Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Sometimes it is so tempting to not pack a lunch for the office. Sometimes I just want those extra ten minutes to sleep or drink coffee or play with my hair. Sometimes I am uninspired by what I see in my fridge. Sometimes I just plain don’t feel like making lunch.

strawberry and coat cheese salad

So I go out. I zip to the Whole Foods five minutes away and peruse the aisles for something to eat (grocery shopping when hungry may actually be considered some form of torture). I usually end up in the prepared food/salad bar section of the store trying to narrow down my choices. A few weeks ago I found a “Seasonal Selections” salad filled with berries, nuts, and goat cheese. I had to have it! So I did…for about $8. For. A. Salad.

strawberry and coat cheese salad

I am ashamed. It’d be one thing if the dish would stretch to two meals, but let’s be real, I rarely leave leftovers as it is and a salad surely won’t make the cut. It was delicious, just like I thought it would be, but it wasn’t entirely worth it. Plus, I did the math (which in itself is huge!) and realized I could spend about twice that much on ingredients and make the same kind of salad 6 times over!

And that’s exactly what I did. This Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad is light, summery and perfect for on the go lunching or those days when making food is the last thing you want to do. Sweet berries, tangy cheese and filling nuts on a bed of crunchy greens? Yes please!

strawberry and coat cheese salad

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad (serves 1)

3 cups lettuce blend (I like Spring Mix and Romaine)

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

1 oz.  walnut pieces

balsamic vinegar, optional

Pile lettuce on plate and top with strawberries, nuts and cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

strawberry and goat cheese salad

Whole Foods, Schmole Foods.

Blackberry & Blue Cheese Salad

“Woa! What’s that?” he asked as I slipped the lettuce into the cart. 

“Umm…salad mix?” I said, more question than answer. How did he not know what salad mix was? 

“What do you do with it?”

“Umm…make salad.”

“Should I get some? Should I be eating this?” He slipped a container of the greens onto his pile.

blackberry and blue cheese salad

On and on it went. My neighbor and I were grocery shopping and we were both experiencing a culture shock. He didn’t understand why I wanted fresh carrots and I was flabbergasted as to what one person could do with 10 frozen pizzas. He tried to convince me of the advantages of  a 2 for 1 sale on baked beans (just…no) and I tried to get him to buy 18 eggs instead of just a dozen. 

crumbled blue cheese

Clearly, our tastes don’t align, but the shopping trip was still fun. I’ve never seen someone get so confused in the bread aisle. And I definitely know he’d be very confused about this salad. Cheese on a salad? Nuts on a salad? Fruit on a salad? Yes, yes, and yes. This salad is so big and filling and fresh. Creamy and salty blue cheese (I got some fancy brand from Whole Foods – their cheese selection is my kryptonite). Crunchy and satisfying nuts. Sweet and juicy blackberries. Pile them high on a bed of mixed greens and vegetables and this is a perfect spring salad to enjoy for a quick dinner.

blackberry and blue cheese salad

Blackberry & Blue Cheese Salad 

2 cups mixed greens

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup cucumbers, peeled and sliced

2 TBSP red onion, sliced

1/2 cup blackberries, halved

1 oz (about 1/4 cup) pecan halves

2 oz. crumble blue cheese

Pile ingredients onto a large plate or toss in a large bowl, drizzle with balsamic vinegar or favorite salad dressing. Serve immediately. 

blackberry and blue cheese salad

…or share with a neighbor. Or maybe not.

Browned Butter Walnut Blondies

Today’s the day. Today’s the day! Today is THE day! TODAY IS THE DAY!!!

browned butter walnut blondies stack

For those of you who don’t know, today I leave for Savannah. Today is the day my dad and I head south for four days of food, food, and more food.

I already plan on going to Back In the Day Bakery at least once a day. Maybe twice. After pouring over the cookbook like it’s the latest great American novel (to me, it is), I’ve found so many things I want to try – both at the bakery and in the kitchen.

blondies overhead

I’ve already become smitten with the idea of their Drunk Blondies. I can’t wait to order one (ok, three) and just go to town. Until I’m actually in Savannah though, I’ve occupied myself by making my own blondies. Lots and lots o’ blondies, chock full of walnuts and brown sugar and the omnipresent browned butter. These Browned Butter Walnut Blondies don’t have bourbon – but that’s kind of okay. I’m not even going to attempt to outdo Griff and Cheryl when it comes to that, no way. The obvious substitution then is browned butter (isn’t it always?).

blondies stacked

I would write more about them, but I’m too excited and anxious about leaving. Trust me, I plan to talk (write?) your ear off when I get back from vacation. If you want to stay up to date with my Savannah shenanigans follow along on Twitter and Instagram. And bake a batch of these blondies to get a little taste of the south, right in your own kitchen.

Browned Butter Walnut Blondies (makes 24 squares)

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

½ cup (1 stick) butter, browned

½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 TBSP brewed coffee, at room temperature

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter a 9×13 baking dish, line with foil or parchment and butter again, set aside.

Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the browned butter over the second stick of butter and stir to combine. Add the sugars and mix on medium-high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and vanilla, mixing until light and fluffy, about another 2 minutes. Stir in coffee.

In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Stir in walnuts when only a few streaks of flour remain and mix until everything comes together.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is still slightly jiggly (it will firm up as it cools).

Remove from oven and place on wire rack until completely cool before cutting into squares.

Bars will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 4 days.

Recipe adapted from the Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook

browned butter walnut blondies

I should probably finish packing…

Triple Nut Browned Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

It’s happening. Oh…it’s happening. (Quick! Name that movie!)
These cookies were a long time in the making, like, last year long time. They have been nagging me since the first time I made them before Christmas. And the second time when I made them at Christmas. Finally (and I mean FINALLY), the third time I made them, I got them right.
And how did I get them right?

 

I added more butter. More browned butter. And then ice cream.

Read more »

White Chocolate Potato Chip and Macadamia Nut Cookies

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Stress, stress, stress.

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Sorry, sorry, sorry. 

Cookies, cookies, cookies. Yum, yum, yum.

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Banana Bread Pancakes

Some Sundays I’m all about getting stuff done. Getting up early, getting a workout, shower, and a quick breakfast in before hitting the books. But, let’s be honest, those Sundays are few and far between.
Like, really far. 
I prefer my Sunday mornings to be long, lingering affairs. Hanging out in my pajamas, watching a lot little bit of Hulu, drinking my coffee. And, eating some pancakes.

Read more »

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