After a dismal Friday, it was a pretty good weekend.
We bought a new (old) car. Or Mike did – a ’73 Charger. Far less practical than a minivan, and on a sunny day almost unbearably hot with its vinyl seats, lack of A/C (or cup holders, for that matter) and manual roll-down windows. But it turns out when you drive around in an old muscle car, people talk to, wave at, and take pictures of you. An added bonus I hadn’t thought of.
We painted the front steps red. And I listened to this more often than I should probably admit, even when W wasn’t around. (My favourite line: “hey- you cookie showing and me hunger growing!“)
Gwendolyn took me for an impromptu Sunday morning drive down the Cowboy Trail to the Chuckwagon Café in Turner Valley. Guys, these are truly the best burgers ever. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, or are peckish after a trip to the Millarville Market, it’s about an extra ten minutes’ drive, and so worth the pilgrimage. Owner Terry Myhre is a cattle rancher, and uses his own beef, ground and shaped in-house, seasoned and cooked perfectly, with a perfect ratio of meat to toppings and bun. Fab fries, too. (Apologies for the iPhone shots-too tired to go get my camera.)
There was little cooking, besides some ice cream sundae sauces for a wedding next weekend and this watermelon salad for BT tomorrow morning. Ever had watermelon in a salad? I strongly recommend it.
Oh, also? I sort of launched a spinoff blog – I mentioned it awhile ago, but then got caught up in Stampede and thought I’d sleep on it for a week or two and make sure I really wanted to do it, and it wasn’t just one of those Great Big Ideas I had that eventually lost their lustre and fell by the wayside. So I dipped my toe in a few times, and it seems like I might want to jump in the pool.
Mediterranean Watermelon Salad
6 cups spring mix or other mixed greens
3 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/4-1/2 cup thinly sliced purple onion
1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed canola oil
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
freshly ground black pepper to taste
In large bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and pepper. Just before serving, drizzle with oil and vinegar and sprinkle with pepper. Makes 4-6 servings.
Note: I didn’t take the photo up top! The watermelon people did. Theirs was better than mine.
July 22 2012 | salads and vegetarian | 9 Comments »
It’s too hot for words today, and besides, any words I do have must be reserved for actual paycheck-type work, assignments that come from editors and have deadlines and some days feel a little like homework. OK, a lot. Not that I’m complaining. If I didn’t have homework looming, I’d never get things like laundry and dusting done. Wait – I don’t.
I came across this recipe in the Calgary Stampede Centennial Cookbook, which seemed fitting this week. It’s the sort of thing I’d most often flip by, but this time I decided to give it a go, and was glad I did. The seared scallops (I skipped the wasabi) were divine, and I’d never have thought to make a creamy dressing out of fresh peppery arugula and Key lime juice. I love an interesting salad, one that counts as dinner without feeling like “just a salad”, and this is one.
Don’t you think Stampede should have an intermission? Maybe a day or two? I vote yes.
Toni’s Arugula Salad with Pistachio-Crusted Scallops
Adapted (slightly!) from Come n’ Get It! The Calgary Stampede Centennial Cookbook, submitted by Toni Dixon, Director, Calgary Stampede
1 mango, pitted and diced
a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
a small chunk of purple onion, finely chopped
juice of half a lime
Key Lime Dressing:
1 cup fresh arugula
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 Key limes, halved and squeezed
2 tsp. grainy Dijon
1 1/2 tsp. honey
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. mayo
1 tsp. wasabi paste (optional)
1/4-1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped or crushed
1 tub arugula
1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
Make the salsa and dressing first: toss all the salsa ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender (or tall container if you have a hand-held immersion blender) and whiz until smooth and emulsified. It will be a creamy pale green.
Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of canola oil. Mix the mayo and wasabi paste and spread over each scallop; place the pistachios in a shallow dish and dip the scallops in to coat on both sides. Sear in the skillet for a minute or two per side, or just until cooked. Set aside on a plate.
Arrange the arugula on a platter and place the salsa and avocado over top. Set the cooked scallops on top, along with any rogue pistachios from the pan, and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.
July 10 2012 | one dish and salads and seafood | 13 Comments »