Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chop Chop, Baby!

Many, many years ago, when my husband Gary was working for a Computer Software company in Newport Beach, he 'discovered' this new resturant across the street from his office. It was called 'California Pizza Kitchen', and he raved about it CONSTANTLY. Seriously. I think the during the years he worked in Newport, he ate at CPK an average of 3 times a month for lunch! Funny thing, the only thing he would order (and still does) was 1. the Thai BBQ Chicken Pizza, and 2. the Chopped Salad. He would regularly lament that he would love to eat the Chopped Salad at home, if I could find a recipe.  {sigh,...poor Dad}}

Now, this was about 16 yrs ago, looooooong before *I* discoved the Internet, and even longer before that wonder of 'Google'. Fast forward to about 5 yrs ago. Another visit to CPK (where he STILL orders the same 2 items!), and I came home determined to re-create that dang Chopped Salad. So...turn on computer, bring up Google, enter 'CPK Chopped Salad Recipe' and Viola! (that is Whaa-laa, lol) I FOUND IT !! At first glance, it seemed a bit daunting,...but upon closer inspection, realized the half the ingredients were for the dresssing, and all items in my cupboard. Yeah!

A few days later, I made the Salad for the first time....SUCCESS!! I actually tasted BETTER that the CPK version...(maybe because it was sooooo much cheaper doing it myself) ! We have this salad regularly in the warmer months, along with sourdough rolls. Yum Yum !
A couple of notes - 1. Don't add the tomatoes to the Salad, serve them on the side. This way, if there is leftover salad, you can bag it up for a day or two and it won't get soggy.
2. Feel free to change the amounts of lettuce, meats, and cheese to your own taste. As it is, this makes a HUGE bowl of salad, enough for our family of 8 for dinner. You might not want that much.
3. At least DOUBLE the dressing recipe. One recipe of dressing is not enough for all this salad. Don't change the dressing recipe...it is pretty much perfect as is. It is also VERY strong, and zesty!

All that said, here is the recipe, copied from RecipeZaar. I'm also including the link, if you want to print it from the site.  http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/California-Pizza-Kitchen-Chopped-Salad-112979


1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons shallots, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cups olive oil, mild flavored
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped into 1/8 inch wide strips
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped into 1/8 inch wide strips
12 leaves basil, chopped into fine strips
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup garbanzo beans
4 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 cups turkey breast, diced (i'm trying this is grilled chicken breast)
1/2 cup salami, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped


For salad, toss together the ingredients in a large bowl and chill in your refrigerator.
For dressing, whisk together ingredients in a small bowl and chill for an hour.
Just before serving, toss dressing with salad and serve on small individual plates.
Can serve 4 for a main dish or 8 for small side salads.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fast Five for Friday !

Guess it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted. {sigh} The only excuse I have...it's been a BUSY time of year. (i get so tired of the word 'busy', anyone have other words I can replace it with??) April was full of BBQ's and Birthday Party, and MAY is Crazy Birthday Month, plus Mother's Day (ahem!)and TONS of school activities. Crazy Busy. Yep!

1. Last week was Steph's Sweet 16 Birthday Party, followed by her actual 16th Birthday this last Tues (May4th) Have I mentioned that HALF of my 6 kids have May birthdays?? Hmmmmm, wonder what that says about us?? Anyway, we had a SUPER FANTASTIC FUN PARTY, lots of friends, family, food and presents! Photo is Steph, on the left (wearing Jenni's old Prom dress) and little sis Cami at the start of the Party.

2. Jenni started a homebased business this week, making Vintage style belts and hairwear. Her FB fan page is: Jennifer Elizabeth-Vintage Belts and Hairwear . She is already super busy with orders, and happily keeping trying to keep up with them. She also does custom items, so get in touch with her if you are looking for cute and unique belts and hair goodies.

3. I'm having a VERY Last Minute Mother's Day Special on Baked Goodies! Check out my NEW FB fan page for the info : Cakes n Crumbs - FB Fan Page . All orders must be in my dinner time today, with goodies available for pickup tomorrow (Sat) evening.

4. Speaking of Birthdays...tomorrow is my #1 Oldest Son's 28th Birthday !!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARY ALAN !! (or G2 as I shorten his name) Wow, so if he is 28, then I must be....about 42???  Yea, I wish. I was only 20 yrs old when I had Gary Alan,...I feel like we kinda grew up together, ya know?? We even had a period of time when he was a young teen that people thought we were sister/brother. I loved it, Gary...not so much, haha! Gary is a Great Son, a Caring Oldest Brother to his 5 younger brothers and sisters, and a VERY talented Musician/DJ/Entertainer! How many of you know he is a Highly Trained DJ?? Or that he was in Show Choir in high school?? Yep, I'm PROUD of my boy. OH, and he has the CUTEST, BESTEST Girlfriend in the world !! Love you Son!  (photo: Gary on the left, doing this thing, Mike acting as 'Security', at Steph's party)

5. Waiting...waiting...waiting.....We (my husband Gary and I) are not-so-patiently waiting to hear about a couple of jobs he has interviewed for. One was from 2 months ago...they still haven't made a decision, the other is from interviews this week. They are 'supposed' to be getting back to him by the end of this week to see if he goes to the next round. Asking for PRAYERS and GOOD THOUGHTS please...I'm really trying to keep my Faith and Hope going, but it's so hard. Any additional help would be great. Thank you so much, we will let everyone know when he gets the job! (trying to keep positive here, lol!)

Off to do a bit of Costco shopping, and see what other trouble I can get into this beautiful Friday in SoCal ~!
HUGS, Linda