oklahoma

Recipes and Memories from a Happy Independence Day!

Today is the 4th of July! When I was growing up, it was always a big celebration. We would spend the whole day at the pool, then watch the fireworks at night. My mother, I’ve already told you, is an amazing cook. So, our table was always full of wonderful summer salads, meats, and (of course) Texas sheet cake. It wasn’t the 4th of July until my daddy started churning the ice cream. My mom always made peach ice cream, and my daddy would crank it by hand in a White Mountain ice cream maker. My nephews would fight over who was going to sit on top of the maker to hold it in place as the ice cream hardened. As I grew up, they entertained many people every year by the pool in our backyard. It has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I look forward to spending the time with my family every year.

This year, I’m keeping it small, sticking with my husband and two daughters here at home. My daughter, Katie, is a fabulous photographer, and stole the camera while she was napping on the porch and watching the clouds with Ed. My son is in Knoxville this holiday, marching in the parade with Congressman Duncan, one of the many great perks of his internship. I had to work this morning; I got to photograph two adorable babies, which was a great kickstart to the day for me! When I got home, I made an array of food. I felt like my mother. I prepared the potato salad differently this year. I’m so used to making it the “traditional” way, but since I’m on a health kick, I changed it up. The new recipe is just to die for!

I also decided that today, I am going to eat whatever I want. I decided on Sahlen’s hot dogs (all the way from Western New York). What would summer be without them? My husband goes to Buffalo every year to visit his family, and takes an empty cooler with him to fill with all of our Buffalo staples. His first stop is Johnny’s Meats on Hertel Avenue. It is the #1 butcher shop in Western New York, and their homemade Italian sausage is second to none. Ed fills the cooler with pounds of sausage and hot dogs.

Since my husband and I are from two different parts of the country, and we grew up celebrating holidays differently, we have had to learn to mesh our traditions together. So, Buffalo dogs and Oklahoma sweet corn and potato salad. I love living in our nation’s capital during the 4th of July. It makes me feel so patriotic! Below are the recipes for some of the delicious foods that we had in our celebration today. How did you spend the holiday?

PicMonkey Collage

Potato Salad
8 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped kale
1 zucchini
1 carrot
1 bulb of fennel
1/2 cup light mayo
1 tbsp horseradish mustard (I use Weber’s from Buffalo)
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup relish
1/2 tsp dill
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper

Cook the potatoes in water over the stove until almost soft. While potatoes are cooking, chop kale, onions, and fennel. With a box grater, grate your zucchini and carrot (using the thickest grate). Mix vegetables in a medium-sized bowl. In a small bowl, mix the mayo and next 6 ingredients. Once your potatoes have cooked, drain and let cool. Mix into vegetables, then pour the mayo dressing over the mixture. Fold together until well mixed. Chill for 4 hours or overnight.

Corn on the Cob
4 ears of corn
1/2 stick butter
fresh basil
rosemary
thyme
oregano

Melt the butter in a small bowl. Chop the herbs and stir into the butter. Spread over the corn so that each ear is evenly covered. Wrap in foil, and grill for 15 minutes.

Red, White, and Blue Cobbler
4 peaches
1 pint blueberries
3 apricots
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp flour
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 stick butter

Pre-heat oven to 350. Peel and cut your peaches and apricots. Mix in a medium bowl with the blueberries. Sprinkle sugar and next 4 ingredients over the fruit. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9×9 pan. In another medium bowl, mix 1 stick melted butter and the cake mix with the hazelnuts until well blended. Spread over the top of the fruit. Cook in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until fruit is bubbling over the cake mix. Let cool and enjoy (with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream…Perry’s is the best)!

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A Few Thoughts on Cool Summer Nights and Warm BBQ Chicken

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Tonight I changed a few things from Giada’s cookbook.  Sorry Giada and sorry Giada’s editors.  The recipe that I had chosen to create for this evening was sliced grilled tenderloin and citrus slaw from page 192 in Feel Good Food.  However, I decided to BBQ some chicken instead of the pork tender.  It’s not that I don’t love the juicy succulence of a pork tender; as a matter of fact, it is one of my favorite things! But, I was checking Facebook today and stumbled across Ree Drummond’s BBQ chicken.

Well, it got my mouth watering and my mind wondering.  Ree is from Oklahoma; I am from Oklahoma.  Ree is the wife of a rancher in Oklahoma who happens to be a relative of a good friend of mine.  Isn’t that how it always works?  We all know someone who knows someone.  I call these connections your red threads.  Anyway, Ree got me thinking of my daddy.  He was a farm boy during the depression in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  He grew up threw the war and went to college, then to med school at The University of Oklahoma.  He became one of Oklahoma City’s finest doctors.  Well, I like to brag and say he is one our countries best doctors, but he would tell me, “Now Molly Sue, you’ve gone too far.”

Not only was he a great doctor, but my daddy makes the best BBQ chicken this side of anywhere. As a matter of fact, the last time he went to visit my sister, she made him make it right there in Spring, Texas! Ree should have a taste of that deliciousness.  She would probably have him on her show! So, with my daddy in mind, I decided that I just had to make that for dinner. Still, I did stick in Giada’s slaw, and it was amazing.  As we took a bite of the chicken we scooped the slaw on the fork and the combination of flavors was a symphony in my mouth.  Giada hit this slaw out of the park. It will now become my go to summer slaw, especially when I hit the grill to BBQ the way my daddy taught me.