Summer Salad

Summer is almost over in Florida and my sisters are not happy with me because I’m already discussing school. In Long Island they are still in the middle of their best summer weather and they don’t want to even think about moving forward to the fall and winter months. So for all of you that are still enjoying your summer, here’s a summer salad that my sister Ali makes. It really can only be enjoyed during the summer because that’s when the watermelon is perfect!

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!

Other Blogs by Ali:

Ali’s Beauty Tips

Mac Eyeshadow

A trip to the Pork Store

Ali’s Favorite’s

Get Swim Suit Ready or NOT!

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No Romaine, No Problem

This tomato salad is one that my sister Jen makes a lot. It is refreshing, simple, healthy and delicious. It’s one of those salads that everyone eats with their fingers out of the bowl before it’s even on the table!

 

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Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • Two containers of grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 of a small red onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 or 5 basil leaves sliced
  • About half of a block of imported feta
  • A packet of good seasons dressing(will need oil, vinegar and dressing jar)

Directions

  1. Put tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil in medium bowl.
  2. Break up feta and put in bowl.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Prepare good seasons dressing per directions on packet(you could also just use a simple oil and vinegar dressing. But the good seasons tastes so good with the tomatoes. And you can store any leftover dressing in the fridge and use it on your salads throughout the week.)
  5. Drizzle dressing over the salad and mix.

 

Enjoy!

Other salads that we love…

Summer Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

 

 

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe is a veggie my mom frequently makes.  It is packed with nutrition and is delicious!  I don’t make it much because half of my family likes it and half of them don’t.  But I love it when it’s made right.  And my mom makes it perfect.  I love it tossed with pasta, of course.  But you can make it as a side dish to sausages or any meat.

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Broccoli Rabe

Ingredients

  • EVOO
  • crushed red pepper flakes(add as much as you prefer)
  • garlic, 8 cloves peeled and sliced
  • 2 bunches of broccoli rabe(rinse, cut off the bottom of the stems and chop in big chunks
  • Optional(pasta of your choice)

Directions

  1. Coat the bottom of a large sauce pan with olive oil.
  2. Add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic.
  3. Saute for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli rabe.
  5. Let it sizzle for a few minutes.  Then add in about 1/2 inch of water to the pan.
  6. Drizzle the top with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and steam on medium heat until soft(about 10-15 minutes)

Serve as a side dish or mix with your favorite pasta(you can add a little pasta water if you want more “juice”) and top with grated cheese!

Enjoy!

Other pasta and veggie dishes that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!

Bowties with Broccoli

Sunday Dinner

 

Fancy Beans

This is a recipe I originally got from the back of a can of Bush’s Beans.  I have changed it a bit over the years.  It is an excellent side dish that I usually serve with white rice and store bought Rotisserie chickens for a quick, healthy dinner!

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Fancy Beans

Ingredients

  • 2, 15 oz cans of Bush’s black beans, drain and reserve juices
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup of onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1, 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground thyme
  • 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 squirt or more of Sriracha-depending on how spicy you like it(My family only likes the Trader Joe’s brand)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.
  2. Saute the onion and green pepper until tender.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, beans and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar, sriracha, and reserved juices from the beans.
  6. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve over rice(I usually serve this with Minute Premium White Rice.  It literally cooks in 5 minutes!)

 

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:

Momma’s Meatballs

 

I can make these every day for a year and they still won’t be as perfect as my mom’s. Not sure what she does to them. But this is her recipe and they are amazing! Sunday dinner usually has these on the menu.

Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of meatloaf mixture(ground chuck and pork)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • A big handful of chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs(You can also use the seasoned Panko or combine them both)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of water or as much as needed until they feel moist.
  5. Mix again.
  6. Roll into medium sized meatballs.
  7. Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until brown.
  8. Put in your pot of marinara Sauce and cook on simmer for 2 hours stirring frequently.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes

What do you request for your birthday dinner?  In our house this is a big deal.  And sometimes it gets out of hand!  Most of the time my boys and Matt will ask for the same sort of dinner:  steak and mashed potatoes or twice baked potatoes.  My younger son Dominick turned 10 and of course he requested steak and twice baked potatoes.  These twice baked potatoes are delicious and they always request extra paprika!

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Ingredients

  • 8 potatoes(I believe I used Yukon Gold-they are nice and creamy)
  • EVOO
  • 3/4 of a cup of Half and half
  • 3 tablespoons of salted butter, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake at 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and dry the potatoes.
  3. Rub olive oil all over the skin of the potatoes.
  4. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork.
  5. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until soft. About 45 minutes- 1 hour.
  6. Take out and let cool slightly so you can handle them.
  7. Slice off only a small portion of the top.
  8. Scoop out all the insides of the potatoes leaving just the skins in the pan. Put the insides in a large bowl.
  9. Add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and mash with a potatoes mashed until smooth. (Do not use an electric mixer. They will be like glue.)
  10. Fill the potato skins with the mashed potatoes.
  11. Sprinkle with paprika.
  12. Bake on 350 degrees for another 20-30 minutes or until hot.

Enjoy!