Worst Blogger Evar. With a Side of Asparagus Salad.

Hello, strangers! A combination of crazy-hectic work schedule, deadlines, personal overcommitment, losing my darn cat (and then finding him!), tiredness, and lack of inspiration has added up to me not cooking much or blogging here the last couple weeks (or even staying up to date on what my fellow GFGs have posted). Sorry! No more sleepless nights of wondering where I’ve been.

I did manage to pull together a meal for Easter Sunday. I googled “Easter menu items” and cobbled together a last-minute mishmash of make-ahead dishes and what sounded easiest and tastiest at the moment and would allow for the longest Easter afternoon nap possible. The meal wasn’t a slam dunk. Oh well. At least I made an effort. And EVERYTHING would have been gluten-free if I hadn’t screwed up the pie (I don’t have time to tell that story). The menu consisted of:

  • ham: Meh. I put a glaze on it. It was still kinda gross. I’m not a huge ham fan anyway.
  • potato salad: based on this recipe but with some significant tweaks. YUM. Anything with potatoes makes me very happy. Note to self: raw onions have given you heartburn for all of the 30+ years you can remember. Why did you put them in this lovely potato salad–and then suffer for the next 48 hours?
  • shrimp shooters: marinated in olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, cilantro, and some other stuff. Dang good.
  • banana custard pie: which I managed to ruin by trying to make trying to make gluten-free . . . and then subsequently made not gluten-free because I ran out of ingredients.

  • asparagus, walnut, and feta salad: based on this recipe. I kindly overcooked the asparagus. If I hadn’t? This would have been my favorite component of the meal.

So I’m going to share a recipe with you that I ruined but that I still loved and that I hope you’ll make and not ruin. Makes perfect sense.

Asparagus, Walnut, and Feta Salad

based on this recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 small purple onion, thinly sliced wedges
  • 4-6 ounces crumbled feta (goat cheese feta if you can find it) or goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Bake walnuts in a shallow pan at 350°, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until toasted; set aside.
  2. Combine oil and next 5 ingredients; cover and chill.
  3. Bend asparagus until it snaps. Cut the remainder up to the same height to remove woody stems (if you’re being frugal, save those stems for soup). Submerge asparagus in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender and still bright green. {No longer! I’m serious! You turn away to watch three minutes of a car chase on Fast Five and you will have ruined your dang asparagus.} Immediately plunge asparagus into ice bath to stop the cooking process; drain and pat dry.
  4. Re-whisk vinaigrette if needed and pour over cooled asparagus. Sprinkle walnuts, onion, and cheese over the top. Allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes before serving.

So the asparagus portion of the salad was kinda crappy because of the overcooking, but this dish will definitely be on repeat for me. I loved the vinaigrette and the combo of flavors. I wisely sliced the onion in thin slices rather than dicing so I could easily remove the heartburn-causing monsters from my dish (I wasn’t so smart with the potato salad). Asparagus is looking lovely in the market right now. I hope you’ll give this recipe a whirl!

What did you make for Easter dinner? Any flops? Standouts? Please tell me I’m not the only one who made something that didn’t turn out AT ALL.

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5 thoughts on “Worst Blogger Evar. With a Side of Asparagus Salad.

  1. welcome back to the blogging world! everything looks delish even with the hiccups. i was going to say you can’t ever go wrong with potatoes, but maybe raw onions will do the trick.

    • Thanks! I agree that potatoes are nearly always a no-fail route, and this potato salad was divine. I just paid for it the next two days! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  2. We smoked and roasted a TJs brined turkey (extra from the holidays) in our brand spanking new Traeger Wood Pellet grill. On the plus side, your uncle had to get up before 6 am (oh noes) to start the apple wood pellets, which added an awesome flavor to the meat. On the down side, we overcooked it during the roasting period so it was a tiny bit dry. On the plus side, I ate some dark meat for practically the first time ever, since it had the incredible apple-smoked flavor. Love you.

    • Plus: I love dark meat, so I’m very glad that part worked out for you. Plus: you got to sleep in. Boom. I also like that the “plus” sometimes comes from a minus. Plus-from-minus: since the dessert was quasi-crap, I didn’t overindulge. Plus-from-minus for me: Andy didn’t like the overcooked asparagus, which meant more for me. 🙂 Love you too! Can’t wait to see you next month. I’ll try to have more hits than misses in the kitchen.

      • I got to sleep in? Now THAT’S FUNNY! 🙂 I’m looking forward to cooking some fun stuff with you next month. I am going to make the granola bars today…you should be proud to know you all have opened up a brave new world of ingredients for me – chia seeds, sucanat, agave – the list is getting longer every day. I was at TJs yesterday to buy some coconut oil (they were out) but I was able to tell another shopper that TJs organic sugar and evaporated cane juice were not the same thing (and to go to Nature’s ’cause they got sucanat in the bulk section).

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