Saturday, May 30, 2009


Another light treat just in time for Summer! I like to call this one "Strawberry Lemonade Salad" because that is what it tastes like! It's so light and refreshing and all of the flavors just POP in your mouth. Even my grown son enjoyed this one! That REALLY made my day!
My daughter was invited to dinner at her voice teacher's house and this was one of the dishes she served. Sarah came home just raving about it and said I HAD to make it some time!
I have to admit, again, I was a bit skeptical about the combo of red onions, cucumbers and strawberries! But believe me when I say the cucumbers and onions take a definite 'back seat' in this salad! You simply must give it a try! YUM!
*this pic is shown without the poppy seed dressing*



1/2 plastic container organic spinach leaves
1/2 plastic container organic baby greens
Small red onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin (eyeball the amount you would enjoy)
1/2 medium cucumber, sliced thin
1 (8 oz) container strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Combine all salad ingredients in salad bowl and toss gently to combine.


1 lemon zested and juiced (about 4 - 6 Tablespoons of juice)
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Place dressing ingredients in medium size mason jar, screw on lid and give it a few shakes to combine. Set out with salad for people to drizzle their own dressing on.

*Couple of tips*

To get more juice out of your lemon for the dressing - roll it back and forth on your countertop for several seconds, pressing firmly with the palm of your hand.

To remove the 'bitterness' from the cucumber - slice the whole cucumber in half, lengthwise. Then take a teaspoon and run it down the length of the cucumber, removing the seeds. Now slice the cucumber in thin 'half moon' shapes. I am not a fan of cucumbers at all! But I don't mind them when the seeds are removed.

Also as far as the almonds go - feel free to use any crunchy nut you enjoy. Walnuts would be nice. I happened to grab a bag of those new salad toppers for mine - it was almonds, chinese noodles and something else (the Asian blend) and it was really yummy on it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Just in time for Summer - Perfect Lemonade. Don't settle for the powdered kind that you mix with water! Is that stuff even real? The secret to perfect lemonade is to start by making a sugar syrup, called "simple syrup." Dissolving the sugar in hot water helps disperse it into the lemonade, rather than watching it sink to the bottom, and then try to get it stirred in. Always remember this ratio: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup fresh lemon juice. Then go from there.


1 cup sugar
1 cup water - for the simple syrup
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cold water to dilute

Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan, until the sugar is dissolved completely. While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice. *Hint* If you roll your lemons one at a time, on the counter back and forth, while applying gentle pressure with the palm of your hand, your lemons will produce more juice* Add the juice and the sugar water to the pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Add ice and fresh slices of lemon and you're ready to go! Super easy!
Serves 6

*Tips about heating lemons to produce more juice*
Heating lemons in a microwave oven really does increase the amount of juice produced. I don't know what process is at work, but once heated, the lemon becomes very soft, and very juicy. So I suspect that heating bursts the cells of the lemon pulp, and releases the encapsulated juice. It seems the hotter the lemon, the more juice that can extracted.

But be careful: If you heat a lemon too much, it may burst and spew lemon juice all over your microwave oven. Or worse yet, an over-heated lemon might NOT burst, but rather just sit quietly, waiting for you to 'pop' it. Once your knife pierces its skin, it bursts and spews hot lemon juice all over YOU! (BTW: If this does happen, as with other mild burns you can lessen the damage by putting ice on the burn immediately.)

For best results use lemons at room temperature, or even slightly warmed up in the microwave. Lemons will be much easier to squeeze and will yield the most juice.You could even let them stand in a bowl of very hot water for about 10 minutes before squeezing them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Oh how I wish this was a better pic - and oh how I wish you could smell this pic! haha This is one delicious sandwich! My Honey makes a mean smoked pulled pork, but he is out of state this week! So I had to come up with an oven version of pulled pork. This one was a winner! As you read down through the recipe for the dry rub and the liquid portion, don't be skeptical like me! haha I read it, and thought WOW 2 Tablespoons of black pepper?! But.... I threw caution to the wind and just went with it. And am I ever glad I did! This was just sooooo good! IF you have leftovers, be sure to pour the leftover juice, that the meat cooked in, over the leftover meat, before you refrigerate it. It will be extra juicy when you warm it up!
Also - I have NEVER tried coleslaw on a pulled pork sandwich before (I tend to be a bit skeptical about new things) but my daughter in law and daughters all urged me to try it.... I'll never eat it without the coleslaw again! It was that good!


2 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons black pepper
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons paprika
1/2 Tablespoon cayenne pepper

4 pound shoulder pork roast (boston butt would work too)

2 cups apple juice
1 cup apple cider vinegar (trust me on this)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
1/2 Tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder

6 soft, deli style hamburger buns
Bbq sauce
Coleslaw (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 375. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Use a spoon to sprinkle the dry rub over each side of the meat, using only your left hand, press the rub into the pork, then rub it in good. Sprinkle it on and rub it into all 4 sides of the pork. If you only use 1 hand to rub the pork, then whatever dry rub you have leftover won't be tainted from pork juice. Seal up the remainder of the dry rub ingredients in a zip top bag and store it in your pantry until you need it again. Cover the seasoned pork with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. *NOTE* I was rather in a hurry this day and skipped the refrigeration step and it still turned out fine. I'll try this on another day when I'm not so hurried.

Combine liquid ingredients and the garlic powder in a large measuring pitcher, pour into a large dutch oven. (I used a porcelain coated, cast iron dutch oven and it worked wonderful!) Unwrap the pork and place it in the dutch oven with the liquid. Lightly cover the pork with a piece of aluminum foil, and then place the lid on the pot. Roast in oven for 4 hours or until fork tender and shreds easily. Brush the meat with the cooking liquid every hour.
Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred the pork with a fork or tongs into bite size pieces. Serve on toasted hamburger buns and top with Bbq sauce and coleslaw.


1 (12 oz) bag rainbow slaw (Green Giant)
1 (12 oz) bag broccoli slaw (Green Giant)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 green onions (white and green parts) chopped
1 fresh red chile, sliced (I substituted 1/4 of a poblano)

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 lemon juiced
Pinch sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Several dashes hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

*Special Note* If you are pressed for time, Marie's coleslaw dressing is the closest substitute for this dressing recipe. You just might want to add the few dashes of hot sauce to it before you mix it into the slaw.


Combine the rainbow slaw, broccoli slaw, red onion, green onions, and chile in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the mayo, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix. Season the coleslaw with the celery seeds, hot sauce, salt and black pepper. Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.