Lighten up, ya crazy bastards.
But for the most part, I do not check said counter because I don't really want to know how many people have traipsed through here, and the fact that the vast majority of you stay for less than one minute. I know that's not enough time to read an entire post, because I ramble extensively, and the hit to my ego that is the knowledge that people arrive on the Woodside and think, "God she's boring" and go see what Perez Hilton has drawn today is EPIC.
Anyhoodle, that terrifying window into my fragile self-esteem comes to you courtesy of The Point I'm Trying To Make, which is about The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond is a lovely lady with a handsome husband and perfect children, who lives on a scenic ranch and takes gorgeous pictures and otherwise casts the largest shadow one could choose to stand in.
She has an easy, breezy tone and fascinating anecdotes that never reference last week's unwashed dishes or how to tell you need to do laundry by the increasing discomfort caused by bottom-of-the-drawer underpants. She also has traffic out the hoo hah. When she posts a giveaway, trying to view all the comments at one time will crash your computer. Trust me. (By the by, this is reader bribery I plan to bogart. Look for the chance to win your very own only slightly scratched Celine Dion CD, coming soon!)
So attempting to make a Pioneer Woman dish without screwing it up is a daunting task. Almost 600 people saw fit to comment on this recipe—My Most Favorite Salad Ever. Ever, Ever, Ever!—which put my odds of forgetting a key ingredient, scalding my limbs, or otherwise embarrassing myself at good to quite good.
Firstly, there is lots of chopping, which j'adore. Cabbage,
orange and yellow bell pepper,
and these adorable rapscallions.
There was also a long seedless cucumber, but I was clearly confused about how to cut it. The recipe said "sliced," but I wanted longer lengths so that they'd roughly match the bell peppers and cabbage, and the linguine that was boiling away on the stovetop. I've heard of dice, chop, and julienne, but I'm not precisely sure what you call this.
In typically wonderful salad fashion, the only requirement post chopping is just to throw everything together (even I can do this). Then it was on to the dressing.
A mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, and lime juice meets
jalapeños (which I managed to only get in my eye ONCE),
ginger (oh my JESUS the incredible smell of this stuff),
and brown sugar.
Meanwhile, cashews were hanging out in a dry pan over low heat, getting slowly toasted and golden.
They were content to linger there whilst I chopped through mounds and mounds of cilantro (twice in this recipe the most specific quantity of cilantro called for is "LOTS").
Start to finish, this took far less time than I'd anticipated, but it made a stunning amount of food. I had to toss the dressing with the salad in my plastic punch bowl because nothing else was big enough.
There was spinach in there, too, although I omitted the bean sprouts because I came up empty-handed after trips to two separate grocers.
It was delicious, with a guilt-dissolving ratio of veg to pasta, and I have more leftovers than you can fathom.
So trip on over to the Woodside, my adoring public. I have enough to share with all four of you.