Tag Archives: Drink

Some “getting ready for summer” recipes: Sausage Dogs, Fruit Salad, Key Lime Cheesecake and Frozen Mojitos

No surprise that summer makes me think about food.  Actually, every season makes me think about food, but that’s beside the point.  For summer, I like recipes that include elements that can be made ahead and are easy to double or triple for summertime sharing.  Here are four ideas to get you started with the season.

Dinner-worthy Sausage Dogs (can’t even believe I’m calling this a recipe!)
1.  Choose a kielbasa sausage link (or your fave) from the deli case, one such as Hillshire farms.  Cut into almost bun-length pieces, crosswise.  Slice each piece in half, lengthwise.
2.  Place in your favorite steak or pork marinade  (I like Allegro Creole).  Cover and refrigerate for a  couple hours or overnight.
3.  In a saute pan over medium heat, saute julienned red bell peppers and yellow onions in a little olive oil/butter mixture until softened and translucent; do not brown.  Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired.  (note:  by mixing butter and olive oil, the onions aren’t as likely to brown as when you use butter only).  Remove from heat and keep warm.
4.  On a preheated grill, grill sausages on both sides until charred marks appear and sausages are hot throughout.
5.  Serve on Pepperidge Farm Split-top Hot Dog buns with spicy brown mustard, relish, and sauteed vegetables.
You can make these and wrap in foil for a take-along meal.

Summer Fruit Salad
1. Cut your favorite  fruits (I like strawberries, mangoes, blueberries, honeydew melon, green grapes) into 1/2″ dice pieces.2.  Mix equal parts honey, fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, and orange juice.  Pour over salad, using enough to coat well but not pool underneath
3.  Stir in finely chopped fresh mint.  Chill.  For a yummy add-on, add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream that has some fresh lime zest mixed in.

The Key Lime Cheesecake is a little more challenging, but Drop Dead Delicious!!!! Worth the effort.

The Mojitos are my favorite “lake cocktail.”  I can bring on big grins with a pitcher of that!

Russian Tea… one of my favorite winter treats

Smell is a powerful thing.  There are certain smells that transport me back in time the instant they hit my nose.  One of the smells that reminds me of winter days in my mother’s kitchen is Russian Tea.  It was usually made on holidays, but occasionally my mother would create a pot of this magical brew on a regular winter day.  As a child, I thought there must be something very special and complicated about Russian Tea.  After all, anything that tasted like all the winter holidays swirled together had to be elusive, right?  Turns out, it’s pretty simple to make this soul-warming treat, so don’t wait for a special day on the calendar.  Make it just because it’s cold outside and you are in the mood for something yummy.  Bonus:  It makes your kitchen smell amazing!  I don’t know how long leftover tea lasts in the fridge because it never hangs around more than a day or so.  Just too good.

How about a Cable Car for tonight’s cocktail?

One of our favorite local restaurants is MJ’s Steak & Seafood on Dolley Madison Road in Greensboro.  The ever-changing menu is always creative and delicious.  We are some of those weird people that enjoy eating dinner in the bar.  Don’t ask me why, but the food is just better there.  Hubby and I can sit close beside each other without attracting giggles and stares, we usually meet interesting people, and it’s fun talking to the bartender.  I love trying out new cocktails and one night at MJ’s I had this drink called the Cable Car.  It was different and addictive!   The bartender said it was an old timey drink and tried to tell me how to make it. I think I remembered most of the main ingredients.  So, I went home and made a few versions until I found the proportions that I liked the best.  Here it is!  You gotta taste this one!  Even my sister who doesn’t like a lot of mixed drinks loves this.  Note:  I usually make a big batch of simple syrup and keep it in the fridge since it’s the base for quite a few of my favorite drinks.  To  make it, just combine equal parts sugar and water, heat on low and stir until the sugar dissolves and chill.
cable car