Holy crap, can you believe this heat? Here in the Pacific North West we are having one of the hottest heat waves in years. I guess this is the other half of the balancing act of the earth since we got snowed in with over two feet of snow this past winter. I just hope this winter is much more mild.
But what do you do when it is so blasted hot outside that you don’t even want to go near your kitchen? Ok, that’s almost a lie. I want to go near my kitchen. I want to be in it and bake cup cakes and get ready for my friends party, I want to bake bread, make soup, make veggie rolls! Alas, in this heat it is not even a sane consideration.
Though there is one thing I love having this time of year: salad. Its nice and cold, easy to prepare in a hot house.
Growing up I was a horribly picky eater. My salads would consist of iceberg lettuce, croutons, thousand island dressing, and cheese. I never touched a tomato, sweet sliced beets, or glanced at any other salad dressings. That is what my parents ate, so that is what I ate.
Incredibly boring if you ask me. My tastes have expanded hugely since then. I now love darker lettuce and spinach, I actually tried Ranch dressing, and oohh tomatoes I love you.
I’ve also gone down another road of my insanity in the kitchen by making my own salad dressing. The original recipe I found for this used fresh cranberries. Not only did the color of the dressing become this neon pink-red color, but it was the most tart and disgusting thing I had ever eaten. It was close in gag factor as pickles.
I HATE pickles. Seriously hate them.
So I decided to use sweetened dried cranberries instead. They are much easier to find year round and the sweetness really takes the edge off of the tart cranberry flavor. Now this is the only dressing I use while at home. I still get ranch when I go out, but this is my favorite hands down. Soaking the cranberries before blending makes them soft and smooth in the dressing, and soaking also helps to get rid of some of the sweetness from the drying process.
At least that’s what I tell myself.
Part of me gets slightly weirded out that I’m eating pink dressing, but that’s my own personal… Interesting-ness.
Makes 2 cups
- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- In a small bowl, combine the dried cranberries and hot water until the cranberries become soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and discard water.
- In a blender combine the vinegar, oil, cranberries, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and water. Process until smooth.