Bar Top: Spiked Watermelon Agua Fresca

Agua fresca is Spanish for “fresh waters” and is a juice that is a combination of fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds that are blended with water to make a refreshing beverage. They are most popular in Mexico and Central America. They are a flavorful substitution for water and especially inviting on a very hot day.  In the southwest, one can find Agua Frescas everywhere; in Maryland, not so much.

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Watermelon Sherbet

Even though the watermelon leathers were a complete disaster, all was not lost. When I drained the juice from the pulp I set the juice aside to make watermelon sherbet.

beautiful fresh seedless watermelon

beautiful fresh seedless watermelon

Let me tell you, that was a win.  A total win.

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NaNoWriMo Craziness

I did it guys! I took the plunge. A friend of mine introduced me to NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month at nanowrimo.org . The goal is to write 50k words by the end of November. The website has all sorts of fun activities to help you get to 50k words. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but could never get the motivation, this is a great way to start!

Good God,my novel sucks!

Good God,my novel’s gonna suck!

I’ve decided to write a story about the rat that is stealing my vegetables. I’m currently stuck on a name for him. Any suggestions?

Now get to writing!

Kitchen Disaster: Watermelon Leathers

We had gotten a medium sized seedless watermelon in our CSA box and I had a list of goodies I wanted to make with it. The first thing I wanted to make was Watermelon Leathers. The recipe I chose called for 8 cups of watermelon, pureed, then strained. Once the pulp was collected, the pulp went back in the food processor with 2/3 C of sugar and pureed until smooth. This pulp mixture was poured out on a rimmed baking sheet lined with silpat and dried in a 170F oven for about 12 hours.

This was how it came out:

Well...that didn't turn out as planned...

Well…that didn’t turn out as planned…

It’s totally disappointing considering how much watermelon this was. It didn’t create“leather”. When I tried to pull it off the silpat mat, it just crumbled.

Any ideas? Did I dry it too quickly or not quickly enough? Did I not add enough sugar? Too much sugar?

Roasted Lima Bean Salad

One of the things that I adored about my first CSA membership was that I was introduced to new fresh vegetables, vegetables that I’ve never eaten before, which forced me to flex my creative muscles. One of those vegetables was Lima Beans. At first I was disappointed. I mean, I didn’t *hate* lima beans but they definitely weren’t my first choice of vegetable. The only lima beans that I’ve ever experienced were canned (yuck). This year we got several bags of lima beans throughout the season.

Oh, ok.  I guess I'll figure something out with these...

Oh, ok. I guess I’ll figure something out with these…

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The Garden Thief

“Hey Jessica, how is your urban garden coming along?” you may be wondering.

This is a contentious issue for me. Very contentious.

The last time I posted  about my little urban garden I shared that there was not enough sunlight and only a few plants were thriving. The tomato plants were doing GREAT! We had two eggplants that were doing well and a pepper plant that is providing pepers. We were so excited for fresh tomatoes when we started seeing them bulb.

Then a funny thing started happening. The tomatoes never got “red”, every time I checked the tomato plant I would notice a few tomatoes that would be ready at any moment and the next day I couldn’t find the cluster. I thought maybe clusters were hiding or my eyes were playing tricks on me. The tomato plants had gotten a little bit ridiculous in their over-growth.

Then one evening Rico Suave went out to water the plants and asked if I snipped the cilantro. “Huh?, “ I asked him. “Snipped the cilantro?” I go outside to see what he’s talking about because just that morning our cilantro was growing very well and starting to mature into beautiful cilantro plants. SOMETHING ATE OUR CILANTRO! ALL OF IT, IT DIDN’T EVEN LEAVE AN INCH OF STALKS BEHIND!

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