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It’s Getting Hot in Here {recipe: spinach salad with sweet mustard vinaigrette}

8 Aug
From Spinach Salad

It has been over 100 for, like, the entire summer. Ok, not the entire summer, but most of it. The most exciting news on the weather channel is that each day brings us to a new record of hotness. Not good hotness, like what a nice lululemon outfit can do to any workout-woman, but bad hotness, like my-plants-are-scorched, I-pick-out-my-outfit-for-the-day-based-on-what-shows-sweat-the-least, and my-dog-refuses-to-go-outside-in-the-afternoon hotness. Bleh.

So, that being said, I offer you a cool, crisp salad in place of a hot, baked dessert item.

Oh, and spinach was on sale, $.98/bunch and blueberries $.99/pint last week at the a-maz-ing grocery store I go to each week in search of its stellar sales. More on that later.

From Spinach Salad

Here you have it:

Spinach and Blueberry (or any other fruit you have: strawberry, peach, nectarine, etc.) Salad  with Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette.

Serves 6

1 bunch (12 oz) spinach, washed and dried with stems removed

1 cup berries or other chopped fruit

Roughly cut spinach and toss with fruit.

Vinaigrette

1/2 white onion, chopped

3/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. yellow mustard

1 tsp. salt

1/3 c. white vinegar

1 c. vegetable oil

2 tsp. poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients except poppy seeds in blender or food processor until smooth, pour into serving dish and stir in poppy seeds.

Side note: We ate this dressing on everything once the salad ran out. It is delicious.

From Spinach Salad
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Holiday Get-Togethers: Need an appetizer?

7 Nov

These are easy but give a façade of exquisite taste and refined choice for a dish brought to a cocktail party.

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Stuffed Mushrooms

adapted from Paula Deen.

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion (for a quick fix, use the equivalent in dried minced onion)

4 tablespoons Parmesan

1 t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

1/2 t. garlic powder

20 white mushrooms caps

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the cream cheese, parsley, onion and Parmesan.

Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture and top with bread crumbs.

Spray the tops with nonstick spray to help them brown.

Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and melted.

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Tomato Basil Soup

24 May

In marketing, we are encouraged to stay away from superlatives. The “best,” “fastest,” and “industry’s first” are all phrases scorned upon by those with legal degrees, protecting the company from all things verboten, rightfully so; however, here I will take the opportunity to tout recipes with any qualifier that I deem fit.

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On that note, this is definitely a great the best Tomato Basil Soup. It is an easy recipe, too. A semi-homemade-type recipe including things coming in cans and avoiding all chopping. The salt brings out the sweetness of the cream and butter, and the stock and cream make a smooth base for the tomatoes.

My favorite part is that this recipe is light enough, with a distinct flavor, that it can be a great first course for a pasta or chicken dish, or an easy complement to dress-up homemade pizza.

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Tomato Basil Soup

serves 8.

3 cans crushed whole tomatoes, drained

3 cans chicken broth

14 washed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

1 cup heavy cream**

1/4 pound sweet, unsalted butter

Salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper


Combine tomatoes and broth in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes.

Move tomatoes and broth to blender or food processor.

Puree, along with the basil leaves. Here, you can choose how smooth you want the soup. Either puree the broth and tomatoes until completely smooth, or leave some tomato chunks if you want s thicker soup.

Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring, over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.img_0710.jpg