I love watermelon. Some of my best memories are of my dad bringing home a watermelon, cutting it in half and we’d sit in the den with our respective halves, towels across our chests, passing the salt shaker back and forth because just a little sprinkle brings the flavor out.
Last night, at our annual Stephen Ministry salad supper, someone brought a watermelon salad with olives and feta and red onions. It was delicious except for the olives. I hate olives. I didn’t quite get my fill of it last night so I picked up my own watermelon today and decided to make my own watermelon salad, with a few modifications.
I don’t really have a set recipe here. I didn’t think I needed to measure anything out for something as simple as this. So, here’s what I tossed together:
Feta cheese crumbles
Cipollini onions, diced small
Drizzle of EVOO
Splash of lemon juice (maybe half a lemon’s worth)
Dash of salt (I’d suggest sea salt)
Reduced Balsamic Glaze (you can buy or make this and for me, the more of it, the better)
Super refreshing, super yummy and super easy.
My mom lives a couple of hours north and when we go to visit, we often time it so that my brother and his family are up there too. We always have such a great time together. We spend most of the time in the kitchen. I usually hate a crowded kitchen and prefer being in there by myself doing my thing but I don’t mind it up there. My brother usually is in charge of the meat and my sister-in-law and myself are doing side dishes and desserts.
A while back, during one of our visits, my sister-in-law starts pulling out canned pineapple, bread, sugar, eggs…I asked her what she was making and she told me it was pineapple souffle. I had never heard of it but supposedly it’s a southern thing. Whatever. I’m not really that “southern,” so I miss the boat on a lot of “southern” things.
Anyway, she commenced making this pineapple souffle and once we sat down to eat, I quickly discovered that it was DELICIOUS! I make it regularly now. I love it with pork and it works as either a side dish or a dessert.
1 stick of butter (because that’s how all good southern dishes begin)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
6 slices of white bread (possibly a little more, depending on the size/thickness)
1 20oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 T cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray an 8″x8″ (or similar size) baking/casserole dish. Heat butter in microwave until it’s mostly melted. Cream with sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, making sure that butter and sugar mixture aren’t warm enough to cook the eggs. Mix in milk. Tear bread into bite size chunks and fold into mixture. Add pineapple and fold it in as well. Add cinnamon and mix thoroughly, making sure all bread is soaked and pineapple is evenly mixed in. mixture should be loose but not soupy. If soupy, add another piece of chunked bread. Pour into baking dish.
Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
I figure I’ll share a couple of food stuffs before I dig deep into my political opinions. Today, I made a wonderfully light orzo for lunch. My husband and I went to a local annual food festival, Taste of Marietta, yesterday that provides the opportunity to taste the best of the area restaurants. It’s a great way to find a new restaurant. One of the vendors, a food truck named Freckled & Blue was serving an orzo salad with tomato, basil and feta with a lemon vinaigrette. While I enjoy a good Mediterranean orzo salad and this one was excellent, I wanted something with goat cheese today. I enjoy goat cheese immensely. This is a great dish on its own for lunch or alongside an entrée.
Orzo salads are very versatile and can take on so many different forms, making them perfect for Spring and Summer. And they are super easy. To make my Lemon Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese, just follow these easy steps:
1. Cook 1 cup dry orzo according to package directions, drain, rinse to cool and toss in a bowl.
2. Toss in some crumbles of goat cheese (regular or flavored if you’re adventurous!)
3. Add in a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of thyme, a teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning and a few leaves of lemon balm, torn into small pieces.
4. Pour in lemon vinaigrette (recipe below), toss together and enjoy!
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Combine all four ingredients and whisk until combined. Taste before adding to orzo and adjust based on your preferences – you may want to add in more or less sugar, depending upon how tart you like your lemon.