Robyn always felt a little down when January arrived. The holidays were over. The anticipation, the parties, the dinners, the gifts, the hustle and bustle, the sparkle. All gone! Sure, it was a new year and a clean slate. However, it was the bombardment received from every morning talk show and magazine. You know what I am talking about. New Year’s resolutions, diets, and exercise. It was constant for the whole month of January. Then it started to ease up.Why? Statistics tell us that of people making New Year’s resolutions, only 75% are still successful after 1 week. At the end of 1 month it is 64% and after 6 months it is 46%. On top of this, the hostess in January was into ‘ healthy eating ‘. The rest of us had never even uttered those words. We used butter and heavy cream quite liberally. Nevertheless, Robyn looked forward to meeting up with the broads. She knew that they would soon be laughing at something.
Our hostess, J. J. was not a bad cook. In her effort to eliminate salt, fat, and sugar things tasted a little bland. She neglected to enhance dishes with other flavors. Today’s menu of Wilted Spinach Salad and Cream of Onion Soup was a pleasant surprise. We could hardly believe it. Butter & half&half together in one recipe. There was a crusty French bread with margarine for those who wished to indulge. Instead of a rich dessert, we ended the meal with a sweet floral tea and more good conversation. It was good to know that Jan also went off the wagon for a day.
Later on, Robyn and Scarlett confided that they sometimes stopped at McDonald’s on the way home from Jan’s luncheons. Neither has been near a McDonald’s in years, nor given up that butter and heavy cream.
Cream of Onion Soup
4 yellow onions, chopped fine
½ c flour
2- 14 ½ oz cans of chicken broth
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t white pepper
1 t salt
2 c half & half
Sauté onions slowly in butter until soft and golden brown. Add flour, stir & cook for several minutes until golden. Add the chicken broth slowly while continuing to stir. Add spices, cook till thickened. Add the cream and heat through.
Uptown Café’s Wilted Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken Breasts
8-8 ounce boneless chicken breasts
2 c olive oil
½ c soy sauce
¼ t ground ginger or 1 t fresh, minced
¼ c sherry
1 lb fresh spinach, washed & stemmed
- 8ounce can sliced water chestnuts
8 slices of bacon, crisp & crumbled
4 to 8 hard boiled eggs, quartered
Famous Dressing (this dressing is requested as holiday gifts by a few of our husbands every year!) It is simple and AMAZING!
1 c olive oil
1/3 c soy sauce
¼ c fresh lemon juice
1 t chopped garlic
¼ t fresh ground black pepper
Place chicken in a bowl or shallow pan. Combine olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, and sherry. Pour over chicken and marinate overnight.
Divide spinach among 8 serving plates. Combine dressing ingredients in a saucepan and heat. Remove chicken from marinade, grill 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness. Slice and place on top of spinach. Sprinkle each salad with water chestnuts and bacon. Place 2-4 quarters of egg on each plate. Top with hot dressing.
We used fruit with this recipe and garnished with lemons instead of oranges