Friday, March 11, 2011

Food For Thought

We have enjoyed sunshine all week.  All week.  And not the deceivingly icy sunshine, but that actual warm, toasty, "aaaahhhh" sunshine.  We are back to walking up to school to get the kids in the afternoon and I am enjoying the heart-pumping hill-climb with the double stroller and the feeling of being a bit glisteny when we roll up to the crosswalk.  I think spring has finally sprung and I'm happy!

In light of the promise of warmer weather, I thought that I would highlight a few iconic summer-time picnic foods over the next couple of weeks.  You know ... the power of positive thinking, "It will be spring.  It will be spring.  It will be spring."  Perhaps if we woo the season along with the promise of summer food, it will speed up the thawing process!

Anyway ... one of our favorite sides for summer bbq's and picnics is coleslaw.  It's quick.  It's easy.  And, it's tasty.  Without further ado ... I give you not ONE, but FOUR coleslaws to choose from.  Get ready to drool!

FYI:  To chop the cabbage, I like to run it through my food processor.  Cut the head in half and then each half into quarters.  Stand each quarter up and cut out the core.  Run each quarter through the food processor using the blade (not the grater) or chop it into thin slices with your chef knife.

FYI.2:  Not many pics this week ... sorry.  We were too busy eating to take pictures! :)

Traditional Coleslaw
(This recipe comes from my mom ... which means "it's a little of this and a little of that".)

1 head of cabbage, shredded
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
Olive Oil
Salt (I use Kosher.)
Ground pepper
Dill weed

Toss the cabbage and onion in a large bowl.  Splash about 1/4 cup of vinegar and drizzle about 1/4 cup of olive oil over the cabbage.  Give a generous pinch of salt, four good cranks on the pepper grinder and about 2 tsp of dill weed.  (You can always go back and add more later.)

Now, using your hands, scrunch the coleslaw and mix it all together well.  By using your hands, you will bruise the cabbage a bit and help the softening and marinading process to speed up.  Also the oil is good for your hands! :)  Refrigerate for several hours and let the flavors mingle.

Crunchy Cabbage Salad
(This recipe came from my friend Krystal at my bridal shower.)

1 head of cabbage, shredded
2 oz. slivered almonds, toasted
3 T. sesame seeds, toasted
2 packages of ramen noodles, chicken flavored

Flavor packets from ramen
3 T vinegar
1/2 cup oil
2 T sugar
Dash of pepper

Combine the cabbage, almonds, sesame seeds and broken up noodles.  Mix the dressing and drizzle over the salad.  Use your hands to mix the salad well.  I like to let this refrigerate for about an hour ... but not much longer or the noodles will be soft.  Not that it matters much ... this salad is really good the next day, mushy noodles and all!

See that little ramen noodle there? ... crunch! :)

Southwestern Slaw
(This recipe is from The Dinner Doctor, page 130.)

1 head of cabbage, shredded 
OR 16 oz package of coleslaw mix (super easy!!)
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 t. cumin
1/2 cup bottled ranch dressing
1 ripe avocado, cubed
Black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced

Toss this all together and gently stir.  This is one slaw that you don't want to use your hands, because you want to be gentle with the avocado.  Also ... don't be deceived by the small amount of ranch dress you will use.  As the cabbage softens, it releases some of its moisture and helps the dressing to coat all the salad.  The avocado will brown a bit, so be sure to make this just about an hour before serving.  This was a fresh twist to the typical coleslaw.

Little hidden bits of avocado-y goodness!

Macaroni Coleslaw
(This recipe came from Taste of Home Cookbook 2009 ... with a few tweaks.)

7 oz. macaroni noodles
16 oz. coleslaw mix
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
8 oz. water chestnuts, chopped

1 1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Combine the veggies in a large bowl.  Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well.  Refrigerate several hours.  Pretty simple!

What I like about this recipe is that you can choose to leave out the coleslaw mix if you don't care for cabbage and you can still have the slaw taste with the noodles instead.  We had this recently at a family gathering and it was devoured!


  1. I use to not be a fan of coleslaws but they have grown on me the older I have gotten. I may just have to try one of your recipes this summer...:)

    Thanks for stopping by from SITS...I am your newest follower.

  2. Wow! I'm so honored that my recipe
    made the list!

  3. I love the first two, and I don't like traditional coleslaw. I hadn't heard of the coleslaw mix before. The last salad we made recently was easy and delicious- kind of a cross between coleslaw and macaroni salad. I think I'll be making the one again!

  4. I love coleslaw! I will have to try these recipes :)

    Thank you for stopping by my blog yesterday!

  5. We are hosting a linky party THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS with "Everything GREEN for St. Patrick's Day". We would LOVE for you to link up this amazing recipe!

  6. Ooh the Southwestern Slaw sounds great! I will have to try it!

  7. I shared a cole slaw recipe at rook no.17 too ... I guess the onset of summer just begs for it... we r in the midst of one of the biggest heat waves in a while, i envy those of u still enjoying the last of winter ... i love the variations in your slaw recipes!

  8. Thanks for coming by and linking up to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS "everything green"! Each Monday is a new theme and on this Monday it will be CHOCOLATE... CHOCOLATE... and MORE CHOCOLATE. I hope you have a recipe to come link-up (or maybe this will inspire you to make something new this weekend). Hope to see ya Monday at THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!

  9. Morgan, you definitely have me thinking of Spring...long days outdoors in the sunshine and all the yummy foods! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes on "A Little Birdie Told Me..." I love Cole Slaw, but have never made it myself. I'm looking forward to trying your recipes, especially the Southwestern one!



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