Cannellini Bean and Pasta Salad

We made some of those fantastic salmon patties tonight and decided to make a pasta salad to go along with.  The addition of cannellini beans, olives, and green onions made this a delicious side dish. Cannellini beans are one of my favorites; also known as white kidney beans they have a firm texture of a kidney bean and the coloring of a great northern bean. Either can be substituted if desired just keep in mind that great northern beans are a bit softer so add them near the end.

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  • 1 cup uncooked pasta
  • 1 can cannellini beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can sliced black olives – drained
  • 2 green onions – sliced
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir together.  Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Dipping Oil with toasted garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar

I’ve always enjoyed dipping oils in restaurants but had never tried my own version.  This was very good; I gently toasted the garlic to bring out a more flavor and used some fresh rosemary too. We had this with a crusty baguette and some fresh steamed broccoli.  I actually dipped some of the broccoli in too and it was oh so delicious!

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  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar

Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and 1 Tbs olive oil.  Cook until garlic is very lightly toasted; add rosemary, remove from heat, then stir in remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients.  Serve with bread for dipping.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Chicken and Pasta Salad with balsamic vinegar

Thought I would make a fast and easy lunch today with some leftover chicken and pasta.  The chicken was already seasoned so I didn’t add any additional spice.  Quick to throw together and best of all it made a couple of meals for me today.

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  • 1 cup cooked pasta
  • 1/3 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 1 green onion ~ sliced
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Mix together all ingredients and serve!  Doesn’t get much easier than that.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Window Cleaner ~ a non-food post today!

Ok, so this would be my first non-food post on this blog, but I got so busy cleaning today I didn’t take time to cook anything!  We had leftovers for lunch and breakfast and I took Charles out to dinner so I didn’t have to do anymore cleaning.  In any case I’ve found it’s impossible to find a good window cleaner; it seems like the fancier they get the more streaks I get.  I know using things like newspapers and coffee filters work, but oddly those are things I don’t readily keep around.  Newspapers will be used this winter to fire up the wood stove and Charles uses a Keurig brewer with a filter basket.  I however have a big old bag of shop towels that are  great for cleaning; virtually lint free and reusable! Anyway on to my recipe.  Most use more water than vinegar but I like a higher vinegar ratio for getting rid of heavy residue.  I don’t wash windows often so between the dust from this dry summer, my pets, rain spots and any other contaminates I have pretty dirty windows.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 – 2 Tbs dawn dish soap ~ other kinds may work too but I always use dawn

Combine in sprayer bottle shaking well before use.  I find this works really well;  I like to spray it on fairly heavily using one cloth to wash then after dry spray lightly one more time and wipe off using a clean towel. It will leave a vinegar smell around but vinegar is great for eliminating odors so after a few hours you will be left with only clean windows!

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Honey Jalapeno BBQ Sauce ~ Pork barbecue sandwiches

We are always experimenting with different barbecue sauces; I think this one that Charles made is a keeper.  He’s actually made it twice now.  It originally was created one evening a couple of weeks ago as he went to make bbq sauce only to find I had used all of our vinegar. We had the sauce with some fantastic pork that we’d smoked earlier in the week ~ with any luck I’ll share that recipe soon too.

Honey Jalapeno BBQ Sauce

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vinegar pickle juice from a jar of pickled jalapeno
  • 1 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup

Combine all ingredients except ketchup in sauce pan over medium heat; bring to simmer and reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes for flavors to release.  Add ketchup and heat through.  Serve hot or cold.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Lemon Broccoli

I bought some broccoli at the farmers market today …. in retrospect I should have known it wasn’t the best idea.   Broccoli doesn’t like this much heat and it’s been very hot.  It tends to get bitter and I am not a huge fan of bitter.  I did a little research on how to remedy this and combined the best ideas I could find.  I must agree that it worked.  I first blanched the broccoli with a little vinegar in the water … this probably did the job alone, but I decided I wanted a lemon butter seasoning so I went ahead with my plans.  It came out very well; I must confess I purchased this fresh from the farm I did have to remove a couple of worms … they happen; I’d much rather pick out pests than contend with pesticides.  After blanching I found the 2 rather easily.  Soaking in salt water before beginning also helps so make sure and wash and check your veggies thoroughly.

Lemon Broccoli

  • 12 o.z. fresh broccoli
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • juice of one lemon

Bring water and vinegar to boil.  Add broccoli and boil for 1 – 2 minutes.  Immediately drain and submerge in ice water for 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside until ready to cook.  In sauce pan melt butter, add lemon zest and lemon juice.  Cook broccoli 4 – 5 minutes until heated through.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly


Fresh Raspberry and Basil Salad Dressing

Just a quick post today of the salad dressing I made today.  Very good; quite a bit like the strawberry dressing I make.  I like the way the basil and raspberry work together. A nice creamy dressing for summer salads.

Fresh Raspberry and Basil Salad Dressing

  • 6 o.z. fresh raspberry
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

In blender combine all ingredients.  I just washed the basil leaves and let the blender do the work.  Adjust the salt and pepper as desired.  Strain through a sieve to remove raspberry seeds.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Fresh Basil Italian Pasta Salad

I do hope no one is getting sick of my fresh basil posts.  My herbs are growing like crazy (despite this dry, dry weather we are having) so I am trying out new things all of the time.  I seem to be on a bit of a basil kick, but it is so good!  I am addicted to the purple basil; it’s flavor is full but perfectly sweet.  I try to use a mix of the varieties when I make a recipe so any type will do.  I threw this together with some pasta I had left over from my past couple of recipes, and I couldn’t resist adding a few black olives for that tangy touch.

Fresh Basil Italian Pasta Salad

  • 2 – 3 ounces pasta
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 2 Tbs sliced black olives
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 green onion
  • salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Rinse and chill; drain well.  Prep basil by tossing with a little olive oil and slicing into thin strips ~ check out my fresh basil post for an easy technique.  Mix together pasta, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, basil, and olive.  Dice tomato and thinly slice green onion; add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Cucumbers and Onions ~ Refrigerator Pickles with a twist

This is one of my favorite summer salads.  I went by the farmers market today and one of the venders had some fresh cucumbers.  I couldn’t resist but make this combination.  Charles loves spicy food so the jalapeno was a great touch.  I don’t care to eat the jalapeno slices myself but I do enjoy the way the heat permeates through a bit and adds a nice flavor. I am sure I will post another variation or two by the time the summer is over but here is my first creation.

Cucumbers and Onions ~ Refrigerator Pickles with a twist

  • 4 small cucumbers
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium tomato or 4 – 5 cherry or plum tomato
  • 1 jalapeno if desired
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar ~ cider works well; today I used rice vinegar but choose your favorite

If desired peel cucumbers.  Slice cucumbers and onions; cut tomatoes into wedges and thinly slice jalapeno.

Mix sugar and vinegar and pour over cucumbers.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Strawberry and Cilantro Salad Dressing ~ Fat Free

Ok, so making a fat-free dressing isn’t my first intent but for some reason I am not a huge fan of all the oil that is in a true vinaigrette. While making a raspberry dressing the other day I grabbed my cooking olive oil vs. the extra virgin type; I was so disappointed when I tasted what was starting to be a super combination.  Ergo my oil-less dressing was created.  I often use just balsamic vinegar on my lettuce anyway so no oil just makes sense.  We enjoyed our tossed salad with romaine lettuce, locally grown radishes, tomato, carrot, and mushrooms.  We also added some avocado to our salads; it just seemed like a natural addition with the cilantro and lime.

Strawberry Cilantro Salad Dressing

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar  ~ I used rice vinegar for a milder taste
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In blender combine all ingredients. I strained my dressing through a metal sieve.  Some of the seeds still slip through and of course you lose a bit of the pepper and cilantro but it keeps most of the seeds at bay if you are sensitive or just don’t feel like contending with them in your teeth all day!

Enjoy ~ Kimberly