Spinach and Orzo Salad

from Self.com


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz baby spinach leaves
  • 1 lb cooked orzo
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz chopped feta or haloumi cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  1. In a small pan, warm oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Sauté garlic until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer garlic and whatever oil remains in the pan to a bowl.
  4. Add 3 tbsp juice, 2 tsp zest, salt and pepper; whisk to combine.
  5. Add spinach and toss lightly.
  6. Add orzo, olives, cheese, onion and mint.
  7. Toss to combine; serve.

Field Greens with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Adapted from Vincent and Mary Price’s  A Treasury of Great Recipes

Field Greens with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

  • 1 lb field greens
  • 6 green onions
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T champagne vinegar
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Wash and prepare field greens.
  2. Mince 6 green onions.
  3. Mix with field greens in a large bowl.
  4. Mash garlic and cover with olive oil. Let stand for 30 minutes. Discard garlic and trickle olive oil over green and let stand.
  5. Sauté bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on absorbent paper. Reserve bacon fat.
  6. Best together egg, sugar, two vinegars.
  7. Pour slowly into warm bacon fat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened slightly. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Pour over the field greens and toss well.
  9. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and blue cheese over the salad. Serve immediately.

Blue Cheese and Pear Salad

recipe courtesy of weightwatchers.com

This blue cheese dressing was seriously awesome.  I added more black pepper than it called for and a pinch of salt.  It’s quick, easy, and far better than anything out of a bottle.  Note: I used a mix of romaine, radicchio, and frisée for the salad.


  • 1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup(s) blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  •  1 bunch(es) arugula, baby variety
  •  1 head(s) romaine lettuce, roughly torn
  •  3 medium pear(s), cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped walnuts, toasted
  1. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, blue cheese, garlic and pepper; set aside.
  2. Combine arugula, romaine and pears in a large serving bowl; drizzle with dressing and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

Dive in to Texas Shrimp

This is an article from gotexan.org.  I’m a huge shrimp snob and only get Gulf Brown when possible.  Read to the end for a tasty recipe using Texas shrimp.

Texas Wild-Caught Gulf Shrimp: Summer Goodness by the Boatload

Texas has more than 600 miles of shoreline. That means fresh, premium shrimp and seafood are within easy reach of most Texans.
Wild-caught Texas gulf shrimp set the world standard for flavor and quality. Gulf shrimp are distinguished by their unique, salty-sweet taste and succulent texture. And when you choose wild-caught varieties, you’re getting healthy, natural delicacies raised in the historic shrimp-netting waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Texas waters produce three varieties of shrimp:
Brown: A premium shrimp with a hearty bold flavor.

White: A tender shrimp with a sweet, light taste.

Pink: A lesser-known Texas variety with a fresh, delicate flavor.

Texas gulf shrimp are available in a range of sizes for grilling, baking, sautéing, stews and salads.
Texas shrimp contain no saturated fat and are packed with essential amino acids. A single portion of wild-caught gulf shrimp (9 to 12 medium shrimp) provides an impressive 18 grams of protein. And, a serving of shrimp has only 150 milligrams of cholesterol.

Shrimp Tips
Texas shrimp should be refrigerated, frozen or placed on ice immediately. Uncooked shrimp can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, or frozen for up to three months.

Texas Citrus Salad
Serves 6-8
Citrus Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp Texas Red Grapefruit juice
  • 2 Tbsp Texas Orange juice or orange-infused vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (optional)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Clove Minced garlic
  • ½ Cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Minced cilantro
  • Salt and pepper


  • 6 Cups Mixed spring greens
  • 1½ Cups Texas Red Grapefruit sections
  • 1 Cup Texas Orange segments
  • ½ Medium Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb Cooked Texas Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ Cup Chopped Texas Pecans, toasted
  • Minced cilantro to garnish


  1. To prepare the vinaigrette: Combine the juices, honey (if using), mustard, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse to blend.
  2. With the machine running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube. Stir in the minced cilantro. Adjust seasonings to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. To serve:
  • Toss the greens with enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Place on chilled salad plates, and top with the Texas Red Grapefruit, Texas Orange sections, and thinly sliced onion.
  • Add cooked Texas Shrimp, and sprinkle with toasted Texas Pecans. If desired, drizzle with a bit more dressing. Serve immediately.

Spicy Watermelon and Jarlsberg “Chimol”

Thanks again so much to Fran from ThinRecipes.com for developing this recipe for us to use to the OXO Kitchen Challenge at Eat, Write, Retreat 2012.  It was simply delicious!  The watermelon and Jarlsberg are not traditional ingredients in Chimol, but was added as they were secret ingredients in the challenge.

Spicy Watermelon and Jarlsberg “Chimol”

Chimol is typically a condiment in Honduras.  I’ve taken the basic “Chimol” and enhanced it to come up with a savory salad with the sweetness of Watermelon and Orange.  It’s full of texture and bite and goes with just about anything you might serve for lunch or dinner.  The Jarlsberg is a very unexpected added layer which takes a typical Central American salad to the level of a light meal.
  • 3 ears of fresh Corn on the Cob, husks pulled back and silk removed, or husks removed completely
  • 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 fresh Orange juice
  • 1 English Cucumber, peel on, diced
  • 1 small Red Onion, sliced paper thin — I use a hand-held mandoline for this purpose
  • 2 Chipotle in Adobo, diced (I use canned)
  • 1 can plain Black Beans, rinsed
  • Lindsay Black pitted Large Black Olives, sliced
  • 1 wedge Jarlsberg, cut into medium dice
  • 4 sprigs fresh Mint, torn
  • 1 small bunch of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 seedless or seeded Watermelon, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black Pepper to taste
  • 8- 10 fresh Corn Tortilla rounds
  1. Heat a grill or a grill pan until smoking hot
  2. While the grill is heating, pull the husks of the corn back and remove the silk
  3. Rinse under cold water, do not dry, and pull the husks back over the corn, it does not have to cover completely, you want some of the corn to brown or char just a bit
  4. Put on the grill and cook until some of the kernels have browned, turning to cook on all sides
  5. If using a grill pan, remove the husks completely and cook, turning until the corn begins to turn color
  6. When the corn has cooled, remove the kernels to a serving bowl
  7. In a small bowl, pour the oil, vinegar and orange juice — set aside
  8. Add all other ingredients, except the tortillas to a serving bowl, adding the watermelon last
  9. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper
  10. Toss gently to keep the Watermelon from turning into a mash
  11. Add the salt and pepper.
  12. Whisk the Oil, Vinegar and Orange Juice to thoroughly combine, and pour over the salad
  13. Chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator
  14. While the salad is chilling, fry or toast the tortillas — my preferred method is to hold them over a flame and let them char, and then crumble into pieces, but it’s tricky — keep your eye on them at all times if you try this — otherwise, cut tortillas into strips and shallow fry until crispy, just a few minutes
  15. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the fat if frying
  16. Remove salad from the refrigerator and top with Tortilla strips
  17. Toss once more and serve over a bed of Endive leaves

Green Bean Salad

Recipe #3 from Forster-Bazzano Family Recipe Week.

  • Cut green beans, drained, 1 can
  • Celery, chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Green onions, chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Sharp cheddar, grated, 1/2 cup
  • Capers, 1/2 Tbsp (whole if small, chop if large)
  • Green Goddess Dressing (about 1/4 cup)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. This is  better if prepared and refrigerated several hours before serving to blend flavors.

>Thursday: Pizza Bianca & Hearts of Palm Salad with Olives and Ham

>Pizza Bianca with Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Fontina Recipe

recipe courtesy of Relish Mag

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large yellow onions, halved and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, fresh thyme, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 (12-inch) thin pizza crust
1 cup shredded Fontina cheese (4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
Chopped chives
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to wilt, about 10 minutes. Add sugar, lower heat, and continue cooking until onions are soft and brown, about 15 minutes.
3. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with Fontina and top with chicken and onion mixture. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling. Sprinkle remaining thyme and chives over pizza, and slice into wedges. Serves 4.

Recipe by Laraine Perri, “Quick Chick,” Oct. 2009.

Hearts of Palm Salad with Olives and Ham

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.com

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
6 tablespoons olive oil

2 14-ounce cans hearts of palm, drained, rinsed
6 ounces ham, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup assorted olives, pitted, sliced

Lettuce leaves

Combine first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut hearts of palm on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place in large bowl. Add ham and olives. Toss with enough dressing to coat generously.

Arrange lettuce leaves on plates. Spoon salad atop lettuce and serve.

>Sunday: Shrimp Luncheon Dish and Green Bean Salad

>Shrimp Luncheon Dish

Green Bean Salad
(recipe courtesy of my Aunt Linda)

cut green beans, drained, 1 can
celery, chopped, 1/4 c
green onions, chopped, 1/4 c
sharp cheese, grated, 1/2 c
capers, 1/2 t (while if small, chop if large)
Green Goddess dressing (about 1/4c)
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. This is better if prepared and refrigerated several hours before serving to blend flavors.

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