Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette and Independence Day Festivities

Wow, it's July already! Time's been zipping by this year, faster than ever. July means hot summer weather and of course, fireworks. We had plenty of both yesterday when a bunch of us got together in my home to celebrate Independence day. The boys (young and old) excitedly indulged in their fascination with watching things light up on fire and explode while us gals sat back and chilled out on lawn chairs, occasionally twirling a sparkler here and there. Fun times, I tell ya!

Before the festivities outside, we had stuffed ourselves full of food. Of course we had barbecue! Fourth of July just wouldn't be complete without some good BBQ. GG brought some barbecued sweet chili ribs and some ice cream sandwiches. Our friend E brought japchae and I made barbecued sesame wings, grilled corn and a green salad with honey lemon vinaigrette.

The recipe for the lemon vinaigrette came from Giada De Laurentiis. Because I like my dressing with a little sweetness to it, I adapted it by adding some honey. I served it with a green salad of Romaine lettuce, arugula, thinly sliced cucumbers, dried cranberries, honey roasted pecans and crumbled Feta cheese. I thought it was divine but I think GG found the dressing to be a little too zesty. Literally. The recipe calls for lemon zest and it wasn't to her liking. If lemon zest is not your thing either, feel free to leave it out. I'm sure it would still taste great without it, just less intense.

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to share some pics from our outdoor festivities.

The boys hanging out with the doggies while waiting for the sun to go down completely. The sky was already smokey and had a reddish hue from the ongoing fireworks.

A gorgeous sunset.

This is Daisy, my 50 lb. mixed breed.

She got to hang with the neighbor's dogs who are big boys and are twice her size.
In this case, it was Dante, a hundred pound pooch.

And this is the other big boy Emmett. I love that he has one
brown eye and one blue eye. He loves trying to
invade our home with every chance he gets.

This is our mini fireworks show. We went through about 3 big boxes of fireworks and crackers. Our neighbor Mike taught us to prop them up on a ladder for a bigger and better show of light and explosions. He was right.

And the crowd favorite - sparklers!

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette
Makes about 2 cups. Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Blend the lemon juice, parsley, garlic, honey, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Salad of  romaine lettuce, arugula, cucumbers, dried
cranberries, honey roasted pecans and feta cheese.

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