Independence Day Food Roundup


There’s a first time for everything, and last weekend just so happened to be my first time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I spent my Fourth of July exploring a new city and relaxing in a nearby rural suburb with good company, delicious food, sunshine, cats, dogs and yes, even the Amish. I even had my first introduction to Johnny Cakes (also known as cornmeal pancakes) and I can’t wait to get the recipe for this new favorite tasty breakfast treat. Before the fireworks set off and after a little game of badminton, we stuffed ourselves full with burgers and hot dogs topped with grilled kale, alongside lentil salad, green beans and an array of other goodies. Now, I’ve had kale prepared many ways, but never grilled and let me tell you- it may be the best tasting kale I’ve ever eaten. All we did was simply toss some kale with olive oil, lemon, garlic and parmesan and throw it on the grill until just a bit crispy and voliĆ”. The result is a perfect snack or if you’re in the mood to get creative like us, a great topping for a burger or hot dog. Since the 4th of July BBQ didn’t start until later in the day, we needed an afternoon snack. Armed with fresh lettuce from the CSA, we decided to recreate a long-time favorite restaurant salad with gorgonzola, pears and walnuts. With all of the ingredients in hand, the big question was how to dress this beautiful bowl of flavors and textures. I dug through some cabinets and discovered three ingredients that my mom always uses to make a perfect vinaigrette: dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. As I looked further, I stumbled upon some walnut oil so I figured I’d give it a try in place of the olive oil and it worked perfectly. Below is a little slide show of some of the fantastic food that topped off a wonderful weekend, followed by the recipe for the gorgonzola, pear and walnut salad…


Johnny Cakes & Kale Breakfast!

kale on a burger

Kale on On A Burger

kale on a hot dog

Kale On A Hot Dog


Kale Burger With Delicious Sides (Including Lentil Salad)

gorgonzola, pear and walnut salad

Gorgonzola, Pear & Walnut Salad

1 bag of lettuce of choice
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 pear sliced into long, thin pieces
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tbs dijon mustard
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil

Combine lettuce, pears, gorgonzola and walnuts. In a separate bowl, mix together dijon, balsamic, and oil. Mix dressing into salad and serve.

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