Dressing Sauces & Condiments
The frequency at which salad dressing is homemade in my kitchen is less than a salad itself. And if you’ve read my blog long enough, you will have noticed that there is a whopping 4 posts that have the word “salad” in their title. I do eat a lot of green leafy things, but it tends to be in the form of green monster smoothies several times a week (it’s my ultimate lazy-no-bake meal option). But despite my history with salads, when I was given the opportunity to test the OXO Salad Dressing Shaker I couldn’t turn it down.
I started out by making a homemade Italian salad dressing which was destined for marinating zucchini. The markings on the side of the shaker really helped in reducing the number of dirty dishes created since there was no need for measuring cups (yay!). The dry seasoning then went for a swim before screwing the top on.
Make sure the pour spout is closed and then shake shake shake. Shake your booty! No seriously, when I shake things a lot my whole body starts to join in. But moving on… so once your dressing has been fully shaken, You just push open the spout with your finger and pour all in one fluid motion. Afterwards, any leftover dressing can be stored in the shaker with the spout closed. Did I mention this contraption reduces dirty dishes?
Now that I know how easy it is to make my own dressing at home, you might see a few more salad posts pop up in the future. Maybe I will even use the dressing on an actual salad next time - gasp!
Want a salad dressing shaker for yourself? Just answer this simple question in a comment on this post: What is your favorite salad dressing? Giveaway ends on Tuesday, May 15th at 11pm central time. Winner will be notified by e-mail and given 24 hours to respond. GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.
The winner is #16 Lynna from Hearts in my Oven.
One year ago: Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
ITALIAN DRESSING MIX
Makes approximately 1/2 cup mix (or 4 cups prepared dressing)
1 Tbsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 Tbsp salt
DRESSING (Makes approximately 1 cup)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp water
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.
- To prepare dressing, combine white vinegar, olive oil, water and 2 tablespoons of the dry mix in the salad dressing shaker.
Source: Adapted slightly from Allrecipes.com
Disclosure: I received two OXO Salad Dressing Shakers for free from OXO’s Blogger Outreach Program – one to review and one to giveaway. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
The other day while driving home at night I was being a bad driver by taking my eyes off the road to crane my neck up to see the stars out my car window. Orion is one of the first constellations I spot every time I look at the night sky, and I have always been amused by how he is upside down. That was until Bob ruined it by telling me he is in fact up right. Mind-blowing. My entire life I have believed that he was upside down and now I have to completely readjust how I look at him in the sky. I was not okay with this realization and proceeded to look away from the road to stare at Orion in disbelief. No worries I did not crash.
Yesterday Bob decided to rub it in even further by sending me this XKCD comic about Orion and his mysterious stars between his legs (the stars are what sparked the conversation about which direction he was positioned in the sky – yes I have unusual conversations with my friends). It’s cruel to keep killing my childhood memories of gazing up at the stars with my family while waiting for meteor showers. I need to move to the Southern hemisphere so that I can be correct about my views on Orion. Am I the only one you thought this?
While we are on the subject of being wrong, have you ever made a grocery list and omitted something because you “knew” you had it only to discover that it has mysteriously disappeared (aka you used it all and forgot)? This happened to me when with the almond butter in the chocolate almond cupcakes I shared with you yesterday. But I came to the rescue of myself by whipping up some from scratch! Thank goodness for my zombie-apocalypse-worthy pantry of supplies which contains several large Sam’s club sized bags of nuts.
Making this almond butter from scratch was so easy that I almost feel ashamed for buying any sort of nut butter from the store. I see many nut-butter creations in my future.
One year ago: Over Easy Breakfast Bagel Sandwich
HOMEMADE ALMOND BUTTER
Makes approximately 1.5 cups
2 cups raw almonds
1 tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a 9×13-inch baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.
- Place roasted almonds in a food processor and grind for 15 minutes, stopping regularly to scrape down the sides. After 15 minutes the almonds will turn smooth and creamy. Add the salt and blend. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Do you have a favorite homemade pizza sauce recipe? Most of the time if I don’t buy it jarred, I will use a jar of pasta sauce instead and add a bit of seasoning. But when I found a homemade pizza sauce recipe I thought I would give it a try. With a great flavor that was simple and quick to prepare, I have reused this recipe a few times already. It’s also great for dipping!
One year ago: Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
HOMEMADE PIZZA SAUCE
Makes 3.5 cups
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
2-6 oz. cans tomato paste
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp white vinegar
- In a large bowl or container, mix all ingredients.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator if not using immediately.
Source: Adapted slightly from Baking Jenn
I don’t think I have ever seen a can of store-bought pumpkin in my dad’s kitchen. I’m not sure I knew such a thing existed until recent years, because he was always cooking up whole pumpkins and stashing away its guts in the basement freezer, taking it out when the occasion arose to make the first pie I ever loved – pumpkin pie.
It’s really great to be able to make and store your own pumpkin puree because you can avoid all the shortages of canned pumpkin at the grocery. And it’s incredibly easy to make. You can really do this with any sized pumpkin so long as it fits into your oven. My dad is not convinced that the “pie” pumpkins are really any different other than their size (he has baked with both). Just be sure to keep align the rack in your oven away from the heating source to avoid burning.
Also, be warned that the puree with not be as dense and dark colored as the canned stuff. You can thicken it up a bit by following the extra step in the directions below, to drain out some of the liquid. I ended up not taking that extra step because my puree seemed thick enough to me.
HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE
Yields about 1 lb puree
6 lb pumpkin, whole
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- Remove the stem, and cut pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the guts (reserve seeds for another use) and place cut-side-down on the prepared baking sheet. Cook until fork inserts easily, about 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before scooping the flesh from the skin. Place flesh into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- If you would like your puree to be thicker, line a large fine mesh strainer with paper towels or cheesecloth. Transfer the pumpkin puree to the strainer and allow to drain for one hour. Once drained, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.
Source: My dad and Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.
Every fall I anticipate the coming of the pumpkin bagels and cream cheese at Einstein Brothers Bagels on campus. Pumpkin on pumpkin? Yes and heck yes. But I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… you can also make these yourself, in your very own home. I know, isn’t that unbelievable!? Such a novel concept I know, I am sorry to have blown your mind.
Ok obviously, not such an amazing revelation but this cream cheese truly is amazing in itself. And easier to make than walking across the street and buying it from Einstein’s. Now all I have to do is whip up some homemade pumpkin bagels and I’m all set! Putting people out of business over here. (Who am I kidding? Acting as if I could resist everything else on their menu – ha.)
PUMPKIN SPICE CREAM CHEESE
1/2 cup plain pumpkin puree
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
- In a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer, whip pumpkin and softened cream cheese together until uniform in color. Scrape the edges and mix on low, sprinkling sugar into the mixture. Once sugar is incorporated stir in the remaining ingredients. Scrape the edges and whip again to ensure a completely smooth homogenous mixture. Spoon into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Source: Lauren’s Latest
Yesterday I completely lost all motivation to cook or bake. Good thing I had leftovers to eat for dinner or else it would’ve been a pretty big failure of a day in the food department. But sometimes it’s nice to not make more dirty dishes. Unfortunately I didn’t have any pre-made posts to fall back on for today, and worried I wouldn’t have anything to share on such a wonderful day as Friday. But then, I remembered the basil butter I had recently whipped up but totally forgot about.
This butter was made to be frozen for later use. I scooped out tablespoonfuls (with a lightly greased tablespoon to easily drop) and dropped onto parchment paper lined baking sheets which were then placed in the freezer overnight. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag. Having the butter portioned out into tablespoons makes it easy to flavor vegetables or chicken dishes. Or you can just use it right away on whatever your heart desires. I want to put it on garlic bread to be honest.
Makes approximately 1.5 cups
1-1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
- In a food processor, chop basil. Add butter, lemon juice and pepper and garlic salt; blend until smooth.
- Drop by half-tablespoons onto a baking sheet; freeze. Remove from baking sheet and store in freezer bags.
Source: All Recipes
On Friday, Andrea who works a door down from the lab I work in* and takes lunch with a group of us, brought me a bundle of fresh basil from her garden complete with a tried and true recipe. Naturally that was the first thing I made with the majority of the basil and it came out great! I over toasted the pine nuts a bit, but no harm done. This was actually the very first time I’ve ever made my own pesto and it was easier than driving down the street to the grocery store to buy it there. And of course it’s better than any store-bought kind I’ve ever had. Isn’t that true of almost every homemade food item?
I can’t wait to start using the pesto in various dishes but I still have a decent amount of basil leaves left. Besides pesto, what are other great options for the use of basil? What are your favorite recipes?
* Sadly the lab is moving this very day to the new Pharmacy building on campus so our lunch group will be divided and I will no longer be getting fresh herbs. But at the same time it’s really exciting to be moving into a brand new facility.
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 oz. Parmesan cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (freshly shredded is fine)
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a food processor, add garlic. Turn on and add cheese through the feed tube. Continue processing until cheese is finely chopped.
- Add basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Process 2-3 seconds, then gradually add olive oil through the feed tube. Continue processing until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into an air-tight container, and top with a small amount of olive oil. Store in the refrigerator.
Source: The recipe was given to Andrea by a friend, but I am unsure of the original source.
So far I am pleasantly surprised with the meals and desserts I have made with what is already stocked in my kitchen. But I had to cave on buying ground chicken in order make these burgers. They have been on my cooking “to do” list for too long. Besides, I had some leftover root beer pulled pork begging for a purpose and used it instead of what I assume was supposed to be dry pulled pork in the ingredient list. Sometimes I think I am really good at finding new life to leftovers.
Mine didn’t come out looking nearly as gorgeous as Tara’s from Smells Like Home (maybe it’s the lack of BBQ sauce oozing down the sides), but it’s what’s inside that counts! Which just so happens to be yummy deliciousness.
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbsp very finely chopped (or grated) onion
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Hot sauce, to taste
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook the sauce about 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be reduced down to approximately 1 cup. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce will keep, refrigerated, for about 1 week.
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup crumbled cornbread or 1/4 cup cornmeal
1 scallion, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp brown sugar
2/3 cup chopped pulled pork
5 tbsp BBQ sauce, divided
Red onion slices
Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
Additional BBQ sauce
Hamburger buns (I used Deli thins, just because that’s what I had)
- Prepare grill*.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cornbread, scallion, cilantro, paprika, garlic, mustard, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, pork, and 2 tablespoons of the bbq sauce. Lightly but thoroughly mix with your hands to incorporate all the ingredients. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce to a small bowl.
- Form the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties. Brush the grates of the grill with olive oil. Place the burgers and onions on the grill, and cook the burgers 5-6 minutes, then flip. Turn the onions as well. Brush the cooked sides with half the reserved BBQ sauce. After 3-4 minutes, flip the burgers again. glazing the other side with the remaining BBQ sauce. Place a slice of cheese on each patty, and lay the buns, cut side down, on the grill. Close the lid and allow the cheese to melt and the buns to toast.
- Remove all the food from the grill, assembling the burgers as desired. Serve with additional BBQ sauce if desired.
*I do not have a grill, but the George Foreman worked just fine.
After the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, I figured out another reason why you should make peanut butter bread = peanut butter french toast for breakfast! And while I was at it, how about some chocolate maple syrup to pour over the top? I think I hear an unhesitant yes. So come on over, I’ll cook you breakfast.
I almost made a Nutella maple syrup, but I kept true to the chocolate and peanut butter marriage instead. Darn, guess that means I’ll have to come up with something else for the Nutella syrup O:-). Someone’s gotta do it.
8 (1/2 inch) slices day old peanut butter bread (left out overnight)
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 recipe chocolate maple syrup (below)
Dry roasted peanuts, garnish
- In shallow bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and cinnamon. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak momentarily.
- On a flat pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 Tbsp butter. Place two slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining slices. Serve immediately with chocolate maple syrup.
1 cup real maple syrup
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- In a small saucepan over medium, heat the syrup until hot. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder and butter until cocoa is incorporated and butter is melted. Serve warm.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Every time I make waffles I freeze the leftovers because they are still great reheated in the toaster oven. And it makes for a quick Breakfast. “L’Eggo my Eggo”? Nah, gimme these Nutella waffles! Complete with fresh raspberry syrup to start the day off right.
Do you have any favorite freezer friendly recipes? Please share!
1-3/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 Tbsp Nutella
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
- Preheat waffle iron. If you want to make all of the waffles before serving, preheat oven to 275 degrees, set a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet and pop in the oven.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In your blender combine the melted butter and Nutella, and blend until smooth. Add the buttermilk and eggs and blend to combine. Pour the wet ingredients from the blender over the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated.
- Fill the wells of the waffle iron and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You want the waffles golden brown when they’re finished. Serve with raspberries and raspberry maple syrup, if desired. (Transfer the waffles to the wire rack in the oven to keep warm if not serving immediately.)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup real maple syrup
- Combine raspberries and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl for cooking in the microwave or in a small saucepan to cook on the stove. Heat through until raspberries are mushy.
- Serve warm raspberry maple syrup over waffles with a few fresh raspberries.