Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Night Cocktail: Watermelon 'Jolly Quencher'

Its Friday...and its a HOT one!!! 34 Celsius here in Vancouver today -
I bought a huge watermelon at Costco yesterday with the intent to slice it up and serve it as dessert at a picnic dinner we have planned at the beach tomorrow evening. But I came home from work today and was so thirsty, I just had to cut into the great green and red oh so juicy orb and as I did so, I instantly thought of the watermelon Jolly Rancher candies my boys like to buy at the corner store. could I recreate that same flavour of a Jolly Rancher in a cocktail, I pondered.
Out of the fridge emerged the tart lemons which I promptly squeezed into fresh juice to add to the chunks of freshly cut watermelon I dropped into the blender. A few pulses on high speed and the pink frothy liquid was ready to pour over a few ounces of rum, Limoncello liquer and chopped fresh mint...
I know.
Who can stop at just one of these...? Its hot out and watermelon does serve as the perfect thirst quencher on a toasty day.
A little Otis Redding crooning in the background, I feel like I am sitting on a dock of a bay...just enjoying life.

Watermelon 'Jolly Quencher'
4 cups watermelon puree
Juice of 4 freshly squeezed lemons
2-3 sprigs of fresh mint
8 ounces white rum
4 ounces Limoncello liquer
Lots of ice

Cheers, my friends. Happy Friday!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Morning Farmer's Breakfast (Fried Egg on Purple Potato and Bratwurst Hash)

One of my favourite things to do when I travel to the Okanagan in the Interior of British Columbia, is to visit the Penticton Farmer's Market. There is a plethora of goodies to sample and take home to create fabulous menu items. I was fortunate to spend this past long weekend there and among favourite seasonal fruits such as freshly picked cherries, peaches and nectarines, I filled my shopping basket with fresh organic beets, purple and white eggplants and purple nugget potatoes - yes, I had a bit of a purple thing going on!!

Today I decided to incorporate the beautiful purple nugget potatoes into a healthy brunch hash recipe reminiscent of one my Dad used to make for us on Sunday mornings when we were kids. He called it Bauernfruehstueck, which translated from German into English simply means Farmer's Breakfast. I remember waking to the wonderful smell of fried onions and knowing that a plate of his specialty would be waiting, piping hot on a plate in our cosy breakfast nook.

In keeping with Dad's recipe, I used Bratwurst sausages, onions and farm fresh eggs, but substituted these purple beauties from the Penticton Farmer's Market for russet potatoes.

I just love the vibrant purple colour of these potatoes - and they can sit out for a while because they don't turn brown!

Farmer's Breakfast
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 pound purple nugget potatoes, washed and diced
4 Bratwurst sausages, diced
1 tsp seasoning salt (MSG free)
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary, chopped
4 farm fresh eggs, preferably organic free-range

1. In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and garlic and saute until onions are transluscent. Reduce heat to medium flame, add potatoes and herbs and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Add sausage and continue to cook until sausage is lightly browned.
3. Divide the potato hash into four segments in the skillet. Crack an egg over each segment; cook covered until eggs are set.
Serves 4.