Thursday, May 11, 2017

2 delicious recipes

I finally tried Susan Branch's hot milk cake recipe from A Fine Romance, and it was excellent and very comforting (just like the book).  I made it with Robert in mind, because he likes simple desserts. I wasn't sure I would like it because it has zero chocolate in it.

But I loved it.  And unlike other desserts without chocolate I didn't feel the need to stuff a chunk of dark chocolate in the middle and melt it.  Though Robert thinks an orange hot milk cake would be a delicious experiment the next time I make it... 

Today I tried an amazing recipe that I created on the fly. One of my favorite salads in Kansas City is from a place called Beer Kitchen. The salad has kale, apples, cheddar cheese, pretzel croutons, dried cranberries and raisins with an apple vinaigrette.  It's stellar.  But I never considered making a version of it at home until this morning. 

I usually buy a couple boxes of greens every week for work lunches, mix mayo, pickles and fish (usually tuna or kippers) together and plop it into the box with the greens.  I always buy my greens based on sell date so that I'm not just buying spinach all the time. Every once in awhile I get stuck with kale or arugula, and because it's so bitter I rarely look forward to eating it. So instead of adding some fish to it I dump the bitter greens in a blender with some kefir and bananas to mask the flavor.

Today, I had a small epiphany.  There was one lonely granny smith apple left in the fruit basket, dried prunes and pineapple in the pantry, and freshly shredded cheddar from a meal earlier this week. These things sounded suspiciously like the Beer Kitchen salad.

So I got out the dreaded box of arugula I bought earlier this week, and instead of dumping it in the blender I came up with this recipe:

for the salad:

3 handfuls of arugula (about 1/2 a box)
4 dried prunes chopped finely 
a healthy pinch of dried pineapple chopped finely
1/2 granny smith apple chopped into bite-size chunks
sprinkle of cheddar cheese 

for the dressing:

​1 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp olive oil 
pinch of sea salt

for the fancy topping:

a handful of pretzels!

Because I was biking to work I tossed everything into one container (except the pretzels) and hoped it would still be tasty a couple hours later.  The bumpy ride tossed my salad perfectly, and chilling it for a few hours helped, so I'd recommend vigorous shaking and chilling before you eat it ; ).  

When I sat down to enjoy it I discovered something was missing. This is where the handful of pretzels come into play. They were definitely the missing ingredient. With the pretzels thrown in, it became one of the best salads I've ever eaten.

This recipe is sadly missing some protein, but I'm not sure how well chicken or tuna will go with it. Perhaps ham? But today I just grabbed some greek yogurt, ate it separately, and called it good.  

All modesty aside, this was a damn good salad. Better than the one at Beer Kitchen, though it always has a place in my heart. 

Now if only I had some leftover hot milk cake!

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