Showing posts with label cookout menu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookout menu. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Easiest Summer Salad Ever and Results of Favorite Cookout Foods Poll from Cleo Coyle




Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Have you ever wondered where the phrase "cool as a cucumber" came from? 

The inside of a cucumber is 20 degrees cooler than the outside. Too bad we can't claim the same advantage on these sweltering summer days! Marc and I do the next best thing, we eat them like crazy. 

Crunchy, cold cukes are supremely satisfying in summer. Their B vitamins make them a great pick-me-up food. They're also hydrating. And staying properly hydrated is a real health concern these days, not only in summer but year-round. 




Apparently, the Roman Emperor Tiberius insisted on cucumbers daily during summer and winter. The Romans used greenhouses to provide it for him every day of the yearBelow you'll find one of our favorite ways to put it on the table...


Cleo Coyle's
Cool as a Cucumber 
Summer Salad

If you like buttermilk Ranch dressing but never have buttermilk on hand and don't want to use bottled dressing, try this super-fast creamy, cool, and crunchy salad. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats and fish, making it a fantastic salad for summer cookouts. And speaking of cookouts, scroll down for the results of my Cookout Foods Poll that many of you took last week. May you eat with the joy of summer! 

~ Cleo


Yield: About 4 servings


Ingredients

2 medium to large chilled cucumbers
1 small red onion (or 1/2 a medium to large red onion)
3 (or so) tablespoons cold sour cream (*see my note)
Fresh dill 
Salt and pepper (to your taste)


* CLEO NOTE: You can substitute crema Mexicana or creme fraiche for this recipe, but do not use yogurt, which is too tangy. The sour cream provides a sweeter, creamier flavor that (combined with the dill) mimics a lovely buttermilk Ranch dressing, but without the fuss of lots of ingredients, including buying buttermilk, which some folks have told me they have trouble finding these days. I hope you enjoy it!

Directions: You can either peel the skin from the cucumbers or keep the skins on for extra fiber. (See a great use for cucumber skin in my tips below.) Cut the cucumbers into thin slices. Cut the red onion into thin slices. Toss both well with sour cream and the fresh dill. Salt and pepper to taste. White pepper (used sparingly) makes a pretty presentation. Garnish with a bit more fresh dill.




CLEO'S COOL 
CUCUMBER TIPS!



* SUNBURN SOOTHER

Use the skin of a cucumber to sooth your sunburn or skin irritations, the same way you would use aloe for sunburn. 





Cleo and her (home office) 
Cucumber Spa





* EASY, SOOTHING SPA TREATMENT - Place a slice over each eye. The cool feel of it is incredibly soothing, the scent is lovely, and the anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness.

* HANGOVER CURE - Because cucumbers have B vitamins and electrolytes, they can restore the nutrients you need during sleep. So if you've had a few too many cocktails, eat cucumbers before going to bed. By morning, the intensity of any hangover headache will be reduced.



Mr. Fellows appreciates 
the Hangover Cure.





* HEALTH BENEFITS: The fiber in cucumbers helps us eliminate toxins from our bodies. They relieve bad breath, help fight some forms of cancer, promote joint health, and reduce cholesterol. The potassium and magnesium also help regulate blood pressure, and cucumber juice has been found to be beneficial for diabetic patients (it contains a hormone needed by cells of the pancreas for producing insulin). Read more here.



And now...




CLEO's
SUMMER COOKOUTS 
POLL RESULTS!


As our blog follower "Jen" put it in the comments last week, "Nothing beats summer BBQs!!!"  Many of you had the same happy reactions to my poll.

You can see the original blog post and poll by clicking here. Now here are the final results of your voting...


What 4 items are a MUST 
for your summer cookouts?



Out of over 500 votes cast, 
you chose the following Top 4 foods...


#1 Burgers (beef, lamb, turkey, or veggie)

#2 Sweet Corn on the Cob

#3 Potato Salad

#4 Watermelon


And here is how you ranked 
the other foods in the poll...


(#5) Hot Dogs  (#6) Steak  (#7) BBQ Baked Beans 

(#8) Chicken (#9) Ribs (#10) Beer 

and finally (#11) S'mores 



* * *

Your "other" suggestions
for cookout foods included...

BRATS - Anne Lovell, Elaine Klingbiel, Deborah, and B.E. Sanderson all mentioned bratwursts. 

And Deborah added:  “…here in Ohio, we are big on grilling bratwurst. Hey, at least I didn't go with goetta - no one outside this area even knows what that is. :)”

TURKEY BRISKET IN THE SMOKER - Stephanie Jones said: “I like turkey or brisket in the smoker for the day, and those amazing aromas that trigger hunger. Also, a fruit skewer of whatever is in season…”

BRISKET AND PORK LOINS - Kitty said: "We love to put them on the back of the pit and let them smoke.”

Donna E had a great suggestion: “…one of our favorite grilled meals at home is chicken marinated in Italian dressing & then grilled.”

Grandma Cootie has a favorite, too: “…can't leave out my son's wonderful special baked potatoes. Slices and seasons them, cooks up a little crisp bacon to add while serving - yum. Everything is better on the grill.”

Helena Georgette likes to cook more than one meal on her grill. “My Santa Maria Tri Tip & Santa Maria Beans are very good for summer grilling.”

Joyce Tremel said: “…If I'd have had a fifth choice it might have been ham barbecues with Isaly's Chipped Ham.”





Cynthia E. Blain – “…we do love lobster steamed in a pot ON the grill along with plenty of steamer clams from Maine or Cape Cod and many times we do a Clam Boil with the potatoes, onions, Portuguese sausage or Kielbasa, along with the clams. Nothing like a real New England Clam Boil. We also make homemade clam chowder and clam fritters to go along with almost every cookout/BBQ….” (Wow! Count me in, Cynthia! - Cleo)


  

* * * 


And many of you 

shared lovely memories...




Dotty Kelley – “When I was a kid we used to summer on Cape Cod. There was a great farm stand on the way that sold the sweetest sweet corn ever. We always stopped there and bought dozens of ears for our first cookout. Great memories of family fun and summer grilling.”

PlumGaga – “…I'm a corn snob, so in an ideal world, the water would be put on to boil before the corn was picked from the garden. These days I reluctantly settle for the freshest from the farm stand.”

Ronna Lord - “…the potato salad is a definite must. It's my mom's recipe from years ago and everyone loves it and the memory of mom/Grammy/great Grammy!”

AnnMarie Green – “4th of July was like a big family reunion when I was growing up. It was the best picnic ever…and for dessert a cup of coffee with a plate full of cakes and cookies!”

Debra Carmichael – “We love grilling out…My husband is retired Army and even stationed in Alaska we cooked out in the winter.”


Carol Summers-Kolber – 

“My favorite cookout was the summer before my husband passed away. All the family was there and some of my adult kid's in-laws too. We cracked open a bottle of wine that my granddaughter had corked in her summer apprenticeship to a vineyard and toasted each other. My son-in-law did the grilling and we all contributed the side dishes. We ate outside under the huge maple tree in the backyard while various family pets chased each other and the younger kids around the yard. We all knew my husband did not have much time left because of his illness and it remains one of the best days of summer past.”



Thank you, Carol, and all of you for
sharing such beautiful memories!

XOXO  ~ Cleo


* * * 

Finally, the most 
important ingredient of all...

ANN*H – “The only thing I would add to this list is family and fun : )”

Connie Stein – “plus…swimming pool and family and friends…”

Diane Snow – “The most important ingredient is ‘Family and Friends’ (including the 4 leg variety)!”





Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.





To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 








Countdown to
Release!
 


Next Tuesday
August 5

The hardcover
bestseller comes to
paperback...


*Starred Review ~ Kirkus
"Top Pick" ~ RT Book Reviews
"A highly satisfying mystery" - PW


Billionaire Blend
A Coffeehouse Mystery

This culinary murder mystery features
more than 30 delicious recipes, including
secret "off the menu" coffee drinks.
Read (and eat) with joy!



***

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
amateur sleuth murder mysteries set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
14 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

Download a Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)
by 
click here.



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Monday, July 4, 2011

Panic Cupcakes

  Happy 4th of July!
Let freedom ring!





If you're like me and you had a very busy week, you're drinking your morning coffee or tea and wishing you had planned better.  Where did the weekend go?  And now you're supposed to bring a dish to a cookout or at least do something more than order in pizza.  

So today I'm offering some links to great barbecue recipes, sides, a luscious ice cream dessert, and a cupcake recipe that you can make with items you probably have in your fridge and pantry.  




Kale Salad
from Wendy Watson












IMG_5853

Southern-Style Potato Salad
from Riley Adams













Barley, Red Pepper, & Corn Salad, from Krista Davis














Barbecue and Blue, an entire barbecue dinner menu from Avery Aames









 


Coffee-Marinated Steak and menu suggestions from
Cleo Coyle

















Spatchcocked Chicken from Sheila Connolly













Luscious Mocha Ice Cream Torte from Mary Jane Maffini









Woohoo!  What a selection!  But let's say you're missing ingredients for most of those recipes.  Your family will go for hot dogs and burgers, but a quick dessert would be helpful.


You know those interviews where they say "name three things that are in your refrigerator right now?"  I love those!  Chances are that not everyone has cream cheese, or heavy cream, or lemons.  Maybe you do!  But I went with basics, hoping to offer a recipe that wouldn't force you to take a trip to the grocery store.  These are easy cupcakes to make and they are as vanilla as they come -- in the hope you'll have the ingredients on hand.  You can use any kind of milk.  I used nonfat because that's what I had.  Sugar, butter, flour, vanilla -- is it beginning to sound do-able?  This makes 12 yellow cupcakes with a cake type crumb. 
Vanilla Cupcakes


8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Optional: blueberries and/or strawberries


Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  If you don't have liners, butter and flour the cupcake pan.

Cream the butter with the sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the salt and baking powder and mix well.  Add the flour and milk, alternating them.  Add the vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

IF you have blueberries, poke one blueberry in the middle of each cupcake for fun.

Bake 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.





Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
8 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix together the butter, sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, and vanilla.  Add remaining milk one teaspoon at a time until you have reached a nice spreading consistency.  Frost the cooled cupcakes.

IF you have blueberries and/or strawberries and/or raspberries, use them to achieve a July 4th red, white, and blue look.  If you don't have berries, that's okay, too.  Place them on a blue and white plate, or line a plate or a basket with a red or blue napkin.  If you only have a couple of berries, that's okay, too.  Mix them up, some with berries, some without.  They'll look festive no matter what you do!