Happy Birthday Vagabond

This is my one year anniversary for my blog. I was at a loss of what to make for this post. Should it be sweet? Maybe, something with meat? Something that says summer? Since I love to cook with the season I thought I should make something fitting for the end of summer. The whole summer has gone by and I have yet to make my marinated watermelon salad that I love. I have also always wanted to grill a chicken perfectly. What summer meal would be better? This watermelon salad is sweet, spicy, and savory all at the same time with some grilled chicken that has a nice and crispy skin.

I really cannot believe a year has gone by. I feel like it was just a few months ago I was nagging Brian to finish my little cookie girl for my page header. (Yes, Brian designed it all for me. He is so talented!) I am not sure if anyone got that in the past year. I got the idea from a few years ago when I could not find a holiday card that we liked to send out. After a long day in my bakery kitchen I was left with a few undecorated gingerbread girls and boys.  I decorated a couple to look like Brian and I as a joke. When I brought them home we were laughing at it and ending up making it the cover to our holiday card.  You never know where and idea will come from or when inspiration will hit you.

For those of you that have been reading, thank you. I hope you continue to read and share in my recipes and stories. I have heard from some of you from time to time and I greatly appreciate it. It is reassuring to know that others have had success with my recipes; it is also nice to know that you like hearing the stories of my experiences and memories.

Marinated Watermelon Salad (feeds 4)

This is a nice combination of sweet and spicy. It is best to make it a least an hour before serving so that it marinates together. Your guests will love it, not to mention be impressed by how crisp and refreshing it is in the heat of the summer.

4 cups of watermelon, cut into bite size cubes

¼ cup of red onion, chopped small

1 – 2 serrano chilies, minced

1 ½ tsp of fresh ginger, minced

2 limes, juiced

1 tbsp of sugar

½ tsp of kosher salt

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 cup of crumbled feta

6 – 8 mint leaves, chopped

Arugula, washed well and dried

First, in a bowl combing the first seven ingredients. Toss it well and chill for at least an hour in your refrigerator.

To serve, place your arugula on a platter to serve. In the bowl that holds your watermelon mixture add in your feta and mint. Toss again and pour over the arugula. Serve immediately while still chilled or your arugula will begin to wilt.


Perfectly Grilled Chicken

Assorted chicken pieces (legs, thighs, wings, &/or breasts); with skin still on

Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste

First, rinse your chicken and pat dry. Place on a platter and season liberally with the sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Let it sit at room temperature to absorb the seasoning while your grill heats.

Next, heat your gill on high until it reaches about 400 degrees. When grill is ready be sure to turn one side of the grill to low while the other half of the grill is on high. Place your chicken spaced apart of the side of the grill on low. You will want to wait and watch it closely about 10 – 20 minutes. You are looking for the skin of the chicken to start to render and become opaque along with the meat of the chicken. You should rotate it (still on the low side of the grill) and repeat this on the other side of your chicken.

Then, when your chicken is all opaque and the fat from under the skins had slowly rendered (This is what makes the chicken tender.) You want to turn it over to the other side of the grill that is on high. Keeping an eye on it, you want your chicken to brown and crisp up…about 10 – 15 minutes each piece depending on your grill and cut of chicken.

Finally, when chicken is browned and crispy remove from the grill and place on a serving platter. Let it rest about 5 – 10 minutes before serving so that the chicken can rest and remain tender.