Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tartine by Patricia & Bread by Jacques

 Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Tartine 
It was a B.L.T. kinda day, so I looked to Patricia Wells for a different take on this homey sandwich. The Salad as a Meal cookbook includes a recipe for a BLT tartine, which is the Frenchy version of an open-faced sandwich. Yup- bacon, lettuce and tomato are definitely salad ingredients. In this case, the salad is served atop toasted bread with a light yogurt lemon dressing, rather than the traditional slathering of mayonnaise.

In lieu of buying bread, I decided to make this beyond-simple "Slow and Easy Bread in a Pot" using a  Jacques Pepin recipe included in this issue of Edible Columbus (Page 18-19. Sidebar: I wrote the article about Malabar Farm in this issue).  The bread requires only 4 ingredients to be mixed directly into a non-stick pot, let rise and bake. Did I mention the slow and easy part? This recipe literally takes five minutes to make-- if you don't count the 16 hours of rising and one hour of cooking. Mix 2 1/4 cups of tepid water (90 degrees-ish) with 1 teaspoon of quick rise yeast and a tablespoon of salt into a non-stick pot, one able to withstand 425 degrees in the oven. I used a 3.5 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven. 

Blend 4 cups of flour into the water until a sticky dough is formed. Cover and let the dough rise for an hour or so at room temperature. The dough should be bursting at the seams by this point. Scrape the dough off the lid/sides of pot, deflate the dough and reshape it into a ball. Place the lid back on the pot and pop it in the fridge for another 12-14 hours to finish proofing. I let it proof overnight. zzzzz.....  Seriously, that's it... when time came for baking, I deflated it once again and shaped it into a doughy ball filling the bottom of the pot about 3 inches deep. 

Bake uncovered at 425 for about 45 minutes. If it looks sufficiently brown, then loosely cover with foil  and bake another 15 mins... VOILA... one hour & home made bread in a pot. Simple recipe with endless variations. Ended up with a huge two-pound loaf, so I sliced the bread bruschetta style to top with the BLT salad.

From this point on, it took about 15 minutes to make the topping. Bacon. Check. Lettuce. Check. Tomatoes. Check (I tend to go light on the tomatoes for the husband's sake). In fact, I replaced the tomatoes in a smaller batch with cucumbers, which he really enjoyed.  Reminded me of the crunchy (BLC) cucumber sandwiches I made while living in England. You can see from the picture, this isn't a full-sized open faced sandwich, but rather small appetizer-sized portions. They had all the flavor one expects from a BLT, but seemed substantially lighter because of the dressing.  These were yummy enough we plan to serve BLT Tartines at our annual Kentucky Derby brunch next month.  In fact, quite a few SAAM recipes will make it onto the menu... stay tuned.

Click here to purchase:  Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Galette Redux

Redemption!  I resisted using Charlie Sheen's catch phrase "WINNING!" and, though I could care less about his bizarre behavior, I do think his cooking show video for "Winning Recipes" is hilarious.  (His "hands are rated by Zagats, he makes salad and even speaks to 'the secret ingredient'.) I digress...

I have quite a ways to go in conquering the potato galette, yet we are one step closer. With the help of my hero(ine) Patricia Wells. ---->

KEY: Dry potatoes. This round, I had more time to let the towel absorb the moistness, so the potatoes dried out much better- as called for in the recipe. The potatoes were pressed into the towel a few times over the course of 40 mins., so that helped. Remember, there's that fine line between drying and becoming discolored.

Another difference: I used a four cheese blend rather than the grated Parmesan, so the cheese factor was oilier, but milder tasting. And I used dried Herbes de Provence, and only a pinch of fresh chives, which tend to add "wetness."  So, there were several factors making Galettes.2 more successful that the first edition. Across the board, the appropriate cooking time made the biggest difference. The egg held together perfectly and didn't become rubbery, as when originally overcooked.  

Loved tonight's galette.  But there is still room for improvement...

Also, we used the Red Hot Salt (saved from the Rancho Salad) to season tonight's grilled veggies and steak.  We will continue to use it on everything for a spicy little kick. I am now obsessed with infusing salts with all sorts of herbs. Such a simple way to spice up any meal.

Watch for Shawnie vs. Galette. Round 3.

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

On The Third Day of Salads...

One of my fellow bloggers, Hillary Davis of MarcheDimanche made the Crab Salad recipe. Click here to read what Hillary had to say about this vibrant, springy (and extremely photogenic) salad.  Shelby Kinnaird, our Diabetic Foodie blogger made the same dish, which is a keeper in her book and again, she uses a few different ingredients, offering nutritional insight for the more dietary restricted.
Photo by Hillary Davis.  All rights reserved.

Crab Salad with Lime &Avocado
I could easily sample this bright, flavorful salad once a week, and often do. It’s low in calories and fat and high in protein, just the right fit for someone who loves to exercise, as I do. It goes together in seconds, making it all that much easier to love. This salad as a meal is a good lesson in salad construction: toss each of the ingredients separately with the dressing so that all parts are evenly and lightly dressed. If the limes in your market are not top-rate and don’t have enough peel to make a good zest, opt for organic lemons. Serve this with a slice of toasted bread slathered with Guacamole Light (page 23).

1 pound (2 cups) fresh cooked lump crabmeat
Grated zest of 2 limes or lemons, preferably organic
1/4 cup Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing (page 326)
Fine sea salt
Coarse, freshly ground black pepper
1 orange or red bell pepper, trimmed, seeds removed, and minced (1 scant cup)
2 celery ribs, finely minced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, chervil, or parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon Red Hot Salt (page 307) or fine sea salt
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into very thin half-rounds
4 thin slices sourdough bread, toasted, for serving (see page 270)

1. In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat and citrus zest and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the crabmeat. Taste for seasoning.

2. In another bowl, combine the bell pepper, celery, cilantro, and Red Hot Salt and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the vegetables. Taste for seasoning. Combine the contents of the two bowls, mixing gently to blend.

3. Mound the salad in the center of the dinner plates. Arrange the avocado slices around the salads. Serve with the toast.

WINE SUGGESTION: The last time I prepared this salad we had it with a mineral-rich Riesling, the Domaine Ostertag Clos Mathis.

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Salad Days: Rancho Salad with Avocado Salsa

A few friends and I go to the gym and take yoga classes together then often go for lunch afterward. As of late, we find ourselves rallying around the massive salad bar at the local Market District. Discussing ways to be healthier, fitter, younger-feeling, and recently deciding what sort of "crops" to grow in our herb and vegetable gardens. 
As summer approaches, salad (and swimsuit) days are almost upon us... This post is for all my salad-loving, fitness-junkie, health-nut friends who might want a light yet filling and satisfying meal after a good workout. You know who you are.

The Rancho Salad recipe caught my eye because Patricia refers to it as one of her favorite meals at her boot camp spa. Ahhh- boot camp. Makes me hungry. Especially, for something fresh like the Rancho Salad, which uses cottage cheese, something I always add to my salads when possible, along with cucumber, tomato, celery, avocado, and other frills. 
As I was describing this recipe to one of my gym going gals, she commented, "What? No lettuce?"--- It was a good opportunity to explain Patricia Wells's philosophy behind the inclusion of dozens of salad recipes that don't involve leafy greens (as our American minds have come to define 'salad'). Simply put, Wells's concept of salad is a plate full of a few, fresh ingredients creating a healthy and fulfilling meal, such as the Rancho Salad. Also included in her definition are herbs, nuts and other "salady entities."  Certain soups are considered liquid salad, while blended vegetable dips (like hummus) or heartier bits like falafel and vegetable fritters turn up as Mediterannean salads. Greenery is not always required.  Besides, who really wants to eat lettuce all the time? Not me! I welcome her idea. 
Patricia also points out the vibrancy and freshness of salads make us feel healthy and youthful. She uses the French phrase, "les années de jeunesse" - literally translating to "the early (or youthful) years", but in this context meaning "Salad Days."  Salad Days describe a frame of mind and connection to our youth that can be made by eating a light, fresh, healthy, refreshing salad as a meal. The Rancho Salad topped with Avacado Salsa is all of that.  Fresh, crunchy, creamy, vibrant. Delicious with a kick of Red Hot Salt (which I plan to use on grilled corn this summer) and topped with Avocado Salsa (recipes for both are in the cookbook). But most important... I didn't miss the lettuce!

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Galette, My Love

Last night's recipe of choice: Braised Salmon, Potato and Parmasan Galettes; Spinach Salad

Let me preface this post by saying we were REALLY hungry when deciding on dinner last night, so I merged two different recipes from the Salad as a Meal Cookbook. Well actually, three. This meal was all over the place, yet turned out delicious. 

I've had my eye on the Salmon Gravlax with Potato Parmesan Galettes and a simple cucumber salad from the moment I received the Salad as a Meal cookbook. My husband isn't a fan of raw fish, so we opted for the Braised Salmon from the preceeding recipe, the potato galette from the original recipe, and instead of the simple cucumber salad, I wanted to use up some of the leftover ingredients from a previous attempt at the bacon-wrapped goat-cheese- which by the way, turned out wonderful (I will eventually blog about that recipe). The salmon, braised in white wine and herbs, turned out moist with a mild flavor- thoroughly enjoyed. Thankfully, the fish was not overcooked, which I have a tendency to do. Unfortunately, I saved the overcooking for the galettes. 

"What's a galette?" you ask?  Good question. While living in Nice, I'd eaten all sorts of various-shaped, savory-filled shells referred to as galettes, including the popular buckwheat crepes. A galette is simply a free form cake/ shell/ crepe/ tart with 'stuff' in it.  Not fussy in form (or in definition).  Let's just say I've eaten plenty of galettes, but have never made one like this. I was rather curious about the recipe, but did not fret and remained ever-trusting of Patricia Wells's guidance and fabulous descriptions of "how to."  I jumped right in shredding and blending and packing my potato mixture into what looked like hamburger patties. Unsure of how it would all pan out, they cooked beautifully!  ...and kept cooking, and cooking, and cooking. My distraction with part three of dinner (the spinach salad) resulted in a rather tough galette. The recipe calls for 3 minutes cooking per side. Next time, I shall obey. 

Note to self: Stick with merging two recipes. Not three. Or at least remove galettes from heat.
Oh well. They were edible. The problem here was the pilot and not the plane, but that's not to say we didn't eat every last bite. I LOVE this recipe and am giddy to try it again this weekend. For some reason, my mind is associating this particular potato galette with breakfast; serving it at brunch with a selections of meats and fruit. It's way thicker than a potato pancake and denser than a quiche. Also, I envision variations on the cheese and herbs used in the recipe. I have a feeling this is going to become a standard at Chez Foy.

As will the third part of our meal-- yes a THIRD salad recipe made it onto the plate. However, it was a loose interpretation of Patricia's Bacon-Wrapped Goat Cheese recipe. I wish we had dandelion greens left over from the first round of making this salad, but they wilted and the store was fresh out. We are very lucky to have a Giant Eagle Market District a mile away with decent produce this time of year. Opting for a spinach replacement (as the recipe permits), I threw the ingredients together into a free form salad, rather than  meticulously recreating the original recipe. It was a different kind of yummy! There's just something about goat cheese and bacon....

This dinner was a friendly reminder about portion control and that the cookbook's recipes are truly well balanced and proportioned for four (or in my case, 2 people). So, let's do the math...

   2 portions of 1 recipe
+ 2 portions of another 
+ 2 portions of another 
+ a few slices of sourdough bread
an extra trip to the gym. 

While laying exhausted, flat on my back at the end of this morning's yoga class... eyes closed... listening to the hum of the heater... the yogi instructed us to clear our minds. In all the calmness and serenity, all I could think about was Patricia's Rancho Salad... NEXT UP! 

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On The Second Day of Salads....

On the days when I am not blogging about making a meal, I will post recipes from the cookbook.  Ten in total. I challenge you to make one and post comments to my blog or FB page. These are just a small sampling of the more than 100 recipes developed by Patricia Wells at her home in Provence.  Enjoy! 

Chilled Evergreen Tomato Velouté
This quick and sublime summer soup is a picture postcard of my August garden in Provence. I grow two varieties of green tomatoes, Green Zebra and Evergreen. Each year I taste them side by side, and I still cannot decide which I like better. Green Zebra, yellowish green with yellow and white stripes, is sweet and tangy at the same time, while Evergreen (also known as Emerald Evergreen) is indeed emerald-colored, and along with tang and sweetness is a bit creamy as well. Of course this soup can also be made with red, orange, or yellow varieties. The gentle sweetness of the vanilla bean loves the company of tomatoes. Don’t be afraid to let the mixture blend for a full 3 minutes, to create a thick emulsion. And use the best olive oil you can find, for the rich elegance of the oil really shines here.


1 plump, moist vanilla bean
2 pounds ripe Evergreen or Green Zebra tomatoes, cored and quartered (do not peel)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1. Flatten the vanilla bean and cut it in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, scrape out the seeds. (Reserve the pod for another use. I dry the pods and bury them in a large glass jar of sugar to flavor it.)

2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor. Add 1/3 cup water and blend for a full 3 minutes, to create a thick emulsion. Serve very cold in glasses. (Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reblend at serving time.)

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eye-catching colors: Vietnamese Chicken and Green Papaya Salad

My approach to reading a cookbook for the first time is to just flip through to see what catches my eye.  No brainer here. The Vietnamese Chicken and Green Papaya Salad was 'THE one.' The colors were eye-catchingly vibrant. Not to mention, my personal cooking style often nods toward Asia.  This leads to a sidebar comment on the book's beautiful images. The photographer, Jeff Kauck used natural light when possible and the salads were  arranged on handmade Provençal pottery. Not every recipe is illustrated, but I appreciate the freedom to construct a dish as I envision it to look. But this recipe was  not one of them. I hoped my Vietnamese Chicken would turn out exactly like the photo... a pile of shredded yumminess that one can almost taste just from the picture. Given an unfortunate forced substitution of a few ingredients, I hoped for at least a close resemblance. 

It's been a while since I've cooked with papaya, but I adore the juicy melon flavor it lends to meat. I could find neither a green papaya (which lacks the carotene that those with orange flesh have) nor the specified peppers. Hell-bent on making this recipe, I  purchased a regular papaya and hot little fresno peppers. Just decided to go for it, knowing these two different ingredients will produce different results.  Eating half of the papaya while prepping the other half, I realized the salad is going to be a CINCH to make. The base of the salad consists of four ingredients, mixed with a light fish sauce and a couple toppings. Easy peasy! 
The most daunting aspect of this recipe? Having to consider digging out my food processor just to crush peanuts. Then it dawned on me... My brother-in-law included a Slap Chop as part of a playful gift bag for my birthday. If you've never seen the "Slap Chop Rap" (click here!), it's a laugh.  And as Slap Chop Vince says, "You're gonna love my nuts!"  So, I slapped my worries away and 30 seconds later had a bowl full of chopped peanuts.  My husband jumped in on the action, helping with some of the prep. Overall, the recipe took about 30 minutes from start to finish. (That included cooking the chicken and a few wine breaks).  

The colors drew me in, but the traditional flavor combination will keep me coming back to this recipe. Maybe even use the proper ingredients. Green papaya chicken is a staple of Thai (and Laotiancuisine. Some might even consider it their national dish, which is sold everywhere from restaurants to food carts. Given the French colonial Indochine connection, it's not surprising a Vietnamese salad turns up in the cookbook. Americans might just be discovering Vietnamese cuisine, but the food of 'Nam has been long appreciated in France. So of course, we followed the meal with a lovely cup of French roast coffee.

Bean sprouts are to Vietnamese salads what lettuce is to American. If you've never used bean sprouts as your salad base, try it. They are more substantial than they look and even though they are very juicy, sprouts also have a slight crunch. That's what the sprouts bring to the  Chicken and Green Papaya Salad. A crunch. The (albeit wrong) papaya brings sweetness and the cilantro... well... cilantro makes everything better. That's about it. Mix it up and plate.  Throw in a little dipping sauce and nutty topping. Voila!  This Salad as a Meal is my favorite yet. 

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

On The First Day of Salads...

Myself and eight other bloggers are undertaking the Salad as a Meal cookbook challenge to make three recipes a week for a month, then blog about them. On the days when I am not blogging about making a meal, I will post recipes from the cookbook.  Ten in total. I challenge you to make one and post comments to my blog or FB page. These are just a small sampling of the more than 100 recipes developed by Patricia Wells at her home in Provence.  Enjoy! 

My fellow blogger, Hillary Davis made a beautiful interpretation of Patricia's salad. Who says Cobb Salads are boring? Check out Hillary's NOT boring Cobb. Our Diabetic Foodie also mustered up her own version of the cobb salad recipe in a very aesthetic way. Read what Shelby wrote.

My (Patricia's) Cobb Salad: Iceberg, Tomato, Avocado, Bacon & Blue Cheese 

Photo: Hillary Davis. All rights reserved.

Robert H. Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, is said to have invented this salad in the 1930s as a late-night snack for himself. No wonder it has remained an American classic. With the crunch of the iceberg and onions, the soft richness of the avocado, the saltiness of the bacon, the sweetness of the tomato, and the bite of the blue cheese, this salad has it all! And it is beautiful to boot.

2 1/2 ounces smoked bacon, rind removed, cut into matchsticks (3/4 cup)
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped (4 cups)
2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cubed
4 ounces chilled blue cheese (preferably Roquefort), crumbled (1 cup)
4 small spring onions or scallions, white part only, trimmed, peeled, and cut into thin rounds
Yogurt and Lemon Dressing (page 331)
Coarse, freshly ground black pepper

1.In a large, dry skillet, brown the bacon over moderate heat until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to several layers of paper towels to absorb the fat. Blot the top of the bacon with several layers of paper towels to absorb any additional fat. Set aside.

2. In a large, shallow bowl, combine the bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and spring onions. Toss with just enough dressing to lightly and evenly coat the ingredients. Season generously with pepper, and serve.

WINE SUGGESTION: This is a special salad, one that seems to hit the spot with all my guests, so let’s open a nice, special bottle of smoky-style Alsatian Riesling from the house of Léon Beyer, Trimbach, or Hugel. Neither you nor your guests will be disappointed.

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Think Green: Spring on a Plate

By the time day one of the cookbook challenge arrived, I've already read Salad as a Meal from cover to cover, have it sticky-noted, lists made and we're ready to cook, eat and blog. I decided to let my husband, Kevin choose the first salad and he selected Patricia's Spring Salad with asparagus, peas, beans and fennel. My immediate instinct was not the normal "oohhh" and "ahhh" invoked by nearly every other recipe, but rather "ugghhh... peas."  I eat just about everything, but have had a lifelong aversion to the round little roly-poly greenies. I adore sugar snap peas and just about every other type of bean in or out of a pod. Peas. Not so much.  I briefly considered substituting the peas while grocery shopping, but figured they are one of the major components and I shall do as Patricia's recipe commands. After a good talking to myself, I figured I'd be open-minded, follow the pea-cooking instructions and give it a go for Kevin. I'm not sure if I've ever really eaten peas cooked properly (usually avoid anything with peas at restaurants), so following explicit directions as not to end up with soggy peas, this is how they turned out. Beautiful, vibrant green, that 'popped' as I courageously ate a spoonful. Not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I rather liked them and ended up eating a few more spoonfuls as I prepped and made the Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing to accompany the... very green salad. 

WHOA! What a beautiful bowl full of greenery. After three long, gray, monochromatic months of winter in central Ohio, a flash of color is beyond welcomed. This salad couldn't have come at a better time- during our peak yearning for spring.  Not to mention, it tastes so much better and looks far prettier than the "green alternative"  I've been slugging all week. ----------->

The lemon chive dressing, although it looks creamy is very light and lemony. A perfect compliment to the crunchy greens of the salad. I'm happy to have leftover dressing to use for salads later this week. Yes, it's that refreshingly good. At first glance, my husband thought the fennel was shaved cheese, so its distinctive flavor was a pleasant surprise to his palate. To both of ours, actually. I rarely use fennel, but have now added it to the list of herbs that we'll have in our garden this summer. In fact, we hope to grow many of the ingredients to keep making recipes and blogging about them through the summer and fall. 

The finishing touch... bread crisps made from a multigrain loaf, which I had made once before a few days earlier, also from the cookbook.  All of  the recipes are developed for 4 servings and since my dinners are usually only my husband and myself, I cut the recipe in half. 

This Spring Salad was portioned for two of us and it was the perfect size. 

We ate every last bite, including every little roly poly pea. The combination of green colors, textures and flavors is amazing. The snap of the beans, the pop of the peas, the softness of the asparagus work perfectly together. Finished with a touch of red Hawaiian seas salt. By the end of this meal, I forgot I was even eating the dreaded peas. Thank you Kevin, for selecting this recipe. Thank you Patricia for concocting it. I can now say I'll eat any vegetable, including peas. The Spring Salad will certainly be in high rotation in our dinner planning.  

Click here to purchase: 

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season [Hardcover]

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don't be boring!

The recent issue of Edible Columbus (to which I contributed the article about Malabar Farm) has an interview with Michael Ruhlman (pg 13), the author of collaborative cookbooks for iconic restaurants like French Laundry and Bouchon. As enamored as I am of his elbow-rubbing with the likes of Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert, Ruhlman made a comment at the start of the interview which resonates through me. It wasn't directly about food, but rather about "cooking being a shadow urge of writing." I never really linked the two "urges," but I certainly have both. Love food. Love to write. Love to write about culinary experiences. Writing and cooking are my creative outlets. Both nourish my soul (the latter nourishes my family). Both require organization, technical skill, passion. Writing and cooking will be eternally linked in my mind. I'm a huge fan of several foodie blogs and spent a little time digging around for insight on food writing, but ended up back at the Michael Ruhlman interview, who when asked about food blogging, summed it up in three words. "Don't be boring." A bit of advice I'll take to heart when blogging about Patricia Wells's Salad as a Meal cookbook.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Will Work For Salad

Patricia Wells is my French culinary hero(ine). I own most of her cookbooks, which are primarily focused on Provencal and French cuisine. I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on her soon-to-be-released Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main Dish Salads for Every Season & was fortunate enough to be selected along with eight others to participate in her publisher's cookbook challenge- which lands me an advanced copy. Yipppeee.... Thanks to William Morrow Publishing (and Patricia, first name basis since we will be social media buddies) for whom we'll undertake to make the recipes then blog, Facebook and tweet about it, offering photos and commentary. BONUS--I'll have a few copies to give away to those who follow the blog. Details to be announced.

This couldn't have come at a better time since Kevin and I have recommitted to fitness, golf and eating healthier. In fact, we spoke the words out loud. Literally, "we should have more salad as meals." The universe was listening. Five minutes later, I spotted this challenge on Patricia Wells's FB page and applied. Again, timing was everything as the application cutoff was only two hours after I first saw the post. Decisions would be announced the following day. Appropriately enough, an acceptance email came to my phone while at the gym that morning. VOILA! I'm in.

This is the first of what will be many blogs about....well, salad. I hope my foodie friends will follow and comment. Perhaps, even come over to help muster up a Salad as a Meal. What I particularly appreciate about Patricia Well's cook books is the well-written narrative and her ability to make extraordinary restaurant recipes approachable at home. But, given her unyielding and meticulous attention to technique, an extra set of hands or two might be helpful. We shall see with this cook book. Blogging officially begins March 21. "Will work for salad"