On one of the last nights I was in Alabama, Robin's mom generously took Khy for the night so we could have a girl's night out. We met one of her friends at Cheddars, where I ordered the incredible Roasted Pear Salad with Chicken. We sat and talked for quite awhile, having a complete blast, then Robin and I snuck away to the nicest theater in town to see a late showing of a movie in a theater that was completely empty except for us. On the way home, the moon was full and the sky was full of big puffy ship-sailing-across-the-ocean clouds, and we turned the radio up and sang along at the top of our lungs to a whole string of favorites that just happened to all come on.
It was magical.
I've been kind of mopey since I came home. Part of it was that I was pretty much sick all weekend (I think my allergies descended in full force), but a big part of it is that it's so hard to come back to being 700 miles away.
Anyway, today was one of those days that runs hot and cold. I woke up before my alarm clock, even though I've barely slept all weekend, with the thougth that "I get to see Abigail!" first and foremost in my mind. :) I missed her terribly, and I loved getting to spend the day with her reading Dr. Seuss, playing playdough, singing songs, watching Pooh Bear, playing with the kitties, and all the other things we love to do together. On the other hand... oh, to get to do those everyday things with Robin and Khy!
Cause my bestie isn't just someone to chill with - she's someone who inspires me on every level of your life. She's someone who is always the same - always supportive, always there for me - and someone who is ever changing - constantly evolving as a person and challenging me to evolve, too. She's always introducing me to new ideas and concepts, new ways of seeing the world. She's got her own sense of style that inspires my own.
Anyway, in a small and ridiculous effort to reconcile my desire to be in both places at once, I went grocery shopping and came home to make Roasted Pear Salad for my family.
If you're not a foodie, you can stop reading now. :)
Roasted pear slices, toasted hazelnuts, tomatoes, and shaved parmesan served on spring mix with a maple cider vinaigrette with roast chicken.
I peeled and sliced four Bosch pears, heated a largish cast-iron skillet on medium-high with a little butter, and carmelized the pear slices with a touch of honey. While they were cooking, I got my sister to make glazed walnuts (since hazelnuts, apparently, are nowhere to be found in this town): a little butter and brown sugar with a "drop" of corn syrup, brought to boiling, then add walnut halves and toss.
I used a rotisserie chicken with "Touch of Honey" seasoning to cut down on prep time. I would have added cheese, except we were out, and it never occurred to me to add tomatoes, even though we had some. We didn't miss them, though.
I loved the maple syrup vinaigrette in Alabama, and I was determined to recreate it here. I removed the pears from the skillet and added quite a bit of red wine vinegar (about 3/4"-1" deep in the pan?) with a splash of balsamic. We reduced it by about half, maybe a little more, then I whisked in a few tablespoons of maple syrup and added olive oil.
My entire family was skeptical of the dressing; I told them they had to try it, but I wouldn't be offended if they wanted to use something else after they'd tasted it. Well, nobody went to the fridge for a bottle of store-bought, and everyone except my mom voted it a repeat meal!
Doesn't that look yummy?
I love fruit on my salad, so this was right up my alley, but everybody else enjoyed it, too! Go me!
I hope everyone has made at least one magical memory this summer. I'm so grateful for my life right now, even the tough parts. :) I hope my problems always stem from having too many people to love in too many places!