Tag Archives: Salad

Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch

Long weekends equal lots of fun and food with family and friends! At least it does in my neighborhood, if you can call it a neighborhood out here in the sticks.  We had two full, very busy, yet very fun days with family friends as we wave goodbye to summer and fit in at least one more (or two more in this case) cookout.

And out here in the sticks, we know how to have fun! Labor Day weekend marking not just goodbye to Summer, but also bringing out the first of many bonfires/chimney log fires of the new Fall season coming.

Of course the adults aren’t the only ones having fun. My little guy, Joe, had an absolute blast at his very first “neighborhood” party. If you are new here and don’t know, my son Joe is Autistic and would have never handled this much activity (aka a cookout/party) without getting overloaded and ending in a melt down. So, this is his first very successful party. He had a blast on the playground at our friend’s house, and lasted as long as I did! The score: Mom 1 vs. Melt Downs 0. Awww yea!!! Hang on a sec, I need to victory dance! Of course a lot of thanks goes to his Grandma. She kept up with him and enjoyed herself too. It was a good day!

The really cool fires and the playgrounds aren’t the only thing that bring us folks out here in the sticks together. Oh no, it’s the food! Isn’t it always the food? Our potluck parties (or pitch-ins as the native Hoosiers like to call them) are always incredible! There’s always so much food! Way more than I can justify eating in one sitting. I want to, I just can’t justify it. 😂 Seriously, we had pork loin, ribs, lamb chops, sausages, and of course hot dogs and burgers! My mother in law brought her amazing mac & cheese, and I really need to wiggle that recipe out of her so I can share it with all of you. There was so much more food than what I just listed, including this Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch.

This salad is incredible. It’s incredibly easy, incredibly delicious, it has incredible tasty bacon. See? Incredible! It comes together super fast. Although you can substitute real bacon bits for the bacon in this salad if you’re pressed for time, but I seriously recommend cooking bacon and crumbling it. I cook my bacon on a sheet pan in the oven and clean up is a breeze! Just heat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, put your bacon on there and bake it for about 15-20 minutes or until it’s crisp. Then put it on a paper towel lined plate and let it cool before crumbling. Clean up?! What clean up?!

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy this salad as much as I enjoyed sharing it with my friends and family.

Print Recipe
Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drain peas in a colander, if necessary. Mine had a little liquid from being frozen, but not much. We don't want that liquid.
  2. In a large bowl add peas, cheese, onion, sunflower kernels, crumbled bacon and ranch dressing. Toss gently to coat.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste, and toss gently one more time to mix it in.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

Share this Recipe

Greek Pasta Salad

It’s still August, Summer isn’t over yet! It’s still hotter n’ all get out around here in Southern Indiana, and in my mind, Summer isn’t over until the last cookout (aka Labor Day)! However, I don’t know about you, but we grill all year around here. Rain, sunshine, snow and sleet 😂. There’s a reason we had a covered deck built.  What we grill during those colder months are different than what we grill in the warmer months though. There aren’t any hamburgers, or ribs, or corn on the cob, or noodle salads. Usually, we are grilling things like steak and pork chops, and the grilling is a lot rare of an occurrence than in the warmer months too.

For now though, it’s still Summer! So lets get the barbecue on, because I’ve got a wonderful pasta salad to go with whatever you are grilling, and it makes a lot so it’s perfect for a cookout with friends and family. What’s better than hanging out friends and family and sharing awesome food?! Nothing, that’s what.

Before I show you how to make this lovely, easy, and so flavorful salad, a big thanks goes out to Katya over at Little Broken for the amazing Greek Vinaigrette that I use in this salad.

You want to start by getting a big pot of water to a boil, and then adding your pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and then drain and run under cold water to cool. While that’s going on, you can prep your veggies.

Once you have everything chopped up, toss your veggies, olives and feta together in a very large bowl.  Add the cooled, cooked pasta, and toss together.

Then make a batch of the dressing, which consists of olive oil, red wine vinegar, pressed garlic, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour that over the salad, and toss to coat completely. It is now ready for the fridge. Cover your salad and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Because pasta likes to soak up dressings like this one while it sits, I make a second batch of the dressing and have it ready in the fridge. Then when it comes time to serve, I pour my reserved dressing over the salad, and toss again to coat. Delicious!

Print Recipe
Greek Pasta Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine Greek
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine Greek
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool; set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, prep vegetables. Toss onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives and feta together in a very large bowl. Add cooked pasta, toss together and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over pasta mixture, and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
  4. In another bowl, or a mason jar, combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients again. Whisk to combine well, or put lid on jar and shake to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve the salad. Just before serving, shake or whisk reserved dressing, and pour over pasta salad. Toss to coat, and serve.
Recipe Notes

I make a reserved batch of the vinaigrette, because the pasta tends to soak up a lot of the dressing as it sits. Adding additional dressing before serving will make sure your salad isn't dry, and of course bring extra fresh flavor.

Share this Recipe

Delicious Ranch Potato Salad

The weather here is just perfect. A beautiful 78 degrees which is perfect for me! Not too hot, not too cold. It’s wonderful, and it’s got me wanting to gather up the clan, and go to a park for a picnic. I don’t know about you, but I love picnics. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite picnic food was potato salad. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have a picnic without potato salad! It just wouldn’t be right. It also wouldn’t be right to make the same old potato salad over and over again either. I don’t know about you folks, but I like variety. I get bored with the same ol’ thing.

So lets switch it up! I’ve created this Delicious Ranch Potato Salad, and I served it at a potluck cookout very recently. It was a huge hit with my family and friends, and I know it will be with you and your family too. Like most potato salads, this one is super easy. You can even make it a day ahead of time.

First you want to get your potatoes cut up and into the pot of salted water, get that boiling. While those are cooking, take the rest of your ingredients and combine them in a large bowl. I like to use my giant Pyrex glass bowl for almost all of my salads. I like the extra tossing room.

Once your potatoes have cooked and are fork tender, which will only take about 8-12 minutes, you’ll want to drain them well. Then add them to your dressing mixture in your giant bowl. Toss it all together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I use red potatoes in this recipe. I prefer to use a waxy potato in potato salads like red potatoes, fingerling potatoes are new potatoes. The waxy potatoes hold up much better, where as starchy ones like russet potatoes tend to fall apart too easily, and turn your salad into mush. Ew…

 

Print Recipe
Delicious Ranch Potato Salad Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Clean and cut potatoes into chunks, then place in a large pot with salted water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep it at a gentle boil and let cook until potatoes are fork tender,, about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Once potatoes are done, drain well, and add to the dressing mixture and toss to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let flavors mingle and chill.
Recipe Notes

You can make this salad a day ahead of time, just keep covered in the refrigerator. Light ranch dressing may be substituted for regular to save a few calories.

Share this Recipe

Simple & Refreshing Fruit Salad

Well hello there folks! I gotta tell ya, this last week has been one to test my patience. So, like everyone I’m sure has done at least once in their life, I had all of my future blog content stored all in one place! Easier to find if it’s in one place right? Yea well, do yourselves a favor right now, just stop reading and take a minute, go back up all of your important files! No really, go ahead. I’ll wait…….

You’ll thank me later. See, what I did, was I accidentally deleted ALL of my future blog posts. All the pictures, and wonderful things I wanted to bring to you all, GONE in an instant! However, good news, I have pretty much recovered, and can start bringing you new yummies!! I mean, I’m still sad over losing all of that work, but hey… I bounced back, and I am here with a stupid easy fruit salad. It’s actually embarrassing to even call it a recipe, because, seriously…. You’ll see 😂.

I believe the point I’m trying to make with this salad, is that not all fruit salads need a dressing. These fruits come together so well, and tastes so refreshing with just their natural flavors. This is so simple and so versatile that you could throw this together at the last minute with little effort. Use your favorite fruits, add more fruits to it, make it what you want it to be.

As you can see here, I chose strawberries, mandarin oranges, and blueberries. These were the fruits I had on hand and this is often how I make this salad. I have used fresh mandarin oranges instead of the canned, but this particular time I used canned. Either one works just as well as the other. If you choose to throw in bananas, make sure you do that right before serving so they don’t get all brown and mushy.

It’s the perfect summer side dish to have with breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s perfect for a potluck or cookout, and even as a snack. I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this delicious, refreshing salad as much as I do!

 

Print Recipe
Simple & Refreshing Fruit Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, toss together strawberries, mandarin oranges, marshmallows and blueberries.
  2. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is very versatile. Add your favorite fruits and berries, like blackberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple, the list is endless!

Share this Recipe

Lighter Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

It’s Wednesday folks, and I don’t have a wine to share with you! 😱 I know, right? Imagine how I feel! Being wineless. It happens though, but don’t worry! I’ve got an amazing pasta salad recipe for you though! It’s that time of the year where people fire up the grill, host cookouts, or get invited to cookouts and outdoor potlucks. When the grill masters get that itch to fire up the grill, that’s when it’s the perfect time for pasta salads, potato salads, fruit salads, you name it cold salads to make their grand entrance! This one in particular will steal the spotlight, and if you’re still working hard  to eat healthier, like I promised myself I would, or if you just want to keep your lovely figure, don’t worry! This beautiful salad is all lightened up. It tastes absolutely sinful though. I found the original recipe over on Life in the Loft House, and thought to myself “how can I lighten this up so I can enjoy this without feeling guilty?” Well, here’s what I came up with! Come on in the kitchen and I’ll show you how simple this is. Another one of my favorite things about the salad. Simple!

So first, you’re going to cook your Rotini pasta until it’s al dente. That should take about 8 minutes or so. While that’s bubbling away on the stove, dump your mayo, sour cream and ranch dressing mix in a large bowl.

Then whisk it up real good until it’s all combined. When your pasta is finished cooking, drain that, and rinse it in cold water until cool. Set the pasta aside and cut your grape tomatoes in half.

Now add your pasta, bacon (which I used a pkg. of real bacon pieces), tomatoes, olives and cheese to the large bowl with the dressing.

Toss gently to combine. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. I hope you enjoy this delicious, creamy pasta salad as much as we all did.

 

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, dry ranch dressing mix, garlic powder and milk with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Add pasta, cooked bacon pieces, tomatoes, olives and cheese. Gently toss to completely combine everything together.
  3. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

If after chilling in the fridge, and your salad seems a little dry, just add a little milk and stir to combine to moisten it up.

Slightly adapted from Life in the Lofthouse

Share this Recipe

Light and Refreshing Berry Fruit Salad + Kids In The Kitchen

Monday already!? What a busy weekend we had over here! The weekend just flew by. The weather here was so incredibly nice, you couldn’t resist firing up the grill, spending time with friends on Saturday and having a great potluck (or pitch-in as the native Hoosiers call it) with tons of delicious food, and then spending a beautiful Sunday with family, once again firing up that grill for a wonderful meal. We had soooo much food this weekend and I have sooo much to share with you. The first thing I must share with you though, is my favorite part of this weekend. My daughter spent some time looking at recipes (just like her mother) and decided she wanted to make something for me. She knows I absolutely LOOOOVE love love love fruit salad. Her and I share a deep love and passion for all things strawberry. So she came across a recipe over at Kristine’s Kitchen Blog. We modified it just very slightly, and came out with a brand new favorite fruit salad! My daughter was SO excited! She went to the store with her Grandma, shopping list in hand, and bought all of the things she needed to make this.

I gotta tell you guys, one of my favorite things to do is cook with my kids. For the moment, it’s just the one out of the four that seems interested, but that’s ok! We have so much fun. And it’s so important to get your kids in the kitchen and cook with them. My mom and grandma did with me. I think the first thing my mom taught me how to make was spaghetti sauce. I’m not 100% certain, but it’s definitely the one I remember the most. I enjoyed it, but as I got to be a teen, I swore I wanted nothing to do with it anymore or anything else domestic related. 😂😂😂😂 So here I am many years later, a stay at home mom, and all things domestic, loving every minute of it.  Here’s the thing guys, when those kids show interest in helping, no matter what it is, harness it. Let them help. They want to be part of something. They want to spend time with you. Don’t wave them off, bring them in the kitchen with you. There’s always something they can do.

Because I believe so heavily that kids in the kitchen is so important, I want to make it a regular on my blog. Maybe it will give you some ideas to try with your kids, or grandkids, nieces, nephews, what have ya. So let do this! Come join me and Andrea (age 10) in my kitchen while we introduce you to this beautiful fruit salad!

This is a very easy salad, with plenty of things for the kiddos to help with. I started off by pitting the cherries, and cutting up the strawberries into bite size pieces. Then I had Andrea pretty much do the rest, starting with rinsing and patting the berries (very gently of course) dry.

Then once she patted them dry, she put them all in a big bowl. I used the largest bowl I have, to make sure she had enough room to gently toss with ease, when it came time for that.

This is the part where we stood back and commented to each other how pretty that looked. The berries are just so vibrant in color. I love naturally beautiful fruit salads. Our next step was to mix the very simple, yet incredible dressing. We got a small bowl and mixed together some lime juice and some honey. You can use fresh lime juice if you want to, but we used bottled.

Once that was all mixed up, it was time to drizzle that all over the berries.

Then you very carefully and gently toss to combine it all and coat the berries in that wonderful dressing. Andrea has watched me in the kitchen so often, and we have of course done some cooking together before, that she is fully aware that the cook gets to taste! We did not skip this step. We tasted, we were both very dramatic about how wonderful it already tasted, and then had to cover it and put it in the fridge before we sat there and just ate the whole thing right away! This salad is so incredibly light and refreshing, even after a big meal like what we had. Perfect light dessert. You could serve it with a dollop of whipped cream if you wish. We could not wait to share this with our family! Everyone (except my berry hating husband) absolutely loved it! Andrea got a lot of praises for this.  I hope you and your kids enjoy this salad as much as we did!

 

Print Recipe
Light and Refreshing Berry Fruit Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rinse and very gently pat your berries and cherries dry.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and honey. Pour over fruit and toss gently to coat.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Fruit salad is always best served the same day it's made, but it's still good the next day.
Recipe Notes

Very slightly adapted from kristineskitchenblog.com

Share this Recipe

Creamy Tomato & Cucumber Salad

You know what I love about Spring and Summer? The beautiful salads! I absolutely love salads, and this time of year, you get the best and prettiest produce to work with. Pretty bright colors, whether it’s a fruit salad or a vegetable salad, or even a pasta salad. They are just so bright and fresh. Lots of eye appeal, not like my photos… 😉

I bring to you today, a Creamy Tomato & Cucumber Salad. It’s bright, it’s fresh, and it’s delish! Oh let us not forget it’s super easy! Another cool thing about salads, they can usually be made ahead of time. This is all of that! So lets get started. Gather up all your ingredients, which isn’t much, and pay no attention to the only two cloves of garlic on that cutting board! I actually did use 4.

So you got everything? Good, now prepare your vegetables, minus the garlic, and toss them into a big bowl.

Now, just set that aside for a minute, and grab a smaller bowl. In that, you’re going to toss in your dressing ingredients. Mayo, sour cream, garlic and freshly cracked black pepper.

Whisk that up until it’s thoroughly combined, and then, dump it on top of your veggies in the big bowl, and gently toss to coat.

Now you just cover it tightly, and store it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let all those flavors blend. Then just before servings, sprinkle with a little sea salt to taste and enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Creamy Tomato & Cucumber Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and toss into a large bowl. Slice cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut each half again lengthwise, to give you 4 long sticks. Slice those into bite size chunks and toss those into the bowl. Alternatively, you can slice the cucumber thinly, and then cut the slices in half. However you do it, you just need bite size pieces. Slice the red onion into thin slices and add to the tomatoes and cucumbers.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, pressed garlic cloves and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Pour dressing onto vegetables, and toss gently to coat. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let the flavors blend. Add salt to taste just before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from natashaskitchen.com

Share this Recipe

Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad

Warmer weather has made its way to my part of the world, and I get so excited when the temperature gets warmer because for me, that means grilling! Now, we grill all year round, but honestly in the colder months, it’s just less often. It’s not all about the grill though! Oh noooo. It’s salads too! I love salads. I could live on salads. There’s so many different kinds, like potato salads, and noodle salads, and fruit salads. Then there’s salads like this one. Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad. I prepared this salad last Sunday. We invited my mom-in-law over for dinner, and I had my husband (the Grill Master of the house) grill up this incredible chicken I had marinating, and I prepared some green beans, and this incredibly yummy salad.  This recipe makes quite a bit, like 8-10 servings, however, I was only feeding 5 of us and we ended up with only 1 serving left over. Some time in the middle of the night, the hubster ate it for a snack! That’s just how good this is.

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Lauren over at Tastes Better  From Scratch. She has tons of delicious recipes, and she’s really not kidding, it really does taste better from scratch. Another reason why I love salads. They’re just so fresh and delicious!

So here it is folks! Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad!

Print Recipe
Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, drizzle lemon juice over chopped avocado, and toss to coat. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and feta cheese to avocado. In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and top with fresh cilantro. Toss gently to combine.
Recipe Notes

adapted from tastesbetterfromscratch.com

Share this Recipe