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Mixed Greens Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

by BnB Finder July 1st, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Mixed Greens SaladWhat makes this very simple salad special is the fresh homemade dressing -- and that's simple, too. Leaves of fresh sweet basil, with their unique taste, are puréed with olive oil and white wine vinegar, which will take you just seconds with an immersion blender (a food processor will do the job also). The Inn & Spa At Cedar Falls - Hocking Hills Lodging in Logan, Ohio, where "Fine American cuisine is the specialty" has provided this recipe. There's plenty to do around Logan, from ziplining to winery visits to watching your meals being cooked in the
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Asian Asparagus Salad — With A Touch of Sushi

by Jane Wangersky June 26th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
nori saladIt's asparagus season -- it must be, the stuff was half price the last time I went grocery shopping. Though asparagus certainly isn't the first vegetable I think of when I've got a salad to make, it's what we had this week, so it's what I went with. All I needed was some new, slightly unusual ingredient to pair it with.

On the Internet I found a recipe for appetizers made of asparagus wrapped in nori -- the sheets of roasted seaweed used for making sushi. The recipe also called for salmon, I think. It looked good, but I wasn't
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Roasted Pepper and Olive Salad

by BnB Finder June 24th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Roasted Pepper and Olive SaladHere's a quick but complex-tasting and spicy salad -- quick, that is, if you have roasted peppers around. If you don't, they take some time but they're really easy to cook. Just heat up the broiler, cut some fresh peppers in half, flatten them out as much as you can, and broil till they look burned -- actually only the skin will be charred. When they're cool, you'll be able to peel off the brittle skins easily, as well as seed and chop. From the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, Illinois, where you can book not only
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Ham and Cheese Salad

by Jane Wangersky June 19th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
ham saladWith a salad to invent and a lot of ham and cheese in my fridge, I began wondering why we’ve come up with ham and cheese, ham salad, but not ham and cheese salad. Well, as it turns out, many people have had that same thought, judging by the number of ham and cheese salad recipes you can find with a quick Google search. But my version is extra simple, and, unlike others, has no vegetables to put off the kids.

Ingredients:

1 cup diced (¼ inch) cooked smoked ham*
2 tbsp mayonnaise
½ tsp dry mustard (or to taste; my tester said
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Salad Part II: Beyond Greens

by Jane Wangersky June 13th, 2014| Cooking Basics
salad-246086_640We’ve covered lettuce (and other salad greens) at great length -- and when I was growing up, that was nearly all you needed to think about when making salad. All that was left to do was cut up a tomato or two and set out a bottle of commercial dressing. Well, if you were taking salad to a potluck, you could add some strips of ham and cheese and impress everyone with the trouble you’d gone to. But that was about it. Then someone invented salad bars . . . now everyone expects more than just greens,
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Beets Stuffed with Cucumber Salad

by Jane Wangersky June 12th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
beet cuke saladBeets, like revenge, are best served cold, which means, like revenge, they take some planning. This beet dish is no exception, but once you’ve got your cold, cooked beet(s) at hand, it really doesn’t take much time or work. Yet it still looks pretty enough to be special. It also combines some of the elements of borscht -- mostly beets, set off by cucumbers and sour cream -- in salad form. Last but not least, it makes a nice change from pickled beets, while calling for way fewer ingredients.

Speaking of which . . .

Ingredients (for one serving, multiply as
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Caprese Salad

by BnB Finder June 10th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Caprese SaladSimple but special and complex-tasting, this recipe delivers a mouthful of pizza-like flavor in a salad. For a change of pace, there are no greens required for this salad, except some fresh basil leaves. (Running them through your salad spinner -- it's not just for lettuce! -- will ensure they're at their best.) Though this traditional Italian salad is named after the island of Capri, the recipe comes from mid-Ohio, where you'll find the HideAway Country Inn in Bucyrus. As they say, "Stop to breathe deeply the fresh, clean, country air - but don’t forget that world-class
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Salad Part I: Greens

by Jane Wangersky June 6th, 2014| Cooking Basics
green-19690_640We got a quick preview of summer this year, before it turned back into plain old spring. During those two hot days, we dug out a couple of things we hadn’t used since last summer: the barbecue (even though we had no burgers, only sausage patties, and I was going to have to bake up some homemade buns) and the salad spinner.

Sure, I could buy bagged salad, but that would be paying someone else to do something I could do myself during a couple of commercial breaks, and you can guess how I feel about that. Besides, bagged salad
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Monterey Olive Salad

by Jane Wangersky June 5th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
monterey saladI really meant to take a genuine New Orleans muffaletta to the potluck the other night, but, well, stuff happened, and I ran out of time to make the olive salad. Muffalettas and olive salad are a story in themselves, one that I may get around to one day. This time, however, I ended up just making a great big ham, cheese, and salami sandwich out of a round loaf split horizontally. It was fine, people ate most of it -- and the next day I had a whole jar of olives to play with.

They were, fittingly enough, salad
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Vinaigrette: Choose Your Ratio

by Elizabeth Skipper June 4th, 2014| Ask the Chef
file231299986691I know that there is a specific ratio for salad dressing.  I believe it is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. That seems like a heavy dressing.  I know I could just switch the ratio, but I was wondering, is there a reason why that is the typical ratio?

That ratio is often quoted, but really it should only be considered a starting point. There is no one "correct" ratio. That will depend on the vinegars and oils you use, the kinds of salad and salad dressing you're making, and your personal taste.

The most basic salad dressing is vinaigrette,
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Summer Food

by Jane Wangersky May 1st, 2014| Cooking Basics
file000250766038Summer’s coming -- really -- and it’s not too early to think about classic summer foods. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years about enjoying summer eating while we can:

Even those ready made frozen burgers, yes, even the store brand ones, taste pretty good barbecued. So do veggie burgers, sausage patties, almost anything, in fact.

Speaking of barbecuing, you can cook homemade pizza that way.

Wilted lettuce will crisp up, except for maybe the edges, if you leave it in cold water for a while -- but it does take a while. It works best if
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Couscous Salad

by BnB Finder February 18th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
couscous saladCouscous is a traditional North African food, made from wheat granules, that can be a delicious alternative to rice or pasta -- and the kind that's sold in our stores is usually pre-steamed, so it takes only a few minutes to cook. You literally just add (boiling) water. This week's recipe, which combines couscous with vegetables and chickpeas, can serve as either a salad or a complete light meal. It comes to us from the Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in Williamston, North Carolina, whose site tells us "Staying at Big Mill is not 'roughing it'" --
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