Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This is my favorite Quinoa Salad Recipe

2 cups water
1 cup rainbow quinoa

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup kalamata olives, cut in half (I probably add more than this, as I LOVE Olives)
6 oz crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Juice of one lemon

Start by rinsing the quinoa. I place mine in a small strainer and the strainer in a medium bowl, and then I filled the bowl with water with the strainer inside the boil and quinoa in the strainer. Then shake the quinoa in the water and rinse it, then I empty the water and refill it until the water is pretty much clear. (You don’t have to do this, I just do)

Now bring a pot of 2 cups of water to a boil, and add the quinoa

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed in quinoa.

When the water has been absorbed by the quinoa, fluff it with a fork and set it aside and let it cool for 5 minutes

Now add the quinoa to a medium sized bowl and add the oil and vinegar and let the quinoa come to room tempature

Add onion, tomatoes,

red pepper, olives,

cilantro,

and salt

and pepper.

Stir gently.

Add feta cheese

and gently combine.

Chill for 2 hours or longer to let flavors combine. Squeeze lemon juice over salad right before serving it makes it taste even better!

Here is the recipe for you:
2 cups water
1 cup rainbow quinoa
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, cut in half (I probably add more than this, as I LOVE Olives)
6 oz crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Juice of one lemon

Start by rinsing the quinoa. I place mine in a small strainer and the strainer in a medium bowl, and then I filled the bowl with water with the strainer inside the boil and quinoa in the strainer. Then shake the quinoa in the water and rinse it, then I empty the water and refill it until the water is pretty much clear. (You don’t have to do this, I just do)

Now bring a pot and 2 cups of water to a boil, and add the quinoa

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed in quinoa.

When the water has been absorbed by the quinoa, fluff it with a fork and set it aside and let it cool for 5 minutes

Now add the quinoa to a medium sized bowl and add the oil and vinegar and let the quinoa come to room tempature

Add onion, tomatoes,pepper, olives, cilantro, and salt and pepper.

Stir gently. Add feta cheese and gently combine.

Chill for 2 hours or longer to let flavors combine. Squeeze lemon juice over salad right before serving it makes it taste even better!

Sesame Chicken Salad

I love, love this salad. It is my favorite salad right now. I could drink the dressing, it’s so good, and the recipe is by my most favorite blogger, Pioneer Woman!

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper
Olive Oil, for cooking

Dressing:
2/3 cups Olive Oil
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2 cloves Garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons pickled ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
Pinch Of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

For Salad:
1 package (10 Ounces) Mixed Greens
1/2 whole Red Onion, Sliced Very Thin
1 cup Red Grape Tomatoes, Halved
1 can Mandarin Oranges, drained
Sesame Seeds

Start with the dressing and you can either put everything in a blender or use a hand blender like I did.

So start with the olive oil

(I add everything to a large mason jar)

then add the soy sauce

vinegar

garlic, ginger, sesame oil,

brown sugar,

and crushed red pepper flakes

Grad your hand blender and blend everything until completely emulsified.

(by the way, it looks like a ton of dressing because I ALWAYS make a double batch of this dressing when I make it, as I LOVE it and I drown my salad in it and then the next day I want leftovers, But the recipe I am posting is for one batch).

Now taste the dressing and adjust to your taste

Now grab a medium pan and heat it to medium high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with oil and then grab the chicken breasts and salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.

Add chicken the pan

and cook the chicken on both sides over medium heat until it has nice color on the surface and is totally cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes, and cut into cubes.

Place the cubed chicken into a bowl and pour 1/3 of the dressing over it, tossing to coat.

then sprinkle sesame seeds over the chicken and toss so that the seeds stick to the chicken. Add more seeds if you like a lot.

To assemble the salad, place the salad greens, in a large bowl

then add the sliced onion,

then add the halved tomatoes

mandarin oranges (I added a little bit more of sesame seeds as well)

Now grab a bowl for yourself and place desired amount of salad in the bowl

top with desired amount of chicken

and then pour desired amount of dressing (a LOT) over your salad

and pig out!

Recipe:

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper
Olive Oil, for cooking

Dressing:
2/3 cups Olive Oil
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2 cloves Garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons pickled ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
Pinch Of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

For Salad:
1 package (10 Ounces) Mixed Greens
1/2 whole Red Onion, Sliced Very Thin
1 cup Red Grape Tomatoes, Halved
1 can Mandarin Oranges, drained
Sesame Seeds

Start with the dressing and you can either put everything in a blender or use a hand blender like I did.

So start with the olive oil (I add everything to a large mason jar) then add the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes

Grad your hand blender and blend everything until completely emulsified.

Now taste the dressing and adjust to your taste

Now grab a medium pan and heat it to medium high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with oil and then grab the chicken breasts and salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.
Add chicken the pan and cook the chicken on both sides over medium heat until it has nice color on the surface and is totally cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes, and cut into cubes.

Place the cubed chicken into a bowl and pour 1/3 of the dressing over it, tossing to coat.
then sprinkle sesame seeds over the chicken and toss so that the seeds stick to the chicken. Add more seeds if you like a lot.

To assemble the salad, place the salad greens, in a large bowl, then add the sliced onion, then add the halved tomatoes, mandarin oranges (I added a little bit more of sesame seeds as well)

Now grab a bowl for yourself and place desired amount of salad in the bowl, top with desired amount of chicken and then pour desired amount of dressing (a LOT) over your salad

and pig out!

My Go-to Cucumber Salad

I LOVE Cucumbers! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

I love Cucumber salad! I could eat cucumbers EVERY day of my life! I really could! They never get old to me!

So whenever I make cucumber salad this recipe is the one I think of:

On the blog post where I got the recipe the original name for it is called “Kelsie’s awesome cucumber salad

So you will need:

The original recipe is a larger batch, I adjusted the recipe a little to make it my own
3- 4 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thick, or thin (I did them thick)


2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced

For the Dressing:

In a small bowl whisk together all the dressing ingredients.


1/2 cup cider vinegar


4 Tablespoons canola oil


2-3 Tbsp honey, (If you want it to taste sweeter, add more honey)


1 tsp celery salt


1 tsp dried basil


1 tsp ground mustard


1 tsp garlic powder


salt (to taste)


1/2 tsp dried oregano


few dashes of cayenne pepper

Now for the salad:

Place the cucumbers in a large bowl

 

Then add the onion

then the tomatoes

then pour the dressing you made over the cucumbers, onion, and tomatoes

Toss everything together

I feel like the longer the cucumbers sit in the dressing, the better it is. I’ve even let it sit overnight and tossed it a few times and it kind of pickled the cucumbers and the flavors were amazing! I’ve tried it right after I made it, without letting it sit and it’s still good, but I think it’s even better if it sits longer.

So if you are in a hurry, then mix everything together and eat it. If you have an hour, then let the salad chill in the fridge for an hour or 30 minutes. If you can let it sit overnight, I recommend letting it sit.

Recipe:
3- 4 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thick, or thin (I did them thick)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced

For the Dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together all the dressing ingredients.
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 Tablespoons canola oil
2-3 Tbsp honey, (If you want it to taste sweeter, add more honey)
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
few dashes of cayenne pepper

Now for the salad:
Place the cucumbers in a large bowl
Then add the onion
then the tomatoes
then pour the dressing you made over the cucumbers, onion, and tomatoes

Toss everything together

I feel like the longer the cucumbers sit in the dressing, the better it is. I’ve even let it sit overnight and tossed it a few times and it kind of pickled the cucumbers and the flavors were amazing! I’ve tried it right after I made it, without letting it sit and it’s still good, but I think it’s even better if it sits longer.

Fruit Salad with Homemade whipped cream

My mother in law had us over for dinner one night and I (of course) asked what I could make/bring. She had requested a dessert, but something healthier. So I thought why not fruit salad. She also likes things that are Light and fresh. So this is what I came up with…

So I went with fruit that was on sale…

6 oz Blueberries, washed

32 oz or 2 pounds of strawberries, washed and cut into bite size pieces
4 bananas, peeled and sliced
then I thought, instead of sprinkling sugar over the fruit, because I like sugar sprinkled over my strawberries, I’ll make a vanilla bean whipped cream to go over the top
So Mexican vanilla or regular vanilla
one pint of heavy whipping cream
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
sugar

So I used my kitchen aid mixer to do the whipped cream with the whisk attachment

Add the whole container of heavy whipping cream to the bowl

Then add in 1 tbsp of the vanilla (I used clear mexican vanilla)

then add  in the seeds from the vanilla bean

then add in 3 tbsp of granulated sugar

then turn mixer to medium high-speed

Mix the whipped cream until you get stiff peaks

See the little specks of vanilla bean? I put the whipped cream into a container and put it in the fridge to chill, until you are ready to use it.

so grab a medium/large bowl and add the washed blueberries

Then add the strawberries

I love the glass bowl I used (got it from Ikea) I am obsessed with bowls and kitchen stuffs! (Hmmm image that).

next add the banana slices

then add the zest of one lemon (adds a nice freshness)

Then add the juice of 2 lemons, helps the bananas from turning brown and adds extra freshness to the fruit and a little tang!

Stir the fruit, zest and juice all together

Then I added in a few mint leaves to make the salad look extra pretty

cover bowl and let the fruit chill in fridge for about an hour before serving.
Then when ready to serve, add desired amount to bowl or plate and add desired amount of whipped cream to the top of your fruit. (I piped the whipped cream over the fruit to make it look extra pretty).


 

Recipe

6 oz Blueberries, washed
32 oz or 2 pounds of strawberries, washed and cut into bite size pieces
4 bananas, peeled and sliced

So Mexican vanilla or regular vanilla
one pint of heavy whipping cream
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
sugar

So I used my kitchen aid mixer to do the whipped cream with the whisk attachment
Add the whole container of heavy whipping cream to the bowl
Then add in 1 tbsp of the vanilla (I used clear mexican vanilla)
then add  in the seeds from the vanilla bean
then add in 3 tbsp of granulated sugar
then turn mixer to medium high-speed
Mix the whipped cream until you get stiff peaks
See the little specks of vanilla bean? I put the whipped cream into a container and put it in the fridge to chill, until you are ready to use it.
so grab a medium/large bowl and add the washed blueberries
Then add the strawberries
I love the glass bowl I used (got it from Ikea) I am obsessed with bowls and kitchen stuffs! (Hmmm image that).
next add the banana slices
then add the zest of one lemon (adds a nice freshness)
Then add the juice of 2 lemons, helps the bananas from turning brown and adds extra freshness to the fruit and a little tang!
Stir the fruit, zest and juice all together
Then I added in a few mint leaves to make the salad look extra pretty
cover bowl and let the fruit chill in fridge for about an hour before serving.
Then when ready to serve, add desired amount to bowl or plate and add desired amount of whipped cream to the top of your fruit. (I piped the whipped cream over the fruit to make it look extra pretty).

Crunchy Asian salad with asian dressing

Got the inspiration for this recipe from here, I LOVE her blog! Love the pictures she takes! Inspires me to cook and she inspires me to want to cook all her recipes…

dressing: (I doubled the recipe, I will post the original recipe, but my recipe in the pictures is X2)

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pickled ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey (you can add more, if you want your dressing sweeter)
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salad:
6 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped up (you don’t have to chop them up, I like them chopped up)
1 large carrot, shredded
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
1 large cucumber,sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

for the dressing

Grab a mason jar and add in ingredients for dressing

rice wine vinegar

Chopped pickled ginger

Soy Sauce

Then add in honey and sesame oil

Then add in vegetable oil

You can put everything in a jar and screw lid on and shake up the dressing really well. Or what I did was (first transferred my dressing to a bigger jar) grabbed my hand mixer and blended everything together.

(I doubled the recipe, because this dressing is SO good to me, I could drink it)

Now for the salad:
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas

boil for about 5 minutes,

Drain, then add peas to ice bath (to stop the cooking), drain again and set aside.

Grab a big bowl to assemble the salad
Add spinach

Add the shredded carrot and red bell pepper

then add the sliced onion

Then add cucumbers

Toss everything together

portion out desired amount of salad in a bowl for yourself and add desired amount of dressing

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the salad

Recipe

Dressing: (I doubled the recipe, I will post the original recipe, but my recipe in the pictures is X2)

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pickled ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey (you can add more, if you want your dressing sweeter)
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salad:
6 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped up (you don’t have to chop them up, I like them chopped up)
1 large carrot, shredded
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
for the dressing

Grab a mason jar and add in ingredients for dressing
rice wine vinegar
Chopped pickled ginger
Soy Sauce
Then add in honey and sesame oil
Then add in vegetable oil
You can put everything in a jar and screw lid on and shake up the dressing really well. Or what I did was (first transferred my dressing to a bigger jar) grabbed my hand mixer and blended everything together.

(I doubled the recipe, because this dressing is SO good to me, I could drink it)
Now for the salad:
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas
boil for about 5 minutes,
Drain, then add peas to ice bath (to stop the cooking), drain again and set aside.
Grab a big bowl to assemble the salad

Add spinach
Add the shredded carrot and red bell pepper
then add the sliced onion
then add cucumbers
Toss everything together
portion out desired amount of salad in a bowl for yourself and add desired amount of dressing
Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the salad

Pasta Salad al la Jamie

Made this pasta salad for a BBQ this past summer

You will need:
Sliced provolone cheese, cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped small
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Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Italian dressing packets (follow the directions on the package on how to make dressing)
12 oz, or one box Tri-color Rotini pasta, follow directions on box to boil
Mini Pepperonis
Italian dry salami, chopped up
10 oz. Grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2
3.8 oz can Sliced black Olives, Drained
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So start by grabbing a pot and filling it with water and then bring it to a boil, don’t forget to salt your water, then follow the instructions on the back of the pasta box on how long to boil the pasta
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while the pasta boils, make your dressing. Follow the instructions on the dressing packets on how to make it. I used 2 packets.

Once your pasta is done boiling drain it really well and then add  it to a big bowl
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Now add your dressing
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stir the dressing in with the noodles, so it coats them.
Now add the chopped onion and green bell pepper
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Then pepperoni’s
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Then the salami
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Then add in the provolone cheese
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stir everything together, then add in the olives
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Tomatoes
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and then the grated Parmesan cheese
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Stir everything together
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Refrigerate and let chill for 2 hours before serving
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Recipe

  • Sliced provolone cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped small
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Italian dressing packets (follow the directions on the package on how to make dressing)
  • 12 oz, or one box Tri-color Rotini pasta, follow directions on box to boil
  • Mini Pepperonis
  • Italian dry salami, chopped up
  • 10 oz. Grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2
  • 3.8 oz can Sliced black Olives, Drained
  • So start by grabbing a pot and filling it with water and then bring it to a boil, don’t forget to salt your water, then follow the instructions on the back of the pasta box on how long to boil the pasta, while the pasta boils, make your dressing. Follow the instructions on the dressing packets on how to make it. I used 2 packets.
  • Once your pasta is done boiling drain it really well and then add it to a big bowl
  • Now add your dressing, stir the dressing in with the noodles, so it coats them.
  • Then add in the provolone cheese
  • stir everything together, then add in the olives, Tomatoes and then the grated Parmesan cheese
  • Stir everything together
  • Refrigerate and let chill for 2 hours before serving

Homemade Ranch Dressing and Stacey’s Birthday Dinner

So back in August (yes I know I am so far behind on my postings) I wanted to make my good, great, awesome friend Stacey dinner for her birthday. So I emailed her and asked her what she wanted for her dinner…Stacey is a busy lady and she lives 90 miles from me so we don’t get to see each other often and I have never cooked her a Jamie meal, so I wanted to cook her and her hubby and kids a nice meal of things she liked. So I asked her and this is what she requested: fried catfish, with hush puppies, watermelon and salad with REAL ranch dressing, not the bottled stuff or packet stuff…OK you got it…

So I decided on The pioneer woman’s ranch dressing because I LOVE the Pioneer woman

I doubled this recipe as I LOVE ranch and I was cooking for 7 of us and I wanted leftover ranch for a salad for myself for the next couple of nights with dinner. Because (again) I LOVE ranch).

3 cloves of Garlic, minced
Salt, To Taste
1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced
1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
White Vinegar (about 2 tablespoons)
Worcestershire Sauce, (few dashes)
Fresh Dill (I did about 1/3 a cup)
Cayenne Pepper (I did a teaspoon)
Paprika (I did a teaspoon)
dried Oregano (I did a teaspoon)
Tabasco (5-6 dashes)
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Mince the garlic
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then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of salt on it
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and mash it into a paste with a fork.
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Then Chop the parsley,
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chives
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Dill, finely
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and set aside

In a bowl combine the Mayonnaise
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Sour cream
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and buttermilk
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Vinegar (I added in 2 tablespoons)
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few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
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a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (Stacey likes things spicy, so I kept that in mind)
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Paprika (about 1 teaspoon)
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Dried Oregano (about 1 teaspoon)
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5-6 dashes of Tabasco
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I also added in about a teaspoon of garlic salt
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(and of course) I also added in about a teaspoon of creole seasoning
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I also added in about 1/4 a teaspoon of salt
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Mix everything together with a whisk and mix really well.

I tasted mine several times for flavoring
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then I added in the garlic I smashed up earlier and all the fresh herbs as well
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I decided to bust out my electric hand blender to make sure all the herbs were nice and chopped up finely, I didn’t want someone to get a big chunk of dill or parsley
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I blended the dressing really well
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then tasted it for seasonings again, add in more of what it was missing, if it’s not missing anything, then leave it as is! Mine was perfect!
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Looks like ranch dressing!
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I LOVE ranch dressing!
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I added mine to a bottle, to make it easier for pouring
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These are the 4 extra seasonings that I ended up adding in on my own, about a teaspoon of each
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I let the dressing chill most of the day, while I cooked everything else, tasting it to make sure I got the seasoning right!

I also made Stacey a brownie cake. She LOVES Brownies, Pecans and Caramel. So I made her a turtle brownie cake
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I wanted this cake to be pretty amazing, just like my friend!
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I also made homemade bacon bits for the salad as well with REAL bacon!
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Watermelon
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The Birthday girl
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I had Stacey’s son Blaise sample the ranch dressing to make sure it was ok…he approved!
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Hush puppies
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cards the kiddies made their momma!
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mmmmmm salad with homemade ranch dressing…the BEST!
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catfish
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Happy Birthday Dear Friend!
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Recipe

  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • Salt, To Taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced
  • 1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
  • White Vinegar (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Worcestershire Sauce, (few dashes)
  • Fresh Dill (I did about 1/3 a cup)
  • Cayenne Pepper (I did a teaspoon)
  • Paprika (I did a teaspoon)
  • Fresh Oregano (I did a teaspoon)
  • Tabasco (5-6 dashes)
  • Mince the garlic
  • then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of salt on it
  • and mash it into a paste with a fork.
  • Then Chop the parsley, chives Dill, finely
  • and set aside
  • In a bowl combine the Mayonnaise, Sour cream and buttermilk
  • Vinegar (I added in 2 tablespoons)
  • few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (Stacey likes things spicy, so I kept that in mind)
  • Paprika (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Dried Oregano (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 5-6 dashes of Tabasco
  • I also added in about a teaspoon of garlic salt
  • (and of course) I also added in about a teaspoon of creole seasoning
  • Mix everything together with a whisk and mix really well.
  • I tasted mine several times for flavoring
  • then I added in the garlic I smashed up earlier and all the fresh herbs as well
  • I decided to bust out my electric hand blender to make sure all the herbs were nice and chopped up finely, I didn’t want someone to get a big chunk of dill or parsley
  • I blended the dressing really well
  • then tasted it for seasonings again, add in more of what it was missing, if it’s not missing anything, then leave it as is! Mine was perfect!
  • I let the dressing chill most of the day, while I cooked everything else, tasting it to make sure I got the seasoning right!