Cilantro Pasta Salad

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We slow smoked a couple of pork roasts and a brisket recently and needed something that would be light and slightly spicy to offset the delicious meat.  Thus was born the awesomeness that is Cilantro Pasta Salad.  We both love the Cilantro Ranch Dressing we get from Fresh and Easy.  It is the slightly spicy love child of ranch and green goddess salad dressings.  The result is the perfect salad dressing.

Toss warm pasta, dressing, sliced bell peppers. shredded cheese, and fresh pick cilantro together.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve with finely sliced green onions.  It is the perfect pasta salad for BBQ dinners, a light lunch, and a quick late night snack for those nights when it is just too hot to sleep.

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Drunk berries, breakfast and margaritas

A week ago I promised to post about the delicious concoction that is drunk berries but, life has a way of intervening in our best laid plans. Drunk berries are nothing complicated or mysterious, fresh berries, sugar, and bourbon. Clean the berries like normal, sugar to taste, and a healthy splash of bourbon. Place in the refrigerator for several hours to allow the sugar and bourbon to work their magic on the berries. The end result are berries that are slightly sweet, fresh tasting, and will keep for much longer without turning into moldy mush.

When I was just a wee thing, my favorite food in the world was pancakes. I would request them every morning for breakfast and then Mum and I would walk to Knott’s Berry Farm where I would feed the chickens. This was a daily ritual we both loved. I still love pancakes although I no longer eat them on a regular basis. I will admit that I am a pancake snob, I really only eat pancakes made by myself or Mum to this day.

When I made pancakes for breakfast last Sunday, I warmed the drunk berries and poured them over the fluffy stacks of pancakes. The drunk berries, the real maple syrup, and peppery bacon made for the perfect accompaniment to steaming, dark cups of coffee. Hubby and I started Sunday off on the right foot thanks for the drunk berries and pancakes.

The perfect Sunday breakfast was capped off with grapefruit margaritas. Nothing like fresh squeezed grapefruits and tequila to put the perfect drink together on a lovely summer evening.

Summer has officially arrived

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Happens every year, that overwhelming urge to eat sweet, succulent, juicy fruit until my insides explode and that desire smacked me in the face this week.  We were at Costco yesterday and came home with a car brimming with fruit.  Nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, grapefruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon all somehow managed to jump into the cart and sneak into  checkout lane.  Got home without any of the melons exploding from getting jostled during the ride home, something my husband always worries about but has never happened, and made room in the refrigerator.

When I opened the door of the refrigerator about ten minutes after I shut it to contemplate what I felt like making for dinner, the smell of fruit was overpowering and delicious.  We ordered pizza last night, lazy but it was simply to hot to cook after being out in the sun in the middle of the afternoon hen it’s over 100 in the shade here right now.  First thing this morning, I got up and decided to tackle the immediate “problems” in the refrigerator.

The first thing to be tackled were the berries, by far the most delicate of all the fruits and the most likely to spoil.  I dumped all of them into a sink of cold water and swished everyone around to rinse off the dirt and debris that might have decided to come along for the ride.  Blueberries and raspberries were then rescued and transferred to a colander by hand, and  impressively not a single one of them were bad or needed to be tossed.  I let those drain while I stemmed and sliced the strawberries.  I tossed all the berries in containers with a little sugar and a healthy splash of bourbon.   Two containers went immediately into the freezer because they will spoil before the two of us could eat them alone and the third container is in the refrigerator waiting for tonight when I make Drunk Berries Shortcake, pictures and recipes to follow tomorrow.

The melons were the next thing I tackled.  One of my favorite dishes in the the world is melon salad.  It’s not complicated, it isn’t fussy, it doesn’t care about perfect cuts, it’s just plain, simple, old fashioned good food.

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Cut and cleaned cantaloupe and honeydew are combined with juicy watermelon, tossed together and chilled.  It is the perfect breakfast dish with toast or yogurt,  It is ice cold when you come in from outside activities and need to recharge your batteries.  And tonight for dinner it will be served alongside grilled Andouille Sausage and fresh squeezed grapefruit margaritas to wash it all down with.