pink blue cheese?

Thinking of an angle – something that will make this space my own. There are lots of food blogs. LOTS of them. And though I love all things food, that hardly makes me unique. My livelihood is food-focused as are my personal passions. But I come back to the original question: what’s my angle? Dunno. But I need to start writing and instead of waiting for that “ah-ha” moment, will jump in and see where this goes.

My mom always made a big deal out of holidays–Valentine’s Day included–so I want to honor her traditions by playing them out for my daughters. Which means we started our day with pink, heart-shaped pancakes (using a Sturdiwheat mix means I can sleep in until 7 and still get pancakes on the table before the bus comes at 8). Pink food coloring in the milk (Yes, I’ve heard the evils of artificial food color, etc. Please know that I mostly get the “whole food” nutrition thing right.) and sliced strawberries. Even better than the tasty breakfast fare was the fact that I didn’t yell at my kids once and they didn’t fight with each other. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lunch was at Panera with my youngest. My Cobb salad was an imposter (why do restaurants not get that Cobb salads are deconstructed and should have rows of the separate ingredients and NOT be tossed together?), but wasn’t expecting much as we were in Chains-ville. The weirdest part was the blue cheese dressing. It was pink and flecked with herbs. When I asked if it was really blue cheese dressing, the young counter-folk said, yes, it was blue cheese dressing and isn’t it strange that it’s pink? I suppose pink is a good color for the day. (Though the dressing ended up in the trash.) The Cobb salad craving not satisfied, I made a real one for supper. It was a perfect meal for a family with kids as–when properly made with the ingredients fanned out in rows over the romaine–the salad can be served on a giant platter and each family member takes more of what they like best. Chicken and bacon were hits around the table. My five-year-old gobbled down the hard-cooked eggs. Her older sister liked the croutons. And I got my avocado, blue cheese, and blue cheese dressing that wasn’t pink.

Homemade Croutons
Croutons aren’t part of the traditional Cobb salad, but homemade croutons are welcome on any salad of mine.

Sourdough bread, toasted and cut into large chunks
Olive oil or melted butter
Garlic salt

In bowl, toss together bread cubes and small amount of oil or butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt; toss to mix. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread cubes; cook, tossing frequently, until lightly browned. Use immediately or set aside to cool.


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