Monday, August 29, 2016

Crazy Combinations That Work

I discovered my first crazy food combo in middle school when I ate a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  For some unknown reason my parents did not eat peanut butter, so the peanut butter itself was quite eye-opening.  Mixing it with chocolate seemed heavenly.

My second crazy food combo also involved peanut butter--a plate of sliced bananas with a layer of peanut butter in between the slices.  They looked like sticky hors d’oeuvres.  I never got to taste them because the little kid who invented this combo in my kitchen was 4 years old and very possessive of his food.  He left me nothing to taste.

Some while later my neighbor Mary served me a Spinach and Strawberry Salad.  It was very colorful…and odd.  I probably wouldn’t have tried the recipe on my own, but I was polite and took a few bites. Then I took a few more until the salad bowl was empty.  Mary also introduced me to Briannas Home Style Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing, which even has a strawberry on its label.  Was it invented just for this salad?

My brother just recommended serving nachos with hummus.  Crazy, maybe, but it sounds like a good idea to me.  I, in turn, recommended he try California Pizza Kitchen’s Thai Chicken Pizza, which features hoisin sauce combined with…you guessed it, peanut butter. 

If you have crazy combos you’d like to share, pass them along. Meanwhile, try this salad! 
Spinach and Strawberry Salad – serves 6 (adapted from "Help! My Apartment Has a Dining Room!") 
1 box strawberries (12-15 strawberries) 
5 oz. bag or box washed fresh spinach leaves 
2 scallions 
Vinaigrette dressing 
1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional) 
Rinse the strawberries and remove and discard the stems (see Mom Cooking Tip).  Cut them lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices and put them in a large salad bowl.  Wash and dry the spinach if it has not already been washed.  Add the spinach to the bowl. 
Wash the scallions.  Cut off the root tip and 2 inches of the green part and discard.  Cut the remaining white and green parts into 1/4-pieces and add them to the bowl. 
Drizzle with dressing, add the almonds (if using), toss and serve.