Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jill's Summer Salad

Well, it's official--Summer is over!  Tomorrow is the first day of Fall.  I thought a great way to end summer would be with this delicious summer salad my friend Jill shared with me.  It's light and scrumptious, and I know you're going to love it.

Jill's Summer Salad

2 bags of spinach leaves or Spring Mix (I used the spring mix)
Small red onion, chopped
2 small cans of mandarin oranges, drained

Put above ingredients into a large salad bowl.

3/4  cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cups canola oil or olive oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar

Blend dressing ingredients in a blender.  Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds.  Pour dressing over salad ingredients.  We also added some sliced almonds to the salad---mmmm, so good!

**This makes a ton of dressing!  I only used half of it or less, so I had enough to make another salad (I'm not complaining).  If you want to half the recipe, here are the measurements:
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 cup canola or olive oil
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 + 2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds

When I made my 2nd salad (with the tons of dressing left over), I did not have spinach or spring mix.  So I used my romaine lettuce and it was just as delicious!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad

This year our garden has not done as well as in the past.  I think the weather has been too hot, even though my husband has been faithfully watering and trying to keep it going.  The one thing that is growing though is the cucumbers.  We're glad because we love to make my Cucumber Cooler recipe.  Last Sunday I was just too busy to make it, so I tried to make something quick.  My husband loves feta cheese and I have seen recipes with feta and cucumbers together.  I added some fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and had a delicious cucumber salad.  I call it "Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad".  My husband loved it!

Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad
1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
(When I peeled it, I left a little green skin on it.  Then I took a fork and ran the prongs up and down the cucumber to make it look pretty and have a little color to it before I sliced it.)

2 - 3 teaspoons olive oil
juice from 1/2 of a lemon (about 1 - 2 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Put cucumber slices in a small bowl.  Add lemon juice and olive oil.  Mix together.  Sprinkle with feta cheese and mix again.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cucumbers grow so fast and they will get too big if you don't check on them often.  Every day I remind my husband to pick the cucumbers and every day he tells me he picked them all.  I think he forgot this one!
McKinley thought Papa had planted some watermelons.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Very Strawberry Cake

A few weeks ago I went to a baby shower for a good friend.  We had a great time.  One of the foods that they served was a strawberry cake that was out of this world.  So, I had to get the recipe. (Thanks, Jennifer!)  Here it is.  Enjoy!

Very Strawberry Cake

1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) package strawberry jello
1 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup mashed strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 9 x 13 pan.  In a large bowl combine cake mix and jello.  Add oil and milk, beating at low speed.  Add eggs separately, beating after each addition.  Blend in strawberries.  Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool and frost cake with Strawberry Icing.

Strawberry Icing

1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup mashed (or finely chopped) strawberries

Cream butter.  Add sugar and strawberries, mixing well. 

**You can add 1 cup chopped pecans and/or 1 cup coconut to cake batter if you'd like.  Also, you can add 1/2 finely chopped pecans and/or 1/2 cup coconut to icing.  Personally, I like it without the nuts or coconut.  My grandchildren like it better without it too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Best Barbecue Ribs on the Grill

It's almost Labor Day and I'm sure many of you will be getting out the grill.  This Labor Day you'll have to try these Barbecue Ribs.  Your family and friends will ask you to make them again and again.  My family certainly does.

Best Barbecue Ribs on the Grill

1 - 2 racks of ribs (baby back, pork, beef--your choice)
Favorite Barbecue Sauce  (I love Sweet Baby Ray's on the ribs)

Put ribs (I sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them) in a baking pan and cover with foil.  Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Remove from oven and place ribs on your grill. (If you cool them a little bit before putting on grill, the ribs are easier to work with.)  Grill about 3-5 minutes on each side.  Then baste with your favorite barbecue sauce and grill for about 3-5 minutes more on each side.  Be sure to watch it because once you put the sauce on the ribs, they can easily burn.  Of course, my husband thinks the best part is the burned part!

Can't wait to make these again this Labor Day.  Hey, Brian and Brandi, do you want to drive in and join us?