31 July, 2008

Minty Watermelon Lemonade

Makes about 8 cups


* 2 Lemons, Quartered
* 1 cup Fresh mint leaves
* ½ Medium watermelon (about 9 lbs.), rind removed, cut into chunks
* add agave, or other sweetener to taste


1. Squeeze lemons into a large pitcher; add squeezed lemon quarters. Add mint and sweetener; mash with a wooden spoon until mint is bruised

2. In a blender, puree watermelon in batches until smooth; pour through a fine-mesh sieve into pitcher. Stir to combine. Serve with ice.

*Stays for about 3 days in the fridge

Can add 1/4 - 1/2 Cup Vodka or White Rum ... or for a more exotic taste 1/3 c silver patron. Keep some fresh mint leaves and curl up some lemon rind for garnish.


Cayenne-Spiced Chocolate Brownies

Chef's Corner
A Delicious Cayenne-Spiced Chocolate Brownie and Almond Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich with Sweet Cherry Compote

Below are several recipes that can be used individually, or in concert. You can serve traditional, square-cut brownies for an after school treat; and the ice cream could be served alone or with the Cherry Compote as a simple, but delicious dessert. Here, we are serving all of them together for an over-the-top, you-are-worth-it special occasion dessert!

Cayenne-Spiced Chocolate Brownies
Serves 8

4 cups walnuts, soaked 8–12 hours, then dehydrated
1/2 cup pitted soft dates, chopped
1/2 cup dried figs, soaked 15 minutes, drained, and chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch solar-dried sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1. Place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they reach the consistency of meal.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and continue processing until it is well mixed and sticky. The mixture should hold together when pressed into a ball. If oil begins to separate from the mixture, it is over processed. You may still use it, but it is not the desired effect.
4. Divide the mixture in half and press each half firmly into an 8- x 8-inch brownie pan lined with unbleached parchment paper. Cover and chill.
5. Cut each pan of brownies into 8 equal pieces, 4 inches x 2 inches.
May be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Almond Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield: 5 cups (serves 8)

2 cups almonds, soaked 6 to 8 hours, rinsed, and drained (see note)
2 cups purified water
1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked 4 hours, rinsed, and drained
1 cup agave nectar
2 1/4 teaspoons psyllium powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of solar-dried sea salt

1. Blend the almonds with the purified water in a high-powered blender to make a thick almond cream. Strain the mixture through a cloth mesh bag, and store the pulp for another use.
2. Return the strained milk to the blender, add the cashews and other remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Spread the mixture firmly into two 8 x 8-inch brownie pans, each lined with unbleached parchment paper. Cover and freeze for at least 12 hours, or until firm.
4. Cut the frozen ice cream into 8 equal pieces, each one 4 inches x 2 inches.
May be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.

Note: Store leftover almond pulp in the freezer for up to four months. Use in breads, cookies, croutons, cinnamon rolls, and scones.

Cherry Compote
Makes 2 cups (serves 8)

3 cups (30 ounces) frozen organic cherries, thawed and drained.
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. To make the compote, blend 1 cup of the cherries with the dates and lemon juice.
2. Stir the mixture into the remaining cherries.

Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

* 1/2 cup ground allspice berries
* 1/2+ cup packed brown sugar
* 6 to 8 garlic cloves
* 4 to 6 Scotch bonnet peppers
* 1 tablespoon ground thyme or 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
* 2 bunches scallions (green onions)
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce to moisten

Place allspice, brown sugar, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, scallions, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and soy sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.

You may use allspice berries, if available, but use enough to give the equivalent of 1/2 cup ground. (Allspice berries and scotch bonnets are key ingredients.) Keep this sauce refrigerated and it will keep forever. Feel free to increase the hot peppers and garlic.

The traditional sauce doesn't have brown sugar.. and but you can add the brown sugar and a 2 tablespoons of vinegar to give that sweet and sour taste *omit the soy*.