Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stormy Weather


Glad we buttoned up the new construction on Sunday because in the wee hours of Monday morning we had a huge thunder and lightning storm, followed by rain. Pi was frantic. I guess the noise is really awful for dogs. Xam used to have the same reaction. First there is the barking, as if warning off whoever is making those 'bowling' noises. Then comes the whimpering and shaking, probably from fear as the flashes continue and the noise gets louder. It went on from about 12:30 am to a little after 6 am. I think I was awake for about four hours of that. At one point we were all bundled up on the bed, trying to comfort the dog. I heard on the news that there were 400 lightning strikes in our area during the storm! According to the old timers, we rarely get a thunder storm that lasts longer than about an hour, so 6 hours is some kind of record.

The weather today was much different...low 80s and sunny. Today I joined a friend for some 'broken plate' mosaic fun. We worked in her garage, with a nice breeze blowing through. It was a welcome break from working on the entry construction and kitchen planning. I almost finished a table top in shades of blue and green, with a little butter yellow here and there and a few pops of terra cotta for contrast. I'm hoping to use it on the deck off our bedroom as a place to hold a mug of coffee or two in the morning and maybe a glass of wine or two in the evening. Sweetie already bought two chairs to go with it. It should be ready to using in a few days, so I'll post a photo then.

I brought the salad for our lunch today. Romaine lettuce is OK for me, even though I would prefer mesclun, so I threw together a bunch of bite size romaine leaves, some sliced celery, chunks of cooked chicken, chopped toasted pecans, sliced fresh local strawberries and a sprinkle of blue cheese. It was refreshing and just substantial enough. My friend provided iced tea and some nice toast spread with her own lemon curd. It actually went well with the salad, probably because of the strawberries in the salad. For dressing my friend's hubby and I had blue cheese dressing and my friend had honey mustard. This is a great salad for strawberry season, but you could substitute peaches or plum later in the year and I know that pears rock in this salad...but use walnuts instead of the pecans.

Strawberry Pecan Chicken Salad
Serves 4

6-8 cups romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut or torn into bite sized pieces, chilled
2-3 stalks celery, washed and sliced
1-2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized chunks
1/2 pint strawberries, washed, dried, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles or small pieces
dressing of your choice, but blue cheese and honey Dijon work well

In a large bowl combine the lettuce, celery, chicken, strawberries and pecans. Toss to combine. Serve on large plates or salad bowls. (Photo at top is up to this point, with no blue cheese on top yet, or dressing.) Top with the blue cheese to taste. Dress lightly with preferred dressing and serve.

You can make a few hours ahead and keep chilled. If you know those eating the salad love blue cheese, you can toss it in with the rest of the ingredients, otherwise pass the cheese with a spoon so each can add as much or little as desired.

2 comments :

Next Sister Down said...

How many strawberries did you use? I can't seem to find them in the ingredients.

It sounds yummy, though I will probably skip the celery if I make it and maybe include some baby spinach, because I love spinach with strawberries.

Elle said...

Whoops! I did forget to put in the strawberries, but I have corrected it thanks to Next Sister Down...thanks! Spinach would be lovely with the other ingredients. I miss spinach. The celery does add some nice crunch, but the nuts provide some, too, so you could skip it and the salad would still be grand.