Watermelon Rosemary Agua Fresca

Hello, friends. I’m going to give you a quick little recipe for something often I drink to avoid drinking actual water (because water sucks).

I love watermelon and usually have it in my refrigerator at all times if possible. Most of the time I’ll eat some and then use the rest to make agua de sandía (watermelon water). This has always been my favorite agua fresca (aside from horchata of course), and I’ve played around with a few variations, but this is one of my favorites for this time of year because it incorporates lemon and rosemary. I don’t like mine to be too sweet, but you can adjust the sugar to your taste depending on how naturally sweet your melon is.

Watermelon Rosemary Agua Fresca

Ingredients:

Half of a large ripe watermelon
Juice from half of a large lemon
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 sprig rosemary
Ice

Inside of a large pitcher, muddle the sugar and sprig rosemary. In a blender, blend watermelon and water together. Pour watermelon mixture through a strainer into your pitcher (sometimes I skip this part if I’m feeling pulpy) and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add ice and serve cold.

(Optional: Add a shot of tequila and sing Beyonce’s lyric “I’ve been drinkin…watermelonnnn”.)

Enjoy!

 

Summer Picnic Idea: Riondo Prosecco and Peach Sorbet

This post was sponsored by Riondo Prosecco through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Riondo Prosecco, all opinions are my own.

One of my favorite things to do during summertime is to pack an evening picnic, complete with Riondo Prosecco, and sip away while watching the sunset.

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Even though this prosecco can be thoroughly enjoyed on its own, my current favorite thing to do is pour it over fruity sorbet!image1 (1).JPG

Peach sorbet is my personal favorite. Serving it with Riondo Prosecco is a summery combination that’s perfect for a warm evening spent watching the sun go down.

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Trust me. Now go pack a cooler, grab a couple of glasses, and relax with this tasty summer combo.

Cheers!

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

First of all, Happy Fourth of July weekend! I’m literally sitting on the beach right now as I type this but I just HAD to share the amazing strawberry and blueberry cornmeal skillet cake my husband made for breakfast this morning.

It was so good I forced him to write down the recipe for you guys because you need this in your life. It has crispy buttery edges and a nice tender middle with lots of tart berry flavor. It’s so easy to make, too! Ok blah blah blah enough talk. Here’s the recipe.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Stick of unsalted butter, melted, set aside 1 tablespoon for skillet
6 oz fresh blueberries
8 oz fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a 10-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and the melted butter, reserving 1 tablespoon for the skillet. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the skillet; scatter the blueberries on top, and place the strawberry halves evenly over the blueberries. Sprinkle with as much sugar as you’d like, we used about 3 tablespoons.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is evenly browned. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

 

IZZE® Friendsday Night Party and Cocktail Ideas

One of my favorite things to do when I haven’t seen my friends in a while is host a friend’s night with good drinks, yummy snacks, and hilariously inappropriate games. I pride myself in being the hostess with the mostest (alcohol) so I always have to be equipped with quick and easy ideas that I can whip up at a moment’s notice. I teamed up with my friends at IZZE® to share a few ideas for your next #FriendsdayNight.

 

Making a tassel garland with leftover colorful tissue paper is easy and super cute. All you have to do is cut long strips of paper, bunch them together, fold the bunch in half around a piece of string, and twist. Easy peasy!IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas

 

Snacks are easy too. Cut up some fresh fruit and mix up a bunch of fresh guacamole with chips. My favorite guac recipe is sooo easy. 4 medium haas avocados, half of a red onion (chopped), a handful of cilantro (roughly chopped), juice from half of a lime, and salt to taste.

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas Don’t forget the drinks! This is my favorite part.

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas

I like to have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. The flavored sparkling beverages from IZZE® are perfect for cocktail mixing or drinking plain. My personal favorite is IZZE® Sparkling Grapefruit juice mixed with a shot of white tequila and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and lots of ice!

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas Enjoy your next Friendsday Night!

IZZE® Friendsday Night Part and Cocktail Ideas

 

This post was sponsored by IZZE® through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about IZZE®, all opinions are my own.

Prosciutto, Fig Jam, Fontina, Provolone Grilled Cheese

Did you guys know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? And today is National Grilled Cheese Day?! To celebrate I teamed up with my pals at La Brea Bakery (who just so happen to hold a special grilled cheese night every Thursday night in LA during the month of April) to create my own perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

What’s not to love about a grilled cheese sandwich? It’s buttery, grilled slices of bread filled with gooey, delicious, melted cheese! There are a lot of ways you can make a grilled cheese, from the classic American and white bread combo to a more artisan variety.

For this version I was inspired by a cheese and charcuterie board I sampled from once. I can’t remember where I had it, but I do remember it had prosciutto, Italian cheeses, figs, and crostini. The combo is out of this world and I figured it would make a great sandwich. Plus it goes well with wine so that’s a major bonus!

What you need:
Prosciutto
Provolone Cheese
Fontina Cheese
Fig Jam
A good hearty bread (like La Brea Bakery’s French Loaf)
Butter

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese
What you do:

Slice your bread into even slices and spread a layer of fig jam onto one side of each slice.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Next, layer 2-3 slices (depends on how gooey you want it) of each meat and cheese on the jam side of the bread and close it up.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Heat butter in a pan on medium heat until it’s sizzling. Put the sandwich in the pan and grill until each side is golden brown. Stay low and slow so the cheese has time to melt before the sandwich gets burned. If you need more melting time, go ahead and pop the pan into a 300 degree oven for a few minutes.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Serve with an extra little dollop of fig jam (and wine) and enjoy!

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Chocolate Pots de Creme with Campari Whipped Cream

Alright, you guys, I’m not going to waste your time with a cute little intro to this recipe. It’s too good for words so I’m just going to say it’s delicious, easy to make, and totally perfect for any occasion. The creamy chocolate custard and the fluffy whipped cream are like a beautiful food love story.

Chocolate Pot de Creme with Campari Whipped CreamHere’s what you do.

Chocolate Pots de Creme
Ingredients
10 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place the chocolate in a blender (Or in a large bowl if using an immersion blender). Whisk milk, 1 cup cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Be careful not to over-whisk, you don’t want a lot of bubbles to form. Stir constantly with a spatula for 6 to 7 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula.

Immediately pour the milk mixture through a sieve over the chocolate in the blender (or in the bowl if using an immersion blender). Blend until combined and smooth. Divide the chocolate mixture amongst the vessels of your choice.

I like to use cocktail glasses because I think it looks very elegant and romantic, but you can use tea cups, ramekins, or small bowls.

Refrigerate for several hours until the chocolate is set and firm.

Lastly you need to finish it off with a dollop of whipped topping, chocolate shavings, and a chocolate truffle. You can make regular whipped cream but I threw some Campari in mine. It is me after all, and I think the bitterness of the Campari plays well with the sweetness of the dessert.

Campari Whipped Cream
Ingredients

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Campari

Whip with a whisk until fluffy.

Chocolate Pot de Creme with Campari Whipped Cream

Voila. Enjoy!

 

Caramelized Telera Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches

Happy New Year, you guys! I took a couple of weeks off to decompress from the holidays and all that jazz, but I’m BACK. For this post I’ve teamed up with La Brea Bakery to bring you two really great things.

La Bakery Bakery Super Bowl Giveaway

1. A GIVEAWAY! Now is your chance to win two tickets to the Super Bowl, including hotel and airfare! That’s pretty amazing right? All you have to do is enter here and take a little interactive quiz. If you’re lucky you’ll be sitting in the stadium screaming your head off over goals and touchdowns, or whatever they’re called, before you know it!

2. I may not know a lot about football, but I do know about food. La Brea Bakery’s Telera Roll Sliders are perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. I grew up eating telera, it’s a Mexican bread that is similar to French bread. It’s soft and airy and can be used for any kind of sandwhich. EVEN ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!Caramelized Telera Bread Ice Cream SandwichesI’m not always in the mood for ice cream sandwiches that are made with cookies. They’re just a little too much for me. I know. I’m weird. I do, however, enjoy an ice cream sandwich made on bread. Telera bread happens to be perfect for this. It has a nice crust but is still soft and easy to eat.

I like to do a little sugar brulee on the bread before filling it with ice cream. To do this, you put a thin later of room temperature butter on the bread, and sprinkle sugar over it.Caramelized Telera Bread Ice Cream SlidersCaramelized Telera Bread Ice Cream Sliders

Then place the bread under your broiler so it bubbles up and caramelizes. Just like you’d see on creme brulee.Caramelized Telera Bread Ice Cream Sliders

Let the bread cool and then fill it with ice cream. Delicious! Caramelized Telera Bread Ice Cream SandwichesYou should definitely try serving these at your Super Bowl party.

 

Don’t forget to buy your talera sliders and enter the sweepstakes! Good luck!

 

Cranberry Sauce Cocktail Recipe

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and you’re probably already busy prepping your meal and getting ready for guests. Well I’ve got a cocktail for you to add to your Thanksgiving menu, and it’s made with things you probably already have in your kitchen right now.

If you get tired of arguing with your family about politics and where you’re going with your life, just put on your Adele records and start mixing up this drink for everyone. Actually you might want to go ahead and mix one up for yourself right now.

Cranberry Sauce Cocktail RecipeCranberry Sauce Cocktail (Makes one cocktail)

Ingredients:
2 oz vodka
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 heaping teaspoon of cranberry sauce
Dash of blood orange bitters (if you have it)

Shake everything in a shaker with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.

Cranberry Sauce Cocktail Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you have tons to be thankful for and lots of food to eat. Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes Two Ways: Goat Cheese Mash and Sweet Potato Mash

Mashed potatoes are one of the most quintessential holiday side dishes and everyone seems to have their own favorite recipe and technique for them. I pretty much like mashed potatoes any way you give them to me, but these two recipes happen to be my favorite.

Mashed potatoes two ways! Thanksgiving recipes from MelodramaHosting a dinner can be stressful, especially when everyone these days has different dietary restrictions. Hopefully this helps you out!

The first is a yukon gold and goat cheese mash that is full of amazingly creamy and full of flavor. The second is a delicious sweet potato mash that is on the healthier side, suitable for vegans, and equally as delicious.

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup of milk
1/2 stick of butter
2 oz goat cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp of salt (plus more to taste)
Fresh thyme (optional)

Peel and boil potatoes until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. In a small sauce pan heat butter, milk, and salt over medium heat. Run potatoes through a potato ricer. Add goat cheese. Slowly add the milk/butter mixture (you may not need to use all of it) and whisk until you reach a creamy fluffy texture. Season to taste with more salt if needed. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.

Sweet Potato Mash with Pecans

3 large sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup pecans
1 tbs brown sugar

Lightly toast pecans in a pan and place into a small bowl. Roughly chop pecans and toss with brown sugar. Set aside. Peel and boil sweet potatoes until fork tender. Use a potato masher to smash potatoes. Add olive oil, cayenne pepper, and salt and mix together. Top with pecan mixture.

Mashed potatoes two ways! Recipes from Melodrama

You can keep these warm over a double boiler until you’re ready to serve. They also reheat over a double boiler quite nicely. Enjoy!

 

 

Hard Apple Cider Drop Donut Recipe

It’s that time of year when everyone is going bonkers over apple cider donuts and I’m no exception. In fact I’ve been known to drive 2 hours away just for a delicious bag of mini donuts from my favorite orchard. I decided it would be a good idea to make my own apple cider donuts, but if you’ve been following along here for awhile you’ve probably noticed that I like to add booze into any dessert recipe possible. That’s why I made HARD cider in my donuts.

Hard Apple Cider Donut RecipeI used my champagne drop donut recipe, but replaced the champagne with hard apple cider. Mmmmm cakey, tasty, fried golden nuggets of fried dough.

Hard Apple Cider Drop Donut Recipe

Ingredients

1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup hard apple cider
1 cup sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg

Directions

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Beat together the eggs, vanilla, sugar. Add hard apple cider. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not over mix. Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop mixture into hot frying oil, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup hard apple cider

In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and apple cider until smooth, adding the apple cider slowly, until the glaze is about the consistency of heavy cream.

While they’re still warm, dip the donuts into the glaze and then place on a cooling rack. Let cool and then serve.

Hard Apple Cider Donut Recipe