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  • Watermelon Gazpacho

    Summer is just around the corner and we’ve already had a few 90 degree days here in Austin. Those temps make me want to dive head first into Barton Springs and eat this gazpacho for every meal. Gazpacho has to be one of the easiest things to make, the most time consuming part being chopping. Although, with my new Vitamix Ascent 3500 this recipe is only two *super easy* steps. I’ve partnered with TheFeedFeed & Vitamix to bring you this incredible, super simple recipe.

    I’ve made gazpacho before, with what I thought was an amazing blender. But, this Vitamix makes all the difference. The Ascent 3500 has a touchscreen, is dishwasher safe (OMG YES), offers multiple programs, and even has a self cleaning mode. Can you fall in love with a blender? Because I think I just did….


    If you’ve got this beauty already in your kitchen arsenal then ignore the dicing instructions (except for the garnishes of course). Spend less time by just roughly chopping, throw it all in the blender and watch the Vitamix make the smoothest gazpacho of your life. If you don’t yet have the Vitamix - it’s currently on available through many great retailers as well as online, so now would be the time to treat yo’self.

    Ingredients:

     

    4 cups of seedless watermelon

    1 english cucumber, diced, reserve 1/4 for garnish

    1 large tomato, diced

    1 red bell pepper, diced, reserve 1/4 for garnish

    1 garlic clove

    1 green onion stalk, sliced

    1/2 red onion, diced, reserve 1/2 for garnish

    2 small beets, roasted and diced

    1 handful chopped cilantro for garnish

    4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tbsp for garnish

    3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    1 serrano pepper, sliced and seeds removed (optional)

    freshly ground pepper

    sea salt

    crumbled feta, for garnish



    Set aside the diced cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, green onion, and feta, to use later for garnishing. Add your watermelon, cucumber, garlic, tomato, bell pepper, red onion, beets, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and serrano pepper, if using to the blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. To serve pour into a small bowls or jars and top with the reserved ingredients for garnishing and top with a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

    *serves 6


    This post has been graciously sponsored by TheFeedFeed & Vitamix - all opinions expressed are my own

  • Chai Spiced Poached Pears with Mascarpone

    Full disclosure; I’m a food stylist, not a chef. It’s my job to make food look beautiful but by no means would I consider myself a superstar in the kitchen. Anything that is effortless and elegant is right up my alley - and these chai spiced poached pears are just that. Most of the recipe is hands off and it’s nearly impossible to fail and guaranteed to impress your guests.

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients
    • 4 ripe but firm Bosc or D’anjou pears, peeled
    • 1 cup of mascarpone cheese
    • 4 chai tea bags
    • 3 cups boiling water
    • 2 tbs honey
    •  2 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 tbs ground cinnamon

    Instructions
    1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add chai tea bags. Let the bags steep for 8-10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir in the honey. Add the pears, cinnamon sticks, and add just enough water to barely cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25-35 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Remove the pears with slotted spoon and set aside.
    2. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Let boil until syrupy, about 30 minutes.
    3. Place pears in a shallow dish or bowl. Pour some of the warm poaching syrup over the pears and add a spoonful of mascarpone on the side. Dust with cinnamon and serve immediately.

    tip: place the peeled pears in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning. 
     
    Bon appetit!
    - ashleigh
    **origianl post can be seen here