Fourth of July Remix

Summer holidays come and go…and are you eating the same food.

The same well done burgers paired with the same gloppy potato salad. Do you just end up feeling bloated and tired?

Whether you’re an adventurous eater or not, there’s certainly room for you to branch out this Fourth of July.

Try something new. Make your holiday a bit healthier (dare I suggest?!). Cook something fresh and exciting for your family.

Today, we’re taking the old classics of Fourth of July and giving them a remix. New ingredients and new techniques are sure to liven up your long weekend.

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What’s On My Mind: Summer Beer

What's On My Mind

Summer is a great time to try new things. But I also love returning to the old standards. Eh- both are good.

And that’s true for what’s on my beer lineup. I love keeping a few special beers in the fridge to take with me to the pool or to enjoy while sitting on the porch.

I’m super into light beers that are fruity, full of flavor (citrus, pine, etc.) and don’t weigh me down. Think of these beers as the delicious, creative and fruity cocktails of the beer world.

If you’re super into porters or high alcoholic beers, then this list probably isn’t for you. But maybe you could squeeze one of these summer beers in before you start drinking your dark beer. Just a thought.

I’ve created this list of beers based on what their cocktail counterpart might be, so you can know what you might like best. Whether you’re new to beer or not, I think you’ll enjoy sampling them.

1. If you like Fruity Sangria…Double D’s Watermelon Lager

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Simple Saturday: Southern Summer Salad

southern summer salad

You know something that I forgot was amazing?

Potlucks.

I’m talking about those fun, exciting, people-filled events where you get to try 10 different foods on one plate. As someone who loves to eat off of others’ plates, you know that I have a soft spot for potlucks.

And I love how people come together, share what they love, and everyone benefits.

One thing that is great to bring to a potluck is a fresh salad…one that actually has fresh greens and looks mouth-wateringly delicious.

Something like this Southern Summer Salad.

Here’s how you make it:

Top mixed greens and/or spinach with slices of fresh peach, toasted, chopped pecans, and creamy goat cheese. I suggest pairing this with a vinaigrette (olive oil and balsamic vinegar or poppy seed dressing could work).

A Sip of Spice

cardamom limeade

No matter what you’re doing in the summer, I bet you could be in the mood for a nice, refreshing drink.

Even if you’re not “drinking”, there are plenty of things to quench your thirst and help you get into the feeling of summer.

I find that citrus is a key element in that.

That’s why I love my mojitos and limeades, and I just added a new one to the list: Cardamom Limeade.

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Ingredient of the Month: Rhubarb

rhubarb

Here we are, back again with an Ingredient of the Month post. Sorry that we skipped a few months without one.

I love the bounty of summer that there is to experience every year with produce of all colors, shapes, speckles and sizes to try. I get especially excited when I see these particular magenta red and celery green stalks at the farmers market or my grocery store.

Do you know what I’m talking about? Rhubarb!

Tell me more:

Rhubarb is a deep pink/red stalk-like plant with green leaves. The stalks strongly resemble celery in their texture but with a tart taste.

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Hot Weather Lunch

french lentil salad

I was going to name this post “Warm Weather Lunch”, but, let’s face it, it’s been hitting the 100-degree mark around here and it’s just plain hot (I won’t even mention the humidity).

On days like this, you don’t want an elaborate meal or a casserole. You just want something fresh and healthy that won’t weigh you down.

This French Lentil Salad is perfect for that.

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N. C. One Bite at a Time (Part 11)

Wow, how time flies around here.

I bet with the summer in full swing and the heat making itself known, you’re seeing the days fly by, too.

My husband and I have been in NC for one year plus, and now we own a home in Raleigh, which means we’ll be here for quite a while. We sure do love this state. There is always something to explore and enjoy locally, like these places below.

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Simple Summer

tuna salad

Summer is the perfect time for simple meals.

With all of the great produce and fruit, sometimes it’s best to do less and just eat it fresh. One way that you can do that is by making a kick butt salad.

I’m talking about so much more than greens. My salad is topped with lots of colorful veggies, a tasty cheese and maybe even an easy protein.

Sometimes I turn to black, garbanzo or white beans, but recently I was craving some good old tuna salad.

There are some tips that will take your tuna salad to the next notch, including:

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Better Late Than Never Bars

derby pie bars

I’m a firm believer in using cliches and phrases to make sense of life.

With a dad from Arkansas and a mom from Kentucky, you can imaging the kind of Southernisms that are in my vocabulary. And you can also imagine how easy it is to get them confused.

Don’t count your eggs before they hatch. (Note: Apparently, this is supposed to be “chicken” instead of eggs, but I didn’t learn that until today.)

Old as dirt.

Better late than never is one that we can all relate to. Even if we can’t do things right on time, sometimes it’s best to just go through with them when we can.

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Simple Saturday: Turnovers

turnovers

There really is nothing like a good weekend pastry.

What’s the weekend for if it’s not some breakfast (or dessert) treats.

Last weekend, I was looking for a way to use up a sheet of puff pastry before our big move and make a tasty pastry.

Did you know that puff pastry + fruit can make a great turnover?

turnovers

I decided to use fresh raspberries and chocolate chips in mine, which made them jammy and sweet! But, you can put almost any fruit or berry in them, just add a little sugar if you’re leaving out the chocolate chips.

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