Melon Margaritas

I really enjoy hitting up the farmer’s market during the summer and early fall months. It’s almost like a game, seeing what new fruits and veggies they will have next. Abby and I bet how long the plums will last or see when they’ll have peppers. Do you think this farmer will have habaneros yet? Who has the better cherries?

Lately, there has been an absolute melon takeover. One of our favorite stands has watermelons, honeydew, cantaloup, canary melons and tons more. If I had stronger arms, we’d probably get one of each. After carrying around 3 pounds of tomatoes, 3 pounds of yellow onions, 1 pound of red onions, dozens of jalapeños, plums, freshly baked bread and assorted squash, I have to go easy on the melons.

Recently, we tried out a canary melon. It was sweet and juicy, bordering on too sweet. I scooped out the seeds and peeled that sucker. We saved half for eating and I turned the rest into a sweet margarita. It’s Monday and we are just getting back into the swing of things for the work week.  But why not try indulging in a margarita to celebrate the beginning of a great week?

Melon Margaritas
Recipe type: drinks, summer, cocktails
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 canary melon (or other small melon of choice), peeled, seeded and cubed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium high, combine sugar and water until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Combine sugar, melon chunks and sugar water in your blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Strain the melon mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  4. Combine tequila, 4 ounces melon mixture and lime juice in a glass.

Notes
Definitely use a salted rim for this marg. The sweet melon will be enough.

 

Chorizo Quesadillas

At this point in time, I’m aware that chorizo is a meat typically associated with breakfast foods. Until last week, I’d never tried it but always had it at the top of my list. Although I’m not a big breakfast eater, so I figured I’d just table it for another time.

I could no longer resist and picked some up while I was at the grocery store. Let me just say that the men at the meat counter in Shoppers are really funny! I wanted to try this in something other than standard breakfast fare, so I went the safe route and mixed it up with a bunch of cheese.

Really, when has cheese ever been wrong?

The results were one tasty quesadilla. I am now a chorizo convert!

Chorizo Quesdaillas
Recipe type: dinner, lunch, spicy
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Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 2 chorizo sausages, removed from casing
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tortillas

Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat. Once the oil heats up, add the chorizo.
  2. Cook the chorizo until browned and cooked throughout. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Heat up your panini press (or sauce pan).
  4. While the pan or press heats, assemble your quesadilla.
  5. Lay your tortilla flat. Add ½ cup cheese and some chorizo on one side of the quesadilla. Fold over.
  6. Repeat with the second tortilla.
  7. Place quesadilla on the panini press and close. Cook until cheese is melted throughout and quesadilla is crispy.

Notes
I use my panini press for practically everything but you could absolutely use a sauce pan to make your quesadilla. Just be sure to flip!

 

Classic Guacamole

Did you attend Rock The Mall this weekend? I did and it was hot, hot, hot. And fun and exciting and record-breaking. 250,000 Girl Scouts, representing all 50 states, huddled on the Mall in Washington D.C., next to the Washington Monument to celebrate 100 years of scouting with a sing-a-long.

It was really cool and fun. Abby, my mom and I stood in line for almost 2 hours to meet celebrities from the Disney Channel during the pre-show hours. We did NOT meet said stars because, after 2 hours, Abby gave in to the heat and wanted to seek solace in cooler temperatures.

Days like that, so hot that you can actually feel your skin burning, you don’t want to cook or even eat. I had to throw away half of my hoagie. On days like that, you need light, easy foods.

Like chips and guacamole. Classic guacamole is really fantastic. It’s flavorful and creamy and zesty and spicy. When you spoon a big glob of it on top of a crispy chip, the taste is out of this world. Next time the heat hits 106 and you don’t want to cook, give this a try. It will fill you up and satisfy you at the same time.

Classic Guacamole
Recipe type: appetizer, snack, dip, mexican
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4 to 6
 

Ingredients
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 Tbsp. salsa of your choosing
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions
  1. Slice and pit your avocado. Scoop the flesh out into a small bowl.
  2. Mash with a fork until it has reached the consistency you like.
  3. Add the salsa and stir well to combine.
  4. Add juice of lime and stir slightly.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips.

Notes
Some people like their guac very smooth. I like mine a little lumpy and didn’t mash it as well.

 

Beer Week Continues: Mexican Beer-Marinated Chicken

In our fridge, we have what we affectionately call “the reject shelf”. It’s where beers go to live out their remaining days. All the ones we’ve tried and have not liked. They’ll get tossed in with chili or mixed into beer bread. Some of them sit there, just waiting out their time. I think the Smuttynose Robust Porter has been in there for a good year. Perhaps it is time to clean out the shelf…

Most of these beers don’t exactly appeal to my taste  preferences but they’d be great in different foods. As soon as I saw Starr Hill’s Lucy, a golden ale, I grabbed a few bottles.  The description seemed like something that would certainly appeal to me. A golden brew with ginger, lime and coriander. How could that be wrong?

Unfortunately, it was. The ginger was too strong, the lime was too prevalent. It just didn’t taste how I wanted it to. So it was put on the shelf, to be forgotten. Until I decided to make Mexican burrito bowls. Those flavors may not have been tasty as a drink, but I knew immediately that they would make an amazing marinade. And so, Lucy Mexican chicken was born.

Mexican Beer-Marinated Chicken

serves 2

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 bottle of Starr Hill Lucy ale*

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 cup cooked rice

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn, thawed.

2 Tbsp. shredded Monetrey Jack cheese

*Note, you can use any other beer you see fit. The flavors of this particular beer matched nicely. But feel free to use anything you’d like.

Place your chicken in a large, sealable bag. Pour your beer onto the chicken and seal the bag tightly. Place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferrably over night.

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking tray with foil.

Take your chicken out of the bag and place it on a flat surface. In a small bowl, combine your chili powder and garlic powder. Generously rub your chicken with the spices, coating entirely. Place the chicken on the baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until done completely.  Let it rest for a minute, then cut the chicken into generous slices.

Place your rice on the bottom of your serving dish. Layer on the black beans, corn and then cheese.  Place the sliced chicken on top.

You could also top with avocado, salsa, sour cream and a little lime.

Enjoy!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

This is the story of how Brian ate a taco-spiced baked potato.

I wanted to make taco mac and cheese and realized we were out of taco seasoning. So I whipped up some homemade taco spices and stuffed them into one of the mostly empty black pepper containers we had in our pantry. In fairness, we need to go through the spices. I used what I needed and put it back in the pantry for next time I wanted taco seasoning.

Brian, starving, decided to make a baked potato for lunch on Saturday afternoon. He baked it, sliced it up, slathered it with butter and salt. Grabbed for the black pepper and ended up with a snoot full of taco seasoning on his baked potato.

I forgot to mention that I did NOT tell him I put taco spices in the black papper jar. He, of course, asked me what the deal was with the red spices in the jar. I replied with an “Oh yeah! Forgot to mention it. I put taco seasoning in there.”

And that is how Brian discovered Mexican potatoes.

 

DIY Taco Seasoning

From Annie’s Eats

 

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp. chili powder

3 Tbsp. paprika

3 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

In an air-tight container, combine all ingredients well. Save until ready to use.

When ready, use about 2 heaping tablespoons full of the seasoning.