and the cilantro-lime dressing stole the show…

We had a long weekend of fishing, quahog-ing, family, friends, DOGS, and lots of driving! Nothing can beat a five-day stay-cation (well, as in, stay-in-the-New-England-area-cation!) We ate lots of great food, a clambake to be exact, and had a couple of good drinks. Ty and I made our way to the adorable town of Newburyport for a mediocre fishing trip. We ended up with maybe 8 lbs of fresh fillets of cod, haddock, and cusk (<- yes, that is a new one to me too!). Boomer also had his first real road trip! He did great. Luckily he had met my parents multiple times and their dog Roscoe, so he didn’t have a problem tearing up a foreign lawn and attempting to sleep on foreign couches. He also met his newest doggy cousin, Hairy! Hairy, at 9 weeks old and 20 lbs, kicked Boomer’s bum! Boomer is all of 40 lbs at 10 months. I think next time they meet, Boomer will be even more schooled! He was pretty pooped, as you can see.

After a long drive back yesterday, we had a bountiful evening visit to the garden. We got two cucumbers, a handful of snap peas (we decided the other 500 could wait another day or two), and a bucket load of escarole. There is a plethora of baby yellow squashes and zucchinis, which will invade our kitchen in two days time. Because of this, I decided to use up the squashes we have currently. I also felt like something zippy or tangy, so I settled on making kabobs with Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Chicken Sausage and a side of FRESH cucumbers. If you garden, you know the difference between store bought and fresh. I am giddy with excitement at the thought of having an entirely home-grown (and shot) meal soon!

I made the following dressing which took me about 5 minutes. Along with the chopping of the veggies and cooking of orzo, dinner was prepped in the time it took the local news to go through the top 5 at 5! Perfect!

The dressing was INCREDIBLE! I used it as a marinade for the veggies and as a dressing for my cucumber and jalapeno orzo salad. It pulled the two together perfectly and it literally stole the show- adding the perfect amount of tangy and sweet! Easy and delicious is what we go for on a tiring Monday evening! So I will gladly give props when props are due: this dressing can be used for just about anything!

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup vegetable (canola) oil

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1. Using a blender, blend the lime juice, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Slowly add the oil in a drizzle with the blender running.

2. Once the dressing looks creamy and light, add the cilantro. Pulse enough to mix the cilantro thoroughly.

For the Orzo: Toss 1 cup cooked orzo with 1 diced jalapeno and 1 diced cucumber. Add about 1/3 cup cilantro-lime dressing to the bowl and top with some fresh ground pepper. Chill before serving. Yields about 4 servings.

For the Kebobs: Chop vegetables of your choice in approximately one-inch cubes. I used 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1 medium yellow onion and 1 large green bell pepper. Combine the vegetables and about 1/2 cup of the dressing in a dish and toss to mix. Add some ground pepper and a dash of chili powder if you have it! Let marinate for at least a half hour. Chop up some chicken (if you use plain meat, I recommend marinating it as well) or some chicken sausage and skewer the meat alternating with pieces of the veggies. Grill over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, turning the skewers half-way through. Yields about 4 servings.

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