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Salt ‘n Squeeze Slaw

It’s the end of August and recipes that take minimal effort without generating heat are super handy. This “cool” recipe, found in the August issue of “Bon Appetit,” fits the bill. It’s possibly the simplest way I’ve ever seen to make a slaw-type salad. Think of this as a technique as much as anything – it’s intended to be a mix and match of vegetables according to your preference and/or vegetable availability. For instance, I’m showing a combination of radishes and cucumbers. However, other combinations work, such as Napa cabbage and cucumbers, or red cabbage and red onion. So far,

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Grape Tomato Mozzarella Salad

I love this time of year. It’s the time of the harvest and there’s such an abundance of fresh vegetables available. So many of these veggies can be purchased year-round but let’s face it, they taste best in season. For example, grape tomatoes, there’s a little extra sweetness in every bite. I bought them in bulk last week and snacked my way through in two days. This recipe has been heavily adapted from one of my America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, and it takes the grape tomato from snack to salad while still maintaining a “star of the show” status. The

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Green Smoothie

Before I get into the makings for the Green Smoothie, here’s a reminder close to my heart: I’m a former dog(s) owner and August 26 is National Dog Day. If you share your life with (wo)man’s best friend, give your lifelong pal(s) an extra treat today. It’s also the “dog days of summer,” signaling the beginning of the end of summer. A quick and nutritious and non-stove meal (aka smoothies) always comes in handy. Smoothies, in fact, are a “two-fer,” combining “deliciosity” and nutrition. Typically low in calories and fat, it’s the perfect remedy for a guilty conscience (Raise your

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Tuna and Bean Salad

I’m a big fan of tuna salad, but when I want something different and lighter, Tuna and Bean Salad is a great option. This is a modified version of one found on nytimes.com. It uses tuna and white beans to deliver a healthy protein boost. And, the dressing enhances a light lemon flavor without adding tons of calories. The result is a salad that’s less than 150 calories, for one serving. And that’s perfect for lunch. Especially if eaten with some salad greens. Feeling hungry? Just have it all! The whole bowl is still under 300 calories and if you

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Butterflies

I’ve been thinking for the last few years that I would like to make my  yard more butterfly-friendly. Last year I planted a butterfly bush which didn’t exactly “take off” but it seemed to establish pretty well. The polar vortex winter made me nervous about the survival of any newer plants. So I was very happy when the butterfly bush made it, and now it has beautiful, vibrant purple blooms. This morning’s visitor seems to agree! Any other butterfly fans out there? I’d love to hear what others do to attract our fluttery friends. p.s. anyone know what kind of

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Sweet Potato Salad

August 19 was National Potato Day so, of course, a potato dish is needed. Plus, it’s August so let’s think cool. As in potato salad! And let’s give that old saw a new twist by using sweet potatoes! Technically, sweet potatoes are distant relatives of the everyday potato visitors to your dinner table, the red and white “taters.” Sweet potatoes are root tubers found in the company of beets, carrots and turnips. Whereas “regular” potatoes are part of the nightshade family, who count tomatoes, eggplants and peppers as family members. As any respectable bar food denizen knows, sweet potatoes are

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Roasted Baby Potatoes

August 19 is National Potato Day and even though we are smack dab in the middle of August and therefore certain to be hot, I can’t resist sharing my favorite go-to hot recipe for potatoes. Is there anything better than roasted red potatoes, crispy on the outside and creamy-good inside? I think not.  They remind me of a cross between a baked potato and a French fry. Irresistible! Red potatoes work so well for roasting: In addition to that lovely skin (no peeling required), the potato itself has enough starchiness to roast well. For this batch, I purchased a supply

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Pineapple Kiss

As mentioned before, August 16 is National Rum Day so I thought I’d better post at least one recipe using rum. And this one is super simple. It’s another one of those recipes that started with a restaurant menu. I took note of the description and played with the proportions at home. The final combination was perfect: sweet and refreshing with mild tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut. Perfect for a hot summer day, like a pineapple-flavored kiss on the shores of Maui. Enjoy!

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Kahlua Mudslide

There are so many recipes for ice cream drinks that use Kahlua. Many use a combination of liqueurs, but I wanted to keep it simple. The following is called the “Applebee’s copycat” by some, which implies that Applebee’s invented it, but I can tell you for certain that I made this drink long before I heard of Applebee’s. You see, I was in college (I told you it was a long time ago) and my roommate’s boyfriend went to Mexico for spring break. He came back with many bottles of Kahlua. So, a blended drink seemed the perfect option. As

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Kahlua Chocolate Cake

with Chocolate-Kahlua Frosting August 16th is National Rum Day. Right about now you are probably thinking, “What kind of summer recipes use rum?” Well, actually, there is rum in Kahlua!! So, it totally counts! Kahlua is a sweet, coffee-flavored liqueur that hints at dark chocolate, at least to me. The drink that always come to mind for me is Kahlua and cream. If you think about it (after a couple of these) it’s just an adult glass of chocolate milk, right? Coffee is a popular additive to baked goods to enhance chocolate flavor, so this Kahlua chocolate cake (found at

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Frozen S’mores Pie

August 10 is National S’mores Day. Now THIS is a holiday I can really get behind! In case you were abducted by aliens for 100 years and don’t know what a S’more is, I will explain: a S’more (short for “some more”, as in I want some more) consists of a roasted marshmallow with a layer of chocolate bar sandwiched between two pieces of Graham cracker. Yum! The Girl Scouts are commonly credited with this campfire treat, but there is at least one other person, a Presbyterian minister, who contributed to the treat because of his moral crusade.* *Little known

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International Cat Day

Today is International Cat Day. Which apparently differs from National Cat Day, celebrated in October. Doesn’t matter, if you have a cat you know that they feel EVERY day is their day! My guy is celebrating at the Vet, getting a full dental. He doesn’t seem impressed with my venue choice.

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Frozen Banana Bites

When my granddaughter came to visit this summer, I was looking for fun frozen treats to make. I tried a few Popsicle recipes, but they drew mixed reviews. Then, I struck gold. Or, chocolate. And bananas. Yes! Frozen banana pops! A winner! These pops have the shortest ingredient list ever: bananas and chocolate chips. I got fancy and made half white-chocolate and half chocolate-chocolate, but that is strictly optional. Oh, and the googly eyes. Very important. They’re optional, of course, but really, who can resist watching a 3-year-old place googly eyes on edible objects? Not me! (Googly eyes can be

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Guacamole

July 31 was National Avocado Day and probably everyone was surprised that I did not publish a guacamole recipe. Well, I saved it because this week the NFL begins the first pre-season football games of the year. In this house, on football Sunday, we call chips and dip “lunch”. To kick off the pre-season, let’s start with Guacamole. Originally from Mexico, the word guacamole is derived from two words in the Aztec language: ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). So basically it is avocado sauce. We of course use it as a dip 😀 And it is a healthy dip! Formerly,

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Corn Tomato Avocado Salad

I’ve had today’s recipe on my radar for a long time. Finally, I tried it and my very first thought was – “Why did I wait so long?” followed by “How soon can I make this again?” It’s filled with the fresh flavors of just picked sweet corn and tomatoes paired with the creamy, healthy goodness of avocado. So easy and so amazingly delicious! Credit for this goes to skinnytaste.com Note: I have played a little with the proportions and find that I’m happiest with a bit more sweet corn so I bumped it up from the original 1 cup