Saturday, June 4, 2011

to taste, my eye!

I thought about leaving punctuation out of the title, just to paint a nice gory mental picture, but changed my mind at the last moment.  Are you relieved?

Well, TGIF, all!  I haven't fully sunk into Friday yet, still letting myself dwell a little on a stellar day at work but also some interesting, new, and possibly helpful information I learned that may come in handy in the near future.  I put a little bit of a challenge out there, kindling just a little bit of hope amidst the danger, and now I just need to let go and let the weekend take over.

I was a little worn out when I got home from work and my mind was a little spinny.  I hate going to work the day after some kind of magical experience (see PIFA gala, PIFA/Metal day, and last night's fun if you need examples of Magic).  It's always so much more disappointing.  While I was sitting on the couch with Mister, I silently realized that making dinner was pretty low on my list of Things I Want To Do Right Now and almost asked if Mister wanted to go to Pizzeria Stella instead.  Then I remembered we're a little poor, so I did a little internet research on how to "bake" potatoes in the microwave, then commenced to assembling Nicoise Salad from The Urban Vegan.  

It had a lot more ingredients than I thought it would, resulting in my brain-dead self going back and forth from the counter to the fridge to the sink then back to the fridge for the towel hanging on the door, many many times.  Finally, the potatoes were "baked," the green beans were steamed, the red pepper and tomatoes were sliced, and the olives were scattered.  Just before I tossed everything together, I mixed up Dynise's uber-easy Dijon Vinaigrette.

The dressing recipe was much easier than the salad recipe (which just kind of feels wrong), but I have three complaints about it:
  1. the recipe makes at least a little more than the salad needs.  There is a little puddle at the bottom of our salad bowl and that should never be.
  2. the recipe calls for a crushed clove of garlic, which means I end up with a whole clove of garlic I feel like I wasted... but I'm not about to save a cracked, vinaigrette-covered clove of garlic for another recipe.
  3. I HATE recipes that say to add "salt to taste."  I'm not a taster.  I think it means something like "add as much salt as you think you'll enjoy as part of your consistent personal tastes," but it doesn't say all of that, so I always wonder if I'm adding enough or too much salt to things.
  4. Okay, this isn't actually a complaint - more of an observation.  I'm not a big fan of mustard and I'm always wary of dressings and sauces that contain prepared mustard in a greater quantity than 1 tsp.  Since I'm not so keen on mustard, we had only one kind, and I was not about to buy gourmet super-duper-amazing Dijon mustard just for this recipe.  I found that the Spicy Brown French's mustard we had in the fridge worked just fine.  So if you want to make this dressing and you just passed your last jar of Grey Poupon out of your limo window, don't fret!  Store-brand specialty mustard will be just fine!
Angst was squeaking up a storm as I set the salad on the table and sat down.   He was also making big pouty eyes at me and Mister.

Mister gave him a dressing-coated piece of lettuce to make him go away.  He ate it all up, squeaked again...and then went away.  Well done, Mister!

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