Yesterday was my mom's birthday. Jules the birthday girl. She spent a part of the day doing what she loves, at the ballpark watching her grandson play ball. Then the other part was spent on our deck, soaking in the sun and spending time with a lovely friend and her family.
My mom and dad shared the same birthday. Married with the same birthday - love of their lives. I still remember the birthday parties that my sister and I would throw for them. We would do some sort of barbeque, salad, and maybe a potato or something. Then I would break out my baking skills and make them a layered cake. It would be a Duncan Hines, chocolate cake mix. Then I would use a package of Dream Whip mixed with chocolate pudding for the icing and the layers. Oh it was fancy. In all honesty, those cakes were always deelish.
Birthday's are a little different now. My dad is no longer here - but fortunately for me - my mom's birthday is always a reminder of him - and I am so grateful for all of the great memories that I have of him. He was a wonderful man, that worked so hard to bless his family with a wonderful life. I miss him so.
I am not sure if he would have loved the menu last night. He wasn't an onion or garlic fan. He liked simple, tasty food. Not that last night's was overly fancy - but I went a bit of s different route, making it tasty, healthy and full of flavour. My mom is on a huge weight loss plan - and has lost 20 lbs. she looks amazing and I think feels amazing too. Although you need to enjoy a treat on your birthday, I didn't want to have her over indulge and regret it. Lord knows we have all been there before. Take me for example. On Friday, I grabbed (what was supposed to be a tiny sample) chocolate covered peanuts and a bit too many came out of the canister. Well I thought that I would just have a few and tuck them away in my desk. I didn't. Regret. All night felt not well, internally cursing myself for being a glutton. When will I learn? WHEN???
On the menu:
Mango Salsa with wonton crisps
Pineapple and Prawn skewers
Carrot with Thai Peanut Sauce Salad
Kale Caesar Salad
*I served the salads and steak on matching platters - it looked really pretty.
Grilled Steaks with roasted mushrooms and onions
And for dessert, my sister made rhubarb crisp with rhubarb from her garden.
I thought that I would share my favourite, 'go to' dressing. I use this for a lot of salads. For me, it's the richness of using mayo - but it has more flavour and is better for you. I add to it if I want to enhance the flavour, which is why it has become my 'go to'. Should I call it an 'all purpose'? 'Basic', maybe?
Anyways, here it goes.
My Go-To Salad Dressing
1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
1 heaping tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp - 1 tbsp honey (use less or more depending on your tolerance for the spice from the dijon)
Mix it all together - and voila.
When I use it for Caesar Salad, I add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic and tsp of Italian seasoning. Adding in parmesan cheese, a bit of good bacon and topping with some homemade croutons - you would never know that it wasn't a true Caesar.
I use it for this gem of a salad too.
Broccoli salad with craisins and sunflower seeds.
Chopping the florets into tiny pieces, finely chopping the stocks, and adding in the craisins and sunflower seeds. It's a fave.
What I love about this, is that it's a treat to have every once in awhile. That it's full of flavour and I don't have to feel guilty when I eat it.