Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Michael's Father's Day

I have one of those husbands who is in perpetual motion, he is always either doing something or to getting ready to !  On his birthday and on Father's Day I attempt to make him sit still and enjoy the day, no chores, not ironing shirts, cleaning the car, mowing the lawn and most importantly NO SELLING REAL ESTATE!!!  I let him decide what he wants to do (sort of) with the day and then I make the arrangements and we go from there. 

This past Sunday he decided he wanted to have a light breakfast, read the paper, go to church and than go out to brunch.  We also had a Slow Foods potluck to go to at Crosby's Dock on Folly Road.

Brunch was okay, the best part being that we were together and one of the couples that we are close friends with joined us.  I have been at the place we had brunch many times before in my previous life and always remembered the food being great, this time it was just okay.  I have been wondering if that is because my taste buds weren't fully awakened yet, I had not started on this exciting food journey.  So we left very full and went for a very short stroll down town where we discovered we were wearing way to many clothes to be walking around and headed home for a nap and some golf on TV.

I have known about the potluck for many weeks and did my usual debating about what I would bring.  Last year was a Quinoa salad which everyone ate (boy that feels good when you bring home no leftovers!).  I thought about bringing the same thing this year but for some reason decided against it.  I am glad I did as there were (no exaggeration) 5 Quinoa salads.  You may remember that I bought 3 and a half pounds of sweet potatoes at The Vegetable Bin on Friday, yes me the one who can never make up her mind until the last minute had decided a full two days ahead that we would bring a sweet potato salad.  All I had to do was head to the Internet and sort through the roughly 2 million recipes and decide what truly sounded appetizing.

I finally stumbled upon this recipe from The New York Times, it was gone in record time with people going back for seconds!  If and when I make it the next time I will probably not roast all the red onion and just cook half instead adding the rest raw to give the salad more crunch.  The only other change I made was to add some cayenne pepper to the dressing.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Black Beans and Chili Dressing

4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili, like jalapeno
1 clove garlic, peeled
Juice of 2 limes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1.  Heat oven to 4oo degrees.  Put sweet potatoes and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes.  Remove from oven.

2.  Put chile's in a blender with garlic, lime juice, remaining olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Process until blended.

3.  Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day.

I think what makes this salad tasty is the fact that it has so many wonderful flavors going for it.  When we were driving home Michael made the comment that so very much of the food was bland.  I sometimes think that people forget that you have to use spices and herbs to awaken the food, that just because it is good for you doesn't mean it doesn't still need to taste good!  That is not to say there weren't many taste treats there that were not delicious and some of the recipes I will be trying to figure out!  As a matter of fact Dena made an unforgetable Peach Upside Down cake, when I get it I will definetly share it with you!

In the meantime the weather was gorgeous, the views were wonderful and we made some new friends!

Our dear friend Dena in the upper right hand corner and me in the upper left.  The three ladies we sat with and laughed so hard my sides hurt.  I am hoping to meet them again somewhere since I didn't get their information.  


  1. This looks delicious. I am so in a rut of thinking of sweet potatoes as "sweet." I forget that they can be used/eaten as a savory dish.

    I'm glad it was a good day for you guys! I love the last picture, it is obvious everyone is having a ball!!

    Okay, next week is the concert. Where are we going to meet???

    1. You should give it a whirl! Chances are that Sir would enjoy it!

      I just typed the same thing on your blog!!!! Email me and we can catch up!

  2. Ooh, this salad looks divine. I'll have to have my personal chef (my husband) whip it up! And BTW, I totally agree about dogs being tied up in front of stores, as that sweet dog in my post was--NO! But I always go over and have a little conversation with them to tell them it's all going to be OK! I would never ever tie up Tallulah Mae--NEVER!

    1. Enjoy the salad and please let me know if your personal chef makes any adjustments that I might want to try!

      I am like you, I always go over to the dogs tied up in front of stores and give them some love. They always look so lonely! This is a very dog friendly city so folks take their dogs almost everywhere with them but they can't always take them inside...poor doggies!

      God only knows what Bear would do if we tried to tie him up somewhere, and I am the last person that wants to find out! He'd probably be holding a sign that says "My people don't love me...Will go home with you for food".

  3. Colleen, I went to email you, but my computer is set up funky and I can't pull your email address without adding a different program. BLA BLA BLA. Can you email me at: judi@bill-green.com

    Thanks girl!