Thank you to Alumni Cheerleaders member and chef,  Celeste Podojil (former Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader) for sending us 2 great recipes perfect for the 4th of July!!  


Israeli Couscous with Olives and Mint

and a drizzle of Creamy Balsamic Glaze

 Recipe Courtesy of Celeste Podojil


3-4 cups cooked Israeli Couscous (cooked and cooled)

1 can mini corn on the cob, diced into ¼ inch (found in Asian isle)

1 ½  cups each sliced black, green and Kalamata olives (all drained well)

4-6 scallions (sliced on a bias)

3 cups, cherry tomatoes halved or quartered

1-2 cups crumbled feta, Gorgonzola or blue cheese

Handful each of fresh herbs, chopped or torn;  flat leaf parsley, basil, mint

2 teaspoons (or more) kosher salt and black pepper

1 cup (give or take) of extra virgin olive oil


Cook and cool Israeli Couscous (after cooking, I put couscous in huge bowl and toss with about ½ cup olive oil to help prevent sticking while it cools).

After about 30 minutes in fridge toss all the above ingredients with couscous and add another ½ cup olive oil. 


Toss together with salt and pepper…taste and add additional olive oil, salt or pepper to taste.   You can mix and match herbs, omit or substitute based on what you have on hard.  Sage, oregano and thyme would work well here also.


OPTION 2:  For an even more spectacular dish mix the finished product with a creamy balsamic glaze.  You can drizzle it over the top or mix in the salad or both.


Balsamic glaze:

In a small saucepan simmer over med head, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup balsamic vinegar.  It will take around 20 minutes to thicken and become very sweet.  Glaze will coat the back of a spoon when done.  Once finished, whisk in ½ cup heavy cream.


This glaze is fabulous on grilled NY strip, over asparagus and with this Israeli Couscous.  It will also keep in the fridge.


Note:  Israeli Couscous is also called pearl couscous. 

You can purchase it at Trader Joes, most grocery stores and Costco.



Blueberry Lemonade Mint Slushie

Recipe courtesy of Lisa Resnick


2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1-2 cups vodka

2 cups fresh lemonade

1 cup simple syrup *



Place blueberries and mint in blender and chop for 10-15 seconds, add lemonade and chop again.


Add the rest of the ingredients and blend together until ice is chopped.


Serve with mint and blueberry garnish




To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer together until sugar is melted, cool and store in fridge.


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