Midsummer Mojito

Apparently, I was indulging in the bounty of the season around the same time last year and put together this Midsummer Magic post full of other berry delicious treats. I’m seasonally predictable like that. And if you like mojitos, we also have watermelon and rhubarb variations!

There comes a certain point every summer when the mint makes itself known in our garden. It grows like crazy, and we’re treated to its sweet and refreshing smell every time we walk among it.

This is the point when I make the switch from my nightly G&T to mojitos! There’s no better sensory experience than picking the mint, smashing it with some brown sugar, squeezing the lime juice, giving it all a stir, and then taking a big sip.

midsummer_mojito_TITLE

Last week while I was picking mint, the boys were picking raspberries. We brought our bounty (or what was left, in the case of the berries) into the kitchen, and I was making my drink while unpacking our farm share. Inside the box was a fresh cucumber.

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Natural Bug Sprays

This is part of our ongoing series on using essential oils for home and body care. You can see our archive of essential oil posts here.

We’re celebrating Pollinator Week around here with a series of pollinator-related posts. When you grab a bottle of bug spray, I’m guessing that “pollinator” is not the first word that you think of, instead, it’s likely “mosquito” “f-ing mosquitos”. Am I right? But guess, what?! Mosquitos are pollinators!

Pollination aside, we will never grow to love the pesky mosquitos, ticks, and fleas. Today we’re sharing a natural, non-toxic bug spray. I find that this works well when the mosquito populations aren’t too high, but I admit, there are still times, particularly in the swampy waters at the shore, that I have to use something containing DEET. What this spray lacks in DEET, it makes up for in its beautiful scent, and in the ability to personalize (there are so many mixing options below!).

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Serious Mocktails

Mint is our ingredient of the season. We’ve used it in salads, drinks, and other potions. You can find our complete archive of mint posts here.
liveseasoned_summer2014_mocktails1_wm2

You know that the Seasoned sisters love to kick back with a good alcoholic beverage, but we can also appreciate a nicely mixed mocktail or two. Who doesn’t have fond memories of being served their first Shirley Temple? And while we still wouldn’t pass one up,  today we’re talking about mocktails that are a bit more creative in both their list of ingredients and combination of flavors. With the right ingredients on hand these mocktails take seconds to mix, making them a perfect alternative to offer up at your Labor Day bbq this weekend.

I’m not a huge fan of mocktails that imitate alcoholic drinks. If I’m going to skip the alcohol, I want my drink to be full of creative flavors. That said, once I come up with a winning mocktail, it often doubles as the perfect base for my next cocktail. With a splash of gin or SAGE, both of today’s drinks can become the spirited life of the party! (Excuse us, we couldn’t pass up the pun.)

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Spring Rolls {Vegetarian & Vegan}

Mint is our ingredient of the season. Our archive of mint posts is rich with ideas for drinks, salads, main dishes, and cosmetic uses!

Before last week I had eaten my fair share of spring rolls, yet never made them, but with mint as our ingredient of the season, this was one of those recipes that I was excited to stretch my muscles and try making at home. I was totally intimidated before my first wrapper hit the water, but I’m happy to report that these were surprisingly easy to prepare!

liveseasoned_summer2014_springrolls20_wm

Making spring rolls at home is so much fun because you can personalize them to your tastes, choosing your favorite protein (tofu, shrimp) and vegetables (sky’s the limit!). On this particular night, we opted for veg rolls with tofu as our protein and nappa cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers as our vegetables. I did the rolling while Calder and A.Max were out on a bike ride, but while doing it, I thought about how this would be even more fun to do with a group of friends ~ setting up a big spring roll bar and letting everyone roll their own. If you try that, let us know how it goes!

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Mint is our ingredient of the season. In the kitchen we’ve made a few alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, salads, and meatballs. For the bathroom we made a refreshing foot scrub and some non-toxic deodorant.

You know the mint ice cream in your grocer’s freezer section? This is nothing like that. This ice cream gets all of its minty flavor from fresh mint, and with that comes a deep, green, earthy flavor from the plant. That description may sound crazy for ice cream, but when you eat fresh mint you taste so much more than the isolated mint flavor that’s added to commercial ice cream. By infusing the milk and cream with fresh mint, you’re adding those layers of complexity to this very simple dessert.

As I was sharing a cone with A. Max this afternoon, I was trying to think of another way to convey the flavor of this ice cream. At our house growing up, there was so much mint growing around the edge of the garden that it would get cut with the lawn mower. Have you ever experienced that? Mint getting cut with the green grass on a hot summer day? That’s this ice cream.

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Mint in your Lamb Meatballs?

Mint is our ingredient of the season. Of course we made mojitos. We also made some saladsiced teaagua fresca, a body scrub, and… deodorant!

I’ve been sitting on this recipe ever since Sarah and I picked mint as the ingredient of the season. It’s not that mint is the star of the dish, it’s just that, when do you ever expect to see mint in a meatball recipe? You might think it’s expected in a lamb meatball recipe, but the cookbook actually refers to these as beef meatballs. And mint isn’t the only thing flavoring this dish; it calls for four different fresh herbs and over a half dozen spices! If that sounds complicated, it’s worth the effort.

liveseasoned_summer2014_mintmeatballs4

 

This recipe comes from the cookbook Jerusalem. If it sounds familiar, I shared a couple of recipes from the book in April. Or maybe you read a review of the book, or heard that a Jerusalem craze is taking over the nation (it’s the #1 cookbook on Amazon in the natural food cooking category). I have to admit that I didn’t realize it was that popular until writing this post, but I completely understand the compassion for this book. The range of recipes are exciting, they are made from ingredients that I want to eat, the book’s photographs are wonderful, the descriptions of places and history transport you… Through food, this book blends religions and cultures, if only it could bring peace to a troubled land.

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Minty Fresh Deodorant

Mint is our ingredient of the season. We love to use it in drinks, both alcoholic and not, in salads, both savory and sweet, and in the shower!

There couldn’t be a better time for this post. Why? Because it’s about deodorant, and I bet you’re getting your smell on by late afternoon this summer. And because this recipe requires coconut oil, which is sure to be in a liquid state on any given 80+ degree day, making mixing easy!

liveseasoned_summer2014_deodorant2

Now, to back this truck up, today we’re talking about making our own non-toxic, totally biodegradable deodorant that’s safe for your body and smells great too! I’ve been using this exact recipe for close to four years now and feel no need to go back to the store-bought stuff.  You may already have the ingredients in your house, but if you don’t, they are relatively cheap* and each have other uses in your house/kitchen. Finally, it’s always fun to mix up a potion, particularly one that you can personalize with your favorite scents!

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Lemongrass Mint Iced Tea

Mint is our ingredient of the season. We’ve used it in a variety of drinks, both alcoholic to non-alcoholic, salads, and body scrubs.

Today we’re sharing an amazingly simple and delicious herbal iced tea that’s the perfect addition to any summer spread. This pairing of lemongrass and mint is something I’ve carried around with me for years, only getting the urge to mix up a batch on the hottest of summer days, just like the first time I had it.

liveseasoned_summer2014_lemongrassmint5_wm

Continue reading

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Watermelon Mojito!

Mint is our ingredient of the season. We’re cutting mint every day for our afternoon agua fresca and evening drinks, adding some to salads, and even taking it into the shower!

 

Remember when I promised a use for Tuesday’s leftover watermelon mint salad? Hands up if you guessed mojitos! Today’s drink couldn’t be easier to make (or drink), especially if you have your watermelon cut up into nice little cubes.

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmojito

Ingredients for One

  • ~ 10 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 lime
  • 1/2 cup cubed watermelon mint salad
  • 1 1/2 ounces rum
  • ice
  • seltzer water

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmojito2

Instructions

  • Place the sugar and mint leaves in the bottom of your glass and muddle them, bruising the mint leaves.
  • Squeeze the lime wedge into your glass and include the rind.
  • Add the cubed watermelon. Muddle the ingredients again, making sure to fully smash the watermelon (you could also puree the watermelon in a blender).
  • Fill your glass about 2/3 full with ice. Add the rum and water.
  • Give your glass a good stir and enjoy!

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmojito3

Extras

  • I reduced the sugar in this mojito because our watermelon was so sweet. Feel free to up it to 1.5 or 2 tablespoons.
  • If you want to get fancy, garnish with a watermelon wedge. ooh la la
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Watermelon Mint Salad

Mint is our ingredient of the season. In the kitchen we’ve made a few mojitos, some agua fresco, and a Tex-mex quinoa salad. For the (outdoor) shower we have a sand and salt body scrub.

Guys, today we’re throwing mint and watermelon together and calling it a salad. That’s it! It’s so amazingly simple, yet perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day. If you’re looking for a more complex recipe for watermelon salad, they’re out there, but I’m (nearly) a watermelon purist and those recipes never appealed to me. Though on one sweltering summer day in West Philly I threw mint and watermelon together, and now I’m hooked on this simple pairing!

I usually cut my watermelon in half and use a spoon to eat it straight from the rind. No joke. But, if I’m going to get fancy and call it a salad, then I have a super simple method for easily cutting the melon into cubes without making a huge mess. I promise, this is totally worth two cents.

1. Begin by cutting the whole watermelon into quarters. Follow the steps below for each quarter.

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmintsalad3

2. With the rind on the cutting board, make equally spaced cuts down through the melon to the rind – you will end up with cuts on both open faces of the melon.

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmintsalad4

3. On both open faces make equally spaced cuts that are perpendicular to your original lines.

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmintsalad5

4. The center cubes of the melon should now fall out. Once you’ve removed all of the loose cubes, stick your knife in the melon near the rind and cut out the remaining pieces.

With your watermelon cut, coarsely chop your mint.

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmintsalad8

Mix the two together and enjoy… but don’t eat it too fast, if you have some salad still in your fridge by Thursday, we’ll show you how to use your leftovers!

liveseasoned_summer2014_watermelonmintsalad9

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone