Sunday, December 30, 2007

Orange Almond Salad

Years ago, when we lived in Connecticut, one of our favorite restaurants was The Magic Pan. Located in the Westfarms Mall, it served crepes in just about any way you could dream of. I did, before we had kids, make crepes upon occasion, but for 11 poeple, that's way too much work for we mere mortals without a prep staff. One of my favorite things about that restaurant was their orange almond salad. Romaine lettuce with scallions, mandarin oranges and slivered almonds is a surprisingly satifsying combination. While it was originally served with a regular vinaigrette dressing, I've created a honey mustard vinaigrette which is a great accent:

1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup salad oil

Shake togethe
r in a jar. Keep refrigerated.

This photo shows the honey mustard vinaigrette, right, with my regular vinaigrette dressing. While I don't use their salad dressing mix, I've found that you can't beat the Good Seasons jars for storing homemade salad dressing.

I served this salad on Christmas, and again last night. Everything is so frantic leading up to Christmas, 4 days later it's my daughter's birthday, then, BOOM! Nothing left to do. I'm pleased to say that I bought virtually everything online for Christmas and birthdays this year. The exceptions were the wheel I gave Dan for his birthday, for which I went to a scrapyard and smiled pretty so they'd give me the best tire and put it in my trunk, and a trip the Saturday before Christmas to 3 stores. The first was to Radio Shack, which is only about 4 miles from my house. I walked in, the kid clerk was busy, so the 40-something manager asked if he could help me. I responded, "Only if you speak teenager." I then pointed at an ipod "docking station", and said, "That speaker thing. Does it work with the square music thing with no window?" He pulled one out of his pocket and said, "A shuffle. Of course, with this cord....." Now, I know my kids would tell me that one of the big stores would be cheaper, but this dude grabbed everything I needed, rang it up, and carried it to my car trunk. Then I went to Rite Aid and CVS, grabbed candy, silly little toys for the boys and cosmetics for the girls as stocking stuffers, and I was done. Next year, I just need to start a little earlier, so I'm not running quite so frantically on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th.

Hope everyone else had a great Christmas! Tomorrow, we all make the traditional New Years resolutions, so we have something to break in 2008!

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