It’s the middle of February and I know it my be a bit early to be thinking about summer. However, living in the south, I have no choice!

The temperature is rising and I am craving something refreshing (with a splash of alcohol). A summertime favorite comes to mind: caipirinhas!

I’ve never made one at home before, so I think extra taste testing is necessary. Especially since I’ll be adding juicy watermelon and cool cucumber to this traditional Brazilian cocktail.

Sounds delish, right?. Hell, it’s Friday, let’s make a few.

In a few weeks time, when it’s pushing 80 degrees, I’ll look forward to enjoying one some of these on the front porch. 

watermelon + cucumber caipirinhas 

serves 2, 15 mins total time


2 ½ cups watermelon, seeds removed,

cut into chunks

½ large English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

2 limes, juiced

½ lime, cut into two wedges

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

1½ ounces white rum or Brazilian cachaça

club soda, splash or more

additional cucumber slices, garnish

lime rounds, garnish


Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl or pitcher.

In a blender, puree the watermelon and cucumber chunks.

Pour mixture through the sieve into the bowl. Use the back of a big spoon or rubber spatula to squeeze all the juice into the bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together lime juice and honey.

Pour the lime juice and honey mixture into the watermelon and cucumber juice, along with vodka. Adjust sweetness with more honey if desired.

To serve, fill two glasses with ice and top each with cocktail. Garnish with cucumber and lime slices.


This recipe only justifies meat on a stick tastes much better than in a dish. Always looking to the Far East for inspiration, I imitated a dish that is popular on the streets of southeast Asia — satay.

Satay is essentially a dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat. It is a dish from Indonesia and popular in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. This chicken satay is on par with takeaway or restaurant style chicken satay. They take less than 30 minutes to make and use ingredients you probably already have in the pantry!


pineapple soy salmon skewers

20 min prep + 10 min cook time


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 cup cubed fresh pineapple plus extra for skewering
vegetable oil (for the baking sheet)
1/4 bunch cilantro, for garnish
2 - 3 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish
1 - 2 cups cookedrice or rice noodles, for serving
cilantro for garnish
1 tablespoon samba oelek, or chili garlic paste
2 tablespoons olive oily
2 garlic cloves minced
½ cup palm sugar (or substitute brown sugar)
½ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ to ½ cup chili sauce, like Sriracha, to taste
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1 lime juiced




Heat the broiler: Set an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler element and turn on the broiler to high.

If using bamboo skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes.

Marinate the chicken in a large bowl. Stir together the sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, chili sauce, garlic, and ginger. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 10 minutes, but no more than 20 at room temperature.

Transfer the skewers to the baking sheet. Brush any excess marinade over the skewers.

Broil the chicken skewers: Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned on top. With tongs, turn skewers over and brush with more marinade.

Broil for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned on the other side and cooked all the way through. Exact time will depend on the heat of your particular broiler; when done, the chicken should no longer be pink in the middle.

Serve the skewers by transferring them to a platter. You can also remove the chicken pieces from the skewers and serve the pieces without the skewers, whichever you prefer. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallions and serve with rice or rice noodles.

Grilling Method: Light a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Grill the chicken 4 to 6 minutes on a side, or until cooked through (an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken should register 165 degrees F).

3 Heat the broiler: Set an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler element and turn on the broiler to high.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Rub the olive oil thoroughly the foil. You don’t want the marinade to burn on the foil or have the chicken sticking.
Thread the chicken on the skewers. Place 3 or 5 pieces of chicken on each skewer, with an occasional pineapple piece. Don't crowd the chicken pieces too close together; they will brown better if there's a little bit of space in between each piece.
Transfer the skewers to the baking sheet. Pour the excess marinade into a small skillet.
5 Cook the excess marinade: In a small skillet over medium heat, bring the excess marinade to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Brush the chicken all over with the reduced marinade.