A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘salad’

Bacon Egg and Asparagus Salad

I made this for dinner tonight. It’s from skinnytaste.com, and oddly, it’s made with bacon, hard boiled eggs, and asparagus. It is dressed with a light vinaigrette. We enjoyed it, and it was very filling. I’ve been using skinnytaste recipes often, and they never disappoint.

California Roll Salad



I saw a recipe for California Roll Sushi Bowls that sounded delicious. My problem is that my husband doesn’t care for rice, and he won’t eat sushi. I turned it into a salad using shell pasta instead of rice and Lee loved it. I’ll make it again.



California Roll Salad

3 cups  shell pasta, prepared
10 oz imitation crab or lump crab meat
1 1/2 cups diced English cucumber
3/4 cup matchstick carrots
1/2 cup diced onion
1 avocado, cubed
1 nori sheet chopped or crumbled

Combine all ingredients and dress lightly with Asian Dressing. You can use your favorite bottled dressing or make your own. This is the dressing I made for the salad:
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger root
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
Shake it up, or whisk it.

Soup and a Salad

Sharing two recipes today.  I’ve made them both in the last week, and we enjoyed them.  You can never have too many refreshing salad recipes for summer.  This one is unusual but delicious, from saveur.com.  The second recipe is one that’s very similar to the Olive Garden Toscano  Zuppa (or whatever they call it).  I found it at littlebitesof everything.com

Serves 2-3
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/8 cup canola or peanut oil
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1 tbls fresh orange juice
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, minced (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 ripe mango, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1″ chunks
1 small naval orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 tsp. unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Whisk together first  6 ingredients for dressing, and chill
Just before ready to serve, prepare fruits and mix with dressing.


1 lb. Italian sausage links, hot or mild
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 large onion, chopped
4 thick slices bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or spinach
9 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Brown the sausage in a large soup pot.  Cut sausages into bite size pieces after browning.
Fry bacon in the same pot. Remove and set aside.
Sautee onions and garlic in the same pot until onions are soft.
Add chicken broth to the pot, and add sausage, bacon and potatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the kale or spinach and cream.  Cook 10 minutes  longer, and serve.

Summer of Family Visits

This has been a bitter sweet summer.  I was able to spend time with all but two of my grandchildren, and the three great grands too.  This won’t happen often, because they’re  all scattered around the US and Scotland.  The two grandgirls we didn’t see live in CT and rarely come to visit.  I was less fortunate regarding spending time with any of my three children.  For now, the only family members on my side still living in Wisconsin are my two married granddaughters and their families.  All of Lee’s siblings stayed in the area so his people are near.  Ironically, Lee and his siblings are not particularly close, so we don’t see them often either.

Last week we had Carys here from Monday night through Friday because her sitter was on vacation.  We enjoyed having her here so much.  She’s a happy little girl and as smart as can be.  She loved helping with chores and especially liked filling the water buckets and  measuring the horse’s grain into their feed pans.  I have to admit that caring for a six year old at my age is a challenge.  She wore me out.  I will be happy to do it again any time, but maybe not for so many days 🙂

Ken and the kids will be leaving for Scotland tomorrow, and it was hard to say good bye to them last night.  Now that the whole family will be there together, making their lives there, I do wonder when I’ll see them again.  I shouldn’t dwell on it, but I do love to fret.

Last night Paige and Lucas invited us over for dinner and to see Ken and the kids before they leave.  The girls made a cute cake (a Scottish hill) and Paige made lasagna.  I brought a very tasty chopped salad, and I’m going to post the recipe here, after the pictures.



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  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 8 oz lettuce like baby greens, arugula, butter, etc.
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, small dice
  • 1/2 cup  chopped walnuts
  • 6 oz. blue cheese

For the Dressing:

  • 2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbls balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbls freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbls maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup good olive oil

Whisk or shake dressing ingredients and refrigerate.

Combine salad ingredients.

Just before serving toss with dressing.

Summer Salads

We’ve had some seriously hot and humid days this summer, and I know you’re having them too.  We’ve  been enjoying  cool, salad meals when it’s too hot to cook or muster up an appetite.  I’ve found some new salad recipes that I’ve added to my collection of favorites, so here they are.  I’m just posting pictures of the salads and links to the recipes.

  This is Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad.  Leah found the recipe on Gina’s Skinny Taste website.  I did have to make a couple of changes because  we don’t care for jalapenos or cilantro.  This salad is versatile.  It can be served on a bed of greens, or in a wrap or pita.  I’m giving you the link to the original recipe.  This is delicious and filling.  Try it, you’ll like it!


This is Refreshing Watermelon Salad, and yes, it is refreshing. We love this delicious fruit salad.  It’s watermelon, cucumber, fresh mint, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.  I got it from kraftrecipes.com.  Its very tasty served on a bed of greens.  Make this.  You can’t go wrong.


  I haven’t tried this salad yet, but I plan to make it for Noah’s baptism party.  I found it on a website called Cooking Hawaiian Style.  It makes a lot, and will be perfect for a hot summer get together.  It’s loaded with Italian flavors.  The recipe calls for “Harpo’s” Italian Dressing, which is a local, Hawaiian brand.  I’m going to try using a creamy Italian dressing and see how that works.


Summery Recipes

I have two recipes I want to share.  I’ve made them both, and my taste-testers all agree that they’re quite good and worth sharing.

First is a refrigerator pickle recipe.  I’ve just started picking cucumbers from my tiny garden and this recipe is perfect if you only have a few cukes to deal with.  It’s a sweet pickle, but has the sweet/salty elements that we all enjoy.  What makes this pickle slightly unique for me is the use of apple cider vinegar.  It elevates the flavor tremendously.  The recipe makes a small batch and they keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.  Enjoy!

                            CRISPY CUCUMBERS

3-4 cucumbers, thinly sliced

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon celery seed

                                                                                                       1/2 of a large onion, thinly sliced

Mix it all together, cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.  Use in 2 weeks.


The second recipe is for a potato salad from Rachael Ray.  It’s called Loaded Baked Potato Salad and gets rave reviews from all who have eaten it.  I’ll just give you the link to the recipe on her website and follow it with my own comments about the salad.


This is a perfect potato salad for folks who don’t care for mayonnaise.  There isn’t any.  The dressing is made by combining butter and sour cream.  For us, I used light spread and low fat sour cream.  It was great with the lower fat.  The butter and sour cream need to be beaten together.  The salad should be served at room temperature, not cold.  Don’t let the dressing of butter/sour cream turn you away from trying this salad.  It’s delicious and does taste like baked potato.  Be sure to use baking potatoes to get that nutty, baked potato skin flavor.  Also worth mentioning…this makes a huge amount so go ahead and halve it if you need to.  It’s still good!  The recipe calls for way too much bacon.  Cut that back to half and it’s  delish.

What Price Convenience?

Someone gave me a catalog the other day.  It’s for one of those Party Plan companies.  This one sells convenience food items such as seasoning mixes and sauces.  I was truly shocked to see the prices of these products.  I haven’t been to any of the home party events for years, so I’m out of the loop regarding the cost of this stuff.  Why would anyone pay nearly $9 big dollars for an 11 oz box that makes a pasta salad, after you add your own mayo and milk.  You still have to make the salad, so why not use your own ingredients?  I’ll help you out.  Here’s a recipe that’s similar to the boxed mix and I guarantee it won’t cost as much.

Chipotle Pasta Salad

1/2 pound pasta, cooked

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

4 scallions, minced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

4 Tbsp mayonnaise

2 tsp chipotle in adobo, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice

In a dry nonstick skillet, toast the garlic cloves and corn until the corn is spotty brown, about 5 minutes.  Mince the garlic and combine with corn, scallions, tomatoes and pasta.  Mix the mayo, chipotle and lemon juice.  Toss salad with dressing.  6 servings.

One Christmas I made a mix for Mexican Fiesta dip and gave it as gifts to family and friends.  It was quite good.  This catalog has the mix for sale, in a tiny 5.5 oz. jar, for $8.99  I promise that I made it for a lot less.  I got bonus points for using my own home grown and dried herbs.

Mexican Fiesta Dip Mix

1/2 cup dried parsley

1/3 cup dried minced onions

1/4 cup dried chives

1/3 cup chili powder

1/4 cup ground cumin

1/4 cup salt optional

This recipe makes 2 cups of dry mix.

To make the dip, mix 3 tablespoons of the dry mix with 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of sour cream.  It works fine with low-fat and non fat products.

I understand that for busy families it’s very attractive to buy convenience, but when I do the math, it’s clear to me that there’s a hefty price to pay, and I’ve never been willing to spend my money that way.  In fact, I could take the $18.00 I would have spent for these two products and spend it at our local Aldi store.  I’d leave the store with more than 1 bag of groceries for my $18.00 and I’d feel a lot better about the purchases.

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