It's a Stravaganza of Salad!
|**A note from, what I loosely call, "the author"**|
DUDES - Yesterday I FORGOT the Stravaganza was TODAY. F*ck! Today I had eleventy billion things I had to get done. F*ck!! I started this lil round-up around 8ish this morning.. it's now 10:30 p.m. I partly blame my chores. I partly blame the beautemous sunshine outside and I partly (85%) blame how I don't know how to shut the fakk up when writing on this here blog. Forgive me! Please? :D
Holy cow! You guys ARE THE BESTEST!! When Kelly, of Sass and Veracity, and I started this whole Salad Stravaganza thing, we were thinking how blessed we'd be to get like 20 to 25 submissions..
So here's the deal if you are just now tuning in.. One day (okay, several days in a row quite possibly adding up to a month of days) Kelly and I were whining about our boredom with the same old, same old salads that we make almost every day for lunch and/or dinner.. and then we thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be great if someone would do some sort of salad event?" I mean, really - I know that Kel and I can't be the only 2 women on the face of the planet who hate their thighs, arse, hips, tummy, underarms, forearms, ankles, big toes, earlobes, etc. could we? Hell no we aren't! I've yet to meet a woman who finds herself to be perfect in every way (even though I think many of my "real-life" and "online" gal pals are completely perfect in any way, shape or form). I even know quite a few men, who don't poo-poo the salad lunches or dinners as they aren't happy with their bodies either. Christ we live in a world that constantly tries to beat into your brains about how healthy you should be (at least that's the way it is here in America) and how being overweight is the bad juju, mon. Yet, those healthy, skinny folk are pretty much in the minority. Why is that?
I'm going to tell you why!!! Because chocolate cake TASTES GOOD! :P
No really, how many of you are in she same boat as Kelly and I with the same old boring salads? If I've learned anything from this wonderful offering of delectable salad recipes, is that we need to look beyond what's in the crisper drawer of our refrigerators, kids. I've never seen such a variety of salads that use ingredients such as roasted vegetables, fruits & berries, beans, herbs, cheeses and meats! I mean, salads aren't just for diets anymore. And salads of this caliber can't even be recognized as healthy meals, because they are SO DELICIOUS! Hello? How can something that tastes SO GOOD be good for you??
Before I show you what I mean, I just want to thank Kelly for being an awesome partner in this salad adventure. Boy, for someone who's never organized and kept track of event submissions before, Kel - you rock, sistah!! I LOVED working on this with you, thank you so much =) What's more, way more, is how lucky and happy I am to be able to call you my friend. Love you, honey! xoxo
Okay now that the moosh is outta the way *blush* let's get to my half of the Salad Stravaganza round up:
Starting us off on our journey is a new friend of mine whose name is Danny. Danny keeps promising me he's going to start his own blog, but for now he's emailed me a recipe for what I am titling,"Danny's Best Ever Salad" Why that title? Because Danny says anyone who's ever tried it has proclaimed it to be the best salad they've ever had. =) I can believe the hype as this salad sounds amazingly good! Allow me to copy the recipe here for all of you on Danny's behalf:
Danny's Best Ever Salad
Fill a large tray with mixed greens
Hard boil 3,4,6,...eggs (as many as u like)
In same pot boil a few small potatoes
Slice 1 red onion
1 can large black pitted olives
A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
Dressing: this really makes the salad , or any salad....!
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 blood oranges
3-4 tbsp. of aged balsamic vinegar (the good stuff only please)
Finely chopped fresh basil as much as u like
1 tbsp. honey dijon mustard
Mix all dressing ingredients together well.
Peel and half eggs and potatoes and place on greens, toss in olives (liquid removed), red onion, and tomatoes. Smother entire salad with dressing and enjoy!
Did I lie? Doesn't that sound fantabulous? Thanks Danny!
Next on our list is the gorgeous Jenny of All Things Edible. Yes, well it's a fitting title for her blog as she shares with us so many tasty treats - this salad among the tastiest! Her Romaine-Strawberry Salad sounds heavenly. And if that weren't enough, her equally talented 4 year old son has submitted a recipe too!! One of the best pasta salads I've ever had, Tri-Colored Pasta Salad with Cheese, Baby Carrots and Cucumber I'm so hunnnnggggrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Thanks Jenny! And please thank your son for us too!
Marta of An Italian in the US was kind enough to share with us a magnificent salad made with mangos and other super tasty ingredients. Her Insalata di cavolo rosso, peperoni, mango, avocado e mandorle is not only a mouthful to say - but hello? It's a salad that I'd be more than happy to have a mouthful of! hehe What all of that means is a delicious mix of red cabbage, peppers, mangoes, avocado and almonds. *swoon* You've got your sweet, your savory, your creamy and your crunchy.. what else could be better? Thanks so much, Marta!
Emily of Appetitive Behavior writes one of my favorite blogs. She comes up with some major droolworthy dishes and I always look forward to what's next! And she sure kept us drooling with her submissions (yes, plural as in 2 tasty recipes!) for the 'ganza! First up is this creative Amansala Ginger Salad Emily says that she had a version of this salad in a restaurant called Rangoon in Philadelphia with her boss and she was immediately taken with it. Although she could not reproduce it exactly, she says this version is an excellent substitution. I'm quite intrigued with the ginger in the salad, that's something I've never tried.. YET!
Her second submission is this, Melon Salad Agridolce. What we have here is one of my favorite things - a fruit and cheese platter. You know sliced melons, pears, grapes or cherries paired with nutty, creamy, salty, delicious cheese selections and usually there is a side of various nuts and always served with a good glass (or bottle, Kel!) of wine. Now take these components and turn them into salad. Genius!! You've got fresh greens with the cheese, the fruit and the nuts - and a red wine vinaigrette drizzled over it. Ohhh happy! happy! Thank you so much, Emily!
I'm grinning from ear to ear just thinking about this next salad.. You see, when I first saw Alanna's, of A Veggie's Venture, submission I knew I was going to run out to get the ingredients that very night. And I did.. and I squeeeeeeeeeee'd the whole way home. Seriously, just imagine some crazed woman with a bag of green beans in one hand, her other hand firmly gripped to the steering wheel of her car with this huge, teethy, maniacal grin on her face comin at you at 65 mph. Yeah, scary. Her Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing did this to me! I even blogged about it early and spoiled the debut for the Stravaganza! Hee! Thank you and thank you and thank you, Alanna!
Talk about your lovely and talented ladies, our next salad genius is Dolores, of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity. Unfortunately for last month's Hey! Hey! It's Donna Day event, Dolores was a a lil late in meeting the deadline, but it worked out perfect for us! Woot! Now we get to share with you (and our own tummies!) this completely droolworthy Caesar Salad with Skewered Shellfish. Holy cow.. does anyone have a tissue so I can wipe my chin(s)? Heavenly, Dolores, thanks so much!
One of my favorite ladies in the blogosphere is Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict. Jasmine has such a wonderful way of writing that I just really can't help myself but to love her posts. She was neck-deep in her classes, but still found the time to send us a most delicious salad with a tropical feel.. I introduce to you, The Tropical! YUM! This salad has all the fixin's - chicken, grapes, almonds, greens, peppers and a yummy raspberry vinaigrette - oh yeah baby! Thanks Jasmine - it sounds delish!
Jeanne, from Cook Sister! brings to us a most creative salad that she'd been playing around with in her head for quite some time. I'm so glad she finally decided to give it a try because she has me salivating by just reading her post (which I've read several times!). The vibrant color of that butternut squash just has me all ga-ga drooly. heee! Paired with the warm butternut squash is salty Feta cheese and crunchy pine nuts.. oh! my! God! I want some right now! =) Go check out this gorgeous Roasted Butternut, Feta & Pinenut salad immediately if not sooner! Thanks Jeanne!
What can I say about this next girl? Well.. exactly what can't I say about her? I could go on for days =) She is my partner in crime, my "sister" from afar, she's my confidante, my rock and the calming factor in my life. No one settles me down like Ivonne. You might be familiar with her "little" blog - Cream Puffs in Venice? hehee My dear, sweet friend Ivonne has not only made us one salad.. but three.. bless her cotton socks. ;) And what glorious salads they are! First we've got a warm and inviting mix of roasted potatoes, green beans and tomatoes. This is a type of salad I make often - and for the exact reason that Ivonne states, "The warm potatoes soak up the dressing..." Ohh how I love roasted potatoes in a salad, especially with a good oil and vinegar dressing.. YUM!
Her second and third salads come from Tracy Stern's Tea Party. The first of the two is what sounds to be a magical mix of both creamy and crunchy in a green apple and avocado salad with her own special dressing.. I will be using that dressing tonight, as a matter of fact! I can't wait! And finally, her third salad is pasta salad containing chickpeas, roasted red pepper, red onion and artichoke hearts. *swoon* We can't thank you enough, Ivonne - you rock!
Ahhh my Gracie. How I heart her so =) She is one of the driving factors in my life that makes me want to continue on in bettering my baking skills. Between her and my other love (I'm gettin kinky with all this lovin' going on!) Helene, I hope to one day at least be able to frost a damn cake evenly. hee! While reading Gracie's post, I was chuckling and giggling quite a bit. I guess we did kinda "gently remind" the Daring Baker crew of our lil salad event, didn't we? heheee! And I so love hearing what delicious and commonly loved foods her hubby doesn't like. hahahaaa! Which, yeah.. this time is salad. But that doesn't stop her - thank God! - although it's not as often as she'd like, she still enjoys salads - and if even half of them are anything like this one.. I'd be able to live on salad alone! Pears poached in red wine, bites of savory bleu cheese, spicy candied walnuts with a blackberry jam vinaigrette drizzled over each seductive bite. And I say seductive because - Hot damn, kids! This salad is sexxxxxy! Thanks for bringing the Sexy Back in salads, Gracie!! heee! Ohhhh.. and one more thing! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRACIE!!! Tomorrow (July 2) is Peabody's birthday - make sure you wish her many more to come!
Our second Romaine and Strawberry salad is brought to us by the lovely and very articulate Kristen of Dine and Dish. But there's nothing second hand about this gorgeous salad with it's creamy poppyseed dressing, no there is not! Kristin craves this recipe since she was introduced to it by a friend this past Easter. And I can totally see how she would crave it often. Okay that's 2 now - I am SO TRYING a romaine and strawberry salad before all the strawberries go away! Thanks Kristin - between you and Jenny, ya'll have got me craving it now too! =)
Laura's blog, EAT DRINK LIVE, had become a fast favorite for me. How I never found her before she joined the Daring Bakers, is a mystery to me.. or at least it's a reason I'm kicking myself in the arse over. Laura's baking abilities are bar none and her creativity in the kitchen is quite stunning! Just like this lil stunner of a salad, Spiced Orange and Avocado Salad Wow.. oranges and avocados.. just a lil slice of heaven right here on earth! Not only is this salad something special to look at, but it sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks muchly, Laura - you've once again blown me away!
Next is my smilie girl - I picture her smiling a lot AND she makes me smile alla time. =) Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms was kind enough to share with us her Grandma L's Super Salad! What this is, is a combination of super fresh ingredients, such as crisp romaine and carrots and then 2 of my favorite things, marinated mushroom and roasted red peppers! Yum! This sounds SO GOOD, Elle! Thank you sooooo much =)
I've met so many wonderful people in this blogging world of ours and truly, I am blessed. Whether I were to meet all of them or none of them in person, I am blessed.
I feel this way particularly for our next "salad mixologist". Morven and I were paired together for our first BBM over a year ago and we became fast friends. She's my soul sistah! I love you, Morv! =) (Does everyone pour out their hearts and kinkiness in their round-ups? :P ) 'kay well there's something else I love.. and that's roasted veggies.. and hoooo bay-bay, Morv's done us up right! A salad made up entirely of roasted vegetables with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and spring onions - all warm and caramelized and crispedy and creamery.. oh heaven's.. THIS is one of the reasons I love her so. :D Thank you Morven!
The ever charming Susan of Food Blogga has wowed me yet again with another one of her fresh veggie creations.. this time it's an inviting Warm Three Pea and Radish Salad. YUM! I love me my peas! And if this weren't enough, Susan educated us on the differences between the English pea, the Sugarsnap pea and the Snow pea as well as a little background on each and tips on how to prepare them. I learned something new! I always appreciate that. =) I also appreciate such a pretty and most delicious salad! Thanks so much, Susan!
Oh my gosh.. time for me to get sappy again! har! (You can scroll down a few lines if you've had enough of the sap) Callipygia of FOODchair is another close friend of mine who I cherish! We've shared much about each other - the good, the bad and the ugly. I don't know what I'd do if she weren't in my life. Course she'd be better off if I weren't in her life - lousy friend that I am!! Happy Belated Birthday, Callipygia!!!! I love you sweetie! =) (her birthday was yesterday, the 30th - everyone wish her a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) hehe And now on to her fabulous salad! Have you ever read Callipygia's posts? If you haven't I couldn't urge your more strongly to go and get comfy in her archives. You won't be disappointed. A damn good example is her post regarding mushrooms. Yep, mushrooms! Once you are finished reading, before you even realize you are famished and wish her Seven Generation Salad was sitting right in front of you, you'll notice just how much you take a mushroom for granted. Seriously. You rock, Callipygia - Thank you so much!
Hooo lordie, I'm going to start shortening up these lil write-ups! And this is a good one to try to keep short and sweet because - yes, you guessed it! - I could go on and on about how much I love Danielle's blog Habeas Brulee. This woman knows how to cook! She knows how to bake! She knows how to do attorney type things! My God, she knows how to blow glass, producing BEAUTIFUL bowls, vases, glasses, etc. A few of which are highlighted above.. she made the clear glass bowl and her sweetie made the red one! And you'd really need beautiful bowls to show off these 3 (THREE) beautiful salads. Firstly we have a very creative Fava Bean and cherry salad I gotta tell yas.. I'm so fakkin intrigued by this one - my "dislike" of beans doesn't even sway how much I'd like to try this! And then we've got two cucumber salads.. Danielle decided to compare two grandmother's recipes. Her own grandma's Hungarian style cuke salad and Alanna's (from A Veggie Venture) grandma's sour cream based cuke salad.. either or, I'd be SO HAPPY to have them in front of me, right now! Thank you so much, Danielle!
Well this is the price you pay when you have so many wonderful friends.. my very special Sara, whom I just adore. She's a wonderful cook, she's a great writer and she's trying to learn how to bake with me! She's also a very special friend (as if you couldn't guess?) - and if anyone is going to get me to eat tofu, it's going to be Sara. :D Sara out did herself this time.. not 1, not 2, not even 3 recipes - FOUR! Four fabulous salad recipes that had me drooling right from the start with this tomato salad "base". Fresh tomatoes, a lil salt, a lil oil & vinegar.. YUM! Building on to that she created this super yummy sounding Tomato Pasta salad! Double yum! And then she hits one out of the park with two pineapple salads that sound AMAZING! We can't thank you enough, Sara - 4 fabulous thigh trimming salads!
Lisa's blog, aptly named, Lisa's Kitchen is a new blog to me - but I gotta say - it looks great! And hey, you have to love a Lisa, right? =) Lisa brings us a creamy cole slaw that looks to die for.. this one I'm definitely making Hubbs as he's a cole slaw aficionado. He's going to love this and I'm going to love it sittin' beside a marinaded, grilled chicken breast - cole slaw and grilled chicken are the bomb! Thank you so much, Lisa!
And last but certainly not least (you can all sigh with relief, my long-windedness is almost complete) my partner in the Salad Stravaganza and very good friend, Kelly of Sass and Veracity! WOOOOO! Kelly! We did it, Sistah Christian!! Kel's salad is just way to fakkin good looking to even remotely being good for you. I absolutely positively REFUSE to believe that this salad is better than say.. a plate full of brownies (which, yes.. I've eaten for dinner before.) (DO NOT JUDGE ME!)
Brown Derby Cobb Salad with Marinated Top Round Steak. Could you just die right now? She marinated the steak and then she grilled the steak to medium rare perfection. And then.. then she sliced the steak into tender savory mouthfuls of joy. Can anyone else hear angels singing? And then.. AND THEN she boiled the eggs, she fried the bacon to the perfect crispedy crisp, she sliced the avocado and sprinkled on the bleu cheese.. AND THEN she grilled up some poultry mammories to juicy lipsmacking goodness. Could that be all? Hell no it couldn't be all.. THEN she whipped up a home made Cobb salad dressing.. *swoon*
Could somebody please shut those angels up?? I can hardly hear myself think! uhh?
HOLY CRAP!!!!! I'M THE WORSTEST HOSTESS IN ALL OF THE WORLD!! I FORGOT ONE OF THE SWEETEST GALS EVER =( I FEEL HORRIBLE.. WORSE THAN HORRIBLE! PLEASE GO GIVE KELLY-JANE LOTS OF SALAD LOVIN', KIDS!
My dear sweet Kelly-Jane, of Cooking The Books, who made us TWO gorgeous salads.. one of which I flipped over and will so definitely be making it as soon as some apricots become available.. and still - putting that recipe in my notebook to try this summer.. I FORGET TO ADD TO THE ROUND UP. I swear to God, I suck.
Kelly-Jane, I hope you can forgive me! But while I wait to find out what her punishment is going to be.. allow me to share with you what this very talented gal cooked up for us!
Firstly, she made this very pretty "Cowboy" salad of rice, beans, chicken sausage, spices and what looks to be an amazing lime dressing bringing all the glorious flavors out. This salad looks and sounds so good that I think it'd make a perfect dish to start off my "healthy bean eating" kick. YUM!
Secondly - and the one I really flipped over (yanno me by now - the sweet and the salt or the savory and I'm all fakkin over it) was her creamy and luscious Apricot, Ham and Cheese salad.. ohhh man it looks SO GOOD! I can't wait to make this for Hubbs, I think he's going to really enjoy it too. Again, I'm so sorry Kelly-Jane! But a great big THANK YOU! for an awesome submission of 2 really, really tasty lookin salads! xoxo
Anyhoo.. yes, yes my friends...
We can't thank you guys enough, seriously - way to make a lil salad round up so huge and filled to the gills with creativity. Ya'll rock.. but ya'll knew that, didn't you? ;)