As the country bids adieu to summer this Labor Day, we join the celebration with a refreshing watermelon martini. We prepared our thirst-quenching drink with fresh watermelon juice, Dripping Springs vodka (a local distillery) and sugar. To add some flair, we lined the rim of our martini glasses with a tangy chile powder–Tajín. Fresh watermelon (or nearly any fruit) sprinkled with chile powder can be found at fruit stands all over town–and it’s absolutely delicious! With our weather expected to be near triple digits later this week, we aren’t saying farewell to summer quite yet….In the meantime, we’ll enjoy another cocktail until it’s toddy time! Happy Labor Day!
Watermelon Martini with Chile Powder
Roughly chop 2 cups of fresh watermelon. In the blender, add watermelon, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and one cup of water. Liquefy watermelon mixture. Strain watermelon juice until you no longer have pulp. Prepare martini glass by lining the rim with lime juice, then dip the rim in Tajín. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add 3 parts juice to 1 part vodka. Shake thoroughly and pour into martini glass. Salud!
The brightness of summer is slowly fading. With school zones flashing away and stores beginning to stock their pumpkins (a bit prematurely, in our opinion), we bid farewell to the long summer days. In Texas, however, it’s patio season most of the year. When the weather is bearable, we love being outdoors—on the covered patio, in the garden, or recently, in Ingrid’s new hammock! Right around this time, the patio furniture starts to go on clearance. Unless we find an absolute steal, we still love sticking to our trusty thrift stores! These green chairs were crying out for help when we spotted them. They begged us to take them home and promised to look beautiful after a bit of cleaning and paint. They definitely did not disappoint!
Prickly Pears can be quite intimidating with their tiny, almost invisible needles waiting to implant themselves into your skin. Growing up, we spent our summers in Mexico and the prickly pear (in Spanish, tuna) is one of the many foods that bring dear memories of our grandmother’s home. When they’re at their peak (usually in late July-August) we take home as many as the bag will hold. Our simple guide below on peeling the tuna will hopefully ease your fears, so that you can conquer this delicious fruit and enjoy in your own home (over the sink, dribbling down your chin as we sometimes do!).
Cut off the ends of the prickly pear and make one incision from top to bottom through the skin.
Carefully open the skin to each side and peel off in one piece.
I just can’t bear to throw out leftovers…although I will admit it can be a little dull eating the same meal for a few days. I had grilled veggies in the fridge from the previous night and needed a quick lunch that would be filling and easy to prepare. I had some pappardelle egg noodles in the pantry and snipped some rosemary from the garden. Rosemary just seems to make everything better!
Grilled Veggie Encore.
Boil pappardelle noodles over medium high heat (follow package instructions). Sauté grilled vegetables with rosemary and add to the noodles. Salt to taste.
A few summers ago, our health concious mother made us this refreshing jicama salad and we’ve been creating it in our own kitchens ever since. The simplicity of it makes for a quick meal during these scorching summer days. This is also one of those salads that tastes even better the next day.
Peel and chop jicama and mango into bite size pieces. Roughly chop cilantro. Combine these ingredients in a medium bowl. Add lime juice and cayenne pepper (to taste). For best flavor, chill the salad overnight in the fridge.
*possibly add ginger, cucumber, mint…we’ll definitely have to experiment next time!