Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Salads

I have been on the salad making roll lately! I have to preface this whole post by saying that I wish I could take mouth-watering photos of my food like all my Cooking Friends, but alas... I haven't graduated to that step.... yet! BWAHAHAHAH

The salads all started per Tina's request for her birthday lunch at the bank. So.... I wenta searchin':

Our first stop was Rice A Roni Salad on Allrecipes highly recommended by my Cooking Friend, Cookin' Mama - that is her mouthwatering photo with the recipe. This is very yummy stuff, I highly recommend using real full-fat mayo (sooo, sooo bad but sooooooooo good! LOL). Besides Tina's birthday lunch it has also made appearances at the potluck at church, the potluck for the drama club cast party, and Mrs. Smith's big birthday party. Everybody loves it! I don't change a thing, just use a good quality chicken (I usually poach it in a bit of chicken broth).

Next it was Greek Orzo Salad also from Allrecipes. This is so simple and it so good with the artichoke hearts and feta cheese. John from the bank almost ate the whole bowl! It too was a big hit at Mrs. Smith's birthday. All the girls wanted me to blog about it, so here ya are girls!

Also from Allrecipes for Tina's lunch I made a Chicken Pasta Salad two ways. I started with this recipe but didn't have enough feta for the full recipe, so I took half of the pasta/chicken/tomatoes/seasonings and served it the feta/italian dressing. I took the other half and mixed it up with cubed swiss cheese and extra thick ranch dressing. Everybody really like the ranch version. Also, I did not broil the chicken I just poached it again with the seasonings in chicken broth.

By this point, I was on a salad binge! So also for the drama cast party I was obsessed with the "white" no mustard potato salad I'd had at a previous birthday party (see the pic below where I'm annoyed to be caught stuffing myself with the wonderful potato-y goodness!) so I gave Martha Stewart's recipe a try. I kept my add-ins just to hard-boiled eggs. I like it a lot, but it still didn't match the other (I don't know who made it, so I can't even ask for the recipe - so if you happen to have made it for that party and are reading this, please share!).

Then as the last new salad experience, I had to try my favorite non-personal friend blogger, PW's Asian Noodle Salad. It was totally awesome, but the recipe made a cubic-you-know-what-load and I got tired of it before it was gone. I'd make it again if it didn't make so dang much! The girls weren't fans, which I was actually surprised KK didn't like it. Oh well, her loss - but it was still too much just for me.

And finally I'm giving you two of my all-time favorite salad recipes. Both of these come from my RAK Pack Friends and our cookbook.

Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad - from Ms. Kelly Luna
1 1/2 c. cucumber, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. tomato, sliced
1/2 c. onion, sliced (I like red onions for this!)
2 T. Splenda (or sugar if you like)
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. dried dill weed

Mix veggies in a glass bowl. Mix other ingredients together and pour over veggies. Refrigerate for at least an hour (longer is definitely better). Serve with a slotted spoon.

This is a summer treat! I have used dried cilantro in place of the dill for a different change of pace and love it like that as well.

Spinach Strawberry Salad - via Ms. Stephanie Hawkes

1/2 c. sugar
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. red onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. salt
Mix together and set aside.

6 c. spinach
2 c. strawberries
2 T. almonds, slivered

Mix salad and toss with dressing.

What a treat with good strawberries!!!!! I want some now.

Now run off and make yourself some salad!!!!

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