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Try these delectable new recipes to beat the heat this summer

I’m lucky enough that my oldest child has a job that brings her here to Natchez every few months. When she’s here we always try new recipes, and this time she came up with a winner. Holly found this first recipe and worked on it all weekend (much to my delight), and I believe she has it perfected. Believe me it is easy, delicious and certainly refreshing in this heat.

Watermelon Martini

1 cup watermelon juice

3/4 cup vodka

1/4 cup simple syrup

Juice of 1 lime

Mash watermelon thorough a strainer to get your juice. We ran a large batch through a blender and then let it drip through a sieve. Place all the ingredients in a large shaker and with some ice cubes and shake thoroughly to mix and chill. Strain into martini glasses and serve with a sprig of mint and a small piece of watermelon on the side of the glass.

You can make your own simple syrup and it has many uses besides just cocktails. Also it keeps in the refrigerator for a long time. If your house is like mine and some people drink sweet tea and some don’t simple syrup is the answer. It blends it immediately and you won’t have sugar sinking to the bottom of the glass.

Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

Mix the two together in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Let the mixture boil for about a minute. Remove from the heat and when the mixture is room temperature you can store in a jar or squirt bottle in the refrigerator.

This next recipe will help beat the heat also. You can make it ahead when you are heating up your oven for other dishes and serve it later or even the next day. A variation that you might want to try especially with all the fresh produce available right now is to slice a zucchini or a yellow squash into thin slices and lay them on the bottom of the pie curst before adding the sausage.

Sausage and Tomato Quiche

1 frozen pie shell, baked

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 pound sausage or 3 Italian sausages, casings removed

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 cups cream

1 large tomato, seeded and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cook the sausage over medium heat, breaking up any large pieces. Place the pie crust on a cookie sheet. Place cheese and sausage in the crust. Beat together the yolks, egg, salt and pepper flakes. Whisk in the cream. Pour into pie crust. Place tomato in a circular pattern atop the quiche. Sprinkle with the oregano. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let the quiche stand for at least 10 minutes and then serve warm or at room temperature.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.

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