Just a quick fly by post. We just wrapped up Evan's birthday party. Why are parties such an exhausting event? I only made one "fancy" item and the rest was just BBQ food.
Well anyway, here's the one fancy food item I made. Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing from the summer/fall 2008 Cosmopolitan magazine. Bad, bad, I know, but it was a free sample! The caption for the meal was "Make Him a Meal He'll Devour". Let's just sat Steve wasn't devouring this, but the mushrooms went well on his cheddar bacon burgers! I enjoyed it as did the in-laws and my parents. It's worth trying again.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Dressing 5 slices bacon 1 1/2 T finely chopped shallots 1/2 c. red wine vinegar 1 to 2 T honey mustard (I used 2) Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Salad 8 c. fresh spinach leaves, stems removed (oops, didn't remove the stems) 8 oz. white button mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 c.) 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1. For the dressing, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 2 T fat from the skillet. Heat the remaining fat over medium-high heat and add the shallots; cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a simmer; remove skillet from the heat.
2. For the salad, toss together the spinach, bacon, mushrooms, and onion into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad; toss to combine. Serve warm.
This salad does not keep well, so be sure to eat it all up! I was also able to use my "new" vintage Pyrex bowls. They're so pretty...
I also baked my bacon in the oven instead of on the stove top. Did you know you can bake bacon? I lined a cookie sheet with foil and laid out all the bacon slices in the pan. I set the oven to 350 degrees and put in the pan when the oven was preheated. I cooked for about 10-15 minutes and flipped the bacon and continued cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until desired crispness was reached. I then drained some of the fat into a skillet and continued cooking the dressing from there. It worked quite well and was a whole lot less messy than cooking the bacon in a skillet. Plus I could walk away from the oven and do other things!