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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

Sunday Night Dinners are big around here. I cook during week, but given that I don’t get home until 7pm or later most nights, any recipe that takes more than an hour to get from the refrigerator to the table is instantly nixed.

But ah, Sundays. On Sundays I can spend a leisurely afternoon in the kitchen, pottering around and trying my hand at a few of the hundreds of recipes I’ve bookmarked. Sunday dinners also provide a nice break from the hassles of the week and the busy socializing of the weekend. I can snuggle up next to my fiance as we share plates, enjoy our apartment and bask in a moment of cozy domesticity.

Sunday Night Dinner doesn’t have to be fancy; in fact, it rarely is. The meals I whip up on Sunday are usually more homey, rustic dishes — like roast chicken (and I have an excellent new roast chicken recipe to share with you soon) or saffron risotto. In fact, on some level it isn’t so much what I cook but rather that can take time to enjoy the process of cooking it. Cooking is always fun, but it’s just more fun on Sundays.

This pork tenderloin and arugula salad is simple, light and delicious and comes together quickly enough that I could probably prepare it on a weeknight. But then I’d rush through it, foregoing the enjoyment I get from smelling the toasted walnuts, deglazing the brown bits from the pan, emulsifying the vinaigrette. On Sunday, I can appreciate all of those steps — and even have dessert in the works at the same time.

Throw in a loaf of crusty bread, some goat cheese and a bottle of red wine, and this salad might have you thinking you’re in France, forgetting that your weekday routine begins again the next day…

Well, maybe doing the dishes will remind you.

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Returning to work after Thanksgiving weekend is one of life’s less pleasant experiences. After a weekend of food, family, friends, and pajama-like clothes, the cold shower that is the workplace seems decidedly bleak.

I guess that’s what makes Thanksgiving such a special holiday. You put on the brakes, step out of the daily grind and remind yourself of the things, the people, that matter — that make you who you are. Sure, I would never forget that my brother can make me laugh until I cry and shoot water out my nose, but having him make me laugh until I cry (and yes, shoot water out my nose) is much more special, I assure you.

Apple Manchego salad

But not every day can be like that, all fuzzified with pumpkin pie and cornbread stuffing and apple-topped sweet potatoes. If every day were like that, holidays wouldn’t feel special. But we knew that already.

That doesn’t mean every other day has to be boring, though, even if it feels that way sometimes after a holiday weekend. Take this apple manchego salad, which showcases some of autumn’s best. Crisp apples and toasty walnuts are paired with zesty Manchego cheese in a wonderfully refreshing salad. I doubt this salad would make an appearance on my family’s Thanksgiving table. But that’s okay; sometimes you need things that make every day feel a little special too.

Salad closeup

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