Friday, April 20, 2012

Easy Spring Dinner

We have a Penzeys Spices store in our town, so when I get their monthly newsletter with a coupon for a free bottle of spices I hustle down there and pick it up.  This month I had both a coupon for a free bottle, and a coupon for $5 off of a $10 purchase, so I came home with these three.  Now, I didn't use any of these in this dinner, but I did use a salad recipe in the newsletter.

As usual dinner was practically all dished out when I decided to take some pictures.  But it was too yummy and easy not to share.  This is the main dish:  fresh asparagus and red onion chunks roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar, served over rice, and topped with fried eggs (since there are four of us, I cook 8 eggs -- from our chickens of course -- at once in my big sauté pan, and put all of this in a shallow serving bowl.  Then I sprinkled some grated parmesan over the whole mess.

On my plate here, you can see the salad also.  The original recipe called for baby spinach, with diced cantaloupe and sliced strawberries and spicy glazed pecans.  I used salad greens, cantaloupe and strawberries, and almonds instead of the pecans.  This is dressed with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate syrup and was wonderful!  Two cups of almonds (or pecans) were mixed with a syrup made of 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.  Make the syrup, let boil 2 minutes, turn off heat and add the nuts, stirring for 1 minute until all coated, dump in single layer on a cookie sheet lined with greased parchment paper or foil, separate as much as possible, put in 350 degree oven for 10-13 minutes, slide paper or foil on to cooling rack and separate the nuts and let cool.  This made plenty for our salad, with quite a lot left over for snacking over the next few days -- they are totally addictive.

linking to Show Off Your Cottage Monday

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