Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Summer Salads and New Favourites for Breakfast

I discovered a summer dinner gold mine this morning.  See, this is what happens when your hubby leaves for work ridiculously early and you're lying in bed wide awake.  The iPad beckons and you end up delving into little known corners from your own blog list.

This morning I was clicking my way through "The Pioneer Woman" site and came across a post of some favourite summer salads.  Her Chicken Taco Salad is a firm favourite in this house, so I was certain I would probably appreciate anything that included salad ingredients and combinations that we like, in our house.  Because that's to some degree what family meals are all about.  You may come across the best recipe, but inevitably a competent, confident cook will tweak it to suit what they have and what their family will eat.  Not all of the salads on Ree's list will make it here at the Picket Fence, but many will.  I've printed off a few already:
  • Panzanella
  • Sesame Chicken Salad
  • Quinoa with Tomato, Basil and Mozarella
  • Apple, Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries
Already I can see a major overhaul coming my way with the last salad.  I love the idea of fresh fruit in a savoury salad.  But I hate blue cheese.  I want to like it.  I've tried to like it.  It just tastes like vomit to me and I can't make myself push through that.  I'll be looking to see what else I could use in its place.  I'm not sure I've ever seen dried cherries, but I think dried cranberries might work for both colour and flavour.

If you're interested in summer meal salads go here and peruse at will.  I'm sure there will be something there you will enjoy.

My other recent discovery is gourmet jams from The Richmond Jam Maker in Tasmania, who happens to be Dh's cousin.  I am in jam-love.  As a jam-on-toast breakfast kind of person I'm always happy to try different jams, although raspberry is always my go-to standard.  We came home with a significant amount of jam tucked away in my suitcase from TRJM.  Thank you, Jetstar, for weighing our luggage as a family instead of individuals.  Overall we were underweight even though my case full of jam was over the individual limit.  We had tried most of different jams while we were staying with Dh's aunt and uncle, in Hobart.  I loved every single one I tasted, but I didn't taste the blackberry and fig - there were more jams than days of the week and we were only there for five mornings.  Until this morning.  I don't know what possessed Dh to pick that one up, but it is my new favourite.  It is fresh and moody and its sweetness is earthy and resiny.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I'm pushing that jar to the back of the fridge and hoping "fig" on the label will put everyone else in the family off trying it.  If you're ever in Tasmania you will be able to pick up TRJM jams and relishes from lots of different places around the State.  If not, she ships all over the world.  Do yourself a favour - order some!  The raspberry is to-die-for.  The whiskey marmalade is incredibly good.  I imagine that could go down well when you feel you need to bolster yourself for the day ahead.  She does a pineapple and melon marmalade - just amazing.  Seriously.  Pick anything.  She does more than what is listed on her website so email her and ask.  The store on the website only lists Australia as a shipping destination.  Email her and ask if you want it shipped elsewhere in the world.  And then order some.  You will not be sorry.   


jess m said...

I love fruit and dried berries in my salad (dried cranberries are the best), but I always seem to forget about them when I'm making salads. I stick to the same boring combinations and wonder why I'm sick of salads!

I need to print off some interesting salad ingredients and stick them to my fridge!

Bec @ History of Parenting said...

Mmm, that salad sounds fabulous! Apple always seems to make a salad fresh and summery.

EssentiallyJess said...

My MIL puts pear in salad and that always works well.
I've been making apricot jam here this week with our abundance of apricots. It's yum!