Tag Archives: dinner salad

Cobb Style Steak Salad

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I was hoping Mother Nature might take pity on us by wielding her mighty weather wand because October has arrived and with it, the promise of Fall.  All things apples and pumpkins, steaming bowls of comforting soup to stave off a late afternoon chill in the air.  New wooly socks and freshly knitted scarves in blended hues of purple and rust.  Leaves that change color seemingly overnight, then fall to the ground before one realizes it.  Standing on the porch in the evening to inhale the fresh air and scent of burning wood from a fireplace nearby.  Cuddling and snuggling…

Wait.  Not necessarily.

It’s a sweltering 94 degrees today, and for those who live inland in San Diego county, the temperatures are well past 100 degrees.  There’s a breeze wafting through our house, but it’s a warm one and so the fan cycling the air beneath my desk sends welcome relief.  As much as it is not all that unusual for our weather to be warm well into Fall, this is a bit much, and it’s had me thinking about the idea of looking forward to something often elusive — for me, at least — instead of embracing that which is today, and now.

The hubster and I often chide ourselves for being the weather nerds we are, but so be it.  And just to confirm it, I have a weather widget on all my devices tagged with my favorite cities — or cities where my favorite people live — and I frequently check to see how their weather differs from ours. Yes, really.

Guess what?  It seems to be pretty warm most everywhere today.  Allow me to illustrate:

Virginia (my sister lives there) is not quite as warm as it is here, but 75 degrees today is quite nice for October 2nd even if there are thunder storms.

Toronto (where I had the great pleasure of visiting recently) enjoyed a balmy 68 degrees today.

Western New York state (my childhood BFF lives there) had rain, but it was 66 degrees.  That’s warm by my standards and rain would be most welcomed.

San Francisco (teh ManBoy goes to school there) was most likely baking in the high 80s temps today and I heard from his roomie, so check.

Rota, Spain (my favorite childhood home) enjoyed 80 degree temps. Beach, anyone?

Even London, England (favorite vacation destination) managed 61 degrees today. Not enough for more than two light layers.  Maybe.

Fall?  What Fall?  Seriously?

I’ll blatantly ignore the calendar (and far more delicately with apologies, of course, the lovely New England folks nudging the rest of us along their pipe dream), to wallow instead in the moment of nowTodayLife where I live.   Life where fresh produce grows all year long and Farmers’ Markets don’t close for the season.  Really!  Life where the sun shines and shines.  I need to embrace the warm days and nights craved in June when the calendar said I should, instead of knowing they’d show up as they always do in September and October.  Brace myself for the piercing sunlight so normal here for this time of year. Welcome the nights of cool relief from the day’s heat. People who deal with excessive humidity just don’t understand the wonder of it.  It’s not the same as their summer.  Their heavy heat and humidity.  Not even close.

Relax and enjoy that life is good, I say. Regardless.

Perhaps we’ll have a salad for dinner since I can’t bear to think of turning on the oven for the Macaroni & Cheese I promised the hubster.    No, this recipe for Cobb Style Steak Salad will be something  that  the barbie can be fired up for if you’d like, or more easily, a panini pan used if one is handy. Either way, it’s all about enjoying the fresh flavors of a great dinner salad — warm weather or not.

Nice.

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Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn

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Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn

We’ve enjoyed so many different great recipes this summer, I haven’t done a very good job of keeping it up when it comes to sharing them with you.  What’s my excuse?  Well.  I’d say pull up a chair and allow me to share the photos of what we’ve been doing while enjoying the season to its fullest, but I’m out of wine and what fun is it to enjoy a slide show and chat without a beverage?

If you could have a sit with me out on the patio,  you might convince me the late afternoon air is not nearly as hot as what most have to deal with — or remind me it’s most likely the humidity which is rarely as high as it’s been, especially at this time of year.  And as we watch the color of the sunset turn the palms across the street a soft, glowing gold, we could plug in the party lights, light the votive candles in the jars on the table, and if you feel the slightest bit chilly, light the log I have in the chiminea, waiting for just this occasion.

We’d have to eat, of course, because good conversation flows more easily with food — as long as it’s good food.  Our food is always good.  Like this recipe for Fried Green Tomato Salad with Grilled Onions and Corn.  I’ve never fried green tomatoes before, so when I saw them at the market thought it was about time.  When I was growing up, my mother talked about eating fried green tomatoes — how her mother had made them.  But we never had a vegetable garden, and I can imagine that if we did, picking tomatoes before they were ripe just might be some kind of a breach of garden etiquette.

If you’re still sweltering in the extended summer heat or humidity, then perhaps you’re like us — wanting to take in a lighter meal.  One that won’t leave you wishing you hadn’t eaten all that food, but more a feeling of having had something tasty and satisfying.

Let’s say this salad has some bite, shall we?  Oh, and because I made this more like I would for our family dinner —  I wasn’t exact with many of the ingredients (just like my mother when she made dinner).  Practice your estimation skills and you’ll be just fine.

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Southwestern BBQ Chicken Salad

Returning our son to San Francisco for another year of school marks an unofficial end of summer for us.  Twelve weeks of his being at home included road trips filled with yummy eats, movie nights, drives through fast food joints, and food we haven’t had in the house in a while.  Tortilla chips, anyone?  One of us managed to keep weight gain under control, and the other?  Well, he looked at me on the long drive home and said, “Salads for a week starting tomorrow.” I didn’t bother to remind him we’ve enjoyed hearty salads all summer long — salads that are a meal — and that gaining back half of the weight he worked so hard to lose the first five months of this year was more about office food grazing, snacking in general, and the second portion he enjoys whenever something tasty is on the menu.  Around here, that’s pretty much every day.

The official end of summer isn’t for another month, so that more than allows me an excuse to share some of the salads we’ve had recently.  Like this Southwestern BBQ Chicken Salad we had mid-July.  When the boys were much younger, we liked to go to TGI Fridays once in a while and I loved their southwest chicken salad.  I don’t remember the exact ingredients, but no matter.  How hard is it to figure out what qualifies as “southwest?”

I marinated a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts with some of my husband’s left over barbeque sauce (I need to share that recipe!) and allowed them to sit in the fridge all day.  At dinner time, I sent him outside to put them on the grill while I chopped the veggies.  The salad dressing in this recipe is a riff on a buttermilk dressing I made with yogurt instead to keep that tang I like so much.

It’s a quick and easy meal with a salad dressing that won’t bust your calorie counting for the day.

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