Monday, August 15, 2011

Birthday Salads?

This week is my sister-in-law's birthday!!  I love her.  I don't feel like she's an "in-law" at all.  She's really just a Sister. :)

So yesterday we decided to celebrate. :D

Nothing like a birthday to get everyone celebrating.

Of course Saturday night had to happen first...

Around 8:30 I got a call - The hubs went to a convention in Chicago with some friends and on the way home his car broke down.  It was late so they towed it to a shop and walked about 2 miles to find a hotel that was not scary and had a room with at least 2 beds.  The car's still in Chicago but the guys are all home now. 

Around 9:00 a gust of wind hit the Indy Fair and knocked the stage over.  It was intense and scary and everyone was worried.  I think most people are still pretty shaken up.  My prayers go out to those who lost their lives and those who are injured.   I had the news on and it was one of those situations where there's nothing you can do but sit there an be horrified that it happened. 

Around 10:00 I herd a loud crash from Kai's room.  I ran in to discover she had fallen out of bed.  She had clearly been sound alseep before/during the fall and was more shocked than hurt but it took a bit to calm her down.

I was tired, and stressed, and needed to go to bed.  But I stayed up watching the news a bit more to see if anything changed.  You kindda' hope that the original reports wouldn't be confirmed.

So at midnight I went to bed, glad the day was over.

Sunday would be a new day.  A better day.  A PARTY day. :D

I had a few goals that I was doing on my own.  I don't know how single parents do it! 
1.  Clean faster than Kai trashed.  
2.  Get to the grocery store.  
3.  Make some salads.

1.  This is an on going challenge and never truely gets checked off any list.  But it's always there.  Someday my house will be clean and I'll be sad because she's all grown up and in her own place.

2.  I don't do the grocery shopping.  The hubs does.  He's Mr. Budget and I was really stressing about staying within the budget.  I went on-line to find coupons.  I made a list.  As I shopped I crossed things off and marked the prices.  I came out only $6 over!!!  Hell Yeah, I'm the MAN!!  *fist pump*

3.  I made some DELICIOUS salads...

Tomato & Cucumber
Mix Together:
3-4 Ripe Tomatoes - chopped
2 small cucumbers - chopped
Italian Dressing*
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

* Don't have Italian dressing?  Me either. 
This is the recipe I used:  Italian Dressing Mix 
I used 1/2 t instead of 1T (and 1t for 2T, etc..)

Everyone liked it but I still prefer my cucumbers raw. :)

Kohlrabi, Cabbage & Carrot Slaw

Shredded in a food processor:
1 Kohlrabi
1/4 wedge of Cabbage
Handful of baby carrots

Put in a bowl and sprinkle with
2 packet of Truvia Sugar
1/2 C White Vinegar
drizzling of EVOO

Sitr and let sit.  Taste periodically and add sugar or vinegar to taste.

Finally this was my FAVORITE.  I wanted a salad with protein since I wasn't having chicken...

Kale, Apple & Quinoa Salad
*Adapted from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way 

Toast about 1/4C nuts at 350° for 5-10 minutes
I used Walnuts, Almonds & Pecans
Try VERY HARD not to eat them!

In a small sauce pan put 2 packets of Truvia sugar & heat on low-med heat.
Swirl the pan and wait for the sugar to melt.
* The original recipe called for white sugar which eventually will brown and that's what you're looking for but mine never did - probably b/c I wasn't using processed sugar?  Oh well, it tasted amazing.

Mix the melted Sugar, Toasted Nuts, a pinch of Cayenne Pepper & a pinch of Thyme.
Spread on a greased plate and let cool.  Then chop up and set aside to top the salad.

whisk together
2T Tamari (soy sauce)
2T Agave Nectar
1t toasted Sesame Oil

mix in a bowl just before serving...
1 Bunch of torn kale leaves - no stems
1 Gala apple - sliced thin into bite size pieces
1 C cooked Quinoa
The Dressing
The Candied Nuts

And that my friends is one of my FAVORITE salads!

Of course we had other foods too...

I baked BBQ Chicken
(I used Sweet Baby Ray's sauce since this was made at the Hub's "meat" request)

Since it's Indiana, we had to have corn

And my mother-in-law made a fruit salad
(Let's just say I had more than one helping of this and leave it at that)


.... I have no picture of the cake!!

I wasn't.  There was chocolate cake in front of me.  Who thinks when there's chocolate cake?

You'll have to use your imagination.

Chocolate cake with strawberries on top.


Then I went back for another helping of fruit salad.  I CANNOT stop myself.  And since there were strawberries out to put on the cake, I may have added to my fruit salad.  Seriously, someone needs to stop me... Lord knows I'm not going to stop myself!

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