Watermelon Agua Fresca!

With Cinco de Mayo and summer right around the corner I thought I’d share a delicious and refreshing drink recipe! I love making this drink for our dinner parties in the spring and summer, plus you can add a little vodka to really get the good times rolling! I’m going to be telling you about two recipes by the way, one for the Agua Fresca and one for simple syrup.

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can use just about any fruit that your little heart desires.  I just really prefer the watermelon, it’s just so invigorating on a balmy day! Anyway, let’s get to it!

Ingredients for the Agua Fresca:

1/2 of a seedless watermelon (about 6 cups)

2 cups cold water

Simple syrup to taste

Ingredients for the Simple Syrup: 

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of sugar

Instructions: 

First we need to make our simple syrup and despite what the name says, it really isn’t that hard.  You can make any amount you want, by simply using a 1 to 1 ratio. Just dump your 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water into a little sauce pan over low heat and give it a stir.

20170426_212151You’re just going to let that hang out and stir it every so often, until it becomes completely clear!

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Now, once it looks like the picture above, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. After it cools down it’s ready to use!

On to the Agua Fresca! Get your seedless watermelon and cut it in half.  Take a little taste to see how sweet it is, so you’ll know about how much simple syrup to add later.  At least that’s what you should tell people if you get caught eating the watermelon, I mean it sounds like a legitimate excuse, right?

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Next scoop out 6 cups of the watermelon flesh and put it in your blender, along with the 2 cups of water.  Don’t get any of the white parts of the melon (rind), it’s super bitter and isn’t very tasty.  Well, unless you pickle it, but that’s a whole other story.

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Place a towel over your blender(you don’t want watermelon juice all over your damn kitchen) and then pulse it a few times. Slowly increase the speed on your blender until you get to max speed. Let that blend for a minute or two, until you’re satisfied that it is thoroughly blended.

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Now pour the freshly blended melon through a fine mesh strainer to get all the fibrous bits out.

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Just take a spatula and scrape it around the mesh strainer.  This will take a little bit of time, not a long time, don’t worry.  When you’re done it should look close to this.  Just discard all the fibrous materials.  Now, you should have something that looks like this! 20170426_214949.jpg

You may want to skim some of the foam off the top (I did), however it isn’t necessary and it completely optional.  Have a taste and see how much of the simple syrup to add, I added about 2 Tablespoons to mine.  I can’t give you exact measurements here because all watermelons are different, you may have a sweeter one. So, the amount of simple syrup you use is completely up to you.  Next just pop it in the refrigerator and let it get cold, then it’s ready to serve!

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I really hope you try this drink recipe out!  It is just the perfect beverage for your Cinco de Mayo celebration or just a random Tuesday.  It’s wonderful mixed with vodka or just by itself.  Pine thing is for sure, your guests will surely be impressed!

So, give this one a try, let me know how it turns out in the comments. Don’t forget to follow the blog and check us out on Facebook (@isbutteracarbblog). Thanks for stopping by! Adiós!

Lemon Dill Dip!

Hey everyone! It’s been a slow week here, thankfully. I have had lots of time this week to catch up on projects and just hang out with Tikki, which is always nice. 20170415_123157

It was bath week for Tikki, strangely enough he loves to take baths.  That’s him in the picture, patiently waiting on me to get his bathing supplies together. I’m so happy he enjoys bath time, it makes it less of a chore for me haha.

Anyway, let’s talk about this dip!  It is so simple and delicious, and it’s just one of the many ways to use cured lemons! Plus, you can throw this together in under 5 minutes. It’s great for a snack, party dip, or it makes a really great gift!

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup sour cream

3 slices of cured lemons, minced

1 Tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Instructions: 

Get all of your ingredients together.

20170413_171426.jpg Next just add everything to a bowl and mix well.

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Now, after it’s thoroughly mixed, have a little taste.  See if it needs more pepper or maybe some salt, mine didn’t, yours probably won’t either due to the saltiness of the cured lemon.  After you’re done checking for seasoning, you’re done! Just cover and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it!

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The fresh dill and cured lemon bring a bright freshness to this dip.  Add that in with the tang of the yogurt and sour cream and you have one helluva dip!

I hope you try this recipe out for yourself, if you do, let me know how it turns out! There is a recipe for the cured lemons on the blog as well, incase you need it.

I’m finally on Facebook, you can find the page by searching @isbutteracarbblog feel free to give the page a ‘like and share’! Thanks for stopping by! Ciao!

Cured Lemons!

What a beautiful Sunday it is here at, Is Butter A Carb HQ! I hope you all are having a wonderful Easter holiday, if you celebrate that kinda thing, if not, I hope you’re at least having a kick ass Sunday!

It’s been a busy and expensive week here, unfortunately.  Monday, I dropped my car off at the garage to have some work done. Friday, I picked it and a $2500+ bill up, talk about a devastating hit to the ol’ bank account!  The good news, however, is that the old girl is practically brand new and she’s running great! Let’s hope that continues haha.

Saturday was my friend Emily’s birthday (Happy Birthday Emz!), she had a small soirée at her house across town.  I whipped up a special cocktail for her and her guests, thankfully it was a hit!  Maybe I should do a few cocktail recipes here? What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Anyway, it was such a lovely evening, Emily was such a gracious hostess, as always, and just as gorgeous as ever! It was great to get to see some old friends I hadn’t seen in quite sometime and to meet some new friends as well. I can honestly say I know some of the most wonderful people in the world!

Anyway, enough about me and my week, let’s talk citrus!  Cured Lemons are one of my coveted “secret ingredients”, there are so many things you can do with these salty little slices of the Sun.  You can use them with roasted chicken or quail, mince them up to add to dips, dressings, or pastas! The best part, these little beauties are so simple to make!

Ingredients: 

3 Lemons

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup kosher salt

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Instructions: 

First, wash your lemons in hot water to get the waxy coating off the outside.  Next with a really sharp knife (do not use a serrated one) slice the lemons, we are going for slices that are around 1/8 inch thick. Then just remove the seeds from the slices.

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I missed a seed! Do you see it? It really isn’t a big deal if you miss a couple of seeds, so don’t get stressed about it.

Now for the hard part, the curing mixture!  Just mix your sugar and salt together well! I warned you that part was going to be difficult. Grab yourself a glass container (preferably with a lid) and sprinkle some of the curing mixture over the bottom of the dish.

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Next add a layer of your sliced lemons on top of the curing mixture.

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Keep repeating those layers until all your lemons are in there, then put the remaining curing mixture on top.  Now, what’s going to happen here? Not a lot. Just cover these little darlings up, with that lid I mentioned earlier, or you could just use some cling wrap.  Let these sit on your kitchen counter or table (not in direct sunlight) for 3 days.  Yup, you heard me, 3 days.  The mixture is going to start to draw out the liquid in the lemons.

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These are mine after about a day.

The curing mixture is going to really pull out the bitterness and enhance the lemony flavor. Once the sugar and salt have sorta dissolved or liquefied, the lemons should just be covered by the liquid.  If they aren’t, feel free to add a touch more salt and sugar.

These are such a cool thing to have around the kitchen, plus they are gorgeous. After the three days is up, just put them in a mason jar (the liquid too) or something similar and store them in your refrigerator. You’re done! You should have some beautiful cured lemons!

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I really hope you enjoy these, they are just a fantastic ingredient to cook with.  The intensity of the lemon flavor is just magical! If you want to take some of the saltiness away, just rinse them off or even soak them in cold water for a bit, then dry them with a paper towel.

Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoyed this post and feel free to share on all your social media accounts! Thanks again, see ya next time! Ciao!

Vinaigrette Roasted Asparagus

Hey friends, it’s been awhile! Sorry for not posting for a bit, it’s just been so crazy around here since returning from Europe. Tikki was sure happy to be back home, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so excited haha.  To be honest I’m pretty glad to be home as well, traveling will wear you out! Speaking of Europe, it may be awhile before I post about the trip, because I want to work on some recipes that will really showcase the areas I visited.

So, to hold you over I thought I would do a quick post on a delicious side dish that would be a perfect accompaniment to any dinner!   Especially since Easter is right around the corner and I know you’re looking for something divine to cook for your friends and family!  The best part is, this asparagus is quick and easy, but to your guests you will seem like an Iron Chef!

Let’s get to it!

Ingredients: 

1 lb of asparagus, trimmed

1/2 cup chopped leek

4 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 slices of prosciutto, chopped

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

Garnish:

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1-2 Tablespoons tarragon, minced

Instructions: 

First thing first,  preheat your oven to 400°f and gather up all of your ingredients!

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Clean your leeks really well (they are usually grown in sand), because we don’t want sandy gritty asparagus. Just kinda pull them apart a little and rinse with water. You can cut them up first and just soak them in a bowl of cold water and agitate them as well, it might even be easier.  Either way just clean the damn things.  After they are cleaned and chopped place them on a large baking sheet.

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Next let’s get the asparagus ready. You can just snap the woody end off where it wants to snap, because that’s usually where the fresh tender asparagus starts. If you want you can just cut the ends off and then peel the new ends of them with a veggie peeler to make sure they aren’t woody. Now that those are ready, add them to your baking sheet as well!

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Let’s get this vinaigrette ready! Add your olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to a little bowl and mix together until it is really well combined.

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Now pour the vinaigrette over the asparagus and leeks, toss to coat.

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Sprinkle your prosciutto over the top. It’s going to crisp up really well and add such an amazing texture.

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Place the baking sheet into your preheated oven for around 15-25 minutes.  Just keep an eye on it, because the time depends on the size of the asparagus and you don’t want to burn them. The best way I have found to check and see if it’s done is just taste one, plus you deserve a little snack after all this work! You can always use the tip of a knife to check the tenderness, but that’s not fun at all and there is no reward in doing it that way.

While the asparagus is roasting away, go ahead and get your garnishes together! When the asparagus is done plate it up and garnish with your egg and tarragon!  The egg and tarragon garnish add a touch of elegance, plus it adds such great flavor as well. That’s all there is to this amazing side dish, you’re done!

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I really do love this dish and it’s always a hit at our dinner parties! The prosciutto adds a nice crunch with tangy freshness of the vinaigrette to really bring the flavor of the asparagus to life!

Anyway, I really hope you give this one a try and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments!  If you’re feeling frisky give us a share on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, be sure to use #isbutteracarb! Thanks for stopping by, until next time. Ciao!