Taking a breather (CtBF: Raw Vegetable Slaw w/ Creamy Garlic Dressing, Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse, Fattoush & Chicken Lady Chicken)

“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” ― Masaru Emoto, Secret Life of Water
Since we last "talked" I finished my Business Management class, took a class in Global Warehouse Management and started a Purchasing class. If anyone told me a couple of years ago that I would be doing all of this at this stage in my life, I am pretty sure I would have given them the side eye and maybe the stink eye. I am still trying to figure out whether I've lost my marbles or am just determined.

The jury is still out.

Fortunately, this four day weekend is giving me a chance to write about subjects that don't involve charts or struggling with APA formatting.

Raw Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Garlic Dressing

One of my favorite things about summer eating are the side salads. Grated carrot salad. My mom's pasta salad (she's the only person that can make it the way I like it). Bacon and ranch potato salad.  The right salad can totally make a meal. The wrong salad totally gives me "the sads".

This very versatile salad fell into the "make a meal" camp. I used a combination of shredded carrot, broccoli and Savoy cabbage along with broccoli florets. The combination was tossed with a very simple but effective dressing of mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar and mustard. After reading the P's & Q's, I opted to reduce the dressing recipe to 3/4 of the original and up the vegetables to 8 cups (as opposed to the 6 cups suggested).

The salad was served along side pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches and ranch potato salad. I am not sure if the meal was "that good" or if my family was just happy that I cooked an "honest to goodness dinner", but the whole thing was very well received. The kitchen at "chez Cher" has been a little under-utilized as of late.

And now, to get caught up...


I am a sucker for salads that aren't "salads". I have pretty particular beliefs about what makes a salad something I want to eat. That "thing" they usually serve you before the main course at a restaurant usually doesn't qualify. Nicoise-inspired and bread salads are two my favorite "not salad" salads. This pita based bread salad was another winner from MPK and has shown up a few times since...

Chicken Lady Chicken
We enjoyed the fattoush along with the Chicken Lady chicken. This roasted chicken recipe probably won't become my "go to" recipe (Dorie's lazy chicken will hold that spot forever), but it was a pretty solid recipe.

Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse
Last but not least is the chocolate mousse. I took the opportunity to "do" a My Paris Kitchen/ Baking with Julia mash-up by pairing this mousse with cocoa meringue nests from Baking with Julia. I have made this recipe a few times over the past couple of years and it is always a hit. I am not a huge chocolate lover, but even I can't get enough of it (but only in small doses, because it is very rich).

So, on that note, I find myself caught up with all my delinquent Tuesdays with Dorie and Cook the Book Friday write-ups. I guess that means its time to head back to the books. Sigh. 

Peace out.


This post participates in Cook the Book Fridays - an online cooking group that is currently making its way through David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen. We just started cooking our way through this book, so there is plenty of time to pick up a copy and start cooking along... 


  1. Chocolate mousse on meringue???? Holy moly. You're a genius.

  2. It's so impressive that you're able to keep up with the cooking, much less blogging about it, while you're in school. I hope you don't study too much this weekend and take some time to enjoy the holiday!

  3. "at this stage in my life" Cher YOU can do anything you put your mind to, I am most certain of it! (Says the person who finds herself taking on things she never imagined she'd be doing at this stage in HER life too...). I look forward to hearing where this new path in life will take you. In the meantime, I am happy to cook alongside you most weeks!

  4. OK, now it's time to relax and enjoy the weekend. Everything looks
    fabulous and each and every one of those recipes were a winner here.
    Have a great weekend.

  5. Hi Cher! I've missed you. Everything looks great! I'm with you on loving side salads and Dorie's Lazy Chicken. This salad was a good one. I'm going to make it again tomorrow for 4th of July. Hopefully your kitchen will see you more often because I think that's your happy place. Hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend.

  6. Everything looks great, Cher! What a catch-up post! I'm glad you've been able to step way from barf-y APA formatting (blurg) for a few days. The salads in this book are pretty good, eh? I've been pretty impressed. Happy 4th of July!!

  7. Glad you're getting to enjoy the weekend and truly celebrate Independence Day!

  8. Great that you stop by and update us on all that has happened in your kitchen, what lovely results! Take care now, till the next breather!

  9. I love the mousse on meringue- wow were you busy? No wonder the family was happy.

  10. Cher, Take it from me…it is never too late to learn and try new things. Heck, I started my blog in my sixties. I truly believe that challenging ourselves keeps us young.
    All your dishes look fabulous. Didn’t you absolutely love the mousse? As always a lovely post!

  11. Proud of you, Cher, as you already know. It's a long slog but you will be so proud of yourself when you are finished. Are you now realizing you never knew how tired you could get while still able to function?!? Can't believe you whipped all these things up over a long weekend. I know you enjoy cooking and baking but hope the girls and Joe are pitching in to help. I feel the same way about the recipes as you. Liked them all but probably won't do the chicken again. XOX

  12. The honest to goodness approach gives the dinner so much soul and bite to enjoy. Keep on putting it on the table. Good to see what's cooking and happening in your busy life.

  13. I can totally relate. I got my master's in my 50s, and actually wrote a thesis. I was the oldest person in all of my classes. I took up cooking after I finished because the only books I could read after that were cookbooks or preteen fiction, lol!


Hi - Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you!

Due to the high number of weirdo SPAM comments I have been receiving, I have turned comment moderation back on for the time being... Comments may show a slight delay.