Thursday, March 14, 2013

{neatly} Chopped Salad with Homemade Fruit Vinaigrette Dressing

I don't know about you, but it seems like everywhere I turn these days I see salads.  Now, don't misunderstand me and think that I'm complaining because I'm not.  I love salads.  I could probably just live on salads I love them SO much.  But what's with this whole "chopped" salad thing as of late?  It seems so random, and messy...and here's my Neatly Chopped Salad version of the popular chopped salads and I am throwing in a new dressing I came up with and adore!  (both are customizable too which is fantastic!)  So, enjoy!  :)

(Oh, and for the irony of that I have the new fancy camera I'd wanted for so long I can't seem to ever have it handy when I'm prepping food...I suppose I'm also still in the paranoid phase....(of fear or getting it messy) but this time I also didn't have my phone around to snap pics till the very sorry for the lack of prep pics!)

Neatly Chopped Salad
This salad serves 4 as an entree salad or about 8 as a side salad.
2 c. Cabbage (red or green), finely chopped
2 c. Romaine Lettuce, finely chopped
1 c. Broccoli, finely chopped
1 Cucumber, finely diced
2 Carrots, shredded
1/2 c. Craisins
1/2 c. Walnuts, roughly chopped
2 T. sugar
Cooked Chicken, optional

Fruit Vinaigrette Dressing 
3 T.  Strawberry, Peach or Apricot Jam
1 T.  Water
3 T.  Apple Cider Vinegar
2 T.  Canola Oil

1.  Make your vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients for it together and refrigerating until you are ready to serve the salad.  (At least 1 hour for it to chill.)
2. In a large bowl place cabbage, romaine, broccoli, cucumbers and carrots.  Using a two spoons gently mix the salad until it is well combined.  Cover and refrigerate.
3.  Place the walnuts and sugar in a greased skillet over medium heat stirring frequently until the sugar starts to carmelize on the nuts.  Remove from heat and place on a plate.  Sprinkle 1 additional teaspoon of sugar over the hot nuts.  Let cool.
4.  When ready to serve, toss the salad with dressing, and top with craisins and candied walnuts. (also top with chicken if you are using it!) Enjoy!
Pic doesn't do it justice.  This is quite an amazing salad.  I've had it three times in the last two days, it's that good!

Rocket Scientist's Bday Cake

Yes I am posting this a little a month late...but I still wanted to show you the cake I made for my Rocket Scientist for his birthday (big 32) this year!  So, here it is:
Business on the outside....

and a party on the inside!  If you would like to know how I achieved this let me know. I'm thinking about doing a tutorial on this!  :)  (It's easier than it looks) 

I made this from scratch and it was delicious!  We finished it off in record time.  The birthday man especially enjoyed it. :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Steak Tacos {in soft corn tortillas}

I know I've gone on before about my obsession love of authentic tacos.  I just can't get enough of them!  I have dreams of the ones we had in Mexico when I went with my Youth Group on a Missions Trip in 1999.  I've had a few tacos here and there (CO and NC) that come close too, but nothing is quite as good.  I've never quite been able to replicate them at home either...I'm not sure if it's that it doesn't taste as good at home or I just can't quite remember the combination of ingredients....but I just did come up with something that is just as good if not better than the memory! If that even makes sense...  So here it is:

Steak Tacos in Soft Corn Tortillas
1/2 lb. Steak*, marinate overnight with 1 T. Worcestershire Sauce, sprinkled paprika, salt and pepper
1 Small Onion, diced
1 Hot Pepper, finely diced (either Jalapeno or Serrano)
Cilantro, roughly chopped
Lettuce, shredded (I used romaine, but your favorite works!)
Corn Tortillas, preferably fresh

*whatever you have on hand, whatever you prefer or whatever you find a great deal on

1.  Take the steak that you marinated overnight and place it in a skillet on medium high heat. (I used my cast iron, but any will work)  Cook it about 2 minutes and then flip over and cook about 2 minutes.
2.  Put the steak on a cutting board and cut it up into small pieces.  Place back in skillet with diced onion and saute in a dash of oil until the onions start to go tender.
3.  Fill corn tortillas with shredded lettuce, steak/onion mixture and then top with peppers and cilantro.
4.  Serve immediately, and enjoy!  You can serve rice and beans along side to complete the meal.  Corn salsa, pico or other salsas would go well with these too!

These are so simple yet so yummy and healthy!  Yum-O! :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Treats Roundup!

You know, St. Patty's Day is one of my favorite holidays.  And do you know why????  It's because it is my oldest niece's Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!  And this year is a BIG one!  She's turning 12!  In fact, I can't believe it....but it's true, she's turning the big 1-2 in just a week!  So here's some cute green inspired treats for your fest!

And this has got to be my very favorite find....

Hope these give you some ideas for treats for school parties, birthday parties or just St. Patty's Day parties!  :)
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