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Showing posts from July, 2011

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Treat Yourself to Watermelon Agua Fresca I apologize, but it seems I am on a watermelon roll these days.  The lovely watermelons at my local grocery store have been calling my name.  With the dog days of summer dragging me down, this recipe for Watermelon Agua Fresca provides a terrific pick me up. Watermelon is a perfect fruit to make into a beverage.  It is easily juiced in your blender and its natural flavor is refreshing on a hot summer day.  Make this Watermelon Agua Fresca as a summer treat for you and your family.  It's also a perfect refreshment for a summer party.  It makes a festive drink for your guests who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage and can easily become a signature cocktail with the addition of your favorite rum, vodka or tequila. Let's see how to make this refreshing drink. Watermelon Agua Fresca Watermelon Agua Fresca Ingredients Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups, undiluted 24 ounces seedless watermelon, cut into chunks 2 large limes juiced 4

How to Make a Roasted Chicken on the Grill

I try to keep a roast chicken on hand at all times.  Having a cooked chicken in the refrigerator means there is always a meal ready to go, no matter what.  It helps with weight management to have a protein on hand for a quick afternoon snack or to top a salad for lunch.  When I'm pressed for time I'll pick up a rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store, but I really prefer roasting my own chicken.  That way I know what ingredients have been used.  I know, I'm a bit of a control freak. The heat of summer can challenge this strategy though.  Who wants to heat their kitchen up by roasting a chicken in the oven when the temperature is hovering around 90 degrees outside?  Not me.  One way to keep the heat outside is to roast the chicken on your gas grill.  Let's see how to do it, shall we? Grilled Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary Lemon Rosemary Chicken Ingredients 1 4-5 pound whole chicken, washed and patted dry olive oil 1/2 lemon sliced thinly 3-4 spri

Mango-Orange-Passion Balsamic Vinegar Cedar Plank Salmon

Last weekend I was introduced to a a unique and interesting shop that specializes in the sale of specialty olive oils and vinegars called O'Live A Little .   Located in the Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, CT, the shop is a fun place to visit.  All of the oils and vinegars are on tap.  You are encouraged to taste before your selection is bottled for you to take home. O'Live A Little My sister-in-law and I made a special trip to the store to purchase the Mango Orange Passion Balsamic Vinegar that we needed for the Cedar Planked salmon that was planned for dinner.This is an easy recipe that gets its flavor from this delicious specialty balsamic vinegar.  The original recipe , which my sister-in-law altered slightly is available on O'Live A Little's website.  The staff in the store is also chock full of wonderful suggestions for using the oils and vinegars. The Marinade Ingredients Mango Orange Passion Balsamic Vinegar Cedar Plank Salmon Ser

Skinny Summer Colada Cocktails

My Skinny Coconut Colada A few days ago my Facebook news feed brought me inspiration for today's two Colada Cocktails via the Ocean House, a local hotel.    Their inspiration cocktail is called the Ocean House Colada and is made with coconut water and coconut flavored vodka.   It was the coconut water that intrigued me.    I had never heard much about coconut water.  I've used coconut milk and coconut cream before, but never coconut water.      A little research revealed the following information about coconut water: Coconut water comes from an unripened coconut.  The water is absorbed into the flesh of the coconut as it ripens. Coconut water is not the same as coconut milk.  It has much fewer calories, approximately 45 calories per 8 ounces. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes making it a good sports drink. Coconut water is rich in minerals, contains no fat and while sweet in taste, contains no sugar. It is said to promote a long list of health benefits and pr

Summer Vegetable Medley

I love summer for the wide variety of fresh vegetables that are available locally.  Are you a vegetable lover, or do you turn your nose up at vegetables?  Do you need to bribe your family to eat vegetables?  Summer is a great time of year to work on turning your reluctant vegetable eaters into vegetable fans. Summer Vegetables This summer vegetable medley is a winner at my house.  I think it is because it mixes the freshest seasonal vegetables with delicious aromatic vegetables and herbs.  The combination is hard to resist.  You can use any vegetable that is fresh and lovely in this dish.  That's the fun of it.  Make it over and over again swapping in and out vegetables and your family will never get bored with it. Ingredients for a Summer Vegetable Medley Summer Vegetable Medley Serves 4 2 yellow summer squash 1 jalapeno pepper 1 small onion 1 red bell pepper 1/2 pound sugar snap peas 1/2 pound button mushrooms 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped 2 Tabl

A New England Lobster Roll

Last week Hubby and I stopped in Portland, Maine on our way home from Grand Lake Stream.  Portland is the largest city in Maine and is home to approximately 66,000.  It was lunchtime when we arrived in Portland so we found our way to the waterfront in search of a great local restaurant. On Commercial Street in the Old Port section of Portland we found DiMillo's on the Water , a floating restaurant.  Floating, you ask?  Well, yes.  DiMillo's is actually a former car ferry that has a Rhode Island connection.  From 1958 to 1977 the ferry made its home in Rhode Island , first as a ferry, named the Newport, which ran between Newport and Jamestown, Rhode Island.  It was later used as a youth center by the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, until it was sold to the Setaucket Yacht Club of Port Jefferson, New York in 1977. It was a lovely day and we were seated at a table outside which gave us a clear view of the Portland Harbor. We ordered lobster rolls for lunch.  T

July Gardening To Do List

How is your garden holding up this season?  Here in the Northeast a cool and rainy spring caused our gardens to be about three weeks behind schedule.  Lawns are green and growing abundantly.  We've been mowing a couple of times per week to keep our yard looking tidy. My roses have gone by.  Just today I deadheaded the rose bushes and cut back some of the lanky growth.  It certainly doesn't look like much today, but hopefully this will encourage a second bloom.   The vegetable garden has produced spinach, lettuce, radishes and snap peas.  We may have picked the last of the snap peas today.  The tomato plants are growing tall and setting fruit.  We have cute little baby jalapenos on the pepper plants.  The basil plants you see in the picture below were cut back this week to make my first batch of pesto.  I pulled a couple of the onions today to use in a mixed vegetable stir fry for dinner.  It's early too early for the onion, but the young onions added nice flavor to th

A Perfect Summer Drink-The Mojito

A few years ago we went out for a special dinner to a lovely restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island called the Spiced Pear .  It is located in the Chanler Hotel overlooking the Cliff Walk and the water.  It is a lovely location for a special summer celebration.  It was during this dinner that I had my very first mojito and loved it.  It was so delicious that hubby went to the bar and asked the bartender how he made the drink.  That started our experimentation in making mojitos at home. Mint A great mojito depends on fresh mint.  This is one reason that mint is on my list of essential herbs to grow in your summer garden.   You may actually find it smarter to grow your mint in a pot on your deck or patio.  Once established, mint can be very invasive in your garden making you very sorry you planted it.  Growing it in a pot controls that problem. Let's see how we make a mojito, shall we? Mojito Ingredients The Perfect Mojito Serves one 1/2 lime, cut in half 6-8 fres

Tequila Lime Shrimp with Mixed Vegetables

Oh, how I love the summer months. I love grilling.  I love fresh produce.  I love the simple meals that can be quickly pulled together with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Today I am sharing one of those meals with you.  It came together with mostly things I already had in my refrigerator, pantry or little garden.  It was oh, so simple, but oh, so spectacular.  I can say that because I never cease to be amazed at just how wonderful a simple meal can be.  That's what Just One Donna is about.  Keep it simple, but wonderful. I made this dinner last Sunday.  Now, you should know that in general, I don't like to have complicated meals on the weekend.  My family is together on the weekend and I like to spend as much time as I can engaged with them and our home.  I look for simple, but pleasing meals to serve on the weekend.  Last Sunday was a lovely, sunny day.  We spent much of the day working in our yard, transplanting bushes and keeping up with the garden.  There