Menu for week of 4/30 - 5/7

As you may have noticed, I've bee crazy busy trying to streamline the site and get all of the links working properly etc. Hopefully, it will be much easier to use when I am finished. Actually, it's working better than it has been, so that's a good thing.

 We're having some furniture delivered, supposedly sometime today, and around that, errands and the norm, I'll continue until Divas Cuisine is the site we've envisioned. Hope you enjoy it when it's finished, there is a lot of great content here, more than just recipes, that I really think anyone who enjoys food- cooking it or eating it - will find informative, useful, enjoyable or hey you may just learn something to make your life easier.

For now, it's onto our menu, in no particular order- and no guarantees this is what we'll actually eat since it's final week for UCA students here, and the HS graduation is just around the corner - may be much more miss than hit this week, but that's okay, there's always next week. ;)

Mini meatloaves (made in bundt pan) served atop mashed potatoes swimming in caramelized onion & mushroom gravy; steamed cali blend (broccoli, cauliflower & carrots) veggies

Choice of soft or hard turkey tacos w/lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream & salsa; mango

Breakfast for dinner: spinach, mushroom, roasted red pepper & onion fritatta; fruit salad w/apples, bananas & oranges

 Crockpot rotisserie style chicken; oven roasted broccoli & cauliflower

Easy cheese & onion enchilada bake; spanish rice; refried beans; avocado salad

 Bowtie pasta w/chicken (left over from rotisserie chicken), broccoli & parmesan; red grapes

 Grilled swiss on rye with tomatoes &/or green chilies; tomato bisque soup

 Anything good on the menu at your house this week? For more menu ideas head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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Lots of changes make for an easy to navigate site.

I am hard at work trying to make a more user friendly site.  We've got tons of great content here, but it's fairly disorganized and difficult to navigate when you don't know what you are looking for.

Despite a supposed smooth integration onto a self hosted WP platform, I had nothing but trouble, including loss of pictures, broken links and entire posts gone missing, so while I am not starting from the beginning again, I'll be checking and rechecking that everything is working smoothly.

Hopefully we'll end up with a fun, informative site with lots of recipes, food memories (Do y'all love reading those as much as I do?), hints & tips, substitutions, menu plans, simple conversion tools  & the good news about my relationship with food- which has drastically changed, for the better.

I will try to minimize downtime, but I ask in advance for your patience and trust that the results will be well worth any slight inconvenience.

For now, please scroll to the bottom of the page and navigate from there.  :)  Thank you for understanding.

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Creamy Greek Salad Dressing

Creamy Greek Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1/4 cup (or more, to taste) Vinegar (apple cider works well here)
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
Cooking Directions
  1. Whisk or blend together everything but the olive oil. Make sure the garlic is completely pulverized.
  2. Scrape down sides and whisking continually or with the blender running, pour oil in a slow thin stream. Keep whisking or blending until the dressing is thickened and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  3. Store in fridge in a tightly sealed container.
  4. Great on greens, veggies and pasta salad.

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Curried Salad Dressing / Sandwich Spread

Curried Salad Dressing/Sandwich Spread

1 Cup mayo
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp curry powder*
3 Tbsp (bottled) mango chutney
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix well, store in fridge.

Especially good in chicken and ham salads- add to diced, cubed or shredded meat & whatever fruits, vegs, nuts or seeds you are using to coat lightly.

*MYO curry powder recipe

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MYO Chili Powder

Chili Powder

  • 1/2 cup Paprika
  • 4 Tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup Oregano
  • 4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.
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MYO Curry Powder

A good curry is phenomenal, the wrong spices can kill one, with that in mind, play around with the spice amounts to find a blend that suits your tastes.

Curry Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 Dried bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch Nutmeg
  • To taste Ground black pepper
Grind the coriander, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Combine with remaining ingredients. 
Store in a cool, dry place.

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MYO Seafood Seasoning

Seafood Seasoning

1 Tbsp ground bay leaves
2 1/2 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

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MYO Crazy Salt

I remember my gramma using Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt, and the girls think it is especially good on mac & cheese.  Use any time you want a seasoned salt.

Crazy Salt 1/2 cup

  • 1/2 cup Sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp Accent*
  • 1 tsp Dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Sage
  • 1/4 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Marjoram
  • Rind of 1 Lemon, finely grated
Place all ingredients in blender or pepper mill, then blend or grind together.
Store in a cool, dry place
*Omit if sensitive to MSG

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MYO Italian Seasoning and Spaghetti Seasoning

We use tons of this stuff, it makes fast, easy work of homemade sauce or doctoring up the jarred variety.

Italian Seasoning

1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon sage

Spaghetti Seasoning

1 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley leaves, crushed
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp dried green pepper flakes
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground basil
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground oregano

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container.  Great to make a quick sauce from equal parts diced or crushed tomatoes & sauce or spice up jarred sauce.
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MYO Cajun & Creole Seasonings; Emeril's Essence Clone

I love a little spice sometimes, here is how you can add some without having to get out tons of jars or cans each  time.  We like to make up a nice big batch to keep on hand at all times-  particularly good on sweet potato fries.

Cajun Seasoning

Equal parts of any amount depending on how large a batch you are making.
  • White pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • Paprika
  • Ground black pepper
Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

Creole Seasoning

  • 1 cup Paprika
  • 1 cup Dried basil
  • 1 cup Dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup Gumbo file powder
  • 1/4 cup Chili powder
Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

Emeril's Essence Clone
  • 5 Tbsp Sweet paprika
  • 4 Tbsp Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp Ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp Ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2 Tbsp Dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp Dried thyme
Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

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MYO Salad Seasoning

Who doesn't love a little extra on their salad?  I know we do around here.

Salad Seasoning

2 Tbsp Parmesan or Romano cheese, very finely shredded/ground
1 1/2 tsp  sesame seeds
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
Dash cayenne, optional

Mix well & store in a cool, dry place.
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MYO Pumpkin Pie Spice

How many of you have had about 8 little cans of this stuff laying around since you only use it for Thanksgiving? That used to be me-  now I routinely use pumpkin pie spice any time I make something with pumpkin-  or apple or pear, for that matter. Delicious.

Pumpkin pie spice

Make in any amount you like-
1 part ground nutmeg
1 part ground cloves
2 parts cinnamon

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

Pumpkin pie spice 2

1/4 cup ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground cloves

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

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MYO Fajita Seasoning

Fajita Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp Chicken boullion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground red pepper (cayenne)
Mix well and use immediately or store in cool, dry place.
Here is a recipe to make your own chili powder.

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MYO Marinades

Marinades can take the toughest cuts of meat and make them fit for a king.  Here are some of our faves.

Basic fajita marinade

1/3 cup oil (use whatever mild you like- canola, coconut, vegetable)
1/3 cup lime juice (fresh is best but it is not super important here and you can use bottled)
Healthy glug of Worcestershire sauce (buy the name brand here-  it costs more, but you use a lot less for the same flavor)
Very liberal sprinkling of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle or Fiesta Lime seasoning blend
Lime zest (optional- as much or as little as you like-  gives a real zip)

That's it.  Mix it right in the container you use to marinate-  we recommend Ziploc bags for even marinating and easy clean up.

Asian style marinade

1/4 cup each soy and teriyaki sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ginger

Mix well, marinate poultry, seafood, etc. for minimum of 2 hours before cooking as desired.

Ginger Lime Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp oil (veggie, safflower, etc- don't use olive)
3 Tbsp honey
Zest and juice of 2 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping Tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp dried mint, crushed  (more if using fresh mint)

Mix well, marinate poultry, seafood, etc. for minimum of 2 hours before cooking as desired

Latino style marinade
1/2 cup olive oil
Zest & juice of 2 limes  (we like a strong citrus flavor, leave out part or all of the zest if you prefer it to be more subtle)
1 or more Tbsp taco seasonings (when it tastes good to you, it's perfect)

Mix well, marinate poultry, meat, etc for minimum of 2 hours before cooking as desired.

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MYO Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet & Sour Sauce

1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 cups ketchup
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in small saucepan and bring to a slow boil, stirring fairly often.

Sweet & Sour Sauce 2

2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp ketchup

Mix all ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil.
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MYO Dry Rub Mixes

Use as a dry rub on beef, poultry, pork or lamb.  Also delicious on grilled corn or in sliced potato and onion packets.

Basic Rub Spice Mix

4 Tbsp paprika
3 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp onion powder
3 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp thyme

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

Carolina style dry rub

2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup paprika

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

Memphis style dry rub

1/4 cup paprika
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place.

Awesome Dry Rub

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp each salt and pepper

Combine and store in a cool dry place.
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MYO Condiments

It seems so simple to just grab a jar or bottle off the shelf, but most condiments can be made at home with fresher ingredients with little time or effort.  Here are some we hope you enjoy.

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MYO Barbecue Sauce

Smoky Memphis style BBQ sauce

2. cups ketchup
1/2 cup mustard (I like spicy brown)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine in saucepan and cook over low heat 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, til smooth and thickened.

Stores in fridge for several months.
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MYO Aioli w/variations

Basic Aioli

3 cloves garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Peel garlic & mincevery fine. Add a pinch of salt, and using a mortar & pestle make a smooth paste.  If you don't have one, use the flat of your chef's knife, scrape and press the garlic against the cutting surface to make a very smooth paste.

Add the garlic to a small bowl, and whisk together with the rest of the ingredients.

Cover & refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Basil Aioli

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1  Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp bottled minced garlic
1/2 tsp evoo

Whisk ingredients together.  Serve with whatever you like.

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MYO chili sauce

Chili Sauce

1 Cup tomato sauce
¼ Cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp allspice

Blend well.  Store in fridge.
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MYO Mayonnaise

Food Processor or Blender Mayonnaise

2 eggs
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups oil (veggie, sunflower, safflower or 1/2 olive, half veggie)

Place all ingredients except oil in blender. Blend on high to mix, stream in oil slowly.

Store in fridge.

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Blue Cheese Salad Dressing

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise (good quality)
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Vinegar (any type)
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Cream or half and half
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  1. Combine all ingredients in a container with tight fitting lid. Cover & shake well until everything is combined.
  2. Store in fridge.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing 2

  • 1 cup Mayonnaise (good quality)
  • 1/2 cup Sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 clove Minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Minced shallot
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • To taste Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 6 oz Crumbled blue cheese
  1. Combine all ingredients in a container with tight fitting lid. Cover & shake well until everything is combined.
  2. Store in fridge.

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Coleslaw Dressing

Coleslaw dressing

1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cream or half and half

Combine all ingredients in a pint sized jar with tight fidding lid. Cover & shake well until everything is combined.

Store in fridge.

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Creamy Parmesan Salad Dressing

Creamy parmesan salad dressing

1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp cream or half and half

Combine all ingredients in a pint sized jar with tight fidding lid. Cover & shake well until everything is combined.

Store in fridge.
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Ginger Sesame Salad Dressing & Marinade

Ginger sesame dressing

1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 Tbsp water
Juice of 1 lime (not tiny key lime)
3 Tbsp chopped scallion or garlic chive
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Mix well, store in fridge.

Ginger sesame dressing 2

3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp dry mustard (I sometimes just use a blob of spicy brown mustard)
1/2 Tbsp coarsely ground pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Mix well, store in fridge.
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Thousand Island Salad Dressing w/easy version

Thousand Island Dressing

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp dry parsley
1 tsp paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Dump everything into a pint size jar with a tight fitting lid.  Put the lid on and shake it up until it is all smooth.

Store in fridge.

Easy Thousand Island Dressing

2 cups mayonnaise
¼ cup chili sauce
¼ cup sweet pickle relish

Mix well, store in fridge.
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Catalina & Honey Catalina Salad Dressing

Catalina Dressing ~ 1 1/3 cups.

2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp wet mustard
1 tsp onion powder

Dump ketchup, oil and vinegar into a bowl. Whisk the daylights out of it to blend in the oil completely. Add remaining ingredients & whisk til thick and smooth.

To make it in a blender just dump everything into the blender and zhuzzh it up.

Store in fridge.

Honey Catalina Dressing
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oil
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Combine honey and ketchup in a bowl, with a whisk.  Add vinegar, onion powder and salt. Mix thoroughly.  Add oil a little at a time. Make sure all of the oil is incorporatedt before adding more-  3-4 Tbsp at a time.  When the oil is completely mixed in, stir in the poppy seeds.

To prepare in blender, combine honey, ketchup, vinegar, onion and salt in the blender, zhuzzh until smooth.   With the blender still running, slowly add the oil in a narrow stream. Continue blending until it is emulsified and smooth. Lastly stir in the poppy seeds.

Store in fridge.
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French Dressing

French Dressing

4 Tbsp grated onion
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of ketchup
2 tsp salt
2 cups oil
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp celery seed

Mix well, store in fridge.

French Dressing 2 ~ 1 1/2 cups

1 small onion, chopped
2/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp celery seed

In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients until smooth and thickened.

Store in fridge.
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Vinaigrettes- several varieties

Super simple citrus vinaigrette

2 parts good olive oil
1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly grated tri color peppercorns

Mix well, store in fridge.

Basic citrus vinaigrette

1 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup citrus juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix well, store in fridge.

Basic vinaigrette

1 cup of oil
1/2 cup of vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp garlic powder

Mix well, store in fridge.

Blue Cheese vinaigrette

1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vinegar (red or white wine, champagne, etc)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp mustard (dijon or spicy brown)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper, to taste
Crumbled blue cheese (as much or as little as you like)

Shake together in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Store in fridge.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

3 parts olive oil
1 part red wine vinegar
2 parts coarse grain mustard
Honey, to taste
Fresh chopped tarragon, salt and pepper, to taste

Mix well, store in fridge.

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 parts oil
1 part good balsamic vinegar
1 part honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix well, store in fridge

Citrus Vinaigrette

Juice of each 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lime and 1/2 orange
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Apple cider vinegar - enough to make 1/2 cup when combined with juices and balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup salad oil
1/2 tsp each zest from lemon, orange and lime
Salt and pepper to taste

In measuring cup, combine all juices and balsamic vinegar, then add enough apple cider vinegar to make 1/2 cup.  Pour into mixing bowl or blender with mustard. Slowly incorporate oils while mixing. Add citrus zests, and season with salt and pepper.

Store in fridge.

Fruity Vinaigrette

1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup no sugar added fruit spread or marmalade
1/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp dijon or spicy brown mustard

Mix well, store in fridge.

Raspberry Vinaigrette ~ 3/4 cup

1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries*
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt and & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix well, store in fridge.

*Strawberries or blueberries can be used instead.

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Mock Caesar Salad Dressing

Mock Caesar Salad Dressing (sans egg and anchovy)

1/4 cup mayo (instead of raw egg)
1 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix well adding oil last.  Store in fridge.
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Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

Creamy Italian salad dressing

2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vinegar, red or white wine or apple cider preferred
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp minced red onion
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried sweet basil

Mix well, store in fridge.

Creamy Italian salad dressing 2
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup oil (canola, vegetable, etc)
2 tsp dry onion
2 - 3 Tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar or honey
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Put mayo in bowl.  Whisk in oil, a little at a time (2-3 Tbsp). Make sure all of the oil is incorporated before adding more. Add the onion and vinegar, whisking well.  Add remaining ingredients.

Mix well.  Store in fridge.
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Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Honey mustard salad dressing

1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbsp mustard (I like dijon or spicy brown)
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix well, store in fridge

Honey mustard salad dressing 2  (this is the one we use to marinate/coat chicken strips before oven "frying")
1 cup good mayo (Hellmann's or Best)
1/4 - 1/2 cup mustard (Gulden's Spicy Brown)
1/3 - 1/2 cup honey

Mix well, store in fridge.
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Buttermilk Salad Dressing

Buttermilk Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise (good quality)
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Dried minced onions
  • To taste Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
Mix well, store in fridge in tightly lidded container.

*For buttermilk parmesan dressing, add 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 - 1 tsp paprika


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MYO ranch dressing & dip

Creamy Ranch Dip or Dressing

1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp parsley flakes *optional
1/4 cup buttermilk - I use regular milk instead, not a huge fan of buttermilk.

Mix well and store in fridge.

Easy Ranch Dressing
2 cups mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried chives
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Mix well and store in fridge.
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MPM menu for 4/23 - 4/29

The weather seems stable enough that we've pretty much switched to lighter fare, heavy stews and the like just don't sit very well when it is warm, unless someone gets a craving.  Do you guys do that as well, try to eat seasonally?  I have noticed it also helps with the grocery bill is you can buy this way.

Here's what our menu is looking like, and although we can easily do a few meatless nights a week, if that doesn't work for your family, grill a hunk of something or other and add to any of our meals.

Loaded baked potatoes w/butter, sour cream, sauteed mushrooms, green onion & bacon bits for whoever wants

Triple berry spinach salad-  organic baby spinach, berries, veggies & pine nuts drizzld w/champagne vinaigrette

Rotisserie chicken (finally using the rotisserie I won ages ago); oven roasted veggies-  yellow squash, zucchini, baby red, green, yellow & orange peppers; NY salt potatoes; salad

Breakfast for dinner: scrambled eggs; sausage patties; mini muffins-  applesauce, blueberry & lemon poppyseed; fresh fruit

BLAST wraps - bacon, lettuce, avocado, spinach & tomato w/avocado mayo (tortillas or romaine leaves for the wraps); oven baked spicy hm curly fries

Veggie stir fry-  broccoli, carrot, snow peas, snap peas, mushrooms, water chestunuts, red, yellow, orange & green peppers over jasmine rice  (may go polynesian style & add pineapple w/pineapple juice & brown sugar added to the soy, ginger, garlic sauce)

Chicken gyros w/lots of veggies, etc & hm tzatziki sauce, oven baked chips

Got a deal on pork loin- no clue what to do with it yet- either marinate & grill a roast or make some of the chops; smashed red potatoes w/skins on; steamed snow peas w/sesame glaze

For more menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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Triple Berry Spinach Salad

Triple Berry Spinach Salad
This salad is so easy, and so delicious- perfect for springtime when the berries are at the peak of flavor.  The girls enjoyed it so much they are taking it for lunch with some chicken and  cutie orange wedges.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Organic baby spinach
Strawberries, sliced or quartered
Yellow squash, sliced and quartered
Sugar snap peas, halved
Green onion, sliced
Pine nuts
Champagne vinaigrette* - we just happened to come across a great deal on Marzetti Simply Dressed, so that's what we used.  It is delicious, btw.

Any type of vinaigrette would work here- raspberry, balsamic, etc, or even a squeeze of lime with some salt & pepper.

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Menu for week of 4/16 - 4/22

Do you have spring fever yet, or is the crazy weather hitting your neck of the woods and are you shoveling out?  We've had some storms and the warnings but nothing major hit here, so we are lucky and it is pretty mild this week.  Not sure of the order, but on our menu this week should be:

Spaghetti w/all day sauce (meatless); garlic bread; green salad w/choice of dressing
Easy cheese & onion enchilada bake; Spanish rice; sliced avocado

Pork roast in crockpot w/potatoes, carrots & onions; oven roasted broccoli; hot crusty dinner rolls
Breakfast for dinner:  Dev's omelets made to order; applesauce muffins; fresh fruit

Slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches (w/leftover pork roast) on hard rolls; hm coleslaw; carrot & celery sticks

Easy baked tilapia w/veggies; tossed salad
Buffalo chicken pasta salad; Hawaiian sweet rolls

What's cooking at your house?  Try anything fabulous lately?  Inquiring minds want to know.

For more menu ideas head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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Easy cheese and onion enchilada bake

My wonderful mother-in-law, Doris, taught me a neat trick to save a little money when making enchiladas-  mix a can of enchilada sauce with a can of tomato sauce- still tastes great, but saves you a fair bit of moolah.

Being the lazy sort, you'd think I would make nothing but the stack casserole, but truth be told I wasn't thrilled with the tortilla/sauce/filling ratios so I did it the hard way as in rolled them.

Lightbulb moment-  After I put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and went to take out a tortilla I realized about half of them were split through, about a third of the way in, so no way to roll them.  Instead of just laying them, I tore them into bite sized pieces and it worked beautifully, the ratios were exactly how I like them and the prep time was drastically reduced.   You can cut them with a knife, kitchen shears or a pizza cutter, but tearing them several at a time worked so well, I'll continue to make them this way.

Here is my recipe-  I used verde (green, made from tomatillas) enchilada sauce, red works equally well.  Enjoy.

Easy Cheese & Onion Enchilada Bake

  • 1/2 pkg (30 count) corn tortillas
  • 1 jar or can Verde enchilada sauce
  • 1 can Tomato sauce
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 1/2 large block Cheese- cheddar, jack, colby jack, shredded or bag of Mexican blend- all work well here
Cooking Directions
  1. Peel and dice onion, microwave in oven proof bowl or measuring cup topped with damp paper towel for 3 minutes on high until slightly softened. This cuts baking time by half.
  2. Mix two sauces.
  3. Spread a thin layer of sauce in your 9x13" baking dish
  4. Top with enough tortilla pieces to cover
  5. Add another layer of sauce
  6. Top with 1/2 of the onions and 1/2 of the cheese
  7. Repeat. Decide it could use more cheese (what couldn't?) and add it as well
  8. Bake @ 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes (longer if you didn't soften onions first)
  9. Let stand at least 10 minutes (if you can) before serving to firm up.
  10. Enjoy.

Two of us did that much damage the first night-  the Mr has no self control when it comes to Mexican or Tex Mex inspired dishes.  I served sliced avocado with a touch of salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and it was delicious.  Next time, I think I will make some Avocado Salad but we were out of fresh tomatoes.  My mouth wanted more, but my tummy said no way, Jose, you'll regret it so unlike hubs, I used a little restraint.  The leftovers were just as delicious if not more so the next day.

If you try it let me know how you like it and if you'll be using this method from now on (unless of course you are trying to impress someone). ;-)

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Menu for week of 4/9 - 4/15

Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter and is ready for spring.  We are cooler in the mornings but still unseasonably warm in the afternoons, so this is all up in the air as to when we'll be eating what, but we've got the makings for the following meals:

Rosemary & garlic pork loin; rosemary & garlic oven roasted potatoes; broccoli cranberry salad (a la Cape May Beach Club, WDW)

Spaghetti w/meatballs; cheesy garlic bread; pineapple salad

Breakfast for dinner: Canadian bacon, egg & cheese sandwiches on everything bagel thins; fruit cocktail

All you can eat soup, salad & breadsticks Olive Garden clones-  choice of Zuppa Tuscana or Minestrone; copycat Olive Garden Salad; breadsticks

Dragon food:  fried catfish; hush puppies, hm tartar sauce; coleslaw

Smoked sausage one pot meal; marinated cukes, tomatoes & onions

Pecan crusted oven baked chicken breasts; cheesy rice; celebrate spring salad
What's on the menu at your house this week?  For more menu ideas head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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Menu for week of 4/2 - 4/8

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Hope everyone is able to enjoy spring-  last week we had near or record breaking high temps- sure hope that's not an indication of how the weather will progress over the summer.  Things are going well here, getting geared up for Easter of course, and looking forward to time with the extended family.  Anyone doing anything exciting?  If so, we'd love to hear about it.

Anyhoozles, here's our menu for the week- what's cooking at your house?

Veggie lasagna rolls up w/alfredo sauce; oven roasted broccoli, red peppers & onions

Beef & barley soup; hot buttered dinner rolls

Whole chicken in milk (a la Jamie Oliver); baked sweet potatoes; oven roasted asparagus w/parmesan

Eat whatever doesn't eat you first aka leftovers

Mock crab cakes (zucchini); tater tots; applesauce, carrot sticks

Breakfast for dinner: crepes w/mixed berry filling & fresh whipped cream; crispy bacon; sliced melon

Easter dinner: yummy baked ham; potato salad; deviled eggs; green beans; raid Ian's candy for dessert ;-)

For more menu ideas, head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

If you like stuffed cabbage, you will love this-  all of the flavor without all the work.

When I make these I make a lot of filling and use it for both the cabbage and stuffed peppers so this is more a formula than exact amounts.  Both freeze beautifully (I've mentioned before I am not a fan of OAMC because the texture etc can get wonky, but I have had no problems with this.  Lots of meals, one cooking session and one clean up- yeah, this is my kind of cooking.

Put a pot of rice on to cook-  here is our never fails recipe.

Brown your ground meat- anything goes here- beef &/or pork &/or turkey with basic seasonings- salt, pepper, garlic.  If you are an onion fan, add some diced onions while you are browning.  Drain.

In the meantime, shred or chop some cabbage, bite sized and not too precise works for me.

For the tomato sauce, I use what is handy - anything from spaghetti sauce to several cans each of diced seasoned (garlic & herbs) tomatoes and sauce mixed together with a small can of paste to thicken a bit-  to that add brown sugar, worcestershire sauce and lemon juice-  taste it, if it tastes good to you, it's right- you want a touch of sweetness, but not overwhelming (some people use canned tomato soup, but that tastes tinny to me so I usually just wing it with whatever is on hand).

We don't really need a lot of meat, so I probably use about 1 part meat to 2 parts rice (brown or white), half and half is I believe closer to standard- mix them and add in some of your tomato sauce mixture-  just enough to give it a nice blush.

Start with a thin layer of sauce, then get to layering, alternating cabbage, meat & rice mixture, sauce etc.  You can spray your pan lightly with cooking oil spray,  but I have never had a problem with it sticking.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for an hour or so until the cabbage is tender.

I like to serve this with/on mashed potatoes, but then what doesn't go well with mashed potatoes?

How easy is that?  No freezing or boiling the cabbage and trying to roll the leaves nicely, no muss, no fuss.  I'm all about the lazy way if the results are excellent and these are.


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