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Mission Complete! Valentine’s Day & Spinach Salad with Seasme & Poppy Seed Dressing

February 8, 2011

Life is getting considerably more exciting in our household!  Our son officially started crawling over the weekend, which means being on baby alert during all waking hours.  It is amazing how quickly they learn to move around and just how much they can get into.  He is currently obsessed with our dog’s food dish and if I turn my back for even a second he manages to hide under his high chair.  I have enough nieces and nephews to know that I did not want to rush into this stage, but alas, it has arrived.  I’m very proud of him, but it means I need to be even more productive during nap time if I ever want to get any real work done.  You may start to notice that I blog more on good nap days!

My mission the past couple of weeks has been to redesign my website.  This involved teaching myself web design software, which is almost as painful as baby proofing.  Thankfully I have come out unscathed and managed to complete the revamped site last week.  I am still working on tweaks and have plans to add/update aspects of the site, but it is up and running if you’d like to check it out.

And last, but certainly not least, it has been much too long since I shared some food related info!

Over the years my husband and I have mastered the art of cooking a romantic dinner at home.  This previously came out of want since our prior duty station lacked much in the restaurant department (sorry Lemoore).  Now we need to cook at home because dinner out with a 8 month old is about as romantic as a root canal.  I like my dentist and all, but that’s not my idea of a good time.

You may find yourself in the same boat this year for a number of reasons, so I thought it would be fun to share different courses for a lovely romantic dinner, scaled for two of course!  The perfect meal always starts with a great salad and today’s recipe features one of my favorite homemade dressings.  Unfortunately I do not have any pictures to share, but I promise it is tasty!

Spinach Salad with Sesame & Poppy Seed Dressing
Yields: 2 Servings

1/2 tablespoon Sesame seeds
1/4 tablespoon Poppy seeds
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon Distilled white vinegar
1 pinch teaspoon Paprika
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Onion (minced)
2 cups Spinach
1/8 cup Strawberries (sliced)
1/12 cup Almonds (slivered)

Instructions
1. Whisk together first 8 ingredients (through onion) in a small bowl and chill for one hour.
2. Whisk dressing once more and serve over spinach, strawberries, and almonds.

Kate’s Tips

I’ve found that this salad dressing is delicious with just about any combination.  If you are not lucky enough to have fresh strawberries available right now, try some of the juicy citrus that is currently in season across the country: oranges, clementines, etc.

You could also top it with fried goat cheese rounds.  Simply slice the goat cheese rounds and place them in the refrigerator to chill.  Coat them with egg, bread with Panko and lightly fry in hot olive oil.

Although I’m sharing the recipe for two, it’s not a bad idea to scale up and keep this dressing on hand for future meals.

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