WOMANHOOD: The paradox of happiness in women is truly a paradox.

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One night, coming home from work, I caught an interview on the radio with a researcher who had finished a study on the paradox of declining women's happiness versus men's happiness http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/betseys/papers/Paradox%20of%20declining%20female%20happiness.pdf. And as it turns out, it had gotten a lot of buzz because Maureen Dowd wrote an oped about it in The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20dowd.html_r=2&scp=1&sq=blue%20is%20the%20new%20black&st=cse 
This interview and Maureen Dowd's article was very interesting. And as I read and thought about women's happiness in the world, it got me thinking as to why. Especially because the researcher pretty much admitted that there really is not a "smoking gun" per say. The study spanned across continents, age groups, married versus single women, working moms versus stay at home. She said all across the board women have had a decline in happiness as they get older since the 70's versus men who get happier. The fact that the study spans stay at home mom's versus working women does negate the first argument that some political groups may say is due to the women's movement of the 70's onward. So we can take that off the table right there.

I do have issue with the global aspect of the study. That does not really compare women apples to apples. Women pretty much outside of Western culture have it pretty rough compared to men. So it is not surprising that their happiness declines as men's rise. I happened to see a segment about a town in India on a travel show on PBS this weekend. They showed women working in the fields, cooking, grinding rice by hand and taking care of children. Then the announcer said "...and the men can be found in the local hookah lounge in the center of the town, conversing and chatting over the local tobacco." And there they all were having a nice, relaxing time while the women were out "Gett'n it done" with back breaking work. So yeah, women are less happier than men in other continents. No kidding.

The other sentence that jumped out at me in a polarizing way was children. According to this, happiness consistently declines after having children. But what does this really mean? I seem to think that it is not children themselves that make women unhappy, but the affects of having children on our bodies and lives, perhaps. I think most women would say that their children are the light and joy of their lives (when they behave, of course...but I digress, chidingly) But really, for many women nothing is more fulfilling from a big picture perspective than having and raising a child. So is it all the extra baggage that having children brings that make women unhappy? The stretch marks? Less time for love and romance? The bigger waistline? The financial stressors? I think we need to be careful saying "children make women unhappy". There are many outside factors that have to do with raising children that I think contribute to a woman's lack of happiness, but not the children themselves.

After reading the Maureen Dowd article, I agree that women are more emotional creatures versus our male counterparts. SO we do care more. I think when we bring it back to Western culture, women and men are equally busy and stressed. But I do think that we women let all of it affect us more. Men are emotionally better equipped to let things roll off them and ride the storms. But her article kind of misses this core point, and that is the biological and chemical differences between men and women. That is a huge factor in contributing to a women's lack of happiness...such as making time for ourselves.

Men are built to be "at the center". They look inward. Women are like the spokes of a wheel, and are outward from the middle. Women take care of of all aspects of her wheel from the center; children, parents, in laws, friends, neighbors, school community, parish community, sisters, grandparents. We take care of others-that's how we were built from the dawn of time. Its how the human race survives. But guess who is last on the list? You guessed it. We have a very difficult time carving out time for ourselves. Even to be alone with ourselves and be still, be quiet. And if we do carve out that time, there is a little voice of guilt that is trying to get your attention that you really should be doing something else. A women's growing "plate" with less time is contributing to less time for herself which equals to less happiness. Because men are chemically built to be centrally focused inward, they have no problem looking inward and saying "I need this, I am going to do this." The "I" for a man is easier to be in touch with than a woman. That in itself contributes to a happier man versus a woman.

Because men are more in touch with the "I" in themselves, they do carve out time for themselves as well as to be with others in a social setting. The researcher in her interview began talking about how" lonely" our society is getting with all this new technology at our fingertips. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook gives us a false sense of socialization and community. She suggested that women are social creatures and need to be social with other people, but the busy lives we all lead is not allowing for that social life to keep us happy. She suggested that men can handle being alone more than women. I completely disagree here. Every man I know loves being social as much as women and are allowed by society more opportunities to be social. Couple that with the "I" mentality, and they get out to be with their buds as much as they need to be. They have poker games, sports games, the pub, bowling, fishing, golf, etc.  I think we have book clubs, play dates (but this revolves around children), some "girl's nights out" and maybe lunches.

I think my final theory on this paradox between men versus women's happiness is pretty much in agreement with Maureen Dowd's comment about "beauty pressures". I think this does go hand in hand with my "children" comments above. But there have been increasing pressures through reality TV and other media for women to look 20 even when they are 60. These pressures have been there for decades. But as technological advancements in teeth whitening, cosmetic surgeries and over-the-counter beauty treatments keep rising, their need to sell them for profit keeps rising. Which means they have to make us feel inadequate to want to buy these products through advertising. Add having children and the hardships your body goes through during the experience to this mix and it is even harder to keep "Father Time" away from you. But when you look at men, they have no pressure at all to stay thin and wrinkle free. Society pretty much accepts grey hair, wrinkles & a beer belly as a "seasoned" look. SO they can traipse happily into their middle ages and beyond with a lot less pressure than women. Their bodies don't experience the hardship of childbirth either-so their battle with father time is much easier to win than ours.

My final thought on all this is a more personal one. I was thinking about it during the interview I heard and I am thinking about it now. And that is the question to myself of "Am I happy?" And I think we all may have a difficult time answering that. I think for me, it is many moments of happiness strung together, creating a lifetime. Not a general, blanket statement of happiness. Life is complicated, much more complicated than it was in the 70's, and so are our emotions we bring to it everyday. So the big, general question of "Are you happy?" isn't really a fair one, is it?

RECIPE: Baking Contest Apple Pie Contender

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A contender-but alas, not a winner. A crumb topping apple pie was crowned the winner of my parish's apple pie contest. But I gave it a good college try with this recipe. I still had rave reviews (and was a top seller at the auction as well...go figure). SO, if you want a good, punchy, apple pie recipe this fall with a unique twist to a typical butter crust, this is it!

Also, make note that after MUCH research (most of which was contradictory) I chose to use an even combo of Granny Smith and Macintosh apples based on Cook's Illustrated thorough research of the topic. These are apples found easily enough at the stores, and have a nice combo of tart versus sweet. The Granny Smith apple keeps its shape and has a citrus, tart quality while the Macintosh apple is sweeter and breaks down more in the pie, adding to a more juicy apple-sauce texture. Because of the contradictory information out there in the blogoshpere, I am going to conduct an apple cooking experiment with some fellow, "foodie" taste testers. We are going to try a variety of apples in small tartlet pans with a simple butter crust. Then we will post the findings with pictures, and hopefully get some consensus on the best apples for pie!

Baking Contest Apple Pie with Almond Crust

Crust:
2 3/4 cup flour
7 oz. almond paste, coarsely crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, very cold
5 Tbsp. butter flavor Crisco, very cold
3-5 Tbsp. apple nectar, very cold
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Filling:
3 to 3 1/2 lbs. baking apples (about 8-9 cups, 1/4 inch sliced)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. apple nectar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch

Finish:
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

First, make your crust. Pulse flour, almond paste and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Add cut up butter and shortening, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, mix 3 Tbsp of the apple nectar, almond extract and cider vinegar. Add to the dry mixture, pulsing until dough begins to clump. If you need more moisture, add more nectar by the Tbsp until you can hold the dough together by pressing between your fingers.

Lay out two sheets of saran wrap on a work surface. Pour dough in even piles on each plastic sheet. Using the plastic, fold the dough inward and press. Use the plastic and your hands to create a ball. Cover the ball completely with the plastic and use your hands to shape it into a flat disc. I use plastic wrap versus flour to keep the crust from getting tough and melting the butter with the heat of your hands. Place both discs in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the gluten relax.

Meanwhile, prepare your apples. In a very large bowl, toss prepared apples with both sugars, apple nectar, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let sit for 1 hour to macerate.

Preparing the apples probably took the needed time for your dough to chill. So take your bottom crust dough and unwrap it. Roll out your dough between plastic wrap until it is roughly an inch bigger than your pan. Peel top plastic, and using your bottom plastic, place pan inverted on top, and flip crust over onto the pan. Now peel the bottom layer of plastic off what is now the top of your dough, and gently shape the dough inside your pan. Cut any severe overhang so you are about 1/2 inch or so all the way around the edge. (I save access dough for decoration in the fridge for later) Prick bottom and sides with the tines of a fork, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes more.

Now back to the apples. Drain the apples in a fine sieve, capturing all the juices in a bowl. Transfer juices into a  nonstick saucepan and add 2 Tbsp. butter. Cook on medium until you have reduced it to about a third of a cup of caramelized juices. Transfer the drained apples back into the bowl and toss with cornstarch until dissolved. When your caramelized juice is ready, go ahead and pour it back with the apples and toss. Set aside.

Before final assembly, turn your oven to 425˚ and move your rack to the lowest position. Get a flat, non-insulated baking sheet and put it on that rack. This acts as a "baking stone". Heat the sheet to 425˚ for at least 20 minutes. You may want to put some tinfoil on the oven floor to catch juices.

So while your oven is getting it's groove on, get assembling! Pull out your bottom crust and pile your apples as high as you can get them in there. Apples lose their moisture and flatten out during cooking, so pile them in there and make sure you have thin, 1/4 inch slices so there is little air between the apples. Roll out your second crust, same as the first with plastic wrap, and flop over on top of the apples. Now if I am making decorative steam holes like the above picture, I make them while the dough is flat and before I flop it over on the apples. Once the dough is centered and even on top, I then crimp the top crust under the bottom crust all the way around, making a nice seal. Then I go around again using my fingers to make an even, crimped edging to make it pretty.

Now if you are feeling "OCD", put the filled pie in the fridge for an hour. Again, this relaxes the dough so there is less shrinkage and distortion with your pie. But if its a late night and you are tired, just let her go and get cooking.  Before baking, brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar for a finishing touch. Then, place the pie directly on that hot baking sheet. Cook the pie for 45-55 minutes. Keep a close eye on this crust. Using vegetable shortening in this dough will allow the crust to brown quicker, so have tinfoil on hand to cover the edges thirty minutes or so into baking.  If you find that things are browning but the apples are not bubbling and still tough and it's 40 minutes into baking, "tent" the pie and check it every ten minutes. When you get some nice bubbling and sizzling and the apples are soft but still shaped, the pie is done. Take the pie out to cool for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Enjoy with some ice cream! Yum!

* Note-depending on your oven, you may want to have your oven at 400˚ v.s. 425˚ for this crust because of  how fast it browns. If your oven gets pretty hot, I would do this and still follow the foil/tenting instructions above.

MOMMYHOOD: Can we really "have it all?"

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I have not had a blog post in a bit because of the shear high-pitch busyness my life has suddenly taken in the past week! I had two big presentations, I volunteered to be on our school's very large festival fundraiser this week (meaning many hours are being spent doing things for them), I also need to man the festival, and I entered the pie baking contest to help raise money. I also have agreed to be a co-leader for my daughter's girl scout troop this year. Add the typical busy week to this mix and I am wondering if it is really possible to "do it all". As I was watering my very droopy garden running to work, I was so disheartened. I think in my college years and my mid twenties, the women's movement wove dreams of "bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan, and never letting you forget you're the man....." This is what I expected I could do, in heels, looking fabulous with an awesome sex life and perfect children to boot.

Reality is not so rosy. And I am frustrated with myself that I never learn. It is the sense of always having to do every thing for everyone. I typically do it, too, which is what this blog is about. I have found ways to do a lot, and I share them with all of you. But sometimes, I need to learn to say NO. And sometimes it takes a husband to talk some sense into you! 

For instance, I had a slew of posters to print out for said fundraiser, and a girl scout meeting tonight, and a two hour client presentation this afternoon I needed my lunch hour to prepare for. So I either bowed out of girls scouts and focused on posters, or head back to the office after putting our daughter to bed to finish the posters so I could attend girls scouts. I actually was going to do the latter to not let anyone down. My husband convinced me to bow out of girls scouts this once. When I did, I felt incredibly guilty, but after realizing that the other leaders were not going to be angry with me, I felt relieved-overjoyed, even.

So the moral of this post is, even though we can talk about a lot of tips and advice about cooking, gardening, career, etc. Sometimes the best way to keep some semblance of balance in your life is to just say "No". Sometimes, you have to admit, "I just can't do it, something has to give, and it better not be my sanity".
 

RECIPE: Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This cake is a beauty when it is finished. My sister and I have debated what exactly red velvet cake is-she thinks the name is deceiving and doesn't get the almost cult following for this cake. I love the contrast of the deep red color of the cake with the white of the frosting. I also love the buttery, velvet texture of this cake. What I do know is when I make this cake for guests, it is gobbled up in seconds. This recipe is different from others I have looked at because the color is a deep red-versus other ones that come out more pink. I think it is on account of the cocoa and 2 whole oz. of red food coloring mixed together before going in the batter. The combination of the buttermilk and vinegar helps give the velvet texture (vinegar relaxes gluten in flour) as well as an ever so slight tang to the cake. I bake the cake the night before and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. I then make the frosting and assemble it the next day and serve that night. Cakes take time, but they are worth it.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
2 eggs
2 oz. red food coloring (don't skimp)
2 heaping Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350˚. Use baking spray and spray 3 9" cake pans, and then tap
some flour in them to coat lightly.


In a bowl, mix flour and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, use your electric mixer
to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well.



In a large glass measuring cup, mix the red food coloring with the cocoa.



Add to the creamed mixture while the mixer is going. In that same glass
measuring cup, add the buttermilk. There will be red food coloring left
over in the glass, and mix it in with the buttermilk so you use every drop.




Add the buttermilk alternately with the flour mixture to the butter. Be
careful not to over mix. I stop the mixer often and use a spatula to work
the sides in as I add the ingredients-over mixing can toughen your cake.
After the batter is smooth and combined, take the bowl off the mixer,
and stir in the vanilla with a spatula. In a small bowl, add baking soda
and vinegar. This will foam. Stir vinegar mixture into batter, careful
not to over mix.



Pour batter evenly into three pans and bake on the middle rack for
25-30 minutes, or until wooden toothpick come out clean. Cool cakes
on a wire rack for ten minutes, then invert them out on the racks to
cool completely.


Fill and frost the cake with cream cheese frosting. (When frosting,
it is important with this cake to do a "crumb layer" of frosting
because the red cake is so conspicuous against the white. The thin
layer of frosting traps all the crumbs, enabling you to have a clean,
white, frosted cake at the finish.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temp.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. milk


Whip cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add
vanilla and continue beating. Turn mixer to low and add powdered
sugar by first adding 2 cups and mixing. Then add milk, and then add
the rest of the powdered sugar. When sugar is all combined, beat on
high again to get a lot of air and lightness into the frosting for a couple
of minutes. Fills and frosts one 3 layer, 9 inch cake.

RECIPE: Stuffed Pesto Mushroom Appetizers

Pin It This is a simple appetizer to make with your broiler or a grill (using a veggie grill tray). Its a great way to use left over pesto sauce and that little bit of left-over ricotta after making a lasagna. That's actually why I came up with the recipe!

Pesto Mushrooms

1 lb. whole button mushrooms, cleaned and stalks removed
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix 2 cloves crushed garlic with the olive oil and coat the mushroom caps thoroughly. Grill (or broil) "caps down" for 3-5 minutes until edges are brown. Then take off the grill and stuff with the pesto mixture until filled. Sprinkle mozzarella over each and finish cooking the caps until all brown (about 5 more minutes or so, depending on your grill temp.) Serve warm. (if you run out of mixture, its pretty easy to mix more-its even amounts of ricotta and pesto. Sometimes if your mushrooms happen to be large, you may run out.)

GARDENING: Time to wind down

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So for those of us in the Midwest, the growing season is quickly coming to a close, but before you switch out your gardening clogs for snow boots, there is still much work to be done. I know, its hard. Your container plants are looking tired and root bound (like mine), weeds are starting to win the war, black spot, molds and fungus are beginning to make an appearance, and most of your perennials are ready to hibernate. But there are some positive things that can be done in the next six weeks to make an impact in your yard.

Planting Tulips and other spring bulbs: Now is the perfect time to get your spring bulbs planned and planted. I would do it while you still have visual placement of your other plants, so you can work around established gardens and have a beautiful spring show of color.

Get your lawn beautiful: Late Summer and early Fall is the perfect time to get your lawn green and healthy. The reason being the cooler temperatures and the increase in moisture. SO be sure to fertilize now, weed and mow regularly, and put down any insect prevention. A healthy lawn before winter means a healthy one in the spring.

Make peace with your tired-looking summer perennials: Its hard for me not to dead head and pretty up my perennial gardens. But the fact is, the more you cut some plants at this point, you will be stimulating the root system for new growth (Roses in particular.) and really, its time for them to store energy and food back into the root system for the winter. So lock your pruners in a safe and buy some pretty fall annuals to pop in the garden for color this fall. Or plan for fall perennials like Seedum and Mums that will brighten your fading garden.


My favorite master gardener, Jerry Baker, has great fall clean up tips and tonics which really do work. Here is a link to one fall clean-up tip page of his. http://www.jerrybaker.net/garden/information/archivedarticles/fall.aspx I also am including one of my earlier posts about other tasks to do in the garden this fall. 

Originally Posted on 9/8/08
GARDENING: Some good fall clean-up tips

People often compliment me on my green thumb. But I can tell you that it is only through many mistakes (most of them costly) and learning from them that I have become a good gardener. This has never been more true than during fall clean-up time. When I cut corners and got lazy, I was very sorry come spring. Below is a check list that I use to help make sure I am a happy gardener when things warm up.

1: Empty all your pots and containers and store them with some protection.

- Whether you have terra cotta pots or plastic pots, if you wish to keep them a while, empty them out. When I have not done this, my terra cotta pots crack from the freezing and thawing of the water in the dirt left in them. The plastic ones may survive a winter or two, but inevitably they just crack and break from the weather as well. What I do is create a make shift compost pile in an area of the yard that is not used. You can put tarp down if you wish. I just start dumping the dirt in one big pile then store my containers under the deck. I add mulched leaves on top of the dirt pile and let mother nature do the rest. All the moisture from the snow will help decompose the debris in the pile, and come spring, I have dirt to put back in all my pots.

2: Cut back hibernating perennials, and move/plant anything you ran out of time for

-This neatens things come spring for new growth, but know what is good to cut and what needs to wait until spring. Definitely do not touch your roses or anything that may get stimulated from the cutting. Just cut back a lot of your dying plant material. As far as moving and planting, as long as it is early fall, this is a good time to do things like that. The plants are ending their life cycle, so they are going to look bad anyway.Transplanting them won't make them worse. This way, you won't have to disrupt them in the spring as they are flowering and growing.This is also a great time to get deals at the garden center and pop them in the ground.

3: Layer dead leaves from raking onto the beds for warmth

- Some gardeners do not like doing this. They claim you might be transmitting mold or diseases to your beds that might be on the leaves. I do this every year and it not only mends the soil as the leaves decompose, but acts as a blanket. But do be careful of wet areas, if you mound too much, you might create a drainage problem for your plants. If your mower does a rough mulch to the leaves, even better.

4: Winterize the lawn

- Just use a store bought, granulated winterizer and sprinkle away.

5: Prune Japanese Maples

- There is much debate about pruning Japanese Maples, but we are trusting our close family friend, who is half Japanese, who tells us to prune in the Fall or early Winter. Also, as in all pruning, use wood glue to seal your cuts.

6: Empty any water gardens, dry pot and store with protection

- This is still a costly learning experience. Last year we emptied the water garden and stored it on the deck upside down, thinking that would be enough. Well, no. We should have stored it under the deck with the rest of our containers-or even the garage. We found a deep crack which took us a week to seal this summer.

7: Cover and put away lawn furniture & grill

- We are fortunate that our deck has a lot of storage underneath, so we put a lot of our chairs, tables, pots and plant stands under there. We cover the chairs to keep them clean and nice with tarp. The table we move to the side on our deck, and wrap with tarp and hold with bungee cords. This seems to have worked. If I did not have storage, I would at least invest in come tarps or covers to protect them from the elements.

8: Mend any bad soil areas so they are ready for spring

Now I have a separate post dedicated to this, so you can refer to that (http://www.urbandomesticdiva.com/2008/06/gardening-landscape-liner-is-devil.html). But if you have a patch of soil that is very hard or full of clay, now is the time to get it ready for spring. Turn over your patch of soil with a hand pick or shovel. Then dump compost, grass clippings and mulched leaves in the dirt, and mix it again. Then you are done. Mother nature does the rest.

9: Store my potted herbs in the garage

- I know this sounds crazy, but we are able to keep our herb patches in our window boxes alive through the winter. Thyme, tarragon, and oregano keep coming back because we put then on a shelf in the front of the garage. I think the warmth of the car engines keep the dirt from freezing. They come back every spring. Its incredible!

10: Mulch potted roses and water plants against a wall outside

-Another trick to keep some of my potted plants that don't typically come back coming back is to put the pots against the garage wall and pile mulch around the pots and on the pots. I have had sporadic luck doing this. One of my two miniature roses came back. My water plants have been even more sporadic. I think out of the three each year that I have done this to, one came back each time. But honestly, its worth the mulch-water plants at the least cost $9-$10 each. That is money saved come spring.

11: Plant spring bulbs

- This is the time to do it, and keep track of where you are putting them! (see next point)

12: Journal

- If you don't journal, I highly recommend it. If you are like me, you can't keep track of what you had for breakfast yesterday, so keeping track of what you moved and planted here and there is very hard. Add bulbs to the mix which are underground until spring, and it can get confusing. I also never follow my plans that I started in the spring. I am an artist, even when I garden. I look, think, and absorb..then move and shop and move and plant and look again. So fall is a great time to sketch out what you netted out with so you have a base to work with come March. I grab a hot cup of coffee and a warm sweater, grab my journal and do my garden walk. 

Ooo, I get cozy and excited just thinking about it! I love the chill of fall with the smell of leaves and apple pie–getting ready to hibernate, just like the garden.

RECIPE: Mandarin Turkey Salad

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I am a sucker for oriental chicken salads. I love getting them at restaurants. I have finally found a way to make a really good one at home. The following recipe is flexible as far as your meat. I have tried it with chicken breasts or turkey breasts and used a store-bought Teriyaki marinade on them for the grill. After cooled, I cut them up and put them on top of the salad. Another great treat we do is stop by The Paulina Meat Market, a local butcher, and pick up one of their honey smoked chicken breasts in single packs. We cut it up cold and pop it on the salad and it is delicious.

Mandarin Turkey Salad-yields 4 servings

4 1/2 cups torn romaine (or get a bagged salad if you are short on time)
1 /2 cup torn radicchio
1 1/2 cups cooked turkey or chicken
1 /4 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1 /3 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or other mild cheese)
1/2 cup julienned red pepper
chow mein noodles (optional)

Dressing:
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. pear infused vinegar or cider vinegar
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 1 /2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. pepper


Combine vegetables and meat in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, add orange juice, vinegars and seasonings. Add olive oil while whisking the mixture until emulsified. I sometimes add more olive oil for my 
taste and consistency. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Serve.
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