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    Entries in summer (10)

    Friday
    Jun142013

    Couscous Salad

    I had a couscous salad once at a chic, hippie friendly restaurant in Utah.  (They had the most amazing pizza!)  When you hear couscous salad, you probably think of something savory like tabouli, but the one I had was sweet and fruity.  I’ve been meaning to make my own version ever since then, but somehow just never got around to it.  Until now. 

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 1 cup couscous
    • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
    • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
    • 2 Tablespoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon lime zest
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup almonds
    • ¼ cup dried blueberries 

    Wash your mint and remove the leaves from the stems.

    Chop.

    You’ll only need the zest from about half of a lime. 

    Make sure you only remove the green part. 

    Juice your lime (it might take more than one to get 2 Tablespoons).  Put the juice into a small bowl and add the honey, canola oil, and salt.  Feel free to use a different type of oil if you prefer.

    Whisk those together and add the zest and mint.  Stir them in and set that aside. 

    Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Remove it from the heat and pour in the couscous.  Stir, then put the lid on and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.  Yes, I said 5 minutes.  How awesome is anything that cooks in 5 minutes and requires on supervision?

    Use a fork to fluff the couscous. 

    Give the dressing another quick whisk and pour it over the top of the hot couscous. 

    Stir until all the little couscouses are coated. 

    Chop your almonds.  I actually just cut mine in half.  Put them into a dry pan over medium low heat.  Toss them around frequently and allow them to cook just until the barely start to brown. 

    I used dried blueberries, but I’m not sure how readily available they are if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, and most people certainly don’t have them on hand.  Feel free to substitute dried cranberries or, dare I say it, raisins.  Not only are raisins evil, but they’re extremely toxic for dogs, so they aren’t allowed in my house. 

    Add the toasted almonds and dried blueberries to the couscous. 

    Then just stir it all together and you have a fabulous couscous salad. 

    It can be served as is or chilled.  It’s the perfect side to take along to a barbecue because it can safely be out in the heat and will still be delicious. 

    What food qualifies as evil in your house? 

     

     

    Friday
    Aug122011

    Ice Tea Granita - Summer on a Spoon

    To me, nothing says summer like ice tea.  When I was little, Mom always had a big glass jug of it in the fridge, or out brewing in the sun.  Most people probably have childhood memories of drinking Kool-Aid or even lemonade, but not me.  Ice tea was always my favorite.  Sometimes Mom would make it with lemon, sometimes with mint and lime.  However she made it, I loved it, and still do.  So when I thought of making granita, it was only natural to use ice tea.  When I told Hubby about my idea, he pretty much thought it was lame and wouldn’t look good for my post.  Well, that only made me want to do it even more, of course. 

     

     

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    6 cups water
    ¾ cups sugar
    10 teabags
    1 lemon
    1 lime

     

     

     

     

    Bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat.  Remove it from the hot burner and add the teabags. 

    To make them easy to pull out, just drape the tags over the edges of the pan, just make sure they’re not touching any hot burners. 

    So, let’s talk tea.  As you can see, I used Lipton.  If you can find Newman’s Own, it is, in my book, the best there is for ice tea.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any at my local grocery store, and didn’t have time to order some. 

    That being said, Lipton will do.  I’ve found most fancy teas don’t make the best ice tea, but I’d stay away from generic brands, as well. 

    So, back to our tea.  It needs to steep for 5 minutes.  Set a timer, because if it steeps too long, it will become bitter.  During those 5 minutes, you should be able to juice your lemon and lime.

    I just have to rave about my juicer once more.  The first time I used it, I wasn’t sold, but I have really grown to love this thing. 

    I was able to get ½ cup of juice out of 1 lemon and 1 lime.  If your limes are small, you may need to use 2. 

    Back to our tea again.  After 5 minutes, remove the teabags.  It should be nice and dark.  We need strong flavors that will hold up during the freezing process. 

    Pour in your sugar and stir, stir, stir, until it is completely dissolved. 

    Now pour in the juice. 

    Stir once more and go relax for awhile.  It needs some time to cool down.  When it gets to the point that it no longer steams when you stir it, go ahead and pour it into a glass dish. 

    Don’t use a square pan, it’s not big enough.  Go with a 9x13.  Yes, I know I poured it into a square pan, but shortly after that, I realized it would have been much smarter to use a bigger pan because it would freeze faster and more evenly, and would also leave more room for what's to come.  Into the freezer it goes.  It’ll need several hours to freeze.  I actually left mine overnight. 

    When it’s completely solid, remove it from the freezer and begin scraping the surface with a fork. 

    Keep scraping until you have a nice pile of tea snow.

    Spoon it into a dish, and serve immediately.  You can leave it in the freezer in its solid form for a few days, but wait to scrape it until right before eating it. 

    So, what did Hubby say when he tried a bite of it this morning?  “That’s really good!”  Not sure which one I savor more… the ice tea granita, or the satisfaction of, once again, being smarter than Hubby thinks I am.