Greek Chicken and Barley Salad is an absolute staple in our house from spring until the early fall. An easy, crowd pleasing recipe, it is filled with fresh, colorful veggies and topped with tangy feta and salty kalamata olives. Shredded chicken rounds out the salad and really makes it a perfect one dish meal. The best part? It can be put together in about 40 minutes when using one or two quick short cuts and is perfect for toting along to work or school or even bringing to a neighborhood gathering. In the summer, all of the ingredients (with the exception of the barley, which I buy in bulk and keep on hand in the pantry) can be found at my local farmer’s market or in my herb garden, which makes it even more fun to make. Even my somewhat vegetable averse husband loves it and usually requests I make it at least once a week in the summer. I consider that a major win….
Are you looking for a decadent dessert? Maybe for a dinner party, or maybe for Easter? Search no more. I have come to bring you what you are looking for. I was headed to a dinner at our friends’ house not too long ago, and my task was dessert. I am not much of a baker and I often struggle with desserts (although I sure do love to eat them!). My daughter, the baker in the house, was gone for the day, so no help there. I couldn’t decide what to make, but actually had a whole day to create, so I decided to make two desserts (it is just in my nature). I chose this Key Lime Cheesecake from Crazy for Crust as well as Churro Cupcakes (don’t worry- that will be a post for another day…)….
I’ve spent the better part of the last week in the beautiful Arizona desert (seriously, the desert is gorgeous – especially in spring when everything is blooming!) and it has definitely colored my picks for this week’s installment of Good (Food) Reads. I know St. Patrick’s day is just a few days away and I should probably be posting green cocktails, Guinness cupcakes, and corned beef recipes, but it is to think about other things when you’re surrounded by great tamales, prickly pear lemonade, and (just being honest) In-and-Out Burger. With that in mind, here are this week’s Good (Food) Reads. Enjoy!
Let’s get the shame out of the way first, shall we? I’m not much of a fast food gal, but when I’m in AZ, I always stop at In-and-Out Burger for a cheeseburger animal-style with extra crispy fries. Yum. If you’re not familiar with the not-so-secret-secret menu at In-and-Out, here’s a little cheat sheet to help you on your next visit….
Over 70 degrees here in Minneapolis yesterday, which as most of you know, is unheard of early in March here in the frozen tundra! For all of us here in the Midwest, shedding our layers, basking in the sunshine, out reconnecting with our neighbors as everyone comes into the great outdoors, we are needing to shift our menus. We find ourselves moving away from the heavy of the winter and towards the bright colors and textures of the spring. For me, one of those “welcome to spring” foods is orzo….
My Grandma Dotty, whom I call Bestemor (the Norwegian word for Grandma), is the most amazing cook. I consider many of her recipes to be the tastes of my childhood. Her brown bread with raisins is one of my favorite things in the world. This recipe for Rhubarb Muffins comes from her as well, adapted from the muffins served for years at the drugstore cafe (yes, that was a thing!) in the sweet little town where she lives….
March, to me, is somewhat of a culinary gray zone. It’s not quite spring, but the cozy comfort foods of winter are starting to feel a little old. I’m craving fresh fruits and vegetables, bright greens, and crisp outdoor dining. Thanks to el nino, we’ve had an incredibly mild winter here in the great midwest and yesterday was an absolute treasure – 70 degrees and sunny! Now we just need the produce to catch up. Bring on the asparagus, pea greens, and early strawberries! And on that (heavily optimistic) note, here are our Good (Food) Reads for your Wednesday:
Are you a radish fan? I feel like they can be a divisive vegetable. I love them – especially raw, with fresh butter and sea salt on top. My dad eats them on buttered bread. Epicurious takes on That Time a Facebook Fan Changed Our Minds About Radishes. …
I was once afraid of making fish. Very, very afraid of making fish. I was even afraid of buying fish (unless at a restaurant of course)! It seemed like such a mystery! But then my daughter, who was a super picky eater, starting ordering salmon in restaurants (She was about 6, and shunned most kid foods) I cannot count the number of strange looks we got from waitstaff. As you can imagine, this got expensive fast. At about the same time I bought a cookbook (sense a recurring theme here?) that had a salmon orzo salad in it that looked amazing. This was all happening around the time that I was just learning to cook and I have to admit, I was initially at a loss. But all roads pointed to learning to cook salmon at home, so that is what I did….
So here in snowy Minnesota, we are enjoying a crazy awesome winter. Sunny, way warmer than usual, and as of today, only a tiny bit of snow on the ground! I can’t remember a winter that has been this mild, well…ever. I have to say all of this very mild weather has kept my mood from heading to despair (although I love living in a place that has 4 seasons- there is truly nothing like watching the snow fall from a window- I have little to no interest in actually spending time out in the cold…and trust me, I’ve sure tried to be interested). At this point of the winter I frequently need rescuing. Even though this winter has has been relatively mild, I’m still ecstatic that spring is on its way. Longer days, daylight when I wake up, birds chirping outside, and egg salad….
It’s hard to believe it’s already Wednesday and time for another Good (Food) Reads, a short collection of food stories we’re loving. We had a glimpse of spring this past weekend (yes!) and while the temperatures have dipped back firmly into winter, it’s got me excited about what’s to come. I’m starting to see fresh asparagus pop up at grocery stores and I’m so ready for new fruits and vegetables to join them!
One of the very first books I got when I first started cooking was Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. At the time, Nigella wasn’t yet a household name here in the U.S. I used to watch her first show, Nigella Bites, on Style Network (does that even exist anymore?!?). I loved the glimpses into London life and her quirky British sensibilities. She was unabashedly in love with food and it made me want to cook everything she did! One of my favorite recipes from those early days – one that I still make today – is for Molten Chocolate Babycakes. In the book, she refers to them as “the acceptable face of culinary cute” and I couldn’t agree more. They are however, also absolutely delicious….