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stealers and givers

So, you know how I’m smack-dab in the center of celebrating my self-proclaimed holiday, citruspalooza? Well, the Chicago Tribune has completely ripped off my idea and ran a whole article about citrus on the cover of their food section today! What the heck is up with that!? Granted, their story is all about weird and exotic citrus, some of which I’ve never heard of before. Buddha’s Hand, Finger Limes, Cara Cara Oranges, and more. You can check out portions of the article at THIS LINK.

And speaking of Chicago, I want to share one of the many fabulous salad recipes from my BFF, Jen, who lives in Illinois. The girl is a wiz at cranking out quick, easy, and delicious salads in a snap. This is one of my favorites she has made for our family. Jen uses a bottled dressing she can find locally that is put out by Maggiano’s Little Italy Restaurant. We do have a Maggiano’s Restaurant on the corner of Scottsdale Road and 71st Street, but I am not certain if they sell the bottled dressing in the restaurant or not, or even if you can find it locally at your grocery store. So just in case, I’ve included a homemade version at the bottom of the recipe.

Jen’s Scrumptious Romaine Pasta Salad

1 pound macaroni, cooked and cooled
1 large head romaine, cleaned and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 cup real bacon bits
1 cup Maggiano’s Little Italy House Dressing or homemade version below

Place all ingredients in a large serving bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat, serve immediately.

Serves 8 to 10

Homemade Version of Maggiano’s Little Italy House Dressing

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup water
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pinch dried oregano

Dressing: In a medium mixing bowl, combine mustard, sugar, water, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Whisk until combined. Whisk in oil in a thin stream. Add pepper and oregano; whisk to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more sugar or garlic if necessary.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

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1 Sharon { 01.13.11 at 11:17 AM }

I’m sure those Chicago Tribune reporters are your blog followers and ran with your idea. 🙂

2 Grandma H. { 01.13.11 at 3:40 PM }

Hey, I think I might actually be able to make this salad, since it doesn’t have any ingredients I’m not familiar with, & it sounds delicious. I’ll have to cut it down to a quarter for just myself, & then if I like it, I can save the recipe & serve it some time for my friends.

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