Monday, August 16, 2010

The ACD Salad- Avocado, Cucumber and Dill

As I mentioned in my recent post, Summer makes me hot for salads! Which is why I'm giving you another cool and crunchy recipe! I first laid taste buds on this amazingness at the St Regis buffet in Kauai last month. It was by far the yummiest dish of the spread and opened my eyes to what dill can really do. The cucumbers make this dish very refreshing and the avocado adds a creaminess that goes nicely with the dill. If you're not a huge fan of dill then this dish isn't for you. But if you ARE into dill, then I can promise you pure enjoyment with this healthy, simple and cooling combination.

I want to mention that the salad tastes best with a homemade vinaigrette but if your rushed on time or feeling lazy, just squirt a lemon on top and drizzle with olive oil s&p. It's still insanely good.

Cherry Tomatoes
Red Onion
Fresh Dill
Red Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Dice the onions finely and place them in vinegar to soak. This softens there intense and harsh flavor. Dice the cucumber, avocado, and halve, or quarter the cherry tomatoes. You want the vegetables to be roughly the same size. Mince the fresh dill. Throw everything into a bowl and squeeze half a lemon on top to keep the avocado from browning. Whip up a vinaigrette by whisking a few teaspoons of vinegar and 1 tsp of mustard together. Continue whisking while you pour a slow stream of olive oil in (about 1/2 cup). Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and be dillighted! (ha ha sorry, I'm a sucker for cheesy jokes ;)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Favorite Bites - Whole Foods Sandwich

When I want a quick and delicious lunch I grab a sandwich from Whole Foods. They use good quality ingredients and prepare you sandwich however you desire. I find that they put a lot of care and love into their work so your sandwich always comes out just how you like it. Beware though, not all Whole Foods make quality sandwiches. I find the Hollywood location on Fairfax and across from the grove to be the place where the real sandwich artists reside.

There are so many delicious sandwiches out there but this is my usual go-to (at Whole Foods). A vegetarian sandwich on whole wheat bread with vegenaise, mustard, olive tapenade, mixed greens, onions, pickles, cucumber, avocado, oil & vinegar and S&P.

What's your go-to sandwich? Which Whole Foods do you like best?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Strawberry, Arugula & Fennel Salad

During the Summer there is nothing that I crave more than salads. Except for my strange and sudden addiction to pink berry. I've waited in line for their happy 3 days in a row! I'm honestly ashamed. One free parfait sampler led to an out of control addiction. I'm hoping that by coming clean on Spoondles, the secret won't weigh me down as much. This also may be a good time to mention my addiction to the Bachelor? I know it's trash. But the cat fights are quality. OK I feel better all ready. We all have guilty pleasures right?

Moving on to a not so guilty pleasure. Salads. I've always loved salads. I was what you may call a professional salad maker at age 14. When I was in high school it was my duty to make the salad every night. Wash the lettuce, spin it dry, top with hand grated carrots and beets and a dash of sunflower sprouts. Voila! I was the best in the household. This salad profession inevitably led me to become a salad connoisseur. Now I try salads all over the United States of America and beyond. Recently I tried a green leaf concoction that left quit an impression on me for 3 reasons. It's simplicity, uniqueness and surprising harmony.

This salad (recipe below) surprised me for the sole fact that I have not been a fan of fennel (until now). Thinly sliced fennel mixed with the sweetness of strawberry and bitterness of arugula topped with a light citrus dressing was a refreshing summer treat. You can add goat cheese to give it an extra creaminess but it is in no way necessary. Trust me when I say that this is a salad worthy of any other professional household salad maker out there ;)

Strawberry, Arugula and Fennel Salad
Red wine Vinegar
Olive oil
S & P
Crumbled goat cheese- optional

Thinly slice the fennel and chop the strawberries. Mix them in a big bowl with the arugula and lemon juice. Pour 1-2 tbs olive oil and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Kali Lindner

Monday, August 2, 2010

Taste My Photos

This past Saturday I decided to sign up for a Phototasting class to unleash my inner photographer. It was held at Cube Marketplace which is a wine and cheese bar, restaurant and uh... marketplace. It was the smartest decision I made all week. (Other than sideswiping a trash can on Monday which cleanly sliced off my passenger side mirror.) The class was taught by food bloggers from Rants and Craves and The Kitchy Kitchen.

This was the deal. We listened to and watched an hour tutorial slide show while sipping wine. We waited for tasty morsels to be brought out so we could eat... ugh um... I mean photograph them. We took pictures of the delicious food, and then... ate the display . A perfect piglet class. It's nice when you can eat the art. Besides learning a few new tricks on my camera, I also met some really cool bloggers. Am I proud of myself? Hell yes! Are my newfound sweet photographic skills too classy for Spoondles? This has yet to be determined.

Cube Cafe

Heirloom tomato and fresh peach salad with buffalo mozzarella

Black truffle pizza topped with eggs

Bacon wrapped pork with a side of creamy polenta

Peach shortbread topped with whipped cream

The next day I decided to go out for another fatty lunch at il Pistaio and take some pictures on my own...

Baby artichoke and arugula salad

Seafood pasta

Eggplant with smoked mozzarella on pappardelle

Man, does Spoondles look classy or what?!


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