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Category Archives: Salads

It’s been a while… & Green Bean Salad

I was totally shocked when I realized that it has been 6 months since I have last posted anything on my blog¬†ūüė¶

I have been completely wrapped up in my crazy, busy life of raising four children (1 teen, 1 tween & 2 babies),¬†being¬†an efficient secretary to my¬†husband and his business ventures¬†and his¬†wife. Even though being busy should not be an excuse for making time to do what I love, which is cooking and blogging, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I am currently attempting to make some minor adjustments in my life so that I can have a bit of me time, which is time I like to spend on here. This makes me smile!

Just to catch everyone up to speed

~ Bailey will be making some major adjustments this upcoming school year. She is moving from a private Christian school to a public school and entering into the IB program. I am praying that the culture shock isn’t too rough on her. Bailey has been working for her Aunt and Uncle at their business throughout¬†this summer, and is planning on staying there¬†through high school.¬†¬†She is active in¬†2 rodeo circuits¬†as well as the¬†NBHA, and¬†loves every minute of it. Bailey has been blessed with a horse who is as perfectly matched to her as she is to him. His name is Blaze.

~Emily will be homeschooled full-time this year. I am both excited and nervous about this. I know that everything happens for a reason and this is what we are supposed to be doing at this time. She is also active in 2 rodeo circuits and well as the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Assoc.) Emily is a cowgirl at heart and I just adore her spirit. She loves to work cattle and in her spare time she loves to design hair and nails.

~ Gracie will be three years old the end of this month. It is so hard to believe that three years have gone by so quickly. She has definitely made the transition from baby to toddler to little girl. She is most excited about her 3rd birthday party. For the past two months she has talked to me everyday about her, “Horse party, with purple balloons and cupcakes!” I hope we are able to live up to her dream party (pictures and details to come). We are hopeful that Gracie will ride in her first rodeo before the end of this year. I am anxious to let you know how that goes.

~ Richard a.k.a. Bubba is not only our baby but also our only boy. Therefore he is spoiled rotten, down to the core. He has each and every one of us wrapped around his little finger(s) like all of them. He will be turning two in November and I cannot fathom where the time has gone. It is like the days are long and the years are short. Any how he is healthy and happy and surrounded by girls…

So, now that we are all caught up on life I would like to share with you one of Bailey’s favorite salad’s. Let me know what you think about it, or what changes you make to it. I love hearing from you.

Rachel

Green Bean Salad

1 lb. fresh green beans (washed & trimmed)

1 small red onion slice thin

8 oz. cooked and crumbled bacon (or use bacon pieces already cooked)

8 oz. crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-3 Tablesoons white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried dill (optional, depending on taste)

1-2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Blanche green beans (place in pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water) you want the beans to be crisp and keep their vibrant color.

Wisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs and seasonings

In a large bowl toss the beans, dressing, Feta, and bacon.

This salad is served as made or chilled.

 

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork & Citrus Slaw Sandwich’s

As¬†I was looking through my previous posts I realized that I must be on some sort of pasta or¬†chicken¬†kick. I do love both pasta and chicken, but we eat so much more. So I must share with you some of the things we eat on a regular basis. Pulled pork is a staple here at our home. When I discovered how easy is was to throw in the slow cooker and how scrumptious the results were, it¬†became¬†a regular on our menu.¬†I might have made this too many times last year. It was the main course¬†at all of the birthday party’s in which¬†I was the hostess. This pork is easily prepared, cooked and pulled ahead of time, the slaw is just as easy. Therefore, this is a great dish to prepare when you are expecting a crowd or contributing to a potluck.

For some of you the idea of putting cole slaw on your Bar-B-Que sandwich is nothing short of absurd. Let me enlighten you, I can recall the first time I saw this odd combination on a menu (many, many moons ago). I ordered the pork, sans the slaw. There was NO WAY I wanted to ruin my lunch that way. It was several years later before I actually tried cole slaw on my pork sandwich, and that was all she wrote. I was hooked, and to this day if I am eating a pulled pork sandwich you had better believe there is slaw of some sort on it. There is something wonderful about the  crunch, creaminess, and sweetness that the slaw adds, and how it  pairs up with the spicy bar-b-que (if you like the heat) sauce and meatiness of the sandwich. This is one of my all-time top 5 sandwiches.

On a totally different note. It has been brought to my attention that I need to include serving sizes, in my recipes. I will make a huge attempt to include as much information as I can. Again, the whole measuring thing is anything but my thing. But, I will try ūüôā Also, I always try to make my recipes so that you can easily double or divide the amounts. If the cooking/baking time requires adjustment, I will add that as well. I know that some of you are cooking for 1 or 2 and some are cooking for 6-8, so I am trying to accommodate everyone!

Below are the instructions on the meat and slaw. Once everything is prepared. Pile the pork onto a fresh bun, top the meat with your favorite sauce, mine is Stubbs’s Spicy, and then finish with the slaw! Good vittles!

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Serves 8-10

  • 7 lbs. Boston Butt bone-in (I get two 3 to 3 1/2 lbs. pieces of meat)
  • 2 Tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or Everglades Seasoning
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 split buns

Directions

  • Rub seasoning into meat
  • Place meat into slow-cooker, the side with the most fat should face up.
  • Add water, cover and cook on high for about 5 hours.
  • Move meat into a large pan. Remove bone and large pieces of fat. I don’t shred the meat because I prefer the large chunks of meat. If you like use two forks or a pair of tongs and pull meat apart.

Citrus Slaw

  • ¬†1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 celery seed
  • generous 1/2 cup of light canola mayo
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 black pepper
  • 16 oz. shredded coleslaw mix (with red cabbage & carrots)
  • 3/4 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon juice from mandarin oranges

Directions

  • ¬†In a large sealable container, whisk together¬†all ingredients except slaw mix and oranges.
  • ¬†Add cabbage mix, toss well.
  • ¬†Gently fold in oranges.
  • ¬†Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

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Butternut Squash & Bacon Pasta

I hear all this talk on the¬†news about Fall, which I have yet to see a sign of it here is SW Florida! I have many friends from up North, who are bragging about the temperatures in their home towns on¬†Facebook!¬†The weather here in South Florida has remained in the mid to high 90’s, with the heat index much higher!¬†I must admit I am somewhat jealous and more than ready to welcome the cooler¬†temps! Even with the¬†warm weather,¬†chances are if you are out and about shopping you will see pumpkins, cornucopia’s, gourds, scarecrows & endless other signs of Autumn. So, I am jumping on the wagon, because I LOVE all of the flavours of Fall! Pumpkin and butternut squash are by far my two¬†favorites, so expect to see many recipes that include these fabulous ingredients!

I put this dish together with what I had on hand. I was quite surprised with the outcome, to say the least! It was seriously delicious!!

Ingredients & Directions:

2 medium size butternut squash¬†( scoop out the seeds and stringy center,peel and dice into 1″ cubes)

1 sweet onion (diced)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground sage

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toss above ingredients and bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile boil 16 oz. bowtie (or pasta of your choice) & drain.

In a large bowl, mix pasta, squash mixture, 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 to 1/2 cup parmasean cheese, 1/2 cup bacon bits or pieces, 1 Tablespoon dried parsley, salt & pepper to taste.

That’s it! This dish goes together quickly and is great as a meal within itself! Enjoy.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Pasta, Salads, Veggies

 

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Caprese Pasta & Chicken Salad

Caprese Pasta & Chicken Salad

This dish must have been created for the summertime! I find it is the perfect meal when it’s scalding outside, and it’s ridiculously easy to throw together! The last thing I want to do at the end of a sweltering¬†and¬†busy day¬†is to¬†come home and eat a hot meal. This wholesome and¬†delicious, meal in a bowl¬†may be¬†prepared ahead of time and can be served right out of the refrigerator. I do however recommend leaving¬†the tomatoes whole¬†if you make more than¬†24 hours in advance. Also, allow the dish to sit at room temperature for at least¬†10 minutes or so before serving. The flavor of¬† cheese¬†becomes more enhanced as¬†it comes to room temperature. This recipe is easily doubled for larger crowds. This¬†makes it a¬†quick and easy¬†go-to dish¬†serve at your next¬†party or to contribute at a Pot Luck!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. box of Farfalle (bow-tie shaped) pasta
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or pick up a fully cooked chicken from the deli, to save time)
  • 3¬†Tablespoons of Basil Pesto (already prepared in the jar)
  • 8 oz. of Fresh Mozzarella cut into cubes or fresh mozzarella pearls if your grocer carries them, again a time saver
  • 7-8¬†Fresh Basil leaves chopped up for garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Poach¬†the chicken¬†by boiling in salted water 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken.¬†Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool. When it is cool enough to handle cut into bite size piece.¬† Time saver – buy an¬†already cooked chicken.
  • ¬†Cook pasta al dente’ according to directions on the box, careful not to over cook this makes the pasta mushy.
  • Slice tomatoes in half, and cut up the cheese into small cubes.¬† If you can find the pearls go with them,¬†less preparation time¬†and¬†makes for a¬†better presentation of the dish.
  • Drain pasta well and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  • While the pasta is still warm add the pesto, toss so that all of the pasta¬†is coated,¬†and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once to room temp. add the chicken, cheese and tomatoes & gently toss.
  • Season with salt and pepper if desired, the pesto usually adds enough salt.
  • Slice the basil and garnish¬†just before serving to¬†prevents wilting and discoloration.
  • Red pepper flakes are a great way to spice it up a bit.
 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Chicken, Pasta, Salads, Uncategorized

 
 
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