Simply Sensational Melon Sangria

 Simply Sensational Melon Sangria

Melon Sangria by Modern Day Forager

Savour the evenings or the summer sunshine while mastering the art of making this flavor-packed sangria.  This recipe is simple and will ramp up any outdoor fare, plus we’re sure you’ll be the talk of the town or your next bbq bash.

Ingredients:

2 cups mixed melons cubed (we used cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and Juan Canary)

4 ounces of brandy (if you wont drink it don’t cook with it)

1 granny smith apple sliced

1 bottle of Riesling (cold)

3-4 drops ginger extract

pineapple and white cranberry juice to taste (Ocean Spray makes a white cranberry and peach that works great)

Directions:

Place melon in an airtight container or zip lock bag, add brandy and refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours.

In a large serving container or pitcher stir melon, apples, wine, extract and juices together

Add ice to glasses pour in sangria and spoon extra fruit on top as garnish.

(Sangria gets better with time in the refrigerator )

Melon Sangria by Modern Day Forager

Variations

Sparkly: Club soda or ginger ale

Fruity: grapes, oranges or peaches

Savory: Basil, cardamom or saffron

Boozy: Midori, fruit schnapps, more brandy

Sugary: Moscato, 1/3 cup sugar, simple syrup

Have fun with this and please share your spin on this recipe with use here in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Melon Sangria by Modern Day Forager

 

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Style & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Modern Day Forager

Grandma’s Donuts

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Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Donut or Doughnut …no matter how you spell it, there may be nothing more satisfying to put in your mouth than a hot and fresh one of these old fashioned, hand-cut pieces of fried dough.

Ingredients:

  • • 4 cups flour
  • • 1 cup sugar
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • • 1 cup milk
  • • 2 eggs, beaten
  • • 1 quart oil for frying

Powdered sugar and/or cinnamon sugar (I liked to switch off, while grandpa stuck with plain dunked into his coffee)

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Directions:

Pre-heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot to approximately 375 F.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg.

Stir in milk and eggs.

(This step was done by hand on a large floured cutting board in grandma’s kitchen) Divide dough into easy to work with portion and spread out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Cut out donuts (Grandma use two biscuit cutters to cutout donuts. She did not make donut holes so she just kept re-using the center piece.)

Once you have cut out all your donuts drop them into hot oil, just a few at a time. Fry about 3 minutes, turn and fry for about 3 more minutes or until golden brown.

Drain: (Grandma always tore a brown paper bag and set that on a plate to drain the donuts… never really a necessary step since my grandfather and I ate them as fast as she could make them, which always created plenty of giggles.)

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cinnamon-sugar, or neither, just plain.

Eat and enjoy! 

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Modern Day Forager

Brunch Week Wrap Up

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Brunch ahhh, who doesn’t love brunch.  Our second week post is filled with drink recipes that work well these dishes.  If you need cocktail recommendations please look back at last week‘s post.  Thirst quenching and mouth watering sips with a twist.

We live for making food and sharing it with those we love.  It is what we do.  We also live for lazy summer days and sleepy Sunday mornings.  Here at MDF, we have been sharing our fondest childhood memories of weekend soirees and brunch.  Our breakfast backstory….how did these gatherings shape us….can you feel the nostalgia coming on?

For Heather her memory takes her back to french toast piled high to the ceiling.  French toast and milk go hand-and hand for Heather, it is the perfect breakfast duo.  Heather’s grandparents had mountains of blackberries in their yard and her grandma would collect the backyard bounty and produce batch after batch of this thick rich syrup to pour over the top of this yummy  goodness and if that wasn’t enough, then she added a light dusting of powdered sugar over the stacks of golden bread to make it even more special.

Weekends meant sleeping in for Rj and brunch meant spending that last day of his week at his favorite place, his grandmother’s house.  A sensory overload of sorts, the sights and smells of his grandma’s waffles is still a family affair that he carries on and continues with his children today.

And as for me, it takes me back to comfort food and family; our house had an open door policy, a haven for good food and breaking bread.  Food was the draw, always plentiful and the weekend just included even more family and even bigger sense of community.

Our coddled egg recipe is reminiscent and reflective of days gone by.  It is a recipe that gently immerses the egg just below the boiling point and slightly cooks and coddles the egg.  We encourage you to try this old time favorite and this is a great addition to any recipe collection.

The blueberry jam is our go to pantry staple and extremely versatile, so keep the recipe handy for when all that fresh little fruit is at your farm stand.

The french toast is big and bold, sophisticated, with the unique splash of citrus bitters, rich flavorful filling, a perfect balance of sweet and savory, and the quintessential brunch favorite.

We think that the grapefruit is just a fresh take for a tried and true breakfast classic.

Don’t keep these recipes all to yourself, share with your closest friends and family.  Really that is what food is for, sharing.

Last, but surly not least, the cold brew.  Ahhh, coffee, our morning ritual, our daily rocket fuel, we all have a jars , with this robust, smooth and deeply intense flavor, chilling in our iceboxes.  We are prepared for the hot desert days ahead in sunny Arizona.  You can find these way cool mason jars (shown below) at JAM for ten dollars.  JAM is located at 6938 E First Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, 480 522-5410.

Thank you for joining us again this week.  We would love to connect and hear your fondest childhood morning memories of breakfast and brunch in the comments or on our Facebook pages.

coffeecollection

Cold Brew Coffee

grapefruitgoodness

Glazed Grapefruit with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Hibiscus Sugar

frenchtoast

Stuffed French Toast

blueberryjam

Elegant, yet Simple Blueberry Jam

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Coddled Eggs with Bacon & Chevre

Modern Day Forager

Elegant, yet Simple Blueberry Jam

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

We are oh so sweet on this Blueberry Jam…here at Modern.

This simple but elegant spread is bursting with tiny little gems of goodness and has the perfect balance of sugar, juicy lemons and a touch of brightness from the zest.  We topped and stuffed it into rich and mouth watering french toast, dressed and layered it on lemon mascarpone pancakes for a lovely weekend brunch, and even used it as a component for a rich and fruit forward pan sauce with pork for a farm to table gathering.  Channel you inner canner,  and with a little help from a good season,  try this humble and unassuming little jar of jam.   It will be sure to liven up any summer time soiree.

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Simple Blueberry Jam

2  1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  2. Smash berries (I use a potato masher)
  3. Simmer on medium high heat (as foam forms skim it from the top) for about 12 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Chill in an ice bath.  Once completely cooled you may store in fridge.

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Modern Day Forager

Glazed Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Bacon & Orange Sunshine Bitters

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

 

A sweet and savory french toast like no other.  One of the most decadent recipes we have styled and ever tasted.  We saw this combination of flavors on a menu in NYC and always wanted to recreate the flavor profile.  We chose to use challah bread as our vehicle, plus the addition of crispy thick cut bacon and citrus bitters to mix things up, so here it is.  Waking up to this..is really not hard to do.

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Glazed Blueberry Stuffed French Toast with Bacon & Orange Sunshine Bitters

Ingredients:

1 loaf challah bread, sliced into 2 ½ to 3 inch slices (recipe makes 6 to 8 slices)

8 oz. ricotta cheese

12 to 16 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and chopped (retain pan drippings)

1/4 cup blueberry jam

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbl unsalted butter (melted)

2 Tbl unsalted butter

1 Tbl brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp orange bitters (we used AZ Bitters Lab Orange Sunshine)

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 Lg eggs

maple syrup (for serving)

Directions:

  1. Place sliced bacon on a rack in a sheet pan and bake until crispy, drain on a paper towel.  Retain pan drippings to cook French toast.
  2. With a small sharp knife, make a horizontal slice in bottom crust of bread creating the pocket you will pipe filling into.
  3. In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, blueberry jam, and lemon zest. Place mixture in a Ziploc bag and when you are ready to fill bread pockets, slice corner off bag and pipe.
  4. In a bowl whisk together milk, syrup, salt. Tablespoon of melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, bitters, cinnamon, and eggs.
  5. In a large (preferably cast iron) skillet heat bacon drippings on medium heat. You will need about 2 tablespoons, you can add butter if you need more fat.
  6. Using your piping bag, fill each bread pocket with approximately 2 tablespoons of filling.  Push bacon into filled pocket of bread, pushing out to edges as much as possible.
  7. Once slices are stuffed soak each slice in egg mixture for about 10 seconds per side, then place in hot skillet.  Cook until both sides are caramelized.

Serve warm topped with extra jam, fresh berries, lemon zest and maple syrup.

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Modern Day Forager

Glazed Grapefruit with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Hibiscus Sugar

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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From perk up to pucker up this is a great start for any morning ritual.  Turn on the broiler if you want a break from the ordinary.  Grapefruit halves are a busy morning classic, but take a few extra minutes and broiling will caramelize the fruit itself and the sugars you choose will compliment the fruits inherent bitterness and bring a unique sweet-smoky flavor to your morning…Hello Sunshine!

Glazed Grapefruit with Ruby Red Grapefruit & Hibiscus Sugar

3 grapefruit

6 teaspoons honey

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Ruby Pink Grapefruit and Hibiscus Sugar (we used La Bella Terre sugar)

Preheat the broiler

  1. Cut each grapefruit in half and loosen sections from the membrane with a small paring knife.
  2. Place the grapefruit halves cut side up on a baking sheet or a muffin pan.  Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey over each half and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and grapefruit hibiscus sugar.
  3. Place grapefruit under broiler and brown well, about 3 minutes.  Remove grapefruit and serve warm.

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Modern Day Forager

Cold Brew Coffee

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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It may not be summer yet, but it sure feels like it here in the southwest! You’ll be wooed by this perfect chilled perk up.

As a hot coffee drinker for decades I understand the trepidation. I looked at my Grandmothers glass of iced coffee with bewilderment and later in life turned my nose up at the iced coffee drinkers at my local coffee house. I love my hot coffee, the process of brewing it, the smell and oh my and the flavor!  However, what I don’t love is sweat on my brow, the acidity in my stomach, the bitterness of burnt beans or even the luke warm temperature it inevitably becomes.

Our MDF solution… COLD BREW… No bitterness, no acidity, all the flavor, and you can make the concentrate (as technically as any coffee engineer would want) ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Refreshing, full flavored and incredibly rich and smooth!  Start sipping…

Cold Brew Coffee

12 oz coarsely ground coffee

7 cups water (we used filtered)

milk or half & half (this is to taste)

simple syrup (also to taste)

  1. Place ground coffee in a large container.
  2. Gradually add 7 cups of cold water.
  3. Stir gently to ensure all grounds are wet.
  4. Cover with a layer of cheesecloth or plastic wrap.
  5. Let stand for 15 to 24 hours at room temperature.
  6. Remove covering.  In a fine mesh sieve (lined with cheesecloth that you used to cover or a coffee filter.  Pour coffee through into another container. Do not stir grounds as it produces a cloudy end result.
  7. Cover jar and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Will keep for up to 2 weeks.

To serve fill a tall glass with ice and mix 1 part coffee with 1 part milk or half & half.  You could substitute filtered water for the milk.  Sweeten with simple syrup or add a pinch of salt for a real treat.

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We have a jar of this waiting in the cooler for us to cool down on with the hot days ahead.  We hope your Monday is going well.  See you tomorrow.  We would love to hear from you.  Connect with us here in the comments or on our Facebook page.

doubleshotModern Day Forager