Sunday, December 16, 2018

Potluck Recipe: How to Make an Italian Chopped Salad

Need a recipe for your next holiday potluck? This salad makes a great entree or side dish.

‘Tis the season for holiday parties at home or in the office.  If you’re stuck on what to bring, I’m happy to share a fan favorite with you: my Italian Chopped Salad goes well with most holiday entrees or other regular party favorites.  The colorful, fresh ingredients catch your eye on a holiday table and make you feel a little less guilty chasing it with a slice of pie.

My Italian Chopped Salad was originally inspired by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s recipe in his book The Food Lab.

Ingredients for Italian Chopped Salad:
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup peppercinis, sliced then roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 8 oz. hard salami (1/4 in. slices, cubed)
  • 6 oz. provolone cheese (1/4 in. slices, cubed)
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, sliced crosswise into shreds
  • 3/4 cup of Italian dressing (homemade or store-bought)

I’ve created a video demonstration of how to make this chopped salad here:

You can adjust or add ingredients how you like. I sometimes like to change out ingredients to give it a new flavor profile. For example:
  • Exchange the salami for cubed ham
  • Swap the provolone for colby jack cheese or gorgonzola
  • Remove the kalamata olives and peppercinis
  • Add bacon bits and hard boiled egg
  • Switch from Italian dressing to ranch or bleu cheese

Magically, it’s a Chopped Cobb Salad!  See where your kitchen creativity takes you.

Hope you enjoy this tasty holiday recipe and that it’s a hit at your next potluck!

If you’d like to see more recipes, please leave suggestions in the comments below.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Recipe: How to Make Breakfast Burritos

These burritos are a great "make ahead" item that you can prep, freeze, and reheat on a busy workday morning.

Breakfast Burrito Ingredients:
  • 16 oz. of frozen tater tots, prepared according to package instructions
  • 8 oz. breakfast sausage, fully cooked
  • 1 dozen 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 eggs, scrambled with half & half and a dash of hot sauce
  • 8 oz. of your favorite soft cheese
    (I used 6 oz. of Monterey Jack mixed with 2 oz. of Queso Fresco)

Special thanks to my incredible boyfriend Ryan for helping me create this video!

I've entered Create TV's Cooking Challenge with this video - here's hoping it's a winner!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Exploring Zentangle

I've lately been introduced to practicing yoga and am enjoying both the physical and mental benefits. After practicing for a few weeks, it reminded me of how peaceful creating art makes me.

Zentangle is a process of simple strokes that build into a greater free-form image.

Practicing Zentangle

After creating my zentangle compass, I picked up a book to learn more about the process and some of the most basic patterns: One Zentangle A Day by Beckah Krahula has been very helpful and enjoyable.

Here are some of the "tangles" I created:

One Zentangle a Day

Completed Zentangle with Shading

Completed Zentangle with Shading

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Zentangle Compass Drawing

Not only is "zentangle" a wonderful marriage of creativity and meditation, but it serves as an excellent reminder to artists that a larger piece of art is built gradually over a period of time using incremental strokes and layers.

Once again a compass has made its way into my work! I first created a design to contain my zentangle "doodles" using pigment liner pens on watercolor paper:
Zentangle Compass: Create Layout

I then began to fill in the divided spaces with small designs:
Zentangle Compass: Add Designs

To add further distinction and value between the patterns, I added color using Prismacolor colored pencils:
Zentagle Compass: Add Color

The final product is a colorful, detailed piece:
Zentangle Compass: Final in Color

I gifted this drawing to my boyfriend's stepmother Bertha - a very special lady in my life!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Back in Seattle Again

My brother & I happily took a quick weekend trip to Seattle to visit BrickCon.

We stayed at the lovely Hyatt Place in Downtown Seattle, just walking distance from Seattle Center (and the Space Needle). Once again, using public transit was a big savings.

We crammed quite a bit into the one full day we spent in the city!

First, we visited my beloved Pike Place Market.
Pike Place Market

Inside the Pike Place Market

The view of Elliott Bay was gorgeous from the upper level windows:
Elliott Bay

Elliott Bay

A quick trip back to the hotel, then it was on to BrickCon!
BrickCon 2014

We then enjoyed lunch at the Armory, walked through Seattle Center, then headed back to the hotel.

Feeling adventurous for dinner, we walked and caught the bus towards Lake Union to Sebi's Bistro.
We Are 12

Our hotel was so accomodating to reheat my brother's leftovers the next morning - they even presented it for him on a plate, much to the envy of other guests!

The Space Needle was especially significant to us this trip because of its close proximity to the hotel. On foot, we knew we were getting close as the Needle grew bigger.

I have acquired a new Seattle-specific addiction: Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts. Whenever I hear the first few measures of Nirvana's Come As You Are, I can feel the cool sea breezy air on my skin and I want to munch on a Top Pot doughnut (preferrably one of the blueberry cake variety) whilst wearing plaid flannel.

Until we meet again, my beloved Emerald City!