Sweet + Salty+Tangy + Crunchy = Delicious and Unique Coleslaw
I am always looking for new and tasty side dishes to serve up throughout the summer. One day on Pinterest I stumbled upon a recipe for apple bacon coleslaw. I did some more poking around and actually found that there were lots of variations of this type of recipe out there. In true Diva form I pulled from several of the recipes and came up with this one. It, of course, is the best. 😉
Not only did the flavors compliment each other well but so did the textures. Coleslaw usually tends to all be the same consistency but the sweet apples added a really nice crunch to the mix and went so well with the salty bacon and tang from the dressing. I really like to enjoy this dish with some BBQ chicken or ribs for a perfect summer meal.
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sugar
1/4 orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 fennel bulb, shredded
1 cabbage head, shredded
6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c parsley leaves, chopped
4 firm apples, chopped
- In a medium bowl whisk together the vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper until most of the sugar is dissolved.
- Place the fennel, cabbage, bacon, green onions, parsley, and apples together in a bowl and mix together.
- Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and toss to coat.
- Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
If you think this recipe looks great then check out these ones too!
Kohlrabi Dill Coleslaw
Crunchy Pea Salad
Looking for a family friendly recipe that both you and the kids will enjoy? Then search no more! Don’t have kids, no worries. Everyone loves these regardless of age! My 4 year old loves helping to crush all the saltine crackers. I just put them in a zip loc bag and he goes to town with his toy hammer. (Cooking is a family affair in our house.) These big ol’ bbq meatballs are huge on flavor and so easy to put together. The brown sugar in the sauce helps to glaze the balls giving them a nice even coating of the sweet and tangy sauce. Yummy! These are the perfect comfort food as the weather cools off. I served these as a main dish but I could totally see making these smaller and serving them up as a party appetizer. Hope you enjoy these sticky saucy balls as much as I do!
Note: The sauce for these balls ends up being super sticky so I HIGHLY recommend lining your cooking sheets with parchment paper to help with cleanup. Otherwise you are going to have a super sticky glaze all over your baking sheets, which will not be very easy to clean up. If you do not have parchment paper then I recommend spraying your cookie sheets with a nice coating of cooking spray.
2 lb ground beef
small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers, crushed
3 tbsp honey mustard
3/4 c ketchup, divided
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c bbq sauce
3/4 c brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 400º.
- In a large bowl combine the ground beef, onions, crushed crackers, eggs, salt, pepper, honey mustard, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, and the Worcestershire sauce.
- Using your hands combine all the ingredients until well blended.
- Grab a handful of the meat mixture and roll into 2″ balls.
- Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (see above note) and repeat until you are out of the meat mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of ketchup, bbq sauce, and the brown sugar.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven after 20 minutes and top each ball with a spoonful of the sauce.
- Place the meatballs back in the oven for another 10 minutes to allow the sauce to melt and coat the balls.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Over the past several months I have been on a total broccoli salad kick. Whenever we go to the store I can’t resist getting some at the deli counter. I figured I might as well learn to make my own, and so I did. And it was the bomb diggity! This broccoli salad is the perfect balance of crunchy and creamy, and sweet and salty. I could seriously eat this as a meal all on it’s own, okay I did eat this as a meal all on it’s own. I ate it by the bowlful! It is the perfect summer salad. It’s super light and refreshing. I don’t care if you are a fan of broccoli or not, you will love this recipe. I will make broccoli lovers out of all of you yet!
3 heads of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 c craisins
1/2 c salted sunflower seeds
1 c mayonnaise
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp white vinegar
- In a large bowl combine the broccoli, bacon, red onion, craisins, and sunflower seeds.
- In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.
- Drizzle the dressing over the broccoli salad and toss to coat.
- Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Stir right before serving.
Last weekend we went to another summer BBQ. This one was about two hours away and would be a long windy drive. I needed a dessert that would transport well. Pies seem to always end up squished and most of my Pyrex dishes wont fit in my ice chest. I have seen individual desserts in mason jars trending on Pinterest and I thought to myself, “I bet something like that would transport wonderfully.” And they did! Now what to put in them? Hmm…
If you have been following my blog for a while now then you may know that I love my cheesecake. I am not picky about my desserts but if it has the word “cheesecake” in the name I will lack all self control. So I knew I wanted some sort of cheesecake in a jar. (I know, pretty self-serving right?) Blueberries were on sale at the grocery store and so my decision was made. I would be taking individual blueberry cheesecakes in mason jars. They made a great presentation, were out of this world good, could not have been easier to serve, and they were fun to eat. In other words, they were amazing!
Note: I was able to fill six 8 ounce mason jars. You can get also get 4 ounce jars for smaller servings.
BLUEBERRY FILLING INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp butter
4 c blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp water
1 c graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c butter, melted
1 1/4 c sugar, divided
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c milk
8 oz tub of Cool Whip
mason jars (see note above regarding sizes)
BLUEBERRY FILLING STEPS
- Melt the 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add in the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and pour into the pot.
- Lightly mash the blueberries with a hand held masher making sure to leave about half of the berries in tact.
- Bring the blueberry filling to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
- Cook the filling for 6–8 minutes stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat.
- While the blueberry filling is cooling, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 c of the sugar.
- Distribute the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of each jar saving a couple of spoonfuls for garnish.
- Using a hand held mixer, beat together the cream cheese and remaining cup of sugar until well combined. Gradually add in the milk until it is nice and creamy.
- Distribute the cream cheese filling among the jars. (I transferred my filling into a Ziploc bag, cut of the corner, and piped it into each jar.)
- Add a layer of the blueberry filling to each jar.
- Fill the rest of the jar with Cool Whip and sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs.
- Add lids if you will be transporting your dessert.
- Chill for at least one hour before serving.
Whenever you go to a BBQ there is typically the classic macaroni and potato salad. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE both of those dishes but with back-to-back BBQs throughout the summer I sometimes am looking for a way to mix things up a bit. This pea salad was a welcome addition to a BBQ I went to last weekend. It was very refreshing and light. There is a nice sweet flavor to this salad similar to a coleslaw. If you are looking for a tasty summer salad for lunch or dinner give this a try. You can have the whole thing thrown together in 5 minutes. You will find the hard part is just waiting for it to chill. The unique combination of flavors go together incredibly well. This is one of those salads that you may not quite be sure of, but once you give it a try you and your guests will keep going back for more of it.
Note: I made this a day ahead of time and it was awesome! Feel free to make it a day in advance if you need to.
12 oz bag frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 c peanuts
1/4 c green onions, chopped
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c craisins
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
- In a large mixing bowl combine sweet peas, peanuts, green onions, bacon pieces, and craisins.
- In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Recipe adapted from Sugar n’ Spice Gals.
In my office we all have a habit of bringing in various treats to share with each other throughout the year. (I know rough environment to be working in right?) Several years back we had an awesome (student assistant named Sarah. One day Sarah brought in this incredible orzo pesto pasta salad. I was in love! (With both Sarah and her pasta. Sarah was awesome.) She made her own pesto from scratch and I will not lie, I was impressed. This is the perfect summer salad. You have the seasonally fresh tomatoes and zucchini mixed with tangy vinegar and pesto giving it a wonderfully light and refreshing flavor. I make it several times of year and whenever I am generous enough to share with my friends I am asked for the recipe. It is definitely a favorite in our household. My son was even eating it by the bowlful when he was 1 1/2 years old. If you are looking for a tasty recipe for any summer cookouts or BBQs then search no further. This is perfect. While that little box of orzo may not look like much, it expands a great deal so this makes a very decent sized bowl of the tasty pasta salad.
Note: I save a couple of tablespoons of the feta and pine nuts to garnish the top of the salad with.
1 lb box of orzo pasta, uncooked
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise and then sliced
salt and pepper
4 oz feta cheese crumbles (see above note)
2 c pesto (make your own or get some from the market to save time)
3/4 c white vinegar
2 c cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 c pine nuts
- Cook orzo pasta per package instructions.
- While the orzo is cooking, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.
- Add zucchini and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the zucchini for 3–4 minutes just slightly cooking it and then remove from heat.
- Drain the orzo and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the feta and pesto stirring to combine.
- Drizzle the vinegar while stirring.
- Stir in the cooked zucchini, tomatoes, and pine nuts.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with extra feta and pine nuts if you saved any.
- Refrigerate for at least 2–3 hours before serving.
So I have this incredible friend named Brandy. We have many things in common. One of which is our fabulous taste in refreshing adult beverages. A few weeks back I was at her home for a summer birthday party, and she made this white wine sangria. It was incredible! I would define it as being the perfect summer drink. I have had red sangria before but found it to be a bit heavy for a warm summer day. (I’m more of a white wine gal anyways.) This could not be further from the traditional sangria. It is light and super refreshing. I decided to make Brandy’s recipe for 4th of July for my aunt who says she doesn’t like sangria. (She had a bad experience.) Well guess what, my aunt could not get enough. Who am I kidding? No one could get enough! We had the pitcher wiped out within an hour. It could have been the 100º+ day that had us drinking glasses hand over fist, but either way every drop was enjoyed. This is the perfect drink for a summer party or just a lazy day by the pool. And don’t forget to eat the fruit. That is one of the best parts! Gotta get in your vitamins.
Note: For the white wine I used Pomelo’s sauvignon blanc (one of my favorite summer wines). It has a nice refreshing grapefruit flavor. Anything with citrus notes will give you wonderful results. I recommend using a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. I actually bought two bottles and made ice cubes with one of them. This way rather than get watered down as the ice melted, the sangria just got better. 😉
750 ml bottle of sweet white wine (see above note)
2/3 c peach schnapps
1 peach, sliced
1 mango, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 1/2 c raspberries
2 c ginger ale
- In a large pitcher combine together the wine, peach schnapps, and all the fruit.
- Place the pitcher in the fridge and allow it to set overnight. (This step is not necessarily but it is highly recommended. Sitting overnight will allow the fruit to soak up some of the boozy goodness and allow the fruit flavors to infuse into the wine.)
- Add the ginger ale to the pitcher right before serving.
- Top off the pitcher with ice.
- Pour. Relax. Enjoy.
The 110º day in Sacramento a couple of weeks ago was a brutal reminder that the summer heat is in full swing! During the hot days I avoid using the oven whenever I can. I’d much rather send the hubby outside to operate the grill allowing me to enjoy a lazy evening. This is a quick and easy, flavor packed, and super refreshing salmon recipe, perfect for these warm summer nights. The salmon is seasoned with some of my favorite Mexican spices giving it a nice little oomph and the avocado salsa is cool and refreshing making this a perfectly balanced dish. It is light in calories and carbs, perfect for anyone looking for a great tasting and healthy meal.
2 lbs salmon filets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
AVOCADO SALSA INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 avocado, peeled, deseeded, and sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
1/4 yellow bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Pat the salmon dry and rub the meat side of the fish with the olive oil.
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and pepper.
- Season the meat side of the filet with seasoning mix and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the salmon is chilling make the avocado salsa by whisking together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, juice from 2 limes, and salt in a small bowl
- Combine the avocado, red onion, peppers, and cilantro in a medium bowl and pour the juice mixture over the salsa and gently stir to combine.
- Refrigerate avocado salsa until ready to serve.
- Preheat the grill to 325º.
- Grill the salmon for about 4–6 minutes per side or until desired doneness.
- Transfer the salmon to a cutting board and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Place the salmon steaks on plates and top with the avocado salsa.
Recipe adapted from Laylita’s Recipes.
I have always loved the idea of cheese balls, but have been turned off by the fake processed taste of the premade ones you get at the store. Well cheese balls seem to be redeeming themselves with all the creative gourmet versions popping up all over the place. I recently threw my husband a little birthday bbq and wanted an appetizer that could be prepared ahead of time and then just set out once the party started. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I knew it was exactly what I was looking for! My husband loves bacon, and of course loves the spice of jalapeños. (Don’t all men? Okay I guess vegetarians may be repulsed by the bacon but there are substitutes for that.) Once I had the bacon cooked and the jalapeños chopped this recipe came together in about 5 minutes. It was super quick and easy. A perfect recipe for any social events you may have coming up. By the end of the night I had several people asking for the recipe, which, in my mind, is a very good sign.
Note: This can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 c cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp green onions, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 jalapeños, deseeded, deveined, and finely chopped, divided
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
1/4 c pecans, chopped
- In a medium mixing bowl stir together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onions, garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Fold in half of the chopped jalapeños and half of the crumbled bacon until well blended.
- On a large plate combine the remaining jalapeños, remaining bacon, and the pecans and mix together.
- Using your hands shape the cream cheese mixture into a large even ball.
- Once you have formed the ball roll it in the pecan mixture until it is evenly coated.
- Place the finished cheese ball on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- Serve with your favorite crackers.
Recipe adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.