Monday, July 30, 2012

Sweet, Salt and Tang Salad

This week, I'm serving up a bit more of a traditional salad.  We eat A LOT of salad in our house and so it's always nice to find new combinations of flavors and ingredients to keep the rotation fresh.  This week's salad has sweet pear, salty blue cheese, and tangy lemon vinaigrette topped with a surprise sweet caramelized walnut.  It couldn't be much easier to make, but definitely elevates your daily salad a notch or two.  

You will need:

  • olive oil
  • lemon
  • pear
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • walnuts
  • salad greens
  • (not pictured) butter and brown sugar

Wash and place salad greens in bowl.

Mix in blue cheese crumbles.

Slice pear into thin slices.

Place in bowl with greens and cheese.  If you are plating individual salads, you could arrange pear slices on top of greens afterwards.  Set aside.

To make the lemon vinaigrette:
Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice with 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
Set aside.

To make the caramelized walnuts, you will need:
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Place all ingredients into a skillet and heat over medium-high heat.

Stir occassionally to ensure all walnuts are coated.

When butter and sugar have melted and coated the walnuts, spread them on a sheet of waxed paper to cool (and try not to eat them all!).

When walnuts have cooled, toss with remainder of salad and dressing.  Alternatively, you can toss salad greens, blue cheese and dressing only.  Then, plate the salad and garnish with the pear and walnuts.

Enjoy surprising your friends and family with this unassuming yet plethora-of-tastes salad.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bike Bucket Birthday

It's the summer of bike buckets

We had four friends' birthday parties this weekend, and they all received their own, handsewn bike bucket.

Three of the friends received new bikes, and one inherited a bigger bike from her brother.

 It was so much fun to pick out fabrics to match their tastes and latest interest (guess which one was for the six year old boy!).  We hope E, A, C and E have many wonderful adventures with their new bikes and new bike buckets! 

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint

For this week's recipe, I'm serving up something new in my salad repertoire.  I've seen this salad at different picnics and have been intrigued.  What follows is a compilation of many recipes, and makes for one very easy, quite unique salad.  As a simple girl, I love the fact that I can create such an interesting salad with only a few ingredients - one of which is growing rampant in my yard!  (No complaints, though - that fresh mint also goes very well in a fresh mojito!)

For this Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint, you will need:
  • 10 cups cubed watermelon (approx. 5 lb)
  • 1/2 c. mint (approx. 40 leaves)
  • 2 limes (oops!  are there three in the photo?)
  • 1 c. crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt

Measure out 1/4 c. oil and pour into small bowl.

Juice two limes and pour into oil.
Measure a generous 1/2 t. salt and pour into oil/lime juice mixture.
Whisk together and set aside.
Now, to prepare the watermelon - does anybody else find it tricky to turn an oval into small squares?  I figured out this method to get the most even-sized cubes.
First, cut off the end of the watermelon.
Quarter the watermelon.
From the top of each quarter, make 1 inch slices down.
From each of these pieces, cut along the rind and remove.
Lay the remaining piece flat and cut 1 inch lengths.
Then, cut across these with more 1 inch cuts.
Repeat for the remaining quarters of watermelon - lovely 1 inch cubes of watermelon!  (If your watermelon is extra juicy, you can strain in a colander before mixing the remaining ingredients.)
Here's a handy way to cut your mint, too!  Rinse and dry approximately 40 leaves.
Stack your leaves (about 20 at a time) and pinch tight.
Use your kitchen shears to cut across the leaves to create thin strips.

Sprinkle your cut mint over the watermelon.

Sprinkle the feta over the watermelon.

Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. 
There you have it!  A simple summer treat that perfectly blends sweet, salty, citrus and spice for such a flavor explosion!  Try it with some spicy grilled chicken.

Have fun surprising your friends with something new and different!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing

For this week's recipe, we are taking a bloggy field trip over to my good friend Ruby's blog, Zaaberry.

Ruby and I met six years ago in prenatal yoga.  Once our girls were born and we started to run into each other at Joann's (A LOT), I knew we had to be friends.  Six years, four kids and many crafty adventures later, we continue to share the journey of motherhood, friendship and crafting.

Take a peek at some of my favorite projects from her blog:

And, her etsy shop will make you wish you had a newborn!

Newborn Kimono Style Top, Pants, and Hat Set
Hand Dyed Onesie with Pear Applique Size 3months

Now that you've had your dose of sewing eye candy, let's get cooking!  Head over to Zaaberry for this week's recipe.

Thanks, Ruby, for sharing your salad this week.  I know people will be torn between your delicious recipe and your yummy tutorials!


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