Food, knitting, etc etc.

I think I promised a  new recipe that I tried at Thanksgiving. The problem with making blog promises is that I have to actually follow through on them. Dammit! haha.

For Thanksgiving, my husband and I usually cook pretty traditionally. Any other day of the year, I’m up for culinary experimentation. On Thanksgiving, you’d better give me my plain old mashed potatoes, super-crazy-sweet sweet potato casserole, Kentucky Wonder green beans, corn pudding made with Jiffy corn muffin mix and canned corn, stuffing made exactly how my mom makes it (thyme only! no sage or crazy add-ins like chestnuts, please!), and pumpkin pie made with evaporated milk. Plus, when there are that many dishes going on in the kitchen, I like most of them to be things I’ve made a dozen times and can make from memory. It’s a comfortable holiday and I like comfortable food.

However, I usually try one new recipe each year. Two years ago, it was this amazing Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake. Dear lord, was that good. This year, I took in a slightly healthier direction, with a new salad adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.

Baby Spinach Salad with Candied Walnuts

  • 1/4  cup  chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  egg white
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  teaspoons  fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  (7-ounce) package fresh baby spinach (about 8 cups)
  • 1  cup  orange sections (I used one Clementine, for 2 salads)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the first 4 ingredients, tossing well to coat. Place walnut mixture on a nonstick baking sheet coated with cooking spray; bake at 350° for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; cool.

Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (juice through pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Place the spinach in a large bowl; drizzle with juice mixture. Toss gently to coat. Place about 1 3/4 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates; top with 1/4 cup orange sections and 1 tablespoon walnut mixture.

It was pretty good. The candied walnuts were obviously the best part.

Also, that gorgeous yarn I showed you? Is turning into a gorgeous little shawl. Here’s a tiny preview! More soon.

(Gah! For some reason WordPress is compressing my lovely clear photos and making them blurry and small. Am too tired to mess with it now. I just have to note that, to ease my perfectionist mind.)

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