I will tell you that I hate shopping, but my family just rolls their eyes when they hear that - they don't understand my compulsion to ultimately walk away from X store with a trunkful of stuff that they had to pay ME to take away. It's all about the deal...and altho I am not one of those crazy coupon shoppers (anymore), I have scored more times than the Harlem Globetrotters. AND without dribbling.
Costco...there, I said it. I LOVELOVELOVE the place - it makes my blood pressure drop just walking through the door. I don't even mind parking 3 miles from the entrance, it just increases the excitement of passing under that giant rolling door and winking at the person with the clicker...I feel like Norm in Cheers, and that all the staff are gonna yell "SHARON" when I walk in. It has taken me YEARS to learn to shop there though, and have fallen into their snake pit traps time and time again...a long-ago co-worker once told me she called it the $300 dollar store 'cause she could never get out without spending that much. It takes an iron constitution, nerves of steel, and a really big wad of gum to do it, but it is possible...just never forget that the sample people are satan himself and you will save at least 25% on your final bill if you don't sully your wad of Trident with chunks of apple pie, salt & pepper Kettle Chips, and teriyaki beef jerky.
Growing up with 4 siblings means you never get your own room....unless you're the oldest and a girl. We shared rooms in many different configurations, but when we moved to Banks, me and my two sisters shared one room for a short time, and my oldest sister would tell us stories when the lights went out...my favorites were the ones where you got locked in a big department store for a week because they closed it for some unknown reason - it had to be a week because there were too many things to do in just one night. As a kid in a one income family that was the ultimate lottery winning dream....have unfettered access to ANYTHING you wanted without the worry of punishment - if they lock you in a store, they're not going to put you in jail, right? So what if you rode bikes up and down the aisles, filled up swimming pools, ate every kind of candy on the shelf, and had fashion shows with all the clothes...they would just be happy if our parents didn't sue them, right? Those stories and the somehow inbred need for a deal is where I lay the blame for my nasty little habit. But before you judge, how many of you have a never-been used, one model year behind 12 cup Cuisinart food processor that only cost you 24.99?? BOO YAH.
This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with any of this, and after going through some recipes I realize that I am starting to run out of good stuff that isn't too involved/weird/stolen....not sure how long this can keep going but I will try. This is a super easy (read uses BOTTLED DRESSING), but is one of those things that you have once and wonder how the hell something so simple can look like a million bucks AND taste fabulous. Sure some are going to whine about the shrimp, but skip it if you don't like it. It won't be the same, but if it called for capers I would do the same - no slimy boogers for me. And many thanks to my lovely niece Carrie from Cali - this is actually her mom's recipe, hence the name....just don't tell HER you screwed with her recipe, I'm convinced she had "connections" and you might just find a package in your mailbox with a small piece of your favorite salad bowl in it.
Another one of those with no set amounts....I will give you suggestions, but you can monkey with it to your own liking - it would be really hard to mess it up. REALLY...even YOU, haha.
Lettuce - a mix of romaine, leaf and iceberg would do nicely...a head of each cut or torn into bites sized pieces, perhaps?
Salami, cut in bite sized pieces (I get it sliced from the deli, then cut it in 1/4's)
Feta cheese, crumbled
Black olives, quartered (looks prettier than sliced, or you could buy small and leave whole)
Tomatoes, cut in bite sized pieces (grape tomatoes are perfect cut in half...the juice adds to it)
Baby shrimp (I would say up to a lb, and clean it - no one likes shells and feelers)
Red onion, sliced (I cut in half, then in quarters and cut thin sticks from that)
Girard's Champagne Dressing (this is the key, don't use anything else)
Put all fixins in your large and undamaged salad bowl, pour about half the bottle of Girard's over all and toss, add more if needed and I would totally grind some black pepper into it. It may also have had croutons tossed into it....that would be good too. If you use enough of the toppings it can be a full meal with some nice crusty bread - and it will get you a flood of invitations to potlucks if you're not careful....you have been warned.