Thanksgiving Round-Up: Side Dishes

Thanksgiving Round Up

I LOVE Thanksgiving!  I know….there is a huge irony in that, being British and loving Thanksgiving! 

I love it for the time with family and friends, it’s a chance to get together with those you love from near and far and celebrate and be thankful.  We all have so much to be thankful for, whether it has been a wonderful year or a difficult one – if we think for just a moment we can think of a hundred little things to be thankful for.

I love that each family has their traditions.  I have been blessed to experience many different family traditions, especially as my first 5 years here where before I had a family of my own here, so I was always ‘adopted’ by a wonderful family, or friends and made to feel like I was a part of something.  From Pumpkin Pie eaten first thing in the morning, to watching the latest movie release, to everyone round the table sharing what they are thankful for, to playing board games, to going to bed early to get up even earlier to go Black Friday shopping, to not sleeping at all and shopping ’til you drop, to avoiding shopping altogether, to gift giving ‘just because’, to family baking sessions, to putting up Christmas decorations… was all wonderful, and special and unique to that family. Continue reading

30-Minute Recipe: Cobb Salad

30 minute recipes - Cobb Salad

Our 30-Minute Recipe series continues today with Cobb Salad.

This is so simple and so quick it barely even constitutes a recipe – we are really just preparing and assembling ingredients!  As the summer draws to a close (sigh :-() let’s make the most of the wonderful warm summer days and nights and make the most of the opportunity we have to eat salad in the sunshine!

This is fresh, light and a perfect alternative to a heavy, rich meal.

30 minute recipes - Cobb Salad

You can adapt this recipe anyway you wish…….be creative, explore new ingredients, try something new!

I stuck to a more traditional Cobb Salad here but I usually try and steer clear of too safe and traditional when it comes to food as you often miss out on the good stuff!

Continue reading

Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

This Three Bean Salad is one of the most delicious salads I have ever eaten…there I said it! I had this at the church pot-luck lunch a few weeks ago and I ate WAY too much of it.

I immediately asked for the recipe to share it with you all here!  My apologies as I cannot give credit to the original recipe creator as I have no idea where it came from….but whoever you are, you are a genius!

Three Bean Salad

Willie, the lady from church who made this Three Bean Salad allowed me to share the recipe here and she actually made the version you see here….I just took the photographs!  She said it was very labor intensive but she doesn’t have my secret weapon, Crate & Barrel Herb Scissors, which would make the process much faster.  Also, if you have a Vitamix or food processor then you could use that to chop the celery and onion.

Three Bean Salad

This made the perfect accompaniment to Captain America’s BBQ Marinated Chicken and my Herb Lemon Chicken – you should try it next time you grill or want a fresh summer salad!


Continue reading

Tuna Nicoise Salad

Tuna Nicoise

This salad is a variation on Captain America’s favorite salad!  If you are an avid follower of my blog you will know that Captain America loves salad.  He would eat it for every meal if he could, I however a not such a fan of your average salad!  Get me a great salad loaded with delicious extras and an amazing dressing and I will eat salad, and lots of it!


This is NOT a traditional Tuna Nicoise salad by any means, in fact if you want a Tuna Nicoise recipe, look it up elsewhere! If you want a great salad made with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry, then this is the recipe for you!

We really enjoyed it and I hope you will too!

What is your favorite salad ingredients?? Let me know in the comments below!

Continue reading

Chicken Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Chicken Salad with a Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Captain America loves salad!  He would eat it every day of the week given half the chance.  I however could not eat salad for weeks and weeks and not really care!  There I said it!  I am a meat a potatoes girl, call it my Irish roots!  Salad is one of those things I have a love/hate relationship with.  I love salads that someone else prepared with everything in it, topped with a delicious dressing.  I hate making salad, especially a side salad, because it’s a whole lot of faff with very little result (and I am usually too full, from all the meat and potatoes, to even eat the salad I hated preparing!!)

Chicken Salad with a Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Hence the creation of this Chicken Salad with a Strawberry Balsamic Dressing.  Captain America has been craving salad for dinner, and it’s summer now (yes I have a weird British view that you should only eat salad in the summer….just too many cold winter’s spent in England!), so I wanted to create a salad that made us both happy!  This is almost it! Read on to find out why!!!

Chicken Salad with a Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

This is REALLY simple, so simple in fact there is no recipe for the salad, just the dressing.  Just gauge the amount of ingredients you will need for the amount of people you are feeding.  The one featured here feeds 4 people. All the ingredients I used are just recommendations – what are some of your favorite salad ingredients?


Continue reading

Simple Green Salad

Simple Green Salad

Salad is one of those essentials but with so many variations out there sometimes there is nothing finer than a Simple Green Salad.  There is nothing spectacular about this, it’s barely even a recipe, but hopefully it will inspire you to create a beautiful and delicious salad to accompany a meal.

You can use this on it’s own as a Simple Green Salad, or you could use this as a base and add additional ingredients, using this as the base.

Even the most basic salads can incorporate a few little tricks to make it look more appealing to the eye….there is something about beautiful food that makes you want to eat it!

Adding one of your favorite dressings can make a Simple Green Salad all the more appealing.  Try my Italian Balsamic Dressing or my Ranch Dressing Mix to make this salad PERFECT!

What are some of your favorite ingredients in salad?

Do you have a favorite dressing??

Continue reading

Italian Balsamic Dressing

italian balsamic dressing

Captain America makes the best Italian home-made balsamic dressing I have ever tasted!  It is delicious!  He says he is cheating because he uses a packet of italian seasoning but rest assured, packet seasoning or not, this is one of the BEST EVER!

It is very simple to make, although it does require quite a few ingredients….however when you have them in the pantry they will last you for many, many bottles of dressing – so well worth the purchase!

We always have some of this dressing made up ready to go, especially as Captain America would eat salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner if he could. After I tried his dressing I understood why he looked down his nose at the store-bought dressing I purchased! I don’t eat that shop bought stuff anymore as nothing quite compares to this! Except….my Ranch Dressing! LOL!


2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/3 C red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp garlic salt

1-2 bay leaves

1 tsp onion salt

1 tsp ground mustard

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried parsley

1 tbsp dried italian seasoning

2 large garlic cloves

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

2 tbsp cold water

2 packets Good Seasons Italian Salad  Dressing


Wait for it – it’s very complicated……………

Mix the ingredients together and serve!! Shake well before serving!


Ranch Dressing Mix

ranch dressing mix

I love ranch dressing, but I don’t really like store-bought dressings with all their preservatives.

I was determined to find one I could make and know exactly what is in it.

This has many ingredients you may already have in your spice rack, if not they are readily available at most grocery stores.
This recipe is for the seasoning mix, so you can make it and store it, and just make up a small amount using the fresh ingredients when you need it.
Bare in mind that this is fresh ranch dressing, so it does not taste exactly the same as any store bought ranch…….preservatives do change the taste!  However, this is fresh and you know exactly what is in it!

Keep In Touch Via Email – never miss a post:

Continue reading