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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sorry for my Hiatus!!! Pineapple Cilantro Salad

Okay so I do realize it has been over a month since I have written anything new. SHAME ON ME! Not to say that I have not cooked in the past month, but my roommate can attest that it has been a lot of slim pickins in that department. Not much felt inspired enough to post about or if I did cook something great I forgot to photograph it or I would start to photograph it and then missed key steps. I only wish to post things that are incredible in my book or pretty damn good, so when I was working as much as I have been and making 'fast versions' of classics that I do, I didn't feel it was good enough.

So so sorry for my absence.

Anyways to make up for it I have decided to treat you all with one of my absolutely favorite self inspired recipes that shows up on my menu year round more than anything else I would say, since its birth almost exactly a year ago now that I think about it.

But first let me tell you a little bit that has been going on with me to explain where I have been.

While a majority of my life does consist of working these days I have actually done some pretty fun stuff this past month. ( Disclaimer if you are only here for the food keep on scrolling I am about to overload you all with pictures of my personal life.) :D

I had one of my last catering events until the next wedding season begins :( that was sad but every experience is a learning experience and I couldn't be happier to have worked with the company again and I can't wait to return.


I mean seriously look how cute and fun that food is!


Next was the sister sleepover. This was probably the first notable thing I did since my last post. The month of October is one that I look forward to all year! I freaking love Halloween! Again ask my roommate I had the apartment decked out all month from almost day one of the month. Another great thing about this month is that it is really the only month I watch horror movies. It is the only time a year that the genre feels right. So I get really really excited when it is approaching.
So to kick things off and spend some quality time with my sisters I invited them up for a sleepover. This was very exciting for me and them to have them all up for a night of movies, junk food, (attempting to craft) and girl time hanging out. They helped me decorate my house for the party I would be having later that month and I turned them onto one of my favorite movies of all time, Stephen King's IT.

SO much fun.

My youngest sister got carried away in the Halloween store and this is the mask she choose to put on. 
Got a good laugh out of me when she turned the corner and exclaimed she wanted to be the pres for Halloween.


Look at these cutie pies. 



I made them help me with some crafting. The spider web was all me though. That sucker took hourssss to make!


I will skip to the Halloween party next to stay on track with the theme but that doesn't follow the precise order of the month. That is okay though.

So I love to host a good party, anyone who knows me knows this is what I live for. So of course I had to have a Halloween party!

The decor was partially done, so then we just needed the people, the booze and the crazy costumes and let me tell you there were some wild ones.

Here are a few family friendly shots of the event. (Okay well mostly family friendly)


My first ever popcorn balls. I was pretty impressed. (Even though once they were stacked on a plate they all stuck together and you couldn't grab one without lifting the whole plate. Ahh sighhh.)


Britt's infamous Owl Funfetti and Oreo cupcakes ( these things are like crack). Spencer helped her put these together.)


The start of the bar. Some icy cold essentials here.


I loved these lanterns.


We kept it realllll classy at our shindig.


Case in point can you guess who I am? 

(Hint it isn't hair gel)

(Okay well it is in my hair!!! But not in the movie)


Have you heard about this game? Cards Against Humanity this is a highly adult and very offensive version of apples to apples. It is freaking hysterical but choose wisely who you play with. (It can be ordered online.)


One of my favorite couples and couple costumes of the night Joan and Don from Mad Men!



Okay well this was just funny.


Yes I made my 20 something friends play pin the tail on the cat and when you are hammered its just as fun as it is when you are five!


The party was such a blast! I can't wait for ugly sweater party in either December or January. 

My only regret is not capturing a picture of the 100+ sausage rolls I made for the party. I spent a good couple of hours making them and I am not kidding those things got annihilated! I woke up and there were two and a half left! I will also post that recipe. It is a great and easy app to make ( well when you aren't making a hundred of them.)

Okay so what else. I spent a great weekend with a fabulous friend I have known since high school. We got away and went to the Zac Brown Band in Charlottesville. If you ever get the chance to see them I highly recommend it. One of the best concerts I have ever been to!


 

This crazy girl talked me into doing facemasks the night before the concert. I am the one putting it on here but they were fun so whatever.

I love this girl!



Here is a snippet of their cover of The Devil Went Down to Georgia. I almost peed myself with excitement it was so freaking good!

The next day we went to THE COOLEST amusement park style place. 


The U.S. National Whitewater Center

This park promotes an active lifestyle and all the 'rides and attractions' are powered by you. We went on a hike and did a high ropes course zipline combo. It was sooooo much fun.

This little girl below us is about five and she proved to the whole crowd that she could do a pull up to go on the more complicated ropes course. She showed up grown men and it was great! ( I mean she showed me up to but that's okay ;) ) 




She wasn't tall enough to do the harder one though, which was good because fear got the best of her and Samantha had to help her along the course. 










These were our before shots. 








We lost some great guys at work on our management team this month. One goofball that we really miss is Jared.

We had a great going away party for him at Dogfish head Alehouse. Ohhh and Brittany went all CeCe and Jessica hybrid from New Girl on us and got bangs. 

Isn't she the cutest?



After the party came the apple picking. I have done some of this with my family in past years but it had been years since I had gone and a good friend of mine wanted to go so we decided to make a day of it.

We headed up to Winchester, Va and hit Marker-Miller Orchards.

They have a lot to offer past just apple picking! A cute little store where you can buy all types of goodies, butters, ciders, baked goods. You have the option of skipping the actual apple picking too but what fun is that? They even had a play ground and picnic areas. 

Very fun stuff!


My friend Chris is a nut job and that is how he picked apples! 


Those were most of my fun things I did in the past month. I was a busy gal.

Oooh also discovered one of my favorite red wines I have ever drank.


Totally by chance, sometimes picking based on the label really is the best way to go. Try it out if you get the chance. 

Lastly don't let me forget we got to dress up for Halloween at work! Here are a few pics from the day.


I was Suzie Homemaker for the day ( I know really stepping out of my comfort zone for this one!)


My friend Chris was a Newsie!


Two of my lady loves. Britt was Charlie Chaplin ( NOT HITLER!) Angela was a flying squirrel. Hahaha. I love my friends! 




OKAY ARE YOU READY FOR IT? 

Finally, you must be thinking, she does get to the food!


Pineapple Cilantro Salad

Serves: 4 1 cup portions (roughly)
Cook time: 15 mins. ( or however long it takes you to chop everything up)

This is a very loose recipe. It is easy to add things and take things out. These are my favorite flavor combinations and the amount are roughly what I used to make this batch. It is easy to adjust based on how many people you want to feed.


For the dressing:
6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 T. brown sugar ( I used dark but light will work just as well)
1/3 c. soy sauce ( I used low sodium, it is a very salty even with low sodium so I recommend this over regular, but if you only have regular on hand I would add more brown sugar to balance it out.)



For the salad
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 whole carrots, chopped
1/4 pineapple, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped


This is very simple. All you do is chop everything up and combine it in a bowl. In another bowl mix your dressing together and then pour on top of the salad mixture. The longer it sits together the more the flavors will merry. I often make a big batch and feed on the leftovers over the course of the next week. 



 The soy sauce will break down the pineapple and there will seem like more sauce than you originally put in there. This is natural and fine, it is great served over salads and rice.





Tonight I served mine with grilled chicken over some kale. It was perfect! 


This is a very colorful fresh and healthy dish that can be enjoyed year round. There are a bunch of wonderful flavors in it. You can whip it out to impress guest with next to no hassle at all. The pineapple cilantro flavor combination is one of my absolute favorites, I highly encourage you to try this out!