Watermelon Sangria

There’s not too many things more refreshing than watermelon when it’s really hot out and this sangria knocks it out of the park. I made it from a couple of recipes I found on the internet. Here’s my take on both, which are at the bottom of this post.

watermelon sangaria

I used a dry rose instead of white wine. If you want to avoid adding sugar, you could use a sweeter rose (or white). Next time I’ll probably do that. Additionally, letting it sit at least 4 hours prior to serving makes a big difference. We had some immediately after making it and it was ok, however, the next afternoon, amazing!

12 cups cubed watermelon
1 bottle rose (if you don’t want to use sugar, use a sweeter rose)
1 cup (or less) of vodka
1/2 cup triple sec
Juice from 1 lime
Juice from 1 large orange
1/2 cup of simple syrup (or to taste) (How to make)
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 orange quartered
1 lime quartered
1/2 cup of strawberries, muddled
Seltzer water (if you can find it, get the Watermelon Lime sparkling water)


  1. Place 9 cups of watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain through a mesh strainer into a large pitcher
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients
  4. Chill for 4 hours before serving

Mix evenly with sparkling water to serve. Some other variations on this that I haven’t tried but will, is mixing in mint or jalapeno with it. Depending on what you’re craving, the recipe can be varied.

Food Network Recipe
All Recipes


Grilled Sirloin Salad

This is a great salad – perfect for when you need a little grounding but want to keep it light. The seasoning on the steak really brought amazing flavor to the salad.

Grilled Sirloin Salad

I found this recipe in Cooking Light, June 2003. The recipe suggested serving with thick slices of garlic bread and ice cold beer. We opted for a good pugliese and a red blend.

One thing about this recipe – if it’s corn season, don’t use canned corn! I grilled two ears of corn instead. You really can’t beat that flavor! The only other change I made was not vertically slicing the onion. (I’m loving my mandolin slicer right now).

Excellent salad. Bon Appetit!

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
8 cups spring-blend salad greens
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained and rinsed


  1. Combine first 7 ingredients
  2. Rub over both sides of steak
  3. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat
  4. Add steak
  5. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness
  6. Cut the steak across grain into thin slices.
  7. While steak cooks, combine salad greens and remaining ingredients in a large bowl
  8. Toss well to coat
  9. Top with steak

Thai Steak Salad

On days when it’s really hot, I love little fuss and fresh ingredients. This recipe delivered on both and was delicious too. When I saw that it had a cup of mint and basil, I couldn’t wait to make it.

It is amazing and fresh. Changes I made to the recipe included using a little less fish sauce and a mix of lettuce and greens along with one bunch of watercress. Also, I found some multi-colored carrots which added a nice burst of different colors. Otherwise, I followed the recipe except where noted.



1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic

Cooking spray
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

3 cups trimmed watercress (about 2 bunches)
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup julienne-cut carrot
2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts


  1. To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.
  2. To prepare steak, heat a large nonstick skillet or grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. (I grilled the meat)
  3. Rub both sides of steak with pepper.
  4. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  5. Remove from pan and cover loosely with foil; let stand 5 minutes.
  6. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
  7. Place steak in a bowl.
  8. Drizzle with half of dressing, and toss well.
  9. To prepare salad, combine watercress and next 5 ingredients (watercress through carrot) in a large bowl.
  10. Drizzle with remaining dressing, and toss well.
  11. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates;
  12. arrange steak evenly over salad.
  13. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon peanuts.

Cooking Light
JUNE 2013

Crème Anglaise with Brown-Sugared Strawberries

This recipe is so simple and so good!! It had to make it to the blog – I absolutely loved it.



3 cups halved strawberries
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Fresh mint sprigs


  1. Combine strawberries and brown sugar; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  2. Combine granulated sugar, salt, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  3. Heat milk in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil).
  4. Gradually add milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  5. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until slightly thick and mixture coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat; stir in extracts.
  7. Serve warm or chilled over strawberries.
  8. Garnish with mint, if desired.

Cooking Light
June 2003

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

If you like coconut, and maybe even if you don’t, this is a recipe you must try. I found this on fellow blogger’s Crazy for Crust blog while looking for a perfect coconut cupcake to celebrate Christopher’s birthday. Not only is this coconut, it’s TRIPLE coconut and absolutely divine!


I’m not adding the recipe here because I’m not sure about the etiquette of such things and it’s recommended to link back to the original. I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of using a white cake instead of yellow. I was going for the all white kind of coconut look. Thank you Dorothy, for this terrific recipe!

Little side note, I wanted to see if I could taste the difference in  a cupcake baked in a convection oven vs a regular oven so I baked a pan of the cupcakes in each. Unequivocally, YES. They look different and taste different. I know I’m late to this party but I’m glad to have arrived! Cupcake on the left, convection oven. Moist, light and tastes like a really good bakery cupcake. Cupcake on the right, heavy moist and not as light. It tastes good but once you’ve tasted the other, there’s no turning back.



Triple Coconut Cupcakes Recipe

Linguine with Arugula Pesto

If you like arugula, which I would find hard to live without, you’ll love this alteration to the almighty, very delicious, pesto.

I blended two recipes and didn’t really follow either of them to the letter so I’m putting my version here and linking to the other two.


This was very good. If you can find a more peppery version of arugula, you can intensify the flavor even more. This is a keeper, which is why it’s here, and I’ll definitely make it again.

Lastly, wine pairing. We had it with a pinot grigio and it was a terrific compliment.

Bon Appetit!


5 cups trimmed arugula
3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup water
2 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces of linguine
2 cups red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved – about 3/4 of a pound
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


  1. Combine arugula, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic in a food processor. With processor on, slowly pour water and oil through food chute; process until well blended.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  3. Drain.
  4. Combine pesto, pasta, and tomatoes in a large bowl; toss well.
  5. Sprinkle pine nuts over pasta.
  6. Serve immediately.

Linguine with Arugula Pesto
Cavatappi with Arugula Pesto with Cherry Tomatoes