Wedge Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

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My new favorite salad!

The salad is very easy to make and the blue cheese dressing is out of this world good.  In fact, I loved it so much I went out the next day and got the ingredients to make it again.  It’s that good.  Honestly, I will never buy blue cheese dressing again.

I cut down the whole recipe to make 2 servings and I wish I had made the whole dressing recipe.  I won’t make that mistake again.

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Wedge Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

Blue Cheese Dressing:
1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
ground black pepper to taste

Salad:
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 8 wedges
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese

To make the dressing: combine 1/2 pound blue cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a bowl; blend using a hand mixer; chill until serving. Make sure the garlic is really minced (I used a press) so you don’t bite into a piece of garlic.

To make the salad: place 1 lettuce wedge on each of 8 plates. Drizzle equal amounts of dressing over each wedge. Scatter tomatoes, onion, and 1/2 pound blue cheese over each salad. I did not use the onion because I didn’t think it really went with the salad or extra blue cheese because it’s cheesey enough.

Source: Allrecipes

Happy Cooking!

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Spring Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

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It has been so cold this winter that we haven’t even been to the dog park except for a handful of times.  I really needed some Spring the other day so I found this salad recipe, tried it, loved it!

I was a little afraid of the vinaigrette but I was pleasantly surprised.  it was bright and delicious and easy to make!  I left out the almonds because they aren’t my favorite.  Even Mr. Meat Eater ate two helpings!

Spring Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

Spring Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

Parsley Vinaigrette

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps white vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1/2 tsp salt
dash black pepper
dash Tabasco

Salad

1/2 head Boston lettuce, torn into pieces
1/2 head red leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
1 quart fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained

To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine all the ingredients.

To make the salad, toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat all the ingredients.

Source:  Simply Sarasota

Happy Cooking!

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Barefoot Contessa’s Potato Salad

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Super Bowl post #5!

Every Super Bowl feast needs some side dishes and this salad is perfect.  It’s easy to make and tastes wonderful.  I love my Mom’s potato salad but this one is just different enough and we really love it.  It does not make a huge amount so double it if you need to.  I would not double the dressing ~ I used 3# of potatoes and had some leftover.  There is probably enough for 5# of potatoes.

I saw Ina make this on her show and I cooked the potatoes like she did which is different than I usually do.  I put the smallish Yukon Gold potatoes in the pot without cutting them up.  I poured cold water over the top  and boiled them, covered, for 20 minutes until just cooked through.  I drained in a colander and then put the potatoes (still in the colander) back in the pan and covered it with a tea towel and let them steam for 20 minutes.  Perfectly cooked!

Barefoot Contessa's Potato Salad

Barefoot Contessa’s Potato Salad

3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
2 tbsps whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped dill
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Cook the potatoes as I explained above or use your own way of cooking potatoes for potato salad.

While the potatoes are cooking, in a small bowl, whisk the mayo, buttermilk, both mustards, dill, and pepper together until combined. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in chunks into a large bowl. Pour enough dressing over to coat. Add celery and red onion and mix.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours for flavors to blend.  Check for salt and pepper before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Source: Barefoot Contessa’s Potato Salad

Happy Cooking!

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Greek Salad

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I have posted about this recipe before but I love this recipe so much that I think it’s worth repeating.  I make this salad at least once every couple of weeks, it’s that delicious and easy to make.  I think it’s one of my very favorite recipes!

I do a couple of things differently ~ I never add the green pepper because I am not really a fan of raw green pepper and I usually use regular black olives because kalamata olives are very expensive here.    After making it so many times, I now use  grape tomatoes.  Sometimes I cut them in half and sometimes I don’t but they taste much better in the off season than regular tomatoes.  I also use regular cucumbers if I can’t find English cucumbers. The dressing always looks like it won’t be enough but it  is.

Greek Salad 2

Greek Salad

Dressing:
6 tbsps olive oil
1 1/2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano ~ Mediterranean if you have it

Salad:
1 head lettuce or about 1 1/2 bags lettuce
3 plum tomatoes or 1/2 carton grape tomatoes, chopped
1 English or regular cucumber, chopped
1 medium red onion, cut into rings and soaked in ice water for a few minutes to help make it less sharp
1 small green pepper, cut into rings
3/4 cup kalamata olives
3/4 cup feta cheese

Blend dressing ingredients together until well mixed. I put all the ingredients in a jar and shake until blended.

Mix all salad ingredients, except cheese, in a salad bowl. Add drained onions after patting them dry with paper towels.

Toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle cheese over the top.

Serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Greek Salad

Source:  Food.com posted by evelyn/athens

Happy Cooking!

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Chicken Taco Layered Salad

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I found this recipe many years ago in a favorite community cookbook.  I made it a few times until Mr. Meat Eater told me he didn’t like it.  He does not like avocado OR bacon mixed in recipes.  Bacon for breakfast or in a BLT is fine but anywhere else is not.  He will just never like avocado.  I do have another dressing that he loves that has avocado in it and he will not believe me that it is in there.  I just make sure he is not around when I make the dressing and continue to serve it.

This is an easy recipe to make ~ just a bit time consuming.  I usually use shredded taco cheese for a little extra spice but all I had was cheddar and it was fine.  This is one of those salads that really is kind of blah the next day so it’s best if it gets eaten the day you make it.  The dressing can be made several hours before serving.

Chicken Taco Layered Salad

Chicken Taco Layered Salad

Dressing:
1 medium avocado
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
couple of shakes of Tabasco ~ use more if you want it spicy

Salad:
1/2 head lettuce, shredded ~ I used an entire bag of spring mix
2 cups cooked chicken, cut in cubes
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled ~ I cut up the bacon before cooking
1 cup shredded taco or cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed tortilla chips

In a blender or food processor, mix all the dressing ingredients together until they are smooth. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Layer salad ingredients in a trifle dish or other glass bowl in the order given in the recipe ~ starting with lettuce and ending with the cheese.  Spread the dressing over the top, covering completely. Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips.

Serve.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Source:  Simple Elegance

Happy Cooking!

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Make Your Own Croutons

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I had bought a loaf of sourdough bread last weekend at our favorite bakery and never used it.  I hate throwing food away but this loaf was very stale.  What to do?   I turned it into delicious croutons.

This is one of those “non-recipe” recipes.  It’s really just a how-to and you can make them whatever flavor you want.

Make Your Own Croutons

Make Your Own Croutons

Loaf of stale bread
Butter or olive oil
Favorite spices ~ I used garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
Cheese ~ optional ~ I used grated Parmesan cheese

Here is what I did:

Preheat oven to 325º.

I sliced the bread into 1-inch slices. I cut off the crusts and then cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.

I melted a stick of butter in a large bowl in the microwave. Added the cubed bread. I sprinkled on some garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and then the Parmesan cheese. I mixed being careful not to crush the bread.

I put this all on a baking sheet and made sure the cubes were all in a single layer.

I baked them for about 30 minutes until they were hard and browning nicely. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet.

Use on salads or in soups or for snacking.

Happy Cooking!

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Creamy Orange Fruit Salad

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I love fruit salad of any kind but in the winter it can be hard (and expensive) to find enough fresh fruit for a nice salad.  I like this recipe because it uses canned fruit and bananas and apples which I can get all year round.

This salad is very easy to make and it makes quite a bit and keeps for a few days in the refrigerator or until the bananas start to turn brown.  When I made it, I had lots of creamy part and actually did not use all of it so I think it would be safe to say that doubling up on your favorite fruits would be fine but don’t be surprised if you have too much creamy part.

The recipe came from Allrecipes.

Creamy Orange Fruit Salad

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 (16 oz) can peach slices, drained
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 bananas, sliced
1 apple, chopped
1 small box instant vanilla pudding (I used sugar free)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate, defrosted
3/4 cup sour cream

In a large bowl, combine the fruits and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat pudding mix, milk and orange juice concentrate for 2 minutes. Add sour cream and mix well.

Spoon mixture over the fruit and toss gently making sure all the fruit is coated.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Makes 8-10 servings

Happy Cooking!

Spinach and Lettuce Salad

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Mr. Meat Eater is NOT a veggie lover, obviously, but he really doesn’t like raw spinach.  I, on the other hand, love it!  When I found this recipe in Art of Cooking by the Junior League of Ogden I figured it was a happy medium and I was right.  I did leave out the bacon per Mr. Meat Eater’s unnatural dislike of bacon.  The dressing is very good and really goes well with the salad.

I used romaine instead of iceberg because that is what I had but I would probably not use the iceberg anyway as it’s not my favorite green.

Spinach and Lettuce Salad

Salad:
1 head of romaine, or your favorite green
1 pkg of baby spinach
8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 – 1 pound of bacon
1 red onion, thinly sliced (soaking the onion slices in ice water for 15 minutes or so will take some of the “bite” out of the onion)

Dressing:
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup green onions, sliced thin (I used one bunch instead of measuring out 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds

In a large salad bowl, toss all salad ingredients together and refrigerate.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and refrigerate.

Just before serving, whisk the dressing again and pour the amount desired on the salad and toss again.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Warm Mushroom Salad and Some Blog Housekeeping

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Something else that I want to do this year is to make an index tab at the top of the page to make it easier to see what all is here.  That will take a bit of time so maybe in the next couple of months that will get done.

The printing issue continues to vex me so I found a neat little site that will take a page from here and put it into a printable form.  You will have to copy the URL of the page you are trying to copy, then go to Print Friendly, paste the URL in the bar and hit print preview.  From that page you can print, put it in a PDF, or email it.  It works, I’ve tried it.  I’ll be adding the button to my sidebar here shortly.  That’s about the best I can do until wordpress puts in a printer friendly function.

Now, the recipe.  This salad is the BOMB!!  I love mushrooms ~ I mean I REALLY love mushrooms.  I was in mushroom heaven eating this.  It’s super easy to make and I can’t see any reason why you can’t just use whatever mushrooms you like.

Remember I said I was going to cook from my cookbooks more?  This recipe is adapted  from one of my newer cookbooks ~ More Recipes Worth Sharing by Favorite Recipes Press.  Really delicious recipes in this book and well worth buying!

Warm Mushroom Salad

2 tbsps olive oil
2 shallots, sliced thinly
8 ozs white mushrooms, sliced
4 ozs shiiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 ozs baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 cups salad greens
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
4 ozs crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until shallots begin to caramelize. Add all the mushrooms, 2 tbsps olive oil, sand salt and pepper and continue to saute until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the 1 tbsp balsamic.

Toss the salad greens with 2 tbsps olive oil and 2 tsps balsamic and season with salt and pepper if desired. Arrange the salad greens on a platter and spoon the warm mushrooms mixture over the greens. Sprinkle the Gorgonzola over the top.

Serve warm.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Holiday Salad

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My daughter served this salad on Thanksgiving and it was sooooo good.  I know the bowl looks really messy and I’ll take the blame for being a messy salad tosser.  The recipe called for a raspberry vinaigrette and I couldn’t find just a plain raspberry vinaigrette so I used a raspberry-pomegranate vinaigrette and it was superb as well as being fairly healthy.  This salad is chock-full of yummy ingredients and the color just makes it perfect for the holidays.   The recipe came from allrecipes originally.

Holiday  Salad

1 (10 ounce) package Italian-blend salad greens
1 (5 ounce) package spring mix salad greens
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 medium red apple, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) bottle raspberry vinaigrette ~ I used about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle

In a large salad bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the dressing.

Just before serving, drizzle with vinaigrette and toss.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!