Monday, April 26, 2010

Spinach Salad...Simple & Delicious

A couple of weeks ago, an opportunity was presented that has allowed me to reconnect with many people whom I hadn't been afforded the time to truly relate to on the level that I would prefer. So in my excitement of hanging out and reconnecting, it occurred to me on Sunday that I have been eating and drinking like a celebrating idiot. I've probably eaten enough over the last couple of weeks to feed a frugal family of four--mind you, I'm not ashamed of this fact, but the truth is, I need to do a better job of making better decisions regarding food. Yes, I'm sure you noticed that I didn't mention drinking, that's because I ain't changing my "drankin" habits.

In efforts to eat better, I decided to visit one of my favorite markets for fresh produce, seafood, cheeses, coffees, desserts (that I didn't purchase) and practically everything else under the sun. This place is Your Dekalb Farmers Market, in Decatur. This place is simply a sight to behold and well worth the trip. I would have taken pics for y'all but they don't allow cameras, so you'll just have to take my word for it or go see for yourself. Besides having almost everything I needed to stock my fridge with freshness, the prices are fantastic!! I always leave wondering if they forgot to ring up half of my purchase.

In honor of my first day of "being good" with my eating habits, I decided to make a Spinach Salad. You know the green stuff that many people overlook on salad bars...yep that stuff. This is one of the simplest salads to make. You only need a few ingredients.

Red/Purple Onion
Goat Cheese or Bleu Cheese

Add a basic vinaigrette and dinner is served. Tonight, I used EVOO, strawberry balsamic vinegar, stone ground mustard, honey, coarsely ground black pepper and this was the perfect combination to bring all the salad ingredients together.

Y'all pretty much know by now that, besides baking, I'm not a measuring kinda girl, so I have no idea how much of each ingredient I used to make the dressing, but I can tell you that the best mixing method is a good old-fashioned mason jar--I used a recycled Classico Pesto jar. I know what you're thinking... on top of being really cute, I'm rather crafty huh??

Please send good vibes in my quest for better eating.

Sheila Denise

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mary Ann Cake - Spring is Here!!!

I will simply ignore the fact that I've broken a couple of promises to you...yeah, I know I said I'd resume blogging, but never did. Well, I think I'm back and I've missed you terribly.

Yesterday, I discovered a cake pan that I hadn't used. As a cake pan collector, I have no idea when I purchased it, but I immediately knew I needed to use it. The recipe included was a chocolate concoction, so I had to do a quick search to find something non-chocolate. Thanks to Williams-Sonoma, I stumbled upon this recipe with the most beautimous photo of a Mary Ann cake.

If you're wondering what the heck a Mary Ann cake is, well I have no idea who she is, but the pan is designed to create a cake with a convex top. After the cake is baked and turned out, you have a cake with a hollowed out top which may then be filled with fruit, cream, ice cream, or whatever your little heart desires. So off to work I went at about 11 o'clock last night. Baking it at night gave me time to think about my choice of filling and fruit. So it simply sat naked until this evening. Here are a couple of photos of the cake as it's cooling and waiting to be dressed.

I really couldn't decide what to do with this cake, so I simply went about my day. I joined my my girl-bestie, Carol, for brunch and a Braves game and it was during our outing that she mentioned blackberries. Okay, that determined the fruit selection, but what will I do for the filling? I knew what I didn't want, that's always the easy part, but had no idea what i did want. As I walked into Costco for the blackberries, I had an idea--I'd make a creamy, lemony concoction for the filling. So I pulled everything out of the fridge. I used, mascarpone, lemon curd, sour cream, heavy cream and a wee bit of vanilla sugar. I didn't measure anything, but next time I'll use more of everything to fill it closer to the edge. The mixture kinda sorta tastes like a very lemony cheesecake and it compliments the blackberries extremely well. Isn't it lovely??

Honestly, I have no desire to eat this cake--the act of making it/using my pan was the focus. Tomorrow, I'll take it for a drive to, JD, my most favoritest brother-in-law in the whole ENTIRE world.

Sheila Denise