Homemade Mayo...because I was too lazy to go to the store.

Kiddo requested BSTs for dinner this week.  BST?  Bacon, spinach, and turkey sandwiches.  Mr. E & I actually have BSTATs...bacon, spinach, turkey, avocado, tomato.  They're a favorite...and oh-so-fancy. (Not.)
easy homemade mayo recipe ::: bake at 350 {savory}
At 5:00pm, I realized we were OUT OF MAYONNAISE.  Keep in mind that the grocery store is about 3 minutes away, but the thought of going back after having been there 3 hours earlier was just *too much.*

Apple, Grape and Celery Salad

apple grape celery salad ::: bake at 350 goes savory  
Two truths about me:
  1. I'm not good at side dishes.  I'm not sure if I'm lazy (I am), or if it's that we have a family of three and making another dish will just lead to more leftovers we won't eat.  Whatever the reason, our "side dishes" look a lot like "a pile of baby carrots," or "a handful of grape tomatoes."
  2. As a rule, I don't waste calories on salad.  (Well, unless it's a salad with Snickers.)  It's not that I don't like salad...I'd just rather eat a sandwich.
apple grape celery salad ::: bake at 350 goes savory
OK...so now that you know me a little better, I'd like to introduce you to a salad and a side dish that makes a pretty frequent appearance in our house.

It's quick...it's easy...and it keeps the in fridge for a few days. (The vinegar keeps the apples from browning.)  Call it an updated, lighter Waldorf Salad.  Call it lunch.  Call it your new favorite.

{Adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food}

Irish Beer Cheese Soup

Do I even need to write anything here?  This recipe contains beer, cheese, and is topped with popcorn.  I think it speaks for itself. ;)
beer cheese soup photo beercheesesoup.jpg
I ask you to forgive the pictures as we were trying to sit down to dinner, the popcorn was sinking, and well, I was hungry.  Picture this soup with a pretty mound of popcorn on top.  Thank you.

What makes this soup Irish?  It starts here:

Easy-Peasy Tortilla Soup

We were not a family of soup-eaters.  Maybe because I grew up outside of Houston, where it *tends to be* on the warm side.  My mom made chili, she made stew (which I hated...even though, looking back, I really didn't hate it, I just liked to complain. Yes, I was *that* teenager), but soup?  Not so much.

This is the recipe that turned me into a soup-maker.  It's adapted from a recipe on the back of a can of beans.  In other words, it's fancy. ;) We eat it all year long, but especially when it's a chilly 78-degree fall day in Houston, it's perfect.

You'll need this:

Man-Pleaser Salad

Even though Mr. E really likes salads, some seem to really go over better than others.

Enter the BBQ Chicken + Blue Cheese Salad {with candied pecans and dried cherries}.

The idea originally came (not from this book) from the sister-in-law of my friend Terri, who, if I remember correctly, worked as a chef on a yacht.  Terri & I were both newly married and learning how to cook, and Terri's SIL suggested salad with BBQ chicken, balsamic dressing, blue cheese and pecans.  It was the first fancy salad I ever made...unless you count my mom's salad with spinach and canned mandarin oranges.

This is one of those great salads that doesn't taste too "summery" to me...we eat it all year long.  I think it's the BBQ sauce.  Yep.  I'm sure it is.  BBQ sauce makes it timeless.  You can quote me on that.