Friday, June 23, 2017

Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

It's been another long week--warm and humid weather too. So I was craving something simple, fresh and cooling for dinner and I found it in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Herby, Peanutty, Herby Salad. I have been wanting to make this salad since my pal Kim made it the first week we cooked with Hugh at I Heart Cooking Clubs. 

Full of fresh herbs and veggies, with enough noodles (I used gluten-free brown rice noodles) and flavorful dressing to make it seem decadent, plus roasted peanuts for crunch, it was exactly what I was looking for.

Hugh says, "A bright and zingy dressing, handfuls of herbs and crunchy peanuts pack loads of flavour into simple, easy-to-cook noodles. If you can only find salted peanuts, rinse the salt off and pat them dry. When it comes to the fresh herbs, the mint’s pretty much a must; the other two are desirable but optional."

Herby, Peanutty Noodly Salad
From River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
(Serves 4)

1/2 cup raw or roasted unsalted peanuts
7-8 oz egg noodles or Thai rice noodles (I used brown rice fettuccine noodles)
5 oz French beans, snow peas, or sugar snap peas, or a combination (I used all three)
1/2 cucumber
6 spring onions, trimmed

about 12 basil leaves (ideally Thai basil), roughly torn
small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)

2 Tbsp rice vinegar
grated zest and juice of 1 lime, or ½ lemon
1/2–1 small red chile, finely chopped (I used Sriracha instead)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce, plus extra to serve

If using raw peanuts, roast on a tray in the oven (350 degrees F.) for 8–10 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool, then bash lightly to break them up a bit.

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and rinse under the cold tap. Add to the dressing and toss until well coated. Leave to cool completely in the dressing.

Cook the beans and/or mangetout in a pan of lightly salted boiling water till just tender and still a bit crunchy, 3–5 minutes for beans, 2–3 minutes for mangetout. Drain, refresh in cold water and drain well.

Halve the cucumber lengthways and slice thinly. Finely cut the spring onions on the diagonal.

Toss the cooled noodles with the peanuts, cucumber, spring onions, beans and/or mangetout and herbs. Serve with soy sauce on the side, for everyone to help themselves.

Notes/Results: This salad with its bright flavors and my favorite herbs (cilantro, Thai basil and mint) made me very happy. It goes together quickly--especially if you are lazy like me and cook the green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas together in a large pot, lift them out with a strainer, and then use the same boiling water to cook the pasta. I also left my herbs mostly whole and used canned roasted peanuts. Rather than serve it with extra soy sauce, I liked it with extra lime. This was the perfect dinner for a humid night and I am looking forward to the leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. I will happily make this salad again. 

Linking this salad up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is A Pinch of This, A Dash of That... Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipes featuring herbs and spices. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.

I am also linking this delicious salad up to Souper Sundays, hosted here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Gypsy Moth Summer" by Julia Fierro, Served with Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette

I'm excited to be a stop today on the TLC Book Tour for The Gypsy Moth Summer, a novel by Julia Fierro. I'm pairing my book review with an tasty appetizer of Shrimp Cocktail with Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette inspired by my reading, and there is a giveaway for a copy of the book at the bottom of the post. 

Publisher's Blurb:

It is the summer of 1992 and a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon Island. Ravenous caterpillars disrupt early summer serenity on Avalon, an islet off the coast of Long Island–dropping onto novels left open on picnic blankets, crawling across the T-shirts of children playing games of tag and capture the flag in the island’s leafy woods. The caterpillars become a relentless topic of island conversation and the inescapable soundtrack of the season.

It is also the summer Leslie Day Marshall–only daughter of Avalon’s most prominent family–returns with her husband, a botanist, and their children to live in “The Castle,” the island’s grandest estate. Leslie’s husband Jules is African-American, and their children bi-racial, and islanders from both sides of the tracks form fast and dangerous opinions about the new arrivals.

Maddie Pencott LaRosa straddles those tracks: a teen queen with roots in the tony precincts of East Avalon and the crowded working class corner of West Avalon, home to Grudder Aviation factory, the island’s bread-and-butter and birthplace of generations of bombers and war machines. Maddie falls in love with Brooks, Leslie’s and Jules’ son, and that love feels as urgent to Maddie as the questions about the new and deadly cancers showing up across the island. Could Grudder Aviation, the pride of the island–and its patriarch, the Colonel–be to blame?

As the gypsy moths burst from cocoons in flocks that seem to eclipse the sun, Maddie’s and Brooks’ passion for each other grows and she begins planning a life for them off Avalon Island.

Vivid with young lovers, gangs of anxious outsiders; a plotting aged matriarch and her husband, a demented military patriarch; and a troubled young boy, each seeking his or her own refuge, escape and revenge, The Gypsy Moth Summer is about love, gaps in understanding, and the struggle to connect: within families; among friends; between neighbors and entire generations.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (June 6, 2017)

My Review:

Note to self: Don't book a trip to Avalon Island, off the coast of Long Island, especially when there is a gypsy moth invasion. Yuck and double yuck! I learned a bit more about gypsy moths, their habits, noise, and their unending excrement than I really wanted to in this book--although it certainly helped to build a tense and seething atmosphere for the story. If you think that the gypsy moths sound bad, you haven't met the citizens of Avalon Island, a community full of dark secrets and neighbors who are comprised of the haves and the have-nots and who all have some very racist views and prejudices in common. Tensions are already high when Leslie Day Marshall moves back to town with her biracial family after her mother's death. There's the gypsy moths covering every surface, trouble with Grudder Aviation--the main employer of the community, and a rash of cancers that have struck both young and old. Leslie's husband Jules, is an African-American landscape architect who is leery of being on the overtly WASP-y island and concerned about the safety of his children--teenage Brooks and little Eva, but also anxious to get his hands on the garden around Leslie's family home, known as "The Castle.

The Gypsy Moth Summer is set in 1992 and the author pulls in many of the signs of the times with the foods, music, movies, styles, and current events that I found enjoyable to read and think back on. The story is told primarily from five points of view--Leslie and Jules, Maddie, a local teen and their neighbor, Veronica, Maddie's grandmother, and Dom, her brother. There are also quite a few secondary characters--Maddie's circle of friends, Leslie and Jules's son Brooks, Maddie's parents and cousins, and The Colonel--Veronica's husband and Maddie's grandfather. Everyone seems to be dealing with something or keeping something secret--from domestic violence and abuse, health and mental health issues, drugs and addiction, bullying, and sexuality. Combine all that with battling the rampant caterpillars and the environmental issues caused by the aviation factory and Avalon Island is pretty messed up. It's also a lot of people and issues to keep track of, but the author does a good job in weaving everything together. I found myself immediately attaching to and liking Maddie and Jules, however the other main characters are not as deeply drawn, or as likable and their motivations are not as clear. With some of the characters and situations (and the gypsy moths), the book is a bit like a train wreck--you want to look away but you just can't, and while I may not have liked them, I did want to know what happened to everyone. This made the 400 pages fly by rather quickly--the pacing mostly worked for me although I found the ending to be somewhat abrupt. 

The Gypsy Moth Summer is not a light and happy summer read, it covers some dark subjects, is thought provoking, and it made me uncomfortable at times. It won't appeal to everyone--there is sex and drug use and some instances of violence, but if you like a deeper read for your summer book stack, it's a worthy addition. 

Author Notes: Julia Fierro is the founder of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, a creative home to more than 4,000 writers in New York City, Los Angeles and online. Her first novel Cutting Teeth, was praised by The Boston Globe (“at once modern and timeless”) and The New Yorker (“a comically energetic début”). A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Julia lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

You can connect with Julia via her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Food Inspiration:

There was a lot of food mentioned in The Gypsy Moth Summer, everything from common snack foods and beverages of the 90s to more elegant country club and society party fare. Examples include: candy and caramel apples, chicken wings, cotton candy, zeppole balls, pizza and hero sandwiches at a carnival, roast chicken with lemons, Chinese takeout, pastries and espresso, cheese fries, mention of the Feast of the Seven Fishes with sardines, squid, octopus, baccala--cod, heart-shaped flapjacks, chocolate babka, spaghetti with marinara fried zucchini, Wonder Bread, pot roast, corned beef brisket, Sarah Lee pound cake with Cool Whip, swirled pink and green sherbet, peaches, sweet corn, raspberries and blueberries, strawberry-rhubarb pie, and chicken cutlet sandwiches. There was a progressive dinner with appetizers of smoked salmon, whitefish salad, chicken liver pate, and multiple kinds of savory cheese puffs, a main course of filet Mignon, biscuits, and gravy "to die for," and desserts of Red velvet cake, coffee cake, tiramisu, mint green petit fours, brownies, blondies and eclairs. There were Cool Ranch Doritos, ham and cheese Hot Pockets, mini egg rolls, Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies, and kiwi-strawberry Snapple, and an afternoon tea of Harrod's oolong tea, cucumber and other assorted tea sandwiches, and chocolate-covered bananas, strawberries and marshmallows. I'll stop here but I could go on and on with the food, not to mention all of the alcohol and cocktails like martinis and Manhattans, strawberry coolers, mimosas and rum and cokes--to name just a few.  

For my book-inspired dish, I decided to go with the popular party, buffet, country club appetizer of shrimp cocktail. It was mentioned a couple of times in the book--including a society matron standing at the buffet with, "A jumbo shrimp tail stuck out of her mouth." Even though shrimp or prawn cocktails have been around for decades, I am never unhappy to find a platter or shrimp and a zesty sauce at a party. I had a bag of jumbo wild shrimp in my freezer and looked online to see if there was something more exciting than the usual red cocktail sauce. I found a recipe for shrimp cocktail with a Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette and thought it sounded good--and it even matches the colors of the book cover a bit. 

Just serve with cooked jumbo shrimp--you can boil of grill the shrimp yourself, or buy them already cooked. Here's a simple recipe for a party-sized platter of shrimp for shrimp cocktail.

Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette
From Alison Attenborough via 
(Makes about 3/4 of a cup of dressing

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp minced shallot
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil

kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Combine lemon juice, shallot, tarragon, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Serve with cooked shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined, tail left on. Extra dressing can be stored, tightly-covered, for about a week in the fridge.

Do Ahead Tip: Vinaigrette can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Notes/Results: I love both lemon and tarragon, so this sauce was perfect for me. The bright and tangy lemon flavor and cooling, bittersweet tarragon worked well with the sweet shrimp and the leftover vinaigrette will make a great dressing too. I find it a nice change from the classic. If you are a shrimp cocktail 'purist'-you could serve this dressing alongside a classic red shrimp cocktail sauce as another option, and if you aren't a shrimp fan, you could use this sauce as a salad dressing or a dip for raw  or grilled vegetables. I will definitely make it gain.

I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy and a giveaway copy of "The Gypsy Moth Summer" was provided to me by the publisher, St. Martin's Press, and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

***Book Giveaway***
The publisher is generously providing a copy of The Gypsy Moth Summer to give away (U.S./Canada addresses only, please) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me your favorite food from the 90s or your favorite party appetizer.
There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii) and/or Author Julia Fierro
(@JuliaFierro), and/or Publisher St. Martin's Press (@StMartinsPress) on Twitter. (Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow me, the author, or publisher on Twitter.)

Deadline for entry is 12:00 AM (HST) Friday, June 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thai Green Curry Zucchini & Noodle Soup: Full of Flavor & Color for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I was looking for a soup with Asian ingredients and flavors this week from one of the chefs we have cooked with at I Heart Cooking Clubs and found this Thai Zucchini Soup from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks Blog. I love how Heidi combines different ingredients and she is as much of a soup topping fan as I am, so I knew I had to make it.

Heidi says that this soup was destined to be a chilled and pureed Thai curry soup but instead, for a few different reasons, she opted to keep it brothy. I'm glad that she did because brothy was what I was craving. Heidi used a scoop of brown rice as her base in the soup bowl, but I wanted rice noodles (sometimes you just feel the need for noodles). Heidi topped her soup with basil oil, roasted cherry tomatoes, pickled shallots, and toasted nuts and seeds, while I went with pan-roasted baby tomatoes (quicker & doesn't require the oven), chopped peanuts, and fresh chives, cilantro, and Thai basil. 

A big bowl of this satisfying vegan noodle soup made for a delicious lunch. My changes to Heidi's recipe (mainly to make extra broth) are in red below.

Thai Green Curry Zucchini & Noodle Soup
Slightly Adapted from Heidi Swanson via
(Serves 4)

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup sliced shallots or onion (I used 1 large Maui sweet onion)

(I added 5 kaffir limes leaves, torn)
1-2 Tbsp green curry paste, or to taste (I used 3 Tbsp of Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste)
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
6 medium zucchini, loosely chopped (about 5 cups)
1 cup water, plus more if needed (I used 2 cups light veggie broth)
juice of one lime (I used the juice 2 limes)
cooked brown rice, or other grain, or noodles of choice (I used rice noodles)

Topping ideas: basil oil, roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted nuts/seeds, quick pickled shallots, lots of lime, fresh herbs (coriander, basil) (I used pan-roasted cherry tomatoes, chopped roasted peanuts, and fresh cilantro, chives, and Thai basil, coarsely chopped, and lime wedges)

Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir in the onions and a couple generous pinches of salt, and sauté until soft. Stir in the green curry paste along with a dollop of cream from the top of the coconut milk and the kaffir lime leaves. Stir well, and sauté for another minute or so, until fragrant. 

Stir in the zucchini and sauté, being careful not to brown, until the zucchini is tender 5-7 minutes, or so. Add the remaining coconut milk and the water or broth, let everything come up to a simmer, and remove from heat. Season the soup with the juice of lime, and salt to taste. It's all about balance here, and the soup should be brothy with strong coconut-lime flavor. 

Serve over a scoop of brown rice, topped with any (or all!) of the toppings suggested, or experiment with your own ideas.

Notes/Results: This soup was delicious and hit all of the cravings I was having for curry. lime, broth, and noodles. I ate a huge bowl and practically licked it clean, and I am excited to have the leftovers later (keeping the noodles separate until serving). It is a good combination of flavors and texture with the noodles and topping. It had the right level of heat for me--enough to feel it in the back of my throat but not too fiery to be able to taste all of the flavor. If you like a spicier soup, add more curry paste to the broth or serve chili paste or Sriracha on the side. I kept it simple with just the zucchini and onion in terms of veggies but you could certainly add your favorites and/or add protein like chicken, shrimp, or tofu, if desired. Really good, quick and easy to make, I will happily make it again. 

I'm linking this soup up to I Heart Cooking Clubs for June's Monthly Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Asian Dishes. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post. 
We have a few delicious dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared Weight Watchers 1 Smart Point Soup and said, "I started Weight Watchers ( again) last week, so I'm being more conscious of quantity, calories, and carbs. ( I had gained some weight during April and May when it was cold, rainy, and dreary). ... was looking to see what I could make that  was only 1 Weight Watcher smart point- and this is it!This amazing soup fills me up. has fiber, vitamins, and minerals and is a totally satisfying comfort soup ! Of course it is naturally gluten free which is just the way I like my recipes. It is my version of Chinese egg drop soup. ( I've included a vegan version too)"

Claudia of Honey From Rock made Split Pea with Fresh Corn Soup inspired by a book (The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith) and said, "I'd like to serve Bertie this soup, one his Granny might have made for him while Irene was away on her trip.  He wants to go live with his Granny, however there's nothing she can really do about that.  ... The contrast of fresh corn with mushy peas is wonderful.  Perfectly delish and quite comforting if I do say so, especially when accompanied by some freshly baked bread and a good slathering of butter."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen made a unique pasta salad and said, "This Miso Tomato
with Roasted Garlic and Shichimi Tograshi is inspired by a Miso Tomato Soup recipe I saw a couple of years ago. I still intend to make the Miso Tomato Soup with homegrown tomatoes, or even tinned cherry tomatoes, but at the weekend I was inspired to mess with it a little and make a thick sauce for pasta salad."  

Mahalo to everyone who joined in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week. Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Among the Lesser Gods" by Margo Catts, Served with a Recipe for a Watermelon Milkshake (+ a Book Giveaway!)

Happy Tuesday! I'm excited to be a stop on the TLC Book Tour for Among the Lesser Gods, a novel by Margo Catts. Accompanying my review is a recipe for a cooling, perfect for summer (non-dairy) Watermelon Milkshake inspired by my reading and there is a chance to enter to win a copy of the book at the bottom of the post.

Publisher's Blurb:

“Tragedy and blessing. Leave them alone long enough, and it gets real hard to tell them apart.”
Elena Alvarez is living a cursed life. From the deadly fire she accidentally set as a child, to her mother’s abandonment, and now to an unwanted pregnancy, she knows better than most that small actions can have terrible consequences. Driven to the high mountains surrounding Leadville, Colorado by her latest bad decision, she’s intent on putting off the future. Perhaps there she can just hide in her grandmother’s isolated cabin and wait for something—anything—to make her next choice for her.
Instead, she is confronted by reflections of her own troubles wherever she turns—the recent widower and his two children adrift in a changed world, Elena’s own mysterious family history, and the interwoven lives within the town itself. Bit by bit, Elena begins to question her understanding of cause and effect, reexamining the tragedies she’s held on to and the wounds she’s refused to let heal.

But when the children go missing, Elena’s fragile new peace is shattered. It’s only at the prospect of fresh loss and blame that she will discover the truth of the terrible burdens we take upon ourselves, the way tragedy and redemption are inevitably intertwined—and how curses can sometimes lead to blessings, however disguised.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Arcade Publishing (May 9, 2017)

My Review:

Among the Lesser Gods takes place in 1978, set mostly in the mountains of Colorado--although the writing makes it seem rather timeless--except for the absence of cell phones and other small things, it could just as easily be set in current day. The writing is gorgeous--I love when a place comes to life through words, and I found myself almost seeing the town of Leadville and its surrounding beauty as I read Margo Catts's descriptions. The characters are well-drawn--flawed, but easy to root for. Although I wasn't immediately drawn to Elena at the start of the book, as her story unfolded I found myself liking her more and more and enjoying watching her grow as she began to find empathy and understanding for others and even for herself. Her grandmother, Tuah, was my favorite character with her caring and her wise words, like: "Not making a decision is a decision too. And I'm not saying you made a wrong one. But you did make one." We don't get to know the other characters quite as much, but I enjoyed the family Elena cares for and the friends she makes within the town.

I think we all have things that we wish we had done differently and that make us  wonder if we had made a different choice or taken another action, would things have been been better for us or for those we may have impacted? Whether those things happened when we were children, or when we were old enough to know better, and regardless of whether they are small or bigger, more tragic actions, I know very few people who don't have regrets or guilt. Among the Lesser Gods is ultimately about finding forgiveness and healing and it connected with me, touched my heart, and made me think. Once I was into the story, I found it hard to put down and I was sorry to see it end--it was a pleasure to read. This is the author's debut novel and I look forward to reading more from her.

Author Notes: Margo Catts grew up in Los Angeles and has since lived in Utah, Indiana, and Colorado. After raising three children in the U.S., she and her husband moved to Saudi Arabia, where her Foreign Girl blog was well known in the expat community. Originally a freelance editor for textbooks and magazines, she has also done freelance writing for business, technical, and advertising clients, all the while working on her fiction. She is a contributing author to Once Upon an Expat. Among the Lesser Gods is her first novel. She now lives in Denver, Colorado.

You can connect with Margo on her website, Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Food Inspiration:

There was a fair amount of food to be found in Among the Lesser Gods. Mentions included: burritos, pancakes with nopales syrup, a western cheeseburger and a plain single with onion rings and a Dino's Dessert Pie, lobster, fruit, meat and a gallon of milk, oatmeal, pancakes, sandwiches, cherries, spinach, cereal (Cheerios, Cap'n Crunch and Frosted Flakes), pretzels, peanuts, Fritos, pizza and cheese, eggs and sausage. There was a tuna fish sandwich on white bread, crackers, a greenish banana and store-bought cookies for lunch, eggs in a hole, ham sandwiches and chips, tortilla chips and salsa, sloppy joes, butter and sugar sandwiches with chips, Ding Dongs, a spaghetti dinner, barbecued chicken with baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and fruit salad, s'mores, ice cream with chocolate syrup, goulash and mixed greens for a salad, lemon cookies and funnel cake, stroganoff and a strawberry milkshake.

Since it's been warm and humid here, I had my dish picked from the beginning of the book where Elena is remembering road trips to Colorado and the food that saved the mostly silent trips with her father. "Harvey's served fresh fruit shakes made with watermelon and cantaloupe and peaches, ice cream, and cold milk, and we would sit at a white table, our hands wrapped around the sweating cups, icing our throats and shivering while we looked out the window at the heat waves rising off the car." 

How good does that sound on a warm summer day?! On her solo trip back, Elena has a blackberry shake but it was the watermelon that stuck in my mind and I happened to buy a mini watermelon over the weekend. Because a lot of dairy doesn't agree with my asthma and allergies, I kept my shake vegan--but no less delicious.

Watermelon Milkshake (Vegan) 
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 2 Servings)

3 cups watermelon cubes (de-seeded), frozen at least 3 hours
about 1 1/2 cups non-dairy vanilla ice cream
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp agave (or sweetener of choice), or to taste
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, or to taste

Place the frozen watermelon cubes, ice cream and milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add agave and lemon juice to taste and blend for another 30 seconds.

Pour into glasses and serve.

Notes/Results: This shake is cool, creamy, and sweet, but not too sweet. The watermelon flavor is there but not overpowering mixed in with the vanilla ice cream and milk. The watermelon I had could have been a bit sweeter so I added some agave syrup, but if your watermelon is very sweet, you might not need it. I think the lemon juice pulls out the flavors and I recommend it. I kept mine non-dairy with coconut milk ice cream and unsweetened coconut milk but you could certainly use dairy. I was torn between cantaloupe and watermelon so I plan on buying a cantaloupe and trying it too. It totally hit the spot on a humid day. I  would happily make this again.

I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy and a giveaway copy of "Among the Lesser Gods" was provided to me by the publisher, Arcade, and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

***Book Giveaway***
The publisher is generously providing a copy of Among the Lesser Gods to give away (U.S./Canada addresses only, please) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me your favorite flavor of milkshake or your favorite summer fruit. 

There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii) and/or Author Margo Catts
(@MargoCatts), and/or Publisher Arcade (@arcadepub) on Twitter. (Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow me, the author, or publisher on Twitter.)

Deadline for entry is 12:00 AM (HST) Thursday, June 22nd.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  
Good Luck!