Appetizers,  Drinks

The Challenge and a Cocktail….Watermelon Mojito

A few weeks back I was nominated for the Challenge that has been sweeping through the blogs recently.  A challenge to select 7 posts in various categories.  Karen at Back Road Journal had flattered me with this nomination.  Flattered because as many as you know, this blog was just a way to get my recipes to my daughter and family, but now has included so many wonderful new friends!   

With cocktail in hand, I sat myself down to ponder my posts.  But first the drink.  One of the things I like to do is take some of my freshly purchased fruit and macerate it in either rum or vodka in either my cocktail shaker or glass pitcher.  Adding in either fresh mint leaves when using the rum or basil when using the vodka.  I place it in the fridge and then by the weekend I can simply strain it out to make a cocktail.  It’s along the lines of flavoring rum or vodka.  Plus the alchohol keeps the fruit “preserved”! 

It hardly seemed like a blog worthy idea, but the other day I spotted Juliana’s post at Simple Recipes on Infused Strawberry Martini using a similar concept.  Greg at Rufus Guide to Food and Spirits also posted a watermelon cooler with a kick early this summer too. 

Since moving toFlorida, Mojitos have become a favorite of mine.  I like the simple refreshing taste of the mint and began trying out different fruits to flavor the rum.  Instead of a simply syrup I use agave. And after the liquid has been all used for the drink, I can enjoy a slushy, tipsy fruit treat!  (You can find the recipe following my challenge results at the bottom of this post.)

And now the Challenge and my 7 picks:

The most beautiful post.  I guess it would be my Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Cake.  The layers of ice cream and chocolate covered strawberries always get the most oohs and aahs when its presented and served!

The most popular was clearly my Blueberry and Basil Vodka Lemonade.  It made Freshly Pressed and overwhelmed me with the most comments and “likes”!

For the most controversial, I will have to pass on that one as of yet, I’ve not posted anything to cause controversy!

My most helpful post is for Ghee and actually does not have any comments, however, it is one that I always refer to when family or friends are at my home and ask about the “butter” I am using.  It adds such a unique nuttiness and intense flavor to my dishes.  It’s also dairy free and can stay out on my counter for weeks which always takes my friends by surprise!

The most surprisingly successful was my Guava and Cheese Quesadilla.  I posted this as a reminder when I saw the ballet of Romeo and Juliet, a simple quesadilla with a simple filling but surprisingly drew alot of interest!

The post that did not get the attention it deserved was my White Wine Soup.  I adore this soup.  It’s so uniquely flavored and a classy soup to serve to guests. 

The post that I am most proud of is my mother’s Italian Easter Egg Cookies.  I really never ran into anyone else who had made these outside of our family.  Among my sister and cousins we all tried to recreate the recipe our mothers made every year never quite getting it right.  This recipe posted was my successful tweaked version from the vague notes she had written.

And now for a drink!

Watermelon Mojito

Makes 2 drinks

For the Watermelon Rum:

2 cups chopped watermelon

4 oz rum….or more

4 fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoon agave or more to taste

1 quarter of lime

Combine all in a sealed container, mashing well and refrigerate overnight or 2-3 days. 

 For two Mojitos:

12 fresh mint leaves

2 quarters of lime

2 oz club soda

 For each Mojito:  In a tall glass crush 6 mint leaves with a lime quarter to release their oils.  Fill glass with ice halfway up.  Shake the watermelon rum mix and Pour in 2 oz of strained watermelon rum into the glass.  Top with 1 oz of club soda.  Garnish and serve!

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.

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