Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category

Claremont Salad

I’m busy in the kitchen this morning, making tons of food for our family gathering tomorrow. Cousins from both the Philadelphia and Scranton area are coming up to visit with my Mom and we decided to turn it into a family party. Family party means lots and lots of wonderful food. One of the dishes my Mom wanted me to make is Claremont Salad. It’s a salad that I normally buy for her at Wegmans, but there is no way I can afford the massive amounts of salad from the deli to feed this crowd. So off I go on an internet search for the perfect recipe, and it had to be one that tasted as good or better than the salad that I purchase at Wegmans.

The salad needed to have cucumbers, peppers, carrots and red onion in it, even though I knew that I would in some way or another tweek the recipe, and I did. The recipe for Claremont Salad that I chose is one from allrecipes.com. My altered version is below, and mind you, I am giving you the proportions I used to make a HUGE amount of salad for our family gathering.

Claremont Salad

3-16 oz. bags finely shredded cabbage (or 1 large head of cabbage, shredded)
6 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 Bermuda onion, thinly sliced
6 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1-1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
8 tablespoons water
6 teaspoons salt

Combine the cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, celery and onion in a very large bowl. I used my food processor to thinly slice everything, got some rounds and then some long thin slices…makes an interesting look for the salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, oil, water and salt. Pour over the cabbage mixture. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. When serving, drain extra juices, or not if you like… and then totally ENJOY this wonderful salad!!

P.S. That small bowl of salad that I used to take the pictue…yum, yum in my tummy is goes!!

P.S.S. Edited to add, the salad was a big hit at the party. My cousins all asked for the recipe, and my Mom said it tasted better than Wegmans salad.

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I am just loving these summer vegetables. People have been bringing me lots of zucchini lately and I’ve been busy making lots of zukkie bread and freezing it for the winter months. Of course I’ve been eating some of it also…my hips are just loving it. Tonight I made these Zucchini Puffs. Normally I don’t measure anything, I just mix it up and look at the texture of the batter. I did a measure tonight so I would know that I was giving the correct measurements. OMG, they were delicious. I didn’t get around to making anything else for my dinner since I ate 6 of these delightful, yummy puffs.

BTW, the recipe below is a modified version of the recipe I sent into allrecipes.com back in 2001. I’m always tinkering with my recipes…

Zucchini Puffs

2 small zucchini squash, shredded (about 2 to 3 cups)
1 egg
1/2 large onion, shredded or finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 heaping teaspoon of the chopped garlic from the jar)
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
salt and ground black pepper to taste
oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, onion, and garlic. Blend in baking mix, salt and pepper.

Heat 1/2 inch of oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F or fry them in a fryin’ pan.

Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into hot oil, and fry until evenly brown and fluffy. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt before serving.

These puffs are like eatin’ heaven. I’m just sayin’…

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It was a yucky day here in upstate NY this past Saturday. Hot, very humid, oh so ungawdly humid and just the kind of day you don’t want to be outside sweatin’ your buns off. So I had me a “Me Day”. I watched some of the first season of Raising the Bar on DVD, while knitting on my shawl. I turned the channel to the Food Network and Claire Robinson came on the screen with her 5- ingredient fix for yummy beans; The three B’s; bacon, brown sugar and bourbon. I took the base recipe and added my own spin. Basically I added more brown sugar, mostly because I had a block of hardened sugar in my container so I tossed in the water and liquefied it, no wasting of sugar in this house. I also added onion, just because I could and because I love onions. I went with a full cup of bourbon because that is what was left in the bottle, and I don’t drink the stuff, I just use it for cooking. And instead of cooking the beans on the stove top, I threw them into my Crockpot before I went to bed last night and woke up this morning to a heavenly smell. My adaptation of the recipe follows. I had a couple tablespoons for breakfast this morning…oh my, are they delish!!

The 3 B’s Beans (Bacon, Brown Sugar and Bourbon)

1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight in a large bowl of water

1 ½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup stone-ground or spicy Dijon mustard

1 ¼ cups water

1 cup bourbon

4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1” pieces

1 medium onion, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Drain the beans and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, mustard, water, and bourbon until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this mixture and the beans into your Crockpot.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon and onions together until the onions are translucent, and the bacon has a nice brown on it. Put this mixture into the Crockpot and slow cook for 10-12 hours (I cooked the mixture for about 12 hours give or take an hour and the beans are nice and soft in a delicious thick sauce).

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You know summer is here when all those yummy summer salads start popping up on your menu. I’ve been making this recipe for ages, love the subtle taste of the honey, not too sweet, and it blends well with the vinegar and oil. I always try to keep a container of this salad in my fridge all summer long. There are nights that I don’t feel like dragging out the grill, or cooking in the house, so I just have me a nice bowl of Five-Bean Salad. Yum!!

Five-Bean Salad

1 – 14.5 oz. can Green Beans 

1 – 14.5 oz. can Wax Beans 

1 – 15 oz. can Lima Beans 

1 – 15.5 oz. can Garbanzo Beans 

1 – 15.5 oz. can Dark Red Kidney Beans

1 large onion 

½ cup wine vinegar 

½ cup canola oil 

2 tablespoons honey 

1 teaspoon salt 

½ teaspoon black pepper

Slice onion in half, then slice thinly. Drain green beans, wax beans. Drain and rinse lima, garbanzo, and red kidney beans. Place all beans in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over beans. Refrigerate and let flavors meld for at least 8 hours.

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