My “Go To” Summer Salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

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One of my favorite things about summer is sitting outside with a cold bottle of Prosecco and this salad! It is inspired by a restaurant in Upstate NY, and I loved it so much, I created my own version. (P.S. It’s a big hit for summer get together’s!)

The salad includes:

Spring mix greens (or any greens are fine)

Red grapes cut in half

Carrots – rough chopped

Celery – rough chopped

Roasted red peppers

Pine nuts

Throw them in a bowl and toss with balsamic vinaigrette. (recipe below) It’s really that simple. *A not about the peppers. If I can’t find a jar of them without additives and preservatives I roast them myself. Just place the on a rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees turning every 10 minutes until they are “mushy.” Then (using tongs) place them in a paper bag to cool, and the skins will peel right off. Slice off the tops, scrape out the inside and cut them into strips for the salad.

For the dressing, mix:

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

a pinch of oregano, parsley &/or thyme.

Mix all ingredients together, and enjoy!

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Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glazed Country Ribs with Baked Chipotle Onion Rings Recipe

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I get thick country ribs in bundle packs from my local butcher. This is one of my favorite ways to make them. All you need are the ribs, a drizzle of olive oil (or canola, or whatever you have on hand) about a handful of brown sugar per rib, and a good splash of bourbon (plus a little extra for the chef.)

Here’s what you do:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium high. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and fry them for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown.

Then coat each rib with the bourbon (it’s not an exact science, pour enough to cover them.) Then sprinkle a generous handful of brown sugar on top. You may need to turn the heat down a little at this point. Cover the pan with a lid to let the sugar cook down, and add a little bourbon as needed when the drippings get thick and sticky. Flip them over and do the same to the other side, and let them cook until your meat thermometer says they have reached at least 160 degrees. (The USDA says 145 degrees is safe, but, I like to stick with 160 degrees. The bourbon will tenderize them so they won’t be tough to chew.)

For the rings:

2 large onions cut into thick strips

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder (look for aluminum free)

1 large egg

1 c milk (skim is fine)

1 3/4 c Panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp chipotle seasoning

1 tsp salt

A drizzle of olive (or pretty much any) oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and pour a heavy drizzle of oil onto a  large, rimmed cookie sheet.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and chipotle in a bowl. whisk the egg and milk in a separate bowl, and spread the panko out on a plate.

Coat the rings (a few at a time) in the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture (let the excess drip off) then into the panko.

Place the rings in a single layer onto the oiled cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. If you want to flip them half way through, go for it, but I find that is a lot of effort, and they still taste great if you don’t. Just watch them closely so they don’t burn.