Miz Chef

Cooking Up a Healthy Life

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Watermelon Lovely

It would seem I’m on a watermelon kick (last time, I did a recipe for watermelon pickles). But that’s what happens when you buy a big watermelon and are the only one eating it. You find different ways to use it.

This week, I offer you a refreshing drink with a kick to it. I call it Watermelon Lovely because it truly is lovely to look at. It’s very easy to throw together, and it makes the perfect summer libation.


Watermelon Lovely

3 cups chopped, seeded watermelon, preferably cold
2 tablespoons dark or light rum (more if you want it stronger)
2 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno (more if you want it sweeter)

Garnishes*Puree the watermelon. You should get approximately 2 cups.

Pour the liquid into a pitcher or something large enough to mix other ingredients into it. If it’s not already cold, add ice cubes, chill it, and then strain it.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

*If you like, you can decorate the rim of the glasses with colored sugar, crystallized herbs (that’s basil in the picture), or chunks of fruit.


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Guava Cocktail

IMG_5351Last week, I made guava puree from fresh guavas that I had found at the market and made guava quesadillas. I had plenty of puree leftover and promised you a guava cocktail. So now I’m delivering.

Guava puree makes for a complexly flavored drink, but also a sweet drink. So, if you prefer your drinks less sweet, you may want to cut back on the guava. Increasing the amount of rum—as good as that sounds—won’t cut the sweetness—it will just make a really strong drink!

I had purchased (unknowingly) white guavas instead of pink ones. If you get white guavas, you might want to throw in a bit of grenadine for a deliciously red color. The pictures you see here were taken before the grenadine. I stirred some in later and decided that I liked it, but it was too late for photos.

So, while the summer is hanging on by thread and guavas are still appearing at the market, grab some and try this drink. For the rest of the year, use guava paste, which I discuss HERE.


Guava CocktailIMG_5344

2/3 cup guava puree
½ cup spiced rum
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
Garnish: orange slices and/or mint sprigs

Place all the ingredients in a blender, along with a few ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with an orange slice and/or a sprig of mint.

Makes 2 cocktails.



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Apple Cider Special

Apple cider drinkIt’s the last weekend before Christmas. For many of you, the tree’s been trimmed, the stockings have been hung by the chimney with care, the presents are wrapped and waiting under the tree, and the cookies for Santa have been baked. For many of you, this frenzy will continue for the next few days until Santa Claus is on the radar over Singapore.

For both of these groups of people—and even for those who don’t like Christmas and feel that it’s a time of year you must endure—the best thing I could think to off this week is an alcoholic beverage.

Apple cider is everywhere this time of year and it’s not unknown to add a dash or whiskey of bourbon to enhance its qualities. I thought I’d try something slightly different: apple cider, gold rum, and apricot brandy.

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Cucumber Mango Mint Shooter

I can’t believe it, but tomorrow is Labor Day. This summer was a non-summer, what with all the rain and cold days. Then again, there have been some gorgeous weekends recently, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.

Doesn’t change the fact that the summer is over. I can hear the Friday night fireworks at Coney Island from my house and this past Friday was the last one of the season. When I hear that final, cacophonous thunder that marks the end of not only of the week’s display but of the summer’s, it always makes me a little sad.

Cucumber Mango Mint Shooter

Cucumber Mango Mint Shooter

But Americans do not go gently into that goodbye of summer. Labor Day means picnics, barbecues, beach parties, and lots of food and fun. And I have just the cocktail to go with it all. It makes use of summer goodies, like cucumber, mango, and mint, but it makes a great cocktail for the coming holidays, too. And because cucumber and mint are also considered a restorative and a digestive, respectively, it makes a great after-dinner cocktail for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Cucumber Mango Mint Shooter

Makes 4.

1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 mango, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ cup melon liqueur
4 mint sprigs (optional)

1. Place cucumber, mango, mint, maple syrup, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Process until fully pureed.

2. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour mixture into strainer and let it drip through. Press down on pulp with a rubber spatula to strain as much liquid out as possible. Whisk in  liqueur.

3. Pour into shot glasses, top with mint sprig, and serve.