I learned how to cook from cookbooks. My mom was a good cook, but when I was a teen she began to get sick and didn’t have much energy to devote to cooking, so our meals became very simple. We’d typically have a meat and steamed veggies with an occasional Kraft Macaroni and Cheese™ or Hamburger Helper™ thrown in. What can I say? I’m a child of the 80’s. 🙂 Towards the end of high school my mom was really too ill to cook, so the responsibilities came to us, her children. I would heat up the meat and steam the veggies just as she told me to, and then, in time, my interest began to grow. I started looking in cookbooks and finding things that looked fun to prepare. Through natural curiosity I began to introduce new foods and new ways of cooking to the family. I have to be honest, they weren’t always well received, but learning a new skill can be a bumpy road and sometimes things just didn’t taste that good.
One thing I learned early on is that I LOVE salads. It took some time but I slowly won my parents and siblings over to my “rabbit food”. This salad is one from my early days of cookbook learning and it has stood the test of time with the dressing being one of my absolute favorites.
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 (8 oz) package shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 (8 oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8 oz) package craisins
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp mustard
1 cup canola oil
Tear red and green leaf lettuce into pieces. Shred iceberg lettuce. Toss together with other ingredients just before serving. Pass dressing over salad.
In a blender mix all ingredients, except oil. Add oil and blend again.