Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Annoying Half Snow Day

Note to my college administration: Snow days are fun, but not when you get out of bed, get ready for work, clean off your car, risk your life driving to work, teach one measly 50-minute class, and THEN classes are cancelled, the minute before you are about to do a special lunchtime presentation to the faculty that now has to be rescheduled. BAH!

However, it was nice to be home for the afternoon, and as I had to luxury to do so, I cooked up a...ummm...storm! I made a lovely green salad with dried cranberries, roasted pecans, green onions, creamy dollops of goat cheese, and a homemade strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, then a semi-homemade chicken pot pie for our entree, and for dessert, croissant bread pudding, but instead of making the traditional hard sauce, I drizzled each piece with Fat Toad Farms' Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce. YUM!

The strawberry-balsamic dressing was based on something similar that my friend June made recently, though she mushed up a few fresh strawberries in hers (I used jam), and she didn't use mustard. For my version, I started with two heaping tablespoons of strawberry preserves, two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, two teaspoons of Dijon mustard, one clove of minced garlic, a good pinch of salt and pepper, and then I whisked in olive oil in a thin stream, probably a scant half cup. My roommate thought it made the best salad she's ever had!

Apart from preparing this fantastic meal, I had one other snow day project: to try and clone Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic Seasoning, which I LOVE, but it's frightfully expensive at nine bucks for a small container! As it turns out, it's pretty easy to make a passable copycat for much, much less. Now, keep in mind that when I make a dip, I like to use half Garlic Garlic and half Onion Onion. So if you want this to be more like straight GG, then decrease the minced onion by three-quarters. If you make a quarter of the recipe that follows, it will refill your empty TS container. As it is, this will almost fill a pint-sized container. #yourewelcome

Garlic Garlic Copycat Seasoning

8 tablespoons dried minced garlic (I had dried garlic slices, so I busted them up into small pieces by hand with a pastry cutter--you can use a food processor, but careful not to pulverize, as you want little bits)
4 tablespoons dried minced onion (or cut this back to one tablespoon if you prefer)
4 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons dried chives
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

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