Sunday, July 10, 2011

2011.06.16 - Roast Beef Salad, Rhubarb Tea, Banana Bread Bites

Roast Beef Salad is a cult favorite with the Thursday dinner crew.  It is M's favorite in particular, and the first thing I made for her after she had little F and could risk the dangers of listeria again :)  When summer rolls around (which is in fits and starts in June in Seattle), I like to make this a lot.  The rhubarb tea was my first foray into a rhubarb beverage.  The banana bread bites were part birthday cake/part contribution to the year of banana bread and were delicious.

Roast Beef Salad

Roast Beef Salad is a great simple weeknight meal.  Some chopping/tearing, some assembly.  The most difficult part is whisking up some dressing.  I am NOT a mustard person, but the touch of dijon in this dressing really adds something.  I like serving this with rye bread and extra roast beef on the side, in case someone wants a straightforward sandwich, or they just want to plop some salad between two pieces of bread (recommended!).  This recipe only has a 3/5 rating on Real Simple's site and is very simple, but for some reason me and some others just find it very addictive.

Modifications: I realized at the last minute that I didn't have balsamic vinegar, so I went with a substitute of apple cider vinegar and some sugar.  It still tasted good, but the dressing was missing the depth of flavor that balsamic provides.

Rhubarb Iced Tea

I've been cooking more and more with rhubarb over the past few years, and have tried to branch out from the tried and true strawberry and rhubarb combination.  This drink is simply steeped and sweetened rhubarb.  It was very tangy and had an interesting flavor, although I didn't find it very refreshing (something about the sour/tangy-ness).  Next time I would try to lighten it up with club soda.

Modifications: I used agave sweetener instead of honey, since I hate squeezing large amounts of honey out of the bottle (don't have the grip strength!).

Banana Bread Bites

O...M...G pretty much sums up A's reaction to this banana bread.  The base for these bites was a very rich, butter-based banana bread, and it was amazing.  Dipping in candy melt chocolate was merely gilding the lily.  I had no clue how the recipe author could have rolled this banana bread into cake balls without the aid of frosting or something -- it wasn't *that* moist.  So after a failed, crumbled attempt, I decided to cut out squares to dip in chocolate instead.  It was just as good!  Even without the chocolate, this is my new go-to banana bread recipe when I want something more dessert-like than snack- or breakfast-like.

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