Did you know that I rarely eat dressing on salad. I am picky; I don't like dips, sauces, or really any condiments. I am usually satisfied eating my vegetables all natural, without being covered up with dressing.

With this salad, I would be equally happy eating it without the dressing, just pure vegetables but my children would probably disagree and then I guess it really wouldn't be considered a salad anymore, just a bowl of vegetables!

This is a great salad; the colors are stunning, its tasty and could easily be made the night before.

Corn and Asparagus Salad
Adapted from Paula Deen
Serves 8 (Paula says 4 but I think at least 8)

6 ears yellow corn, shucked
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
1 small red onion, diced small
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Note: I cut the recipe in half, except I used 4 ears of corn (as the photos show). I then cut that half of the salad dressing in half again and used even less sugar. Taste the dressing as you go until you get it right for your palate, most people will like it the way Paula has it written, I just prefer mine with less dressing and way less sugar.

Fill a large stock pot with water, salt and bring it to a boil. Place shucked corn in boiling water and blanch the corn for 3 minutes until bright yellow. Then toss the corn into an ice bath. In the same water used for blanching the corn, blanch the asparagus for 1 minute and toss into the ice bath. For the corn, once cooled, remove the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife...

and cut the asparagus into 1-inch angled sections. Place both the corn and then asparagus into a medium size bowl.

In another medium size bowl, mix together sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over corn and asparagus. Add the basil. Mix together well and chill or serve at room temperature.




I can't think of a more perfect drink for your 4th of July celebration.
Hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating with friends and family!

Strawberry Lemonade
Adapted slightly from Emeril Lagasse

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup fresh lemon juice, 5-6 lemons
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
2 cups cold sparkling water or club soda
Mint sprigs, garnish
Whole strawberries, garnish
Lemon slices, garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water and the sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
Add the lemon peel...

and lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Let cool completely.
Strain or simply pour into a clean pitcher. Add the remaining 2 cups of water.

My Little Helper...

In a blender, puree the pint of strawberries...

Add to the pitcher with lemon juice and stir well to combine...

and refrigerate until well chilled...

Add the sparkling water and stir well. Pour over glasses filled with ice and serve, garnished with mint and strawberries.

What I like to do is use pint glasses and fill each one with ice, thinly sliced lemon, mint leaf, sliced strawberry, fill to the top with strawberry lemonade and put the lid on. Use a large bucket, fill with ice and serve your strawberry lemonade pint glasses at a party. There is nothing better then opening a jar and immediately smelling the fresh mint with lemons and strawberries...hands down my favorite summertime drink.



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