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Restaurant Quality and Balsamic Dressing

Over the past few weeks I have been talking about restaurant quality food.  Restaurant food can cover a wide spectrum of eating establishments and the way food is prepared and served.  I think when I refer to restaurant quality food, I am thinking about O’Charley’s, Outback or Applebee’s.  I enjoy eating at those restaurants and my favorite has to be O’Charley’s.  However, I want to make sure that I am not in some type of rut and just decide to mindlessly visit one of the above restaurants.  Mr. D and I have visited smaller locally owned restaurants in the area and have found one we especially like. The restaurant is the Blue Moon Tavern located in the nearby town of Newton. I will share more about that visit later.

On Memorial Day we decided to cook at home.  Mr. D loves the flavor of steaks on the old timey charcoal grill.  He has a tabletop version and decided to grill steaks for the occasion.  I made the salad and baked the potatoes.  When in Walmart last week, I saw a package of garlic knots and decided to give them a try so that was a treat to go along with our meal.

I think being in our 60’s, our appetite has diminished and we are not able to eat quite as much at one time as when we were younger. We grilled one steak and shared it.  Mr. D had beer as his beverage and I had a small amount of wine and then switched to ice tea.  I made bleu cheese dressing for Mr. D and I made a balsamic vinegar salad dressing for me.  It was not difficult to prepare the meal and we were not rushed as both of us had the day off.

Here is a picture of the salad I prepared:


I purchased fresh greens at the farmers market last week and used them as the basis for the salad.  I added colored peppers, cucumber and chopped purple onion.  I then garnished the salad with pecans.  This is a picture of my salad with the balsamic dressing.

Here is a picture of my collection of my olive oils and balsamic vinegars that I purchase from the local store, The Natural Olive. I have collected these over a period of time and enjoy the varied infused olive oils, the 18 year aged balsamic vinegar and the blueberry infused balsamic vinegar.


I made my dressing as follows:

1 tablespoon of the ruby red grapefruit infused olive oil and one and one half teaspoons of 18 year aged balsamic vinegar.

After tasting I added a small amount of salt for flavor

Of course if Mr. D and I are choosing olive oil/vinegar dressing, I simply double the above recipe.

I also have a blood orange infused olive oil that is great especially on sweet potatoes.

As we were eating, Mr. D and I tried to come up with the cost of the meal and we decided that being extravagant it was around $12.00 for the entire meal. Here is a picture of Mr. D’s meal.



We enjoyed eating our meal on our sun porch and were very satisfied with the results.  In no way would I try to compete with the great restaurants that provide such excellent meals but we enjoyed working together to prepare the meal. We especially enjoying spending leisurely time together eating the meal on a warm sunny evening in May.

Growing up in the South in the 50’s and 60’s I had no idea what a salad was.  I do remember salad bars appearing probably in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  We had vegetables usually from a garden and that included greens but never anything as exotic as a salad.  I have grown to love salads and my big interest right now is using the oils and vinegar I have purchased to create delicious tasting salad dressing.

I enjoyed sharing a glimpse of our Memorial Day weekend and I hope yours was great.  Thanks for stopping by.

5 responses »

  1. You made me laugh when I read your comment about not knowing what a salad was! I was the same and to this day really have no palate for them.

  2. The meal looks and sounds delicious. Danny would love to explore your different bottles. I love a good salad. I think Panera has a good one and there is a local restaurant here in town, Rucker John’s that has my favorite salad. Yours also looked good. Danny and I both enjoyed a leisurely day and all was good. He cooked out on the grill and it was just a day of good food and his good company.

  3. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and my mother loves salads. She grew many salad greens in her garden. She liked making her own dressings. It really was the only thing she was good at when it came to cooking.

  4. That is amazing and a great memory for you. Thanks.


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