What a week it has been! Ryan was out of town on business (well, actually out of the country), so I was holding down the fort. Typically when he is away we eat some of favorites, including breakfast for dinner and some things that the kids love like homemade sloppy joe's. But this time he was going to be gone for so long that I dove in and really got cooking! We did make oat waffles one night, but we tried a bunch of new things. A few did not get our seal of approval but we did end up with 4 keepers this week. When it rains it pours!
One of the evenings when Ryan was gone a close friend was also husband-less (he was away, too). She and her kids came over for dinner and I served them a new slow cooker chicken dish, along with zoodles (one of my favorite side dishes), a new cucumber side salad, and some fruit and fresh veggies. You would have though we were feeding an army and not just two moms and 5 kids! They devoured the chicken! By the end of dinner almost everything was gone including almost an entire pineapple, some strawberries, blueberries and carrots. Some of the kids used bbq sauce or ketchup with the chicken (or carrots, in the case of Liam) but I enjoyed it paired on my fork with the zoodles. Colorful, flavorful, and delicious! Owen and I especially loved the cucumber salad. The cucumbers were crisp, the marinade was spicy enough to be interesting, but it was not overpowering, and the lime juice was fantastic in it. You definitely want to make this the same day you serve it, and while you can keep the leftovers, they are best for just an extra day or so; much longer than that and they will start to get too soggy to be enjoyable.
But the biggest hit for me this week, far and away, was a salad suggested by my mom. Apparently she served this as one of the courses for her New Year's Eve party and it was an instant success. She shared the recipe with my sisters and I; at first glance I was less then interested. The dressing ingredients were a bit odd but thankfully she had included a note when she sent the recipe. The note said "Don't let the spinach salad dressing ingredients throw you Elizabeth, everyone at the dinner voted it a keeper." With that endorsement I took her on her word and made it. OH MY!!!! Owen and I just couldn't get enough. The evening I made it I paired it with a tortellini dish that she also sent, and all the kids loved that. But the salad was just out of this world. I had to rush off to class right after dinner. During class I was hoping that there would still be some left when I got home- and there was! Yes, at 9pm I finished off the salad. We passed the dressing on the side because not all my kids like dressing on salad, and this way people could use whatever they wanted or nothing at all. If I haven't convinced you to try this yet here is my last pitch...I have already prepped the ingredients to throw it together to bring for my lunch for my all day Saturday class. I am telling you - you have got to try this!!!
Well there you have it...4 keepers this week, 3 were great, but one was truly outstanding. When you look at the ingredients list for the dressing, or even for the salad itself you may think that it is not for you. Perhaps you should give it a try - you might very well be surprised. I certainly was!
Superb Springtime Spinach Salad
Cucumber side salad
Slow cooker 20 garlic chicken