Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blog Hop: Summer Salad Recipes

Regarding cooking, I have very few Martha Stewart moments.  I mean, I’m a cook of sorts.  It’s an activity I do daily, even doing it willingly and triumphantly 94% of the time.  But I cook with one purpose: to eat.  Period.  End of story.  No further discussion needed. 
Moving on. 
Therefore, taking photos of my food and posting them on this silly little blog of mine is not a practice that I regularly engage in.  For the exact same reason that I don’t post pictures of my abs. . .it just doesn’t paint me in the best light.
Honestly though, I used to think I was a pretty good cook.  Then my eyes were opened to the world of gourmet food bloggers and I realized that I was mediocre, at best.  But I try not to let it bother me.  And luckily my family is easy please - we get a kick out of Costco samples – so it doesn’t take a Pioneer Women to keep them feed. 
{P.S.  My husband is mostly clueless to the world of food blogs + their cookbook worthy photos of tonight’s gourmet dinner so he is still under the assumption that he married a good cook.  Please don’t inform him otherwise. Thankyouverymuch.}
Anyway, this blog post is not supposed to be an All-About-Kim’s-Cooking post, this post is labeled Blog Hop: Summer Salad Recipes.  So I guess I should ‘hop’ to it {sorry, I couldn’t resist}.

Miranda does a monthly Blog Hop on her blog and has asked me to take part this month.  The topic: Favorite Summer Salads.  To me summer salads mean family parties so I decided to post a salad that reminded me of each of my sisters.  Because I’m cool like that.  Err. . . something.  
Jessica//Strawberry Spinach Salad
Tidbit: Jessica makes this Strawberry Spinach Salad for a lot of our family get-togethers.  Well, this salad and about 100 other salads.  Jessica’s the oldest child, therefore always and forever the most responsible.  Plus, she’s a pleaser.  If I were hosting a family party at my house and asked Jessica to bring the entire meal, she would.  Without hesitation.  If ever there is a family party where we are all asked to bring a salad, Jeccica shows up with three.  Because she’s the big sister.  Plus, she’s a Home EC teacher.  So, duh.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp. paprika
1 tbs. sesame seeds
1/2 tbs. Poppy seeds  

1 bunch spinach
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup almonds

Directions: In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, strawberries and almonds. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Jami//Grandma Marilyn’s Baked Beans
Tidbit:  Jami’s a country cook, and a dang good one at that.  Comfort foods are her specialty.  And I think Paula Deen is her cooking idol. { Chime in, Jami.  Is that right?}  She lives by the cooking motto if it ain’t tasting right add more butter.  This baked bean recipe is my Grandma Marilyn’s and I can honestly say I don’t remember a summer family party where Grandma’s beans weren’t served.  Jami has become the unofficial baked bean maker in our immediate family.  And honestly, she’s a pro; they taste just like Grandma Marilyn’s.
photo via
Grandma Marilyn’s Baked Beans
4 cans pork and beans
1 can of tomato soup
2 lbs ground beef
1 diced onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 tbs. vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
Garlic salt to taste

Directions: Brown hamburger, celery, onion and garlic salt.  Add pork and beans and tomato soup.  Mix in vinegar and brown sugar, to taste.  Pour into a crock pot and simmer on low for several hours.  Serve.

Katie//Italian Pasta Salad
Tidbit:  Last December my sisters and I were in charge of Katie’s after wedding luncheon.  We decided on serving soups, salads and sandwich and when we ran the idea by Kate she had only one request: that I make this Italian Pasta Salad.  A bridezilla she was not.  I’d made the salad several years ago for a family party and had forgotten about it.  But since her request it has become my go to summer potluck salad.  It’s quick, travels well, and doesn’t wilt in the sun.  It’s easy to fancy up with some halved cherry tomatoes, red or green peppers or artichoke hearts, but since I was making this salad in honor of Kate I left it as minimal as possible.  She’s the kind of girl what orders her Subway sandwich with meat, cheese and a tiny bit of mayo.

Italian Pasta Salad

1 pound tri-color rotini pasta, cooked and drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1 cup pepperoni, cubed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup black olives, cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
Italian style salad dressing
Optional: red or green pepper, artichoke hearts, green onions

Directions:  In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, pepperoni, cheese, olives, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over pasta mixture to coat and toss.  Store, covered, in refrigerator.

Tidbit:  Marie’s my baby sister.  She’s nine.  Summer salads don’t really appeal to her.  I think fresh fruits and veggies are by far the best summer side dish and trump salads at any summer potluck.  Plus, it’s a way to make sure the pint size guests get fed.  Marie’s summer favorite is watermelon.  But really, whose isn’t?

Also blog hopping:


jillconyers said...

Watermelon is the best. Try it with a squeeze of lime! Followed closely by strawberries. The strawberry salad looks delicious!

Debbie said...

I love recipes that are "tried and true". I will take these over the fancy spanchy ones on the foodie blogs any day! Pasta salads (any way/shape/form) are my favorites.
thanks for sharing them.

The Kotlacova Cowgirl said...

It cracked me up the salads that describe your sisters, especially the one about Jami! I don't why but that one just made me laugh and i'm still smiling about it!!

Christina said...

Can't wait to try some of these recipes! And what a fun way to choose what to share!

Lindsey Lou said...

My new favorite salad is Grape Salad! It can't possibly be healthy for you, but I had it a wedding last weekend and man was it THE BEST. I will be making it this weekend for my class reunion, and maybe, just maybe, I will take a photo and share it on my blog too:) Thanks for your inspiration.

Jami said...

HAHA! Paula Deen is my hero ;)!!! Not really, but she is my kinda lady. She SOO doesnt care what people think of her when she licks her fingers after making whatever it is...This post really reminds me that we all need to get together again so we can eat all of this stuff! Im hungery!

Anonymous said...

Kim even a post about recipes is entertaining. You crack me up. Favorite line, "for the same reason I don't post a picture of my abs"


Kerry said...

You're my fave blogger I think! And boy do you have a lot of sisters! I love your humour oh and guess what? I don't like watermelon :)

Becca said...

that strawberry salad is the beez neez!!

kylee said...

that italian pasta is my faaaav. oh my heavens. every time i go to a homecoming or farewell talk i cross my fingers that they have it there.

Miranda said...

Ahh, Kim. You are the best. See how you came through with not one salad recipe but THREE delicious recipes AND a reminder that watermelon is the summer fruit of the Gods? I hate to say "I told you so" but...well, we'll just leave it at that.

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