Thursday, June 21, 2007


Summertime is in full swing, and considering that we're having a milder one in this area than the scorcher we had last summer, people are wanting to spend more time in the great outdoors, and we are...but a lot of that time is spent under the old umbrella. It's always a great time for friends and family to gather in the backyard, set up the volleyball net, take a dip in the pool, and of course, eat. If you are invited to a barbecue this year (be it in a backyard, or huddled around a George Foreman grill in someone's cozy, dry kitchen), and you just don't know what to bring, try one of these recipes I got from my mom:

The following isn't your typical creamy, white coleslaw. It's really good, and it looks really pretty!

Marinated Slaw

1 large head red cabbage, shredded
2 onions, sliced in rings
¾ cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 cup vegetable oil

Alternate layers of cabbage and onions in a serving bowl. Cover with sugar. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, celery seeds, and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil. Add oil, and bring to another boil. Pour mixture over cabbage and onions. Cover, and refrigerate.

And these aren't your typical baked beans!

Calico Beans

1/3 pound ground beef, browned
½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup chopped onion
1 large can pork-n-beans
1 can lima beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
½ cup ketchup
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
2 teaspoons vinegar

Mix all of the ingredients together. Pour into a large casserole dish. Bake at 350* for 40 minutes. Double the recipe for a large crowd.

Have fun outside this summer! Oh!! And don't forget to wear SPF 45, a hat, and sunglasses. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. Light citronella candles to avoid mosquitoes possibly carrying the West Nile virus (or some other potentially dangerous affliction). Quickly refrigerate food after serving. Wash your hands before, during, and after all food preparation. Use caution when lighting the grill... Always wear a flotation device when swimming; and for Heaven's sake, get out of the pool if it starts thundering and lightening! :)

Seriously, enjoy your summer!

Once again, I have to give my mom credit for both recipes. She is an awesome cook!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Or summertime blueBERRIES!

The often over-looked blueberry is showcased in this beautiful salad. Though it is easy to toss together, there are two steps before you actually make the salad. It is, however, worth the effort!

Summer Fruit Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
2 nectarines, sliced
8 cups mixed salad greens
Blueberry Vinaigrette - see below
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover, and chill for 1 hour. Drizzle 1/3 cup of Blueberry Vinaigrette over the salad, tossing to coat. (If using chicken, add to salad before to tossing.) Sprinkle with almonds if desired.

Blueberry Vinaigrette

¼ cup Blueberry Chutney - see below
¼ cup minced onion
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until well-blended. Refrigerate leftover vinaigrette for up to 2 weeks.

Blueberry Chutney

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
½ cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ -½ teaspoon dried, crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Bring first 7 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until apple is tender. Stir in blueberries and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes, or until thickened.

May also be served as a condiment with grilled chicken or pork.


This three-part recipe was courtesy of my mom's recipe box. I don't recall ever having it growing up, but it sounded so yummy I tried it anyway. I think she got it from a magazine, though which magazine I will never know!