Watermelon Mint Floats

Watermelon Mint Floats

It is hard to believe that school starts in a week. I will be driving my son to Missouri for College in a week (another thing hard to believe or think about). Before summer ends, I am continuing to use summers freshest fruit and vegetables in my kitchen. I created these Watermelon Mint Floats the other day which were a huge hit! With 4 ingredients, how could you go wrong? Watermelon is SO good for you. See my top health benefits of watermelon in my post here.

 

Sparkling Shamrock Cocktail

Sparkling Shamrock copy

Are you having a St. Patrick’s Day party or just in need of a super easy cocktail recipes? This Sparkling Shamrock Cocktail is too easy for words, made with Sparkling Ice , rum, lime and fresh mint. With only 4 ingredients, this cocktail can be made in minutes. Multiply the recipe if you want to make a pitcher… any amount works great! You will be prepared on March 17th, and this makes a great spring and summertime cocktail, perfect for sunny, warmer weather.

 

Beach Breeze Cocktail

Beach Breeze Cocktail

It is already super hot in Birmingham but this Saturday, why not celebrate the first day of summer with a low-calorie cocktail? This Beach Breeze Cocktail is so easy to make – with minimal ingredients required. It’s great for toasting to warm weather, poolside parties and fun summer adventures ahead. It is as good as it looks and is fabulous to beat the heat of summer! Enjoy and happy summer!

Non Alcoholic Mojito: Kid Friendly

Spring is here and what sounds better than a mojito or a Non Alcoholic Mojito? While my daughter, Leigh and I were in Phoenix, we had the most fabulous meal at Deseo located inside the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. Behind Deseo’s inventive concept and menu development is James Beard Award-winning Chef Douglas Rodriguez, widely-regarded as the inventor of Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Leigh had never had Latin Cuisine, and she was a little skeptical at first. We sat at the ceviche bar and watch the chefs create the most beautiful and wonderful plates one after the other. The service and the food is one of the best meals we had while in Phoenix. If you are in Phoenix or Scottsdale, it is a must dine. The staff insisted that Leigh try a Non Alcoholic Mojito which was filled with raspberries and fresh sugar cane. As soon as we got home, we tried to recreate this refreshing beverage. So here you go!

Celebrate Kentucky Derby with Fresh Lemon Mint Juleps

img_18921

Since the Kentucky Derby is this weekend, I thought I would create the ideal springtime mint julep. My version is slightly different, made with fresh lemon juice and agave nectar. It’s traditionally served in an iced silver or pewter mug during the Kentucky Derby, but any glass is fine when it tastes this good (and I promise you, it’s fabulous). I used Gentleman Jack which is one of my favorite bourbons, but feel free to use your favorite. Enjoy a taste of Kentucky with every sip of this fresh drink.

Light and Simple Seared Scallops with Mint Pesto

img_13201

So many friends tell me that they are intimidated to cook scallops. Really, they are so incredibly easy! They cook in no time at all in a saute pan or on the grill, and really, the only thing you need is some kosher salt, black or red pepper and a touch of olive oil. I love making scallops because they are so simple, so delicious, yet almost elegant for a weeknight supper. They are fabulous mixed with pasta, in a salad and especially just on their own. We eat them often at my house, and even my 8-year-old, Zachary, is a huge fan! The Mint Pesto is so versatile and can also be served with fish, steak, chicken or pork.


Seared Scallops with Fresh Mint Pesto 

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup almonds, toasted

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

4 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

11/2 pounds large sea scallops

Cooking spray

Watercress, mixed greens (optional)

Preparation

1. Process mint, parsley, garlic, almonds, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and olive oil in a container of a food processor until smooth. Remove and set aside.

2. Drizzle scallops with remaining lemon juice and season with remaining kosher salt and pepper.

3. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done. Top scallops with Mint Pesto and serve over watercress or mixed greens, if desired.

Easy Healthy Asian Chicken Salad

img_1302

I am amazed how many subscribers and fans on facebook I have that are college students, and I thank all of you and am so excited that ya’ll are cooking while in college! Carlie, a college senior at the University of Georgia, has particularly enjoyed when I post salad recipes, and she told me she has tried all of them. She asked me to “keep them coming” so Carlie, this one’s for you. This salad is a cinch! The ingredients are very simple and easy to find. Feel free to substitute salmon for the chicken or even add thin cooked vermicelli or rice noodles to this salad. I kept the dressing very light, but it is a little tangy so if you want to add more oil, feel free. 

 

Asian Chicken Salad

Prep: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

5 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 large seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 cups shredded carrots

1 tomato, thinly sliced

11/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, toasted

2/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon canola or sesame oil

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation

1. Combine lettuce and next 8 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Whisk together rice wine vinegar and remaining ingredients and pour over salad, tossing gently.