift Basket has two flavours of delicious all natural Not So Simple Syrup, a muddler for the perfect Mojito you might want to create, two glasses and a bar towel.

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by our sponsors, no
bloggers have received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

Cranberry Juice

Ready to drink

I have COLD!

I have SNOW!

I have ICE!

I have freshly picked cranberries in my freezer, thanks to my friend Lisa! So there’s been breads, and cookies, and thrown in with pork and stuffing, and, of course, cranberry sauce. But I want to try something different and this was just the ticket!

I wanted healthy, virtuous even. It seems a lot of cranberries for not a lot of juice, makes about 1 quart and a half, but if you add vodka … or gin … a healthy squeeze of lime and some seltzer it stretches a long way!

  • 600 g (20 ozs) fresh cranberries (you can use frozen)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar

Cranberries

Place the cranberries and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cover loosely. Simmer 10 min. until the cranberries have burst.

Straining

Strain through a colander lined with cheesecloth.

Draning berries

Resist the urge to press on the fruit to extract more juices.

Pour the strained juice back into the pot and add sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes.

NOTE: I added the sugar a bit at a time, starting with a 1/2 cup. I didn’t want this to be too sweet.

Let cool to room temperature before cooling in the fridge.

Uncle Nicky’s Irish Cream

Irish Cream

They say that music hath charms to soothe the savage breast … and yes, it’s breast, not beast. I received 20 bonus points on an American History final for knowing just that!

But, I digress …

’round our house, my Irish cream recipe has charms to soothe the savage Dad, or any other grumpy person that comes our way when there’s a pitcher of this around. We traditionally have this Christmas morning, but every once in a while, the boy can cajole me into making it just ‘because’. This recipe came from my Uncle Nicky, I tweaked it a tiny bit, changing whiskey to Amraretto – a mellower flavor in my opinion. But make no mistake, whether whiskey or Amaretto, this goes down VERY quickly and will soothe any bah humbug person and go to your head rather quickly!

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (12oz)
  • 12oz. heavy cream
  • 2 T Honey
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6-8oz of Amaretto
  • squirt or two of chocolate syrup

NOTE: I pour the heavy cream into the condensed milk can to make life easier. I usually go with 6 oz. We do, after all, usually drink this Christmas MORNING! You can sub in Whiskey or Bourbon if you prefer. I’ve never measured the squirt. It all depends on how chocolatey you like things. Add a squirt, blend taste, add more if that’s to your taste.

Ingredients

Throw everything in a blender, blend well. Chill and serve.

NOTE: Best ice cold.

I always use Amaretto instead of whiskey as it gives it a much more mellow flavour, but the same KICK!!!