Pickled Beets

August 19, 2010

Since we signed up with a local CSA this summer, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, we’ve had some fun getting new types of veggies that we don’t normally buy on a regular basis. These beets are the example. I had never worked with them, and the most I have ever eaten them was probably in a salad, which I can only vaguely remember. Red suggested that we pickle them since he loves them in a salad. And he was right, they turned out delicious! The beets were crunchy with enough hint of tanginess and had a burst of brightness. We enjoyed them on top of a bed of spinach salad sprinkled with feta cheese.., I hope you will give these a try!

Adapted from Alton Brown, as seen on Food Network

Roasted beets, recipe follows
1 large red onion, frenched
1 cup tarragon wine vinegar (I used regular red wine vinegar)
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

Remove the skin from the Roasted Beets and slice thinly.
Arrange in 1-quart jars alternating layers with the onion (I ended up with 2 pint-sized jars).
In a small pot boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets.
Tightly lid the jars and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 7 days before serving.

Roasted Beets
6 medium beets, cleaned with 1-inch stem remaining
2 large shallots, peeled
2 sprigs rosemary
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients. Place into a foil pouch and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.


Carolina Cole Slaw

June 25, 2010

Red and I grill a lot during the summer, and sometimes we go fancy–but most of the time, we go for the basic like burgers and brats. I really love cole-slaw as a side salad, but I wanted a variation that doesn’t use any mayo. I made some tweaks to this recipe that I found on an old magazine, and added a few of my additions. And the result was a really light and refreshing salad, with clear flavor and just enough tang to to give my taste buds a little wake up call. The only thing that I was looking for was a little bit more heat to the dressing, which next time, I would have to try to experiment. We enjoyed this at home with our burgers, but I think they would be great for picnics since it doesn’t have any mayo in it, and would be fantastic on pulled pork. Happy eating!

Adapted from Bon Appetit, 1996

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1-1/4 pounds mixed cole slaw vegetable

Combine vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard and celery seeds in non-aluminum medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and dressing comes to boil. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

Put the vegetable in a large bowl and add dressing; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate until cold, tossing occasionally, at least 2 hours.

(Can be made1 day ahead. Cover; keep refrigerated.)

BB: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

July 9, 2009

While I was soaking up the Tuscan sun last month, I secretly missed my blogging activity, especially since I had to miss the June recipes. Our first recipe for July was Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes, selected by Cat from Delta Whiskey. Even though we just spent 16-consecutive days eating pastas, pizza, gelato, and everything Italian, I decided to go ahead and make this since not only all of the ingredients are simple… Ina’s recipe rarely fails me!

I did not plan to make any substitutions in this recipe, but I ended up doing some, because I was too lazy to go out and pick out the remaining ingredients. I used cherub tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes and I actually welcomed the sweet addition to the salad (and it wasn’t a whole pound as the recipe called for, it was almost a half pound). I also used regular canned black olives, my fave, and I think this was why my pasta salad turned out to be very colorful (not a bad thing!)

I did use a very good olive oil, which I picked up during my trip to Italy, so it was perfect use for this salad. Overall, I was very surprised how light but satisfying this recipe was. This was a perfect summer dish. I want to thank Cat for such a great selection! We paired this salad with our pizza, using up the leftover grilled meat that we had!! Another great Ina’s recipe, which I know that I will make again before the summer ends!

Carpet Picnic. Part 1. Oven Fried Chicken & Broccoli Salad

February 28, 2009

Red and I missed our Valentine’s Day Dinner. He was just getting home from his business trip in France, and I had a little house’s mishap back at the ranch when he was away. So we thought that we would do our own version of Valentine’s Day dinner by having a carpet picnic, with these fun summer dishes: oven fried chickens, broccoli salad, and ice-cream sundaes with homemade caramel sauce.

Oven Fried Chickens

Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa


  • 2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
  • Directions

    Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.
    Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.

    Broccoli Salad
    Courtesy of Paula Deen

    1 head broccoli
    6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
    1/2 cup chopped red onion
    1/2 cup raisins, optional
    8 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut into very small chunks
    1 cup mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoesSalt and freshly ground black pepper

    Trim off the large leaves from the broccoli stem.
    Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash broccoli head thoroughly.
    Cut the head into flowerets and the stem into bite-size pieces.
    Place in a large bowl.
    Add the crumbled bacon, onion, raisins if using, and cheese.
    In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well.
    Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.

    Broccoli Salad on Foodista

    Overnight Fruit Salad

    November 16, 2008

    I first saw a recipe in my mom’s Taste of Home magazine when I was in High School, and it soon became my mom’s favorite. I would go home during college breaks and made this just for my mom.
    Overnight Fruit Salad


    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup vinegar
    3 eggs, beaten
    2 tablespoons butter or margarine
    2 cups green grapes
    2 cups miniature marshmallows
    1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
    1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
    2 medium firm bananas. sliced
    2 cups whipping cream, whipped
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    In a double boiler over medium heat, cook and stir eggs, sugar and vinegar until mixture is thickened and reaches 160 degrees F.
    Remove from the heat; stir in butter. Cool.
    In a large serving bowl, combine grapes, marshmallows, pineapple, oranges and bananas; add cooled dressing and stir to coat.
    Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
    Just before serving, fold in whipped cream and pecans.