Melon Gin Spritz

Light and refreshing - the perfect summer cocktail.

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Ok, so this Monday calls for a cocktail right! And it’s not just any old beverage, it's one that is perfect for a hot summer day. Infused with cucumber and melon, it is the perfect option for when it’s hot outside and you want something refreshing and not too sweet.

So this recipe calls for simple syrup which really is just so simple to make. If it’s one of those things that you haven’t done or seems intimidating you need to get up and make some right now! It’s one of the best ways to infuse almost any flavour into a drink, and it also allows you to sweeten your drink exactly to your liking, so if you have a major sweet tooth you can bump up the amount of simple syrup your throwing in, or the opposite if that's how you roll.

This is also a really great cocktail to have when you're hosting a party or bbq. Just set out all of the ingredients and let your guests mix their own concoction (with a bit of direction of course). Plus how fun is it for your guests to get involved and play bartender. It makes things interactive and casual, and in the summer, that is exactly how it should be!

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prep time 5 minutes

cook time 10 minutes

total time 15 minutes

servings 1

Ingredients

2 oz melon simple syrup

2 oz gin

seltzer water

cucumber slices

balled melon

Instructions

In a cocktail shaker combine melon simple syrup, gin and a slice of cucumber. Muddle the cucumber then top with ice and shake vigorously.

Fill a cocktail glass with ice then strain in the gin mixture and top with seltzer water. Garnish with melon and sliced cucumber.

Melon Simple Syrup

1 cup white sugar

1 cup water

2 cups chopped melon

In a small saucepan combine sugar, water and chopped melon. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain then place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

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Cucumber Sesame Salad

Light and refreshing - the perfect summer salad!

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So I need to start off by saying today’s recipe is soooo easy - but isn’t that how cooking should be in the summer. Growing up we always had cucumber’s and cream and it was so delicious, but, since dairy is semi-off limits in our house it’s not a side that I tend to make.

So while this salad has different flavours, the style is reminiscent of the salad of my childhood, so it does the trick. I love to serve this alongside basically anything you have barbequed, a beautiful piece of salmon with Asian spices, grilled chicken, or even a burger. The best part is that you can make it up to 24 hours in advance. I mean really, the earlier the better because it gives your cucumbers time to soak up all the wonderful flavours of the sesame oil, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.

Now, if you don’t like things spicy you can certainly skip the red pepper flakes, but I think that they add a nice little kick. So slice up your cucumbers super thin, julienne some carrots and you are set - it’s so easy I almost feel guilty calling it a recipe. But if you are anything like me you know that simple is best, and sometimes, no one even needs to know you threw it all together in minutes!

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prep time 15 minutes

marinading time 2 - 24 hours

total time 15 minutes + marinading time

servings 4

Ingredients

1 large English cucumber

1 large carrot

1 tbsp peanut oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp honey

2 tsp soya sauce

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

In a medium bowl place thinly sliced cucumber and julienned carrots then set aside.

In a small bowl combine peanut oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, soya sauce, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.

Pour the dressing over cucumber and allow to marinade for 2 - 24 hours.

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The Hendricks

This refreshing cucumber mint cocktail is those warm summer nights!

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So it’s almost the end of June, can you guys believe it? This is my first summer in LA and before being here I had no idea what June Gloom was, but now I get it.

So while it has been dreary here it has also been so rainy at home, so basically, everywhere I go has less than ideal weather. But they say the nice weather is coming so it’s time to start getting outside and enjoying summer.

Now one of the things that go so well with a summer bbq is a great summer cocktail, and this one is such a refreshing option! It’s the perfect blend of fresh cucumber and aromatic mint topped off with the perfectly complementing Hendricks Gin. Now, if you haven’t ever tried Hendricks you may not get why they type of gin is important, but it really is. Hendricks already has flavours of “cukes and flowers” making the flavours marry exceptionally well.

So next time you need a fun cocktail mix this one up - it’s guaranteed to become your summer go do drink!

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prep time 5 minutes

total time 5 minutes

servings 1


Ingredients

3 slices of cucumber

3 mint leaves

2 oz hendricks gin

lemon lime soda

Instructions

In a cocktail shaker place cucumber and mint leaves - muddle until juices have realized from the cucumber and the mint is fragrant. Add in gin and shake vigorously.

In a cocktail glass place 4-5 ice cubes then pour over gin cucumber mixture. Top with lemon lime soda and garnish with mint leaves.

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Loaded Greek Hummus

Hummus loaded with tomatoes, cucumber, olives and feta - the perfect combination for a delicious healthy snack!

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So it’s Friday and I don’t know about you but I love Friday nights that involve lots of snacks and a movie or two. That's where this extra yummy greek salad topped hummus comes in.

I mean seriously, who doesn’t love hummus? It's healthy, delicious, and easily pairs with so many different flavours. While it’s super easy to pick up tasty hummus from the grocery store it is also just as easy to make your own - all you need are a couple of cans of chickpeas, lemon, olive oil, garlic and cumin - most of which you probably already have in your pantry. Throw it all together in your food processor or blender and all of the work is done for you.

Now, while I did say you can just throw the chickpeas right into the food processor directly from the can I do recommend spending a few extra minutes and removing the skins. It makes for more of a smooth textured hummus which I think it totally worth it.

I also love cooking the garlic in the oil for a few minutes as well to not only flavour the oil but to also take away the raw garlic bite and mellow it out.

So the one piece of advice that I have for you on this beautiful sunny Friday - serve this for dinner tonight with some veggies and grilled pita - your family will thank you!

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prep time 30 minutes

blend time 5 minutes

total time 35 minutes

servings 4 - 6

Ingredients

2 cans of chickpeas (preferably low sodium)

1/4 tsp cumin

4 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

1.5 tsp salt

2.5 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup cherry tomatoes halved or quartered

1/3 cup cucumbers finely diced

1 tbsp red onion finely diced

2 tbsp crumbled feta

3 tbsp sliced kalamata olives

Instructions

In a small saucepan place olive oil and whole garlic cloves and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned.

Drain the cans of chickpeas into a colander and rinse then remove the skins by pinching between your thumb and index finger. Once all of the skins have been removed place the chickpeas in a food processor or blender along with cumin, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic cloves. Blend on high for 3-4 minutes adding in water as needed until hummus is smooth then scoop your hummus into a bowl or onto a serving tray.

In a small bowl combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta and olives - stir to combine. Pour the vegetable mixture over the hummus and serve with vegetables and pita bread.

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Sweet + Spicy Chilli Chicken with Crunchy Cucumbers

This sweet + spicy chilli chicken has everything that you love about takeout without all of the calories. Perfect served over rice or on its own!

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I don’t know about you guys, but I love chicken when it's sweet, sticky, + spicy. Most of the time at restaurants it’s deep-fried which is super yummy, but let’s be honest, not something that we want to eat all of the time.

So this recipe is a great alternative when you want that traditional take-out taste but without the calories. I also think that the cucumber is a great addition to freshen it up and add a crunchy freshness that is perfect for this dish.

This Chilli Chicken is perfect as a main dish served over rice, or, if you're like me, on its own as your full meal! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

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prep time 20 minutes + 1 hour brining

cook time 10 minutes

total time 1 hour 30 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1.5 lbs chicken breast

2 cups pickle juice

2 tbsp oil

6 cloves garlic

1 tsp red chilli flakes

3 tbsp white sesame seeds + more to garnish

1 tsp vinegar

1 tsp soya sauce

2 tbsp ketchup

1 1/2 tbsp honey

1 tsp sambal

1 long English cucumber cut into 1 inch pieces

2 green onions

Instructions

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and place in a ziplock bag. Pour pickle juice over chicken and allow to brine for 1 hour.

To make the glaze in a small bowl combine oil, garlic, chilli flakes, sesame seeds, vinegar, soya sauce, ketchup, honey and samba. Whisk until combined then set aside.

Drain chicken and pat dry using a paper towel. Using a wok or large frying pan cook chicken over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and golden brown. Pour glaze over the cooked chicken and stir 1 - 2 minutes or until coated. Remove from heat, add in cucumbers and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds - serve immediately.

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