salad

better butterleaf “wedge” salad

IMG_2173

delicious and pretty salad!

Our friend Rachel originally inspired this salad as she wanted “individual” salads for an Oscar viewing party. While these wedges required a fork and knife, the end product was amazing.

I combined a few concepts from other recipes on Pinterest including this Williams-Sonoma Taste little gem salad recipe and added (what else?) bacon and some roasted chickpeas for a little crunch. The combo was incredible.

Here’s a look!

servings

 

12

prep:cook time

 

1 hr. including roasting chickpeas

ingredients yelloe

  • little gem (6) or butter leaf lettuce (4) (you can quarter the butter leaf or halve the little gem)
  • one package bacon
  • two cans chickpeas
  • bundle of radishes

Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 Tbs.+ fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs.+ champagne vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

instructions

  1. Roast your chickpeas following this recipe (although I pulled mine out about 20 minutes after I turned off the oven, and they were plenty crunchy).
  2. Bake the bacon until nice and crispy on another shelf in the oven.
  3. While the chickpeas are roasting and the bacon is crisping, halve or quarter the lettuce, thinly slice the radishes, and combine the salad dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. I used a little extra lemon juice and champagne vinegar than the recipe called for because I like tangy dressings, especially when mayonnaise is involved.
  4. Remove the chickpeas and allow them to cool.
  5. Remove the bacon from the grease in the pan and place them on paper towels. Coarsely cut into crumbles.
  6. Arrange the lettuce wedges in a shallow bowl or large tray, and sprinkle the bacon, chickpeas, and radish slices evenly over the lettuce.
  7. Finish with drizzled dressing (just use a spoon), and keep any extra toppings close by in case your guests want to add more to their serving.
pretty butter leaf lettuce

pretty butter leaf lettuce

arranged lettuce

arranged lettuce

I think radishes are underrated

I think radishes are underrated

salad ready for dressing

salad ready for dressing

IMG_2175

yums!

yums!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

nutritious & delicious – squash-beet bake

I originally made this recipe last fall out of It’s All Good when the boy was posted up in the wilderness for weeks at a time. Try as I might he just doesn’t love squash, so I figured I would chow down in solitude with no complaints or judgement. And while I took pictures and devoured the leftovers I totally spaced about blogging the recipe until I saw fresh beets in the market this week.

And while the ingredients are generally affiliated with the Fall and Winter, I think this recipe would make a perfect summer salad and is also beautifully colorful. I plan on recreating it this summer and possibly serving cold with a sprinkle (or seven) of goat cheese.

Enjoy!

ingredients

  • 2 large beets or 4 small beets (the more color the better) peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced, or 1 bag bag frozen, already cubed squash
  • 6 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (i used grapeseed oil as i had it in my pantry)
  • sea salt
  • arugula or green of choice
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

instructions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet (I prefer aluminum foil as it aids in the cleanup).
  2. Combine beets, squash and shallots in a large bowl and drizzle with oil and salt.
  3. Roast ~30 minutes while tossing halfway through.
  4. Place arugula or green of choice in serving bowl. I dressed my spinach lightly in a homemade salad dressing of oil, apple cider vinegar and mustard.
  5. Lightly layer vegetables on top of greens and sprinkle with toasted seeds and/or a sprinkle of goat cheese!
  6. Serve immediately or toss for a summer salad to serve cold!

**recipe from It’s All Good

IMG_7235

lovely beets

lovely beets

those colors

those colors

IMG_7246

IMG_7250

i used frozen, already cubed butternut squash

i used frozen, already cubed butternut squash for convenience

IMG_7254

IMG_7262

apple cider vinaigrette

how cute are these small bowls?

how cute are these small bowls?

ready to be served!

ready to be served!

IMG_7271

IMG_7276

taylor brass

brass blossom

eggs, eggs & feathers – easter dinner

I feel like we have all been a bit busy recently. After a tremendously busy holiday season and a crazy start to the new year, my new resolution is to shave away all the chaos that inevitably surrounds a holiday. So for Easter, I really just wanted to enjoy a relaxing day.

For Easter evning, I boiled my options down to either going to a movie with Krista and overindulging in halfpops and wine or hosting a small dinner. To at least be semi-festive, I decided on the latter. So the boy and I offered to host a very simple Easter dinner for Krista, Chase and Par Pars.

We enjoyed simple fare, a simple table and lovely company – the makings of a perfect Sunday evening and Easter holiday!

(Fair Warning: This post is almost entirely pictures of the decor as I failed to take more than one food picture or “company” picture…#bloggingfail)

decor

A fellow blogger over at barbaraglenfriend, (DG) sister and Oregonian who is currently living in Estonia perfectly summed up my sentiments about pastels when she chose lavender as the one pastel to use for her Easter brunch style post. Being as slate gray is my favorite color, pastels aren’t quite my jam, let alone every pastel color in a smorgasbord that has become Easter.

Here is a look at our natural Easter dinner table with a scattering of eggs, more eggs and some feathers with pops of gold, black and white!

  • floral paper from Willow Papery
  • white gerbera daisies in mason jars
  • large vase filled with gold Cadbury Caramel Eggs and pheasant feathers (courtesy of the boy)
  • white speckled, mild chocolate malted eggs
  • farm fresh, hard-boiled, speckled eggs as name tags (from my aunt, uncle and cousin’s chickens)
beautiful farm-fresh eggs from my aunt, uncle and cousins chickens

beautiful farm-fresh eggs from my aunt, uncle and cousins chickens

IMG_0728

thanks for the eggs!

thanks for the eggs!

hard-boiled egg for name tag

hard-boiled egg for name tag

IMG_0739

cadbury eggs + white, malted eggs

cadbury eggs + white, malted eggs

large feather center-piece

large pheasant feather center-piece

IMG_0745

IMG_0749

IMG_0750

IMG_0761

IMG_0755

IMG_0764

eggs + extra candy (of course in pastels) for munching on later

eggs + extra candy (of course in pastels) for munching on later

menu

 

Krista brought up a very valid point when we were discussing what to do for Easter – she doesn’t exactly love any Easter food. Being the rabbit eater (pun intended) that I am, I wholeheartedly agreed with her distaste. Thus, a clean, simple and nutritious menu was born.

  • smoked duck, cheddar and local Sun Valley Mustard
  • wild rice with toasted edamame beans
  • baked asparagus with olive oil, sea salt and Parmesan cheese
  • salmon with lemon, onions, fresh rosemary, olive oil, sea salt and white pepper (grunt work done by the boy)
  • arugula, goat cheese, pear and sunflower seed salad
  • a bite of selected desserts from Sun Valley’s Konditorei
the boy's plate

the boy’s plate (from quite possibly the most awkward angle)

the company

While you have probably seen our faces and our boy’s faces enough, I refuse to believe you can never get enough of these darlings. Plus, these happen to be the only pictures I actually took of the “company” for the evening…

miss maude pod

miss maude pod

love pug lizzie

love pug lizzie

taylor brass

brass blossom

superfood salad – kale & brussels sprout salad

IMG_0913

superfood salad

Our friend Rachel originally made this salad for “Friendsgiving” Dinner. Even the pickiest of eaters who claim to not like brussels sprouts and kale cleaned their plates. I was immediately obsessed with this delicious salad, not only for the taste but also for it’s combination of superfoods that please the pickiest of palates.

Another fabulous part of this salad is it keeps so well, even after dressed, as the kale softens slightly and the flavors blend. This salad has become a weekly staple for me adapted from Bon Appétit to make it a part of an easy weeknight dinner.

SERVINGS: 1-2

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 large pieces of kale
  • 8-10 brussels sprouts
  • handful of raw almonds with skin
  • handful of dried pomegranates (pomegranates arils or fresh raspberries work just as well!)
  • handful of shaved parmesan cheese
  • oil for toasting almonds
  • “Annie’s Green Goddess” salad dressing

IMG_0899

  1. Add ~1 tbsp of your oil of choice to a small skillet on med-high heat. I use sesame oil, as I think it adds great flavor to the almonds. Toss in the almonds and coat with the oil. Stir constantly until golden brown.
  2. Wash and gently massage kale if desired. Finely chop kale, removing the stem. Place in large bowl.
  3. Wash, cut off ends and halve brussels sprouts. Place in food processor or chop as finely as possible. I have noticed that the shredded brussels sprouts almost add a creamy consistency. Place in large bowl with kale. 
  4. Transfer cooled nuts to a paper towel or kitchen towel and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Add dried pomegranates (the market was out of pomegranates arils which was my first choice so I opted for dried), parmesan cheese and almonds to bowl.
  6. Add dressing as desired. The original dressing is great but I have had a serious obsession with “Annie’s Green Goddess” dressing recently and it is perfect for the times when making a homemade dressing just sounds out of the question!
  7. Enjoy!

IMG_0897

sesame oil for toasting

IMG_0902

this is one of my favorite ways to add a crunch to any salad

IMG_0903

raw, halved brussels sprouts

IMG_0909

shaved to create a “creamy” consistency

IMG_0914

eat to your heart’s desire!

The original dressing is a fabulous dressing for not only this salad but for all salads but can easily be substituted for whatever you may be craving. When I make the original dressing, I generally make a bigger batch and store it in a mason jar in the fridge for easy use!

taylor brass

brass blossom