Asian Inspired Fruit Salad

Asian Inspired Fruit SaladRecipes in this Post

I have been a fan of Chinese Chicken Salad since the 1980’s when I first had it. Everyone once in a while, I have all the ingredients to make it. This afternoon, Spane and I went and had a very filling lunch at Everest Burgers, so we didn’t want a heavy or big dinner. I asked him if salad would be good, and he said yes. Then I went to my pantry and saw that I had Mandarin oranges, I knew what to make.

This salad has everything but the chicken, and if you happen to have cooked chicken, you are more than welcome to add it to this salad. Make sure you have a sharp knife because you will be chopping the greens and the onion into small pieces.

Asian Inspired Fruit SaladYou could add other fruit to this salad as well, like lychee nuts, or even cherries. I had unsweetened coconut chips which had just enough sweetness, sweetened coconut would be too powerful, so I don’t recommend it. Please choose whichever Asian salad dressing you like, we like Girard’s Asian Dressing.

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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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Apartment Vegetable Garden

Plants in this PostApartment Vegetale Garden in a Drawer

Has this happened to you? Have you had a vegetable start growing roots in your refrigerator? Green onions have done that to me numerous times, and I have always thrown the root part out. This time when that happened, I said “If you can live in my refrigerator, then you can live outside in dirt.”

We live in an apartment, and we don’t have a patio or yard, and yet I have always wanted to grow at least some of my own food. Well, Charlie, as my friend called him, started me on our apartment vegetable garden. I will be updating this post regularly as the vegetables grow.

We already had a basil plant that was doing fine living on top of the outside of the air conditioner. We even named her Lucille, but her name is pronounced the way that Little Richard did it in his song by the same name, Lucille. I have provided a video if you don’t remember it.

My good friend, who is the director of United States Soldiers Assistance Center and board member of Heal Children with Cancer Worldwide, suggested I use an unused dresser drawer for my garden. She was right, and the garden is doing fine.

Apartment Vegetable Garden

Apartment Vegetable Garden


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Suddenly Composed Salad

Suddenly Composed!Picture-2

Every year in Southern California, specifically in Los Angeles, we have something called June Gloom. It happens right after Memorial Day, which is usually hot, when the marine layer sits over the Pacific Ocean coming inland and keeps everything cool and gloomy. My mother used to call this kind of weather “sweater weather” because it wasn’t cold enough for a coat, but it would get warm enough after the clouds burned off to go in a sun dress, and wear a cardigan in between.

It is also the time when fruits and vegetables are springing up very fresh and flavorful in your local market. Just a few days ago, I was lucky enough to get green tomatoes to make Fried Green Tomatoes with Basil Garlic Mayonnaise.

Today my corner store had ripe, red, tomatoes that cried out to be brought home for salad. There were also perky Persian cucumbers waiting to go into my basket, and a perfectly ripe avocado that felt great nestled in my hand. Spirited spring onions were also placed in my basket as well as three hearts of Romaine lettuce.

I also had some things at home to put in the salad. I had a little pastrami and swiss cheese left over from making Chicken Rubens with Saffron Rice. I had marinated sun dried tomatoes, black olive slices, real bacon bits, peperoncini and blue cheese. I decided that Girard’s Champagne Dressing would be perfect.

The real trick to making a composed salad is not so much what you put in it, as how it is presented. Each ingredient should be in its own little area, and artfully arranged. In my salad, for example, I fanned out both the tomato and avocado halves, and made a little flower out of sliced Persian cucumber. The black olive slices, crumbled bacon and blue cheese were in the middle, with one whole sun dried tomato propped up with a peperoncino sitting in their place of honor on the very top of the salad.

You are free to add your own ingredients, chick peas would be a good addition, so would chopped eggs, marinated onions, Kalamata olives, Chinese snow peas, grilled chicken, the sky’s the limit!

So enjoy these wonderful days of summer and remember that salads don’t have to be dull or ordinary.