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Greek Chicken–Sheet Pan Style with Potatoes and Lemons

This recipe kept coming my way through a friend and for some reason I hadn’t made it till the other night. Let me just say that it worth the wait. It was so delicious and it’s one of those recipes I will definitely make again and again. Thank you Eliza for continuing to tell me about it and for your input always. A big thank you to Pamela Salzman for this wonderful recipe and you should all check out her blog @pamalasalzman.com

I pretty much followed the recipe as is and the marination is key to it’s success so don’t skimp on that part. Just keep in mind when cooking on a sheet pan all together –the pieces all need to be as uniform in size as possible so that they cook together at the same approximate time. So meat needs to be the same size and the veggies should be as uniform as possible.

So thanks again to Eliza and Pamela Salzman for this wonderful recipe.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (app. 2 large lemons) plus 1 lemon thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon minced garlic — app. 2 large cloves

2 Tablespoons dried oregano plus extra for sprinkling

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt or Sea Salt whichever you have on hand, plus extra for sprinkling–I used Kosher Salt and it was just fine

Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

I used 1 Chicken Breast split once and then cut in 1/2 which will give you 4 small pieces and I used 4 nice sized Chicken Thighs– any combo or just white meat or just dark meat — pieces just need to be app. the same size –8 thighs is fine as well or breasts but buy them split and then cut into 4 smaller pieces

1 Red Onion, sliced into 1/4 wedges — onion will fall apart and that’s fine

1 lb. Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced into 1 inch pieces — important that all the pieces cook at the same time so make sure they pieces are app. 1 inch and not too big or too small

Directions:

In a large bowl , whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in the bowl and toss to coat all the pieces. Allow to marinate overnight or at least 6-8 hours. I recommend overnight or first thing in the morning.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and I sprayed my stainless sheet pan . You can use parchment paper but not necessary if you spray.

I took Chicken out of refrigerator and brought it to room temperature. Then I put potatoes and onions on the sheet pan sprinkled with a little olive to finely coat and then I added chicken and lemon slices and sprinkled with salt , pepper and a few pinches of dried oregano. This step was important for me as I felt the chicken needed a little more salt and the potatoes definitley did. I mixed around so the marinade got on everything as well.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Breasts could take a little longer — mine didn’t. My chicken was also browned beautifully if you’re wanting it to be more browned stick under the broiler for a minute or two and keep your eye on it if it needs more time. Chicken should be cooked through before this step though.

I also roasted a mix of cauliflower and brussels sprouts which added a nice flavor . Plus a small green salad with mustard dressing. This was our dinner and I will be putting this on repeat for sure.

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Baked French Toast — all time best

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DSCN4294  Now that Rosh Hashana is over it’s time to think about Yom Kippur coming up on October 9. If you’re debating on what to make and have never made this delicious French Toast now may be a good time. Truly easy and everyone will thank you.

I posted this originally back in October 2011 for Yom Kippur break fast and every Break Fast it is on the table, it’s almost a law in our family now! It is truly one of the best French toast recipes I’ve ever made.  I include it every year since my friend Ilene Stern gave it to me. I never have a single piece left. Delicious and decadent, perfect brunch and breakfast food. I almost always include it in my Mother’s Day Brunch as well. Once you’ve made this recipe there is no turning back  your whole family will love it and you’ll have to make it every time.

The only downside is that you must prepare and refrigerate the night before without cooking it, you cannot cook this dish till you’re ready to eat it, the bottom will get hard like a caramel candy would. So cook right before you’re going to serve. Enjoy!

*recipe as is should serve 6- 8 if you have more people make 2 trays!

Ingredients:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

2 tbsp. corn syrup ( I use Karo Original light corn syrup)

5 eggs (room temperature please)

1 1/2 cups milk ( you can use low-fat, I use Skim Plus)

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 package of sliced cinnamon bread. ( Pepperidge Farm is fine) if you can get thick slices it’s great , but the thin kind will work just double stack them it will be fine) You probably will use 12 slices of bread per tray. You will have 6 stacks of 2 slices each, 12 slices total, or 6 thick slices of cinnamon bread. If you can’t find just cinnamon bread use raisin cinnamon bread it’s easier to find .

Directions:

Melt butter, add brown sugar and corn syrup and combine well. Spray a 9×13 baking dish, Pyrex works well here. Pour butter mixture into baking dish and arrange bread slices flat in the mixture ( you will double stack the thin sliced bread) Unless the bread is 1″thick you will be doubling the standard sliced bread. Squeeze the bread to fit–it should hold 12 slices ( 6 double stacks), 3 on each side of a 9×13 baking dish.

In a blender mix the eggs, milk and vanilla and pour over the bread slices, covering them completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The bread will absorb all the liquid by the morning, so if you need to travel with it will be fine.

Uncover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Once it’s out of the oven you can dust with powdered sugar, but not necessary. Serve right from the baking dish.

*if you let this sit out too long before serving, the bottom may get hard like a praline candy. It never ever lasts long enough for this to happen at my table.

Easy Fast to all .

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Un-Stuffed Cabbage

photo 3 (4)photo 2 (2)photo 3 (4)photo 3 (5)photo 4 (3)photo 2I love stuffed cabbage and my Grandmother made the most amazing stuffed cabbage ever . I love stuffed cabbage but do not feel like dealing with the actual stuffing of the cabbage, it is way too labor intensive for me.  I have made several variations of this and found this one to my liking the best. You can play with the ingredients which is what I did . Original recipe is from Kosher by Design and it is perfect for Passover by just leaving out the rice and substituting matzoh meal in its place. Basically this is meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce with cabbage . I doubt very much that Joel would ever eat real “stuffed cabbage” but he liked this. The cabbage cooks down so much that you don’t even realize you’re eating cabbage. I also used 1/2 chicken ground meat and 1/2 beef ground meat , this is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t do all chicken because it might be a bit dry, you can definitely make this with turkey but use dark meat turkey or the balls will also be very dry. You can also make this ahead for the holidays which is always a very good thing and feel free to freeze it.  This is the original recipe , adjust amounts for how much you’re making. I made 2 lbs. of meat but made full sauce as I was testing it out. You’ll want to use a large pot for this recipe. Enjoy!

This will be on our Rosh Hashana and Passover menu this year with raisins and meat , sweet and sour, oh so perfect!

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Ingredients:

Meat

3 lbs. ground meat– I used chicken and beef (dark meat turkey is best here) white meat turkey tends to be very dry. Mixed with beef it’s fine but if using alone you’ll need to use dark meat ground turkey.

2 large eggs, lightly beaten. Use room temperature eggs they work best.*see my post about eggs–a little note on my blog.

3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice, for Passover use matzoh meal and omit the rice

1/4 cup water

1 onion finely chopped

Kosher Salt to taste–app. 1/2 to 1 tablespoon

Pepper to taste–app. 10 grinds on a pepper mill, or app. 1/4 of a tablespoon

*garlic powder if you like

Sauce:

2 packages of shredded cabbage, probably about 1 head of cabbage finely shredded, no need to do it when you can buy it pre-shredded (not red cabbage)

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Kosher Salt to taste ( app. 1/2 tablespoon)

1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

4 8 ounce cans tomato sauce ( or 32 ounces)

1/2 cup brown sugar ( use whichever brown sugar you have in house , it won’t make a difference. Light or Dark, I actually used dark.

1 cup sugar

3 lemons squeezed , I got about 1/2 cup , they were smallish lemons

1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl combine the meat, eggs, water, rice and onions. Season with Salt and Pepper , and if you like garlic powder. Gently mix by hand, and I do mean gently, if you over do it the meat will be like concrete. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shredded cabbage and about 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, sugar, lemon juice and the raisins. Stir till well combined and continue cooking sauce at simmer setting.

Gently form meatballs out of the meat mixture, I made a rather nice size meatball, not too large and not too small. Make whatever size you’d like. Just do not over-handle the meat because it will cause meat to toughen. Add to cabbage mixture, just drop into the hot sauce and do not stir, you can pile them on top of one another because they will cook down.

I left it to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours . I didn’t touch the meat balls for at least the first 1/2 hour, you’ll want them to cook through and form into nice balls before you stir, so just leave them to cook. After the first 1/2 hour or so you can gently stir and move the meatballs around. They don’t require a lot of stirring around .

This dish brought back memories of my childhood and was a most satisfying main dish.

Super Easy Peach Cobbler

I had some amazingly delicious peaches and knew that there was no way they were getting eaten so I figured I’d make a Peach Cobbler or a Peach Crisp. Now I have other recipes @cookingwithcandi but I also happen to be in possession of a box of yellow cake mix in my pantry and wanted to use it. So for those of you who don’t feel comfortable messing around with flour and the likes of that — this one’s for you. No judging here and this was very delicious and simple as could be.

Ingredients:

6 – 7 Ripe Peaches

3 cups Water

3/4 cup Sugar

1 9 ounce box Golden Yellow Cake Mix — doesn’t matter what brand

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray of your choice.

Peel and Slice Peaches. Add peaches to a medium sized pot and add the 3 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over medium low heat until the peaches are soft. 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain peaches and while you’re straining do so into a bowl so you can reserve app. 1/2 cup of the strained liquid from the peaches. Then add strained peaches to the prepared baking dish. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid from the peaches and pour over the peaches.

Sprinkle with boxed cake mix .

Top cake with 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Using a butter knife, make swirls in baking dish to combine some of the dry ingredients with the peach juices below.

Drizzle melted butter

Bake for app. 30-35 minutes till golden brown and set.

Serve with Ice-Cream.

 

Chicken Fajitas on the Grill

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IMG_5593.JPG Wow–Fajitas on the Grill and the best part is there were no pots and pans to clean up! Cooked in Aluminum Foil Packs right on the grill! They call them Hobo Packs.

Very quick prep and delicious ingredients. Feel free to substitute whatever peppers you would prefer. This is what I did.

Last night there were 4 of us so I used about 2 lbs. of chicken but kept everything else the same and it worked out just fine!

You’ll need heavy-duty aluminum foil for the grill.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken tenders–you can 1/2 them lengthwise into thin strips or leave them whole which is what I did. If you can’t find tenders use a cutlet and cut into thin strips.

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (approximately)

1 poblano chile or serrano chile whatever you can get. Stemmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. I used both .

1 Red Bell Pepper–cut into strips lengthwise

1 Yellow Bell Pepper –cut into strips lengthwise

*you can really use any peppers that you’d like–these are the ones I used Shishito Peppers would be wonderful as well.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper- you’ll need to be fairly generous with the salt –I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill.

4 -6 fresh oregano sprigs–at least 1 in each packet–I used 2 in each packet.

1 lime, thinly sliced crosswise

Warm flour or corn tortillas, sour cream , guacamole and salsa and some hot sauce for serving. I used small tortillas but any kind will work out nicely. This is a very easy Summer Meal.

Directions:

Cut up all the veggies, onions and chicken and light the grill, I had the grill turned up high , it should be medium to high. I put it to high to pre-heat and then lowered to a more medium – high, if you are unable to do this step just check on them after 12 minutes to make sure the bottom isn’t burning.

In a large bowl, toss the chicken, onion and all the peppers with the olive oil and cumin seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again.

Arrange 4 14 inch sheets of heavy duty foil on a work surface ( see pics) app. 14 inches don’t get the ruler out. Just eyeball it, it needs to fit a pile of veggies and chicken. Last night I increased the chicken so we had about 6 packs.

Pile the chicken and veggies evenly on one 1/2 of each foil sheet and top with the oregano and lime slices. Fold the foil over the ingredients and pinch the edges to seal.

Place the foil packets on the grill, close the lid and cook over moderately high heat until the chicken is cooked through, anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes.

Open the packets and serve with warm flour fajitas, sour cream , guacamole, salsa and hot sauce.

*Packets can be made a night ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Tomato Time Pasta

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (2)photo 5 (3)Nothing but beautiful tomatoes out there begging to be eaten in a million different ways. Perfect for a “Meatless Monday” dish or any night of the week . There are tons of local tomatoes out there now. At any local farmers market you can pick up pints of these beautiful babies. This is a lovely light pasta.

I had bought 2 pints of those beautiful little cherry tomatoes and right now there are those gorgeous yellow sunburst tomatoes also available.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. They varied in size so I knew if I made a sauce some were getting cut and some would stay whole. Nothing ever sounds better than a plate of pasta to me,  nothing.   These beautiful tomatoes are only out for such a limited time you have to get them while the getting is good.  Some of the tomatoes were super small and I left them whole while I halved the larger ones. There are so many variations of this sauce and feel free to improvise. We love it this way. So simple and so delicious.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti , I like long spaghetti for this but whatever kind you like is good– I used a whole box but you can use however much you’d like

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced. If you’d prefer you can slice thinly

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper* we like it spicy so if you don’t want it that spicy cut to 1/4, I actually used 1 whole teaspoon and it packed a lot of kick.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes or you can use about 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes of any type. I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and I left the little ones whole.

app. 20 leaves of fresh basil, I just cut them up into small slivers

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste –I used app. 1 teaspoon on tomatoes and added towards the end

freshly grated parmesan at your discretion

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to cooking water for pasta. The Italians like to say that their pasta water should be like sea water good and salty.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Be careful don’t want to burn this garlic. Add the crushed red pepper now and the tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. I also added some kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon to start, you can always add more) and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir for a while to make sure garlic doesn’t burn and tomatoes start to burst and deflate about 5  minutes. I let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for about 15 minutes. Taste for Salt and Pepper. The longer the tomatoes sit in the oil and cook down on a low simmer the better the sauce will be so if you have a little time let it sit.

Once the spaghetti is cooked and you’ve drained it ( remember to reserve a cup of pasta water).  Add it to the pan with tomatoes and over medium-high heat toss the pasta with the tomatoes well. Add the basil and if you’d like add cheese. I let everyone add their own cheese at the table.

Remove the pan from the heat and plate it up.

Yum! and even more delicious the next day.

Easy Peasy Chicken Caprese

This is one of those recipes that I make that is so super easy. Very few ingredients and other than cutting tomatoes and mozzarella balls, there is very little prep. You gotta love meals like this, especially in the summer when these beautiful heirloom tomatoes are abundant. I really only make this in the summer . It is light and delicious and makes for a beautiful salad as well and you can serve it at room temperature. I made this last night with burnt brussel sprouts on the side . You’re not going to believe how easy this is. It’s amazing!

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Ingredients:

1 container marinated bocconcini ( mozzarella balls) you will need the oil from the container to marinate chicken ( it comes in an olive oil marinade with spices)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves , I buy them pounded thin

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 pint heirloom ( if you can get them) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

*a little cut up basil is always a good idea!

Directions:

Take bocconcini balls out of the marinade. Cut bocconcini balls in quarters. Transfer about 1/2 of the marinade from bocconcini to a medium size baking dish , add the chicken , salt and pepper the chicken and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before cooking. If you’d like you can refrigerate , and take out and bring to room temperature before grilling.

Put cheese in a bowl, add the remaining oil marinade and add the cut tomatoes to this bowl. Salt and Pepper to taste, give it a good stir and put in refrigerator till you’re ready to cook chicken. I removed from fridge about 1/2 hour before I cooked the chicken. Just bring it to room temperature.

Grill the chicken over medium high heat , till you get nice grill marks, probably about 8 minutes. You can cut the chicken into smaller pieces and mix with tomatoes and cheese. I just plated up the chicken and put tomato/cheese mixture on the plate. Perfect summer meal.

Baked Chicken Caprese

After 2 weeks of being out of my kitchen and constantly eating out it was time for a homemade meal. Don’t get me wrong I love to eat out as much as the next one but sometimes we all just yearn for a home cooked meal eaten at home. I sort of threw this together and I have to say this meal came out delicious. I served over zucchini noodles (zoodles) and some sliced roasted fingerling potatoes. Feel free to use pasta and since the sauce is so delicate and light I would use an angel hair type of pasta.

This was a lightened up version of a Chicken Parmigiana and it satisfied my yen for Chicken Parmigiana but much lighter than the usual fare.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

3-4 Chicken Breasts — I used 4 Thinly sliced Chicken Breasts

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3/4 Teaspoon dried Basil

3/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 -2 Cups Fresh Tomatoes– I used Campari Tomatoes and sliced in 1/2 I preferred a larger tomato here since they really break down and make a sauce from the heat . If you can’t find Campari Tomatoesuse 2 pints of grape tomatoes and slice in half.

1/3 cup Red Onion — diced

3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 – 2 cups Shredded Mozzarella– if you’d like you can also use Fresh Mozzarella –sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place Chicken Breasts in a large baking dish or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with Olive Oil, basil, oregano, garlic powder , salt and pepper

Place halved tomatoes and diced red onion all around the chicken

Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar

Bake for 18-29-0 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. I did app. 18 minutes

After chicken is cooked through (peek at it with a little slice )sprinkle with the cheese

Set oven to broil and place baking pan on the top rack. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted .

I served with Zucchini noodles and roasted fingerling potatoes.

Delicious!!!

Farro Salad

I made this last night combining my recipe which is on my blog “Summer Salad-Farm Fresh Farro” and Charlie Bird’s Famous Farro Salad. My blog post was from a few years ago long before I ever saw Charlie Birds version.  Please feel free to add veggies at your own discretion. It’s a loose recipe but this is what I did. This would make a great addition to any BBQ and perfect for Fathers Day 2019 or anytime.

Special thanks to Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad @nytimes cooking site by Melissa Clark

cooking@nytimes.com – one of the best cooking sites I know

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Ingredients:

1 cup Farro

1 cup apple cider

2 cups of water

2 teaspoons kosher salt, and more to your own liking

2 bay leaves

8 Tablespoons extra -virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice- I used 1 large lemon

app. 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese , I used a vegetable peeler but I do know you can buy Parmesan Cheese shaved this way ( time and mess saver)

app. 1/2 cup shelled Pistachios–I used salted pistachios and chopped them myself. You can use raw pistachios but they’re a tad tasteless.

app. 2 cups Arugula

app. 1 cup torn Basil Leaves

app. 1 cup Mint leaves-cut up into smaller pieces

2 large radishes sliced thinly or rough chopped

Directions:

Farro:

In a medium saucepan, bring farro,  apple cider, dash of kosher salt , 2 bay leaves and 2 cups of water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If farro is cooked but there is still water I put in a colander/strainer and leave it till it cools down. If on the other hand the water evaporates before the farro is done, you’ll have to add a little more water. You can always strain it so no worries–but don’t overcook. Let farro cool down and discard the 2 bay leaves.

Salad:

In a salad bowl (large enough to fold in arugula and mix) whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, I use a wire whisk, it’s an amazing kitchen tool. Add the cooled down farro, parmesan cheese and chopped pistachio nuts, mix well.

This salad base will sit for a few hours at room temperature. I made it that afternoon for that evening and never put it in fridge. Salad is always best at room temperature so if you do refrigerate, just bring to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving, fold in the arugula, herbs, radishes and taste for salt. If not salty enough sprinkle a little flaky sea salt or kosher salt. You’ll thank me for this recipe.IMG_1779IMG_1780

Lobster Cobb Salad and Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This is a delicious, tart salad dressing.  The flavors are perfect together it’s the perfect combination of tart and sweet. I served this lobster salad with baby greens, beets, lobster, corn, chopped eggs, tomatoes,  bacon (on the side) and, of course, avocado.  I bought the lobster (already cooked) You can purchase at your local fish store and specialty stores.  I cooked and  cut up beets, made some hard-boiled eggs and cut up tomatoes along with other ingredients.  I will put all the other ingredients in little bowls and let everyone choose what they like . I set up a make your own salad bar. So those who are vegetarian pick their ingredients and everyone is happy.

This is a wonderful addition to any brunch/lunch– Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and a wonderful cold entree salad as well for dinner.

Happy Mother’s Day from my kitchen to yours.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (1 small lime)

1/2 cup olive oil

kosher salt (approx. 1/4 teaspoon, maybe a bit more)

freshly ground black pepper

*you may want to double .  This will make approx. 1/2 cup salad dressing

Directions:

Whisk the vinegar, honey and lime juice together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Salad:

You can feel free to add and subtract ingredients:

I use any type of greens –usually Romaine and a dark green mixture of greens

I used corn, beets, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocados, and bacon. Sometimes I use shredded cheese or blue cheese (even though I really don’t like blue cheese at all) and black or green olives cut up are delicious in here as well. And feel free to substitute chicken for the lobster and add and subtract whatever you’d like.

When I serve for brunch I put all the ingredients in separate little bowls and let everyone choose their favorite ingredients. Dressing on the side–of course.

I made it like this just for us for dinner without all the sides. this was the only picture I had since I forgot to photograph it when I made it the last time. For just 2 or 4 people you can do it like this in a large bowl.