Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Relishing Dinner

Cooking dinner has become a weekly lesson plan as I've noticed how broad my understanding of food has developed. For instance, my understanding of relish had been restricted to the image of a green, pickled condiment in a squeeze bottle. I've never been an enthusiastic fan, although if offered for hot dogs or Western egg sandwiches I'd most likely add a spoonful.

What do you know--relish is not just pickled green stuff. You can make relish out of a variety of vegetables, fruit, and dressings.

Here is a variety of items you may include in relish:

  • white beans
  • red peppers
  • scallions
  • jalapenos 
  • red onion
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • green olives
  • spinach
  • blue cheese
  • apple
  • honey
  • white wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • mayo
  • mustard
I've discovered a great idea for making dips, salsa, relishes or other sides and condiments--a prep party. Everyone should bring an apron and a few items on the list above and the friend with the biggest kitchen block should host it. 

Everyone shares in the chopping, mixing, and most importantly--the sampling. Have mason jars available so that everyone goes home with a souvenir. Of course for a relish Prep Party you should probably prepare a grill so that you have a platform to try your samples. 

Prep Parties are a creative way to get together with friends and usurp the standard cook-out. The guests and hosts get to share in the work and trade secrets and skills, not to mention everyone gets to go home with something more substantial than leftovers: you can take pride in knowing that the pretty product you carry home has been made with love and community--and you got to help!

If you're hosting a Prep Party, you may keep things very casual or provide favors for your guests in addition to what they'll take home. Several ideas that can supplement your party are as follows:

Using chicken sausage instead of pork or beef sausage cuts the calories in half. Sausage is one of the foods higher in calories so making a lower fat choice is what I recommend, especially since I use FitDay and cringe on the days I have burgers or Mexican food. But if you want to indulge, you can switch it up with kielbasa, andouille, chorizo, or bratwurst. This is an easy dinner that only takes about 15 minutes since all the prep is making the relish and all you have to do is cook the sausage.

Remember to take the casings off--I didn't!

I thought that orange and olives sounded a bit off, but this relish was delightful and simple and because of the oranges it's high in vitamin C and antioxidants because of the olives.

I'd like to give away a set of relish from Cottage Lane Relish out of Orange County, NC. In the tradition of the South, the names of Cottage Lane's two offerings of relish are embellished by their names as much as their ingredients: you can experience Southern heat with "Get Me a Switch" or shake in your fishin' boots with "Cape Fear" which is appropriately named since it goes well with seafood.

The only requirement I have for giveaways is that you subscribe to my blog. You can follow these instructions--it's free and it doesn't take a lot of time to do. This giveaway ends September 6th.

My Woman's Day blog is purposed to share my life, educate others, and most of all, build relationship and community. I always pick random subscribers to share gifts, surprises, and conversation and believe that the best way to grow and experience life is to reach out and share who you are and what you've experienced.

I always end my giveaway blogs with some of my best advice: accept invitations to parties and dinners, challenge yourself to try new things and share your interests with others, and keep your commitments to your family, friends, employer, and others. If you do, you will increase your potential in all areas of life, prevent fear from being your motivation, and increase confidence and recognition in others of your value and influence.


  1. i follow you on GFC as wendy wallach. Is that what you mean by subscribing to your blog in order to qualify for the giveaway?

  2. Yes, Wendy--send me your address!

  3. i am a subscriber

    susansmoaks at gmail dot com