Melon Carpaccio with Lime

-Bring ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat

-Stir to dissolve sugar.

-Add 4 small mint sprigs.

-Cut half a jalapeno pepper into thin strips, then add to the sugar/mint.

-Scrape in seeds from ½ a vanilla bean; add bean.

-Remove syrup from heat; cover and let steep for 15 minutes for flavors to infuse.

-Strain syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.

-Zest 1 lime.

-Then stir in ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes).

-Cut 1 melon in half, then seed and peel it.

-Cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices.

-Arrange melon slices in a 13x9x2" glass baking dish.

-Pour syrup over melon in baking dish.

-Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.

-Divide melon slices among plates, over-lapping them decoratively.

-Pour remaining syrup in dish into a small pitcher.

Drizzle some of syrup over melon.

-Garnish with mint leaves and lime zest.


Summer Squash Cake with Ginger and Hazelnuts

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

-Sift together the following:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

-Stir in 1¼ cups sugar.

-Grate enough summer squash so you have 1½ cups.

-In another bowl, whisk together the following:

2 large eggs

½ cup melted butter

⅓ cup orange juice

2 tsp orange zest

2 tsp peeled and grated ginger root

1 tsp vanilla extract

-Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour and stir until just combined.

-Fold in ½ cup chopped hazelnuts and the summer squash.

-Butter and flour a 8x8 square pan.

-Scrape the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.