Archive | January, 2013

Caesar Salad

7 Jan



I know some of you are probably trying to eat better right now, so me giving you a salad recipe counts as helping, right?  I don’t know about you, but Caesar salad has become one of my favorite comfort foods.  I think I could eat it nearly every day.  A few years ago I had found what I thought was the best bottled dressing — a little creamy and tangy — but then I found this recipe a few weeks ago and I don’t think I will ever buy the supermarket kind again.  This dressing is so easy to throw together and all of the ingredients are probably on hand except the anchovy paste, but once you buy that, you’ll have it ready at a moment’s notice, too.  And before you ask, yes, anchovy paste (or anchovy fillets) is necessary for Caesar dressing.  Without it, it wouldn’t be Caesar dressing 🙂

I have found that one batch of dressing will coat three hearts of Romaine and that’s how they seem to come packaged at the grocery store.  I cut the end off each head, slice it in half longways, then cut it crossways into bite size pieces — a quick wash and you have fresh salad greens in less than 5 minutes.  No more bagged lettuce either 🙂

Of course this salad is a great start to your meal but it also makes a delicious light entrée.  We topped it with leftover rotisserie chicken for a quick weeknight meal and my (teenage) stepson ate almost an entire serving bowl portion by himself.

I know I mentioned another sewing project from my New Year’s holiday sewing marathon and I promise it’s coming up next, but I felt it would have been bad manners of me to keep yammering on about sewing and not give you a little something to eat.  I’ll be back later this week with a post on my other recent sewing victory as well as what’s on my sewing table right now.  Have a great Monday!


Caesar Salad Dressing

Yield:  1 1/3 cups

  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (found near the tuna fish in the supermarket)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add the mayonnaise, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper and whisk until well combined.  Serve immediately with Romaine lettuce, shave Parmesan, and crispy croutons, or keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.


Adapted from Once Upon a Chef.

Knit Peplum Top

2 Jan

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you had an excellent holiday season and your mind is full of exciting resolutions 🙂

I have taken the last few days off of work and have spent it doing little other than sewing.  I have to tell you it has been wonderful!  I had gotten a little disgruntled with my sewing because I had been having some trouble with sorting out my fitting issues but I made two garments over the break that I think fit perfectly.  This accomplishment was just what I needed to get my “sewjo” back and I am ready to tackle more projects now.




On a side note, I participated in the Christmas sewing swap hosted by Vicki Kate and I was paired up with Rebecca from Sew Tiger Sew all the way over in San Francisco.  She sent me this gorgeous grey and white sheer cotton from Britex Fabrics.  I may be making an Alma blouse with it if I buy the pattern or I may use a pattern from my stash — we’ll see.  You’ll have to wait to see what I sent Rebecca when she reveals it on her blog.




A few days ago, I was checking out a new local high-end women’s boutique.  I saw several cute knit peplum tops on the racks, all in the $250 and up price range.  Aside from remarking to my husband on the outrageous price tag for something that was fabricated in China, I also noted the simple construction techniques that had been used to make the tops and exclaimed that I could make one myself — and for a lot less than $250!  So I set out to do just that.




For this top, I used Simplicity 2648, an Amazing Fit dress pattern.  I had made it once before in the preblog days before I knew how much ease the Big 4 pattern companies add to their patterns.  I recut the pattern in a smaller size and bust cup and the fit was much better.  I still did a little bit of tweaking, I think mostly because I used a knit (albeit very stable and sturdy Eileen Fisher white ponte knit), and took the seams in a tad under the bust and at the sides, but overall the 12C pattern fit me well.  I also shortened the bodice by 1″ for my short waist.  I drafted my own 1/2 circle peplum to fit once I had perfected the fit of the bodice.




For construction, I serged all the seams with a 4-thread overlock.  I then topstitched the princess seams and back darts as well as the waist seam.




I fully lined the top with a silky tricot I picked up at a local fabric salvage shop for a song.  I edge stitched the neck and armhole openings to echo the topstitching and to help keep the lining in place.




Overall, I LOVE my top and plan to wear it a ton.  I think I will also be making more knit tops like this but don’t know that I will be lining all of them, especially if they are not in a see-through color.




As an added bonus, I  now have a princess bodice block that fits me and I will be showing you the second project of my mini holiday break that I created using the pattern soon but in the meantime here is a sneak peek!




Styling Notes

Top:  Me Made!

Skirt:  CAbi

Tights:  Spanx

Shoes:  Donald J Pliner

Necklace:  Kenneth Cole