Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Salads and Salad dressings YUM!

I love eating salads. I especially love them when they have fruit and toasted nuts in them. But the best part is if they come with a wonderful, homemade dressing. I love to cook and try new things. I found a website that I really love. That is the Jessica Seinfeld website.   It's called DoitDelicious.com.

Jessica Seinfeld teaching Oprah a thing or two...

 She teaches her friends to cook with short videos and does real easy stuff that takes 20 minutes, but that tastes delicious. That is right up my alley. I bought her book for my daughter last year and I bought one for myself too. See the link  HERE She likes to hide pureed veggies in things like chicken nuggets and brownies (great idea!) I have found that adding things like applesauce and puddings to cakes made them very dense and rich. I've done that for years. I'm sure it is the same principal using pureed veggies.

Cute Gwyneth...who knew she could cook!

I also like to read Gwyneth Paltrow's blog called GOOP.  She spends a lot of time on her blog and she is a really good writer. I appreciate all the different ideas she shares, from travel, to cooking, to eating right and exercising. On the GOOP website I found an interview Gwyneth did with Jamie Oliver the Food Revolution guy. He is a very good cook.  He has some wonderful recipes with lots of ingredients (unfortunately) but very short prep time that I have fun trying.  He gives 4 yummy salad dressing recipes that sound really mouth watering and I'm trying them.  The link is HERE  for Jamie's salad dressing recipes.
Here's another salad I love, Tai Chicken salad. Yummy! It tastes like something from Pei Wei.. it's got those yummy noodles.  It's from Martha Stewart's website. Find the link HERE
I liked Gwyneth's blog when she  talks about how she got in shape to do the IRONMAN movie playing Pepper Potts. I LOVED that movie, both 1 and 2.  I love Robert Downey Jr., too of course. He's such a dollface!

 Well, this tortuous routine made it clear why she looks as svelte as she does in that movie and how she could wear all those tight skirts and tops and look so terrific after a couple of kids. It looks arduous to say the least. Link is  HERE 

greek artichoke salad...yummy

It's been so cold outside that we've been having INSIDE DAYS at school. That means the kids stay in the classroom all day long without a break. I cleaned out my rainy day cabinet and added some new games and the first graders are very content to play Candyland, Checkers and Chess, Legos or Playdough, or lots of other fun activities. They only come out on rainy days or inside days, so it is something they really look forward to.

I even have a kiddie rug of a city and a basket full of little Hot Wheels cars and they have a boatload of fun with that.  Amazingly, the bin full of dinosaurs is always used by girls and boys alike. They just act out stories and adventures with them. It is really fun to watch them actually. You forget how fun it was to be a kid.  So anyways on days like this, you want to come home and make some hot, comfort food like soup and salads. 

I'm kind of on a kick lately though. My alltime favorite recipe for fish is one I make at least three times a month. It is pecan crusted Salmon with a mustard honey sauce and a crunchy topping with breadcrumbs and crushed pecans. I make it just with a leftover heal of bread diced up. Here is a recipe. HERE is Baked Dijon Salmon. The secret to fish is getting it in a hot oven for a short period of time, but with the crust it is trickier because you don't want to blacken the crust, just golden brown it. So I bake it for 4 minutes and then broil it for 3 minutes, and that usually does the trick, high oven, like 400 but I put it on the middle rack.

roasted veggies...yummy too!
My favorite side dish is roasted veggies on a cookie sheet on 450 just with a little olive oil and sea salt, sooooo yummy you will want it for an afternoon snack in a little tupperware the next day. Sweet potatoes and red pepper and mushrooms are especially delicious, but you know, I have even put carrots and potatoes in there when I had nothing else and they turn out fabulous.  The natural sweetness of the veggies comes out when roasting them.  This with a fresh spinach salad with fresh blueberries or dried cranberries and avocado with a raspberry vinegrette is like, so my fav dinner!  If you've never roasted veggies before, watch this video, that's how I learned how. Link is HERE..

  Try not to freeze your #%@ off this week! Go make something hot and yummy. Mmmmmm. Cooking is one of life's simplest pleasures.

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