Honey Orange Vinaigrette

I’m all about making my own salad dressings this summer!  This is the one that I’m hooked on right now.   I love the honey flavor!

I’m going to experiment with omitting the ground red pepper though.  I can’t believe I’m going to omit heat in a recipe, but it almost detracted from the other flavors and I could feel a little sting on my lips from it.  This is weird because I have never said anything was too hot for me before!  So, I’ll probably leave it out next time and just add a tiny pinch of cracked black pepper instead.

{Haha, that pitcher looks huge!}

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

Source:  Jenny Craig Cookbook


2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons orange juice

1 {heaping} Tablespoon honey

2 tsp vegetable oil

1/8 tsp onion powder

scant 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper – optional?

Whisk all ingredients together and serve over chilled greens.  Makes 1/4 cup.

Chopped Summer Salad

We love side salads with our dinners or sometimes just as our dinner.  And I take a nice big salad to work for my lunch several times a week, so I’m mixing them up quite a bit.

I start with green leaf lettuce or mixed greens from our garden, then I mix and match from the following toppings:

chopped celery

chopped carrots

chopped bell pepper – any color

sliced green onions

sliced cucumber


sunflower seeds

nuts – walnuts, sliced almonds, peanuts, or cashews

bacon bits

shredded cheese – any kind! {I’m diggin’ bleu cheese right now, but Tim is NOT}


chow mein noodles

golden raisins

Buffalo Chicken Cups

This recipe creation was born from 2 of our favorite meals – bbq beef cups and buffalo chicken pizza.   They were spicy and delicious!  I’ll definitely be making them again.

Buffalo Chicken Cups

1 tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits {8 in a can}

about 1 cup of cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

about 1/4 cup Buffalo hot wing sauce

about 4 tablespoons Ranch dressing

about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press biscuits into holes of a muffin tin to form cups.  Set aside.

In a bowl, mix shredded chicken with hot sauce.  Add a few tablespoons to each cup.  Top the chicken mixture of each cup off with a few teaspoons of ranch dressing.  Then add shredded cheese on top of that.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.


Menu 6-6-10


Today – Grilling out

Tomorrow – Hoisin glazed shrimp and pineapple skewers

Tuesday – Meatballs and noodles

Wednesday – Thai Chicken

Thursday – Pulling a pasta bake from the freezer

Friday – Leftovers

Weekend – Grilling out

Other things I want to bake/make:

blueberry bars

breakfast muffins

Chewy Brownies

I can’t believe I have been blogging this long and have never posted a brownie recipe!  How is that possible?! We are such big fans of brownies!  Thick and cakey or dense and fudgy, it doesn’t matter to us.  We like them all.  These happen to be thin and chewy and very chocolaty!   Tim was such a fan of them because of their strong dark chocolate favor.  I loved the little bits of melted chocolate from the chopped bittersweet chocolate that got stirred in the batter at the end. 🙂

Chewy Brownies

{Source: Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010 issue as seen at Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: 24 brownies

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder {I used Hershey’s special dark chocolate cocoa}
1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional, but I strongly recommend it)
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.  Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Menu 6-1-10

I don’t know why I struggle with meal planning so much!  I need to get back in the swing of planning and cooking meals and I find that I do better when I post menus here.  It holds me accountable!

tonight:   grilled turkey burgers with leftover homemade mac and cheese from last night

tomorrow:  chicken enchiladas

Thursday:  bbq beef cups

Friday:  homemade pepperoni pizza

Saturday:  steaks cooked on the grill and baked potatoes

Sunday:  grilled brats and homemade baked beans

Also, the lettuce is ready in our garden, so we’ll be having side salads with every meal too.

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