Cobb Salad

Recipes in this PostCobb Salad

I should not even have to write this post, but considering the awful salads I have had that called themselves Cobb, I think it’s time to set the record straight.

How do I know this? I know it because I am old enough to have actually had a real Cobb Salad at the original Brown Derby in Hollywood when I was a little girl. You don’t forget things like that, especially when they are so good.

A real Cobb Salad is a chopped salad. What does chopped mean? It means small pieces, like the size of a pea. A lot of cooks think that a Cobb Salad is just a Chef’s Salad, but with specific ingredients. Well, it’s not – it’s a chopped salad, usually with bacon, blue cheese, egg, tomatoes, avocado, spring onions, and chicken all chopped up into little tiny pieces with a unobtrusive vinaigrette like the Original Brown Derby Dressing.
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German Blue Cheese Red Potato Salad

Recipes in this PostGerman Blue Cheese Red Potato Salad

Independence Day

When Spane and I went to the store and I picked out our 4th of July dinner, I got to thinking that I really missed German Potato Salad. When my family was stationed in Kaiserslautern in Germany, it was something that we had quite often. I’ve had it since coming back to the United States, but it never seemed as good. I thought maybe I could improve on it.

But, why would I want to have German Potato Salad on a holiday that celebrates Independence from British rule? Well, because there were plenty of Germans involved in the Revolutionary War, among them Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. There were also French involved in helping us win, hence the inclusion of Blue Cheese

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Blue Cheese Risotto with Merlot

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Blue Cheese Risotto with Merlot

Last night was the 86th Academy Awards show, and the first time Spane had watched it with me. We had seen several of the nominated movies, and he’s old enough now, at 10, to appreciate and understand the ceremony. Of course, he had a lot of questions, like “When is dinner!?”

I wanted to make sometime special for the Oscars, even though our Oscar party was just the two of us. I thought I had white wine, but at the last minute realized I only had red, and I didn’t want to miss any of the red carpet show before the awards. Red wine is strong, so it needs strong flavors to go with it. Instead of vegetable or chicken broth, I used beef broth, and blue cheese goes great with beef, and has a good strong flavor. I added cherry tomatoes to give the dish some color.

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Barbecue Feast – Asian Pork Chops, Fillet Mignon and Barbecued Baked Potatoes

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barbecued Asian pork chops

Barbecued Asian Pork Chops

A funny story here. My friend Amber and her husband, Stevie went to the local Home Depot some time in 2010, and I was looking at Weber barbecues. The last one I had got toppled by a BVM Sister – the Sister was not hurt, but the Weber was a goner. The Weber at the Home Depot was on sale, and Stevie said I should get it, and I could keep it their house until Spane and I found a place with a yard. Stevie has one of those big drum barbecues, and he barbecues enough for a few days on that grill, so he likes to use mine for smaller meals. I get to “borrow” my barbecue about once a year. We’re good friends, and we laugh about this all the time.

So, tonight I decided to do kind of like Stevie does. I cooked a few things on the barbecue so I won’t have to cook tomorrow. I grilled a fillet mignon, bake potatoes wrapped in foil, and the Asian pork chops.

Amber came by tonight and shared our dinner. The Asian pork chops were moist, tender and full of flavor. The steaks with their blue cheese were just fine, accompanied by the wonderfully smoky baked potatoes and balsamic grilled vegetables. It was a great dinner to share with a very good friend.

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Seafood Stuffed Avocado with Marinated Asparagus

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Shimp and Crawfish Nestled in Avocado - Asparagus Flanks Each Side

I am so happy that the warmer weather is here, and salads are the way to go. Composed salads made by stuffing a fruit or vegetable are a favorite in our house. I found crayfish at the store, and bought some shrimp to go with it. Since we usually eat seafood on Fridays, using the shrimp and crayfish to stuff an avocado seemed like a perfect idea. Spane and I also love asparagus, which looks lovely on a plate. It is also the year that Haas avocados are plentiful.

Avocados produce fruit prolifically every two years, that’s why they are expensive one year, and really cheap the next. Did you know that all commercial, fruit-bearing Hass avocado trees have been grown from grafted seedlings propagated from a single tree? The tree was grown from a seed bought by Rudolph Hass in 1926 from A. R. Rideout of Whittier, California. The mother tree stood for many years in front of a residence in La Habra Heights. The tree died when it was 76 years old and was cut down on 11 September 2002 after a ten-year fight with root rot. Two plaques by the private residence at 426 West Road mark the spot where it grew. Because of the avocado, just about any food with California in the name has avocados. I love ’em.

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Dicken’s Christmas – Roast Goose with Chestnut Stuffing

Your Goose is Cooked!

Dickens’ Christmas Dinner Menu

I lucked out this year and got a free range goose! I was so happy when I found it that I was jumping up and down. It was going to be a Dickens’ Christmas after all!

There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness1, were the themes of universal admiration….

In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed, but smiling proudly — with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.

`A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.’
Which all the family re-echoed. `God bless us every one.’ said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 1843

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