Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fizzy Fun

While Olivia napped this afternoon, I helped Jackson do a fun little science experiment that I saw on Pinterest.

You shake some baking soda onto a tray, and pour vinegar into a couple of little bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl of vinegar. Show your little one how to dribble vinegar onto the baking soda with a spoon, creating fizzy little explosions.

Jackson thought it was pretty neat.  Yay, science!

I conducted a little science experiment of my own, as I attempted to clone a salad I had last week. Sean and Melissa, being the awesome house guests that they are, babysat the kids one night so Tony and I could go see Damsels in Distress at the Alamo Drafthouse. In the darkened theater, I was thankful no one could see how quickly I devoured my salad with walnuts, dried cherries, and goat cheese medallions.

The recreation was a success.

I also made flatbread topped with za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend that I picked up awhile ago, unsure of what I would use it for. My flatbread got really crispy, and I ended up breaking it into pieces to use as croutons in the salad.

It's been ages since I have posted a recipe! Hope you enjoy this one.

Salad with Goat Cheese Medallions, Walnut and Dried Cherries (serves 4)
1 bag spring mix salad
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

8 oz. log goat cheese (sometimes called chevre)
1 egg + 2 Tbsp. water, whisked together in a small bowl
1/2 cup flour, in a small bowl
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, in a bowl

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. agave syrup
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1. Half an hour before making the salad, slice the log of coat cheese into 8-10 disks and lay the disks on a small cookie sheet or tray. Place the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will firm up the cheese so it doesn't fall apart when you are breading it. 

2. Prepare your breading station, setting out the bowls of flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs. Dredge each goat cheese disk first in the flour, next in the egg mixture, and lastly in the breadcrumbs. Place each breaded disk back on the tray. When all the disks are breaded, place the tray in the refrigerator while you prepare the vinaigrette and salad.

3. For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a small jar or other container with a lid. Place the lid on and shake until well combined.

4. For the salad, combine the spring mix, baby spinach, dried cherries, and walnuts in a large bowl.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss with tongs to combine.

5. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Saute the breaded goat cheese disks until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Keep a careful watch on them so they don't get too hot and melt. When they are finished to your liking, take the pan off the heat and set aside.

6. Divide the salad into four bowls and top each serving with 2-3 warm goat cheese medallions. Serve right away.

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