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  1. Thursday, February 10

    Santa Fe Salad

    Tonight we’re having Santa Fe Salad. I’ve linked to the recipe before, but I’ve never written about it. So here we are!

    I modified this recipe from a salad I used to order at a restaurant in San Diego. The biggest reason I like this salad is the cornbread croutons. They are YUM. I suppose ranch dressing doesn’t hurt either. 😉

    Santa Fe Salad
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Salad
    Ingredients
    • 2 hearts of romaine, chopped up
    • 1 granny smith apple, chopped
    • Handful or two of cubed gouda
    • Cornbread croutons (see below)
    • 3 handfuls of corn (canned or frozen or fresh…whatever you’ve got!)
    • ½ can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • Chopped walnuts (optional – I always leave these out)
    • Thinly sliced red onion (also optional)
    • Chopped cooked chicken (optional – I never do the chicken, actually – but it would be a yummy addition)
    • Ranch dressing
    • BBQ Sauce (optional, good drizzled on the chicken)
    Instructions
    1. Combine all the ingredients and eat!

    Cornbread Croutons
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Cornbread – premade is fine, jiffy mix is fine, I followed the simple recipe on the back of the cornmeal box for an 8″ x 8″ pan
    • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cube cornbread. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet and brush/drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the croutons over every 5 minutes so the bottoms don’t burn. Serve with Santa Fe Salad or any other salad that strikes your fancy. And, as I’m typing, I’m even thinking this might be a fun topper for chili!

     


  2. Tuesday, February 8

    The Un-Recipe

    My dear friend Emily (who I often credit the existence of this blog to) sent me an email recently with a great blog post idea: The Un-Recipe. Here’s part of Emily’s email: “In my family we have a thing we make a thing called “Melted On Cheese.”  Yep, you guessed it, it’s cheese melted on bread…usually in the microwave. Not a recipe. But it has a name, and all my siblings make and eat it. It’s not fancy, and other families would probably think it’s gross. I think a lot of families have recipes like this…”

    When I first read her email I thought I didn’t have any Un-Recipes in my life. Then the other day, as I was pulling out some Ritz crackers and cottage cheese, I realized my family most definitely has an Un-Recipe: Cottage Cheese and Crackers. Just like Emily said, it has a name, my family eats it, it’s not fancy, and other people might think it sounds gross. I was able to mark off every checkbox for the definition of Un-Recipe! I can totally remember my mom making this for me when I was a kid. I loved it. I wanted to squeeze as many Ritz crackers onto the plate as possible. I still eat it and think it’s mighty tasty.

    So, thank you Emily for a great post idea! I can’t wait to hear about all of your Un-Recipes! Please share!


  3. Sunday, February 6

    Week 211 Menu

    A big bowl of this stuff means only one thing at our house…Super Bowl Sunday!

    Last week when I planned my menu I completely forgot that it was the Super Bowl Sunday today! We’re heading over to some friends’ this afternoon where we will indulge in plenty of delicious snacking, including some hummus guacamole dip and, of course, sweet chex mix, which I can only justify eating once a year (hello high-calorie, high-fat goodness!).

    MONDAY:
    Chicken Parmesan (never made last week)
    – Pasta with tomato sauce

    TUESDAY:
    Kitchen Sink Quesadillas – yes, we did have these last week, but I have some leftover stuff and the girls loved them, so they’re on the menu again!

    WEDNESDAY:
    Santa Fe Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out

    SATURDAY:
    Lentil Soup

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for dinner – waffles, perhaps…

    Your turn! Let’s see what you’ve got planned for the week! And have a great Sunday filled with football (I feel like I have to say that), commercials and, most importantly, FOOD!


  4. Friday, February 4

    Why You Should Buy a Toaster Oven…and the Giveaway Winner! (You have to read her comment, trust me.)


    I think I’ve convinced a fair number of you that a toaster oven is worth having. But a few of you seem to be on the fence. And I want to push you off that fence! Here are the reasons why I much prefer having a toaster oven over a regular toaster:

    • A toaster can toast toast. That’s about it.
    • A toaster oven can toast toast. And so much more! Big thick bagels? No problem! Want to toast more than 2 pieces of bread at one time? Bring it on!
    • We use our toaster oven for reheating food all the time. For example, pizza. I’ll zap my pizza in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to get some heat infused. Then I toast it in the toaster oven until the crust crisps up nicely. Until I had a toaster oven, I HATED pizza leftovers. Never ate them. Now I’ll eat leftover pizza til the cows come home. (Side note: you don’t even need to use the microwave at all, it just sort of speeds the process along.)
    • Pizza isn’t the only thing I’ll reheat in a toaster oven – pretty much anything with bread involved works wonderfully. Another example, muffins on the bake setting for 5 or so minutes…yum! Let your reheating imaginations run wild!
    • As many of you commented on the giveaway post, it’s great to have access to a small oven without having to heat up a big old traditional oven. Sometimes you just don’t need a full oven. It saves energy and, in the summer, doesn’t heat up your house quite as much.
    • You can bake in a toaster oven. Show me a toaster that does that and I’ll eat my non-existent hat.
    • This is specific to my new Smart Oven that is HUGE…but, it’s going to be awesome at the holidays because I’ll have more oven space to work with. So excited about that!

    I’m sure I’m missing something. But those are the main benefits that I’ve really grown to appreciate over the years. Hope that helps tip a few of you off of that toaster oven fence!

    And now, the winner of the Breville Smart Oven. And, I SWEAR the random number generator picked her…but when you read this comment, you’re going to think I rigged it so that we could share this little story with the world.

    Sue, who said “I had lunch with a 90 year old friend who pointed to a really really old microwave that she says she has never once used. She sent her husband to get her a toaster oven and he came home with the microwave. She said she had no interest in it and let it sit all these years in silent protest for having not gotten her toaster oven. I’d love to have one as nice as this!”

    How great is that story? LOVE it. And I love that 90-year-old woman. 🙂 Congratulations, Sue! I’m certain you will enjoy your new Smart Oven!

    Big thanks to Breville for such a fabulous giveaway! You can follow them on Facebook, which I think you should. They’re great. 🙂


  5. Wednesday, February 2

    ‘Books I’m Reading’ with Martha Stewart: Cutting for Stone

    Book report time! The next book for the Martha Stewart Books I’m Reading book club is called Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I was beyond delighted when I found out this month’s title because it is the same book that my in-real-life book club is reading right now. Woo-hoo! I could finally kill two birds with one book, so to speak, and I had been wanting to read this book after several recommendations from friends.

    The book is long and I’m actually not quite done with it…but I will be in the next few days and am really enjoying the novel. In fact, I just came to an exciting part of the story and all I want to do right now is sit down and read! The author Abraham Verghese is a doctor and professor at Stanford. One thing I really appreciate when reading Cutting for Stone is knowing that an actual physician wrote the book and that I can trust the medical descriptions in the novel. Of course, that also lends itself to some pretty graphic scenes, which in all honestly don’t phase me but might bother others.

    I really like the story and care about the characters, who are all unique and well-developed. There are many beautiful sentiments and lines in the story that cause me to pause and think, and throw a bookmark in for later discussion. I really enjoy that there is a strong sense of place in the novel. I feel transported to the places that Verghese describes – whether it is an airplane that nearly crashes or an African country experiencing a political coup. And there’s just a bit of mystery about the characters (one in particular) that drives you through the novel. I always love a little intrigue.

    All in all, I really like Cutting for Stone. I think it is a bit long, but even having said that, I never feel bored and always enjoy reading the book. I am really looking forward to my book club meeting on Tuesday night to chat about the book with my friends.

    Abraham Verghese will be on The Martha Stewart Show tomorrow 2/3/11 on the Hallmark channel. I’ve got my DVR all set!

    On a side note, as you know I’m participating in this book club through the Martha’s Circle of bloggers, sponsored by Sony. At the start of the book club, Sony sent me a Pocket Reader to read the books on. I haven’t really talked much about the reader because I wanted to use it and get a feel for it. I actually really like it. It’s super small, which is both a positive and a negative. Positive because it fits in a little pocket in my purse so it’s easy to carry around. Negative because the screen is pretty small so you have to flip the pages often. My favorite thing about the reader is that it’s so much easier to read in bed than a normal book. It’s great! Anyway, I’m really loving the whole ‘reader’ concept, which surprises me because I thought I could never leave a paper book behind. “I love technology…” 😉


  6. Tuesday, February 1

    Chocolate Covered Raisins Are the Best Medicine, Right?

    Still sick. 3 weeks and counting. My little Anna’s had a cold for weeks, too. Last Thursday she topped it off with an ear infection. And even though I know they’re not contagious, I think I might have an ear infection, too. Time to call the doctor, I suppose. Gotta love the winter!

    I did get to the grocery store yesterday and made sure to pick up chocolate covered raisins. I hear they help with congestion. Or bringing people back from the dead. Or something medicinal. Right? Are you with me?

    Seriously, though, the milk chocolate covered raisins at Trader Joe’s are the best. Way better than Costco’s. And, for those of you without a Trader Joe’s nearby, they would ship well…so make those family and friends with access send you some in the mail! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner after all!