Cool and creamy  for the summer months.  You can replace the sour cream with buttermilk if you wish. Use this vinaigrette for green and fruit salads, possibly add edible flowers.

Ingredients

  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Raspberry vinegar
  • Sour Cream – regular or light
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp. of thyme

Instructions

  • Oil to the 1/3  orange line
  • Raspberry Vinegar to the 2/3  orange line
  • Sour Cream to the top orange line
  • Spoonful of Honey
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Shake vigorously

Put chopped thyme over the salad, then pour dressing.

Suzanne and I had this marvelous refreshing dressing on a bed of mesclun greens with avocado, red peppers, green onions, goat cheese,  and salmon.  Don’t forget to put the cilantro and lime zest on top of the salad just before you add the dressing.

Olive Oil

Fresh lime juice – about 5 limes

Sour Cream – regular or light

Dijon Mustard

Lime Zest

Coriander

Cumin

Salt

Cayenne

Olive oil to the 1/3 orange line

Lime juice to the 2/3 orange line

Sour cream to the top orange line

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 heaping tsp of mustard

½ tsp of cayenne pepper

Shake vigorously

Put lime zest on salad along with 1/4 bunch of cilantro on the top of salad

Suggestions for Salad

Mix greens, arugula, mangoes, figs, feta cheese, goat cheese, onion, green onion, avocado, tomatoes, dried fruit, mix nuts, tuna, salmon, chicken, steak, lamb, eggs

This is for those days that you have a sweet and sour tooth.  Tastes great  on any type of salad, with or without fruit, such as apple, pears and berries.

Olive Oil

Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar

Honey

Dijon Mustard

Salt

Pepper

____________________________________

Olive oil to the ¾ blue line

Vinegar to the top blue line

2 tablespoons of honey

2 big pinches of salt

1 pinch of pepper

Shake vigorously

Oh my!  When I first tested this recipe with a salad made up of chicken, ripen mango, feta cheese, mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, and avocado, I knew that I was in food heaven.

Ingredients

Olive Oil

Mint – 10 leaves

Orange Zest

Juice from 2 fresh oranges

Honey

Dijon Mustard

Cayenne

Coriander

Cumin

Paprika

Salt

Directions

Olive oil to the 2/3 orange line

Orange juice to the top orange line

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 heaping tsp of mustard

½ tsp of cayenne pepper

Large spoonful of honey

Shake vigorously in the SaladSuccess shaker bottle

Suggestions for Salad: Mixed greens, arugula, mangoes, figs, feta cheese, goat cheese, avocado, tomatoes, dried fruit, mix nuts, brown rice, chicken, steak, lamb

Put orange zest on salad along with slivers of mint (I use scissors)

Adapted from the Tassajara Dinners & Desserts cookbook  by Dale & Melissa Kent

16mangos2Yesterday, after working on the Vermont Maple and Mustard dressing, I took a break and decided that I really didn’t want to cook dinner.  I don’t know if you are like me – I like to cook, but not everyday.  I am what you call, a reluctant cook.

Years ago I tested my husband’s cooking skills and quickly realized that his idea of an herb was Lawry’s Season Salt.  Plus his mother’s and sister’s idea of cooking was to reach in the refrigerator and pull out any jar, cut out the mold, and have it for a meal. With this new-found knowledge, I immediately decided that I should do the cooking if I wanted to stay alive. So now, after 22 years of marriage and two kids, the reluctant cook is verging on dinner burn-out.  I’ve got six more years of this until my last child goes to college.

Figuring many people were in my shoes, I developed SaladSuccess, which was my best dinner tool that would guarantee a great dinner even if I burned the meat and over cooked the veggies.  Since salads can use raw fruits, nuts and vegetables, I knew that I was doing my family a great favor, by turning value nutrients into a fun part of the meal.  All those lovely vitamins, minerals and complex chemicals no longer need to be attacked and killed by heat through the cooking progress.  Plus less work for clean up (very big in my book).

So yesterday, I had my husband grill up the chicken, made polenta with chicken bouillon, and was all set to put together spinach and pear salad using the Vermont dressing until it dawned on me that one kid ate most of the lettuce, and the other polished off the pears.  In desperation, I took the remaining lettuce, added an apple, ripe mango, dried cranberries, walnuts, an avocado in questionable state, and drizzled in the dressing.  Voila, it got rave reviews and second helpings.  So the moral this story, is go and experiment with our recipes.  It’s fun and healthy.

close-up-layout-72Remember, a  lunch salad with vinaigrette made fresh out of  SaladSuccess shaker will help you eat better and feel great.  SaladSuccess is just $9.95 and gives you perfect vinaigrette and salad dressings every day with no fuss.

This is a wonderful all seasons recipe especially for our fall fruits.  I suggest that you try this on a bed of spinach with sliced thin pears or apples, pecans or walnuts and a sprinkling of goat cheese.  I usually use an ale or beer mustard, but a spicy brown or honey mustard is equally as great.  If you really want this to be a gourmet salad, consider toasting the nuts at 350ºF for 10 minutes.  For maple syrup pecans, just mix a 1lb. of shelled nuts in a bowl with 2/3 cup of maple syrup, 3 tbsp. sugar, and a 1½  tsp. cinnamon or a dash of cayenne and then bake on a greased sheet at 350ºF for 10 minutes. If you are having a “I hate to cook day“, to heck with roasting nuts and just add to your salad about a cup of fruit and nuts mix.

Olive oil to the ½ line

Real maple syrup to the ¾ line

Red wine or balsamic vinegar to the top of the blue line

Spoonful of spicy brown, ale or honey mustard

Juice of 1 line

Salt, 2 pinches

Pepper, 1 pinch

Shake vigorously

tomato-salad-721I’m a Jersey girl, and to me, summer eating is about freestone peaches, Silver Queen corn, and tomatoes.  The worth of any New Jersey homeowner is in the size and bounty of her tomato plants.  No one worth their salt would ever buy a tomato.  And if you went to someone’s house to socialize, you would always bring a lovely assortment of your finest tomatoes.  I remember my mom and dad constantly watering, tying the stems, and blowing some incredibly white powdery toxic poison on those plants.  Our family’s honor was tied into those plants, and no drought, plague of beetles, or pestilence, would dare attack our plants.

So when I moved out to California, I picked up where Dad and Mom left off.  Every year I would buy a minimum of twelve tomato plants at the farmers market and try to produce a crop worthy of my past.  The first year the snails got to them, which astonished me since there are no snails in New Jersey.  Next several years were acceptable but the little strip of land I used to grow them was turned into a shady walk way.  The following four years followed a pattern.  I’d plant early in the spring, nature my little plants thru July;  get excited about their growth and buds, only to be ruined by a fungus attack.

I tried planting early in February, using plastic tubular teepees.  I’d fill the tubes of the tepee with water and let the sun heat the plants by day, and insulate them during the cool nights..  My sister-in-law, a master gardener in Denver, Colorado, swore by these tepees and even sent me pictures of her bountiful harvest.  February came and went, along with March, April and my enthusiasm and hope plummeted.  The tepees, that looked so straight and erect in the ads, wouldn’t hold up and were constantly collapsing on the plants.  The plants were still alive, but ugly and spindly, and the plastic was acting as a snail magnet, with massive collections of snail poop inside the costly tepees’ water tubes.  I retired my teepes in the form of a present to  my sister-in-law.  Needless to say, I didn’t include a picture of my harvest.

The last disaster, to the tune of five hundred dollars, was my watering system.  Every May, in anticipation of summer vacation, I would go buy watering timers.  I’d spend days adjusting my timers so that not one of my precious plants would suffer during my absence.  I bought the best batteries, I tested each timer, and I would wake up at five am to give them the final adjustment.  By June the timers were perfect, and a magnificent synchronization of water works was creating green harmony in my gardens.

Three weeks later upon our return, disaster.  Either the majority of timers died the minute our car pulled out of the driveway for the Great Adventure, or else they went ballistic spewing water all day and night.By the time we returned, the garden looked like the Mojave Dessert, the running water was turned off, and a little yellow card from the Water Department was firmly affixed on our door handle expressing their displeasure with our wanton water usage.  To add insult to injury, not only did I have to replace plants and trees, I’d also have to dig up five hundred dollars to pay my water bill and fines.

But last year I declared war, for this was to be the year of the Great Tomato Harvest. I dry farmed the plants, thus forcing their roots to grow strong and avoid mold. No snails would dare get on my plants since I generously sprinkled around the plants with sawdust.  And I found a new sunny place by planting them in my front yard.

The outcome was rewarding.  My plants looked beautiful and healthy and were laden with fruit.  And every night for  5 months, we all sat down to enjoy the family summer favorite –Insalata Caprese or as we call it, Tomato Lovers Salad.

Tomato Lovers Salad

Vinaigrette – Use the SaladSuccess vinaigrette formula.

Platter

Sliced tomatoes

Shredded fresh mozzarella

Chopped basil – I use the kitchen scissor to cut it in fine strips

Vinaigrette

Optional to Platter – Add eggs, avocado, lettuce, tuna fish, sardines, and olives

close-up-layout-721Remember, a  lunch salad with vinaigrette made fresh out of  SaladSuccess shaker will help you eat better and feel great.  SaladSuccess is just $9.95 and gives you perfect vinaigrette and salad dressings every day with no fuss.

Put the Orange zest on top of your salad and then pour dressing over. This is wonderful on a green salad with fruit and nuts, such as apples, pears, walnuts and almonds. And try it with gourmet vinegars. Marvelous over pears, walnuts and spinach.

Ingredients

  • Oil – olive or walnut
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Plain yogurt
  • Orange Zest
  • Juice from 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Oil to the 1/3 line
  • Add Vinegar to the 2/3 line
  • Add yogurt to the top orange line
  • Tsp of Dijon mustard
  • Add orange or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shake vigorously

Wonderful light dressing for the summer months. Use this vinaigrette for green and fruit salads

Ingredients

  • Raspberry vinegar
  • Honey
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. of thyme
  • Salt
  • Cayenne

Instructions

  • Oil to the 2/3  orange line
  • Raspberry Vinegar to the top orange line
  • Spoonful of Honey
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Shake vigorously

Sprinkle the  thyme leaves on the salad, then pour vinaigrette.  Thyme leaves that are placed in the SaladSuccess Shaker, will clog the poppet top.  Keep in mind that making a infusion of thyme oil would work as well.

Great over Chinese Chicken Salad – chicken breast, lettuce, bean sprouts, cilantro, green on- ion, mandarin oranges, roasted sesame seeds and peanuts(optional). For a change, try it with sherry vinegar.

Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Peanut Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Peanut Oil to the 1/3 line
  • Add Rice Wine Vinegar to the 2/3 line
  • Add soy sauce to the top orange line
  • Add 2 tablespoons of Sesame Seed Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Shake Vigorously