OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner

What an Amazing Gift for Delicious Salads!

As a vegetarian who loves to share delicious yet healthy creations at dinner parties, it’s often difficult to create that perfect, scrumptious salad. Though it’s easy to just toss together a few greens, sprinkle a bit of vinegar and pepper on top, and call it a salad, it definitely won’t have the pizzazz and umph that you would like your green creations to have. Part of that dedication in creating the perfect salad is making sure you have an efficient, dependable salad spinner that can remove water from your greens so that any dressing you put is completely absorbed by those hearty vegetables, and provides a taste that is sure to have people talking about for weeks!
Trust me when I say I’ve tried everything in removing all the excess water from my green leaves: hand tossing them, using a good ol’ fashioned crank-spinner, and even a clothes-dryer (although that last one may have just been something I did out of pure desperation and boredom). But none of them truly compare to the ease, dependability, and pure efficiency that the “OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner” provides and truly helped in making my salads water-free and delicious. What was so great about the OXO Salad Spinner was that there was no crank involved, only a durable pump that required very little hand strength. So much so that my friend’s younger sibling of only 3 years old was able to push down and have the salad spinning in no time!

But the ease of getting the spinner to work wasn’t the only blessing. Many times after having tried to get my lettuce to be as crispy as possible, there would always be water left over keeping everything soggy. Luckily the OXO Salad Spinner spun everything in one direction at probably the fastest speed I’ve ever seen a spinner do. And yes, my lettuce always comes out as crispy and dry as possible, ready to soak in my homemade, secret dressing each and every single time!

After a busy dinner, however, the one thing we all loath is washing the dishes and any other kitchen appliances that were used, and salad spinners always been the most burdensome for me. Most of the spinners I’ve used rarely come apart, preventing me from cleaning out all the hard to reach places. But the OXO Spinner, with its clear container, easily breaks apart for thorough washing. Breaking it apart takes seconds and after putting it inside the dishwasher, I rarely have to think about it until its all sparkly clean and ready to be used again.

Needless to say, this has been one of my favorite gifts to have gotten and definitely the best salad spinner that I have ever used!

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Christmas Quiche

Christmas Quiche Recipe

Preparation Time: 35 minutes plus time to stand coking
Cooking Time: 1 and 1/4 hours
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients for the Pastry

  • 200g plain flour pinch salt
  • 90g butter or margarine or other pastry fat
  • water or milk to bind.

Ingredients for the Filling

  • 1 green pepper, deseeded
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded
  • 25g butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 100g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 large eggs or 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks
  • 1300mg single cream or half milk and half cream
  • 100g Cheddar cheese
  • grated salt and pepper
  1. Sift the flour and salt, rub in the fat and add water or milk to bind; use the latter if freezing the quiche. Chill if possible.
  2. Roll out and line an 21 to 23 cm flan dish or tin.
  3. Chill the pastry case and then bake ‘blind’ in the centre of a moderately hot oven, for 15 minutes until just firm in texture but pale in colour.
  4. Chop half the peppers finely, cut the remaining halves into small thin strips. Heat the butter or margarine and cook the finely chopped part of of the peppers and the onion and mushrooms gently until tender. Spoon into the partially cooked pastry.
  5. Beat the eggs, or eggs and yolks, add the cream, or milk and cream, cheese and seasoning. Spoon into the pastry case.
  6. Lower the heat, continue cooking for 1 hour or until the filling is firm. Add a border of the remaining peppers halfway through baking so these stay in position.

To Freeze

Use milk in the pastry – cream in the filling.

Microwave

The filling can be set in the microwave; follow the manufacturer’s instructions for correct setting.

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"The Rosenthal" jicama salad

“The Rosenthal” jicama salad

My husband came up with this recipe when we were experimenting with completely alkaline meals. This also just happens to be totally satisfying and delicious! You will need:

  • 1 jicama
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1-2 ripe avocados , mashed
  • 1-2 tbsp olive or flaxseed oil
  • 1 tbsp veganaise or mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 lemons for juice
  • sea salt

Peel and chop jicama and cucumber into bite size cubes. Wash and chop parsley by hand or using an herb chopper. Mix all ingredients in a salad bowl along with the mashed avocado, oils, tahini, lemon juice and salt to taste. ATTN: This salad is not an exact science. Use your good sense when mixing. It should be creamy and delicious! You can also add any other vegetables or beans you think might taste good: chick peas, tomato, or even seeds like sesame or pumpkin. Enjoy! And if you don’t eat it all, this salad will save in the refrigerator for a day or two, just give it a stir and you’re good to go.

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Vegetables

Out of work vegetables

Continuing with my respect for vegetables theme, this week I’d like to talk about some lesser-known alkaline friends. Like Hollywood actors, these background players have a lot to offer. They just need that first break so they can become star names. Let’s give these extras a lead role in your next kitchen production!

Jicama
Jicama

JICAMA – We all have Mexico to thank for introducing us to one of their star players: the crunchy, mild, sweet tasting, not weird at all, easy to use… jicama (pronounced hik-a-ma). This root vegetable is gaining popularity in North America and Asia and can be used in a variety of salads and stews. Once peeled, it’s reminiscent of a potato or apple and what makes this vegetable top notch on my favorite picks list is that when refrigerated, it can stay good for up to a month!


Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard

SWISS CHARD – Now is the time to get your hands on this giant of green goodness. Available through out the year, the best season for it runs from June through August. You’ll recognize it by the tall stalk that may be white, yellow or red and it’s dark green, fan-like leaves. Don’t be scared by the greenness of it! I’ve got a recipe that will get you hooked on it like sugar sticks.


Celery Root
Celery Root

CELERY ROOT – A star in France and Germany, this interesting root is not as well known in American cuisine. It can be used in salads, soups and gratins and it also gets major points for it’s long time storing freshness: up to three months if refrigerated!


Watercress
Watercress

WATERCRESS – One of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings, watercress is a significant source of iron, calcium and folic acid. It also appears to have cancer-suppressing properties and is widely believed to help defend against lung cancer.


These vegetables aren’t just a pretty face. They’re packing loads vitamins. To check out a list of nutrition facts go to the Whole Foods siteand get the stats. Don’t let corporate America control what you eat. Employ an out-of-work vegetable today!

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Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich

Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich

Here’s one of my favorite recipes with tomatoes. Hopefully, this will inspire you to rekindle your relationship with tomatoes. You will need:

  • couple of ripe, juicy tomatoes
  • your favorite sliced bread
  • cheddar cheese, grated or sliced
  • fresh basil
  • Dijon mustard
  • shallots – if you like, it takes the sammy to new heights
  • butter, if your waste line can take it. You can substitute olive oil or skip it all together.

Wash and slice the tomatoes. Butter the bread on one side of each slice. On the other side spread some mustard. Make a sandwich, buttered sides of bread out, with the cheese, tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and thinly sliced shallots if you like. You can grill these traditionally in a pan but what really takes the sandwich from good to a-freakin-mazing is popping those puppies in a sandwich griller. Mmmm! I’ve just seen my future… I’m going back to the farm in Indiana next month where homegrown tomatoes and basil abound. I bought my parents a sandwich maker for Christmas last year. We haven’t whipped that bad boy out in a while. I think the time is ripe!

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