1-31: Crab Cocktail

1-31: Crab Cocktail

Here’s another light/easy option for a summer meal: 1-31: Crab Cocktail. I say “meal” and not “appetizer” or “hors d’oeuvre“, because parties (and everything else) got canceled for this summer. Pretend you’re sitting by the coast with the breeze in your hair when you eat this one. It’s all about imagination these days.

Dig out a fancy glass to serve it in as well. You need to be your own restaurant/entertainment these days, so you might as well do it right.


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2-3: Salad Niçoise

2-3: Salad Niçoise

Salads are usually a good choice when it’s hot out, and since we’re currently in the middle of summer (here in the U.S.), 2-3: Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-swah) might be a good choice for an upcoming meal. Plus, it primarily uses readily-available canned/jarred ingredients, which can be helpful for both budgets and pandemic shopping.

Salade niçoise is a well-known dish (like the last recipe I covered, 14-8: Baked Alaska), and there are many different versions of it out there. Even Simply Delicious alludes to the different variations in their blurb above–even what they insist as a “must” (eggs, tuna, olives) seems to be up to interpretation.


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2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

I love a good salad bar, or did, before coronavirus turned everything in our lives upside down. One of my family’s favorite restaurants when I was a kid featured an impossibly long salad bar. A friend and I even entered an essay-writing contest at Souplantation back in college and won ourselves 30 free meal passes, which we blew through quicker than you’d expect.

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing is equivalent to most of these at-home solutions we’ve seen during this pandemic–a pale imitation of the real thing. Consider this recipe the “haircut I did myself because everything is closed” of salad bars.

I suppose if you just lumped all the same ingredients on top of some quinoa and called it a Buddha bowl instead, you could send this recipe forward in time from the 1980s to modern day.

Of course, you’d have to take an artsy picture (or 100), slap some filters on it, and post it to social media with a bunch of hashtags first to really modernize it. Do you think they really eat the food after they take pictures of it, or is it just for the ‘gram? 🤔

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2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


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2-18: Luncheon Salad

2-18: Luncheon Salad

Reporting LIVE (to print), from an undisclosed location in Northern California, USA, currently sheltering-in-place and teleworking due to COVID-19/coronavirus/the apocalypse. It’s getting crazy out there, y’all–stay safe and healthy. And wash your hands.

Since we’re all stuck inside for a while, and I’ve got a big backlog of these to get through (over 50), here’s one more thing to pass the time. 2-18: Luncheon Salad is pure 1980s–turn up the vaporwave (for A E S T H E T I C), find your best matching sweatsuit, and crack open a Tab.

I don’t remember feeling like this salad was a treat–more like a punishment. If you can find some cottage cheese in the store right now, go for it–just don’t invite your friends. #socialdistancing


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12-28: Tri-Color Risotto

12-28: Tri-Color Risotto

If you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s a bit of a lag between when I make these recipes and when I actually post about them. It helps me to reread the recipe to figure out what I’m doing in a lot of these photos. While rereading the recipe for 12-28: Tri-Color Risotto, I realized I didn’t even make it right.

That’s my first explanation for what happened here. My second is that I don’t like cooking rice in a pan–I’m spoiled by rice cookers.

My third is that this isn’t risotto–it’s pilaf.


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2-11: Santiago Chicken Salad

2-11: Santiago Chicken Salad

Hey there. Haven’t fallen off the face of the planet–just spent the last few months buying a house and moving into said house. Needless to say, things have been busier than normal.

However, I’ve been trying to do a few recipes here and there throughout the process, so there’s content coming at some point. So before you get to see the new (and hopefully VERY permanent) kitchen background, you’ll still get a few from the old apartment. Here’s one of those, 2-11: Santiago Chicken Salad.

In preparation for moving, we were looking for easy recipes that didn’t involve a lot of cooking or prep work. A lot of Simply Delicious recipes tend to be very heavy and calorie-dense–this one was a light option that involved very minimal work.


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1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado

1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado

Avocados have been a pretty big part of my culinary life up until now, but that’s probably because they’re pretty hard to avoid here in California. However, my experiences are usually closer to some nice fresh guacamole or some avocado toast–1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado was relatively new territory for me.

I suppose it’s not unheard of, it’s just not something I think to do. I may try it again, maybe with some different ingredients. Mushrooms are okay, but I much prefer them cooked rather than raw.


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11-30: Sea Bass with Peppers

11-30: Sea Bass with Peppers

Here’s another seafood recipe: 11: 30: Sea Bass with Peppers. To me, fish and peppers are not the most logical combination, but these veggies are mostly a garnish to serve alongside a rockfish (instead of sea bass) filet.

This is another dish where you can substitute the type of fish if you want–we split the rockfish filets between this recipe and the ones Jamie used for 11-21: Baked Whitefish with Shrimp.


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11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp

11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp

Sometimes when you use recipes from old cookbooks, they can seem a bit “tone-deaf” when it comes to modern-day sensibilities about race and culture. Despite a questionable name, 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp contains many ingredients commonly found in Chinese food.

I love the porcelain bowls they served the example dish in. The wooden chopsticks are also a great touch. What a great photo!


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