Croutons (For Soup or Salad)

 Other, Salad, Soup  Comments Off on Croutons (For Soup or Salad)
Apr 092017

There is nothing like freshly made croutons to add the perfect finishing touch to a soup or a salad. I’ve been making these for a while and never thought much of it. I recently made them with soup for my friends Danielle and Bill. When they called me for the recipe, I knew it was time to add it to the website, so here we go. The trick is to use a good quality bread and extra-virgin olive oil.

My friend Adrienne had a good idea. When you have leftover ends of loaves or bread that is going stale, cube the bread and put it in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. After a while you’ll have a good supply of pre-cubed bread to quickly make croutons. No thawing needed! just throw them in the pan.

Croutons (For Soup or Salad)
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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: Other, Salad, Soup

After you have made this a couple of times you'll figure out the amounts and how much heat to use. Really, it's pretty hard to screw up unless you aren't keeping an eye on it while it is toasting. Again, use a good quality bread (Avoid sandwich bread if possible) and your best extra-virgin olive oil.


  • Good quality Bread, a bit stale is OK
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Granulated Garlic
  • White Pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • Salt (If Desired)


  1. Start with a good quality bread, Italian, French, Multi-Grain or any combination thereof. It's OK if the bread is a few days old and a good way to get rid of the ends of loaves. Slice the bread and dice into approximately 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat a generous amount of olive oil,several tablespoons (Use a really good quality of oil) in a large frying pan over medium heat and throw in the bread cubes. Toss until coated with olive oil.
  3. Toast the bread for a few minutes and then sprinkle generously with granulated garlic, white pepper and a bit of salt if desired.
  4. Spray the tops of the cubes with more olive oil, and keep turning every few minutes until the cubes are browned. Adjust the heat so you don't burn the cubes. Fresh bread will take longer than stale bread.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy! The cubes should be crisp on the outside but soft on the inside.


A time and money-saving idea is when you have leftover bread ends or bread going stale, chop it into cubes and put it in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. Then all you will need to do is pour some pre-cubed bread to your frying pan and you are ready to go. You are also not wasting the ends of a loaf of bread.

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The World’s Best Salad

 Holidays, Salad, Vegetable, Vegetarian  Comments Off on The World’s Best Salad
Nov 242013

For the past few years we have attended a Food & Cooking Expo that usually happens in November. There are booths set up where you can sample the wares of different food vendors, exhibits of kitchen utensils and cookware, and best of all, the cooking demonstrations. At the demonstrations a chef prepares a dish before the audience, and while he is making the recipe on stage, the staff in the back room is making a lot more and everyone in the audience gets to sample the finished product.

This salad comes from one of these expos. The flavors blew me away and I call it “The World’s Best Salad. Now, it’s  a bit more work than a simple salad, but it’s worth the effort  for holidays or a special occasion.


The World’s Best Salad
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Category: Holidays, Salad, Vegetable, Vegetarian


  • 1 Pkg. spring mix greens
  • Oven Dried tomatoes. (See the recipe on this site.) 3 or 4 halves per serving
  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 4 Slices Fresh Italian Bread
  • Mozzarella Balls – Ciliegine (Cherry Size) 3 or 4 per serving
  • Garlic or garlic powder
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Olive Oil
  • Sage & Wild Mushroom Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Black pepper, white pepper, salt.


  1. Prepare the Oven Dried Tomatoes according to the recipe on this site. I usually make these fresh from the garden in the summer and freeze them for special occasions and the holidays.
  2. Dry the Mozzarella balls and marinate them with a bit of garlic infused olive oil and some black pepper. Peel and cube the eggplant. Mix with oil and spices the same way and then broil under a broiler until browned.
  3. Chop the bread slices into ½ inch cubes. Toast in a frying pan over medium to high heat with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Stir often. Season with garlic powder and white pepper. Cook until lightly browned.
  4. Wash and dry greens. It is important that they are dry so that the oil sticks to them. Toss with some sage and wild mushroom olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of Balsamic vinegar and toss together. I have a sprayer for the balsamic vinegar which makes it easy to evenly coat the salad greens without overdoing it. The secret of this recipe is to not use a lot of vinegar.
  5. Arrange greens on individual salad plates. Top with 3 or 4 tomato halves, eggplant, 3 or 4 marinated mozzarella balls and croutons.
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Hilary’s Chinese Chicken Salad

 Asian, Main Entrees, Salad  Comments Off on Hilary’s Chinese Chicken Salad
Mar 262013
Hilary's Chinese Chicken Salad

Hilary’s Chinese Chicken Salad

For Jared and Izabella’s wedding shower, Natalie’s sister, Valarie, made a wonderful chicken salad that came from her daughter Hilary’s recipe. There were many requests at the shower for the recipe, so here it is. This is an easy-to-make healthy recipe that can easily be scaled up for a crowd.

Valarie says that the salad is also delicious when served in taco shells.

Hilary’s Chinese Chicken Salad
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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Category: Asian, Main Entrees, Salad


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 pkg. Ramen noodles
  • 4 oz. sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Simmer the chicken breasts in water until done, about 45 minutes.
  2. Break Ramen noodles into small pieces, and mix with almonds and sesame seeds.
  3. Toast the noodles, almonds and sesame seeds on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until golden brown. (About 10 minutes)
  4. Dice the chicken and mix with the shredded cabbage.
  5. Mix the dressing ingredients together and shake well in a sealed container.
  6. Add the dressing and the noodle, almond and sesame mixture to the cabbage and chicken, just before serving.


Adjust the amount of cabbage as you desire for the amount of chicken used. Some people like less cabbage and more chicken.

Cook the chicken in chicken broth for more flavor, then use the cooking liquid to make soup.

You can make the dressing, toasted noodle mixture, chicken and cabbage in advance and toss them together at the last minute for a nice crisp salad.

You could optionally add cashew nuts to the salad.

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Hungarian Sour Cream Salad Dressing

 Hungarian, Salad, Sauce & Condiment  Comments Off on Hungarian Sour Cream Salad Dressing
Sep 102012

This is the only salad dressing that I ever knew when I was growing up. It’s especially good on cucumber salad, but I never ate cucumbers back then. As my mother said, “I didn’t know what I was missing.” It’s a simple recipe and I give you both the original version and my spiced up version.

Hungarian Sour Cream Salad Dressing
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Category: Hungarian, Salad, Sauce & Condiment


  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar.
  • 1 tsp. paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt (optional)


  1. Mix the first three ingredients together. Add more vinegar if you like a thinner dressing. This is the traditional way my mother made it.
  2. For a little more zing, mix in the paprika and seasoned salt.
  3. Serve over lettuce salad, tomatoes or cucumber salad.
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Red Cabbage Coleslaw

 Salad, Vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Red Cabbage Coleslaw
May 252012

Here’s a light summer recipe that’s a colorful and delicious main dish accompaniment for summer grilled

Red Cabbage Coleslaw
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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Category: Salad, Vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian


  • 1/2 medium red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (Flavored balsamics like tangerine or strawberry enhance the recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a microwavable bowl combine oil, vinegar, and sugar; Microwave uncovered for about 45 seconds to dissolve sugar.
  3. Pour hot dressing over vegetables; mix well.
  4. Refrigerate to blend flavors.
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