Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy Entertaining

Ever wanted to have the girls over for a light dinner and dessert and just don't know what to serve for dinner?  What do you do when one likes avocados and the other refuses to eat olives? Easy Solution:  serve a salad bar with varied toppings to please everyone. 

Last Saturday, I did just that by creating a Chef Salad bar.

I began the process by roasting three chicken breast (bone in) with some olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.  While, the chicken was roasting, I chopped all my veggies, cooked turkey bacon in the microwave, and made a home made dressing.  I rounded out the salad with a couple of different cheeses: Feta, Gorgonzola and Sharp Cheddar.

Here are some topping ideas:

Greens - bib/boston lettuce, romaine, arugula, ice burg are a few of my favorites
Peppers - I sliced a few fresh banana peppers, but feel free to use bell peppers, hot peppers or pickled ones.
Onions - chives, shallots, spring onions, red or sweet
Shredded Carrots
Home made croutons or pita chips
Smoked Turkey
Grilled Shrimp
Dried Cranberries or Cherries
Mandarin Oranges
Cheese- Blue, Feta, Gorgonzola, Cheddar, Fresh Mozzarella - you get the picture

I placed a large platter next to my chopping board, and plopped the veggies on the platter as I finished chopping.  The cucumbers were peeled, seeded and diced. Shallots, banana peppers, tomatoes, chicken (was de-boned) and cubed. Lettuce was also cut into bite size pieces. Lastly, the avocados were sliced and drizzled with lime juice, salt and pepper.

T was excited to have a BLT salad with Cheddar cheese while I ate mine as a Chef Salad with all the toppings, plus Gorgonzola cheese.

I intended on making a balsamic vinaigrette, but I forgot to buy the balsamic vinegar.  I used what I had in the fridge to make a yummy salad dressing.

Here is my recipe for a Pomegranate Vinaigrette:


1/4 cup Pomegranate Juice (there are now blueberry and cherry blends)
1 tsp of coarse Dijon mustard
1/2 shallot grated on a micro-plane
2 tsp honey
3-4  tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredient in a box and whisk thoroughly.   Serve dressing on the side so guest can choose how much or little to use.  ENJOY!!

and for dessert:
Pecan Pie
What's your favorite dessert?

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