drink: watermelon gin fizz slush

moderndrygoods_watermelonginfizzslush_final

ah, memorial day. summer is finally here. it was a long/late winter here in colorado and I couldn’t be happier to have the final snow melted and the sun blazing. along with the rest of the country, I spent the weekend outdoors, playing tennis, swimming and celebrating with friends. welcoming summer again with open arms. and cocktails. I recently have been obsessed with watermelon juice and knew that i had to come up with a cocktail using it. These watermelon gin fizz slush drinks (or water-fizzes, as I now refer to them) are delicious, refreshing and summery. Here’s the recipe:

moderndrygoods_watermelonginfizzslush_ingredients

  • 4 cups of watermelon juice (from approximately half a watermelon)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice (approximately 4 limes)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Zest of two limes
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves chopped
  • Soda Water
  • Gin (or Vodka if you prefer)

Juice approximately half a watermelon. This can be done with a juicer or by cutting into chunks and using a food processor or blender. I used my stick/immersion blender. After it is pureed, run through a mesh strainer/sieve to remove any pulp or seeds. There can be some pump but you want it to be mainly juice.

Then make simple syrup by combining the juice of 4 limes, zest of 2 limes, 1/2 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 1/4 of chopped mint leaves in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil making sure to stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature and either strain the mint leaves or use your stick blender to puree them into the syrup.

Combine simple syrup and watermelon juice with 1 cup of Gin (or Vodka is you prefer). Pour into quart containers leaving at least an inch of room at the top and freeze over night.

To assemble, remove the frozen quart container from the freezer and using a spoon flake it and scoop into a glass. Then pour a shot of gin or vodka and enough soda water into the glass until the slush is covered, stir until they are combined and have a slurpee-esque consistency. Add a straw, garnish with a lime if desired and serve. This recipe should make about 12 healthy servings.

If watermelon’s not your thing, I highly recommend you check out my summer drink from last year, frozen drunk arnold palmers.

enjoy!

xo

kw

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cook: strawberry + ricotta bruschetta

 

We are well into the dog days of summer and the very last thing I feel like doing is slaving over a hot stove.  I’ve hit the part of the year where i tend to subside on iced coffee, grapes and popsicles.  It’s just too hot to eat anything else.  this past weekend, I was invited to a  friend’s house for dinner and a movie and knew that grapes and popsicles would not be appropriate tob ring with me.  So I began looking for something that I could make and transport and yet didn’t require me to turn on my stove.  In the end, I decided to throw together these delicious little summer snacks.  Fruit soaked in balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite flavor combinations and these did not disappoint — the key here is to use the best ingredients that you can afford and can get your hands on.

Here is what you’ll need:

+ crusty bread (i used a french small boule)

+ olive oil

+ balsamic vinegar

+ strawberries

+ fresh ricotta

+ basil

+ salt and pepper to taste

start by hulling and dicing your strawberries.  i used about a pint of them to make 1.5 cups of diced strawberries.  then combine with 2 T of balsamic and let sit for 20 minutes.  then slice and lightly toast your bread.    once toasted drizzle with olive oil.  then stir in about a tablespoon of olive oil into your ricotta.  spread a healthy spoonful onto each slice of bread.  top with a healthy spoonful of strawberries.  chiffonade or tear the basil and sprinkle on top and add salt and pepper to taste.

voila. an impressive, delicious and simple summer time treat. i loved them so much, i plan to make these daily for lunch!

xoxo

katie

whisk: deconstructed ice cream sandwich ice cream

If you follow us on Facebook, you saw my post earlier this week about this great article on Brooklyn’s Ample Farms Ice Cream.  What an inspiring story for anyone thinking of starting a small business, that if you work hard and have a good product, success is possible.  Of course, the article also talks all about the amazing flavors of ice cream that they sell and with my mouth watering, I decided that it was time to break out the ice cream maker.  At first I was going to make my favorite salted caramel ice cream and mix in some animal crackers but then I saw this post on Smitten Kitchen about homemade ice cream sandwiches and I knew I had to give it  a whirl.

But with a twist — I decided to make a batch of Vanilla Custard Ice Cream and mix in the homemade ice cream sandwich cookies.  At its core, this is really a Cookies n Cream ice cream but the cookies are better and what a treat, this is delicious.  And I’m now convinced that I should buy a cart and open an ice cream stand and take on Ben n Jerry’s!

Here’s the recipe:

Cookies
+ 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
+ 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra dark or Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
+ 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
+ 1/2 cup granulated sugar
+ 3/8 teaspoons table salt
+ 1 large egg yolk
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

High Altitude Adjustments:
+ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
+ 1 large egg (both white and yolk)
+ Increase oven temp to 375ºF and decrease cooking time to 14-16 minutes

Ice Cream
+ 2 vanilla beans
+ 3 cups heavy cream
+ 1 cup whole milk
+ 1 1/2 cups sugar
+ 3 large egg

Special Equipment
+ Ice Cream Maker
+ Candy Thermometer that goes to at least 170°F.

The Steps

1). Make the cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a sheet pan with silpat or parchment and set aside.  Then sift the flour and cocoa together in a bowl and set aside.  In your mixer, cream the butter, sugar and salt until fluffy (beat them on medium high for 2-3 minutes).  Add the yolks and vanilla and mix until combined.  Then add the flour mixture in three parts mix until combined each time and scrap down the sides.   When the dough is mixed, remove and form into a disc.  Chill for up to 10-30 minutes until it is firm enough to roll out.  Remove from fridge and transfer to a lightly floured surface.  Roll out and cut into rectangles.  Try to make them even but they don’t need to be perfect as they will be crumbled once cooked.  Place on the baking sheet and cook for 16-18 minutes.

2). Make the ice cream

Start with a knife and halve the vanilla beans lengthwise.  Scrape the seeds into a heavy saucepan and add the pods.  Then pour in the cream, milk and sugar.  Heat over medium heat until it has just come to a boil, stirring frequently and then remove from heat.  Make sure that the milk mixture is around 170ºF.  Stir to cool until it is 170, you don’t want it hotter than that or you will cook the eggs.

In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then pour the hot cream mixture into the eggs in a slow steady stream while whisking.

Then transfer back to the sauce pan and heat over low heat until the mixture is once again at 170ºF.

Then place a strainer or sieve over a clean bowl and pour the mixture through it.  Cover the custard with wax paper (press the paper to the surface of the custard) and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.  Once it is completely cooled, place into your ice cream maker and turn it on.

3). Mix to combine

Crumble the ice cream sandwich cookies into bite size pieces.  Then about 20 minutes into the ice cream maker chilling process,  once the ice cream has the consistency of soft serve ice cream, stir in the crumbled cookies.  Once they are blended, stop the machine, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze overnight.  This can be made up a week in advance.  Serve it up with additional crumbles if desired.

Imagine if you threw an ice cream sandwich in a blender, this is it.  Now do I have you dreaming of my ice cream stand?

Xo,

Katie