Bonefish Grill Citrus Herb Vinaigrette

January 2, 2009 at 1:04 am | Posted in Dressings, salads, Seasonings & Sauces, Yummy Veggies | 10 Comments

I am majorly slacking on this blog – so much is happening right now! Busy with the holidays, busy with my brother deploying to Iraq, etc., etc.  I am going to start slowly but surely trying to get back into the swing of things here though. 

My favorite salad dressings to use are the spray dressings – 1 calorie per squirt – can’t beat that!  And they actually taste good so double score!  However, sometimes I want something different and I’ll make my own dressing.  I always forget to post them, but this one is definitely worth posting.  One of our favorite chain restaurants in town is Bonefish Grill.  Yeah, I’m allergic to seafood but I still like other things on their menu (good wine list doesn’t hurt either!).  We love their salads that they serve and adore the dressing so I searched the net to see if I could find it and alas!  I did!  Thank you once again recipezaar!  🙂

If you want to make it exactly like the salad served at Bonefish then make this salad with fresh lettuce greens, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, pine nuts and tomato and olives if you choose.  I kind of threw together what I had in the house today.  Disclaimer – this dressing is NOT healthy but it’s oh so good for a special treat sometimes!!!  🙂

Copied directly from recipezaar.com:

Ingredients

Directions

Whisk everything in a bowl.

Microwave on high for one minute or until the mixture bubbles rapidly around the edge of the bowl.

Whisk for one minute until mixture forms an emulsion.

Cover and chill for one hour before serving.

This makes 1 and 1/4 cups following this exact recipe which is a lot because it doesn’t take much of this dressing (at least for me).

Pig Rating:  The Pig likes this dressing a lot – he said it tasted just like Bonefish’s.  YAY!

Mrs. Pig Rating:  I love this dressing!  Again, not healthy the way it’s made in this recipe so I only make it once every few months but it’s yummy when I do make it!  🙂

Angel Hair Pasta Salad

August 25, 2008 at 11:54 pm | Posted in pasta, salads, Yummy Veggies | 2 Comments

I cannot tell you how much I adore the blog of My Kitchen Cafe.  She always has such great, tried and true recipes and she has kids which helps me out a lot as I’m always looking for variety for my little picky ones.  : )  However, tonight, my husband is traveling and I am home alone so I picked something that no one in the house would like other than me!  Fun to do that every now and again!

Copied from My Kitchen Cafe (I halved this since it is just me – that is enough for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow just to give you an idea of how much this one makes)

Ingredients

1 pound angel hair pasta (I used wheat angel hair)
1/2 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese (I used light)
2-3 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 4 oz. package pine nuts, lightly toasted (you can do this over medium-low heat in a non-stick skillet) (I omitted these…just forgot to buy them)
Coarse salt

Directions

Boil water for pasta. When water starts boiling, add a handful of rock salt (i.e. ice cream salt). Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain pasta and place in serving bowl. While pasta is boiling, saute garlic in olive oil until sizzling and lightly browned (don’t burn the garlic or it will taste bitter). Pour garlic and olive oil over warm pasta and toss. Sprinkle a teaspoon or so (to taste) of coarse salt over the noodles and add 1 cup of the parmesan cheese. Toss again. Let noodles cool slightly. Right before serving, top noodles with diced tomatoes, pine nuts, torn basil and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Very lightly toss, being careful not to let all the toppings go to the bottom. Serve.

Mrs. Pig Rating:  I am pretty sure that I could eat this until I was sick.  Oh wait.  I think I just did.  Seriously, this is really easy and really great.  I halved the recipe for just me but I think I would put in the full amount of tomatoes, but that is just me.  I love tomatoes.  I used on the vine for the recipe.  I will be making this one over and over again.  Make this.  NOW.

Congrats to my bubby!

May 26, 2008 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Cookies, Fun, salads | 6 Comments

This past Friday night my “little” brother graduated from high school – I can’t believe he is old enough to graduate!  It makes me feel slightly old.  : )  I am so proud of all that he has already accomplished – last summer he graduated from Basic training and joined the National Guard at age 17.  Although I was not thrilled (to say the least) about that decision at first, I have come to be just a proud big sister rather than one who is thinking, “What is the HELL is he thinking?!”  Congrats to my bubby!!!

On Saturday we held Luke and his friend Dante’s graduation party at a local park.  The weather was perfect and it was such a fun day.  In honor of my newfound love of cooking and baking I offered to bring several things to help my mom out.  One thing I knew that I had to make was sugar cookies – I used my best friend’s recipe of course.  They are the best EVER.  I even used my Wilton cake decorating set and piped words onto them – pretty fancy for me!  HA!  These went like hot cakes as usual when I make them.  They just sooo good!

I also made this bean salad/dip that a friend had made for a Superbowl party.  It is SOOO good.  Don’t be scared by the mixture of a lot of ingredients.  It’s really easy and really good.  I was asked for this recipe by so many people at Luke’s party on Saturday. 

Black Bean Dip Recipe (from The Food Network)

2 cans black beans, drained, about 30 ounces
1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch ground cumin

 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Caprese Salad and happy reminders…

May 15, 2008 at 12:06 am | Posted in salads, wine | 8 Comments

I’ll preface this with saying, excuse me while I have a moment to reminisce…I had a crappy day at work.  I deserve it.  : )

As a lot of you know, Tommy and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon last July.  It was absolutely perfect – we could not have asked for a better trip all the way around.  Hawaii is magical – it was so relaxing, so beautiful, just everything we could have asked for.  We went to the Big Island and Oahu – Big Island was our favorite by far.  We can’t wait to go back!!

While in Hawaii, we ate and drank all sorts of great things – we of course had our Quizno’s stops and such, but we ate at some pretty good restaurants as well.  I think one of the best things about it was that every night for dinner, every day for breakfast, we ate outside.  You can’t just do that here in Indiana – it’s always too humid or too cold or too rainy or too many bugs, etc.  But there…it was perfection.  There is something so relaxing and romantic about eating dinner outside under the stars with your husband while on  your honeymoon….okay, I’ll stop now.  Sheridan tells me all of the time that I’m “too mushy” so…I’ll spare you a bit. 

Back to the point…one of the best dinners that I had while on the Big Island was one random night at a random restaurant where I had a Caprese Salad with a glass (er…or 3 or 4) of fab white wine.  The salad was absolutely excellent.  I have wanted to make Caprese Salad for awhile now but Tommy is not so into tomatoes and salads and such.  So while he is on the other side of the world, I decided to try it.  Such an easy and yummy dinner.  I served it with Organic French bread and of course….wine.  : )

While there isn’t really a set “recipe” per se for Caprese Salad (it’s pretty self explanatory), I did find one so I could post it for those who don’t know what this salad is (a tragedy if not).

Ingredients

3 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices (better if not chilled)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
20 to 30 leaves (about 1 bunch) fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Coarse salt and pepper

Directions

Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This is so delish.  Such a good, light dinner.  Perfect for the summer!!

 

Recreating my fave Cheesecake Factory salad

May 14, 2008 at 1:25 am | Posted in cheesecake, Chicken, salads | 4 Comments

One of my favorite restaurants is Cheesecake Factory.  I love the food & I adore the cheesecake.  Really.  What is better than that many choices of amazing cheesecake?!  Not much in my book! 

Unfortunately, we do not have one near us – the closest one is about 2.5 hours away.  When we go to a city that has one, we always go even if just for dessert.  We went to Indianapolis two weekends ago to visit my grandpa in the hospital and we got to Indy pretty late but we had to eat.  I of course wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory since it was only about 5 minutes from our hotel.  I knew what I would eat before I even got there.  Cheesecake of course, but I mean for dinner.  : ) (Of course, I had a huge piece of chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake to take back to the hotel too…don’t let me fool you into thinking I ALWAYS eat healthy…)

Their Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad is my absolute fave.  Now, those of you who know Cheesecake Factory know that the portions are enough to feed about 3 people with just one dish.  This salad is no different.  It comes out on a plate in two huge mounds and the size is insane.  Here is the description of the salad from their menu:

Crisp Corn Tortillas Topped with Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast and Black Beans Piled High with Mixed Greens, Fresh Corn, Green Onions and Cilantro All Tossed in Our Vinaigrette and Garnished with Avocado Cream, Salsa and Sour Cream”

You want it now too right??  It’s so incredibly good.  My husband is in Japan for 10 days (ugh) and I always try new veggie dishes while he is out as I am the veggie fan, not him so much.  😛  I decided to try to recreate this dish tonight for dinner.  This was also my first time using avocados in food so I was proud of myself for branching out a bit and making this avocado cream for the topping.

There really isn’t much of a recipe per se for this salad – I just copied it off of their menu basically using all of those ingredients.  This salad was YUMMMMMY!!!!  Of course everything tastes better when you don’t fix it yourself so the Cheesecake Factory version is better, but this is still pretty darn good made at home.  I’ll definitely be making it again!!

5-Minute Southwest Layered Salad

September 27, 2007 at 12:06 am | Posted in salads | Leave a comment
Recipe from http://www.kraftfoods.com

I like to make my own lunch on most days instead of going out to eat – much cheaper and much healthier. Right now I am craving my favorite salad that I found in Kraft Foods “Food & Family” magazine. This salad is super easy, super yummy, and has a touch of one of my fave things – Mexican food. Mmmm…..

Ingredients

6 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
3/4 cup salsa of your choice
1/2 cup Mexican Style Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing (I use light)
1 cup tortilla chips, broken (I use Baked Tostitos)

Directions

ARRANGE lettuce in bottom of glass serving bowl or on serving plate. (I just throw it all in a big bowl when I am at home by myself eating it 🙂

LAYER beans, corn, salsa and cheese evenly over top.

DRIZZLE with dressing; sprinkle with chips.

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

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