Mag Melon Sign

New Melon Alert: Mag-nificent Mag Melon

Mag Melon Sign

It wouldn’t be springtime at Endless Simmer without at least one weird melon post from yours truly! We all know they’re my specialty. Seriously. Anyway, I was shopping at my beloved Central Market last weekend when I stumbled upon samples of what I thought were cantaloupe. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But! Rob pointed out the sign next to the display. “It’s not cantaloupe, it’s mag melon,” he told me. Mag melon?! I thought he was misreading. Turns out I was underestimating his reading comprehension; this was indeed mag melon.

Here’s what that little orange sign up there has to tell us.

Mag melon has a relatively short growing cycle and is grown in temperate climates. Its small seed cavity provides more value per purchase. It contains higher fiber, protein, carotene, and Vitamin C than that of a traditional cantaloupe.

So what did the sample taste like? Well, a lot like cantaloupe. It was very dense and sweet, not mealy at all (I can’t stand mealy melon, ugh) and we brought one home with us! If you see one at your local market, you should do the same. Can’t hate on an extra dose of fiber, protein, and Vitamin C.

Mag Melon Samples

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Cocktail O’Clock: A Berry Peachy Summer

Van Gogh's Peach Cooler

Is it August already? Must be time to break out the peach vodka!

Peach Cooler

Created by The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash

1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka
1 oz. Pomegranate juice
2 oz. Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer

Pour all ingredients over ice into a rocks glass.

Garnish: Lime wedge

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Bakeless Sweets

06 15 13_0728-1

It is officially summer time. Although most of us have been suffering from the humid heat for weeks now. That means it is the time of year we try to use the oven as little as possible. What else does summer call for? Parties and sweet desserts. Lucky for me (and the rest of you), I crossed paths with Faith Durand when compiling our graham cracker recipe list. Not only does Faith have some awesome graham cracker icebox recipes (including a s”mores icebox cake), but an entire book full of Bakeless Sweets ranging from puddings and panna cottas to fluff and icebox cakes. Hence the name of her book: Bakeless Sweets.

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Ho Ho Ho, Here Comes Santa Claus… Melon

Santa Claus Melon

We all know I have a strange and deep love affair with melon and love discovering new varieties. Well, I’m BACK with another wonderful summertime discovery: the Santa Claus melon.

What? Santa? In June? Yep. Apparently it’s also called a Christmas melon because it lasts forever, from when it’s ripe in the summer “until Christmastime” according to produce lore (yes, “produce lore”—although I’d love to see if that statement is actually true given our sizzling hot Texas summers). It did keep in the fridge for about a month, I’ll give it that much – we found this guy at our local Central Market several weeks ago and them forgot about him until the other night, when I was digging through the bottom of a drawer in the fridge.

Anyway, this Santa can’t tell if you’ve been naughty or nice, but it can delight your tastebuds. While it kinda looks like a watermelon on the outside, it’s actually from the cantaloupe family and has a similar texture and  goopy center of seed pods. I would kind of call it… a honeydew plus cantaloupe combo, super juicy and soft (but not in a gross, mealy way).

If you see a Santa Claus melon at your grocery store or farmers market, don’t be intimidated. Take it home and get into the holiday spirit. I just ate it plain but it would be great with some prosciutto and feta, maybe a little mint… okay, too many good ideas, I need to pick up another one!

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Cocktail O’ Clock: Tropical Vietnamese Cocktail

Tropical Vietnamese Cocktail

Summer! It’s time to bust out the festive tropical flavors. Austin Vietnamese restaurant PhoNatic is taking this idea to a whole new level with their Vietnamese tropical fruit cocktail, using unique ingredients like lychee, longan, and jackfruit. While these might sound exotic and hard to find at first, they’re really not – just check out your local Asian market.

While this isn’t our traditional cocktail – it’s a fruit cocktail, not a booze cocktail – you could easily spike it with a couple shots of light rum to get the party started. ES recommends this, of course.

Vietnamese Tropical Fruit Cocktail

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