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When the weather is hot and muggy staying hydrated and eating light will help you stay focused. No one really feels like eating heavy meals anyway when the weather is so oppressive. It will make you feel even more lethargic and uncomfortable. Stay away from sugary drinks and diet sodas, the chemicals in diet soda are not your friend and the sugar in soda beverages will only make you more thirsty and raise your blood sugar levels really fast only to come crashing down twenty minutes later making you feel awful. I usually end up with a headache and cranky so I don’t go there any more. (My family is much happier) Water and plenty of it is the healthiest choice. I flavor my water with fresh slices of cucumber, lemon, and fresh mint. I also make pitchers of water with sliced fresh watermelon, strawberries, oranges mint and ice to give my water a wonderful fruity flavor. I always keep a pitcher of flavored water in the refrigerator. I make it fresh everyday. If I want to add a bit of bubbly fizz I add some Perrier water!

Photo Diane Cu & Todd Porter

I love to mix fresh greens with fresh fruit and herbs. With all the different varieties that are available you can come up with many great combinations.


Photos Diane Cu Todd Porter


Here is a recipe for a beautiful summer salad. I’ve included some choices for salad dressing. Take your pick and enjoy!


4 cups watercress or baby arugula (or both)

3/4 cup of fresh mint leaves

1 cup of fresh raspberries

3 oranges peeled and sliced into rounds

1 cup of red grapes

½ cup walnuts

1 cup Greek Feta Cheese

1 ripe avocado

Line up 4 plates and place three orange slices on each. Divide the watercress, mint leaves over the oranges. Divide raspberries, grapes, walnuts and Feta over the entire salad. Cut the avocados into chunks then divide and add to salad. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of your favorite dressing.

(NOTE: I put my plates in the freezer for 20 minutes before I get ready to serve the salad to get them really cold.)



photo Diane Cu & Todd Porter


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1 small garlic clove, smashed

1 teaspoon minced shallot

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Cracked pepper to taste

Whisk together the olive oil, Dijon mustard and champagne vinegar until emulsified. Add the shallot, salt, pepper to taste and stir. Add garlic. Place in an airtight container and let sit for a least an hour. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days in an air -tight container.

Approximately 1/3 cup



½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

In a glass bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk together well.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Approximately ¾ cups




2/3 cup buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

6 ounces of blue cheese

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream until smooth. Add the vinegar and whisk in. Break the blue cheese into pieces and fold into the buttermilk mixture. Sprinkle the cayenne over the top, and mix gently.

Cover tightly. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Filed under: Recipes, Salads