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Entries in Summer (14)


Cowboy Salsa

Cowboy salsa

It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month, I was assigned to Kirstin's blog, Loving Life, where she shares stories about life along with great recipes. She's been blogging since 2007, so it took me quite a while to get through every single post and choose a recipe to make. While there were many delicious sounding recipes, this was the one I chose to go with. It screamed summer to me, possibly because it reminded me of a dish my friend brought to a picnic last summer. Some of my out of town family came in for a bicycling event this past weekend, and to celebrate, my aunt and uncle had everyone over to their cottage for a cookout. Even though my aunt told everybody not to bring anything, I thought that this would be the perfect thing to share with my family, and I was right. Since the sauce is not cream-based, it was safe to be outside on a hot day. Everybody enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing, Kirstin!

1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Shoe Peg Corn, drained
1 small Onion, diced
2 Avocado, diced (I only used one)
1 small jar Chopped Pimiento, drained
1/2 cup Oil
1/2 Sugar
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Red WIne Vinegar
2 tablespoons Tiger Sauce (I couldn't find this, so I used Tobasco instead) 

In small bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegars, and hot sauce. In a large bowl, mix together the black beans, corn, onion, avocado, and pimiento. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat evenly. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

SOURCE: Loving Life


Citrus Beet Salad

Citrus beet salad

An organization that my father-in-law belongs to hosted a chicken BBQ on Sunday in a nearby park. Joel and I decided to take advantage of the break from rain and went for lunch, which left us wanting a very small dinner. I've been in a rut lately and haven't really felt like doing any grocery shopping, meal planning, or cooking, and that generally leads to us going out or eating junk. A quick browse through a few pages of Tastespotting changed all of that and left me craving this colorful salad. Aside from the time it took to roast the beets, the salad came together very quickly, with virtually no cooking involved. The colors in this salad were beautiful and flavors were amazing, too! I look forward to enjoying this again very soon!

For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Honey
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well combined. 

For the Salad:
2 Beets, scrubbed and peeled
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Salted Pistachios, shells removed
3 cups Baby Greens or Baby Spinach
Handful of Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 Orange, peeled and segmented

Scrub and peel the beets. Toss them with olive oil and wrap them in foil. Roast them at 450 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside to cool. Place the greens in a bowl and toss with the other ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette dressing.

SOURCE: A Muse in My Kitchen


Dilly Potato Salad

Potato salad

Yesterday, we (unofficially) welcomed summer with a very productive day. After waking up early, making banana bread, and going for a run, we walked to the Memorial Day Parade that marched right past our street, which made for very easy viewing, and then we worked on our garden. Since we are getting a new fence installed, and since our backyard is mostly clay, which is not so conducive to gardening, we decided to plant our vegetables in large pots this year. We have 12 pots in all, containing several types of tomatoes, a few kinds of peppers, some zucchini, and some yellow squash. Hopefully they all do well, and maybe next year, we can build a more permanent garden along our new fence. After such a long day outside, the only thing that seemed fitting to have for dinner was all-American picnic fare. We grilled up some burgers and I tossed together this potato salad. It was incredibly easy to make, and it chilled while I finished cleaning up the yard. We have a few more things to do before we are done with gardening this year, but so far, we are pretty happy with our progress!

3 pounds Red Potatoes
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Celery, chopped
1/2 cup Red Onion, chopped 
1 Hardboiled Egg, chopped

Place the potatoes and salt in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, dill, and black pepper, then set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters and place them in a large bowl, along with the celery, onion, and egg. Pour the dressing over the top of the potato mixture and gently toss to coat. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow for the flavors to meld. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 6-8.

SOURCE: Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten


Mango Jalapeño Margaritas


Whenever I make cocktails at home, tequila is generally my first choice for liquor, so it is no surprise that I love margaritas. While the frozen kind was my favorite back in the day, these days I prefer them to be made on the rocks. Since yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to have a Mexican meal, complete with margaritas. We made carne asada tacos, and while the steak was marinating in the fridge, I whipped up a batch of these delicious, sweet-and-spicy margaritas to enjoy in the yard. The jalapeño infused tequila gave this drink some heat, while the mango simple syrup added the perfect amount of sweetness. I love the fact that the recipe for the syrup and the tequila made more than enough for 2 margaritas. I'll definitely be enjoying these again, and often!!

For 1 Margarita:
2 ounces Grand Marnier
1 1/2 ounces Jalapeño Tequila, recipe below
2 ounces Lime Juice
2 1/2 ounces Mango Simple Syrup, recipe below 
Lime Wedges

Rim the edge of a glass with a lime wedge, then dip the glass in salt and fill it with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine the grand marnier, tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup with ice and shake. Pour over the ice in the glass and garnish with a lime wedge and some jalapeño slices from the tequila.

For the Mango Simple Syrup:
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
1/2 Mango, peeled and cubed

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve, then turn off the heat and let it cool completely. Combine the cooled syrup and the mango cubes in a blender and puree until combined. Keep sealed in a container for a few weeks, preferably in the fridge. 

For the Jalapeño Tequila:
1 1/2 cups Tequila
2 Jalapeños, sliced

Add the jalapeño slices to a large jar and pour in the tequila. Let it sit for 24 hours, then strain before using. Keep sealed in a container for a few weeks, preferably in the fridge.  

SOURCE: How Sweet It Is

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