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Salad Dressing

Salad Dressing/ Salads

Spinach, Chicken and Blueberry Salad with a Touch of BBQ

And a touch of BBQ!

We are 100% unpacked in our new house and everything has a place either hung, in a drawer/closet/on a shelf. I love this house and having everything on one level is great and having a big kitchen makes me want to start experimenting with new recipes

. One of my last boxes I unpacked had a collection of menus from restaurants we had visited over the years. Some from Italy, one from Spain, (Casa Botin which is suppose to be oldest restaurant in the world dating back to 1725), even an old Elvis menu from a restaurant in Memphis. This recipe was inspired by a menu item from a Houston restaurant.

When we lived in The Woodlands a friend and I would shop and eat in Houston often and one of my favorite lunch places back then was the Empire Cafe on Westheimer and I absolutely loved one of their salads that had a bbq dressing. So this is my version of a salad that holds a lot of fond memories.

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Salad Dressing/ Salads

Fig, Prosciutto and Burrata Salad

Oh yeah, some spicy arugula too!

Who doesn’t love fruit of any kind on a salad! Whether it’s summer fruits like berries and peaches or fall fruits like apples, pears, dates, cranberries and of course figs, all these fruits add a little sweetness to your salad and ups the wow factor for your guests. I like salads that make me anxious to make them or  come up with additions that may make them even better and I like to think of people eating them and loving them (ok that is a little weird.)

This salad happened to come about when friends came to Round Top for the Fall Antique Show. We spent the day shopping, lunch at Round Top Brewing, blackberry lime scones and champagne at my house to celebrate all the help they have been to me with building our new house. Believe me, I had a ton of questions. (Also, Brooke’s mom and sister received tons of questions from me -thanks for your help too.) So, after a long day shopping they returned to The Woodlands and the next day they shopped the day in Houston and had lunch at a restaurant where they had this salad. They recreated the salad for their dinner the next night. I’m recreating it from their version.

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Salad Dressing/ Salads

Fall Slaw, Ya’ll

Fall Slaw Y’all!

I actually made this slaw for Labor Day and I was thinking summer slaw. But, now it is Fall I’m calling it a Fall slaw. Even though it is still very hot in our part of Texas it’s still Fall. When I was a kid I always associated Fall with going back to school and  little plaid dresses with ties in the back or in high school with long plaid skirts and “bobby socks”.

The more I thought of this recipe I thought of Fall fruits. Cranberries and apples are Fall fruits, so this should be my go-to FALL SLAW recipe. The pistachios along with the apples add a tasty little crunch to a sometimes boring cabbage slaw. The hot honey adds a little hotness to balance out the sweetness of the fruits.

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Salad Dressing/ Salads

Wedge Salad On A Different Angle

No matter how you cut it, it is still a wedge salad!

Even though iceberg lettuce has almost no nutritional value, I think most people really like the wedge salad.

There are so many different types of lettuce in the markets now — butter, romaine, chicory, purple, curly leaf, arugula (one of my favorites), red-tip leaf lettuce, radicchio, spinach, Swiss chard, curly endive and the lowly iceberg head lettuce. Seems like iceberg lettuce always gets a bum rap when it comes to nutritional value and even taste. It is good on tacos and ????? Can’t think of anything else that I really want iceberg lettuce on. BUT, when it comes to a wedge salad and you want a nice crisp piece of lettuce to put your bacon, tomato, cabbage and cheese on, then you definitely want iceberg.

A couple of years ago we were in NYC and had dinner at DBDG Kitchen and Bar. I remember having a duck dish and also individual baked Alaskas. And with all that over the top food we had that weekend, I remember their wedge salad and I have made mine this way ever since. Instead of doing the typical wedge, cutting a head of lettuce into 4 wedges, they cut their lettuce across the head so you have a nice 1″ thick round slice (not a wedge). I like it this way because you are not chasing the salad all over your plate and all the topping don’t slide down the side of the wedge.

So for my version of DBGB’s Wedge Salad I’m adding some finely sliced red cabbage along with the “slice” of iceberg lettuce, some tomato, bacon, a little finely sliced green onion, crumbled blue cheese and a blue cheese ranch dressing. If you want a crisp slice of lettuce, wash in cold water, drain, and then wrap in paper towels and refrigerate until you are ready for your salad.

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Salad Dressing/ Salads

Spring Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

I love Spring mix lettuce. That along with some grapefruit, avocado, jicama and red onion makes a beautiful salad.

A good friend of mine gave me this recipe for Spring Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado Salad which is great for any spring and summer luncheon or dinner. It is full of color and interesting taste and textures.

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing or you can just buy it already made.

There’s something about having a good friend who loves to cook as much as you do. We’re on the same wave length when it comes to food and cooking. We cook together at each other’s homes and when we travel together, you will always find us in some neat little corner grocery, husbands in tow,  looking to see what local markets are selling. On a trip to Italy a few years ago, we found several little groceries that peeked our interest. (See pictures at bottom of this post.) I remember one little store in Santa Margarita that had some meats that we did not recognize and the butcher explained the different cuts and the unusual looking one was rabbit. I’ve bought rabbit before but it was frozen and in a box. This was as fresh as it just hopped right up to the meat case.

So, we don’t go any where that we aren’t searching out local market places, whether it be Italy, Napa Valley, New York and San Francisco’s China Town.

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