Okay, so I wanted to just quickly post the salad we had tonight for dinner before I forget. I had a version of this at my friend Erin’s house this weekend. This is the same friend who used my facebook account this week to announce to everyone she is my favorite person in the whole world, and that I am in a relationship. It reminds me of this girl I met at a party once who kept receiving phone calls throughout the evening because her friend had pranked her by posting her number on Craigslist saying she was giving away free goats.
Anyway, Erin made a killer salad, which I decided I needed to repeat and show you here.
Yeah, I’m a little excited.
This is my first one, and I’ve been planning and dreaming about this day for over a decade. I couldn’t have gotten it published without all of you, my readers, so thank you, thank you, thank you! for being there for me, post after post!! I love you!!!
I thought I’d post this salad today, as a sort of retraction for a part of my book. (That was quick!!) Let me explain. In my book, in the chapter called “Concert on the Green,” in a lead-in for Mukimame Succotash, I wrote that I don’t like lima beans—fair enough. They’re kind of starchy and flavorless. In fact, I think a lot of you may have my back on this.
I’m what people consider an Anglophile (don’t you hate words that end in -phile?). I love Downton Abbey . . . Ben Barnes . . . Charlie Hunnam, all recent super hero casting choices . . . I love the English countryside, and how beautiful it is to see one solitary tree on a hillside meadow dotted with white sheep. I love C.S. Lewis and fairytales. I love Bath; I love Jane Austen novels. I know that if I could start my life over again, I would spend at least a year or two in Oxford after I graduated from college, just in case some ruddy cheeked footballing graduate student wanted to fall in love with me and start a family.
This recipe is for any of you who are like me. It’s very simple, it originated at the school attended by Prince William and Lord Grantham , and it’s absolutely delicious. Or perhaps I should say brilliant.
It is now two weeks after New Years, and I think we can safely say the holidays are over. I tend to come up with an excuse every day in January that conveniently pushes back the end of the holidays and my resolution to eat healthy and get fit. But it is best to ease into things, right?
These might just be the best snacks since Ants on a Log (I hate the name “Ants on a Log,” though. Just thought I should tell you.)
I came up with this little concoction when I wanted chocolate but was trying to cut out sugar. Normally, on a day when I want candy but there isn’t any to be had, I scoop a little bit of peanut butter out of the jar with a teaspoon and roll it in chocolate chips. That doesn’t work so well when I’m avoiding sugar, though. I tried the same idea with natural peanut butter rolled in cacao nibs, which sort of worked, but tasted closer to dirt than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup substitute. When I added the banana, the problem was solved. It sweetens the entire snack, and makes it more filling, so I’m not still scouting around the kitchen for something else to eat.
Try these. I know you’ll love them.
Have you seen the latest November issue of Martha Stewart Living yet? I’m quoted in the Kashi ad for their Original 7 Grain Sea Salt Pita Crisps. Here is what I said about them, along with a little recipe for that mediterranean salsa:
Eating healthy always tends to present a challenge for me, especially as a food blogger. When I write a post on something naughty . . . let’s say, for example, those maple bacon pecan bars, I have a tendency to opt for the naughty food over regular meals. There’s a crazy part of my brain that thinks that since I made the maple bacon pecan bars, then I am somehow entitled to every . . . last . . . one. And furthermore, why would I make a salad or throw together a quinoa dish when something is already in the fridge—right there, ready to be eaten? It’s all very dangerous.
I figured it was time for a Halloween recipe. I wasn’t intending to make one today; I was actually just trying to make something healthy after my workout. Now that I live in Utah Valley again, I can go to Sweaty Chix, the fitness club my friend Wendy runs. Wendy is a fantastic instructor. She is caring and full of energy and accepting. Today she kicked my butt in an hour-and-a-half class, starting with Sculpt & Burn, and ending with Zumba. I had been putting off doing a Zumba class since she told me to come over two years ago—not because it didn’t look fun, but mostly because I didn’t want to look like an idiot. If there’s ever a chance I might look uncoordinated, ridiculous, unintelligent, or like a goofball, I generally opt for staying on the sidelines.
But I did it anyway, and I did okay.
And I had fun.
So, if you live near where I live, be sure to check out Sweaty Chix. You won’t be sorry. I’m only sorry I put off going for so long.
Wait . . . now, what were we talking about? Oh yeah. Halloween.
When I made my smoothie, I just tried to use up some of what I had, and that resulted in something green and really thick. When I poured it into a glass, it was clearly something from “You Can’t Do that on Television” or “Double Dare,” so I called it a Green Slime Smoothie. Lucky for us it happens to be October, and we can say it’s for Halloween. And it’s healthy to boot.
There is a grocery store here in Utah called Harmons that I will drive twenty minutes out of my way to visit. That may not sound like that far of a drive, but when you consider I pass at least eight other grocery stores, a Costco, and a Super Target on the way, those twenty minutes prove just how much I love it. I don’t make enough money to buy all my groceries there, and they don’t even have everything I could find at a Whole Foods, but their service is exceptional. It seems like everyone in there knows all there is to know about the food in their section. And there is always someone standing within five yards who can answer any of my questions.
Oh, and don’t get me started on their Cheese Man. I don’t know that he knows that I call him that—apparently, his real name is Andrew—but he knows everything there is to know about cheese, and he deserves the distinction.
Last week, I was there browsing (I like to browse at grocery stores. I once had a
roommate flatmate from Australia who said this drove her CRAZY when we would shop together), and I was looking for something interesting. The kid in the produce section asked if he could help me, and I told him I was looking for fruit. He immediately suggested these honey tangerines (or Murcott tangerines), which are sweeter than other varieties, and suggested I put them in a salad. After some research on the internet, I found out that these tangerines only grow in Florida, and are available in the Spring.
Here is the salad I made.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the biggest occupational hazard of writing a cookbook is getting fat. I just added an hour walk to my daily routine, but even so, my body and my brain seem to think a plate of cookies for my book—whether the recipe passes or fails—should be scarfed down, with the best intentions of being better tomorrow. Mm-hm. Right.
Every once in a while, my daughter goes through a bit of a dark phase, where she tells me she likes the color blue, and wants to wear black, and fingerless gloves. But she always comes back to pink. She also happens to be my little candy addict. When I saw this jar of pastel nonpareils in the seasonal cupcake section of Target, I thought immediately of my daughter, and how I would surprise her with these: white chocolate nonpareils shaped like easter eggs.