watermelon granita with whipped coconut cream and mint

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Add the watermelon to a blender and blend until liquefied. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and press out liquid with the back of a spoon.

Add the watermelon juice and sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture reaches a boil turn off the heat. Pour the juice into a 9×13 inch baking dish and whisk in the lime juice and rum if using. Freeze for 4 hours then use a fork to scrape the mixture into small bites. Freeze again and repeat the scraping process one or two more times within the next two hours.

When ready to serve, open the can of cold coconut milk and remove the liquid. Scoop the cream into the bowl of a mixer and beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until peaks form, about 2 minutes. If desired, sweeten with a bit of powdered sugar.

Serve in small jars (which you can prepare beforehand and keep in the freezer), top with a big scoop of coconut cream and a sprig of mint.

grilled pork chops with colorful coleslaw

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Rinse the pork chops, pat dry and place in a ziploc bag.

Bring the apple cider, water 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar and salt dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Add brine to ziploc bag with the pork chops, rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves and black peppercorns. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

In a big bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the slaw dressing, olive oil, mustard, honey, lime juice and lime zest. Toss the cabbage, radish and apple into the bowl. Using tongs or your hands, thoroughly toss the chopped ingredients with the dressing. Add bacon then salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for at least an hour. Mix in the cilantro right before serving.

Remove pork chops from brine, pat dry with a paper towel and season lightly with salt and pepper. Light one side of your grill (charcoal or gas) and let preheat. Once hot, clean and oil your grill grates. Place pork chops over the hot side of the grill and cook until well-browned, 3-5 minutes per side. Once browned, move the pork chops to the cool side of the grill. Cover and cook until the meat registers 135°F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chop. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes.

grilled peach arugula salad with herb pesto

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outdoor entertaining

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Those long summer days are here and we can’t stop dreaming about fresh squeezed lemonade and backyard twinkly lights. Preparing our favorite hot weather dishes, inviting over some great company and enjoying the beautiful weather are among our favorite things! This week I’ll feature some of those favorite simple, backyard foods as well as some great ideas for preparing and simplifying your next backyard get together… starting with how to throw an outdoor party!

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zucchini cakes & herb garlic sauce

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When to serve Cava?

 

We had our dog’s 10th birthday party tonight and it went off without a hitch. Dogs and kids all had a great time, as did the adults! As the children dined on pizza and juice boxes, the adults indulged in some wonderful Pinot Noir, but as always everything comes to an end and we ran out of Pinot Noir!

C’est pas possible! Being that I am French this is sacrilege! What was I to do? As I searched through the fridge I found an amazing bottle of Cava (sparkling Spanish wine), which goes great with tapas by the way!

My Question: Is it appropriate to serve Cava (without tapas at dog’s birthday party)?