Watermelon Mojito with Mint Simple Syrup!

Watermelon Mojito with Mint Simple Syrup

Watermelon Mojito with Mint Simple Syrup is

a refreshing cocktail for summertime sipping!

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This cocktail (or mocktail), starts with fresh watermelon puree!

To make your puree, cut your watermelon into chunks and toss in a blender and puree until smooth. Pass watermelon through a strainer, discarding pulp and reserving watermelon liquid. Keep watermelon puree in the fridge to mix with sparkling water/soda or lemonade.

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A traditional mojito is made by muddling mint leaves with sugar and lime. Instead of muddling your mint leaves, make an easy mint-infused simple syrup to keep on hand in the refrigerator.

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Herb-infused simple syrups are easy to mix for flavoring and sweetening your beverages at the same time! Simple syrups are simply equal parts water and sugar, heating until sugar is dissolved. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 Try mint, rosemary or lavender-infused syrup to add to your lemonade, iced tea or cocktail. Directions here.

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Watermelon Mojito with Mint Simple Syrup

To ice filled glass add:

1/2 cup (4 ounces) fresh watermelon puree

Juice of half a lime

1 1/2 – 2 ounces light rum

2 ounces mint simple syrup, or to taste

Sparkling water or soda to top off, (I used a lime flavored sparkling water)

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Garnish with mint, lime or watermelon wedge if desired

For a mocktail, omit rum and add additional sparkling water/soda

Stir, Sip and Enjoy!

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For more summer watermelon recipes

 click on the links for a taste!

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Goat Cheese Bites

Goat Cheese-Melon Party Bites

Shrimp Salad over Zesty Watermelon

Shrimp Salad over Zesty Watermelon

Watermelon Fish Centerpiece

Catch & Release a

Watermelon Fish Centerpiece

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In celebration of Bee Season, Garden Bouquets and

 Summertime Sipping, I’m giving away 2 sets of 4

Quattro Stagioni Canning Jars!

To enter to win, leave a comment HERE.

Winners will be chosen August 8th.

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‘Just Peachy’ Crab Salad with Avocado!

Crab Salad with Peaches and Avocados

‘Just Peachy’ Crab Salad with Avocado is perfect for a summer appetizer or light dinner and pretty enough to serve company!

Summer peaches and creamy avocado are a delicious complement to fresh and naturally sweet crabmeat that has a touch of ocean saltiness!

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I found this recipe in my search for a salad using summer peaches. I knew this was a keeper recipe when I saw it was from Chef Virginia Willis, a contributing editor for Southern Living Magazine!

‘Just Peachy’ Crab Salad with Avocado,

adapted from Southern Living

Yield: Makes 6 servings

The crab salad can be made ahead, but the avocado and peach layers are best prepared just before serving.

Peach and Avocado Crab Salad

Ingredients

1 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced

1/4 cup finely diced celery

2 green onions, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

5 to 6 medium peaches, unpeeled and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons honey

3 medium avocados, diced

Arugula

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Preparation

Pick crabmeat, removing any bits of shell. Whisk together lemon zest, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Fold in jalapeño, celery, green onion, and crabmeat, gently, using a rubber spatula. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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Stir together peaches and remaining 4 Tbsp. lemon juice. Reserve 3 cups peach mixture. Pulse honey and remaining peach mixture in a food processor until smooth. Season pureed peach mixture with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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Spoon 1/4 cup pureed peach mixture onto a chilled plate. Place a 3 1/2-inch round cutter in center of peach mixture on plate.  (A clean, empty tuna can with both ends removed can be substituted for a cookie cutter if you don’t have the right size.) Spoon one-sixth of diced avocados and 1/2 cup reserved chopped peach mixture into cutter, packing each layer firmly and sprinkling with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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Top with about 1/2 cup crab mixture. Carefully remove cutter from plate. Repeat procedure with remaining pureed peach mixture, avocado, chopped peach mixture, and crab mixture. Arrange desired amount of arugula around each layered salad; serve immediately.

You can find a printable recipe here.

Crab Salad with Peaches and Avocados

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A Return to Historic Charleston, SC

Historic Charleston South Carolina

We find ourselves returning to Charleston, SC for a weekend visit a couple of times a year. No matter how many times I visit, I always enjoy taking a stroll in the early morning hours with my camera.

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We park the car once we arrive, walking to our destinations and dinner. Charleston is a foodie’s paradise and we enjoy touring with our taste buds and attempt to walk off some of the calories we consume!

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I enjoy peeking through the wrought iron gates

to admire the stately homes and

occasionally getting a glimpse of a garden. . .

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If you enjoy history, antebellum homes, and great food,

you’ll be charmed by the hospitality

and Southern flavor of Charleston!

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I would suggest visiting when both the humidity

and temps are not in the 90s though. . .

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Despite the heat, I’m always amazed at the

 flowers thriving in the window boxes. . .

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Especially since I look like a wilted flower

within 30 minutes of my arrival :)

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I hope you enjoy the scenery in the comfort of your air conditioning! This post is photo heavy, alas I have no restraint with the camera or at the table when I visit there :)

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Charleston is known as The Holy City, due to the numerous church steeples that can be seen rising above the otherwise low-rise skyline.

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You can stroll along and enjoy a visit

to Charleston in December here.

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May All Your Weeds *Bee* Wildflowers and Giveaway!

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I’m a fan of Jars and *Bees* so I’m sharing

some Jar and Bee Love, rolled into one package,

with a wee summertime giveaway!

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 I was buzzing around T. J. Maxx when I spied Quattro Stagioni Canning Jars a year ago, and again more recently a couple of weeks ago.

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The bee skep design on the jars is ideal for a

just-picked bouquet from the garden!

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Or for wildflowers.

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I’ve used them at the table,

holding bouquets

at each place setting. . .

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As well as for serving The Bee’s Knees,

 a botanically inspired cocktail

with a Provençal twist!

The Bee's Knees Lavender Lemonade Cocktail

Summertime sipping recipe for a

 Lavender Lemonade Cocktail, here.

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 Queen Anne’s Lace is blooming

in my field of dreams. . .

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And considered a noxious weed in some

areas because of its ability to spread so rapidly.

Queen Anne's Lace

 Passion Flower or vine, invasive and growing with abandon in the field next to my Potting Shed, is pushing its way up through the cracks in the porch.

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I’ve tried to keep it at a bay and haven’t decided whether to pull this vine or attempt to train it and let it bloom :)

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In celebration of Bee Season, Garden Bouquets and Summertime Sipping, I’m giving away 2 sets of 4 Quattro Stagioni Canning Jars!

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For a chance to win a set of jars,

let me know by comment

how you would use them. . .

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For canning, storing, sipping,

or serving up flowers?

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Subscribers/followers automatically get a second entry.

Subscribe by email or follow on Facebook

and let me know by comment.

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For a third entry, share this giveaway on Facebook

and leave an additional comment telling me so.

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Giveaway is open to those living in the continental US only. 

The winners will be chosen August 8th!

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May All Your Weeds

*Bee* Wildflowers!

Bee Skep Jar with Flowers

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Waterside Dining: Pfaltzgraff Cayman

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I’m at the table with some waterside dining

and Pfaltzgraff Cayman Dinnerware.

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Pfaltzgraff’s Cayman brings sun-muted shades of

 turquoise and browns, sea and sand, to the table.

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An island of crushed shells adds a little

Caribbean touch for a centerpiece . . .

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Along with jute knotted bottles,

washed ashore from World Market,

and a candelabra insert for

 island ambiance for dining.

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Shell napkin rings were found

beachcombing the aisles at Kohl’s

a couple of years ago. . .

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The square shells resembling the chiseled stones

that border the edges of the stoneware.

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Water hyacinth placemats

provide some coastal texture and

contrast to the stoneware.

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And jute bottles are filled with

white powdered sand and shells.

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 Cayman accent plates provide flowers for the table,

a welcome and pleasant surprise as spying

Beach Morning Glory growing in the sand.

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Providing blooms and

 pattern to the table.

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Enjoy 20% off one Cayman item through August 17th,
with the link below (some exclusions apply):

http://www.pfaltzgraff.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGPFCY201

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Cayman Table Details:

*Dinnerware/ Cayman by Pfaltzgraff

*Flatware/ International Silver Forte

*Stemware/  Barmaster’s All Purpose Wine Wine, Mikasa

Knotted Jute Vases, Bottles/ World Market

Glass floats/ Pottery Barn, several years ago

Candelabra bottle insert/ Amazon

Crushed Shells/ Michaels

Napkins / Target

Napkin Rings/ Kohl’s, several years ago

Water hyacinth placemats/ HomeGoods

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Pfaltzgraff Cayman Dinnerware

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On the Back Porch and Watermelon Gazpacho!

Watermelon Gazpacho

I’m on the Back Porch trying to beat the heat,

 and staying cool with Watermelon Gazpacho!

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Refreshing, light, and flavorful for the summertime.

Best of all, no oven required and you can mix up a small batch of this gazpacho, altering the ingredients to your taste!

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Watermelon Gazpacho,

adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

*5 cups peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped watermelon, plus 1 cup finely chopped

*1/2 cup cranberry juice

1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber (I used an English cucumber, no seeding or peeling needed)

1 cup diced celery (I used 1/2 cup)

3/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Juice of 1 lime

1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I substituted white balsamic vinegar)

1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, minced

* I added additional watermelon (chopped slightly larger) so the gazpacho had a little more texture, along with more cranberry juice until I had desired consistency for us.

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Directions

Combine 5 cups watermelon and the cranberry juice in a blender or food processor, and puree until mixture is smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a large bowl, discarding pulp to give you approximately 3 cups of strained liquid.

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Add cucumber, celery, bell pepper, onion, herbs, lime juice, vinegar, jalapeno, and remaining chopped melon to watermelon liquid, and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator until soup is well chilled, at least 1 hour. Serve, or store in refrigerator up to 1 day.

You can find a printable recipe, here.

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I skewered blackberries and cubes of watermelon on bamboo knots picks (World Market) to garnish the jars for serving! Serve your gazpacho in glasses, jars, or even shot glasses for shooter/ appetizer servings if your fruit and veggies are a fine dice.

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highly recommend adding some feta cheese crumbles to this watermelon gazpacho (and didn’t get a picture of). The creamy, salty cheese is the perfect partner to the sweet, juicy melon!

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Porch Details:

Very Berry Tablecloth by Moda/ Amazon

Flatware/ Pottery Barn

Red Marble Enamelware, Crow Canyon Home/ Mast General Store

Jars by Ball :)

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I hope you’re staying cool and

finding ways to beat the heat!

Anita Cedar Hill Farmhouse Porch

You can find me

On the Back Porch at

Cedar Hill Farmhouse today. . .

Cedar Hill Farmhouse Outdoor Dining

 I hope you’ll stop by for a visit!

Watermelon Gazpacho

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Hot Bacon Caprese Salad

Hot Bacon Caprese Salad

Everything is better with bacon, including

the classic Italian Caprese Salad

with the addition of a hot bacon dressing!

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Fresh from the pages of the June issue of Southern Living Magazine, I was not-so-patiently waiting for the arrival of heirloom tomatoes at our Farmers Market!

HoHo

Hot Bacon Caprese Salad,

recipe courtesy Southern Living

Ingredients

Assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices

Fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch slices

Fresh basil leaves

4  – 6 bacon slices, coarsely chopped

3 to 4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (I substituted 3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar)

2 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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Preparation

Arrange tomatoes and cheese on a serving platter, placing basil leaves among the slices. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper.

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 Saute bacon in a large skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from heat, reserving bacon and 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Let stand 1 minute. Add vinegar and oil, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Drizzle warm bacon mixture over tomatoes and cheese.

Serve immediately.

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Notes: I cooked the bacon, removed it from the pan, draining it on paper towels and then sprinkled it over the salad to get an even distribution of bacon. Then I made the dressing in the pan with the reserved drippings to drizzle over the salad.

You can find a printable recipe, here.

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Now that we’ve sampled the hot bacon version,

it’s going to be hard to go back

to the classic Caprese Salad!

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If your tomato cup runneth over and you need

some additional tomato inspiration,

click on the links below for a taste!

You Say Tomato,

Table and Centerpiece

Heirloom Tomato Pie

Heirloom Tomato Pie 

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 Or a individual serving,

 Mini Tomato Pies/ Tarts

BLT Bruschetta

BLT Bruschetta

 Hot Bacon Caprese Salad

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