Monthly Archives: April 2014

Too Much Mayo

Last week, a friend picked up an assortment of salads at the supermarket to serve as a casual dinner for a few friends (me among them), who were stopping by to help her with a project. When she realized the excessive amount of mayonnaise they each contained, she was ready to toss them. Instead, she decided to balance the dressing by adding more substance.

The outcome was so successful, it makes tweaking store-bought seem like a smart strategy rather than a last resort. She added hardboiled eggs, carrots and celery to the tuna salad; red grape halves and peanuts to the chicken salad and additional potatoes to the potato salad. In the end, she achieved the right ratio of ingredients to dressing while doubling the quantity of food. Better yet, she transformed ordinary store-bought stuff into something deliciously her own.

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

The lowly grilled cheese sandwich seems to be universally adored, but until now I wouldn’t think of serving one as the centerpiece of a company meal for adults. But sandwiches have achieved new status in our casual dining world and, after all, April is National Grilled Cheese Month.

In celebration, Restaurant Hospitality Magazine ran an article extolling the wonders of the grilled cheese sandwich and offering ideas for glorifying it. Change up the cheese, the bread and the enhancements and you’ve got a glamorous, guest-worthy dish. Here’s a link to the article, which includes recipes.

Stalking Fresh Asparagus

When I’m shopping for asparagus, I look for tight tips and stalks that are green almost to the ends. But the other day, I tried a shortcut suggested by Produce Pete, the Today Show’s fruit and vegetable authority: Squeeze the bunch and listen for a squeak. My fellow shoppers must have been puzzled to see me suddenly break into a broad smile when I heard the sound.