Happy July 4th Weekend!

July 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Fun weekend with family and friends.  We started our long weekend at The Hemmings’ pre-fireworks gathering and do they know how to throw a party!  I don’t know many people have a cotton candy maker on hand.


Along with the Cotton Candy (and snow cones- yes they also have a Snow Cone Maker!), we had a variety of yummy foods- Jen’s Italian Beef Sandwiches, Salads, Crudite of Veggies and Dip, Lorie’s Blueberry Cheese with Gorgonzola Crackers, and Matty’s homemade cupcakes!

I made two salads.  Found the Quinoa Salad on Pinterest and the Slaw on Goop.  The Quinoa Salad called for Tofu to mimic Feta Cheese- I skipped it and didn’t miss it.  In the Slaw, I used only Napa Cabbage because I had a HUGE bunch from the Farmer’s Market Organic Farmer.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed) + 1 and 3/4 cup water)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced (makes about 1 1/4 cup diced)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (makes 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 cup quarted cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (White or red onions work great.)
  • 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped, loosely packed)

Rinse and cook your quinoa, if you haven’t already. If it isn’t already room temperature, set it aside to cool while you chop/prepare your remaining ingredients. Otherwise, toss it in a large bowl.

Pour olive oil, lemon juice, and salt over the quinoa and tofu. Now, set it aside to marinade for about 10 minutes while you chop your remaining veggie.

Prepare all veggie/bean ingredients as listed above, and fold them into your quinoa and tofu mixture.

Check for salt. Serve cool.


Lee’s Asian Slaw

  • 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and finely grated
  • one 1″-piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon spicy toasted sesame oil (or more or less to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • coarse salt
  • 2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Whisk the garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar together in a bowl and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. This is a good time to cut up your vegetables if you haven’t already. Whisk the soy sauce, agave and sesame oil into the vinegar mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the cabbages, carrot, pepper and scallions together in a large bowl and toss with the dressing at the last minute, sprinkling the seeds on top.


And Matty’s Cupcakes were even better the next day with my homemade Strawberry Ice Cream


Bacon Cheddar Burgers

We had a traditional dinner from the grill on July 4th- Bacon Cheddar Burgers.  I found a really nice creamy white cheddar cheese and Niman Ranch Uncured Applewood Bacon along with our 100% Grass-Fed Beef.



And on Sunday… Local, pasture-raised, all pork, Nitrate-Free Brats with this amazing Kraut purchased through Irv and Shelly’s


I did end up whipping up a couple of things with my fresh Rhubarb and Blueberries.

Lemon-Blueberry Yoghurt Loaf

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I bought mine at Garden On The Run– Zoi Brand…delicious!!)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed

For the Lemon Syrup:

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
5. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
6. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.
Yields: 1-9×5 loaf Note:
This recipe will also yield about 12 standard muffins or 36 miniature muffins, baking time adjusted. It could be doubled and baked in a well-greased and floured bundt pan, baking time adjusted. This recipe could also be baked in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round, to create a thin cake (approx. 1 1/2 inches tall), baking time adjusted.


Rhubarb-Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

250g rhubarb, cut into pieces (fresh or frozen)
150g strawberries, hulled and halved (fresh or frozen)
1/2 juice of lemon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
small knob fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp manuca honey blend
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 cup organic plain yoghurt (Again I used Garden On The Run’s– Zoi Brand)

Place all ingredients except for the yoghurt in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until rhubarb has softened. Remove from heat and puree using a stab mixer or a food processor. Leave to cool.
Once cool,  turn on the ice cream maker, stir in the yoghurt,  and rhubarb mixture. I kept it in for 15 minutes.  Place in a container and freeze for a few hours.


And the kids insisted on S’mores to end the weekend.

IMG_9280 IMG_9277

Happy Birthday America!!





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