Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad aka Amazeballs in a Bowl
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Today was just an okay day. It had tons of ups and downs. My amazing boyfriend Draco aka my huge, cuddle bug left town last night to help his dad out at their family ranch which was far up north. And naturally, he took my other cuddle bug, my french bulldog puppy Choncho. So it goes without saying, I did NOT sleep well last night; however, I got up early this morning with that gorgeous California sun beaming through my window. Hooray for Indian summers.
When I got to work, I realized that I had to write an entire Motion by myself because the attorney I work for didn't have enough time. Since she offered me $250 to do it, I tackled that bad boy like Bear Grills in unknown territory. Rushing to get everything filed in time was beyond stressful, and I ended up leaving the office at 2:15 to file the sucker and not returning until 5:10. Now it was time for me to change clothes, shut down the computer and run off to class.
Class was additional stress. I was so proud of myself that I enrolled early and got a secured seat in the last class I'll ever need before my degree until I woke up on a Tuesday and realized class started the day before, and no matter how much apologizing and groveling, my teacher still had to drop me. So there I was, sitting in the waiting area, along with 5 or 6 other students begging to get in, holding our breaths that our number is called for the class lottery. And guess what folks, I WON! Now that I'm officially enrolled and on cloud 9, I get a voicemail from cuddle bug number one saying he'll be home around 8 ish. Perfect!
I head off to Trader Joes, my all time favorite grocery store ever other than Whole Foods, and sashay through the beautiful aisles filled with beautiful foods. As tempted as I am to explore the unfamiliar, I have a game plan. I have been craving - n0 - DYING for Cheesecake Factory's Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Flatbread with grilled onions. Its so good, I'm drooling as I type just thinking about it. It literally melts in your mouth and you get this array of orgasmic flavors dancing around your tongue. Since I'm on this veggie and fruit and no artificial crap whatsoever way of eating, I have to find an equally amazing substitute. LIGHTBULB! I'll make a salad. I grab all the fixings as I make my way down each aisle (while stopping to talk to each employee since they all know my life story because I go there about 4 times a week - I'm a foodie. STOP JUDGING!). I grab Draco a New York Strip Steak because, let me tell you, the man can eat, and I stop by the wine section. After pondering for a few minutes, I stop and ask a trusty Trader Joe (lol get it? okay, lame, moving on) what he would suggest. Turns out this is no ordinary Joe, but my old classmate's dad whom I haven't seen in about 15 years. Anyways, he suggests a nice Pinot Noir called Sebastapol Hills, 2009. I check out of there and head on home.
Now for the fun part, what kind of dressing would a Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad need? The only thing I could think of was how I kept trying to remind myself to pick up a raspberry vinagrette while I was at the store. Damn my inability to concentrate! Then BINGO! I suddenly think of my mother. Now, anyone who knows my mother, knows she's an amazing cook. They would also know that she could go into any kitchen, and I mean ANY kitchen, look at your cupboard and voila, you have a gourmet meal. Remembering this, I can just hear her voice saying, "No problem! Lets see what you have." I automatically think of my Grenadine (cherry syrup) that I have sitting in my fridge. I begin mixing olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a couple of dashes of Powdered Ginger, a splash of Grenadine, and topped it off with two teaspoons of orange juice. I mixed it all together and poured it all over my salad of romain lettuce chunks, crumbled blue cheese, half a pear - sliced, walnuts, and slivered red onion. The finished result? AMAZEBALLS.. in a bowl.
I sat down with my pre-wine cocktail, which was a version of a Sex on the Beach, and indulged. (I normally don't condone alcohol when you're trying to diet, and in no way am I an alcoholic, BUT everyone has a vice, and being an ex-bartender, drinks are mine) Honestly, if eating healthy is this good, I don't care if I eat another french fry ever again.
What is your amazing, out of this world, healthy recipe? And if you don't have one, don't be afraid to go into your cupboard and see what you can find. Bon Appetit everyone!