Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sally's Poppy Seed Cole Slaw

This recipe probably doesn't belong on this page because it is certainly not "diet" by any means but it is the best cole slaw you've ever eaten, I promise you that! Honestly, every time I serve this slaw people rave and beg me for the recipe which I'm more than happy to share. I wish I could take credit for it but it belongs to Nancy Gould's sister, Sally. Nancy ran Eldred Wheeler in Houston, Texas. It's name later changed to Gallery Americana but it's reputation stayed intact as the place to go to for authentic and unique Early American furnishings and decorations. Every 4th of July, when Houston was scorching hot and you could cut the humidity with a dull knife, Nancy would turn up the air conditions, put up the lights , decorate the tree, bring in artists from all over the country and throw a big Christmas party five months early. When I was creating whimsical wood sculpture, I was invited twice to display my Santas and it was the grandest event I've ever attended and so much fun. The two days spent greeting the patrons, who lined up for blocks down San Philipe so that they could be there as the doors opened in the morning and grab their favorite artist's wares before someone beat them to it, that was a thrill. The inside of the gallery was just amazing, the amount and quality of the art work on display with just as much in the attic storeroom waiting to replace a displayed piece that sold. The other artists, many of whom were old friends and others became friends during the three or four days we were there as did the people running the gallery, most of whom were in Nancy's family, her wonderful Mama and her Daddy, her husband Dickie and his Dad, her sister Sally and sister-in-law Nancy, and their friend, another Sally. There were others but time has erased their names from my memory along with the last names of all of the above except for Nancy, Dickie and his Dad but the memory of them and how sweet, wonderful and welcoming they always were to us remains forever in my memory and heart. The complete experience of Gallery Americana and the Christmas in July party is an experience I'll always cherish but perhaps my favorite part of the entire weekend was the time spent with Nancy and her family and the other artists at Nancy's home. She always threw the most marvelous welcome parties for us. Not only was her maid, Maria, the most amazing cook but so were Nancy and Dickie who made their contributions along with sister Sally and this fantastic and tasty slaw. Every time I make this slaw, people asks for seconds and thirds and every time I make this slaw I think of Sally and Nancy and all of their wonderful friends and family down in Huston. The Americana craze has died down and Gallery Americana has closed its doors. I think it is now a restaurant which is very fitting because stray business men use to show up at lunch time confused by the lunch laid out for family and staff and the ladies of Gallery Americana would always, with true Southern hospitality and grace, ask them to join them. Now, I will shut my mouth and still my typing fingers and give you the recipe you've been waiting for. :)

Sally's Poppy Seed Dressing

In a blender mix:

1/3 cup vinegar (I always use rice wine vinegar seasoned with garlic)
1 teaspoon mustard (any type will do although the brown or spicy changes up the flavor a bit)
1/3 onion
1/2 cup sugar (in a pinch, I've used other sugars but plain, ol' white is the best)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup salad oil (I once had to use olive oil because that was all I had on hand and the hay crew I was cooking for still raved about the slaw and ate the entire huge bowl but I have to say, stick with the salad oil because it is lighter and has a more delicate flavor.)

Pulse on high until well blended then add:
1 rounded teaspoon of poppy seeds and blend on low until the poppy seeds are well distributed. (We're talking seconds here so don't over do it.)

Pour over a bag of pre-made cole slaw or your own creation. That part doesn't matter because this is just delicious. I've used it on other salads as well. It's simply a great dressing.
To give you some idea of the former splender of Gallery Americana,
these photos show Nancy and Dickie in their new New Hampshire house
that they now call home.

a link to the original article in New Hampshire Home magazine where you can
 see even more photos of this beautiful home

Sunday, May 27, 2012

One Dish Meal...Chicken, Cream Cheese, Mushrooms and Broccoli

I came up with a delicious recipe tonight....even if I do say so myself, haha. Steve backs me up on it; he just kept saying, "This is very good!" The old proverb says, necessity is the mother of invention. So, I had  the necessity of a half a block of cream cheese and half a pack of chicken breast tenders (about six) left over from another recipe and both needed to be used. I lightly sprayed a casserole dish with oil. I pounded out the chicken until it was wafer thin (I covered it with parchment first just to keep down the mess) and layered it in the bottom of the casserole. Then I cut the half block of (low fat) cream cheese into cubes and put it in the blender with a little garlic powder, minced garlic and a basil and garlic herb blend and just a little chicken broth (maybe 1/4 cup.) I blended until it was smooth and then poured the mixture over the chicken. I topped that with about two cups of sliced mushrooms and broccoli florets. Then I mixed, by hand, some more minced garlic (but this was the type in a tube that you get at the grocery) with 1/4 cup olive oil and I poured that over the top of the mushrooms and broccoli. I baked it all, uncovered, in a 450 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Five minutes before the timer went off, I sprinkled some shredded cheese (cheddar/mozzarella mix) over the top and allowed it to melt. I served it with mashed potatoes. It was delicious. I wish I had photos to show you but maybe next time. We were both wolfing this down as soon as it hit our plates!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Drinking Song

I've been absent for a few days because I accidentally glutened myself. Not only did I have the usual and expected stomach pain but I also got the achy joints and burning, tingly, itchy skin with this "attack." Consequently, thanks to those last reactions, I haven't been sleeping well. I usually don't get over three hours sleep each night. I've been dragging around for days accomplishing little but yesterday, I really hit the wall. I ended up at the grocery store buying not only the Ibuprofen that I'd been out of for several weeks but also a sleep aid. I fell asleep within 30 minutes of taking the sleep aid and then Steve woke me up...aaargh. The sleep aid had the same effect on me that many cold and allergy medicines do, when I woke up, I felt hyper and nervous and possibly in more pain than I was before. I tossed and turned for a while and finally got up and took an Ibuprofen tablet. I worried about combining the two pills but by that point, I was past caring. I fell asleep in a few minutes and slept eight solid hours! Yahoo! So, today I actually believe my daily affirmation, this is a day full of possibilites!

I've begun reading Bob Harper's (trainer from the Biggest Loser TV show) book, The Skinny Rules. I'm only on the first chapter but I can already recommend this book for its content and wealth of information. The rules are meant to replace bad habits with good. The first rule, drink a large glass of water before every meal. Seems easy enough but it does so much. Not only will it help me to break my bad habit of thinking I need food to accompany every beverage I drink but it's also been proven that just drinking water will increase our body's burning of calories by 25%! That translates to about 3 pounds of fat loss a year. That may not seem like much but three pounds gone is three pounds gone and just from drinking water! He also suggests mixing up a large pitcher of water to go in your frig. Mine will be mixed with either cranberry juice (pure, slightly bitter but I've developed a taste for it) or lemon/limes. Bob also suggested adding a nutrient and mineral supplement called Electro-Mix. This will be perfect for Steve since he works out in the hot sun often and needs electrolytes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I hope to put up the recipe and photos of the Shrimp Stir Fry in homemade Peanut Sauce later today or tomorrow but until then, here is a wonderful article from Self magazine about the 10 foods that burn the most fat. I'm happy to say that all but one, lentils, are part of our diet and after reading what a nutritious punch lentils possess, I'm buying a bag the next time I'm at the grocery store.

Let the science sway you to eat up these proven pound melters, some of the brightest stars of SELF’s new book, The Drop 10 Diet. They take center stage in a never-hungry, eat-anything (yes, anything!) meal plan that helps you slim down without boredom or deprivation. (Try it for free on SELF.com!)


Slimming superpowers This fruit’s 4 to 5 grams of fiber not only are filling but also help ferry out some of the fat and calories you take in from other foods.
The amazing proof People who ate an apple 15 minutes before lunching on cheese tortellini consumed 187 fewer calories in total than those who snacked on nothing beforehand, a study from Penn State University in University Park determines. How about them apples?


Slimming superpowers These legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells.
The amazing proof When study participants enjoyed a meal with 5 g of RS—about what you get from 3/4 cup cooked lentils—they burned 23 percent more fat over 24 hours than when they had a meal without the starch, researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver say.

Sweet Potatoes

Slimming superpowers These spuds have RS, the same carbs found in lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating.
The amazing proof After a breakfast and a lunch containing RS, subjects ate about 10 percent fewer calories over the next 24 hours compared with when they had similar meals with a placebo, research from the University of Surrey indicates.


Slimming superpowers The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption.
The amazing proof After eight weeks, dieters who ate two eggs, toast and jelly for breakfast five days a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who had a same-calorie bagel breakfast without eggs, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.


Slimming superpowers The green soybeans supply 17 g of protein per cup, and your body torches more calories digesting protein than it does processing carbs and fat.
The amazing proof Researchers from the Federal University of Vi├žosa found that people burned about 70 more calories per day when their a.m. meal contained soy protein versus other types of protein. Cool beans!


Slimming superpowers A large kiwi has 84 milligrams of vitamin C—more than a day’s quota. C helps form carnitine, a compound that transports fat into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy during exercise.
The amazing proof People with low blood levels of C burned 10 percent less fat per pound of body weight while walking than did those with normal levels of C, a study at Arizona State University in Mesa shows. But when subjects got a dose of C, their fat burning increased fourfold.

Wild salmon

Slimming superpowers The fish’s omega-3 fatty acids could help you fight flabmore effectively. They alter the expression of certain genes, shifting your body to burn fat rather than store it.
The amazing proof In a study analyzing the diets of 35,000 women, published inPublic Health Nutrition, those subjects who ate oily fish such as salmon two to four times per week had the lowest basal metabolic indexes, a common measure of body fat.


Slimming superpowers Lowfat and nonfat Greek and regular yogurts contain 20 percent or more of your daily calcium needs. The mineral slows production of cortisol, a hormone that encourages belly-flab buildup.
The amazing proof People on a low-cal diet that included yogurt lost 81 percent more belly fat than those on a similar but no-yogurt plan, a study from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville concludes. This dairy is a must-do.


Slimming superpowers A complete protein, quinoa has all the essential amino acids needed to build metabolism-revving muscle.
The amazing proof Reduced-calorie dieters eating about 115 g of protein daily lost 22 percent more fat after four months than those who ate 70 g per day, The Journal of Nutrition reports.

Olive oil

Slimming superpowers Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage.
The amazing proof Dieters on a low-cal plan emphasizing monounsaturated fats, protein and complex carbs lost almost double the weight that dieters who ate the same calories but less total fat and protein and more carbs lost, a study in theArchives of Internal Medicine reveals.
To discover 20 more superfoods with incredible shrinking powers, order a copy of our hot-off-the-presses book, The Drop 10 Diet!

You Are What You Believe

I just started a book about the secrets of successful people who achieve their dreams and the first paragraph said just about the same thing we've been doing with those daily affirmations on DHC, you are what you believe you are. It's kind of like how it helps our souls to see the blessing in the hardship, the silver lining in that ol' gloomy cloud and to find something in every day to be grateful for (just being alive and able to see and enjoy the day is sometimes enough for me.) I've only been saying affirmations that I truly know I can do and actually convince myself of but today, I added another, "I am an athlete." I realize that this seems the farthest thing from the truth right now to look at this 56 year old, over weight and out of shape woman BUT I think I can become an athlete if I just convince myself first. Belief equals desire and desire is the first step in achieving any dream. So, I believe I can be an athlete, I can be fit and I can be a healthy weight and I can be overflowing with energy and wellbeing. Despite the fat, I've been blessed with good health, all of my "numbers" are good, so I need to stop abusing that gift, which it truly is, and start taking better care of myself and becoming that athlete. I'm not delusional, I'm not thinking I can enter the Olympics or even a local 10K (my knees can't hold up to running on pavement) but I will be an athlete in my own mind if I am fit, slim and active and enjoying daily exercise with ease.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Well, it's weigh-in day and I'm up two and a half pounds! Shocking as that amount is, I can't say that I'm surprised after nearly a week long binge on comfort and junk food. I'm back on the straight and narrow today. I'm starting my day with a blueberry/spinach/protein powder/cranberry juice shake with fresh strawberries and pineapple on the side. Tonight, it will be a stir fry of shrimp, broccoli, celery, onion and cabbage in a homemade peanut sauce. I actually enjoy the healthy foods more than the junk but for some reason that's hidden deep in my psyche, I still run straight for the junk when I'm emotionally stressed. Well, let's get this party started; this day is full of possibilities!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's odd how the daily challenges that I receive from Me and You, Health, seem to so often coincide with what's going on in my life. Today's challenge was to name two ways we have taken care of ourselves while we're caring for others. I thought of my friend Huston and how his children are now watching over him. I thought of the conversations I've had with his sweet daughter, Nancy, who keeps me informed on his condition and how we discussed what she might encounter in the months to come. I can tell her because I've been there myself.

When my dad was dying, my sister and I took care of him in shifts. I had the night shift since my hours were more flexible and she had a job she had to go to. There was a care giver with him during the week days and my sister took the weekend nights. I don't know about two ways since I had very little time for myself and I developed insomnia because every time I'd try to sleep at home, I'd think I heard my father calling and I'd jar awake. I also had another sister who resented the fact that I was helping the other sister with my dad's care....very long story that goes back to childhood and you don't want to hear...who insisted on calling every day to tell me that I didn't need to be doing this; she always woke me up and didn't seem to care despite the fact I kept telling her that I was up all night. Despite my other sister's protests, my attitude was, if I didn't do it, who would? My older sister had promised my mother that my dad wouldn't go into a nursing home after she passed. Whether it was a wise request or promise didn't matter to me at that moment in time, just that it was kept. So, I was sleep deprived, still working trying to prepare for an art show that would coincidentally take place two weeks after my dad's death, and still trying to maintain as normal a life as possible. The one thing that I did for myself was what probably allowed me to remain sane during that six months. My husband and I were avid bikers. Before the time I was taking care of my dad, we would mountain bike all weekend long and during the week, we took the mountain bikes to the road for a daily ride/workout. We couldn't do the weekends any longer since I couldn't be out of phone's reach and these were the days when only policemen and traveling salesmen carried cell phones and they were the size of walkie-talkies. But we still religiously did our daily ride even if it was nighttime and right before I was due to head toward my dad's house. When I was on that bike and flying down a hillside, I felt free. I was able to release all of the pent up tension. I didn't care if I was sleep deprived. I didn't think about the tension between my two sisters, my sister and my dad (they fought continually, she'd usually start a fight with him right before I arrived and I'd have to deal with my agitated father all night long), or my own history and relationship with my dad which was strained. All I thought about was how good it felt to top that hill and how wonderful and free I felt as the wind rushed by me and cooled my face on the ride down the other side. 

That is what exercise means to me and why it is so important to me to strive to get back in shape now. I'm not just making that effort to improve my physical health, although that is reason enough, but to aid my mental and emotional health as well. Exercise can be a release, it can be a comfort, it can almost be a refuge. I'm reminded now, how much I need all of that especially now.

My dear friend Huston had another stroke on Monday. I didn't find out about it until Tuesday afternoon. I don't know whether it was coincidence or not but I had the most overwhelming feeling of sadness wash over me on Monday. The feeling that I was drowning in grief, which actually was physically painful and smothering, only lasted a few minutes but the sadness has lingered for days and of course, increased after I heard the news about Huston.

I'm a comfort eater and I have to admit, although I didn't put a bit of it in my diet diary, that I didn't eat well at all yesterday. All day, I ate nothing but junkfood. It didn't really make me feel any better. In fact, it probably had the opposite effect of what I was going for but like alcohol, chocolate can give you temporary numbness to pain.

I finally realized something last night. Not only did I take a moment to be so grateful for Huston and our friendship but I also remembered how I'd grieved last November when he had his first stroke. Even though he was still alive, I thought that I would never have another conversation with him. But in the months since, we've had several wonderful conversations and on the first one, the first time I heard his voice again, it was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Just last week, I got to talk to him and he sounded more like his old-self, his pre-stroke self than I'd heard in months. What a blessing that was. Every conversation with him has brought me so much joy and I've been able to tell him what he means to me and what our friendship has added to my life. If last week was our last conversation, I will be thankful for it and cherish it for the rest of my days.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Doing the Math

Yesterday, I made an impromptu trip to the grocery after I discovered that I not only didn't have anything to make for dinner or breakfast but also nothing for a quickly approaching lunch since it was nearly 11AM when I had this epiphany. If I'd been the only one at home, I'd probably have managed to scrape up something but an unexpectedly rainy day during hay season, had Steve at home and hungry as well. So, off to the market I go with a list to fill my basket with only healthy vegetables and a few other staples. I did quite well at sticking to that plan although they were sold out of a few items I'd wanted...namely avocados and mangos for more of that wonderful salsa that is my new obsession and which I'm really wanting to try on top of fish. I made a fairly quick trip, too but not fast enough to hold off my hunger. As I rounded the last aisle to pick up Steve's favorite tortilla chip, I decided that I needed to grab a snack for the drive home. I wasn't going to be fooled by those high fat/high sugar granola bars again and as I turned around from Steve's chips, a gluten free sign caught my eye....Ruffles! Aaaah, an old favorite from childhood when I'd spend hours trying to bite off a chip even with the ridges.....what can I say, there wasn't a lot around to entertain a kid in 1960's East Tennessee. My growling stomach spoke up and said, "Come on, Sandy; what's the harm in a few little chips?" The "Loaded Chile and Cheese" written underneath "Ruffles Have Ridges" was enough to sell me on this harmless (so I thought) little snack.
Oh, that I'd read the label then instead of thirty minutes later when I brought my grocery filled truck to a stop in my own driveway. I'd started out savoring the delicious flavor of each chip because they really did taste like chile and cheese but by the time I reached home, I'd begun just to mindlessly munch on chip after chip after chip and I don't think I was tasting anything by that point. That is one advertising adage that is true, "NO one can eat just ONE!" So, I stop my truck and then reach for the bag, flipped it over to the Nutrition Facts, and I gasped. The first thing to catch my eye was the 10 grams of fat per serving and the second, the number of servings per bag....please note, half of the bag had disappeared into the caverns of my previously empty stomach by now......NINE. A serving size is one measly ounce, about eleven chips that contain 160 fat filled calories! Further examination of these "nutrition" facts show me that the second ingredient is vegetable oil. Aaah, at least I have the consolation of knowing that my harmless snack is cholesterol free and surprisingly high in nutrients. In that way, it has those so called "healthy" granola bars beat by a mile. The only problem, I only eat one of those deceptive granola bars at a time. I realized as I examined the contents of the horribly deflated bag that I'd just finished off at least four or more servings. Now, here's where it gets tricky because I miscalculated the total amount of calories in those servings at first because my math was off. The total for the entire bag was 1440 calories, 810 of those being fat calories from 90 grams of fat, 9 grams saturated fat. In my panicked mind, I came up with a much higher total as I sat there also calculating just how much effort I'd put into my small loss on the scale this week. I'd been so proud of myself because I'd pulled on a pair of jeans straight out of the dryer that had been cut off your breath tight just a few weeks ago and they were baggy on me. I'm sure that the baggy look in jeans was not an attractive one on my overweight and aging frame but I wore those jeans with my head high, a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. Now, sitting there watching the rain cascade down the windshield, I could almost feel my body expanding. After I calmed down and recalculated, I realized that the damage wasn't as severe as I'd first thought but it was probably still enough to erase any progress I made this past week. To lose a pound of fat, you must have a deficit of 3500 calories. I'd done such a great job all week long planning a nutritious and filling meal plan that stayed under 1300 calories each day. I'd also begun to fitness walk again and although I was only burning about 300 calories per walk, I was already beginning to feel the benefit in increased energy and looser pants along with a few happily aching muscles. I watched all of that effort and progress wash away with the rain as I contemplated my impulsive binge. Really, I doubt it could be called a binge since I wasn't about to burst at the seams; in fact, I was still hungry and anticipating the lunch I was about to share with Steve. Oh, well, live and learn. The food diary has taught me another valuable lesson, always read the nutrition labels before I buy and eat, not afterwards. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Every morning when I wake up, I say a prayer of gratitude before I get out of bed. This morning, I caught myself saying my affirmations(I have a pact with several of my DHC buddies to say positive affirmations to ourselves every morning.) Whether it is the affirmations or not, I'm finding myself working more toward my goals in the last week than I have in months...even years! My life is starting to change for the better and through my own efforts.I must be starting to believe those positive words because I woke up not only thinking about them but about all of the possibilities in this beautiful day! Just waking thinking of possibilities instead of obstacles and problems is a blessing! I am strong, I am fearless, I am enthusiastic, I am creative, I am energetic, and I am capable and I will have a wonderful and productive day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Homemade Tortillas


I don't really measure any of the ingredients when I make tortillas. Here I used about 1 cup of Masa flour and drizzled it with grapeseed oil (I would guess 1-2 Tablespoons.)


Add 1teaspoon salt, corn (either cut off of the cob or a well drained canned corn) and water (start with one cup), mix with your hands and keep adding water and mixing until the mixture begins to "clean" the sides of the bowl.
Shape into a golf ball sized ball and place between parchment paper which you've oiled with a bit of grapeseed oil. Fold the parchement to cover the ball and then place a flat object on top and press. I use a cutting board as my press. Peel the parchment paper back and flip the tortilla over onto your palm and then into the preheated dry pan. Cook on both sides until the surface is "lumpy" and begins to brown (see photo below.) 

Serve with mango salsa:
1 mango chopped
1 avocado mashed
3 Roma tomatoes chopped
3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Large Onion
Juice of one Lime
Bunch of Cilantro chopped
1teaspoon Salt
1 Jalapeno Pepper Chopped
1 can RoTel Tomatoes and Peppers well drained

Mix all together and chill for an hour

Big Fat Secret

total calories: 792

This is some of what I ate 
This is exactly what I ate 

  1 cup blue berries
  1 fl oz coffee
  medium grapefruit
  1 serving steel cut oats
  1/2 serving walnuts

  medium banana
  1 cup blueberries
  1 serving R.W. Knudsen Just Cranberry
  1 cup spinach
  1 serving whey protein

Above is my diet diary from http://www.fatsecret.com/ , Fat Secret. It's a wonderful website and it provides diet and exercise diaries as well as a journal, recipes, information and tips, challenges and community support.....and it's FREE:). I'm just posting breakfast and lunch because I was good for those two meals. Tonight, I'm fixing homemade tortillas again so I plan to be downright wicked...heehee.

I do hope to take photos of the tortilla prep and post them and the recipe later today. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Made the Mango Salsa for dinner tonight and it was beyond good, it was amazing! I said that I wanted to rename it HOT DAMN! Salsa because it is that good. I set it on the kitchen counter so that Steve could eat it with chips while I finished cooking dinner and he kept being in my way because he refused to move away from the bowl. I've never had him say that he liked something I'd made that often or as adamantly as he did about this dish. I also made homemade tortillas to go with it (I know, not low fat or low calorie but they were delicious:) and that was like a match made in heaven. My tastebuds were doing a happy dance.:)

Whoot Whoot!

Last night, I went for my first walk since hurting my ankle in March and I wasn't expecting my path around the pasture and hayfield to be grown up like a jungle with briars, weeds and waist high grass. It was a disaster but.....I went for another walk tonight and instead of pushing through the brush, I got wise and walked around the riding arena Steve is building me. There's no fencing yet and it's just a large, flat rectangle. I also made a figure 8 around the area he's flattened for a barn so that was more interest. I thought it would be boring but it wasn't because I kept pushing to beat my pace. And here is the exciting news.....drum roll pleeeease.......I managed to maintain a 15 minute mile pace for several laps and averaged a 17.5 min. mile for the two miles I walked. For an old, fat, out of shape lady, I think that's pretty darn good and I'm proud of myself! Yey!!
If you're looking for a healthy cocktail, this looks divine!

Strawberry Basil Sangria
from treehugger.comsangria
½ lb of fresh strawberries
1 apple
1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
1 bottle of Cline Cellar's Cool Climate Chardonnay
½ cup organic sugar
1 cup of club soda

1 cup of white grape juice

1. Trim and thinly slice the strawberries.
2. Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.
3. Score the basil leaves with a fork (instead of cutting the leaves into strips as you do not want guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink). Simply just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
4. Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You'll see it turn a bit red.
5. Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.
For tonight....if it lasts that long; I'm getting hungry just looking at the photo and reading the recipe.
Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa
recipe image
Submitted By: FHIVESHOT
Photo By: WeirdAuntMartha
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Servings: 6

"Looking for a refreshing salsa for a warm summer evening? This is our favorite. Serve with tortilla chips. This is also fantastic served on white fish. I often use a canned jalapeno instead of fresh."
1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can RoTel Tomatoes/peppers drained
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. Stir in the salt, lime juice, red onion, and olive oil. To blend the flavors, refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.