Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

If you've been following SMAK for a while you know that I enjoy trying new exotic foods and recipes. Whether it's a cold fish cake from Sweden or a ramen from Japan, I like trying everything once. I've found that I really don't mind spending hours in the kitchen preparing a meal or dish for people. I enjoy the process and time put into something that I can share with friends and family. That being said, there are absolutely times when you don't have hours on end to prepare a dish or appetizer to bring with. So today I bring you perhaps the easiest recipes that I have posted thus far on SMAK. cantaloupe

This is the quintessential summer appetizer. As you're reading this, take note, you don't have much time left to jump on this bandwagon as summer is practically over. So run to the grocery store, grab the last of the ripe cantaloupe (you can also use honeydew melon) and pick up some prosciutto as well.

prosciutto wrapped melon

The sweetness of the cantaloupe paired with the delectable saltiness of the prosciutto is enough to leave your taste buds coming back for more. The Italian classic is a great light taste that won't spoil your appetite before dinner.

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are ready for some fantastic fall recipes!

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

Ingredients:

1 cantaloupe 10-15 slices prosciutto

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the cantaloupe into 1/2 inch to 1 inch cubes.
  2. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each melon cube and secure with a toothpick.
  3. Arrange on a platter and serve.

How to Cut Dragon Fruit

sunday cruise So today I had originally planned to talk about a certain vanilla chia seed pudding that I had made. While the post is still coming, it is just being pushed back slightly. This weekend Tommy decided to crawl out of his apartment and be social! I have to say, it was amazing to spend time with friends, sit in a coffee shop, ride bikes for 20 miles along Lake Michigan. With that said, my entire Sunday was consumed with church, lunch with friends, riding bikes, which included a small bar crawl as we made our way to dinner at Barn & Company in Lincoln Park. Needless to say, I didn't have much time to finish photographing the chia seed pudding.

dragonfruit cross section

Instead, I decided to share with you my experience I recently had with dragon fruit. I have seen this fruit countless times at the grocery stores but have never bitten the bullet to spend the money. (It is about $6.00 for one fruit....). I was excited to try something new. Today's post is mainly just sharing the fruit with you and how to cut it. There will be a post next week where I used this fruit in a recipe, so keep an eye out for that.

dragonfruit

How to cut a dragon fruit:

  1. Placing the fruit on a cutting board, cut the fruit straight down the middle with a sharp knife.
  2. Cut through to the other side, so that you can separate the fruit into 2 sections. Inside the flesh may be white or red - both will have tiny black edible seeds, just like kiwi fruit.
  3. Run a tablespoon around the circumference of the first section to separate the flesh from the skin.
  4. Lift the flesh out of the skin and place it on the cutting board. Reserve the skin for serving (as in step 7), if desired. Note that the skin is not edible. Do the same for the other half.
  5. Turn the mound of flesh over, checking for any residual pink skin. Slice this off, as the skin isn't healthy to eat.
  6. Now you can slice up the flesh. Cubes work well for eating the fruit fresh.
  7. If desired, return the cubes of fruit to the skin to serve, or transfer to a serving dish and enjoy! Leftovers can be refrigerated, like any other fruit, in a covered container.

sliced dragonfruit

Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream and Rum Sauce

grilledpineapple Desserts. I grew up in a family that very rarely had desserts after meals. Instead, they were reserved for special occasions - birthday, dinner parties. The extent of our dessert on any "normal" day was a big bowl of ice cream. Sometimes we would jazz it up with fresh raspberries from the garden. I know people who feel the need to include some sort of treat after every meal. In my opinion, it's completely unnecessary.

That being said, when you find a good recipe, hang on to it!

The pairing of flavors in this recipe is outstanding. The sweetness of the pineapple with the richness of the rum sauce. Be ready to serve this dish immediately - the ice cream will quickly melt. I think I've found a new favorite summer time treat - grilled fruit!

Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream and Rum Sauce Recipe from Food Network Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 (3 to 4 pound) pineapple Cooking spray 2 teaspoons butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup rum 1 pint vanilla ice cream

Directions:

  1. Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, peel and cut it crosswise into 8 rings, about 1/2-inch each. Use a spoon or apple corer to carve out the center core of each ring.
  2. Spray a large grill pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium flame.
  3. Grill the pineapple, in 2 or 3 batches, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until it is nicely brown and grill marks have appeared. (You can also grill this on an outdoor grill sprayed with cooking spray before being heated.)
  4. While the last batch of pineapple cooks, heat the butter, sugar and rum in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  5. Place a pineapple ring on each plate, scoop 1/4 cup of ice cream into the center of the ring, and drizzle about 2 teaspoons of sauce on top.

Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt & Gingersnaps

After three months of summer, I finally made my first trip to Lauderdale Lakes in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Bummer that it happened just as summer is coming to a close. Perfect weather. Amazing food and beer. Wonderful conversation and laughs with family. A run of slaloming on less than ideal water. I couldn't have asked for a better Sunday. peaches

While browsing the Men's Health website the other day, attempting to get my life together and eat healthier and workout more often, I fell upon a recipe for grilled peaches with Greek yogurt and gingersnaps. The idea of grilling fruit seemed rather strange, but I have friends who have done it before and swore by it. So, I allowed my curiosity to get the best of me and I purchased a few white peaches.

grill

The bourbon glaze is a nice subtle addition to the natural flavor of the peach and Greek yogurt. It's not overpowering, but strong enough to add that extra something. I would suggest that you use plenty of gingersnap crumbs when topping the fruit. The more the better. Plain Greek yogurt can be rather tart and the gingersnap helps cut the intensity of the yogurt.

grilled peaches

Do you have any favorite healthy treats? What's your take on grilling fruit? Any fruits that you'd like to see grilled? Let me know and I'll come up with a recipe.

Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt & Gingersnaps Serves 4

Ingredients: 4 peaches 1 tablespoon bourbon 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1/8 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt crushed gingersnap cookies

Instructions: 

  1. Prepare grill for cooking at 400°F to 450°F.
  2. Halve and pit 4 peaches.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon bourbon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
  4. Whisk in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.
  5. Lightly brush bourbon mixture onto cut sides of peaches.
  6. Grill peaches, cut sides down (be cautious; bourbon may flare), for 2 to 4 minutes, until dark grill marks appear.
  7. Top each half with 1/8 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt and a crushed gingersnap cookie.

Mojito Fruit Salad

Here is my view for this morning's post...

Door County

Weekend one is done - my sister and family are back home, my dad is back in Illinois for work and it is just the three amigos - my mom, brother and myself. (Until my grandma comes up for a few days that is.) I am grateful to be able to stay up the entire week. So often do we go on a quick weekend getaway and before you know it, the weekend is over and it is time to go back to work. It is going to be nice to have the chance to unwind and relax. With a pile of books and magazines, my typewriter in tow, and the lake a few hundred feet away, chances are it is going to be a great week.

My sister sent me this recipe via Pinterest the other week and I quickly pinned it to my food + beverages board. I have the tendency to pin like crazy but not always follow through on trying the recipes I find. Part of this may be I read a lot of cooking blogs and cookbooks and prefer pulling inspiration from those avenues. But when I saw this recipe, I knew it'd be a hit at our 4th of July party.

ingredients

Fruit salads are a summer classic. No matter what summer party you attend - there is sure to be a fruit salad sitting at the buffet. They've been done time and time again. Some may say not to touch a classic. My opinion? Turn the status quo upside down and make it your own. This salad is easy to make and refreshing on a hot summer day. It will last a few days in the refrigerator, but be sure to drain it of any juices that accumulate in the bowl.

mojitofruitsalad

The mint and lime juice in the salad add an extra kick of flavor to this dish that make to soar about the normal. My nieces were hesitant at first of the green stuff (the mint), but once tried it, couldn't stop devouring the berries.

Do you have any variations of a classic fruit salad that you love?

Mojito Fruit Salad Recipes from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients: 4 cups chopped watermelon 1 lb strawberries, chopped 6 oz raspberries 6 oz blueberries 1/4 cup packed mint, chopped (NOT 1/4 cup chopped mint) 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes) 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Add watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and mint in a large bowl.
  2. Stir together lime juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl then pour over fruit and berries.
  3. Gently toss with a spatula then let sit in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the natural juices in the fruit to start coming out.