Tag-Archive for ◊ Picnic ◊

24 Jul 2013 Triple Threat Chicken

Triple Threat Chicken on BBQ w smoke

What is Triple Threat Chicken?  Chicken breasts that have been 1) marinated, 2) grilled and 3) glazed!  Delicious!  I have been making this chicken for about five years now, and it has always been well received.  I served it last week at the Grand Opening of my Little Free Library(more about that later*), and one of my friends said, “If you post the recipe for this chicken, I’ll be tempted to start grilling again”.  Here it is!  Fire up the grill.

One of the advantages of this recipe is that you probably have all the ingredients for the marinade and the glaze on hand.  Well, all the ingredients except one, do you have Raspberry Vinegar on hand?  If you don’t,  substitute Red Wine Vinegar, but if you buy Red Raspberry Vinegar on your next trip to the grocery store, you will have some on hand for the next year or two (vinegar doesn’t go off)!

The disadvantage of this recipe is that you have to make two sauces, one for the marinade and one for the grilling, so it’s a few extra minutes measuring and pouring in the kitchen.  Just make both sauces at the same time, because some ingredients are in both sauces.

I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but boneless, skinless thighs can  be used just as easily if you prefer darker meat (any chicken parts can be used in this recipe, the boneless, skinless ones are just easier to grill).  I cut-up the chicken breasts, and cook the same pieces at the same time to ensure even cooking.  Don’t even think of cooking a whole breast, it’s too difficult, because the breast varies so much in thickness.

This is how I cut up the chicken breast:

First, I cut the tenderloin off; then I cut off the lower triangle of the breast; when I have just the thickest part of the breast left, I cut that in half.  I get four pieces of chicken from one breast.  The tenderloins and the triangle pieces are thin and cook the most quickly.  The thick pieces from the top of the breast take much longer to cook so put them on the grill first and the tenderloins on last.

Now here’s the most important tip for grilling the chicken:  half cook the marinated chicken on the grill, then take it off the grill and dunk into a pan with the glaze, then return the chicken to the grill to finish off.  This enables the chicken to cook before the glaze burns!  Novices will use a brush and brush the glaze on the half cooked chicken.  Silly novices.  Brushing does not get enough glaze on the chicken, and a lot of the glaze drips onto the coals, which causes flare ups, which causes hot hands and more burned spots than necessary.

But before grilling, you have to marinate, and that part is easy.  The chicken needs to sit in the marinade for 2-4 hours, so start early in the afternoon.  Remember to start your coals approx 40 minutes before you want to start grilling.  Grilling the thickest parts of the chicken might take 20 minutes, the thinner tenderloins might take only 5 minutes.  All of these times are approximate, and all depend on how hot your fire is.  Use common sense.  Don’t freak out.  The chicken would cook at different times in a pan on the stove, too.  Just keep  your eye on each piece of chicken, judging it as an individual, and you’ll be fine.  The picture above was taken on the tiny balcony of my daughter’s apartment, the first time she made this chicken, and only the third time she had ever BBQ’d. Doesn’t it look great?

Don’t forget to have s’mores for dessert, you don’t want to waste all those lovely coals!  For sides, we like to grill sliced zucchini and tomatoes fresh from the garden, but corn-on-the-cob, potato or pasta salad, baked beans, and garlic bread are also classic accompaniments.  Leftovers are great on a green salad the next day, or diced in a quesadilla or burrito, or added to stir-fried veggies and served over rice.

Polly’s Triple Threat Chicken

Desired number of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts each cut into 3 pieces (see note above).  One recipe of marinade will do for 6-8 breasts.  For more chicken, just double the marinade.  You’ll have enough glaze for a double batch.

For the Marinade
· ½ cup soy sauce
· ¼ cup vegetable oil
· ¼ cup red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar (I keep a bottle of raspberry vinegar on hand just for this recipe)
· 1 teaspoon dried oregano
· 1 teaspoon dried basil
· ½ teaspoon black pepper
· ½ teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley)
· 1 crushed and chopped garlic clove (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)

For the Glaze
· ¾ cup ketchup
· ¾ cup honey
· ½ cup soy sauce
· 3 crushed and chopped garlic cloves
· a few drops of Tabasco (I live in fear of hot and spicy food, so I only use about ¼-½ teaspoonful)

  1. Place your chicken chunks into a large Ziploc bag or marinating tray.  In a small measuring cup or bowl, combine all ingredients for marinade.  Pour the marinade over the chicken.  Refrigerate, and marinate chicken for 2 to 4 hours.  Remove from refrigerator one hour before grilling so the chicken can be at room temperature before putting on grill.
  2. While chicken is marinating, prepare the glaze.  Combine all ingredients and place in a bowl or container (the container should be big enough to hold chunks of half cooked chicken and be able to withstand the heat of half cooked chicken.  I use a large flat Tupperware container), stir well to combine.
  3. Drain the room temperature chicken from the marinade.  Grill.  Pick out similar size pieces of chicken and put them next to each other on the grill.  Put the thickest pieces on first, then the tenderloins, then those thin triangular pieces.  Turn as needed.  When the pieces are one-half to two-thirds cooked, remove from grill and dunk completely into the prepared glaze, turning to get a good coat.  Return the chicken pieces to the grill for an additional 2-3 minutes on each side.  The glaze will caramelize and look completely yummy.  Allow the chicken to get grill marks, but remove from heat before charring!!
  4. Remove chicken to a serving platter, and dig in!

NEWS FLASH! Look what was in the San Jose Mercury News today, August 1, 2013. The cutie patootie is my 2 month old grandson, awwwwww.

Jett recipe in newspaper

 

08 Jun 2013 Peach Iced Tea

2 Peach Iced Tea Vert

I made a Peach Iced Tea! I am so excited that I have to share the recipe with you, even as I work to make it more natural (off to the farmer’s market tomorrow for my first try). I didn’t want you all to have to wait until I got the natural version perfected as this version works fine!  I know there are hot days and summer parties in your near future–graduations, Father’s Day, showers, birthday parties, July 4th celebrations, and BBQ’s, so I know you need this recipe now!

This tea, as is, is not too sweet, and definitely has a pronounced peach flavor; it’s like Snapple Peach Iced Tea, only better!  Make the big-batch peach base to keep in the freezer and you’ll be able to whip up a quart of Peach Iced Tea for yourself and a good book! Or make a gallon or two  for a  summer party in a flash.  I, for one, would love to go to a summer party where there’s something to drink other than bottles of beer, soda and water 🙂 (BTW, I have a recipe posted for Blueberry Lemonade, too, which is also very good!).

The peach part of the tea was inspired by a recipe I found in a “Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication” entitled , “Best Loved Reader Recipes; 125 Winners from 1930 to Today”.  The recipe in the magazine was for a “Sparkling Peach Punch”, where the base below is mixed with ginger ale or sparkling water.  I tried both versions. The ginger ale version was very sweet, the sparkling water version was given a thumbs up by my daughters, but the iced tea version created by yours truly was the star of the show.

Notes:

#1 Make the base and freeze it in three 1-quart batches or six 2-cup batches.  Each 1-quart peach base will mix with 2 quarts of strong tea to make 12 cups/3 quarts of  Peach Iced Tea, add ice and you have a party!  Each 2-cup peach base mixed with 6 cups of strong tea will make 8 cups/2 quarts of Peach Iced Tea, add ice and a friend and you have a cool and tasty summer drink with which you and  your friend can enjoy a little down time.

#2 Make the tea twice as strong as you would for regular hot tea!  I prefer English or Irish tea bags such as Barry’s Irish Gold, or Yorkshire Gold or PG tips.  Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast tea is also very good (but, oddly, the English Breakfast tea isn’t very good at all). I use 3 or 4 tea bags to each quart of boiling water.  If I had to use Lipton or Red Rose Tea, I’d use at least six tea bags to a quart of boiling water.  I haven’t experimented with green tea, as I am not a big fan, but I am sure green tea could substitute for the black tea, and of course, decaf tea could be used too, if that is your preference.

#3 I don’t know why there is gelatin in the base, that’s one of the things I am going to experiment with and try to remove, but, I think it probably does add to the overall peachiness of the drink. Yes, yes, yes, one of the first things I will experiment with is using fresh peaches in place of the canned peaches…but until that happens, make this version, it’s yummy!

Peach Iced Tea

For the Peach Base:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 13-ounce package peach-flavored gelatin
  • 1 29-ounce can peach slices in light syrup
  • 4 11 ounce cans peach nectar (find them on the shelves of the grocery store next to the bottled juices)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  1. Combine water, sugar, and gelatin in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve the gelatin then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Place undrained peach slices in blender, and blend until smooth.
  3. In a 1 gallon capacity bowl, pan or pitcher combine gelatin mixture, pureed peaches, peach nectar, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  4. Divide peach mixture into three 1-quart batches or six 2-cup batches.  Use now (see steps below), or freeze until needed.  According to the original recipe, the base can be frozen for up to 3 months.

To Brew the Tea and Combine With the Peach Flavor:

  • Desired quantity of peach base (remove from freezer an hour or two before needing)
  • Tea bags (Make the tea twice as strong as you would for regular hot tea, see note #2 above)
  • Boiling water (You will need to make 2X the amount of water for the quantity of base you are using, see note #1 above)
  1. Pour the required amount of boiling water over the tea bags and let steep for 3-5 minutes.  Don’t let the tea steep for more than 5 minutes or it will start to get bitter.
  2. Fill a pitcher half full of  ice.  Pour the hot brewed tea over the ice. Discard the tea bags.
  3. Stir the peach base into the iced tea.
  4. Pour into glass and enjoy! ahhhhhhhh

It’s mercilessly HOT here, and I hate hot, but a glass of Peach Iced Tea, a day off, and a good book does make the summer somewhat enjoyable(!)

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  I am going to try some more recipes from this magazine–Calypso Shrimp Skewers, Coconut Salmon Curry, Macaroni and Brie with Crab, Green Beans with Basil and Mint, so stay tuned!

BTW, if you have the magazine, I’ve already tried the “Bagel, Lox and Egg Strata” recipe… The picture looked great.  The make-ahead casserole wasn’t bad, but neither was it great, and I see no reason to make it again.

23 Feb 2013 Cold Brewed Iced Coffee (for the Yummiest Iced Lattes)

Iced Coffee with Whip

I like coffee.  I loooooove coffee.  Not that hot, black and bitter brewed coffee, but that expensive stuff brewed by the tablespoonful and mixed with steamed and foamed milk.  I have lived with an espresso machine since my ex-husband moved out.  It was a good switch. I am on my fourth one now (fourth espresso machine, not fourth ex-husband!).  Three had to be  retired (again, the three espresso machines not ex-husbands) and one  was fired for making terrible, horrible, no good, very bad lattes.  In addition to hot lattes, from spring through fall I really, really enjoy an Iced Latte in the afternoon, and, for Iced Lattes, with this recipe  no espresso machine is  required! Is there dancing in the aisles?

To make the Cold Brewed Iced Latte base, just get 12 oz of good quality coarse ground coffee beans, 7 cups of water, and a bowl that can be covered.  Are Toffee Nut Iced Coffee’s your little bit of heaven?  Not a problem. Vanilla Iced Coffee’s?  Easy peasy…

My friends and I are loading up my Minnie Winnie (small RV) and heading off to Palm Springs for the Camel & Ostrich Races and the Blessing of the Dates.  (Nooooo, I don’t know why we thought that would be a good idea!!! And no, I am not making this up, both are real events, held yearly, in Palm Springs and, from what I understand, in Arizona, too).  It’s become a tradition for us to load Iced Coffee Base (decaf)  into the Minnie Winnie when we head out.  Iced Lattes every afternoon while touring the US, what a nice way to live!  Don’t be jealous…raise your hand! You can come on the next trip!

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate

  • 7 cups water (you could go gourmet and use bottled water…)
  • 12 oz. favorite rich coffee (coarse  or drip grind, decaf or regular)
  1. Pour the entire 12 oz of coffee into a bowl that can be covered (with a lid…or a plate)
  2. Pour the water over the coffee. Stir to make sure all grounds are saturated with water. Cover the bowl.
  3. Let the coffee and water sit, covered and undisturbed, for 24 hours.
  4. Now comes the messy part.  Strain the coffee.  I put a coffee filter in a mesh strainer, balance it on top of a pitcher, and pour cups of the mixture through the filter. The Iced Coffee base collects in the pitcher and  I throw the used coffee grinds away as I go.  You might need to use two coffee filters.  The decanting takes awhile, but it’s definitely worthwhile–messy but easy.
  5. Once all the coffee concentrate has been filtered, put a lid on the pitcher, and store it in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. (Handy Tip: write dates on the container with an erasable marker.  For example:  Made 2/13/13. Good until 3/6/13.  When the container is empty, wash the dates off!  I mark all my plastic containers with erasable markers now.  It’s so handy.)

Iced Latte

  • ¼ cup* of Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate (above)
  • ¾ cup of milk (If you want, you could experiment with the milk.  I use 1 or 2%, but I have heard of others using coconut milk, almond milk, chocolate milk, and of course soy milk. Some even like evaporated milk with a splash of sweetened condensed milk).
  • 4 or 5 ice cubes
  • Optional: sugar (white or raw), Splenda, Torano Syrup (Vanilla and Toffee Nut are favorites), Bailey’s Irish Creme, Kahlua, 1-3 Tablespoons chocolate syrup, Sprinkles (Trader Joe’s has a “Sugar, Chocolate, Coffee Bean Grinder” that’s fun), a chocolate covered espresso bean or mini chocolate chips…
  • whipped cream and a straw (I think these are musts, but some people are a bit more serious and go without!)
  1. Pour the concentrate into the glass.
  2. Add the milk and stir.
  3. Stir in any optional ingredients (sweetener or syrups)  Stir well.
  4. Plop  in some ice cubes. Stir again.
  5. Top with whipped cream, and sprinkles if you’d like (sprinkles, grated chocolate, a dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon, or even a squirt of chocolate or caramel syrup), and, of course, a straw.

* ¼ cup of concentrate plus ¾ cup of milk seems to please most of my friends (A LOT!), but I do have one friend who doubles the coffee.  She has ½ cup concentrate and ¾ cup of milk. She’s German.  She likes strong coffee.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  You have in your hands one my favorite recipes. I hope you’ll be enjoying warm weather and iced lattes very soon!

P.S  If you’d like to get an email notifying you of the next recipe I post, please enter your email address in the box to the left. Don’t worry!  I won’t abuse your email address (I don’t know how to, for starters…) or use it for anything other than an occasional, short email notification of a new posted recipe.

07 Dec 2012 Peanut Brittle

Three years ago, maybe four, I made some peanut brittle for some end-of-the-year gifts for my children’s teachers and coaches.  No problem.  Two months ago I made some peanut brittle as samples for a craft fair.  No problem.  Two days before the craft fair I made two batches of peanut brittle.  LOTS of problems. Both batches were big flops.   Crisis!  I needed some peanut brittle to sell, I needed it fast, and I needed it to be fabulous.

Thank goodness for the Internet!  I spent a few hours reading everything I could about making peanut brittle.  I took notes.  I highlighted.  I found sites that swore microwaved peanut brittle was the way to go.  I was all for it, but as (my) luck would have it, my microwave died the same day as the peanut brittle flopped.  (Where is my guardian angel!?)   I abandoned my old recipe, and went with a recipe that seemed to have the best chance of success (and that I could cook the “old fashioned” way, on the top of the stove), a twenty year old recipe from Bon Apetite, found on Epicurious.com.

I got out my heaviest pans. I hooked up my candy thermometer.   I also hooked up my instant read thermometer.   I put on my lucky apron.  I banished the grandchildren from the kitchen. I put on Christmas music. I was going to be double extra careful.  This was do or die day. I had to get two batches of really good peanut brittle into the cute boxes with the cute bows and the cute tags ASAP.

It worked.  PHEW.  I am glad to share with you the winning recipe, with all the hints and tips.  Good Luck!  As long as you don’t make this on an especially wet/humid day–and follow these direction and all my hints and tips–you should be OK.  But please note, this is important, the times are approximate.  I have a very powerful gas range, and I am an aggressive cook, so the times noted are the ones that worked for me.  If  you have an electric stove and/or are a cautious cook, your times might be twice as long.  Trust your candy thermometer (and your back up thermometer)  and pay attention to color.

One batch of this will make about 3 ½ lbs of peanut brittle.  That’s a lot of peanut brittle. I made two batches and was able to put 7 lbs of peanut brittle up for sale, to benefit my favorite organization, Dining For Women, YAY!

Totally Nuts Peanut Brittle

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup dark corn syrup
  • 3-4 cups salted cocktail peanuts (whole or coarsely chopped–I left mine whole)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Stir the sugar, water, light and dark corn syrup, and salt together in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  (TIPS:  Use a really large, heavy pan (mixture will foam up, a lot, in the last step).  I used a five quart stock pot.  The dark corn syrup is for color.  You can use all light corn syrup if you want. The sugar isn’t be dissolved until you can see the bottom of the pan.)
  2. Take your spoon out of the mixture and leave it out for this entire step.  Clip your candy thermometer to the edge of the pan.  Be sure the tip of the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to high, and BOIL the mixture, without stirring, until the candy thermometer registers 280 degrees F, about 40 minutes. (TIPS:  The mixture will stay at 220 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, don’t worry about it, your thermometer is not broken.  The temperature will go up a bit faster after passing the 220 degree F. mark.  To reassure yourself, use a second thermometer, if you have one.)
  3. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.  Put two (or three) large rimmed cookie trays into the oven to warm.  Just before your mixture reaches the 295 degree mark (next step) take the pans out of the oven and lightly grease with a bit of butter.
  4. Pour the nuts and the butter into the boiling mixture (this will cause a temperature drop).  Use your spoon now, and keep your eye on the thermometer/s.  Stir the mixture constantly until it reaches 295 degrees F., about 15 minutes.  (TIPS:  I prefer to use 3 cups of nuts, because I like more brittle than nuts, 4 cups of nuts makes a very nutty brittle.  Watch the color, you want that deep rich amber color.  One or two degrees over 295 will be fine–if you work quickly in the next step, but don’t go much higher than that.  The temperature will move fast now, and you could easily burn a batch! On the other hand, under no circumstances should you stop cooking before reaching 295 degrees–or you’ll have “Peanut Bendy and Sticky” instead of “Peanut Brittle”.)
  5. Yell for help. A child should not answer this call.
  6. Remove the pan from heat.  Stir in baking soda and vanilla and stir briskly.  Mixture will foam up.  Keep stirring. (TIPS: This is why you used a large pan. If you didn’t use a large pan your mixture might bubble out of the pan and onto the counter.  This is not a good thing. Under no circumstances should you touch the hot, Hot HOT mixture.)
  7. Being very careful and using your best hot mitts to protect your hands and arms, immediately pour mixture onto the warm and greased cookie trays.  If anyone answered your call for help have them spread the peanut brittle as thinly as possible across the trays. (TIPS: Do not get burned.  Do not burn your helper.  Banish all pets and children from the area. Do not touch the pan. Do not touch the peanut brittle.)
  8. Put the pans of peanut brittle in the warm oven for 2-3 minutes. This should help the peanut brittle spread evenly over the bottom of the pans.
  9. Remove pans from oven and let sit until cold and hard.
  10. Break brittle into pieces and store in airtight containers at room temperature for a month or more.
  11. Pat yourself on your back for a job well done.
That’s IT!  I hope this recipe helps you make the most delicious Peanut Brittle ever!
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

14 Sep 2012 Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

ChocPB cookies good Stack

I have been meaning to post this recipe forever, I just never had a good picture of the cookie.  The recipe only makes 32 cookies, and around here 32 cookies lasts approx 32 seconds.  My friend Josee made these for a Christmas Cookie Exchange two years ago (that’s how long I have wanted to post this recipe). I gave a dozen of these to a friend, Becky,  for a “Craft it Forward” exchange and I promised the recipe to her ONE year ago. (Bad Polly, bad, bad, bad, bad.)  But finally, I  made a batch that didn’t get scarfed immediately.  I made them for my Yoga Group, and they are too polite to eat a half dozen each at one sitting (but it could have been that I had them so busy bagging stuff for an upcoming fundraiser and they didn’t have any hands free to eat cookies!)  They did sing praises for the cookies they did eat though and encouraged me to post the recipe ASAP.

Now getting back to the first time I encountered this cookie.  It was my favorite cookie that year, maybe my favorite cookie in all the years of our exchange (of which there have only been three).  Oddly enough, I made my cookie that year from same cookie magazine Josee used, and I never even considered making these!  Even now, if I just looked at the recipe, I would not be inclined to make it. This is one cookie that tastes much, much better than it’s list of ingredients.  It tastes much, much better than it looks, too and, no matter how good the picture looks above  (do you like it?  I got a new camera!), it still doesn’t do the cookie justice.  Take a bite!  There’s a layer of peanut butter inside!  As one of my friends said, who shall remain nameless, “So how did you get the peanut butter IN there?”

So here it is, at long last, the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies (originally published as “Peanut Butter Munchies” in the Better Homes and Gardens “100 Best Cookies”, 2009).

One more note,  I often loose track of how many balls I have, so now I line up a chocolate ball with a peanut butter ball before I start rolling.  One time I ran out of peanut butter balls! I have no idea how that happened.  So I just cracked open another bottle of wine and made another half batch of the peanut butter batter, and all was fine. Hic.  (Just kidding.  I don’t drink.  Ever.  Really!! No, REALLY, I don’t!!!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

For Chocolate Cookie

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter (one stick, 4 oz), softened
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (I always use creamy)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar (I use light brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Peanut Butter Filling

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

For Sparkle

  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and peanut butter.  Beat for a minute or so. Add in both sugars and beat for another minute or so.  Beat in egg and milk.
  4. Slowly add the flour-cocoa powder mixture to the butter-peanut butter mixture and beat just until combined.  Roll ball into a snake shape and refrigerate for a short while (to make it easier to handle) while you mix up the peanut butter filling.
  5. Beat peanut butter and powdered sugar together until well combined.  Roll dough into 32 equal balls.
  6. Divide cookie dough into 32 equal portions.
  7. For each cookie, flatten a piece of chocolate dough and top with a peanut butter filling ball.  Wrap Chocolate cookie dough around the peanut butter filling, making a ball in the process.  Place balls on a cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
  8. Rub a bit of leftover dough or a very slight bit of butter onto the bottom of a glass.  Dip glass in sugar.  Press cookies flat with sugar coated glass. (redip glass in sugar before pressing down on each ball).
  9. Bake cookies in preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, until the sides are just slightly cracked.  Cool on cookie sheet for a minute or so and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Becky, I hope you are reading this…, I’m sorry that I took so long.  Josee, thanks for introducing me to this excellent cookie! Everyone else, ENJOY!  This is one great cookie!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today, come back again soon!  Now that I am learning how to master an SLR camera, I will probably be posting more frequently 🙂  I have a terrific parchment wrapped salmon recipe and a long time favorite gazpacho recipe just waiting in the wings!

04 Sep 2011 Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade

Last family BBQ of the season?  I wish I had posted this recipe as a season opener so that we could have had enjoyed this drink throughout the summer, but at least it is posted in time for the last BBQ of the summer. So toast the summer good-bye and pack away the white shoes with a glass of this sparkling Watermelon Lemonade.

This is  a summery, refreshing drink that’s lightly bubbly. No artificial colors, no artificial flavorings, no preservatives; just all natural ingredients! (…and it will use up all of that H-U-G-E watermelon you just bought!  My local grocery store had BIG ‘UNs for $2.49 yesterday.  How could I resist? Now, with this recipe for Watermelon Lemonade, none of that BIG ‘UN is going to waste!)

You could easily use this recipe and make a watermelon concentrate to freeze for future use.  Just mix the watermelon puree, the lemon juice, and the simple syrup, stir to blend. and then freeze (a quart Ziploc bag would work fine).  When ready to serve remove concentrate from freezer, defrost, add water and sparkling water, and stir until blended.

The kids are going to love this.  In fact, I think it will be their favorite. Go ahead and make some concentrate.  You know there is going to be a kid oriented event in the next few weeks.  Better to serve them good-for-you Watermelon Lemonade than a can of fizzy artificial flavorings and colorings.

This recipe has a long pedigree.  I found it here, http://traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com/2011/07/watermelon-lemonade.html (Tracey has posted a much better picture of the Watermelon Lemonade), where it was adapted from from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from  Bubby’s.  I added the recipe for 8 servings  (why not make a pitcher  full?) and changed the ratio of bubbly water to straight water. You could make either version with all still water, or with all bubbly water.  Do what suits you. Make this recipe yours! Enjoy!  Here’s look to next summer, when we can have glass after glass after glass of this Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade.

Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade

For two glasses:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually one lemon)
  • 1/2 cup fresh watermelon puree (Put cubes of seedless watermelon in blender and whirl until smooth.  Strain to remove seeds and pulp. )
  • 3-4 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below, make first and let cool!)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water

Add all of the ingredients to a small pitcher and stir to combine.  Divide between two glasses and serve over ice.

For Eight Servings:

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
  • 2 cups fresh, strained watermelon puree (about 1/2 a medium watermelon)
  • 1 cup simple syrup (recipe below, make first and let cool!)
  • 1  1/2 cups cold water
  • 1  1/2 cups sparkling water

Add all of the ingredients to a small pitcher and stir to combine.  Pour into ice filled glasses and serve.

Simple Syrup:

To make the simple syrup: Combine equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  (1/4 cup of sugar and water for 2 servings, 1 cup of sugar and water for 8 servings). Continue simmering until the sugar has dissolved.  Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.  Leftover syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  I hope I’ll be back cooking up a storm tomorrow.  Fingers crossed, I’ll see you then!

Polly