Ultimate Summertime Cole Slaw

Ultimate Summertime Cole Slaw

Let’s talk summer cookouts, specifically COLE SLAW. I love cole slaw in the summer. Like, looooove. I could eat a whole head of cabbage to myself if I put my mind/stomach to it. Maybe this is thanks to my Austrian/Hungarian heritage.

Or maybe it’s just because I make one of the best cole slaws ever. I want to be modest but oh well, the secret’s out, my cole slaw is the bomb! I get requests for this slaw all summer long. Make it for your friends and you will, too.

My cole slaw is so much better than anything you’d buy at a grocery store. It’s not creamy or heavy. It’s light and bright with a bit of an Asian flair. It’s healthy, it’s inexpensive (important when you’re making slaw for like 40 drunk & hungry people), and it comes together in seriously five minutes. And it’s full of avocado. That’s the real game changer right there.

Ultimate Summertime Cole Slaw

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It is STILL Summer: Coconut Shrimp Meatball on Crostini with Fruit Salsa

Soooo, are any of you folks on Pinterest?  I am and I waste hours (yes, hours) of my life looking at pins, pinning pins, liking pins and thinking about pins.  Clearly, I have too much free time (at work).

It’s bumming me out lately that people are pinning Halloween stuff and (gasp) Christmas stuff.  I mean, slow down, y’all.

It’s still totally summer, if you ask me.  I literally just started buying and wearing tank tops because I sort of have a tan (a tan for me is not really a tan by normal standards, but at least nobody is blinded by my upper arms anymore).  Also, all the summer clothes are on clearance now and that makes me happy.

Let’s just relax.

And enjoy summer.

How about a coconut shrimp appetizer for your cocktail party?  It screams SUMMER!

Quit trying to plan ahead and live in the present…mostly just so I can enjoy my tank tops and flip flops for a little longer.

Coconut Shrimp Meatball on Crostini with Fruit Salsa

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A Salsa for Summer: Grilled Watermelon and Feta

As I get older and now that I have life all figured out (Ha!  Sense the sarcasm, folks), I am less embarrassed about stuff. I used to be the girl who turned beet red and just about died from humiliation over the tiniest things.  Now, if I trip in front of you (I most likely will) I’ll just smile and wave.  Saying something stupid?  I do it on the daily.  I’m okay with it.

The one thing I am consistently still embarrassed over is my iPod music selection. The worst part is that I voluntarily put all the crazy embarrassing music on there. Just to give you a taste, there are about 300 songs including Pitbull (face getting red), assorted 90’s rappers (getting redder), maybe some country (eyes closed in shame) and a butt-load of Glee renditions (maximum levels of musical embarrassment reached).  I’m just gonna tell you, I sometimes roll my eyes when listening to my iPod alone.  I need an intervention.

Why am I discussing this with you today?  Well, I had some willing taste-testers hanging around my kitchen while I made this killer salsa aaaaand my iPod was on the speaker dock. So, when I think about this salsa, I will forever associate it with the delicious flavors of fresh watermelon with a grilled char and tangy feta, along with the ear raping sounds of Miley Cyrus.  Oy.  Y’all, forget I wrote this, okay?

Grilled Watermelon & Feta Salsa

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Cocktail O’Clock: Mango Coconut Mojito

I am not, nor have I ever been, a bartender.  I love mixed drinks, though.  And I’m super cheap, so I would much rather make drinks at home than pay upwards of $8 a glass on a super-sugary and not-alcoholic-enough drink.

Now, I promised myself a while back that I would not buy any more coconut rum because it’s too easy to consume in mass quantities and regret it later.  Buuuttt…I guess I break promises.

So, here’s a tropical drink to rock your socks.

Coconut Mango Mojito

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Enjoy It Raw While It Lasts

Soon the days of easy prep meals will be over, when you could walk into a kitchen, slice a tomato, wash some greens and be eating in 5 minutes.

Instead, we’ll be forced to wait an hour as thick winter squash bakes to tenderness in a hot oven. In winter it’s easier to wait for dinner, as the cold air doesn’t tempt for evening walks and late-night drinks on a rooftop.

But while it’s still lovely outside, and the season’s produce remains quick to prepare, remember that a raw salad is pretty rad.

Raw Summer Salad with Smoked Whitefish

This salad is ripe for flexibility, so throw in what you’ve got in the fridge. The taste of raw vegetables are much different than their cooked counterpart, so it’s fun to remember the snap of a bell pepper and the nose-tingle of a raw onion. With produce so fresh I didn’t even need a dressing, especially as the fatty whitefish salad complemented the clean vegetables.

I sliced up a yellow roma tomato, half a cucumber (peeled), half of a mutli-colored bell pepper and one tiny, tiny onion. I heavily seasoned all of the cut pieces with kosher salt and pepper and then quickly charred a corn tortilla on the burner. I lumped a few spoonfuls of smoked whitefish on top and called it finito.

 

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All About the Quest

One of the best things about cooking is the quest. A dish can always be better. It can always be tweaked. And of course, it can always be fucked up. But the pursuit is worth it.

I thought I knew the tricks for oven-drying tomatoes. I tossed halved tomatoes, usually sun gold or cherry or grape, with oil, salt and pepper. I would line up the tomatoes, cut-side up on a baking sheet, and let them slowly shrink and deflate in a low-temperature oven.

I always admired the results. And then Chris Jakubiec, chef of Plume and The Greenhouse in the Jefferson Hotel in DC, told me a trick.  Place the tomatoes cut-side down on a cooling rack, over a baking sheet to catch the juice. The tomatoes remained juicy and finished quicker.

And while this method may cut it this summer, I’m still searching. It’s all about the quest, ya know.

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Endless Poptails: White Sangria Poptail

 

While many of us are basting in our own sweat, retailers are already pushing us into fall. Uh, no. We refuse to go there. Fall means holiday time and we just aren’t ready for the madness that ensues.

Let’s stay focused here: Summer. Vacations. Poptails. That’s where it’s at.

Join us with our bit of summer persuasion with these white sangria poptails. We kept things light by going white instead of red and used a Pinot Grigio for the main body.  Toss in a few nectarines and grapes with some Triple sec and summer playtime is where it should be.

White Sangria Poptail

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