Creamy Cole Slaw

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!  It certainly feels like summer even though it is not officially here – Memorial Day always marks the start of summer for me.  We are enjoying the back porch and popsicles with our newest addition to the family – Leo!  He too enjoys being in the kitchen (I would like to think he likes the cooking/baking but I think it is the cool tile he likes 😉  We are adjusting to life with a dog and loving it – perhaps some recipes for dog treats are in order…

I am sure many of you have heard on the news about the flooding in the south and the awful storms in midwest – my thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who have suffered losses.  Some of these storms hit very close to home as we had friends and family who were affected but luckily safe.  In fact, one hit very close to where we used to live.  It was hard to look at pictures of places we feel so connected to damaged by these storms.  Times like these I think of how grateful I am for my family and friends.  I think of the special times we have spent together, many of them in the kitchen or over a meal.  I think of how the smell of chicken frying, the touch of an apron my Nanny made, or the first bite of a family recipe can invoke sweet memories.  So I thought sharing a family recipe would be perfect on a day like today.  My mom got this recipe from a cousin’s wife, passed it on to me and now I am passing it on to you.  I hope you like it as much as we do.  I polished the last bit of it off at lunch today 😉

For the parmesan cheese I usually used the canned stuff but Matt convinced me to try using fresh since we always have it on hand (I was reluctant) but it was delicious! 


Creamy Cole Slaw
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Ingredients

Salad:
1 package cole slaw mix
1/2 head cauliflower, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
Optional
1 cups salted sunflower seeds

Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon (about 2 cloves) minced garlic

Directions
1.  Mix salad ingredients
2.  Mix dressing ingredients
3.  Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss to coat.
Keep refrigerated.  Best if eaten within three days

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source:  Linda Guddeck via Mrs. V


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Tomato Cucumber Salad


I know summer is over, but I feel like I am hanging on to it. I think it has to do with the weather – hard to believe it is fall when the temperature outside is in the upper 70’s 😉 So when the farm stand still had tomatoes I bought them but with hesitation – would they be good this time of year? Seemed a bit late in the season to me for tomatoes. Glad I went ahead and bought them, not to mention thrilled I had a cucumber on hand. This salad is easy to throw together and great to take on a picnic, pitch-in, or tailgating.

Ingredients:
1 English cucumber (or regular cucumber, seeded), chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon course sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Source: Lindsay Lou 😉

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Greek Couscous Salad


I have another version of couscous salad I have blogged about here. I love couscous because it is versatile. Couscous can be used as a main dish, a side dish, or as a dessert. In fact, my first experience with couscous was probably when I was a little girl and our friends from Africa made a fantastic dessert with it. I have a love of salads too, including pasta salads. I like to experiment with ingredients and different dressings. This week as I was planning out our menu I thought about making a Greek Salad and thought how good it would be with couscous for a change. The Greek dressing recipe I found this summer and have been using since.

Ingredients:

For the Salad:
1 8oz container grape tomatoes
1 can small black olives, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup red onion, diced
8 0unces feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon course sea salt
Cooked couscous (see ingredients and instructions below).

For the Couscous:
1 1/2 cups CousCous
2 3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Instructions:
1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Add salt and Couscous, remove from heat.
3. Let sit 5 minutes, fluff with fork.
4. While Couscous is cooling mix all of the other salad ingredients together (except the salad dressing ingredients). When couscous is cooled, add to the salad and mix.
5. For the dressing: Mix all ingredients except the olive oil. Add a little olive oil and whisk (about 2 tablespoons), while whisking the dressing slowly add the rest of the olive oil in a stream. Whisk until mixed.
6. Pour dressing over salad and stir.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. This salad was still holding up and tasty after a few days in the refrigerator.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Greek Dressing recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Homemade Croutons


I am on a salad and soup kick, I can’t help it – this cold rainy weather makes me want soup. What goes great with soup and salad? Homemade croutons! I have never made homemade croutons, but I love them. A restaurant I used to go to in Bloomington, IN had homemade croutons and they were just scrumptious. I was inspired, okay determined not to let 2 loaves of homemade bread go to waste when I realized they just didn’t taste very good. You could also do this with bread that tastes just fine too 😉 With the 2 loaves of bread I had about 11 cups of bread chunks. This is a recipe that you could alter easily: if you have less bread – use less oil, you just want the bread to be coated in olive oil not drenched. Want to use different spices – go right ahead you could use red pepper flakes and make them spicy or add oregano and basil. Be inventive and inspired! These are best day of, I stored mine in the cupboard in a plastic bag and they were not as good 2-3 days later.

Ingredients
11 cups bread, cubed into about 1-inch squares
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons course salt

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Toss bread with olive oil, to coat in a large bowl.
3. Add garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to coat bread.
4. Spread coated bread cubes on a pan in a single layer
5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until desired crispness.

Serve with salad (try this Caesar dressing) or Chicken and Orzo Soup.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Lindsay Lou original

Caesar Salad Dressing


Happy Monday!
Here is a quick and easy Caesar salad dressing. I love Caesar salad and it paired nicely with the Chicken and Orzo Soup. In looking for an easy Caesar dressing recipe I found one but thought it had too much garlic (never thought I would say such a thing!) So I cut down the garlic and really liked this recipe. Why am I making dressing when I could just buy it? Well, we are trying to eat less processed food (although this recipe does have mayonnaise in it) so one thing I am trying to make is salad dressings. If you don’t have a traditional blender you could you use an immersion blender (hand blender).

Ingredients
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar (regular – white)
1/2 cup olive oil
Fresh Lemon juice to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Combine garlic, mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar in a blender and mix well.
2. With the blender on, stream olive oil through the hole in the lid (mine did splatter so put the lid back on when you have finished adding the oil).
3. Scrape sides with a spatula and run blender to finish mixing well.
4. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Serve over Romaine lettuce with freshly grated parmesan cheese and homemade croutons (recipe tomorrow!)

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou
Source: Adapted from Cathy Lowe, The Food Network

CousCous Salad


I love couscous! I don’t make it enough. In fact I was organizing a cabinet and found an unopened package of couscous hiding in the back so it immediately went on the menu for that night as a side dish with salmon. I decided to make this salad with the leftover couscous.

CousCous Ingredients
1 1/2 cups CousCous
2 3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Add salt and CousCous, remove from heat.
3. Let sit 5 minutes, fluff with fork.

Salad Ingredients
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 can artichokes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped (can use either sun dried tomatoes packed in oil or not)

1. Toss all ingredients with couscous. (see dressing recipe below)

Dressing Ingredients
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 large garlic glove, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

1. Mix vinegar and dijon mustard into a bowl with a whisk
2. Whisk in garlic, a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper
3. Slowly whisk oil into mixture, first in a few droplets then in a slow steady stream to make an emulsified vinaigrette.

1. Pour over couscous and mix.

Source: CousCous basic cooking instructions from: Saad Fayed via about.com
Dressing from: Pam Anderson via allrecipes.com