Category Archives: Salad

Spring Green Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

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Spring Green Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

I’m so excited!  Spring has finally arrived in Southern Oregon!  According to the calendar, “technically” it’s still winter.  According to what is happening in my backyard, the calendar is way wrong :)…

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A crocus blossom… One of the first flowers to make an appearance in our backyard early in the season.  I love the bright orange stamens and the purple and white streaked petals.  I have them planted in many places in our yard.  Some reside in pots, some are tucked under bushes and trees.  Crocuses grow only a few inches tall and come back every year during the month of March.

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This is a shot of some pansies that I have planted in a hanging pot on my back patio.  Pansies are a regular staple to our yard in the spring and fall.  Every time I look at them they make me smile.  I enjoy the bright and cheerful colors outside my kitchen window.

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A close-up shot of a pansy blossom.  I was thrilled to capture this image with my camera.  Through the lens of my camera, I was able to see this amazing amount of detail on the flower.  I can’t see this level of detail even with my reading glasses on.

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A tulip poking its way through the soil.  I look forward to a big vase full of bright red blossoms on our dining room table in a short couple of weeks.

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Purple crocus.  What’s not to like about that deep rich indigo color?

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Even the koi fish in our pond are starting to surface for the first handfuls of feed of the year.  This is Pumpkin…  He’s one of the original fish to live in our pond.  He’s almost 2 feet long and about 10 years old.  I remember the day when Bruce and I purchased him.  He was about 4 inches in length and shared a plastic bag with four other fish on the trip home. Several years later, we now have a total of 8 koi fish happily living in our pond.

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Whenever I think of spring, one of the first things that come to mind is fresh picked strawberries.  I purchased a couple of pints of strawberries the other day and one of the things that I wanted to do with them was to make a spring like strawberry vinaigrette.  My Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is a wonderfully pink colored salad dressing made with fresh strawberries, red wine vinegar, local honey, Dijon Mustard, canola oil and poppy seeds.  It’s a delicious vinaigrette to serve drizzled over a plate of fresh picked greens and sliced strawberries.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound strawberries (cleaned and hulled)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs honey or to taste
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds or to taste

Add strawberries, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard and canola oil to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Splash more vinegar into the dressing if you want… Mix in the poppy seeds.  Makes 1 cup or 16 – 1 Tablespoon servings.  Store in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Green Salad (per serving)

  • 2 cups fresh lettuce
  • 1 thinly sliced radish
  • 2 strawberries (hulled and quartered)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced radicchio
  • 1 Tbs Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (or to taste)

Assemble by placing salad greens on a plate.  Arrange radishes, strawberries and radicchio on top of the greens.  Drizzle greens with the Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.  Makes one serving.

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Greek Chickpea Salad

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Greek Chickpea Salad

Winter in Southern Oregon can be a great time of year for many people.  There are so many things to do and see.  There are myriad of fun activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.  But, by the time February rolls around, I’ve grown tired of winter… Those feelings only get further amplified by unexpected snow falls, a foggy day or rain.  I’ve grown bored of wearing tall boots, long coats and hats.  I want my sandals, bright warm sunshine and blue skies back.  I recognize that spring is “just around the corner” but, there are times I just need a little bit of proof…

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Finding proof that warm spring weather is on its way was much easier than I thought.  As I was clipping fresh sprigs of rosemary from my garden for my Greek Chickpea Salad, I noticed a single blue flower on the tip of one of the rosemary stems.  As, I walked through the yard, other small signs of spring started to appear.  My tarragon and chives were starting to poke through the soil.  There were tiny buds on the branches of the cherry and crab apple trees.  All simple reminders that spring is nearly here!

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Fresh rosemary.  Rosemary is a wonderfully fragrant herb used in many Mediterranean dishes. I use rosemary frequently because I love the flavor and because it is so readily available to me.  I use it in many savory dishes that contain lamb, chicken or pork.  I use fresh rosemary in salads and homemade baked bread as well.  It’s a versatile herb that has earned a permanent place in my kitchen.  If you have the opportunity to plant rosemary in your yard, by all means do so!

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My Greek Chickpea Salad is prepared with canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), crunchy green cucumber, bright red grape tomatoes, red onion, tangy kalamata olives, dressed with a lemon garlic rosemary dressing and topped with feta cheese.  My Greek Chickpea Salad makes a wonderful side salad or as a main course for an easy vegetarian lunch.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients

  • 1 – 15 ounce can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives (sliced)
  • 3 –  4 Tbs olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4  – 1/2 tsp rosemary (finely minced and to taste)
  • feta cheese (optional)

In a medium sized bowl, toss together the chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, and kalamata olives,  In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic paste, salt, pepper and rosemary.  Taste the dressing and correct your seasonings.  Be aware that fresh rosemary can easily overpower a dish.  Add the dressing to the garbanzo mixture.  Mix lightly.  Top with optional feta cheese.  Makes 2 lunches or 6 smaller side dish servings.

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Green Salad with Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing

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Green Salad with Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing

One of the really cool things about living in Southern Oregon is that we are so lucky to have such a wonderful creamery located right here in the Rogue Valley.  It’s called the Rogue Creamery and in my opinion, the Rogue Creamery is home to some of the BEST blue cheese I have ever tasted.  Ever… The Rogue Creamery makes at least 8 different delicious varieties of award winning blue cheese and several amazing types of cheddar as well.  They’re all absolutely delicious!

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Crater Lake Blue Cheese

My Crater Lake Blue Cheese Salad Dressing was inspired by a day trip to Crater Lake National Park.  Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in the state of Oregon and one of the most cherished National Parks in the United States.  It’s about 90 miles from Rogue Valley and 250 miles from Portland.  Crater Lake is famous for its gorgeous blue water, breath taking scenery and the fact that it is one of the world’s deepest lakes.  In the summer months, tourists from all over the United States and the world flock to this destination.  In the winter months, only a fraction of the tourists come to visit due to the cold winter weather and icy road conditions.  There’s a visitor center, lodge, restaurant and gift shop.

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The West Entrance to Crater Lake National Park.  The other entrances to the park are closed during the winter months.  The West Entrance is the only entrance open for access to the lake because maintaining the roads in winter is incredibly difficult.  Difficult because Crater Lake National Park gets on average of over 44 feet of snow accumulation per year!  Grab a tape measure and see just how much that is… You’ll find that it is a heck of a lot of snow!

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Before Bruce and I arrived at the West Entrance of the park, I asked him how much money we needed to pay for the admission. Well… Within minutes, I received my answer.  Surprisingly, the day we were there was free.  As you can see, there was no park ranger in the booth to take our money and there was a sign on the side of the booth that stated there was no cost for admission.  Crater Lake Lodge was closed for the season and the restaurant and gift shop was operating under “winter hours”.  Before scheduling a visit be sure to check the park fees, hours and rates on their website.  Also, if you plan to visit during the winter months, be sure to have chains on hand or studded snow tires on your vehicle.

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One more foot of snow and we would not have known that we were in a no parking zone.

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Our first peek over the rim at Crater Lake in the winter.  Bruce and I had to climb over 10 foot snow banks in the parking lot just to get a view of the lake.  Once over the top, the view was breathtaking!

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Do you see the thin layer of ice covering the lake?   In the summer months, the ice is gone and the water is a brilliant blue color that you would not easily forget.  The snow covered peak in the background is Mount Thielson.

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A view of the lake next to the lodge.  We were really careful not to get too close to the edge.  It’s crazy steep and trying to get close to the lake is not worth slipping into the caldera below.

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A view looking down at the icy blue water.  When I shot this photo, it looked as if I was pointing the lens up towards the sky.

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An easterly view of the lake.  In the summer months you can drive around the entire rim of the lake.  Given the opportunity, you’ll find that it is one of the most visually stunning day trip drives that you will ever take in your life.

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Wizard Island.  Wizard Island is a cinder cone that rises several hundred feet above the lake.  It is one of the most memorable features of Crater Lake.  If you ever have the chance to visit Oregon, trust me, you must schedule a visit to Crater Lake.

My Crater Lake inspired green salad with Crater Lake blue cheese dressing is simple to make, tastes delicious and is perfect for serving up on a busy weeknight or for a more formal weekend dinner.  It’s made with fresh organic lettuce, grape tomatoes, bits of blue cheese and drizzled with the Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing.  My blue cheese dressing is a combination of Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese, fresh buttermilk, Greek yogurt, cracked pepper and a splash of low sodium soy sauce.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing.  Enjoy!  Tessa

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A wedge of Roquefort blue cheese.  Another favorite!

Blue Cheese Dressing Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces Blue Cheese or Roquefort
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 – 5 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce

Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until desired consistency.  Store in a covered container up to a week.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

For each salad:

  • 2 cups fresh green lettuce or your favorite greens
  • 5 or 6 grape tomatoes
  • shredded carrots
  • sprinkle the top of each salad with bits of blue cheese
  • top with a tablespoon or two of the Blue Cheese Dressing
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
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Wheat Berry Salad and a walk along Bear Creek

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Wheat Berry Salad with Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese

I’m not a big fan of making New Year’s resolutions.  All my resolutions such as losing weight and exercising more, historically have been destined for defeat.  So, since I despise failure, I don’t do resolutions anymore.  Nope, none, nada…  I look at it this way.  I make New Year’s expectations. Expectations for me are doable and achievable.  This year I expect to take smaller steps to improving my life and health.  I’m certainly not a perfect person but when I expect something out of myself, I do it.

One of the first things that Bruce and I did for the New Year was to take a long walk along Bear Creek here in the Rogue Valley.  Bear Creek is home to many species of birds, aquatic mammals and fish.  During the spring and fall months you may see large salmon or steelhead swimming up the creek on their way to their spawning grounds.  In the winter, the water in the creek is too turbid from the rain and snow to see much at all.  However, it is a great time to go birding.  So, I grabbed my camera and out the door we went.

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A great egret hunting for fish in the marshy area near the creek.

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A pair of mallard ducks on a log.  This is my favorite picture of the day.  The brightly colored drake is on the left and the plain colored hen is on the right.  It won’t be long before they start nesting.

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A closeup of a drake Mallard duck.  Notice the beautiful blue wing bar and bright orange legs?

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When we got back home from our walk along the creek, I decided to make a bright and flavorful Wheat Berry Salad.  My Wheat Berry Salad is simple to make and tastes delicious! It’s made with tasty little wheat berries, red bell pepper, Kalamata olives, green onions, parsley, feta cheese and my favorite red wine vinaigrette.  In just a matter of hours, I’m already living up to my expectations.  A lovely walk and a healthful salad.  That was easy.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups cooked wheat berries (1 cup dried = 3 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup red bell (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette (click on link for recipe)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  •  4-  6 cups lettuce, watercress or your favorite leafy greens

Mix all ingredients (except lettuce or watercress) in a medium sized bowl adding the feta cheese last…  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Chill and serve on a bed of lettuce, watercress or other leafy greens.  Garnish with additional feta crumbles and chopped parsley.  Makes 6 servings.

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Orange Pomegranate Salad

Orange Pomegranate Salad

The holidays are fast approaching and I am already planning our meal for Christmas Eve.  It’s a family tradition that every year on Christmas Eve I make a huge pot of New England Clam Chowder to share with my family and friends.  With the chowder, I serve up finger foods, fresh baked breads, salad and dessert.  Since the chowder is the only item on the menu that does not change from year to year, I try to think of different and fresh tasting dishes to serve with the soup.

While I am thinking about what I am going to serve with the chowder, our family is busy decorating our home for the holidays.  Bruce’s responsibility is to put up the lights out in the front of the home, and my job is to decorate the dining room and living room.  I love doing that.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.

This is what my dining room looked during the last Christmas season.  Last year, I focused on red and green colors.  This year my plan is to decorate with white and silver.  I want my dining room to have a shiny cold sparkle to it.  The table will be removed and 2 eight foot tables will take its place on Christmas Eve.  That’s what I do every time we have a large gathering in our home.  What I have in mind this year is crisp white table cloths, white candlesticks with snow covered greenery.  The three little trees that you see above are now covered with little white birds, silver ornaments and shimmery snowflakes.

One of my white birds.  I snagged about a dozen of these at a craft store last week for about a dollar each.  I would have bought more but I cleaned out the bin…

Silver pine cone ornament.  My Mom gave these pine cone ornaments to me earlier this year.  These pretty ornaments are on the same trees as the white birds.  Can you believe that this ornament is made of plastic?  Could have fooled me…  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not ashamed of decorating with plastic ornaments.  I like plastic ornaments because they are pet and child friendly, they don’t shatter and when they fall off the tree, all they do is bounce!  And what’s even better about plastic ornaments…  They’re inexpensive.

I just love the holidays!  In my opinion, it’s not about the gifts or the food.  It’s all about spending quality time with family and friends.  I want everyone who visits our home to have a wonderful time and have fond memories of our time together.

I have made the decision to serve my Orange Pomegranate Salad on Christmas Eve.  It’s light, plates beautifully and won’t leave my guests stuffed once I start ladling up steaming hot bowls of chowder.  My Orange Pomegranate Salad is made with fresh naval oranges, pomegranate seeds, watercress, radish shoots, crunchy pepitas and a tangy pomegranate vinaigrette.  It’s easy, bright and delicious! Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 6 large naval oranges, peeled and sliced.
  • 3 cups water cress (use more if you like)
  • 3 cups radish shoots (use more if you like)
  • 6 Tbs toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 6 Tbs fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/8 cup pomegranate vinegar
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Begin by cutting off the peel from the oranges.  Slice each orange into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Arrange on six salad plates with water cress, radish shoots, pomegranate seeds, and pepitas.  Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the canola oil, rice vinegar, pomegranate vinegar, brown sugar, ginger and salt.  Drizzle the vinaigrette on the salads when ready to serve.  Serves 6.

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Nasturtium Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Honey Mustard Dressing

Nasturtium Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Honey Mustard Dressing

There’s only a few days of summer left but my garden still does not seem to know it yet… Before my family woke up this morning I was out watering the plants, trimming flowers and harvesting anything that will fit into my garden basket and bucket.  My bounty this morning was a bucketful of heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, chives, parsley, and nasturtiums.  Even before my first cup of coffee I was thinking about making a salad…

Orange nasturtium blossom.  Nasturtiums are edible flowers that have a wonderful peppery flavor.  You can even eat the leaves too!

Nasturtium leaf.  The leaves are circular shaped with the stalk near the center of the leaf.  Some of my nasturtium leaves are green, some are variegated.  I grow my nasturtiums from seed in the spring and plant them where ever I can fit them in my garden.  Some are tucked under tomato plants and some are in pots.  They are easy to grow and add lovely color to your yard and garden.  Not to mention they taste great in salads!

Fresh picked heirloom tomatoes.  Green Zebras, Caspian Pinks, Indigo Rose, Sweet 100’s, Chocolate Cherries, Medford Ace, and Yellow Pears.  I walked away with a gallon size bucket filled to the top…  I’m going to roast some of the larger ones later for a delicious roasted tomato sauce.

My Nasturtium and Heirloom Tomato Salad is made with fresh picked nasturtiums, basil, chives, curled parsley, crunchy green leaf lettuce and a variety of heirloom tomatoes.  I then drizzle the salad with a tangy homemade honey mustard dressing.  It’s flavorful, fresh and delicious.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups green leaf lettuce (washed and torn into bite sized pieces)
  • handful of nasturtium blossoms
  • handful of nasturtium leaves (pick the smaller ones)
  • handful of basil leaves
  • handful of curled parsley (coarsely chopped)
  • a few stems of chives (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cup or 2 of small heirloom tomatoes
  • honey mustard dressing to taste (see recipe below)

Assemble all of your ingredients on 4 salad plates.  Drizzle with honey mustard dressing.

Honey Mustard Dressing

Whisk together in a small bowl the following ingredients.  Refrigerate immediately.  Keeps for about a week.  Makes about a cup.

  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 5 Tbs honey
  • 4 Tbs stone ground mustard
  • 2 Tbs prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
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Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad

My son and I were at a local bookstore the other day and those who know me know that I can never leave a bookstore empty handed.  My new prize for the day was “Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking”.  First of all, I must say that book is a complete winner.  Lovely photos, easy to follow instructions.  Cool cookbook.  Second of all, as I was flipping through the pages, his recipe for a Tomato Salad caught my eye.  I had a bunch of heirloom “Caspian Pink” tomatoes from my garden that I needed to deal with and that recipe sounded like it would be a good one.  Color me wrong…  After it was all said and done, Bourdain’s recipe for the Tomato Salad was not just a good one.  It was simply outstanding!

This “slightly adapted” Tomato Salad recipe is a simple yet flavorful mixture of sliced and seeded heirloom tomatoes, thin slivers of red onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, salt and pepper.  If you have some heirloom tomatoes, be sure to give this recipe a shot.  It’s easy and delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 small to medium sized red onion
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar (I used the dark, not the white)
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

Wash, core and cut the heirloom tomatoes into wedges.  Place wedges into a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp coarse salt and 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper.  Let tomatoes sit for 1/2 hour.  (I tossed mine in the fridge, I like my salads on the cool side)

Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the red onion and place in another colander.  Sprinkle on the additional 1/2 tsp of salt and let the onions sit for 1/2 hour also (I stuck them in the fridge too).

When the 1/2 hour is up, lightly brush off the salt and pepper from the tomatoes and give each tomato wedge a light squeeze to remove the seeds.  Toss seeds away.  Add tomatoes to a bowl.  Using your clean hands lightly squeeze the moisture out of the onions.  Add onions to tomatoes.  In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Add the dressing to tomato and onion mixture.  Lightly toss, taste and correct your seasonings.  Garnish with basil leaves, and serve.  Makes 4 servings.

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Stacked Caprese Salad

Stacked Caprese Salad

Here in Southern Oregon when the weather is hot outside, I try not to turn on my stove too much or even use my oven.  I don’t like living in a hot house nor do I like writing unnecessarily large checks to the power company.  During the warm summer months I like to cook our meals back out on the barbecue and serve fresh cool salads on the side.

This morning as I was checking out my garden, I noticed that I had quite the crop of heirloom tomatoes.  One of the first things that comes to mind when I have a bunch of tomatoes is making a simple Caprese salad.  I just love the flavor of fresh picked tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and herbaceous basil.  I like to drizzle the Caprese salad with olive oil and finish it with fresh cracked pepper and coarse salt.  It’s simply delicious.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 8 heirloom tomatoes (about the same size as the bocconcini)
  • 4 – 5 balls of fresh mozzarella (bocconcini)
  • fresh basil
  • pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil for drizzling

Begin by slicing your tomatoes and the bocconcini.  Stack the tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil leaves.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and salt.  Garnish with additional basil and maybe a fresh edible nasturtium flower.  Serve.  Makes 8 little salads.

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Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail

Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail

Late last week, my family and I took a much needed vacation to the Southern Oregon Coast.  Bruce booked us a hotel room that overlooked the Pacific Ocean in nearby Brookings, Oregon.  Our room had a fabulous ocean view and was only about a hundred yards from the beach.  You could hear the waves crashing along the shore at all hours.  It was so relaxing…

On the first morning (obviously, I was still on my work schedule), I woke up a few hours before my family, grabbed my camera, and headed out for a brisk morning walk along the beach.  It was fairly early and only a few people were out and about.

I walked past the harbor full of boats and down towards the south jetty.  I wanted to see the Chetco River and to catch a glimpse of boats leaving the harbor and heading out to sea to catch dungeness crab, ling cod and tuna.

The view east up the Chetco River.  The harbor is on the right and the Chetco Bridge is in the background.  Once I made it to the south jetty, I decided to walk back down the beach towards our hotel.  The weather was cool and calm.  Fortunately for me it was just overcast and not raining.

Nobody on the beach but me… Before heading back to my hotel room I decided to stop by some large rocks hoping to find some tidal pools.  I found a few.  It was near low tide and I was able to see all kinds of aquatic life.  Mussels, starfish, anemones, and lots of birds such as gulls and pelicans.

I slipped my macro lens on my camera to take photos of some of the creatures that I happened to see clinging to the rocks.  These gorgeous mollusks are blue mussels.  You can find them all over the rocks at low tide.

Gooseneck Barnacles waiting for the tide to come back in…

Seaweed growing on rocks at low tide.  Do you see the little snails and barnacles?

Note to self…  When photographing aquatic life be sure to watch waves closely.  Dingy me, I did not pay attention and ended up with soaked sneakers and jeans.  Wet shoes makes for a long miserable walk back to the hotel.  Next time, I will be a bit wiser and wear sandals.

My Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail was inspired by a shrimp cocktail appetizer that I ordered at a local seafood restaurant down in the harbor.  It’s made with fresh Oregon bay shrimp nestled in fresh picked lettuce leaves, drizzled with homemade cocktail sauce and garnished with fresh lemon wedges.  It’s an easy and delicious appetizer.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Oregon Bay Shrimp Cocktail

  • 4 cups bay shrimp (cleaned and chilled)
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup Easy Cocktail Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • 4 parsley sprigs

Arrange leaves on a plate, small bowl or in short stemmed dessert glass.  Add shrimp and top with cocktail sauce.  Garnish with lemon wedge and parsley sprig.  Makes 4 appetizers.

Easy Cocktail Sauce

  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 Tbs grated horseradish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • dash hot pepper sauce (I like Frank’s)
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.  Put in covered container and refrigerate up to 3 days.  Makes a little more than a cup.  Use on shrimp or crab cocktails, fish, fried oysters, shrimp or clams.  It’s delicious!

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Bacon Chipotle Potato Salad

Bacon Chipotle Potato Salad

Bruce and I threw a backyard barbecue with family and friends on Saturday afternoon.  While playing ladder golf, darts, laughing, joking and most likely making our neighbors seriously annoyed, I spent a bit of time tending to the barbecue.  I barbecued my apricot pork ribs while others pitched in with sides of fresh picked white corn, baked beans, watermelon, cherries,  green salad, and cornbread.  In addition to the apricot pork ribs, I made a batch of my Bacon Chipotle Potato Salad.  My Bacon Chipotle Potato Salad is a tasty twist on the classic American potato salad.   My Bacon Chipotle Potato Salad has a wonderful smokey bacon flavor and then kicked up in flavor with fiery chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  It’s not your average potato salad.  It’s just simply delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds potatoes (boiled, cooled, peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 8 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion
  • 6 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs chipotle pepper in adobo (minced)
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • garnish with fresh snipped chives and pinches of paprika

Add potatoes, bacon, celery and onions to an extra large mixing bowl.  Lightly toss.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, chipotle pepper, Dijon mustard, smoked salt, black pepper and smoked paprika.  If you have any bacon grease leftover from the bacon, add about a tablespoon of it to the potatoes.  Trust me…  It adds a ton of flavor!  Add the mayo mixture to potatoes.  Lightly mix.  Garnish with fresh snipped chives and pinches of paprika.  Makes a big bowl or about 12-15 servings.  Enjoy!

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