Summer salads ~ Easy and delicious carrot salad

The weather has been amazing so it has been hard to sit at a computer and write. If I had the photographic talent of others like Saltypalatte, I would be sharing pictures…but suffice it to say I have been drawn outdoors by that big beautiful spherical source of light and joy.


This is a time to put away warm comfort foods and bring on the salads!! I started this weekend with one of the easiest and most delicious… Carrot salad. Now this salad has three – yes I said three – ingredients. That’s it. Two of these ingredients my husband dislikes, but the combination is so yummy it even pleases him.

You need
~ carrots, shredded
~ raisins
~ mayonnaise

Yup. That’s it. Put the shredded carrots in a bowl, add raisins to taste. Barry likes quite a few, so probably 2 cups carrots to nearly a cup of raisins. (You can also use craisins instead.) Put a healthy dollop of mayonnaise on top and mix. Taste a little. If you want more mayo, add a little more.


The only ingredient Barry likes is raisins. But the mixture of flavored makes a light and tasty salad. And it gets my hubby to eat carrots. This is amazing!

There are so many tasty salads and it is only May!!

Try this one. You can even buy the carrots already shredded … Can’t get much easier!

Ok, back outside in the sunshine to … Enjoy!


Flavors of Spring ~ Catskill style

My brisket spent 24 hours swimming in flavor and marinating to perfection. I browned it nicely on each side and added chunks of carrot, celery, and onion. Now you can use the marinade but in this case I chose not to.  Why? It was predominately red wine and frankly I didn’t want purple veggies! LOL

So I covered the meat and veggies with beef broth and added a couple of bay leaves. Covered the Dutch oven and put the whole shebang in a 250 oven this morning about 10:30. Dinner is at 5:30. About halfway I will check it and flip the meat.

WIth veggies      image (2)

I also boiled potatoes to make my smash-roasted potatoes … sort of a twice baked idea. I boil the potatoes and cut a slit in the top of each. On a well-greased pan, I place the potatoes, take a potato masher and crush the top. Then I sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary (or your flavor of choice). They go back in the oven to be roasted in a very hot 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Watch them so they don’t burn though!!

I also prepared lentils to make later. We will talk about them tomorrow and I will post pictures of all the yummy foods.

It is not a lovely day today…rainy, dreary, and generally yuck! So a warm comfort food meal is just the ticket.

Until we talk again…enjoy!

Flavors of Spring ~ Cooking in the Catskills

So here in the Catskills, spring doesn’t always mean warm. Today is a glorious day, though. The sun is out. The birds are singing. The windows are open! Although the day will be comfortable and the heat is off now, the evening temp will still dip and become chilly. So soup again tonight for Barry. And today I have prepared a brisket for dinner tomorrow. Plan! Plan! Plan!

I looked at dozens of recipes for brisket. Of course I did! And though the southern Texas brisket with it’s BBQ sauce and chipotle seemed tempting, I opted for a sweet and savory type recipe. You know I didn’t use a recipe I found, but made my own from the tastes that Barry loves.

So. The beef is marinating in the fridge. 24 hours will make it ready to sieze up and then break down as I sloooooooooow cook it tomorrow. I kept it simple. First I took the meat and gave it a good rub with salt and garlic. For me I would have used pepper too, but hubby just isn’t a fan.

brisket rubbed

Now for the liquid. The flavors Barry enjoys include red wine (in cooking, he won’t drink it….go figure!), tomatoes, and for a touch of sweet, cherries. In a small saucepan I stared with about 1/2 cup of water and 2 tbsp of tomato paste. I dissolved the paste thoroughly and added 2 cups of a red wine. Then, in a sweet twist, I added about a half of a jar of cherry preserves. I know. Who would have thought it. No salt. No pepper. I did add some garlic powder. Bring to a quick boil and turn off, stirring constantly.

Now before pouring this over a cold piece of meat that you want to put in the fridge for 24 hours, make sure to cool it down. I put a few ice cubes in to speed the process. The cooled liquid, which of course I tasted, was then poured over the meat. Aluminum foil over the top, I placed it on the bottom shelf of the fridge. See you tomorrow morning!

brisket swimming in flavor

We will talk about putting it in the oven tomorrow. I prepared the carrots and celery. There will be onions in there too.

The promise of summer, with its salads and fresh yummy produce is right around the corner. But here in the Catskills, the lovely sunny cool days are a teaser. These nights still call for food that warms.

Going out to enjoy the sun and get my vitamin D. Enjoy!