Sunday, July 22, 2012


And the living's ....hectic?  I don't know about you, but my summer has been flying by - filled with activities and family commitments.  Haven't had a lot of time to post - I hope to do better.

My hubby and I recently hosted our annual July 4th party at our lake house.  Because it has been so hot and dry here in Wisconsin this summer, we had to forgo fireworks for the first time.  But with good food, icy beverages, a little pontooning, lots of shady trees, and plenty of good friends and family, a good time was had by all.

Salads were popular this year and I was concerned about them sitting out in hot sun (it reached 102ยบ on July 4!!).  My friend, AW, to the rescue.  She brought an inflatable salad bar cooler for our use.  Filled it with ice, added our salads, and it kept them cool and crisp all afternoon.  I immediately ordered two for my own use.  I'm now ready for more July 4th parties, tailgating at Brewer games, picnics and outdoor parties!  You might be interested in getting your own - they are available through my amazon store:  Inflatable Salad Bar.

Two salads were especially tasty - my Italian Pasta-less Salad and a Mozzarella/Basil/Tomato Salad brought by friend DB.  Here are the recipes for those:

Italian Pasta-less Salad
2 medium cucumbers (peeled, seeded, and diced)
2 cups chopped cauliflower (steamed or raw)
1 green onion (just the green part) finely chopped
1/4 cup green olives (cut in half)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)
2 Tbsp shredded carrots
16 slices of pepperoni (cut in fourths)
Combine everything in a large bowl.  Dress with the following Italian Dressing: 

Italian Dressing
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp Celtic Sea salt 
1/4 Tbsp dried parsley
1/4 Tbsp garlic powder
1/4 Tbsp onion powder
1/4 Tbsp sweetener
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar)
2 Tbsp chopped roasted red pepper 
1/2 cup extra virgin Baja Precious olive oil
Combine everything into a blender or Magic Bullet.  Blend until smooth  Pour over salad and toss to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mozzarella/Basil/Tomato Salad

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)
8 oz fresh mozzarella balls (you could also use regular mozzarella, cut into cubes)
1 avocado, diced
4 Tbsp extra virgin Baja Precious olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sweetener
18 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp Celtic Sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and avocado to a medium bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and red wine vinegar over the tomatoes and mozzarella. Add the basil, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders and gently toss all the ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.