There are a lot of reasons I wish I lived in Harry Potter’s world – a whole novella of reasons, in fact. There’s the whole Time-Turning thing (that could be useful given my foot-in-mouth disease), not to mention the convenience of Disapparating anytime I need to get somewhere. And, I’m sure I’d be a passionate Quidditch fan and seeker wannabe. However, magic would be especially useful to help make up for my lack of planning. Often these daydreams of magic pop up while I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what’s for dinner. At these moments I really, really wish I had Mrs. Weasley’s way with a wand in the kitchen.
This weekend could have been another one of those head-scratching, wand-wishing moments. It approached with promises of lots of busy good times — birthday fun, volleyball, pool time, and visiting family. I knew I couldn’t do my usual shoulder-shrug and hope for the best when it came to meals. And, since it is clear I wouldn’t be besties with Mrs. Weasley anytime soon, I decided to take the advice of my friend Janet – come up with a plan and get it done early. She is a fantastic cook and, more importantly, a sage advisor. She playfully tsk-tsk’d me recently when I moaned about the heat and no dinner plan. I was threatening to serve peaches and cottage cheese. ”Jules,” she said, “I thought we talked about planning ahead for days like these!”
Right you are, Janet! I got up Saturday morning, put together the fixings for pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, and whipped up this great Waldorf Salad a la the Food Network, perfect for a hot and busy summer weekend. When I got home at 6:30 that night, exhausted and spent from a hot day on the volleyball court, it was a perfect meal to sit down to.
Waldorf is one of my favorite summer salads. In this recipe, the Gala apples were just right — sweet and crispy to balance out the tang of yogurt and lemon. The salad was just as good the next day as well. Enjoy!
from Food Network Kitchens
Serves 4 (1-cup servings)
1/2 cup walnuts halves
1/2 cup non-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large crisp apples, such as Gala
2 ribs celery (with leaves), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (leaves chopped)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 lemon, juiced