Holy Hiatus! I feel like I haven't been on the blog for ions. Reunited and it feels so good! Oh, how I have missed blogging, pinning, and Google-ing. The past few weeks have been a bit of a jolly blur. A lot of wrapping, opening, cooking, eating, and cleaning--the ol' holiday shuffle, if you will. Things are starting to settle back into normalcy and it feels pretty nice.
We hosted Cody's side of the family Christmas Day. If you know us, you know we are "garage people". We spend a lot of time, my husband
especially, in the garage. It is like his second home, literally. He keeps that garage cleaner than most people keep their bathrooms, so, instead of cramming everyone into our house, we set-up a winter-wonderland of sorts in the garage. We hung Christmas lights, decorated with wreaths and pre-lit trees, set-up a mini-bar, a dessert station, and had enough seating for 20 of us to sit down and eat dinner as one big happy family. We had so much fun.
The menu: Ribeye's on the grill, Robin's (my mother-in-law) party potatoes, macaroni and cheese, roasted asparagus, B.L.T. salad, and dinner rolls. It is tradition to cook steaks on Christmas. This year, Jerry (my father-in-law) surprised us with a homemade Béarnaise sauce. It was the icing on the cake.
When you are cooking a large meal it can get a bit hectic trying to time everything just right. I mean, it would just be a tragedy if the macaroni got cold before the steaks were done! (Insert sarcasm). Really, probably nobody would notice, and they would just be happy you were the one cooking and not them! I live for that moment when everybody is sitting down, enjoying their meals, engaged in conversation, and lingering at the table far longer than they normally would--it is a beautiful thing. It makes all meal preparation worthwhile.
I am a salad freak. I love them. In my eyes, a big meal is not complete without one. I have, what I like to call, a showstopper salad--my B.L.T. salad. I have made it for a New Year's Eve dinner party, a Fourth of July weekend family dinner, and most recently, for our Christmas Dinner. I use the freshest ingredients available, cook the bacon the morning of, allow the pre-dressed salad to chill, mix-in the croutons and dressing right before serving--the end result is a crisp, cold, and flavorful salad that everyone loves.
4-6 heads of Romaine lettuce
1 pint of organic cherry tomatoes
1 cup of fresh, crumbled blue cheese
1 lb. of uncured (nitrate-free) center-cut bacon
1-2 cups of thick-cut garlic croutons
1. Cook bacon, let cool. Once cooled, chop bacon into small pieces. Discard any "fatty"
pieces that are not crisp.
2. Chop romaine lettuce and wash with cold water. Spin lettuce dry or pat with paper towel.
Put lettuce into large serving bowl.
3. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Top lettuce with cherry tomatoes, bacon pieces, and
blue cheese. Store in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.
4. When ready to serve top salad with croutons. Gently toss salad with Garlic Expressions
dressing. Slowly add the dressing. I used 3/4 bottle for 20 servings of salad.
*This recipe serves approximately 20 people. Adjust ingredient amounts based on the number of people you are serving.
I highly recommend using Garlic Expressions dressing. The dressing contains fresh, whole garlic cloves, and does not have any additives or preservatives. If you can't find it at your local grocery store, you can order it online
. I love it so much, I think it would be worth ordering online to make this salad. When purchased online, directly from the company's site, you have to purchase in quantities of 6. I think a bottle of this dressing would be an excellent hostess gift. It would also make a great accompaniment to a wedding shower gift--think salad bowl, serving pieces, and a bottle of dressing with this recipe attached!
I hope you love this salad as much as I do! Looking forward to 2014!