Salad. Rabbit food. First course. When you go out for dinner and the waitress asks you...soup or salad, most people choose salad. But you get those pathetic plate-bowls of semi-wet lettuce, a tomato, maybe shredded carrots and a few croutons with your choice of dressing. No wonder I got use to drowning my salads in dressing.....what else is there to taste, really? When I was a kid, it was my job to make the salad for dinner....hated it!!! But at least we added green onions to the mix (wooo hooo). You might guess that salads are not my favorite thing to eat. My husband LOVES salad. argh. what to do what to do. When he says he wants ONLY salad for dinner....I start thinking...how can I sneak in a Big Mac and skip the salad without him noticing?
But wait....have you ever been to California Pizza Kitchen? They have the bestest ever salad...BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad. It has a gazzillion yummy things in it AND my most favorite dressing ever! I decided to mimic it at home with great success (ya..how hard is it to mimic a salad, right? LOL) So one day I was telling my friend about this great salad and all the stuff that's in it and he said..."that's not even a salad anymore!" wtf? So what is it? An anti-salad? But it still has tons of lettuce! Isn't that what a salad is all about? (rolls her eyes).
Anyways....when you're dealing with the family dynamics and keeping everyone happy and satisfied, not even an "anti-salad" can do that. The kids love salads but they just don't love the same things in the salad. Happy happy joy joy. Now what? Uh huh....I know...we'll mimic someone else's idea. (ding ding ding). So, this buddy of mine in BakeSpace (come on, don't tell me you don't know about BakeSpace.com!!! Get with it man!) was talking about what she was making for dinner one night and listed all this stuff she was setting out for all her kids to make their own salad.....(Sizzler anyone?) omg....a homemade salad bar! DUH! I totally didn't even think about that. Plus all the extra stuff she set out that I totally forgot about. What was my mind stuck on? Stupid? Sooo...I have named this salad after my BakeSpace buddy...Joy. If you see my refrigerator posted menu and you see Joy's Salad...you'll know what I'm talking about :)
I did add some stuff to what she originally listed (thats the beauty of making your own salad bar). You can see here that I have a bowl of lettuce and spinach, red and yellow bell peppers, a couple of kinds of cheese (cheddar and crumbled queso fresco), sliced mushrooms, chopped bacon, grapes, hard boiled egg, avocado, tortilla strips (in the bag), shredded chicken breast, cucumber, olives and red and green onion. Pick and choose....everyones happy. I did forget to chop up some cilantro....and some banana chips would've been really fun. Hey...just think about what you love to see at your favorite salad bar and go for it.
By the way...salad bars at restaurants kinda gross me out now. The thought of all those strange people going through the food (and the sneeze shield does not help ease my mind)....just really bugs me now. All the more reason to make your own. Sizzler, eat your heart out!
And now for the REALLY good stuff. The after dinner drink....hee hee. Have you ever had Limoncello? It's a very sweet lemon liqueur from Italy. If you liked those lemon drop candies as a child...you'll love this! It tastes just like it (only it has a major kick to it....yee haw!). If it's too sweet....add it to a glass of ice tea or something. I'm thinking about getting a bottle of champagne and mixing the two for Easter! But for now...I'm sipping a small glass (that I refill often) with Limoncello straight up. Oh..it's important to seriously chill this stuff in the freezer...YUM!
By the way...I'm not, by any means saying this goes with the dinner I had tonight...its just the drink I happened to have after dinner. ;)
oh oh oh....I almost forgot. Don't go yet. Did you know you can make your own Limoncello? Something I seriously want to try sometime....ya baby!!! Another BakeSpace Bud of mine did it....with great success....he's kinda like our own personal Alton Brown. (if you gotta ask who that is...lets put it this way....the cooking worlds version of Phil Nye the Science Guy). Anyways, if you're interested, check out Shane's Limoncello :)