09 January 2018

Favorite Salads

Just realized that there are a number of salads in our regular repertoire that I've never posted. I'll add to this post as I remember more.

Apple, Cashew, and Poppyseed Salad

1  Honey Crisp or Braeburn Apple, unpeeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
1  Romaine, medium to large; cored and finely shredded
1/4 C. Dried cranberries
1/4 C. White raisins
1/3 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/3 C. Salted cashews
Poppyseed salad dressing (I prefer Brianna's).

1. Combine shredded Romaine lettuce with fruits; toss with Poppyseed dressing.
2. Sprinkle on Parmesan and Cashews; toss gently
3. Serve immediately

Many times we will buy chicken strips from KFC or grill a chicken breast or two to mix with this salad. Makes a satisfying entree.

I know that almost everyone has a version of this salad, but our family's version has evolved into the next favorite.

Taco Salad

1  lb. Ground beef
Salt and pepper
1  8oz can  Tomato sauce
3-4 T.  Ground chiles or chili powder
1/2 pkg. Onion soup mix*
1  head  Romaine
2-3  Carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 medium  Sweet onion, diced
Western salad dressing
1 Cup  Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Tortilla chips, crumbled
1 Avocado, peeled and cut into chunks--optional

1. Crumble and brown ground beef in skillet over medium high heat.
2. Salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Add tomato sauce and chili powder; Stir in onion soup mix (*very high in sodium; may omit).
4. Simmer meat mixture over medium heat; turn to very low heat after a few minutes.
5. Meanwhile, core Romaine and slice thinly across head from the bottom. Chop a bit more to ensure bite-sized pieces.
6. Add carrots and sweet onion and toss with Western salad dressing. Stir in grated Cheddar.
7. Add avocado, if desired. Toss gently.

1 bulb Garlic
1 - 3 T. Olive oil
8 - 12 oz Baby spinach, triple washed or wash, spin, and thoroughly dry
1 half Lemon
1 - 2 T. Parmesan, grated
To taste Salt and pepper, freshly ground

1. Cut the top off the garlic bulb to expose some of the cloves and peel away excess papery layer.
2. Place garlic in small heat-proof dish.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes or until cloves are tender when you prick with point of a knife or fork. Cool.
4. Reserve garlic oil for sauteing the spinach.
5. Cover your hand with a small plastic bag and squeeze the garlic bulb from the bottom until all cloves are release; set aside.
6. Heat reserved garlic oil in a wok or medium large skillet until bubbles a bit.
7. Add half to all of the spinach and quickly toss using tongs. Repeat with additional portions, if necessary.
8. Shut off the flame when spinach appears half cooked--some leaves will still be crispy.
9. Squeeze lemon juice over spinach and toss together.
10. Salt and pepper.
11. Use tongs to remove to a shallow salad bowl or individual small plates.
12. Sprinkle with roasted garlic cloves and Parmesan.
13. Serve immediately.

Serve fresh focaccia or French bread alongside. Spread the roasted garlic on the bread.

This recipe is based on the fabulous Cole Slaw served at Austin's in Fort Collins

World's Best Cole Slaw
Green cabbage (some red, too), shredded
Carrots, shredded
Braeburn Apple (unpeeled), chopped
Dried cranberries 
White raisins
Marzetti's Cole Slaw Dressing
Pine nuts, toasted

Pad Thai Vinaigrette
Makes Approximately 1-1/2 cups

2 T. Rice wine vinegar
2 T. Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 T. Tamarind paste
2 T. Light soy sauce or Tamari
3 (2) T. Extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. Ketchup
1-1/2 T. (1 T.) Sugar
1 T. Fresh ginger, grated
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. (1 tsp.) Chili paste

Whisk together. Can be refrigerated in sealed container for one week.

Thai Steak (or Chicken) Noodle Salad
4 servings

1/2 cup Pad Thai Vinaigrette
2 12-oz. Steaks (New York Strip), grilled to medium rare
2 cups Vermicelli noodles, cooked; slightly al dente
1/3 cup Fresh cilantro, julienned
1/3 cup Fresh basil, julienned
1/3 cup Green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Grape tomatoes, halved
1-2 Avocados, rough cut
3/4 cup Fresh mango
2 med. Carrots, julienned
1 head Romaine, finely chopped
2 Limes, halved
3/4+ cup Peanuts

1. Prepare vinaigrette. Set aside.
2. Grill steaks (seasoned with salt + pepper) to medium rare. Let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice. Set aside. While steaks are grilling, cook Vermicelli to al dente in salted water. Rinse thoroughly in cold water. Drain well and dry with paper towels. 
3. Chop Romaine, julienne carrots, halve grape tomatoes, thinly slice green onions (white part and equal amount of green). Toss together in large bowl. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. 
4. Top salad with avocado, mango, and peanuts. Gently toss together using hands. 
5. In a large bowl--add vinaigrette to cold noodles. Toss thoroughly. Pour salad mixture on top. Gently toss using hands. Add more vinaigrette. 
6. Plate salads. Squeeze lime juice on top.
7. Sprinkle on my peanuts, if desired.
8. Distribute steak pieces evenly between 4 servings. 

Amy's Potato Salad
4 lbs Yukon Gold or waxy potatoes, boiled, chilled, peeled, and 1" dice
1 bunch Celery, sliced thinly
1 large Sweet onion, diced
8 large Eggs, boiled, peeled, and diced

2 - 2-1/2 C Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste
On-call cardiac surgeon, because this dish is heart attack on a plate.

Assemble and refrigerate until chilled through. Yum

This is just a list of ingredients. We usually use Paul Newman's Italian Salad Dressing.

Parmesan - shaved 
Black olives
Red cabbage, shredded
Green peppers
Red onions
Genoa salami
Italian sausage

This recipe was passed on by my friend Sandy Nuneman. Ive added a bit to it, but the Brianna's Poppyseed Salad Dressing is what puts it over-the-top!

RomainE, shredded
1 Granny Smith or Braeburn Apple, seeded and chopped
White raisins
Dried Cranberries
Grapes or no grapes...
Parmesan, Shredded
Salted cashews
Brianna's Poppyseed Salad Dressing

coming soon

We'd heard John Delucie of the Waverly Inn in NYC talking on a Mario Bosquez segment, when Martha Srewart had a Sirius Radio channel.
John said he likes to have this salad served to him every day just as dinner service is kicking into gear:

Beef steak tomatoes, thinly sliced
Hearts of palm
Red onion, sliced and soaked briefly in ice water
Haas avocado, sliced
Sprinkled with fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil and topped with some chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
Salt and pepper, to taste

27 June 2017

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Gone to Instagram. Including me.

I do miss the writing part. That exercise in brain dumping. Writing precludes understanding for me. Putting words on a page is integral to processing life's events, conversations, social interactions.

I've decided to look for a better blogging platform. Stay tuned...


01 December 2016


Today (Thursday), I'm relaxing in front of a sun-filled French door; allowing my soul to catch up with my body. I'm at rest; ignoring the magnetic draw of Paris. 

Look who came to visit. 


We walked briskly to the local bus stop, taking us to the RER train 🚂 Marne-la-Vallée--Chessy. Amazingly there are blooming roses along our pathway. 

There are always buskers on the RER trains. Most claim to be Syrian refugees. Who knows? My solution is to give to one. There's no way to validate any claims, and the giving is more about keeping my heart open than the coins. 

Today we choose to walk along Canal Saint-Martin; and because the canal is underground from Bastille to Republique, we take time to explore the area around Bastille before taking the Metro to Republique. We walk along enjoying the canal, the iron bridges, the locks. Eventually, we run across Chez Prune, a recommended café. 

This café makes a point of being bedraggled, seedy. Very self-consciously appealing to local BOBOs (hipsters). The food is good, portions huge. While Chez Prune might be the definition of "a dive" it's very clean.

As it's a chilly cold day (I chose to leave my gloves back in my suitcase.), we take the Metro to Opera and tour Opera Garnier. There's been much reconstruction on the Opera in all the years we've visited, and it's about time we see inside. Amazing. Stunning. Beautiful. Unimaginable. I have no appropriate words. And, when we view the Main Auditorium, 4 performers are practicing a ballet--2 women and 2 (shirtless) men. The musculature! 


We get a later start and decide to exit the RER at Chatelet--right in the middle of Les Halles. When you leave the train you realize you are several stories underground. In fact all of the mall part of Les Halles is underground. The entire ground level scene is retail mania. We're not too interested in shopping, so we wind around the under construction Les Bourse and the backside of Norte Dame. Redevelopment and reconstruction have been going on in this area since 2010 and will continue for a few more years. 

We'd decided to go to the BHV for lunch at Le Kantine on 5éme. This particular carousel sits next to the Hôtel de Ville and across from the BHV. 


The cafe is self-service, as is this fun wine dispenser. 

I told CA that I "needed" to visit Housewares, Hardware, and Stationery. And, though we milled about for some time, we hit every one of the hotspots. 

After purchasing a few stationary items, we decide there's still enough time to walk to E. Dehillrien, the lovely chef and restaurant supply shop that is a Paris Institution.

We accomplish our small mission and after a bit of looking about, we decide we're ready to take the train back to our villa, and enjoy a pub dinner on-site. They really do burgers well. We're here for the French food, but tonight a burger seems just right.


We surprise ourselves and declare today a pajama day. Our bodies are tired. We've kept a busy pace so far. It turns into a great day to read, take walks, and stare out over the pretty views outside our French doors. 

My sunset view, not very different from my morning view (above). A very good day. 

By dinner time, CA has found a local restaurant that has an excellent reputation, so we set-off in search. First, a quick grocery store stop. 

Au Bon Petit Bailly is certainly unpretentious and the Food is delicious. CA shared some of his generous serving of goat cheese toasts. You can almost see the salad underneath. I'm making my goat cheese toasts exactly like these in the future. Hot crispy toast with gooey goat cheese. TDF. I ate some with the vegetable soup made from the chef's wife's garden. 

Furthering my exploration into the French love of Meringues... This example was covered with Citron ice cream, smothered in whipped cream, and drizzled with Raspberry sauce.