Rhubarb Lemonade

... is very good, but might not be for everyone. Responses have varied from "hot dam; hit me again!" to "I never asked you for that recipe, Charlie Brown". Either way, there's just one way to find out, and it's not that tricky to make.

1 quart diced rhubarb
1 quart water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice/concentrate
dice the rhubarb. (if you like, here's where you can set aside a few pieces of crisp rhubarb to float in the drink once it's made.) put the rest of the diced rhubarb and water in a big pot & bring to a boil. cut/reduce heat, cover, and simmer ~10 minutes until very tender.
strain off pretty pink juice. I run it all once through a colander, and then a 2nd time through cotton cheesecloth. put the colander in a big pot or bowl. pour in the rhubarb mixture. you can use a big spoon to mash it until the juice goes through the cheesecloth into the bowl. add sugar & lemon juice, stirring until dissolved. then add a little more water/ice to taste. cool and chill before serving.
a real-nice refreshing summer drink. as with most things, I usually like to double the batch.
posted by English

Greek Barley Salad

this delicious and unique side dish is good cold or at room temperature. it's perfect for potluck parties or dinner at home.

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup pearl barley
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into small pieces*
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
2 scallions, finely chopped including some of the green parts
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
fresh ground black pepper to taste

*tomatoes can be replaced by a red bell pepper (especially in winter months when good tomatoes are scarce)

1. combine water, barley and salt in a sauce pan. cover and bring to a boil over high heat. turn heat down to medium-low and simmer about 40 minutes until tender.
2. meanwhile prepare the remaining ingredients. whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and oregano together in a bowl.
3. transfer cooked barley into a large bowl and cool by stirring or refrigerating. pour lemon mixture over the cooled barley and toss to coat. add the tomatoes, olives, red onion, scallions, parsley and feta and toss again to combine. season with pepper and serve.

keep covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. toss again before serving.


Coconut Macaroons

truly tasty macaroons are few and far between. this recipe will not disappoint. using honey in place of granulated sugar intensifies the flavors and enhances the texture.

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup flour
3 cups finely shredded* coconut (unsweetened is best)

*process shredded coconut in blender one cup at a time to get a finely shredded coconut.

1. preheat oven to 325°. beat egg whites until white and very foamy. beat in salt, honey, vanilla and flour until well combined. gently stir in coconut with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.
2. drop tablespoons full of batter onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. tuck/press any straggling batter into the cookie to make a nice round cookie. bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, cool on a wire rack. makes ~ three dozen.

for a delightful variation (as seen above), dip cooled macaroons half way into melted chocolate (chocolate chips melted slowly over hot - but not boiling water). place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet and let cool for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.


Chocolate Frosting

You cannot lose with this frosting. It was in ms Living's April 2010 issue.

2 1/4 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
pinch teaspoon salt
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted (using a double boiler) and cooled
3/4 cups sour cream

Mix together confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Mix sugar mixture into cream mixture. Mix in melted and cooled chocolate. Then mix in sour cream. (I did this without an electric mixer and it worked just fine.)

The recipe for the frosting on the web is here (it's doubled). Recipe for the cake pictured is on the web here (it's doubled and is a little different than the magazine, instead use 3/4 cup warm water and 3 Tablespoons oil).


Asian Spinach Teriyaki Salad

This recipe serves 2 when the salad is the meal. It'd serve 6 as a side sal.

8 oz. Bowtie pasta, cooked
1 bag of fresh baby Spinach
1/2 cup sliced cashews or peanuts or almonds
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes
2 scallions, chopped

Other optional ingredients:
1 cooked and cut (or shredded) chicken breast
1 sm can mandarin oranges
10 sliced strawberries
1 sliced red bell pepper

1/2 Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/3 C. Teriyaki Sauce
2 Tbs. honey or sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger

1. Cook pasta according to directions. While pasta is cooking, mix dressing.
2. When pasta is done, rinse with cold water. Then allow pasta to marinate in dressing for 1 hour or more.
3. Cut and chop other ingredients as required.
4. Toss all ingredients together and enjoy.