Summer Salad

Summer is creeping up on us in Florida. Our watermelon is perfect right about now! This is a summer salad that my sister Ali makes. It tastes light and refreshing just like summer…

By Alexandra Salvatore

I wanted to emulate one of my favorite appetizer salads I’ve been going crazy over. In Long Island we wait all winter for warm weather and summer fruits. This salad is on almost every menu on the East end of Long Island and all are done with their own twist.

It contains all of my favorite things – watermelon, feta cheese and a peppery, crunchy green like arugula. You can also use baby spinach for a less bitter green. You can also crumble the feta for a less intense salt/cheese flavor. I use the balsamic glaze pictured. I’ve actually used that glaze for many other things like a simple mozzarella and tomato salad. I would suggest having one in the house. You can get it at Costco or an Italian market. It doesn’t have a close expiration date which is great too. Enjoy this refreshing and savory salad. It would be a great thing to serve as an appetizer or even as a side salad with a fish entree. 🐠🍉🧀

Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • a bag of arugula or baby spinach
  • a seedless watermelon(about 4-6 pieces cut into thick triangles)
  • a block of imported feta(in water), cut into rectangular chunks(can crumble as well)
  • balsamic glaze
  • salt and pepper
  • (Optional) – chopped pistachios to sprinkle over the greens before the feta

Directions

  1. On a large platter lay out the chunks of watermelon.
  2. On top of the watermelon, place a handful or two of arugula or spinach.
  3. Then top it with the chunks of feta cheese.
  4. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe you’ll love:

Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad

Italian Salad(Pasta or no Pasta)

Shoepeg Corn Salad

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Dump Cake

Summer always makes me think of pie. Two of my favorites are, Sweet Cherry Pie and Strawberry Apple Pie. I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest one day and came across Dump Cakes. Don’t let the name discourage you from making this. Knowing that I can dump ingredients in a bowl, bake it and serve a delicious, sweet dessert makes me love it even more. I will be experimenting and trying every dump cake combo I can. Right now these are my two favorites that are perfect to bring to a friend’s house for a BBQ. 

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You can serve either of these with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for some extra goodness… 

Dump Cake

Strawberry Dump Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 2 cans(21 oz. each) of strawberry pie filling. I used Duncan Hines Comstock Simply Strawberry Pie Filling.
  • ½ cup of melted butter(1 stick)

OR

Apple Dump Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 2 cans(21 oz. each) of apple pie filling. 
  • ½ cup of melted butter(1 stick)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 X 13 glass pan.
  3. Empty both cans of pie filling into the pan and spread evenly.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the cake mix and butter. 
  5. Stir and break up any chunks with a wooden spoon or fork.
  6. Pour the cake mix over the pie filling and spread out evenly.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pie filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown. 
  8. You can serve it warm or cold. I made it the day before, let it cool, and covered it in the fridge. I topped each piece with a scoop of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream!

If you like this recipe you will also enjoy:

Annie’s Crumb Cake

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda 🥤

Apple Cake🍎

 

Aldi

So I’ve never been in an ALDI and they opened one near my house. So, my husband and I wandered in to check it out. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It definitely threw us off when we had to put a quarter in the cart to use it. Lol. And I wasn’t sure what to think about them not having bags(had to pay $ .07 for each bag).

I didn’t love the feel of the store. I think I’m spoiled by my trips to Publix and Trader Joe’s. It didn’t seem like they had much we’d be interested in, but we left spending $72 and got a whole bunch of stuff we needed.

That included all of the above…

Some of the items that impressed me were:

Frozen blueberries- $2.49!

Almond butter- $4.99!

Eggs- $1.37!

3 Pounds of ground turkey- $6.99!

Pistachios- $4.49!

Frozen strawberries- $3.99!

I think I’d wander in again…

Happy Shopping🙂

 

Strawberries and Cream

As a kid I was a very picky eater. I didn’t really like much and tortured my poor parents. Breakfast was a challenge. My sisters always laugh that my mom would go in the fridge and ask me for an hour, “Do you want this, how about this?” Well, in the morning if I didn’t want anything else she would cut up strawberries and bananas and cover them in a bowl with half and half. And it was delicious.

So years go by and I never thought about strawberries and cream, until one day I went to my friend Mita’s house for a quick visit. When I walked in she handed me a bowl of strawberries and cream. I took a double take because that was such a different thing to serve, especially since my mom used to make it for me as a kid. But it was so comforting and yummy. If you guys have picky eaters out there, chop up some fruit and cover it with cream. My mom did it a little different than Mita(she covered hers with heavy cream and I think sprinkled it with sugar), and I use almond milk and add granola, but all ways it would be great!

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Strawberries and Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 carton of chopped strawberries
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • almond milk, half and half, heavy cream or any milk you prefer
  • your favorite granola(I prefer peanut butter granola)
  • Sugar to taste(optional)

Directions

  1. Place chopped fruit in each small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with a little sugar(optional).
  3. Top with granola.
  4. Add your favorite milk and enjoy!

Steak Salad

I used to make this salad years ago. I’m back on an arugula kick and love it! It has a spice to it that I love and can stand up to grilled steak or chicken on top. If steak is involved my boys come running. Summer is here and we have the grill going a couple of times a week. This is one of the simplest dinners you can pull together and everyone will enjoy it.  

 

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Steak Salad

Ingredients

  • Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub & Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic
  • Any thin steak of your choice(I like skirt steak or thin sliced sirloin) OR chicken breasts if you prefer.
  • 1 package of arugula
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup of Grated pecorino romano cheese

Directions

  1. Generously coat your steak(or chicken) with the Trader Joe’s seasoning. Let sit for an hour or so in the fridge.
  2. Preheat your grill and cook to your liking.
  3. Tent with aluminum and set aside while you prepare the salad.
  4. In a large bowl add the arugula, olive oil and grated cheese.
  5. Squeeze the juice from your lemon over the arugula and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Toss lightly and lay in a large, flat serving dish.
  7. Slice the steak thin and lay the pieces over the top of the salad.   

Enjoy!

If you liked this recipe, you will also like these…

Grilled Skirt Steak

Summer Boil

Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad

Smashed Potatoes

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda 🥤

Fill em Up!

Believe it or not, when I make salmon everyone eats it! I never have any left over. It seems like when I make it, nobody gets filled. So I usually make this orzo side dish along with it to fill them up and it is amazing! I love pasta and I love vegetables, so for me this is perfect. I eat it leftover for lunch and it could be cold right out of the container…

You can use any vegetables you have in the house, not just the ones I used! 

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Orzo Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 box of orzo pasta
  • EVOO
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 package of mushrooms chopped
  • A bunch of tomatoes chopped
  • handful of Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, boil salted water and cook the orzo per directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a pan over low to medium heat.
  3. Add onion.  After a couple of minutes add the garlic.
  4. Toss in the bell pepper and mushrooms and saute until they are tender.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes.  Take off the heat.  Toss in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Put the drained orzo in the pan with all the veggies and mix together.  Top with a little grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

See below for other similar dishes…

Simple Side

Italian Pasta Salad

Shoepeg Corn Salad

I got this recipe from my sister Ali.  She got it from one of her friends.  When they make it, they serve it as a dip along with Tostitos or some sort of corn chip.  This is also a great side dish for a summer gathering.   It’s sooo good and refreshing.  It’s hard to stop eating it once you start.  I had no idea what shoepeg corn was or where to find it until I made this!  FYI, it’s just a can of Green Giant corn that’s shaped like a shoepeg!  I found it at Publix…

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Shoepeg Corn salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of white shoepeg corn, drained
  • 1 can of reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 orange bell pepper diced small
  • 1/2 of a small red onion diced small
  • a bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup of safflower oil(it calls for vegetable oil but I don’t use vegetable oil due to the fact that it is not the healthiest option)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar(Yep, but it makes it soooo good.  You can use less if you prefer or none.  Still will be delicious!)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Put the first 6 ingredients in a large serving bowl and stir gently until combined.
  2. Add the oil, vinegar and sugar.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir gently until combined.
  5. Serve with your favorite chip or as a side dish.

Enjoy!

I found some great summer essentials for your 1st BBQ of the season.  Of course you have to serve the shoepeg corn salad and maybe some Guac and chips!

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Don’t miss out on some of the best recipes for summer entertaining…
Appetizers:
Main Course:  
Side Dishes:  
Desert and drinks: