Saturday, January 23, 2010

A break from the rain

As I mentioned before, we have had an incredibly wet week. There has been thunder and lightening, hail, and we got almost the same amount of rain in the past week as we had the entire previous year. Yesterday we got lucky though, and there was a break in the weather.

The morning began with brunch at the Poor House Bistro in downtown San Jose for my brothers birthday. It is this Louisiana style restaurant in a renovated Victorian downtown and the food is amazing. Out of everything the bignet's are by far the best thing on the menu, but the other food is nothing to thumb your nose at either. Its just hard to compete with those warm, heavenly little pockets of doughnuty goodness that peak out coyly from beneath their blanket of powdered sugar. It was during this morning meal that Alex and I noticed that the weather was clearing up quite a bit so we decided to head down to Santa Cruz for the afternoon.
The afternoon was overcast and we ran into a little bit of rain but it was an amazing day to be in by the coast and back outside again. Everything was so green from the rain and we had the most incredible hike.
These weird mushrooms were growing out of the side of logs, and I have never seen anything like them before. They were completely translucent.
By the time we made it back home both of us were in the mood for a simple dinner, so we went with salad. I realize that everyone can make a salad, but I feel its only right to prompt you to also make the dressing. It is cheaper, generally healthier and way more delicious. Obviously tossing the salad with oil and vinegar is a good way to go, but a simple vinaigrette is more fun. This is a Schrock family favorite and one has become our standby at the apartment.

Vinaigrette Salad dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • Fresh chopped herbs to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl pour in the vinegar and add a bit of salt. Stir these together and taste. If the vinegar is still very acidic add a bit more salt and taste, continuing to do so until the vinegar has mellowed a bit and become slightly sweet. This process can seem a bit tedious and weird at first, but it improves the taste of the vinaigrette tremendously.

Add the mustard, sherry and herbs and stir with a whisk until combined.

Add the olive oil and whisk vigorously until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste

You can of course adjust this recipe as needed. These portions work well for a fairly large salad split between the two of us. You can also make more and store it in the fridge to be used again later.

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