Here are some of my favorite summertime side dishes, sure to please all of your family and friends!  Enjoy!!!

IMG_5277Asian Slaw

1 (12 ounce) package coleslaw mix (preferably an Asian blend)
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Ginger
½-1 teaspoon wasabi powder
¼ teaspoon Spice Islands® Garlic Powder
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Spice Islands® Sesame Seeds, lightly toasted*

Empty slaw mixture into a medium size mixing bowl and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine honey, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, wasabi powder and garlic power. Whisk until well blended. Slowly pour in oil, whisking continuously to emulsify dressing. Add sesame seeds and pour over greens. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight, if possible.

*To toast sesame seeds, place in a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat and toss until lightly golden.


Southern Style Barbecue Beans for a Crowd

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 1 ½ hours
Serves: 10-15 people

1 teaspoon Mazola® Corn Oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 fresh jalapenos, minced
2/3 cup Weber® Sweet “N Spicy BBQ Sauce
½ cup ketchup
½ cup water
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Minced Garlic
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Weber® Smokey Mesquite Seasoning
1 lb. cooked, shredded pulled pork
2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans
2 (15-ounce cannellini beans, drained
2 (15 ounce) black beans, drained
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilles, drained
½ lb. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a medium size skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos, cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except bacon), and toss until well blended. Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9” baking pan. Top mixture with a single layer of bacon pieces over the top. Bake 1 ½ hours, or until beans are bubbling and bacon is rendered (if desired, place under broiler for a minute or two for extra crispy bacon). Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve.  Freezes well!


Roasted Corn & Tomato Salad (recipe coming soon)


Bon Appetito!

Summertime Picnic Side Dishes

It’s that time of the year again folks…….I bet you never knew just HOW easy it is to “can your own tomatoes”.

I started canning tomatoes soon after Bob & I were married…(1977).  I always believed home grown tomatoes made a better sauce than any store bought can tomato on the market (yes, even the ones from Italy).  My family has NEVER had store bought sauce….

When I started canning,  their was really no easy way of canning tomatoes; you would purchase the tomatoes (or grow them), score the bottom of the tomato with a sharp knife and plunge the tomatoes into boiling hot water.  Once the tomato skin would break away you would then plunge the tomatoes into cold water (to stop the boiling), then skin them using your favorite knife.  This took hours, some times a couple of days.  I am happy to say that my family has helped in this process.

Years ago I came across the best tool ever……I have always loved having a vegetable garden, however it never produced as many tomatoes as I needed to get me through a year of homemade sauce. This tool is called Electric Tomato Press”. This tool changed my canning life!  I can now go to the farmers market, purchase 3-4 boxes of tomatoes, ($8-10 per box)  and with the help of my family have about 40-50 quarts “put up” in a couple of hours.  These “canned” tomatoes will last a couple of years.

Below you will find a video that Jen and I made several years ago, “Canning 101”.  I hope this encourages you to try this technique.  My family has fond memories over the past 30 some odd years of this fun family project.  Not only will you have the best sauce, but you will make the “best family memories”

Buon Appetito!