Classic Lemon Butter Sauce

Classic Lemon Butter Sauce Dinner Is ServedAfter a prolonged cold and dreary winter, we’re finally seeing some signs of Spring here in the Midwest.  A few days here and there with temperatures in the 50’s.  Chives peaking through the leaves in the garden.  Patio set has been uncovered and cleaned.  And most importantly, the Weber charcoal grill is back in action 🙂Chives Dinner Is Served

Right now we’re especially loving fresh fish from our local market on the grill with some mesquite chips and served with this classic and delightful Lemon Butter Sauce.  While sauce making may intimidate people, this one is incredibly simple.


Made with ingredients you likely have on hand (and don’t even tell me you don’t have a box of Old Bay® in your spice cabinet!).  We love the extra little kick it imparts along with a few dashes of Worcestershire.  Really makes this sauce stand out from the rest!  Also this is one recipe where it pays to splurge on high quality butter.  I am partial to the European butters like this Lurpak Danish Butter  (Plugrá Butter is another favorite brand).

Serve over any kind of grilled, roasted or poached fish or shellfish.  The cover photo features fresh grouper we grilled last night over mesquite charcoal.  Also a lovely finish for grilled chicken or vegetables.

The addition of the scallions is an ode to our favorite seafood restaurant on the planet: Captain Anderson’s in Panama City Beach, FL.  But other fresh herbs work equally well (parsley, chives, chervil and basil) and it’s fun to experiment.  Just make sure any time you add fresh, green herbs to an acidic sauce, add just before serving to keep them a vibrant green.

Until next time, eat well, be well and love lots

Dinner Is Served Signature


Classic Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated (See Note>)
  • 1 tsp Old Bay® seasoning
  • Few dashes Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Fine sea salt to taste

In a heavy non-aluminum saucepan, cook the garlic in butter over very low heat for 2 to 3 minutes (do not allow the butter to brown).  Whisk in the lemon juice, Old Bay® and a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce.  Stir in the sliced white part of the scallion only. Season with a few grinds of pepper and a pinch of sea salt.  Can be made up to an hour before serving. Cover and leave on the stove.  Reheat over very low heat, whisking to combine.

Spoon sauce over seafood, chicken or vegetables.  Garnish with sliced green part of the scallions.

Yields: About 1/2 cup of sauce

Note> Feel free to add or substitute other fresh herbs: parsley, basil, chives, chervil and cilantro are just a few to consider.  Because the acidity of the lemon can turn anything green to a dull drab color, I always recommend adding at the end, just before serving.


The BEST Cranberry-Cherry Sauce

The BEST Cranberry-Cherry Sauce - Dinner Is Served3When was the last time you raved about cranberry sauce?  Too often it’s an afterthought to the Thanksgiving meal.  Hosts feel obligated to include it but often do not put a lot of effort into it.  Well with just the minimal amount of effort and the addition of tart cherries, you can elevate this side sauce to new levels.  20171119_201227250_iOS

The entire sauce comes together in under 20 minutes and can be made several days in advance.  A pinch of cloves adds a nice depth to the flavor as well.

Remember too that cranberry sauce is not just for Thanksgiving! It makes a wonderful topping for warm, baked brie  or served alongside roast pork or a seared duck breast.  And of course with leftover turkey sandwiches!

If you’re not feeling the cherry thing, take a look at the other fantastic cranberry sauce recipe here on Dinner Is Served: Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pinot Noir

Happy food prep to one and all!The BEST Cranberry-Cherry Sauce - DInner Is Served1

The BEST Cranberry-Cherry Sauce*

  • 2 1/2 cups cherry cider, cherry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 8-ounce package dried tart cherries (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Bring juice to simmer in a heavy, large saucepan.  Add dried cherries and remove from heat. Let stand 8 minutes. Mix in sugar, then cranberries and cloves. Over medium-high heat, bring sauce to a boil.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst, about 9 minutes.  Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours (sauce will thicken). Can be prepared up to four days in advance.  Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

*Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

The BEST Cranberry-Cherry Sauce - Dinner Is Served2



Ann’s Essential Guacamole


Ann's Essential Guac - DInner Is ServedThis post is going to be fairly short since it’s a tandem recipe to another one I will be posting later today or tomorrow.  Bottom line though, it that guacamole is something everyone should at least try making from scratch. You’ll realize how easy it is to make and how FAR superior it is to any pre-packaged guac you buy at the grocery store.

Another advantage is that you can make it YOUR way.  You control the ingredients, the creaminess (or not), the amount of spice (or none).  There is really only one ingredient that’s a must: avocados.  The rest of the add-ins are up to you. Here are the ones I love:Ann's Essential Guac - DInner Is Served2

And since I like just a hint of spice, I add some Cholula Hot Sauce, starting with about 1/2 tsp and adding a little more, drop by drop, until it’s just right.

One final note before I jump right in. Finding avocados that are just the perfect ripeness is important.  Bright green, rock hard ones just won’t work. On the flip side, mushy and overripe ones will just make your guacamole mushy and sad.  Look for medium-ripe avocados, that yield just a bit, when pressed.


Ann’s Essential Guacamole

  • 3 medium ripe avocados
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 a white or red onion, diced (or you can use about 1/3 cup chopped green onions)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 2 small lines (about 1-2 TBS)
  • Cholula hot sauce
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Remove pit from avocados and scoop insides out into a large bowl along with the lime juice.  Mash with a fork (or a potato masher works), until desired consistency.  I prefer somewhat smooth, but with small pieces of solid avocado in act.  Gently fold in tomatoes, onions and cilantro along with about 1/2 tsp of the hot sauce, a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Taste for seasonings, adding additional hot sauce, lime juice or salt and pepper if desired.

Place in a glass or plastic container and place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the guacamole, pressing down to ensure no air bubbles (this step helps it keep it’s beautiful green color).  Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.


Creamy Buttermilk Dressing with Lime and Cilantro

Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing with Lime and Cilantro1With one child already starting school, and another starting in a week, I’m beginning to feel the emotional let down of summer’s end.  Then Labor Day up in Wisconsin and the quiet rite of summer passage: swim rafts being towed ashore for their winter storage.

Some years I beg for fall to come. Those years when Chicago bakes under the hot August sun and sucks every last bit of energy out of me.  Then, there are summers like this: a bit of a rocky start in June, but July and August, oh my. Only a handful of days in the 90+ range. Cool nights spent on the patio. Just enough rain to keep my garden lush.

Please can we just make it last a bit longer?

Or perhaps, I’ll just continue to cook like it’s summer. And fresh salads certainly bring summer into the kitchen and are deserving of the most refreshing dressing (SOMETHING NOT IN A BOTTLE!).  Which brings me to this cool buttermilk ranch dressing that I could literally eat with a spoon (not ashamed).

It begins with the simplest of ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand:IMAG1892

What takes this dressing to the next level though, is the lime/cilantro combination. Oh so good:IMAG1895

By the way, if you don’t have one of these fancy lime juicers  ^^, you’re missing out on one of the greatest kitchen gadgets that ever lived! Also note the custom Dinner Is Served cutting board (available online at Personalizationmall.Com  A birthday gift from my sister.

It all comes together so quickly and so easily. Just throw everything into the blender or food processor (my Ninja blender does a fantastic job).  The result is a cool, tangy dressing that can serve as a salad dressing or as a dip for fresh vegetables, chicken tenders or wings, poached shrimp. I know the phrase “the possibilities are endless” is overused but in this case it really does apply!Creamy Buttermilk Dressing with Lime and CilantroSo yes summer, I’m talking to YOU!  Even if you’re heading out of town soon, I can still imagine your presence in my kitchen each and every day.

Creamy Buttermilk Dressing with Lime and Cilantro

3/4 cups mayonnaise (either light or regular)

3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt

2 TBS fresh lime juice

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 TBS olive oil

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

2 TBS coarsely chopped fresh chives

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Yields: About 2 cups of dressing

Romaine Wedge Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing and Garlic-Parmesan Toasts

Romaine Wedge Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing and Garlic-Parmesan Toasts

How odd, yet not unlike me, to vividly remember my first experience with a wedge salad. It was 2003, our first time ever in Walt Disney World, a late night dinner after a very long day of travel. My children were running on excitement overload.

I just wanted a decent meal.

I promptly ordered the first item on the menu: an iceberg lettuce wedge salad with blue cheese dressing. I wasn’t sure how much a wedge of lettuce would thrill me but let me just say that salad..THAT SALAD! Cold and crunchy, draped in a rich creamy dressing. Forget about getting the Little Mermaid’s autograph, I had already found my magic at Disney World.

When BelGioioso asked me to create a special holiday salad using one or two of their cheeses, I knew a creamy gorgonzola dressing would take center stage. And what better way to showcase this dressing than serve it over a wedge of cold, crisp romaine lettuce.  The dressing I created features their CreamyGorg® which is a multi award winning creamy, gorgonzola cheese. Its richness provides the perfect counterpart to the chilled romaine lettuce, bright tomatoes and salty pancetta. An Italian twist on the iceberg wedge salad I first enjoyed years ago.

Romaine Wedge Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing and Garlic-Parmesan Toasts

Romaine Wedge Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing and Garlic-Parmesan Toasts

I also love a little toasty bread with my salads, but croutons don’t really work with the wedge concept. Instead, I decided on little garlic toasts featuring BelGioioso’s American Grana®. Seriously, I nearly devoured the entire batch before I could get a photo.

Romaine Wedge Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing and Garlic-Parmesan Toasts

This salad is perfect for holiday entertaining.  The presentation is unique and has that “wow” factor. All the elements of the salad can be made well in advance. Just assemble and serve on chilled plates.  Also, consider making a double batch of the dressing and serving it with fresh vegetables as an appetizer.

Like Disney World for the first time, it’s pure magic.


Romaine Wedge Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing and Garlic-Parmesan Toasts


½ cup BelGioiso® CreamyGorg® Cheese (Gorgonzola Dolce), rind removed

⅓ cup mayonnaise

⅓ cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)

⅓ cup buttermilk

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tsp white wine vinegar

Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper


2 medium heads of romaine lettuce

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

4 oz. diced pancetta

1 TBS finely chopped fresh chives

 Garlic Toasts

1 demi baguette (or ½ of a regular sized loaf)

4 TBS unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup grated BelGioioso® American Grana® (Extra Aged Parmesan Cheese)

1 small clove of garlic, minced

1 TBS chopped fresh parsley

Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

For dressing, place ⅓ cup of the gorgonzola cheese in a medium bowl (reserve remaining cheese to sprinkle on salad).  Mash with a fork until creamy. Add remaining ingredients. Using a wire whisk, blend ingredients until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For best results, let dressing chill overnight.

Brown pancetta in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to cool.

For salad, trim the leafy ends and stem off each head of lettuce. Remove any tough outer leaves and cut each head in half, lengthwise. Rinse under cool water and thoroughly dry. Wrap in paper towels and place in gallon, zipper bags, squeezing out excess air. Refrigerate for an hour or two until well chilled (lettuce will also stay fresh if stored like this for several days).

While lettuce is chilling, prepare garlic toasts. Preheat oven to 425°. Slice baguette on the diagonal into long, thin slices. Combine butter, Parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread butter mixture onto each slice of bread. Place, butter side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until just golden, about 5-6minutes. Remove and set aside.

To assemble salad, lay romaine hearts on a chilled serving platter or individual salad plates. Top with tomatoes and onions. Pour dressing over, then top with crumbled pancetta, the remainder of the gorgonzola cheese (crumbled), and the chopped chives. Serve with garlic toasts on the side.

Serves 4


  • The key to any wedge salad is to have all the ingredients well chilled and assembled just before serving. If possible, chill salad plates as well.
  • Pre-packaged romaine spears may also be used as well. Rinse and chill as described in the recipe.
  • To tame the bite of raw onions, let the slices soak in a bowl of ice water for about ten minutes. Drain and add to salad.
  • To lighten up the dressing a bit, substitute reduced fat mayonnaise and/or sour cream.
  • Dressing and salad ingredients can all be prepared ahead. For the toasts, the Garlic/Parmesan butter may be prepared up to a week in advance and stored in the refrigerator or frozen. Bring to room temperature before spreading on bread and baking.
  • The Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing makes a wonderful dip for fresh vegetables, crackers, chips or even Buffalo Wings. Feel free to add some fresh parsley or chives for color and even a pinch of cayenne pepper.


Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pinot Noir

Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pinot Noir| Dinner Is ServedAdmit it, you’re ready to change up Thanksgiving this year. Am I right? You’ve pinned hundreds of stuffing recipes onto your Thanksgiving Pinterest board, bookmarked all the fun, new ways to cook sweet potatoes in your cooking mags, and spent hours researching different brines.   There is pressure, of course, to stay the course. Not change a thing. Ever.  But this is the year it’s all going to change. Marshmallow yams and green bean casserole be damned, it’s the dawn of a new day!

OK, go ahead and laugh. I’m laughing myself. Why?  Because this is totally me almost every year! I talk the talk but when it comes down to making a big change, I relent just about every time. Part of sticking with the tried and true recipes is practical: big holidays aren’t always the best time for experimentation. I totally get that.  There’s comfort in tradition. “Nana’s Sage Dressing” brings back memories of Nana and that makes everyone happy.

So maybe you’re not ready to change everything, but how about one thing? Like that bland cranberry sauce that is more of an afterthought. Or worse yet, the jellied, can-shaped wonder.

This ginger cranberry sauce with pinot noir has quite a bit of intrigue thanks to the addition of fresh and crystallized ginger, sweet curry powder and pinch of Chinese Five-Spice powder.

Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pinot Noir | Dinner Is Served

This recipe also gives me a perfect excuse to bring home some of my favorite pinot from Trader Joes.  Added bonus: their VINTJS Pinot from Willamette Valley pairs beautifully with turkey and sides so stock up!

Trader Joe's VinTJ Pinot Noir

Of course you don’t have to stop at Thanksgiving with the cranberry sauce! This sauce is wonderful with turkey sandwiches or spread onto your English muffin. For a quick and festive holiday appetizer, spoon over some brie cheese and bake in the oven until soft and melty.

Interested in another one of my “tried and true” Thanksgiving recipes? Check out my post on THE perfect roasted turkey. I promise on a stack of cookbooks, this is a total winner (like the cranberry sauce).

Raising my glass of pinot to all the Thanksgiving cooks out there.  To making a change (and to leaving the rest as is)!

Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pinot Noir*

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups cranberries (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon sweet curry powder
  • Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries and fresh ginger; stir until cranberries begin to burst, about 3 minutes. Add wine and sugar; boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Add crystallized ginger, curry powder and five-spice powder. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill.) Serve sauce cold or, if desired, rewarm over low heat, stirring often.

Makes 2 1/2 cups of sauce

*recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Plum Sauce with Basil & Balsamic Vinegar

Plum Sauce with Basil & Balsamic Vinegar |  Dinner Is ServedYou may be wondering why I am posting a recipe for a just a sauce.  As in “Where is the rest of the meal? Have you lost your mind, Dinner Is Served?”  I swear on a stack of Julia Child cookbooks, there were many other things that went with this meal: grilled pork tenderloin (which was served with the plum sauce), jasmine rice and glazed carrots with agave nectar and garlic chives. Oh it was very beautiful and delicious and nutritious.

Unfortunately, I have no photos from that meal.

Chalk it up to the struggles of someone who works full time (like me) and blogs on his/her spare time.  Meaning nights and weekends.  Trust me, when it’s 7:30 at night and I’m tired and the family is starving, NO ONE is going to wait around for me to take photos!

Fortunately, I did snap some nice shots of the sauce alone.  Which honestly, it was the sauce that made the meal in the first place. So, assuming you all know how to season and grill a pork tenderloin or a pork chop (or lamb chop or chicken breast), then we can just get right to this lovely summer sauce which is made with just three ingredients and (bonus time here) FAT FREE!

We’ll start with some glorious plums, which happen to be at the peak of season right now:

Plum Balsamic Sauce with Basil | Dinner Is Served

MMmmmm…I have serious love of summer fruit:

Plum Balsamic Sauce with Basil | Dinner Is Served

Chop these beauties up and add a little balsamic vinegar:

Plum Balsamic Sauce with Basil | Dinner Is Served

Then simmer on the stove for about ten minutes until the plums have softened:

Plum Balsamic Sauce with Basil | DInner Is Served

Puree, strain, and toss in some chopped fresh basil, a little salt & pepper.  DONE!  And now the fun begins: what to serve this with?  I can think of many many things:

  • Grilled Pork tenderloin, pork & fruit kabobs, pork chops, ribs
  • Turkey burgers
  • Grilled chicken thighs
  • Grilled lamb chops
  • Cornish game hens
  • Roast duck breast
  • Broiled salmon

You’re going to have a ton of fun with this one, trust me.  Until we meet again… 🙂

Plum Sauce with Basil & Balsamic Vinegar

1 1/2 pounds ripe purple plums, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup shredded fresh basil

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, bring the plums and vinegar to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to moderately low. Cook the plums, stirring often, until tender, about ten minutes.

Puree the plum mixture in a food processor. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the puree into a nonreactive bowl. Stir in the basil, pepper, and salt.  Season to taste and let cool a bit before serving over your favorite grilled food.


Yields: About 2 cups sauce

Grilled Potato & Zucchini Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Grilled Potato & Zucchini Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette | Dinner Is ServedI appear to have a complete obsession with potatoes lately.  For the life of me, I can’t tell  you why they have been popping up here on my blog page with such regularity other than the fact that I have always loved potatoes and keep coming up with new and different ways to enjoy them!  I also love grilling summer vegetables, so it just seemed natural to bring these two together with some fresh herbs and a tangy mustard vinaigrette dressing.   I also wised up and FINALLY (after, what, 20+ years of serious cooking), purchased a gorgeous, stainless steel Weber® grill pan.  I can already tell we’re going to be best friends for life:

Grilled Potato & Zucchini Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette | Dinner Is Served

I also made a decent sized batch of my favorite Mustard Vinaigrette dressing using a nearly empty jar of TJ’s Dijon mustard.  Just add the ingredients to the jar (minus the mustard of course because it’s already in the jar) and give it a few good shakes.  This vinaigrette will keep for a good two weeks in the fridge and is perfect not only for salads, but grilled vegetables and as a marinade.

Food prep here is quick and silly simple.  Just par boil some potatoes for about 15 minutes

Grilled Potato & Zucchini Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Drain and while the potatoes are cooling, cut up some fresh summer zucchini, or any other kind of squash of your preference.  Toss with some olive oil, garlic salt and pepper:

Grilled Potato & Zucchini Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Cut up the cooled potatoes and repeat with the garlic salt, pepper and olive oil.  Then onto the grill it goes, until lightly charred.  Toss with just enough of the dressing to flavor the salad and serve immediately warm, or you can also serve at room temperature.

Grilled Potato & Zucchini Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Served this last night with a fabulous Red Wine & Coffee Marinated Sirloin Steak from Fine Cooking Magazine and a nice Cotes du Rhone from Trader Joes (2013 Laurent DuBlanc).  All in all, one fine meal.   I love you, potatoes and new grill pan.  BFF’s 4EVER ♥

Grilled Potato & Zucchini Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:

1 TBS Dijon mustard

3 TBS white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

1 medium garlic clove, crushed

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste

For the salad:

1 3/4 pounds of new potatoes, scrubbed

2 medium zucchini squash

Fresh herbs (basil, thyme, tarragon or parsley)

Garlic salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra Virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a glass jar.  Cover and shake until emulsified.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the potatoes in a sauce pan with cold water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until just barely tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cool water.  Set aside to cool.

While potatoes are cooling, slice zucchini crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces, then cut each piece in half.  Toss with some olive oil,  garlic salt and pepper.

Cut small potatoes in half or quarter if large.  In a separate bowl, toss with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill pan for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat.  When hot, add zucchini and potatoes.  Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 10 minutes.

Remove from grill and place in a serving bowl.  Toss with a few TBS of the vinaigrette and some fresh herbs.  Season with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately.  Or, cover loosely and serve at room temperature.


Serves 6

Lee’s Crisp Broccoli-Apple Slaw

Lee's Crisp Broccoli Apple Slaw

“I could eat coleslaw every day for the rest of my life and never get bored!”

Said no one ever.

Poor coleslaw.  It really is an after thought, isn’t it?  Something you feel obligated to serve with fried chicken, or on top of a bbq pork sandwich.  You’ll order it as a side dish, if offered, because eh…it’s better for you than fries, right?  Often drowning in a bland, watered down dressing and served unceremoniously in a flimsy little paper cup.  You take one obligatory bite, and that’s it.

I honestly have not given coleslaw much thought over the years, until recently, when a good friend of mine raved about a slaw her neighbor, Lee, made.  It had apples in it…hmmmm.  Lee graciously passed on the recipe to me, and it happened to fit in perfectly with a meal I was making that week.  I was immediately smitten.

Step aside average cabbage slaw and meet your competition:Lee's Crisp Broccoli Apple Slaw| Dinner Is Served

Couple things that I love about this slaw above the others: definitely the broccoli slaw mix itself.  If you can grab some in the organic section of your grocery store, that’s a win.  Trader Joe’s also carries an organic broccoli slaw, I am pretty sure.  Most mixes include some shredded carrots and others, a little shredded red cabbage.  The crisp texture and clean flavor is a refreshing change of pace.    Alone, it’s a nice mix, but kick it up with some chopped tart apples and a slighty sweet, tangy mayo dressing , and it’s a slaw game changer.20140413_153830

Whoah…hold the horses here.  Might that be fresh rosemary in the dressing?  Oh yes indeed and it’s the secret ingredient in this dressing.   Very tempted was I to leave this out, but I’m so glad I didn’t.   Blog worthy slaw? You betcha!

Thank you Lee.  This one’s a keeper!

Lee’s Crisp Broccoli-Apple Slaw

1- 12 oz package broccoli coleslaw mix

1 2/3 cups chopped tart apple, peeled (such as Granny Smith)

1/4 cup mayonnaise (regular or light)

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine slaw and apples in a large bowl, and toss well. Whisk mayonnaise, brown sugar, rosemary, vinegar and salt in a small bowl.  Combine with slaw/apple mix and gently toss.  Add a pinch of black pepper, if desired.  Cover and chill at least an hour before serving.  Yield: 8 servings – serving size is 1/3 cup.

Cilantro Lime Butter

Cilantro Lime Butter

To say that I have been busy/swamped/burning the candles at both ends these days, is a major understatement.  Aside from the usual back to school mayhem + work, we’re in the midst of college planning and applications for our daughter.  And since I can’t say “no” to anything, I agreed to be an assistant stage manager for a show at our local community theatre.  Throw yard work, laundry, etc. into the fray and well, you get the picture.

It is very tempting during times like this, to let the family meals go by the wayside.  And trust me, there are plenty of nights where take out food and frozen pizza is the name of the game, especially on week days.  But on weekends, I like to put together something a little special and still keep things simple.

Which brings me to this delightfully easy and flavorful Cilantro-Lime butter.  Just four ingredients, but add it to grilled fish, poultry or vegetables and it adds such a lovely touch of flavor.  Last night I put a little bit on some mesquite grilled swordfish.  In the past, I’ve used it on chicken kabobs, grilled corn on the cob, and even on roasted potatoes.   You can whip up a small little batch like this in under five minutes, or go for broke and make a larger batch to freeze for future use.

And now my yard, it is a calling.  Enjoy what’s left of the weekend my friends. I’ll be back in take-out land in no time!

Cilantro-Lime Butter

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.  To use,  place on any hot food, tent with foil so butter can melt, then serve.

Yields: About 2-3 servings