Posts Tagged ‘valentine’s day’

Sweetheart Salad with Strawberry Basil Vinagrette

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

I’m so pleased to be a part of the Southern California Lady Bloggers Romantic Progressive Dinner. This collection of recipes hosted on different blogs is designed to inspire a little romance in everyone for this Valentine’s Day. Welcome! Please enjoy the salad course.

Sweetheart Salad is a simple little salad with which I decided to take sweethearts a little literally. The dressing is a slightly sweet blend of strawberries and vinegar (with no oil or added sugar) and just a hint of basil. Add some fresh blueberries, pecans and goat cheese and then top it all off with some simple, yet adorable, heart shaped croutons.

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Sweetheart Salad
Serves 2 (or more, just increase the salad toppings and greens as needed)
1 batch strawberry basil vinaigrette (well, probably a half batch for if making it for two) recipe below
1/4 cup blueberries
about 12 candied pecans
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups romaine lettuce or mixed greens (spinach would be great, too!)
half recipe heart shaped croutons recipe below

  1. For this salad, I like to toss the greens with the blueberries and pecans and then plate the base salad mixture and then add the goat cheese and croutons on top after it is plated.
  2. Please keep in mind that the salad as photographed is very lightly dressed because it photographed better. Your leaves will be distinctly more red.

Strawberry Basil Vinaigrette
1 cup chopped strawberries (fresh or unsweetened frozen)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons loosely torn fresh basil
dash salt
water

  1. In measuring cup or small bowl, combine strawberries and vinegar.
  2. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. (Or skip the measuring cup in step one and do it all in a blender)
  3. Add the basil leaves one tablespoon at a time, pureeing until smooth.
  4. Add salt and puree. If dressing is to thick, add water one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Keep chilled until ready for use.

Heart Shaped Croutons
Serves 4 (on a salad)
4 slices sandwich bread (or french or whatever you have laying around)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Heart shaped cookie cutters, pastry brush, cookie sheet

  1. Using cookie cutters, cut heart shapes out of bread and place on cookie sheet
  2. Let sit for an hour, then preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix oil, salt and pepper
  4. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, brush heart shapes with oil mixture. Flip and brush other side.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 8 minutes. Turn shapes over and continue baking for an additional 8 minutes until shapes are golden brown
  6. Let cool on cookie sheet and enjoy!
  7. Croutons are best enjoyed on the same day, but will keep for a few day in an airtight container at room temperature.

Now head over to The Gonzo Gourmet for Steakhouse Steaks for Two to continue on to the main course portion of the Southern California Lady Bloggers Romantic Progressive Dinner.

 

Wordless Wednesday: Sweet Child O’ Mine

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Do you have a wordless wednesday post? Link up!

Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The first time I ever saw my husband, he was running down a ramp, red curls bouncing. I probably knew I loved him then. His sister was in my second grade class. We went to the same church. His best friend lived up the street from me. His mom was my dad’s travel agent. Our lives were intertwined. If life were a sappy movie, we would have become sweethearts for life right then.

The second time I “met” my husband was in high school. He was on the cross country team with my best friend. They started dating, the typical sophomore-senior pairing. I assumed it wouldn’t last. I misguidedly developed a huge crush on him. Their relationship lasted through 2 more of my high school years, despite him leaving town for college. Much to my dismay, after my best friend and I ended up at the same university, their relationship lasted through the dorms. And then lasted well into our second year of college, when we were roommates. I had a crush on him the whole time, but it faded and I had gone through a series of boyfriends since college. They broke up and it wasn’t pretty. If life were a romantic comedy, I would have swooped in and snapped him up then.

The third time I “met” my husband was so random it was a screenwriter’s dream. I went to lunch 15 minutes later than I normally did, and I normally went to lunch at 1130 on the dot, walked out the back door of the hospital and he was walking in. We talked for a minute, it had been about 10 years since we’d seen each other, exchanged numbers and went on my way. And then he called. We started hanging out as friends, meeting for coffee, walking downtown, getting accosted by a sheriff deputy while innocently parked at the beach.

After a few months of flirting my ass off, unaware that the entire time we had been hanging out he had a girlfriend, he finally broke up with her and we started officially dating. We started dating in February 2004, not long after I had declared the Year of Amy. We dated for 3 weeks and he proposed. We were engaged for 4 months and we got married. When we had been married for 5 years, we had a baby. Last weekend, we took Spencer to our old elementary school to play. I watched my son and husband run down and up and down and up that very same ramp.

If life were a movie, it would fade out on this.


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