>My little kitchen has been going full force with baking. I made so many goodies, and I managed to get photos for some upcoming posts! One is White Chocolate Orange Cranberry Scones, which by the way most of my co-workers really loved. The only exception is the one we dubbed the “trouble making pot stirrer.” Long story but let’s just say she lies worse than a rug on the floor, plus she extremely jealous to point that is why she lies. Let’s just say she the type no one can be better than her, no matter what it is. Every place of work seems to have one like her. Anyway, they all fell in love with the scones. I will be posting that in a few days.
Let’s see, I have also made wonderful cake truffles, baklava, and of course I got a wonderful guest post coming up in a blog called Noshing with the Nolands, it is Sugar Plums. A cookie that is truly a delight. In all these sweets I have been making, it nice to take a break from it.
I mentioned in the No Bake Peanut Butter Chews that had my annual Christmas dinner. The first one I have ever hosted was at Buca Di Beppo, 4 years ago. There is a salad there we all fell in love with and was this Apple Gorgonzola Salad. Last year I had the Christmas dinner again at Buca and let’s just say they messed up huge with my reservation for the pope table. (They accidentally gave it to the wrong person who had a similar name, well the first name. I had the reservation for 1 1/2 months. This person walked in and thought could get it, her name was Diane. It was a huge mess that night last year.) So to make up for it Buca did discount my check and gave me a gift certificate to give another chance.
I ended up treating my father to a dinner there with the certificate. I wanted him to try other things other than lasagna. I mentioned my family likes food plain. They do not go outside the comfort zone. Salt and pepper are the only spice they know. Anyway, I got this salad, admittingly my dad was puzzled a salad is a lettuce, tomato, cucumber and either Italian or ranch dressing that you pour on yourself, for him. So to have a salad that mixed with dressing, then it got Gorgonzola, apples, cranberries, and walnuts. That a bit outside his comfort zone.
He did try it, well dinner was free due to this certificate, so when it is free he will try it. So he is picking in the bowl eating the apples. I had to tell him it a salad, try all together. So he does turned out he liked it. But he admits he really liked the apples the best. I was happy I got to try something out of his comfort zone. Why? Because what he order to try for the main meal? Lasagna. Hey can not change Rome in a day, right?
Anyway, we talking about the salad at work, plus I had a craving for it. I admit I put on a few extra pounds. I did a great job of losing weight, but I put some on. So come the first the year, I’m doing a 21-day challenge. So I figure I get into practice early and make this salad. After research, I found a recipe, only I changed a tiny bit.
A simple salad inspired by Buca di Beppo!
- 1 granny smith apple (chopped and sliced for garnish)
- 8 oz romaine lettuce washed and chopped
- 2 Tb Gorgonzola cheese crumbled
- 2 oz spiced walnuts
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1/8 cup red onion chopped fine
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic minced
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups walnuts halves and pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the walnuts and let them boil for about 5 minutes.
- In a ziploc bag add the sugar and spices. Give a good toss to mix it all together. Add the walnuts and toss them in the bag till the walnuts have a coating if the spice mixture.
- Heat up about 2 Tb of oil. Add the walnuts and caramelized the walnuts about 2 minutes. Drain them and set aside.
- Put everything for the vinaigrette but the oil in a blender. Turn it on to blend and slowly add the oil to it as it blends. Once all blended you see it a nice thick dressing. In a bowl add the lettuce and toss it with the dressing.
- Assemble the salad, add the cranberries, walnuts and Gorganzola. Then top it with the apples. Serve it up and ENJOY!