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Tag Archives | Salad

‘S’ is for Simple Menu

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Simple and Healthy

‘S’ a double hairpin menu curve drove my kitchen this summer. A diversion from my , Asian Spring Asparagus Chickenregular ‘rarely cook the same thing twice’ in six months approach, my weekly fare consisted of five dishes: Stir Fry, Salad, Sandwiches, Sushi and Salmon. Sounds boring right – never, but simple. Heavy on fresh farmers market fruits and vegetables, this menu is light, healthy and fresh.


Spinach-Salad-Amid-Fresh-FruitStir Fry’s: Beef with Oyster Sauce, Pecan Chicken, Pork Chao Mian, Broccoli, Cabbage and Golden Zucchini with Pork, Asian Asparagus with Chicken, Shrimp and Chicken with Bamboo, Golden Coin Steak and Beef with Three Color Peppers.

BLAT-on-WheatSalads: Bacon and Egg Spinach with Poppy Seed Dressing, Quinoa Under Stained Glass, Bleu Cheese Tomato Wedge Salad, Asian Sesame Salad, Park City Salad, Caprese Salad, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Spinach Salad with Citrus, Peach Spinach Salad, Taco Salad with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce,Bleu Beet Salad, Cucumber Salad, Rustic Orzo Salad, Fruit Kabobs, Raw Corn and Zucchini Salad, Ty Cobb Salad, Chef’s Salad and Grilled Chicken Caesar’s.

Sandwiches: Reubens, Rachels, Grilled Ham and Cheese on Wheat, Ham and Cheese Subs, California BLT, BLT, Chicken Salad with Grapes in Croisants, Thai Larb, Lime and Tomato Tajicos, Andrew’s Pizza, White Pizza with Arugula, Burgers with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce, Mini Muffulettos, Chicken Curry Puffs, Bacon and Egg Salad Sandwiches and Italian Pressed Sandwiches.

Sushi-for-kidsSushi: We do a made-from-scratch, wrap-at-the-table Chirashi-sushi made in 30 minutes with shrimp, avocado and cucumber or crab, egg and cucumber, or any other combination with all vegetables. Never tire of sushi, love it!

Salmon: I call it salmon because it starts with “S” but I purchase fish or seafood from the fish market across the street on my way in from work on Friday. It’s so fresh. Salmon made it’s way to our table every other week. Black Bean Salmon, Japanese Salmon, White Fish with Golden Sweet Pepper Sauce, Fish Tacos, Fish Piccata with Lemon and Fresh Fish Sticks.

Salmon with Dashi Udon and Cucumber SaladFor the fall, I’m sprinkling in savory soup. We’ll keep the fish on Friday because it’s been such a huge hit. The Fall menu is: Wok, Sushi, Pasta, Soup and/or Salad and Fish.
Cook with Sauces
‘S’ is for Simple Menu
Written by
Recipe Tester for the Washington Post
Photographs and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: September 23, 2014

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Pomegranate Feta Salad

Bright tasting and colorful mixed produce salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

The Sauce: Pomegranate Vinaigrette – Fruity red pomegranate dressing with red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard flavor this salad with a ruby glistening dressing.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 


Pomegranates probably originated in Iran, then were cultivated in the Middle East and elsewhere. Now they’re grown in California and Arizona. They have a burst of bright, juicy flavor with a little crunch factor.

Extracting those jewel-like nuggets is the challenge. Some markets offer packages of fresh pomegranate already freed from their spongy, pithy cases. But if you can’t find them or don’t want to afford the higher cost, here is an easy way to release the kernels.

PomegranateFill a bowl with water. Cut the fruit in half. Working under water with one half at a time, pull away the thick skin and the pomegranate seeds can easily be freed from the pith. Pour the bowl of pomegranate and water through a colander. Enjoy this easy salad with pom kernels, salty feta, crisp lettuce, then drizzle with pomegranate vinaigrette.

You might also enjoy Pomegranate Jelly, Virgin Cherry Bounce, Creamy Italian Feta Dip, Feta Bruschetta and Mango Jellified Fruit.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Fruit Juice Gelly
2011 AniversaRecipe – Asian Sesame Salad

Recipe: Pomegranate

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Feta Salad

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Level: Easy

Pomegranate Jelly Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • 2 tsp pomegranate jelly or syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • dash salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper

Pomegranate Feta Salad

  • 3 cups chopped Romaine lettucePomegranate with mustard
  • 1 cup spring mix salad greens
  • 1/2 pomegranate, peeled and seeded
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese, about 1/2 cup

Pomegranate Dressing1 Whisk together pomegranate jelly (may need to microwave for 5-10 seconds to become liquid), mustard and vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Pomegranate Feta Salad2 Evenly dividing each ingredient, place Romaine lettuce, spring mix, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese on four salad plates. Drizzle with pomegranate vinaigrette.

Red wine vinegar is especially good in the pomegranate dressing because the flavor complements the fruit and the color enhances the dressing.

Feta cheese is more moist when it is purchased and stored in a brick rather than crumbled.

Use this dressing on other green salads.

Marinate vegetables such as fresh green beans or black beans for a Salade Nicoise platter.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange jelly for pomegranate molasses.
  • Exchange salad greens for lettuce of your choice.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Pomegranate Feta Salad
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: July 13, 2013

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Watermelon with Lime

Watermelon cut in cubes with a dash of lime.

Front and center on the Fourth

Frequently Fourth of July picnics end with watermelon wedges and black seed spitting matches. Readily available, seedless melons make excellent watermelon salads. They’re Watermelon-with-Lime-Dressing-with-Minteasier to prepare and eat than those with seeds but forget seed spitting fights. Oh, well. Move the melon to the middle of the meal with this lime accented dish. It’s perfect for picnics, parties and pool get-togethers. Serve with Grilled Burgers with Creamy Mustard Sauce or Chili Cheese Dogs.


2011 AniversaRecipe – Jalapeno Bean Dip

Recipe: Watermelon with Lime

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings | Level: Easy


  • 1/2 12-14 lb seedless watermelon, chilled
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime

1 Cut the watermelon in 1-1 ¼ inch chunks. Place in a large bowl.

2 In a small bowl combine syrup, water and lime juice.

Watermelon-with-cut-lime3 Drizzle lime dressing over watermelon and gently turn chunks with a large spoon to distribute.

Cutting the melon – Trim away all white and slightly red melon near the rind to ensure all pieces of fruit are sweet. When making this for company, cut uniform cubes and save any rounded pieces for a snack.

Cut-watermelon-in-cubesTo make simple syrup – combine 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and heat until boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Cool and store in the fridge. This makes a good base for punch because the sugar is already dissolved. Try with LOL Lemonade and Ginger Limeade.

This salad is especially good when the selected watermelon turns out not sweet enough.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange watermelon for cantaloupe or honey dew.
  • Combine watermelon with other melons for a multi-fruit salad.

Watermelon-with-Lime-Dressing-MintInspirationMartha Stewart
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton

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Spinach Salad Series

‘Spinach Salad amid Fresh Fruit’ Series

Baby spinach in a bag

I’m not a prepared food enthusiast but who doesn’t love the convenience of baby spinach? I mean really, you have a completely nutritious food that is one hundred percent natural without all the work of sorting and cleaning. Spinach supplies one of the best salad bases especially during the summer when paired with fresh fruit. This coming week I am doing a series called “Spinach Salad amid Fresh Fruit”. We’ll explore different ingredients to ensure spinach is in good company and showcase them dressed in some varied but terrific sauces. Watch for three scrumptious spinach salads:

Spinach-Salad-RecipesWednesday, August 3, 2011Spinach Salad with Citrus

Thursday, August 4, 2011Peach Spinach Salad

Friday, August 5, 2011Spinach Berry Salad with Candied Nuts

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Select one to serve this weekend. Make it a Saturday salad or a side with Sunday dinner.
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: June 12, 2012

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Fiesta Bean Salad

New fangled bean salad with a little fiesta flair

Summer Picnic Perfect

As a kid I thought beans were just OK but it was mostly a texture thing.  I am not sure when I acquired a taste for beans but I love them now. I think it was when I was a teenager and Aunt Lorraine brought her Three Bean Salad to our family reunion buffet. She used green beans, kidney beans, and wax beans. It tasted really yummy marinated in the sauce.  This festive version of her dish is loaded with legumes minus vegetable beans. The addition of some tomatoes and corn plus cilantro make it gourmet. It goes really great as a side with hamburgers, oven fried chicken or Sloppy Joes and even barbecued Beef or Pork.

Fiesta-Bean-SaladWhat I love about this salad is that most of the ingredients are naturally the right size. Store everything in your pantry except a couple of fresh items. When you have a half bunch of cilantro leftover it’s a great time to make up this salad.  It’s very healthy, loaded with nutrients and low in calories.  Make up a batch and nosh on it for the next few days, first as a side dish, then for lunch, and finally as a snack. The vinegary sauce soaks into the beans and gets better with time.  Perfect for a summer reunion buffet as it keeps well without refrigeration.

Recipe: Fiesta Bean Salad

Prep Time: 12 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 12 servings | Level: Easy


  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can light Red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small or 1 large tomato, diced the size of kidney beans
  • 1/2 large red onion, rough diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen Corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Oil and Vinegar Dressing

  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, cumin and oil and whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved.

2. Add the beans, tomatoes, onion, corn and cilantro. Give it a gentle stir to combine.

3. Served right away for a fresh and bright flavor.  Marinate for couple hours or even overnight to marry sauce with the legumes.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange white balsamic for regular white vinegar.
  • Use any combination of beans you like. Choose beans that have contrasting colors. Other options are navy, cannellini, black eyed peas or pinto.
  • Exchange tomatoes for red pepper.

Inspiration – Aunt Lorraine Horton
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 2, 2012

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Green Salad, Really!

Crispy Greens with alvocado and cucumbers topped with homemade sauce.


Designed by Audrey, this salad is monochromatic green and combines delicious ingredients that all happen to be the same color. Love the creamy avocado and the fresh homemade dressing. Whip this up even at the last moment as a side for any meal.

Recipe: All Green Salad

Prep Time: 8 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 2 servings | Level: Easy


  • 8-12 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 english cucumber, peeled and sliced


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • dash of salt and pepper to taste

1 Design this all green salad by draping 2-3 whole leaves of lettuce on each of 4 salad plates. Use rectangle shaped dishes if you’ve got them because they fit the shape of the long lanky leaves.

2 Divide the other ingredients into fourths and arrage over the lettuce.

3 Whip the vinaigrette sauce ingredients with a fork at a good speed to emulsify into a smooth dressing. Drizzle a tablespoon or so over each salad and savor the freshness and crunch.

Romaine Lettuce – This salad is best when you use the middle leaves. The outside are often not quite tender enough for this ‘all green’ salad and the leaves near the core are too small for the sweeping design of lettuce sun bathing on the plates.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange Romaine for green or red leaf lettuce.
  • Exchange or add other green veggies such as celery, green pepper or spinach.
  • Add some fresh finely chopped tarragon to the dressing.
  • Exchange white for red or apple cider vinegar in the dressing


Inspiration – Audrey Bastian
Cook with Sauces
Written: by
Photographs: by Helen Horton
Updated: April 23, 2012

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