By now you know that for weeknight meals, we are all about efficiency. And by the looks of my Analytics, it looks like you guys are too. (“Quick“ shows up consistently as one of the top 3 most-clicked Categories.) But the weekend? That’s another story entirely. Especially when the weekend in question conspires to create the most conducive dinner-making conditions in modern history: Grandparents = in town; weather = glorious; farmer’s market = open; kids = not cranky; and only two officially scheduled events for the entire day: Early morning soccer practice, and a 6:00 cocktail on the just-opened-for-business patio. On days like this, unconsciously or not, dinner is something that only barely resembles the scramble on the weeknight. We talk about it and shop for it and cook for it all day long. You might even say we make things as difficult as possible for ourselves — plying the kids with cider donuts while we wait in the interminable line at the market to secure the beautiful local sea bass you see below; whisking homemade mayonnaise to serve with French fries when, really, is there anything wrong with Heinz?; tracking down the spring-iest spring greens available (sorrel was the winner); pureeing asparagus into the vinaigrette that we will drizzle on top of those greens; digging out the fancy crystal tumblers for gin and tonics — which is another way of saying it’s our idea of the best day ever.
Spicy Fries with Homemade Mayonnaise. I used some very green looking olive oil to make my mayo, which accounts for the very green color. Don’t let it fool you, though: Delicious! And paired nicely with the fish, too. (more…)
[Read more →]
Tags:spring salads·weekend cooking
I am ashamed to say that it has never been hard for me to throw away my childrens’ artwork. Not all of it, of course. My general rule is that it must be either a) truly technically astounding or b) depict a family member. Everything else: into the recycling bin. (Poor Abby is still recoveirng from seeing her rattlesnake watercolor being heaved into a truck by a mustachioed sanitation worker.) But I must admit, it’s pure joy being able to sacrifice an artfully decorated Easter egg at the altar of dinner. This motley dozen (do take note of the Michael-Jackson themed “Beat it” one) was the inspiration for a family favorite: Cobb Salad. The recipe is sort of Stone-Soupish — a hard-boiled egg is a nice starting point, but with bacon to fry and greens to wash and chop, it is indeed only a starting point — but it’s one of those recipes that seems to work no matter what you have in the fridge. Deconstruct it for happier results with the kids, and eliminate all evidence of egg shells down the garbage disposal. Click to the jump for the recipe.
[Read more →]
Tags:cobb salad recipe·easy family dinner·healthy family dinner·spring salads
Last year during a routine physical check-up I told my doctor I was worried about my brain — I couldn’t remember anything anymore. I was telling the same stories to the same people. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t pull up the name of that Terence Stamp movie I talked about throughout the year 1999. I forgot it was Store Day in second grade…again.
My doctor asked me if I had ever forgotten to pick up my kids at the bus stop.
No, thank goodness.
Your brain is fine. You’re just not paying attention. When you forget something important, then come talk to me.
I’ve come up with strategies to combat the forgetfulness and noticed that I’m good at remembering things in threes. When I leave the house: Keys-Wallet-Phone. When I go to bed: Face-Teeth-Contacts. When I am the one in charge of school bag-packing: Lunch-Homework-Library Book.
And lately, to make a memorable salad? Fruit-Nut-Cheese. The combos below work when tossed with bibb, arugula, or mesclun and a simple vinaigrette. (You will also never hear me object to the addition of something in the onion family — snipped chives, scallions, or a finely chopped shallot). Bonus: These salads also provide an instantly Deconstructible Dinner for the kids.
Oh, and it was The Limey. The Terence Stamp movie was The Limey.
Threesome of Threesomes
1) Walnuts-Feta-Dried Cherries
Trader Joe’s sells the most delicious tart Montmorency cherries — for a much better price than the ones you get at Whole Foods.
2) Pecan-Pear-Blue Cheese
Try to buy candied pecans if you can. And if you have time, sautee the pear pieces briefly in butter.
3) Almonds-Manchego-Oranges (or even mandarins)
I prefer sliced almonds in salads. They integrate better with the leaves and have the most satisfyingly soft crunch.
[Read more →]
Tags:creative salads·fruit cheese nut combinations·salad recipes·spring salads