Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bacon Broccoli Salad

I hope y'all have been having as much fun this month as we have!  Since the 4th of July I have had family in town all the way from Seattle and we have been busy soaking up all Texas has to offer this summer - whew!  They're on their way back today {sniff} so I thought I would sit down and share a recipe with you that I made over the holiday because it was a Texas-sized hit at our gathering this year!

I became a fan of broccoli salad several years ago when I tried a sample at a tea room in town known for its lunch fare with a Texas twist.  Sadly, our local eatery closed last year and I have been dreaming of somehow re-creating that delicious flavor combination ever since!

I decided to give it a try for our family's 4th of July celebration, and with help from a little 'insider information' from a former employee and some guidance from the gals at the cooking counter in our local grocery, I think I've come pretty close!  So, here's my ode to The Texas Tea Room (may she rest in peace) and all it's tasty goodness!

Bacon Broccoli Salad

3 broccoli crowns, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 C roasted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (14 oz) bottle bacon vinaigrette dressing
1 C mayo

Combine broccoli, bacon, onion, sunflower seeds and cheese in large mixing bowl. Mix dressing and mayo together in separate bowl. Pour dressing mix over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 12 cups.

This is a Texas-sized recipe for sure, so you may want to cut it in half if you're not trying to feed a crowd.   The red onion and sharp cheddar cheese give this salad a real 'Texas' flavor, but you could substitute your favorite flavor of onion, cheese and seeds or nuts to give it your own twist!
This salad is dee-licious, and super simple to make.  And once you do, you'll be hooked!
Happy summer y'all!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Patriotic Pinwheel Cookies

Happy 4th of July y'all!
We are heading over to my brother's to celebrate with family and a few close friends today!  It's a potluck affair and for some reason I have been spending way too much time considering what to bring all week.
Since I still have littles at my house (a.k.a. picky eaters), I always try to bring at least one thing that I know they will eat.  And because it's summer and a holiday today, I decided that something would be cookies!
These pinwheel cookies are actually a Christmas tradition around our house and were featured in my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Series, so you can grab this recipe (and others - yum!) here.
To turn these 'Christmas Swirls' into 'Patriotic Pinwheels' I simply substituted blue food coloring for green in one of the layers and revved up the red while I was at it.  We also decided to roll a portion of the cookie log in red,white and blue sprinkles we had left over from the Texas Chocolate Crackles made for Girl Scout Thinking Day.  It was actually less messy than I expected and look pretty cute too!
Sheep wanted to add popsicle sticks to make them look like lollipops, which would have been super, duper cute by the way, but I decided it would be easier to serve (and faster to make) as is.  She's so creative though and it's got me thinking about what other colors and occasions we could bake them for . . .
Now that we've broken with tradition and pulled them out for the 4th of July, who knows how often these yummy sugar cookies will be showing up!
Wishing you a safe and fun-filled fourth today!
God Bless the U.S.A.