Friday, June 25, 2010

I Love Summer

Summer in Florida is hot, hot, hot. And did I mention humid? But as long as you have air conditioning and access to water (pool, lake, ocean, rain, shower), it's not all that bad. The best part about summer is the abundant supply of fruits and veggies. I swoon every time I'm at the produce market. Even the grocery stores retire the plastic tomatoes during the summer. Yay!

Last night I tried another Pioneer Woman recipe for a Summer Stir-Fry. I can't print out her recipes and leave them laying around or the family complains. They don't like her stuff. At all. Period. I, on the other hand, love her stuff. I tried the Chicken with Green Olives last week and it was heaven. The picky people picked out the olives. Something about hot olives. The stir-fry was also out of this world. The picky people picked out the zucchini. I haven't had fresh corn in years (it's a Sugar Busters thing). Yum! I'm glad I cheat every now and then. This dish was definitely worth it.

Along with a simple salad and some rice and bread for my carb lovers, dinner was served. Do you guys make your own salad dressings? My family makes a mean vinaigrette. Everyone's version is different, but they're all good. The base recipe follows. I'd love to get some different dressings to try out, so send me some of your favorites. We eat salad every night and it's nice to have some variety.

Traditional French Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
This salad dressing is perfect for any type of salad greens. It is also great used as a marinade for beef, seafood, poultry and pork. My family enjoys dipping fresh, hot bread into the dressing!

The basic recipe...

2 Tablespoons Vinegar (Red Wine or Cider)*
4-5 Tablespoons Oil (Olive or Vegetable)
1 clove of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

I normally make a fresh dressing each night and tailor it to the evening meal. (i.e. I add Italian herbs if we’re eating Italian; a dash of Sesame oil if we’re having something Asian). If you add something different each night, it’s a nice variety.

Start with the vinegar in the bottom of an empty salad bowl. I whisk in the crushed garlic, kosher salt and pepper. At this point you can add:

Chopped Scallions
Italian Seasonings (dry herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary)
Sliced Red Onion
Chopped Green Olives
Fresh Herbs (parsley, chives, basil, thyme)
Dried Red Pepper Flakes 

Mustard (prepared or dry)

Once you’ve added your “secret” ingredient or left the dressing as is, start drizzling the oil into the vinegar mixture. You can get fancy and whisk with a whisk, or simply use a fork. Top the dressing with salad greens and fresh veggies and keep refrigerated. Toss to coat everything when you’re ready to serve.

*You can substitute Balsamic vinegar, lemon or lime juice for the acid.

To make bigger batches of this dressing, use the measurements on a salad dressing container that comes with packaged Italian dressings. ADD NO WATER! Otherwise, use half vinegar and a little bit more than half oil and adjust the spices for the quantity. You can make a big batch and store it in a shaker container.

I received a cute little paper pieced ice cream cone quilt from my Quilting Board doll quilt swap partner. She also sent me a lobster key chain. She lives in New England so the key chain is the perfect souvenir!

Not much to show on the quilting front, but I am working on some stuff today and will hopefully get some time to sew this weekend. Have fun ya'll!

1 comment:

  1. Michele,
    I really love visiting your blog. That was great of your "hub" to do the shelves for you. Your fabric is nicely organized. That's the way I like mine, and I also have to have some of mine in plastic containers also. I've been quilting over 50 years, and still like my sewing areas neat. I have my bet on you, that you will want to keep it that way also. When you put things back, it's easier to find what you want the next time. Thank you for sharing, my dear.
    Happy Quilting!


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