Category Archives: Sauces, Spreads, Dips & Dressings

Avocado ranch dressing


I made this tasty treat today over my lunch break. All in a food processor: 1 avocado, 1/4 C mayo, 1/2 C buttermilk, about 1 tsp each lime juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, dried parsley and dill, and 1 tbsp fresh cilantro. Of course it’s all to taste and can be edited however you want (I’ll be trying Greek yogurt instead of mayo next time). It is quite versatile too. I put it on my salad and it was delicious. I mixed it with salsa and cheese as a chip dip and it was fantastic. This will quickly become a staple in my fridge!


Tuna Croquettes and Fried Zucchini with Feta-Chipotle-Basil Sauce


Dinner was inspired by a recipe for Tuna Croquettes, courtesy of Alton Brown, one of my favorite tv chef personalities. We had a little breading leftover from the croquettes, and I had just picked a couple choice zucchini from the garden, so we dunked them in an egg-wash, coated them with the breading and fried ’em up. And of course we’d need some sort of dipping sauce to go with them, so we mixed up some things we had around; feta, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, herbs & spices. A very tasty, and pretty healthy, dinner!

Fried zucchini

  • 1 C Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1 egg, beaten

Mix bread crumbs and seasoning evenly together.  Dip sliced zucchini in egg , then coat on both sides with bread crumbs. Fry in just enough oil to cover the bottom of a 12″ frying pan. Remove from oil when the bread crumbs are starting to turn golden brown and place on a cooling rack above a paper towel lined pan.

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1.5 c sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 or 2 canned chipotle peppers, seeded
  • a large handful of fresh basil leaves (I’d say we had about 15)
  • 1/4 c or more crumbled feta cheese

Throw it all in a food processor, or use an immersion blender, and blend until it’s the consistency you want.

Sardine and Avocado Toast

Inspired by Alton Brown’s “4 Lists” from his show, Good Eats (episode “Live and let diet “) I set out to add more oily fish to my diet (omega-3 fatty acids and other health benefits). I used his recipe for a sardine and avocado toast, which was incredibly delicious.
Continue reading Sardine and Avocado Toast

Roasted Walnut Oil Vinaigrette

I found this vinaigrette recipe to use the rest of the walnut oil I bought for the Spanish Chicken & Rice with Cool Mint Dressing. It has fast become a favorite in our house and I make it all the time. Tangy and bright; along with feta and dried cranberries it makes for a fantastic salad. Continue reading Roasted Walnut Oil Vinaigrette

Sweet Basil

Basic, Beautiful Basil Pesto

Basil is my favorite herb. It is so easy to grow, even in northern climates like mine. Having basil (and other herbs) growing on my deck, which is directly accessible from the kitchen, is not only convenient, it helps keep me inspired and makes it so easy to cook delicious food. Just walk outside, snip a handful of leaves, cut ’em up and throw them in whatever I’m making—burgers, chicken, pasta with white sauce, pasta with red sauce, pizza (home-made, store-bought, delivery… it doesn’t matter, just throw some more basil on there!). The options are limitless. There is only one problem with basil: eventually, you have more than you know what to do with.

Continue reading Basic, Beautiful Basil Pesto

Bourbon Butter

Sometimes everything goes wrong, but ends up oh so very right. Enter, Bourbon Butter.

I was trying to make my special Bourbon Whipped Cream for the apple pie, but the mixer at my in-laws doesn’t have a whisk attachment. I had to use the regular beaters, but I couldn’t get the speed up high enough because it would just splatter all over.

I assumed it would just take a really long time and be a little less firm than whipped cream should be, since I have made this countless times before under a variety of conditions. What actually happened, though, was a complete surprise. Continue reading Bourbon Butter

An Update: Stuffed Red Sweet Peppers

I recently posted an invented recipe I came up with for stuffing red sweet peppers. Well I tried it again, but I didn’t have red sweet peppers or blue cheese so I came up with something new that works great as a veggie dip or on a burger with olives: Continue reading An Update: Stuffed Red Sweet Peppers

Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This is my own creation. I came up with it tonight and have done no prior research to find something similar. Also, a quick search on, my favorite cooking website, yields no recipes like it. Yay! It’s a Me original! 🙂

Honey Lime Vinaigrette

As per my usual, I didn’t measure anything. I tried to get about a 1:1 ratio for vinegar and olive oil, with the lime and honey to taste.

  • Light honey – I recently purchased some honey made from Orange Blossoms from the Bar Bell Bee Ranch in Squaw Lake, MN. Very light and delicate in flavor, quite sweet and, surprise surprise, a little orangey!
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar


  1. Pour 1 part olive oil to 1 part apple cider vinegar in to a sealable jar.
  2. Add a good helping of honey and lime juice. Shake it!
  3. Taste it and add more honey if it needs more sweetness, or more lime if it needs more acid. Play around until you like it.

I spooned some over swiss chard (from my first trip to a farmer’s market) and Gorgonzola cheese (left over from our anniversary dinner). Look at me, I’m all fancy and stuff! Oh! I just reminded myself that I have TOMATOES in my garden and they’re RIPE! They will go very nicely with my new dressing. I’m off to go pick some!

Strawberry Vinaigrette

No pictures, sorry! But it IS delicious. My recipe for Strawberry Vinaigrette is based on this one from Blueberries are on sale now, so maybe I’ll try a blueberry vinaigrette next!


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon white sugar


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process to oblivion! Drizzle over a salad.

Recommended Salad Ingredients:

  • Lettuce, of course! I used Black Seeded Simpson, fresh from my garden. I think spinach would be better.
  • Strawberries
  • Walnuts
  • A little bit of fresh basil