Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2 Days 30-43

Ok... I know it looks like I abandoned my goal to get a salad a day.  Rest assured, I have not.  I've just been crazy busy so I haven't been able to try any new salad recipes.  I have been getting salads from the deli section of the store and I've had the old standard of greens and dressing.  I did try a new-ish fruit salad yesterday.  I used canned tropical fruit, chopped apples, sliced bananas, and 1/2 cup of honey Greek yogurt.  It was super yummy!

A Not So Weekly Report on the Boyack Adventures

 You would think our lives would slow down once Les Miserables was over.  WRONG.  We are all still busy and rarely home.  Lilli is busy with many dance classes.  Hannah is always at the school - she even insists on staying there to do homework and is often there into the night for Into the Woods rehearsal.  Chad is at school or working out.  John is always at work and doesn't come home until very, very late. I am often running people around to appointments, helping at the school, and keeping Case busy. Now we have our friend living at our house too.  He is often gone at work or playing with his girls.  About the only things you can find at home are the dogs, cats and chickens.
 Lillian got to celebrate her birthday with the kids involved in Les Miserables.  Our silly friend Lyndsey organized a party for all the kids... ice cream, a water fight and dress up.  She had a fabulous time.  After the party, John took Lillian to get to get a new bike for her birthday.  I'd say she had a great birthday.  Oh, and we Skype her sisters to do cake and ice cream and her last present... Frozen the movie.

 Remember all those headbands I made around Christmas?  Well, I made a few more and sent them to Sarah.  I got this fun picture in return. I'm glad she likes them.  I am now working on a granny square afghan.  Oh, and I finished an afghan I started for Chad for Christmas.  It was a long project.  I looked up the family Tartan for the Boyack family and made a the patten to represent that.  It turned out pretty.  It's heavy and warm too.
 I've been helping with the play at the high school.  I've been going to the high school to help in the tech class and with the production class.  The production class is doing Into the Woods.  Hannah is in that class.  She is playing the Witch.  I am designing and building the set.  We set the show in New York City.  It makes for an interesting twist on all the points in the plot.  I also help the director stay organized with creating the schedule, making signs so that the kids know what we are working on now, etc.I also started the block... for two reasons.  The director was a bit overwhelmed with Les Miserables performances and I knew the set well.  I started all that to be a help, but I sometimes feel bad because it looks like I took over the class.  I don't mean to.  I know he is the real director.  It just doesn't look like it on some days.  LOL.  He put my name on the poster.  I told him he needed to take it off... but he didn't.
 These kids are pretty silly.  What frustrates me the most is how far they are behind in getting this show off the ground in 3 weeks.  That's right.  We have three weeks until we open.  The show is one of the toughest shows in Musical theater to tackle.  Yet, tackle it we did.  They are not memorized.  Many have not made this show a priority.  We often don't have everyone at rehearsal.  We don't have the set because we have the shell up for a bunch of events that have taken over the auditorium.  Talk about I'M FREAKING OUT!  I've never felt this kind of pressure on a show.  I sure hope we are able to pull this off.  First of all, I love the concept.  I love the score too.  And some of these kids are starting to grow on me.  But I really want to see the theater program in the school to grow and flourish.
 Hannah is getting into politics a little too.  Her picture was used here as part of a political campaign. Our friend from Les Miserables is running for office.  Hannah and her friend Jacob got into some political conversations with him.  I think the serious look on her face is funny.  She is never serious and is usually clueless.  LOL.

We spent two Saturdays working on the set for Into the Woods.  The stage was full of the sound shell for all the concerts and events that were scheduled in the auditorium, so we painted the flats in the hall. When every thing was finally able to move to the stage we successful got the set up and finished in ONE WEEK!  I was so pleased.  Really, the only reason we made it was because of the great help I got... including from my friend John Hatch.  I love how fast he works and how he just understands what I need to be done.

While I've been busy with Hannah and the HS project, Lillian and John have been spending some quality time together.  They went on a hike to the giant trees over by Fall City.  John has also bee working on fixing the utility trailer and the yard.  He has had some help with the yard.  We have a friend living with us right now and he has been helping with a few chores.

Hannah was on the Academic All Stars again.  I went and watched her stand inline forever to shake the Superintendent's hand.  Although I applaud the students that keep their grades up, I find this recognition rather shallow.  This administration seems to honor the athletes far more than the other students.  I find it shameful some kids are given more attention and more credit than other kids.  Oh well.  It's always been that way.  I guess I don't see it ever changing.  But it doesn't make me any less disappointed and rather cranky.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2 , Days 24- 29

In case you are wondering... I have NOT abandon my goal of a salad a day.  It's been some of the busiest weeks for me... many events in the high school auditorium for me to be responsible for have kept me from the computer.  Those same evenat have kept me from making a bunch of new recipes.  Thankfully, I can find some quick alternitives.

For example, I was able to find a decent salad in the deli section of the grocery store on Wednesday.

Thursday we had a Cobb Salad
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • For the Greek yogurt ranch
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • To make the Greek yogurt ranch, whisk together Greek yogurt, buttermilk, dill, garlic powder, onion powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
  • To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with arranged rows of ham, tomatoes, avocado, eggs and goat cheese.
  • Serve immediately with Greek yogurt ranch
It was so good that it lasted through Friday (of course it mostly lasted because my kids aren't that into Salad).

Saturday was crazy busy with set building from 8:30am to noon; rehearsal from 12:00pm to 2:00pm; rehearsal for a special event from 2:00pm to 4:30pm; and the event from 6:00pm to 9:30pm.  I never really got to leave the HS.  But I have good friends that take care of me.  My friend Megan brought me a quinoa salad... Kirkland brand.  It was so yummy.  I will need to figure out how to make it.

There was enough salad to last through Sunday.

Monday we made your old Taco Salad. I didn't follow a recipe.  We just did what we always do... ground turkey, black beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, corn chips... you know. 

Tonight I am planning on making a Greek Pasta Salad:
5 oz dry Lasagnettes pasta, uncooked (about 1 ½ cups)
½ pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup cucumber, diced, seeded (peeled or unpeeled)
1 cup  pitted Kalamata olives, drained
½ cup red onion, diced
3 oz  good quality feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup Greek Salad Dressing (recipe follows)
Coarse ground black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl, add tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onions, and feta cheese. Toss together. Drizzle dressing over pasta; toss to coat. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours to 24 hours. Sprinkle black pepper and oregano. Makes 4-6 servings.
Cook’s Note: Play with the ingredients and adjust according to preference. There will be more dressing than you need for the salad. Save in the refrigerator for another day/salad. And, fresh herbs are best, but I didn’t have any, so I used dried.

Greek Salad Dressing

1 tsp. chili stone ground mustard*
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. fine sea salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp. dried basil
Place all ingredients in a jar with lid, and shake well to mix. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2 Day 21 and 22 and 23

Sunday ended up being a simple day.  I didn't have time to go to the store. So I just had lettuce and Honey Mustard dressing.  Monday I made BLT Salad:


2 cups butter lettuce, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
1 pint grape tomatos, quartered
4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup sweet corn
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


As a note, to chop my lettuce I like to lay it out on a big cutting board and just continuously run my knife through it (in all different directions) until it's chopped as much as I like.
In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then divide evenly amount 2 plates. Serve!
Today I am making Chopped Thai Chicken Salad:
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small head green or white cabbage (2 cups shredded)
  • 1 large carrot (1½ cups shredded)
  • 1 green papaya (1½ cups shredded)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup green onions
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 bird’s eye chili peppers (sub ½ teaspoon minced hot pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chicken breasts, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove from heat, drain water, let cool, and shred with two forks.
  2. Chop the cabbage into very thin pieces, like it would be for coleslaw. I did this by rolling up several leaves together and making thin vertical slices across the roll and then chopping them once horizontally. Peel and grate the carrots. Cut off the skin, remove the seeds, and grate the papaya. Roughly chop the cilantro and green onions. Toss the chicken and vegetables in a large bowl and keep chilled.
  3. Mince the garlic and chili peppers. Place garlic and peppers in a small mixing bowl with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil, and fish sauce. Whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth and creamy.
  4. Toss the salad with the dressing. Add the crushed peanuts. Serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. For best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Salad a Day: Take 2 Day 19 and 20

Today marks 20 days of salad.  Not bad... yet so many more to go.

Yesterday we celebrated John's birthday.  We went to Thai food.  The Salad of the day became Thai Salad Rolls.

Today, I had left over salad for lunch and will be making the following salad for dinner:  Layered Chicken Taco Salad
  • 3 cup Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 3 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 cup cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 2 can (11oz each) Mexicorn, whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese (left this out for me)
  • 2 green onions, chopped (tops too)
  • 1 1/2 cup southwest tortilla strips (or chips)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup French dressing (I used salsa)
  1. In a large glass bowl, layer half of the lettuce and spinach. Top with tomatoes, corn, chicken and remaining lettuce and spinach. Top with cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together with salsa with French dressing. Pour over top of cheese. Garnish with cilantro, green onions and tortilla strips.

It's a nice change from the usual taco salad.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Salad A Day: Take 2 Day 17 and 18

Yesterday was one crazy busy day... driving to Salem twice for dentist appointments, going down to the high school twice to help wit the play and see Hannah get an award, and even teaching lessons. Thus, it was a good thing I had left over salad from the day before... that was Day 17.

Today is Day 18 and I will be making the following salad I found on Pinterest:

Rainbow Chicken Salad

For the Salad
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine were cut into smaller, thinner pieces which made the sauteing a bit easier)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups grapes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3 cups curly lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped or crushed
For the Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • ½ tablespoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, pepper, and chili powder. Saute in the oil for a few minutes, flipping the chicken now and then to cook through and get a nice golden color on both sides. When the chicken is cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cut and prep all the vegetables and fruits. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite sized pieces. Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl – you can either arrange the bowl by ingredient, like pictured, or toss everything together. Refrigerate to chill.
  3. For the dressing, puree all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour dressing over salad and serve.

Looking forward to this salad!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Salad A Day: Take 2 Day 16

Today, in honor of April Fool's day, I made Pistachio Salad.  Hey!  I'ts green... It has pineapple... :)

  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 6 to 7 drops green food coloring, optional
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios or walnuts
  • Directions

    1. In a large bowl, combine whipped topping, pudding mix and food coloring if desired. Fold in the marshmallows and pineapple. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with nuts. Yield: 12 servings.

  • Ok... in case you thought I've lost it... I did eat leftovers of the yummy cucumber salad I made yesterday and I tried this new recipe:
  • Zucchini Gratin
  • Basically a big frittata filled with vegetables and a bit of cheese making it a healthy choice for dinner!

    • 2 small zucchini (about 1 lb)
    • 1 onion, finely chopped       
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
    • Extra-Virgin Olive oil

  • All very tasty dinner items.