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It’s nice to be able to prepare a tossed garden salad ahead without it getting soggy, when planning a family get together. Here’s a great way to do that:


Layer the ingredients in one large bowl.  Place the dressing at the bottom, then add the sturdy vegetables (cut-up bell peppers, cucumbers, etc) and last put the lettuce on the top! 


Cover it with a damp paper towel and place in the fridge for up to 12 hours. 


Right before mealtime, remove the paper towel, add any delicate items like cut up tomatoes and/or croutons, and toss! 


When ready to toss, I like to dump it all in a great big bowl, toss and dump it back into the serving bowl.

A really good salad is a great accompaniment to family cookouts and a good dressing is the key.  Below are two of our favorite salad dressings. And in the “tips” section, check out how you can prepare the salad ahead and still have it be crisp.  Then the recipe for my mother’s Chef Salt, similar to today’s Seasoned Salt.  Make it up and keep it handy, using it, in most cases, instead of just plain salt. The extra spices really “spruce” up a dish! And last, but not least, my recipe for a nice little “tea” muffin. It’s not sweet and make a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup or salad instead of crackers or as a dinner muffin.

Greek Salad Dressing


½ cup whole buttermilk

½ cup olive oil

2  cloves garlic, minced (or see Note)

1  tsp. Greek Seasoning

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

4-oz. feta cheese, crumbled


Combine every thing except the feta cheese. Then place in blender and then give it 6 pulses.  Then gently stir in the feta cheese.  Pour in container and refrigerate till ready to serve.


Note: I keep a jar of minced garlic in my fridge. It’s in the grocery produce dept.

½ tsp. = 1 clove garlic

Our Favorite Ranch Salad Dressing

This is really good.  The extra seasonings make it!



1 oz. envelope Hidden Valley Buttermilk Salad Dressing Mix

1  cup mayonnaise

½ cup whole fresh buttermilk

1/8 tsp. seasoned black pepper

1/8 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. garlic powder


Mix all together well. Chill 30 minutes before serving.

  Marinated Salad

In the 1960’s, we called this type of slaw, “3-weeks” slaw, because it would keep well in the fridge for 3 weeks.


2 1-lb. packages coleslaw mix


1 medium sweet onion, chopped

¾ cup sugar

2  Tbsp. salt

1  Tbsp. garlic powder

1  cup apple cider vinegar


Place slaw mix in medium size bowl: set aside.  Combine marinade ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a rolling bowl; stirring with a whisk.  Pour over slaw mix; cover and let sit on the kitchen counter for 2 hours (important), then refrigerate.

 Cold Dill Pea Salad

This salad is also good as a side vegetable. I served it often at Horseshoe Plantation for lunch in the field with the grilled quail..


2 (10-oz.) pkgs. frozen green peas

1  cup sour cream

½ tsp. dried dill weed

1  tsp. chopped fresh chives or ½ tsp. dried

½ tsp. curry powder

Salt and black pepper to taste

Fresh lemon juice to taste


Cook peas 5 minute on stove in saucepan; drain.  You want them still crunchy (important). In medium size bowl combine the rest of ingredients together; carefully fold into the peas. Refrigerate till ready to serve.  Makes 8 servings

Mother’s “Seasoned Salt”

She called it “Chef Salt” She kept it handy, in a shaker near the stove.  A lot of recipes call for “seasoned salt” so this is what she used.


1  cup sea salt

1  Tbsp. paprika

1  tsp. black pepper

1  tsp. white pepper

¼ tsp. celery salt

¼ tsp. garlic salt


Process in blender or food processor until well mixed.  Pour in an empty salt shaker. Good added to flour when frying chicken, pork chops, etc.  Makes about 1-1/8 cups

Breakfast Tea Muffins

A delicious delightful little muffin to go with your salads, soups or breakfast.

Quick & easy!


1 cup self-rising flour

2  Tbsp. sugar

4  Tbsp. vegetable oil

½  cup whole milk

1   large egg


Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl; add milk and oil slowly. Then beat in the egg. Fill greased muffin tins and bake 400º for about 15 minutes.

Makes 8-10 regular size or 24 small mini muffins. Serve with lots of softened “real” butter!

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August, 2011
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