Watermelon Granita and Lemonade

Here is what I did for July 4, in case you were curious. Some recipes have been posted already, including the farro and oven-fried chicken. There will be more recipes coming, hopefully for the sticky rice (K’s mom’s recipe), the soup, caramel sauce, and veggie dip. In the meantime, some pictures and a recipe for our main drink of the day. I was inspired by a watermelon lemonade margarita I saw online. The combination sounded tasty, so I bought some nice lemonade from Costco and made a watermelon granita to go with it. Well…apparently large watermelons have lots of juice, so I had about 8 cups of juice…from part of the watermelon! I ended up using the remaining amount as just “juice”. If you don’t want to make granita, you can also make ice cubes from it (we did that, too). And, you can add vodka to make it “adult”. We had many non-drinkers and some who had indulged recently, so most had the virgin version.

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Topic-Changing-Thursdays: What Can’t You Eat?

There is not much that I cannot eat. There is definitely stuff that I do not want to eat, but that’s different. Sometimes it is hard to tell with people if they are just avoiding a food because they don’t care for it, or if it bothers them. And if it bothers them, how bad is it? There are some people I know who can’t eat green peppers, for example, without getting heartburn…not mentioning names, but this day also happens to be my mom’s birthday (hello up there, Mom!) hehe. So, my mom could eat the green peppers, but might not feel super awesome afterwards.

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Birthday Watermelon Cake

Just as I posted a celebration dessert at the end of last year, here is another celebratory dessert. This was for my friend Lisa’s birthday, which happened a little while ago, but I am also using it to celebrate 5 years of being with my husband (we started dating 5 years ago yesterday). I am thankful to have both of them in my life! You might find a watermelon cake strange for the middle of winter, but if you want to bring a bit of summer to your cold days, or if you just happen to love watermelon as much as Lisa, then it’s perfect. The appearance is not perfect because my recipe did not make enough frosting, so I recommend making 1.5 batches of it, or going nuts and doubling it (if you like eating frosting, or have other treats to decorate). I came across the idea for decorating the cake from Bird on a Cake. I used her ideas, along with Smitten Kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake recipe.

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Ignore the visible layers through the frosting--more frosting would have helped.

Ignore the visible layers through the frosting–more frosting would have helped.

To create even more of a watermelon feel, I used candied cacao nibs in the cake. I made the mistake of not mixing them in, though, so they stayed on top, which is not ideal when you have to cut off the tops of the cake domes. So, don’t be like my pictures: mix the chocolate chips into the cake batter. To compensate, I added more of the nibs to the pink frosting that I used between the layers. This worked well, so you could just do that. If you wanted to make cupcakes, I could see making the cake base as-is, then making just a small amount of green frosting to draw a circle around the tops, then filling in the rest with pink frosting and mini-chocolate chips.

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