Saturday, August 10, 2013

Watermelon Margarita Slices

These booze soaked watermelon slices were inspired by this Martha Stewart
recipe. I made a couple of changes, most notably that I doubled the margarita marinade to make sure that there was enough to cover an entire small watermelon.  I also mixed lime zest in the salt for a more intense lime flavor and snuck some peach schnapps in the mix.  For those that aren't fans of the schnapps, you probably won't taste it but you could omit it altogether if you really don't like it.  That said, these turned out so great that I am certain it's what I'll be brining to the next picnic that I am invited to!


1 small seedless watermelon, quartered and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups water
1 cup tequila
1/2 cup triple sec
1/3 cup peach schnapps
3 limes
zest of 2 limes (leave one unzested for serving)
flaked or course sea salt (I used Hawaiian Red and the color w/ the zest made this all the more special)


1 - Arrange watermelon in two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. Original recipe called for single layer but I stacked them and it turned out fine.

2 - Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in tequila, triple sec and peach schnapps. Let cool slightly. Pour syrup over watermelon wedges, and refrigerate for at least two hours.  I let this soak all day and the flavor was uh-mazingThe longer you soak, the more intense the flavor but, be careful, as soaking for much more than 12 hours will cause the watermelon to break down and this will make it difficult for people to pick up.

3 - Remove watermelon from syrup, and arrange on a platter. Save syrup for making watermelon margaritas later on (we found this easy to do by adding a little water, tequila and lime juice to taste).

4 - Thoroughly was the skin of the limes.  Pat dry.  Cut only one of the limes into wedges and arrange on platter with watermelon.  Using a micro planer or zester with the remaining limes, remove only the green outer layer of the lime zest, making sure to not to include any of the bitter, white pith that lies just below the surface.

5 - Mix zest with approximately 2 teaspoons of sea salt. 

6 - Cut the limes into halves and squeeze over melon, and then season with salt and zest mixture.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hummus is Good Food

There's not much I don't love about hummus.  It's full of fiber and healthy fats and it's a seriously satisfying snack.  Heck, I even love it smeared on a brown rice cake with some jalapeños for lunch. This recipe makes a ton of hummus but no worries, it freezes well!  If you like, you can always cut ingredients in half for a smaller batch.


16 ounce bag of dried chic peas or garbanzo beans
1/2 cup tahini paste (sesame butter)*
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1-2 fresh lemons (to taste)
3-4 cloves of garlic, skins left intact
reserved cooking liquid from beans
sea salt to taste (approx. 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp)

* For those allergic to tahini paste, you can sub unsweetened almond butter or sunflower seed butter or just increase the olive oil.  You may want to add cumin to enhance the flavor.


roasted red peppers
jalapeño peppers
pine nuts
artichoke hearts
caramelized onions
lemon zest


Crock pot/slow cooker
food processor or blender
frying pan or other shallow pan for "roasting" garlic


1 - Place chic peas in slow cooker and cover with enough water to cover by two inches. Cook on high for 8 - 10 hours or low for 10 - 12 or until the beans are cooked and squish beneath a fork but not overdone or mushy.

2 - Drain beans reserving 1/2 - 1 cup of the cooking liquid.  Set both aside to cool.

3 - On cooktop, heat frying pan to a very high heat and place garlic cloves, skin on, in dry pan.  Allow skin to bubble and blacken, turning often so that all the surfaces on the garlic get a chance to char, without burning the meat inside.  Remove from pan and set aside for a minute to cool.  This roasting makes the garlic flavor more mellow and your breath less offensive to your family and friends :)

4 - Place beans in bowl of food processor along with tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.  For the lemon juice and salt, I do each of these to taste so start out with less and you can always add more.  Peel charred skins off of garlic and add to the bowl.

5 - Run the food processor until the mixture has combined and is smooth.  Add reserved cooking water, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  Many commercial hummus brands use a lot more oil to reach that lighter feeling consistency--water does a pretty great job without making the fat completely unreasonable.

6 - Chill and serve.  If you like, you can stir in any of the optional ingredients before refrigerating. 

* I will calculate nutritional data and provide photos the next time I make this so that the accuracy will be better.