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!

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!