So, changes. Have you ever had the Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad at Outback Steakhouse? They make their salad with these AMAZING cinnamon candied pecans, which is a perfect balance to the blue cheese. So I made it my mission to find something similar to switch out for the walnuts. (Oh, and I didn't add the mushrooms) So here is the recipe that I used for the pecans - kind of a lot of work, but totally work it. They really do make the salad from really good to AMAZZZZING.
Candied cinnamon pecans
- 1/3 cup pecans sliced-lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Slice each pecan half into at least three lengthwise pieces.
- Combine the cinnamon and brown sugar.
- Toss the pecans with the melted butter, then with the cinnamon/sugar mixture, making sure to coat them all evenly.
- Put the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until sugar is caramelized.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and slide the pecans off of the parchment to cool.
Make sure to keep an eye on the pecans - my second batch that I made were epic burnt piles of goo. I did add chopped green onions to this salad, which I would highly recommend. The measurements are really guesstimates - I would say make it to your personal specifications.
This was also my first foray into mixing salad dressings! The first time I made this I was REALLY in a blue cheese mood, so I wanted blue cheese dressing. But I also wanted to try the dressing in the recipe. So I mixed them together. It was a fabulous smoky and cheesy mixture, and something I never would have thought of before this time. Cravings really are the beginnings of genius, I swear!
Factoid(s) of the day in no particular order:
1) Attitudes are like germs - whether good or bad, they are going to spread.
2) I love my weekly Glee (or Modern Family) nights. It's so nice to get together regularly with people that I enjoy hanging out with, with whom I can be myself, and who challenge me to think outside of the box on a regular basis.
3) I am going to listen to the Bible on shuffle! One of my resolutions for this year was to read the Bible. As with exercise, I really hate doing the things that are good for me, so I don't! For exercise, my compromise was to get a treadmill so that I could walk while I watch my shows (which I never have a problem making time for :P). So, I got the Bible on cd in order to listen to it on my way too and from work. I've been listening to books on cd on my commute for over a year, and I love the feeling of accomplishment as I check books off my list of to-reads. The reason to listen to it on shuffle is, and I'm sorry for moments of sacrilege, some parts of the Bible I find, well, boring! So, instead of skipping large chunks that I find less than interesting, I'll listen to the boring parts in small parts, mixed with interesting parts. The only problem I am seeing with this is that I will lose the context of the verse/chapter. But I am excited about this, and shall keep you updated if there are any interesting crossovers. Who knows, maybe I will write a book! :D