Monday, August 31, 2015


I had this at an Italian restaurant here the other weekend and made it at home for dinner.

1. Slice baguette or french bread, spread butter on each slice, and broil in oven til golden brown.
2. Take a fresh garlic clove (nettie, you could skip this. and the restaurant had roasted garlic on it, but i ain't got time for that) and rub or scrape on crusty/toasty bread. This will give a light garlic flavor ... not too overpowering.
3. Spread a layer of goat cheese on bread.
4. Top with roasted red peppers and fresh basil.

Balsamic Reduction

This is a lame post, but I loved it.

I've been so into goat cheese lately. Especially beets and goat cheese. If beets are on the menu at a restaurant, I ALWAYS order them. Anyway, as I was eating my daily dose of B&GC (we'll call it) the other day, I was thinking a balsamic vinaigrette would be yummy on it. But I didn't want to make a dressing. So then I thought of making a syrupy reduction --- it's way easier than boiling on the stove.

1.Put however much vinegar you want in to a mug (about 1/2 cup) with a couple pinches of sugar.
2. Heat/boil in microwave until it begins to thicken, just a few minutes. Then let cool (it will thicken as it cools).
3.Smother this yummy goodness all over everything, especially beets!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Thai Crunch Salad

We had this for dinner last night. It was really good. Nice and light for summer. If I were to do it again, I would make all the components beforehand so it was ready to go during dinner time. I think you can make most of it early. Or, you can do like I did and just cook the chicken while you're prepping the veg.

My kids ate the peanuts, chicken, and edamame (magic beans at our house). I served it with dinner rolls and cantaloupe to fill them up.

Chopped Thai Crunch Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing
The salad ingredients are very adaptable. We've made this before and omitted the red cabbage entirely, adding a bit more napa cabbage - you can definitely play around with all of the fresh salad ingredients. 
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

  • Vinaigrette:
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce (I didn't have this so I just added a dash of Siracha)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper (pinch of each)

  • Peanut Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce (I didn't have this so I just added a dash of Siracha)
  • 2 tablespoons very hot water, plus more as needed

  • Salad:
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped napa cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage (I just used more garden cabbage instead)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber, peeled or not
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 cup small diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Peanuts for topping (optional)
  1. For the chicken, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag or shallow dish and cover with the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours (the longer it marinates, the better the flavor). Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill 6-7 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and let cool. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a liquid measure or small mason jar and whisk (or shake) until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing can be made up to a week in advance.
  3. For the peanut dressing, whisk together (or again, shake in a mason jar), all the ingredients until well combined. Add additional hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dressing is smooth and thin enough to drizzle. 
  4. In a large bowl, toss together all of the salad ingredients with the cooled and chopped chicken. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and toss until the ingredients are coated with the dressing. 
  5. Serve the salad with the peanut dressing on the side to drizzle on top. We topped it with roasted peanuts and more Siracha.