Spinach Apple Salad With White Balsamic Dressing

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If you’re like me, you buy a big box of spinach from Costco or Sam’s because it’s so much cheaper than buying a little bag of it at the grocery store.  But then you have a whole lot of spinach to use before it goes bad.  I put it in my smoothies, but that hardly puts a dent in that big box.  So I decided to make a spinach salad on Sunday.  Normally I would make a spinach salad with strawberries in it but since my strawberry-loving-daughter ate all the strawberries on Saturday night and I was too lazy to go to the store, I went with a spinach/apple salad instead.  Using what my mom and I both had a hand, we came up with a pretty tasty salad if I do say so myself.
Spinach
3 apples, diced (I used Pink Lady)
Sliced almonds
Craisins
Shredded parmesan

Dressing:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lemon (not a huge one)
1 Tbs. honey
salt/pepper to taste

*Toss the salad using as many toppings as you like.  Mix up the dressing really well and drizzle over salad right before serving.  We don’t like a ton of dressing so we didn’t use all of it.  Just drizzle to your liking.

Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named America’s most Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on Monday night. Highlands pastry chef Dolester Miles was also named best in the country, making the restaurant the runaway winner at the awards. A panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and food journalists gave chef and owner Frank Stitt’s modern Southern restaurant the honors. The other big winner of the night was Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan, whose JuneBaby was named best new restaurant in America; he was also named Best Chef Northwest for his restaurant, Salare. “People always talk about Portland [Oregon] as the Pacific Northwest restaurant city,” said Jordan. “But they’re like the cool kid with a new name every season. Seattle is showing we are an ongoing force.” He doesn’t credit the rise of Amazon.com Inc. for his restaurants’s successes, although owner Jeff Bezos has dined at Salare. “Seattle has always had big companies—Boeing, Microsoft. They come in and eat, but it’s the people in the city who are making it happen. They’re more engaged than anyone gives them credit for.” The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize restaurants, wine programs, chefs, designers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, and journalists from around the country. The awards, established in 1990, have recognized industry leaders such as Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. While it may not have been a good year for such famed restaurant cities as New York and San Francisco (which won only two chef and beverage awards, including Best Service at Zuni, and the Best Chef West winner Dominique Crenn), it was a very good year for women. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York was named Outstanding Chef in the U.S, and Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn was named Best Chef New York. Forty percent of this year’s nominees were female. Women won many of the major awards, including Caroline Styne, who was named Outstanding Restaurateur for Lucques Group in Los Angeles. Forty percent of the winners of the regional chef awards were women; last year, that number was 30 percent. For the first time, voters were encouraged to consider qualities beyond food, wine, and ambiance, including respect and integrity. This follows accusations of sexual harassment against such past Beard winners as Mario Batali and John Besh.

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