Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

Olive Garden Salad

Olive Garden Salad

Posted on April 14, 2014 
Filed Under Salads, Side dishes

olive garden salad2 kitchen scrapbook

Have you ever had the salad at Olive Garden? What they lack in breadstick perfection, they make up for in salad (my opinion). We love this salad and it often accompanies our meals when we have Lasagna, Spaghetti & Meatballs, or Parmesan Chicken.

There are 7 ingredients: Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, pepperoncini, shredded mozzarella cheese, croutons, and dressing. Parmesan cheese is optional. This salad tastes exactly like one you’d get at Olive Garden.

Here’s why.

I think in any salad, the secret is the dressing. For this salad, I’ve tried dressing recipes that were named “Olive Garden Dressing”, but none of them tasted quite right. Sure, they were good, but not AS good. So, here’s my secret: I go into our local Olive Garden and buy a bottle of dressing. ???? It’s $5.49 with tax (and I never know whether or not to tip when it’s just a quick no packaging carry-out item, so sometimes a do and sometimes I don’t). It may be slightly more expensive than other dressings, but you can make 3 salads with one bottle. And it tastes perfect every time AND you don’t have to make dressing every time you make the salad. I heard it’s available at Sam’s Club now. I wonder if it’s the real thing. Does anyone know? I just might have to get some there and do a taste test.

Olive Garden Salad ingredient list came from studying my salad one time at the restaurant, quantities are my personal preference

1 bunch Romaine Lettuce
2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and each cut into 8 chunks
1/2 cup sliced Black olives, or a 2.25 oz can, drained
15 mild Pepperoncini
1 heaping cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 heaping cup Croutons
3/4 cup Olive Garden Dressing

olive garden salad ingredients kitchen scrapbook

I always drain the olives, pepperoncini, and tomatoes on paper towel for awhile before putting them in the salad.

Wash lettuce. Dry and rip into large bowl. (A lettuce spinner has been on my wish list for about 5 years, but every time I have some extra spending money to blow on kitchen stuff, I decide drying lettuce leaves with paper towel will be fine after all, and end up getting more “toys” for cake decorating instead.) Edited Dec 2014: I am now the proud owner of a Pampered Chef Salad Spinner! I. love. it!!! :)

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and toss.

olive garden salad1 kitchen scrapbook

Dump into serving bowl and serve.
For how many this serves:
If using as a side salad, I make a half batch for our family of 5 (and the girls eat about as much as an adult would, even the 3-yr-old).
If using as a main dish with grilled chicken on top, I make a whole batch (as a main dish, the girls don’t eat quite as much as an adult would).
In both cases, there’s usually a serving or two left over.
For company, I make one batch for every 10-12 people.

olive garden salad kitchen scrapbook

We had this for lunch yesterday and there was a serving of leftovers. Because this salad keeps better than some dressing-mixed-in salads, I put the leftovers in the fridge. I ate it for supper (5 hours later) and the lettuce was still crisp and crunchy. I think it might keep better because it’s a low sugar dressing and doesn’t make the lettuce soft.

Speaking of lunch yesterday, here is a variation for serving this salad. It’s commonly thought of as a side salad, but once in awhile, we like to switch things up from our regular chicken breast salad and use Olive Garden salad for the salad part instead. (By the way, our regular chicken breast salad is featured here almost 3 years ago, but we still do it exactly the same, and still make it often, especially in the summer.) Anyway, we switched it up yesterday and used Olive Garden salad… simply fill a plate with the salad and put a sliced perfectly-seasoned-and-grilled-by-Shannon chicken breast on top.
olive garden salad with chicken kitchen scrapbook


5 Responses to “Olive Garden Salad”

  1. Shannon on April 14th, 2014 1:08 pm

    Love this salad too. To save you a stop, I buy this dressing at Walmart. :)

  2. Kay on April 14th, 2014 2:03 pm

    Are you serious, Shannon? I do most of my shopping at Meijer and so seldom go to Walmart, which is probably why I haven’t seen it.
    And is it the exact same thing? For some reason, I’m kind of skeptical about it… maybe because I can’t believe that they’d sell the real thing to stores. I’m going to get some at Walmart the next time I go to town and do a taste test, and then edit this post to add my opinion of how it compares. ????
    Thanks for the info… because as I wrote that in the post about Sam’s Club, I wondered if my card was still in date.

  3. Rosalyn on April 14th, 2014 3:26 pm

    Yum! :) Makes me wish I’d have all of this on hand for easy fixing tonight!

  4. Freida on April 14th, 2014 3:44 pm

    Yeah, Walmart has the dressing. I’m pretty sure its the real thing-the bottle looks exactly the same. And now view am hungry rir this salad!! Yum!

  5. Jan on April 14th, 2014 4:40 pm

    I’ve tried to make some of the Copy Cat dressings, too, and they’re not the same. They’re good, but not the same. Olive Garden salad is absolutely the best to be found anywhere.

Colorific Salad

It appears that the cook around here is on strike, doesn’t it? I think it’s more a thing of needing to hire a scribe because I currently have pictures for 4 posts. I’ve made supper the last 2 evenings, and for some crazy reason, I can’t remember back farther than that. Probably several snacky fend-for-yourself meals in there somewhere. Yeah, we do have those weekly, and then some more on the weekend… that’s why I try to keep frozen pizzas, hot dogs, nacho stuff, cheese & pretzels, and cold cereal on hand. Anyway, the last 2 evenings, we’ve had grilled chicken salad and wet burritos, respectively. I like the grilled chicken salad because all I have to do is throw a couple salads together and possibly pop some refrigerated Pillsbury breadsticks in the oven… the rest is on the grill, which, if you’ve been reading Kitchen Scrapbook for any length of time, you’ll know I don’t touch the grill. I have the 4 plates of salad sitting out on the counter and Shannon brings the chicken in AND cuts it up and puts it on top of the salads. On the wet burritos, I read my post on that last night and thought it was strange that I served crescent rolls and salad with it. Huh? That sounds more like lasagna sides! I don’t even remember serving that with it; now I serve tortilla chips salsa with it. And sometimes applesauce, just because I have a thing aboout that there’s gotta be at least 3 different things on the table, not counting condiments, otherwise it looks skimpy.

I finally made my salad that I’d been craving a couple weeks ago. So, what does the word ‘colorific’ mean? I decided it must be a made up combo, merging colorful and terrific. And that would fit this salad. I got this recipe from Jolene. Thanks, Jolene, it’s a keeper! Connie, thanks for your recipe too, I’d like to try it sometime… I don’t go for feta cheese, but I’ll bet that could be substituted for mozzarella.


Colorific Salad
1 c. craisins
1 c. red peppers
1 c. honey roasted sesame sticks
1 c. pecans
2 c. shredded cheese
1/2 of a purple onion
1 head of romaine lettuce

Mmmmm… you know it’s gonna be a good salad when you have to say “Where’s the lettuce?” ????

Oh, one little tidbit… I took the idea from Connie’s recipe to saute the pecans… yum! I didn’t sugar them though.

1 T. mustard
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. vinegar
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. minced onion Blend dressing in blender. I put this picture on here so you can see what color the dressing is…
colorific-salad-dressing.jpgToss with salad ingredients.
I was taking this to a carry-in meal at church, so I took it in this big bowl with a lid (more room for tossing) and put the dressing in a separate container… you can see it all in the background here.

And then, instead of letting the kitchen help take care of tossing my salad, I went out when church was almost over to do it myself so I could get a ‘done’ picture. ????


Next up… Megan’s puppy birthday cake. How did my baby turn 1 already?!

And this afternoon, I’m planning to bake monster cookies. Yay! I just did last week, but who cares. In a perfect world, I’d bake ’em every week. :)


5 Responses to “Colorific Salad”

  1. joe on June 17th, 2011 6:15 am

    No comments?!?!……hmmmm….well I ain’t sayin a word! LOL

  2. Kay on June 17th, 2011 8:18 am

    Too late… you already gave your opinion on this AWESOME salad yesterday.:) You don’t know what you’re missing, especially with those nuts and craisins in there. Ha.

  3. Liz on June 17th, 2011 5:23 pm

    Monster cookies again? :) They are really good and the scales showed it. :( Oh, well, I’m dieting again anyway. Ha!
    Looks like a salad I would try. If someone else made it. I can’t see it going over real good in this household.

  4. Connie Stoll on June 18th, 2011 9:24 pm

    Yum, this does look good! I’m going to try this one, too.

  5. Kim on June 25th, 2011 7:32 pm

    Finally, something a dieter can eat! ???? It looks delicious. Gonna have to try it soon.
    …always fun to browse here!

Cranberry Relish or Salad

Posted on December 22, 2009
Filed Under Holiday cooking, Salads

This is a cranberry relish recipe that Mom added some variation to. It is SO good!!!! You don’t even have to be crazy about cranberries to like it. Mom gave me this recipe along with the ingredients. :) There are several different ways to make it and on the recipe she wrote: “It might not always taste exactly the same, but always leaves that crisp flavor in your mouth!”


Cranberry Relish

Printable recipe coming soon.

2 cups washed, raw cranberries
2 cored apples
1 large peeled orange, or put in some peel if you like OR substitute the orange for crushed pineapple
1 – 2 cups sugar, to your taste
1/2 cup or more chopped walnuts or pecans

Pulse in blender or grind together berries and oranges. Do not over blend to mush. I opted for the crushed pineapple instead of the orange. I LOVE pineapple! I put in about half of a can.

Shred or chop apples. Add nuts.

Mix together and keep tasting and adding sugar till happy. I liked it with 1 cup of sugar… didn’t want to interfere too much with the tartness. Don’t miss popping a few cranberries between your teeth for a tart burst of flavor! Makes 3 cups. May be frozen.

And here’s another variation, which I love! You can also mix in some Cool Whip and cream cheese. Mmmmm! I think this addition would make it a salad instead of relish.

So there you go, this one or that one… take your pick… you can’t go wrong either way! :)


3 Responses to “Cranberry Relish or Salad”

  1. Marlene Graber on January 21st, 2010 8:35 am

    I just looked at this again, one reason was to look up the recipe (!) to make it for tonight’s supper. I just saw again how beautiful you set up the stage for the pictures! As elegant to the eyes as delectable to the taste! Can’t wait to indulge again. Fresh cranberries actually last pretty long in the fridge.

  2. Kymmi on February 7th, 2010 3:14 pm

    Kay, Wonderful site. I needed equivalents for a super bowl party and did not want to go any were but Sam’s. Also first feed I have ever subscribed to. Will certainly give you, Kay, the credit for the relish recipe I just downloaded.


  3. Pat on February 21st, 2010 12:27 pm

    I always enjoyed your recipes but never left a comment. I’m sad to see you’ve abandoned this site!

Robust Italian Salad with Homemade Croutons

Posted on December 3, 2008
Filed Under Salads

Here’s a quick and easy and delicious salad recipe you’ve gotta have. It’s got Italian flavor. Yum. I actually put Italian seasoning on lots of stuff, including all salads.

This salad recipe comes with a homemade croutons recipe. I haven’t bought croutons for several years now… these don’t take long to make and it uses up bread that’s not soft anymore and here’s the best thing about them (besides the taste): They’re soft enough to poke with a fork, but still have a crunch. I don’t like croutons that are so hard that when you try to poke them on your fork, they break into 5 pieces and no piece actually gets onto the fork. Just a trivial tidbit that this reminds me of… when we were on our FIRST date, we were at a restaurant eating our house salads and my boyfriend (who’s now my husband) poked into a crouton and a piece shot across the table and hit me. I still remember, in my nervousness, trying to make a quick decision of whether I should ignore it or laugh about it or throw it back at him. We just laughed about it. Now, I kinda feel like telling you all about our first date because several funny things happened and I still remember thinking it was so crazy that I was nervous because we were highschool sweethearts and were just WAAAAAAAITING for my 18th birthday when I was allowed to date (we had our first date the evening of my 18th birthday) and I guess I was nervous because the atmosphere was somehow different and this was the real thing, but I guess I won’t go into it because most of it has nothing to do with cooking, not that everything I write on here has something to do with cooking.


Robust Italian Salad …recipe comes from the 2001 Quick Cooking annual cookbook

Printable recipe

1 pkg (16 oz) ready-to-serve salad
1 pkg (2 1/2 oz) sliced pastrami, cut into 1/2″ pieces, optional
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
1 cup Seasoned Croutons (recipe below)
Sliced ripe olives, optional

In a large salad bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Top with croutons and olives if desired.


Garnish with tomato roses and parsley.

Seasoned Croutons (the kind that don’t shoot across the table when you poke them with your fork)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
Pinch of salt
6 slices day-old bread, cubed
In an ungreased pan, combine the first 7 ingredients. Place in a 300-degree oven until butter is melted. Remove from the oven; stir to combine. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Bake for 10 – 15 min or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cool. Store in refrigerator in airtight container. Yield: 3 cups. These are not only great with salad, but we also use them in soup.


3 Responses to “Robust Italian Salad with Homemade Croutons”

  1. Shannon on December 3rd, 2008 7:56 am

    Oh my lands, I could eat some for breakfast! :) Without tomatoes. :)

  2. Arla on December 3rd, 2008 12:26 pm

    Hi Kay,
    It’s good to see you’re back and writing blogs again. I like the crouton idea. It’s just about as good as making the old bread into bread pudding.

  3. liz on December 3rd, 2008 7:46 pm

    Mom was just saying she told you that you probably don’t have time to update what with having so much company. You must need more company – wish I could help you out.=) Give me a couple of weeks. Can’t wait.

Mom’s Potato Salad

Posted on October 20, 2008
Filed Under Salads, Side dishes

Because Mom’s is always the best, isn’t it? No matter who ‘Mom’ is.

This potato salad is not my mom’s recipe, it’s just potato salad that’s like hers… just basic potato salad, with no fears of biting into a piece of celery or a pimiento. The reason it’s not her exact recipe is because there is none. She just cooks a few potatoes, cooks a few eggs, and makes the dressing, which is a few dollops of salad dressing, a bit of milk, a squirt of mustard, a scoop of sugar, etc., then she tastes it and adds more as needed.

I think that’s what makes a truly good cook… when you don’t need recipes, yet the food turns out great. My sister Jan inherited that style of cooking, but not me. I do really admire that style of cooking and am impressed when I ask someone for a recipe and they say ‘I don’t actually have one’. But the times I’ve tried to fling it without a recipe, it’s been mostly flops, so I’ll stick to recipes.

This recipe doesn’t have progressive pictures because I wasn’t planning to post it when I made it, but then after tasting it again, I changed my mind because I just love it. But, you didn’t miss much by no progressive pictures, it’s pretty basic.


Mom’s Potato Salad

Printable recipe

6 hard boiled eggs, cut up (I put them thro’ the egg slicer one way, then the other)
5 medium potatoes, cooked, then peeled, then cooled, then shredded

1 1/2 cups salad dressing
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 heaping cup of sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk

Pour dressing over potatoes and eggs and stir slowly till evenly mixed. Refrigerate. It can be made ahead… it’s just as good or better the next day. Enjoy!



10 Responses to “Mom’s Potato Salad”

  1. Monica on October 20th, 2008 9:10 am

    Mmmmm!! I love potato salad, especially in the summertime. But, I’ll have to say that I like the crunch of celery in mine!! :) And a teeny tiny bit of really fine onions.

  2. Barb on October 20th, 2008 9:45 am

    Kay, I am soooooo glad you’re back, and getting settled into your new home. I missed your updates and wonderful recipes.

    Potato salad has to be about one of my favorite foods. I do agree with Monica though and would put celery and onion in mine. Although yours looks really good too, just a basic one.

    I have been wanting to make potato salad anyway, so I think I will just make some today since I read your post.

  3. Michelle on October 20th, 2008 9:56 am

    I’m glad your back!!!!!! The potato salad looks delicious, except I like the crunch of celery in mine. I usually add more than the recipe says because I like it so much. Makes me kinda of hungry for some right now…

  4. Judi on October 20th, 2008 12:04 pm

    Your pictured plate looks like what my hubby is making for dinner tonight. I love having a retired hubby.

  5. Freida on October 20th, 2008 12:58 pm

    Ahh, my kind of potatoe salad- no celery OR onion. I’ll have to try this. Probably won’t be till next year sometime, since I hardly EVER make potatoe salad. :)

  6. Joanna on October 20th, 2008 3:05 pm

    I’m w/ you & Freida—definitely no celery or onion crunchies. I actually put a little bit of celery salt & onion powder in mine ’cause I like what it does for the flavor, but I hate the crunch!
    I just ate, but now I’m hungry again…. ????

  7. denise on October 20th, 2008 6:33 pm

    Here’s a little suggestion. My husband doesn’t care for pieces of celery or onion in his potato or macaroni salad, but I like the flavor and don’t want to let that taste out. So I substitute celery salt for half of the salt called for. Then I also add onion powder– a few shakes.( not sure how much cause I’m way too much of an add a little bit of this and a little bit of that type of cook). Anyway, the potato salad does look very yummy. And by the way my husband really likes potato salad made the way I make it. But everybody likes something different so it might not be to your liking. Just thought I’d drop a suggestion. Glad 2 see you are back with us and posting your wonderful recipes. Have a great day!! :-)

  8. cathy on October 21st, 2008 12:00 pm

    I also like onions and celery in mine. I have never heard of putting in milk and sugar..Wouldn’t that make it really sweet?

  9. Ruth on October 26th, 2008 3:16 pm

    Your recipe is a lot like mine except I want celery and onion in mine, and I run the potatoes and eggs through a grater. I was surprised how much sugar goes into a good salad dressing, and it doesn’t taste sweet either, just good.

    We moved in the last year, after living at one place for the 20 years of our marriage. It is quite a chore!! I’m still unpacking and trying to find places for some of my things. I like to keep my seasonings and herbs in alphabetic order on several lazy susan type thig-a-ma-jigs.

  10. Lorrie on March 29th, 2009 7:48 pm

    I have a few favorites of potato salad, but this sounds interesting. I’m going to try it and see. Thanks!

Creamy Sweet & Sour Cole Slaw – Out of My Comfort Zone #6

Posted on July 14, 2008
Filed Under Out of My Comfort Zone, Salads

I’m going to throw in another ‘Out of my comfort zone cooking’ post. Because that’s exactly what it was. I didn’t know a thing about cole slaw, except that I like to eat it. I don’t remember ever buying cabbage in my life. I do, however, remember a science experiment in grade school involving purple cabbage, but I forget what it was all about or I’d tell you. It must not have made an impression on me back then.

I was walking thro’ the grocery store the other day and beside the bagged ready-made lettuce salads in the produce section was shredded cabbage. I suddenly got hungry for cole slaw. Instead of going over to the deli counter and ordering a small container of cole slaw, I decided to try homemade cole slaw, made by me. So, I grabbed a bag of the shredded cabbage.

We had a church picnic last night at Dan’s (our pastor’s) house. There were going to be burgers and hot dogs and from there we were supposed to bring a salad and dessert. I thought of cole slaw for the salad (and what I took for dessert will be featured in the next post). The nice thing about a potluck where there are 50 dishes to choose from is that if something flops, there are enough other dishes to pick from. The other nice thing about a potluck is that if something flops, nobody knows who made it. Unless they ask around. So, I made cole slaw.

I learned something about cole slaw. Saturday evening, I was chatting online with my aunt and I asked her if I should make the cole slaw now so the flavors can blend together or if it would just get mushy and if it would be better to wait till Sunday afternoon. She said she doesn’t know (she must not make cole slaw very often either :) ), and said ‘why do today what you can put off till tomorrow’. So, me, being an expert at procrastinating, made it Sunday afternoon, about 4 hours before the picnic. It looked perfect. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge and went to take a nap. 3 1/2 hours later, I got it out of the fridge to go to the picnic and it looked totally different! It had gotten runny and the cabbage was softer than it had been! Must’ve been from the sugar in it. I was so glad I hadn’t made it Saturday evening, because it was about perfect at the picnic. It may have gotten too mushy made too far ahead of time.

Another thing I learned is that it is possible for me to make good coleslaw and another thing I learned is that it’s SO easy and quick to make! This recipe is taken from the Famous Daves Backroads and Sidestreets cookbook.

Creamy Sweet & Sour Cole Slaw

Printable recipe 

10 cups chopped shredded red and green cabbage
1/4 cup grated carrot
2 cups Miracle whip
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish (I’d recommend not putting this much in unless you’re making it for a Memphis-style sandwich or really really like horseradish ???? )
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. celery seeds

Toss the cabbage and carrot in a bowl. I used a bag of shredded cabbage and carrots. The bag said there is 7 1/2 cups in it, so I just didn’t put all the dressing on.

Mix salad dressing, sugar, horseradish, dry mustard, white pepper, salt, garlic powder, and celery seeds in a bowl. Add to cabbage mixture and mix well.

Chill, covered, until serving time. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Right after mixing…

3 1/2 hours later…
That coloring difference is from different lighting, but it did actually get lighter in color too. Actually, I guess it does look more like real cole slaw in this picture. Maybe all cole slaw recipes do that. As far as the taste of this, it was great! It will be my cole slaw recipe, but I might try others now and then too. I’m just so impressed how easy it was and how flavorful it was. I’d even make it for company. Or for a summer picnic. Or just for anyhow.


3 Responses to “Creamy Sweet & Sour Cole Slaw – Out of My Comfort Zone #6”

  1. Shannon on July 15th, 2008 7:09 am

    I love cole slaw. Need to try this cause it looks easy enough. (The bag of cabbage appeals to me) :)

  2. Lisa on July 15th, 2008 7:30 am

    This past 4th of July was the first time I made coleslaw too. I went with a Blue Cheese Coleslaw. I got the recipe from a friend, and had just never gotten around to trying it. It turned out great and there wasn’t much left of it after the party. I highly recommend giving the Blue Cheese recipe a try too! It was really good.

  3. Mary Faith on July 15th, 2008 10:06 am

    Coleslaw is definitely better (in my opinion anyway) made several hours ahead of time. This makes me hungry for coleslaw again! I got a recipe years ago that tastes very much like the KFC coleslaw. I’ll have to try this one. It looks very good, too!

Berry-Mandarin Tossed Salad – Out of My Comfort Zone Cooking #5

Posted on May 29, 2008
Filed Under Out of My Comfort Zone, Salads

Do you ever just stop and wonder WHO decided what goes together? And who decided that scrambled eggs and pancakes are breakfast foods? And who decided that you shouldn’t eat ice cream or a Hershey’s w Almonds candy bar before 10:00 a.m.? And who decided that corndogs are a kid’s food? And WHO was the first person to have the guts to put fruit and nuts in a lettuce salad?!


But, you know what, this salad was good! Really good! I could not believe it! And I could also barely stop eating it! If you have never tried it, this recipe would be a great one to try it on. Especially the strawberries were good with it. And the dressing.

If any of you are coming up for air about anything in the first paragraph… “Hey, we eat scrambled eggs and pancakes for supper sometimes!” “Hey, c’mon, I eat ice cream every morning!” “I LOVE corndogs and I’m 27!”, I know, I know. Me too. Well, me too all except the parts about ice cream EVERY morning and being 27. But, when you have pancakes and eggs for supper, you call it a ‘breakfast supper’. And I would think my husband was the one who decided that about no ice cream or candy bars before 10:00 (yes, we’ve had these discussions), except that Dairy Queen doesn’t open till 11:00 a.m., so that’s kind of another clue. And have you ever seen corndogs on the regular menu at a restaurant? Nope, you’d have to order them off the kid’s menu. There, that oughta save some ranting in the comment section. :)

Back to this salad, it comes from the 2001 Quick Cooking Annual cookbook. There’s a picture, and it is so colorful, and it grabbed me. I also learned something… I almost didn’t put the onions in because I do not like raw onions in stuff and was afraid that the amount of them would for sure wreck it. The recipe calls for a sweet onion, so when I went shopping, I made sure to get an onion labeled ‘sweet’. It was a world of difference from the regular onions I usually buy! These were good! And not as strong. I’d still use the regular onions for cooking, but I won’t dodge around raw onions in other recipes anymore… I’ll just make sure they’re sweet onions.

Berry-Mandarin Tossed Salad

1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. grated onion
1/4 tsp. celery seed
Dash of salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil

8 cups torn mixed salad greens (if you see grated carrots and red cabbage in there, it’s because my bag of ready-to-serve Romaine salad mix had them in)
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Note: To toast the almonds, I just tossed them with about a teaspoon of melted butter in a pan, then put them in a 400 degree oven till they started turning brown, maybe 10 minutes or so, I didn’t time them, just kept checking them.
In a 2-cup microwave-safe bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 1 1/2 -2 minutes; stir until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in oil. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
I actually had some problems with the dressing… the oil didn’t want to blend into the rest of the stuff, the dressing got really thick after being in the refrigerator, and I thought it was too much dressing. And I did follow the recipe exactly, right down to the celery seed. It actually worked out ok and coated the salad evenly (I was afraid it would be thick in some places and none in other places). I think next time, I would put only about 2/3rds of it on though.

In a salad bowl, combine the greens, strawberries, oranges, onion, almonds, and bacon.

So pretty, huh?


Drizzle with dressing and gently toss to coat. Yield: 12-14 servings.

Maybe this type of thing is a regular dish on some of your tables, but we don’t see it much around here. I’m going to take this salad to the next fellowship meal at church… see if anyone takes any. :)

And now, I have to get an inspiration for something to make for a meal this evening… we eat in a little over an hour and a half and I have no clue what we’re going to have. Any ideas?



21 Responses to “Berry-Mandarin Tossed Salad – Out of My Comfort Zone Cooking #5”

  1. Liz on May 29th, 2008 3:53 pm

    I don’t know what we are having for supper tonight either and I really should know cause Elvie might be home in 1/2 hour. If I see this salad at church I think I’ll atleast try some. So a little bit will be gone. It looks good though.

  2. Annette33 on May 29th, 2008 3:58 pm

    Spaghetti, here! I planned it yesterday, but dang, realized I forgot to pick up the garlic bread. What’s spaghetti without garlic bread??

  3. Arla on May 29th, 2008 4:38 pm

    Hey, why not have a breakfast supper of pancakes and scrambled eggs. We actually have pancakes for supper more often than for breakfast because Elv really likes them and he’s more likely to be here at supper time that at breakfast. The salad looks wonderful. I’ve been looking at those strawberries at the store and wondering what to do with them; vetoing all those deserts we don’t need. Now, you’ve given me excuse to buy them, thanks!

  4. Shannon on May 29th, 2008 4:42 pm

    Ummm, I think I’ll still skip the onions, sweet or not sweet. :) Someone at church makes a salad with Strawberries in it. I’ll have to try some the next time I see it.

  5. lisa on May 29th, 2008 5:04 pm

    we would love this salad. unless i put the onions in. marc would quietly pick them out.

  6. cretora on May 29th, 2008 5:20 pm

    Mmmm! This looks like an awesome summer salad! So pretty and yummy looking all in one. I think you probably hit on a winner here. :)This I’ll have to try.

  7. Michelle on May 29th, 2008 5:34 pm

    Yum! I’ll have to try this. I like about any salad with fruit in it. I know it’s kinda after supper time but for what it’s worth we had the chicken squares tonite. I had kinda forgotten about that recipe until you posted it a couple weeks ago. It’s very good and easy to make!

  8. Sharon on May 29th, 2008 6:01 pm

    I will have to try this, too! I stayed away from “those kind” of salads for awhile ’cause I thought they sounded funny, but then I had a fruit and nut one at a company meal (at someone else’s place–wow! what guts! I thought) and it was REALLY GOOD! I’m with you on the sweet onions–I actually like the stronger ones, too, if it’s just a bit for flavor, but definitely sweet ones are the ones for stuff like this!

  9. Karisa on May 29th, 2008 6:19 pm

    It looks delightful!!!! I have had salads with fruit in and I love them. Last summer I had one with feta cheese and strawberries and I couldn’t get done eating it :)

  10. Kris on May 29th, 2008 7:56 pm

    I am like you and would have turned my nose up at a salad with fruit and nuts in it too at one time. Then several years ago I had a spinach salad with fruit and nuts in it, tossed with a Raspberry vinagerette. Yummy! I totally love making salads like this now. Spinach, mandarin oranges or strawberries or dried cranberries with onions and nuts are so yummy! There is a Crunchy Romaine Strawberry Salad at that is so good!

    I always buy sweet onions for my everyday cooking because my husband is sensative to strong onion flavor, and I love onions, so this is a way we can both enjoy them.

  11. Jo on May 29th, 2008 8:06 pm

    Looks oh!-so-refreshing for a muggy summer day! Will have to try this one sometime, as soon as fresh strawberries are available.

  12. Roxanna on May 29th, 2008 8:56 pm

    Have lots of salads with fruit in them around here and we love them! Annette33-here’s a suggestion for when you forget to get the garlic bread. Take regular sliced bread and butter it. Sprinkle it with garlic salt (not powder) and broil it until its brown. This is quick and easy and a great substitute in a pinch! p.s. homemade bread is REALLY good like this but boughten works great too!

  13. Lisa on May 30th, 2008 5:28 am

    I love variety in salad, since I eat lots of salad I am actually always looking for something new and different. Fruits and nuts – oh yeah! One of my favorites is apple, feta and walnuts – so good.

    Here’s a little tip for those of you who don’t like the “bite” of onion so much. Put the sliced onions in a collander and pour boiling water over them, then immediately pour cold water over them to stop the cooking process. The boiling water takes out the strong flavor and leaves you with a milder onion. Try it!

  14. Monica on May 30th, 2008 7:57 am

    It sounds good!! I didn’t used to like salads like that, but the more I have them, the more I like them!! I recently made a spinach-strawberry salad with a raspberry dressing that was delicious!!

  15. barb on May 30th, 2008 9:04 am

    My sister gave me a tip on homemade salad dressings. So many of them seperate after they have been in the fridge for a while.(like you mentioned) Just put all of the ingredients in the blender and mix for 3-4 minutes. It really works.

    I am not sure if you could do this with a cooked dressing, but it seems like it would work after you let it cool a little. That should keep the oil from seperating.

    This salad recipe looks great. Thanks for sharing another great idea.

  16. barb on May 30th, 2008 9:17 am

    I would make the peanut butter dream bars, but I would like it better if my friend/neighbor (Roxanna) would let me taste hers. HINT, HINT.

    Kay, I know I have told you before but I’ll say it again. I LOVE your site.
    I would love to do the same thing you are doing. I am always thinking of a recipe or tip that you should post on your site, so I really should start my own. I just think it would take too much of my time. How much time do you spend in a week taking pictures and doing all these post? Just curious.

    Also, could I suggest a post on soft pretzel? I have a recipe that really does taste like the ones at the mall. And you don’t have to let them raise twice like most other yeast products. So they are really easy and fast!!! Just comment back here if you are interested. Maybe I could email it to you.

  17. Kay on May 30th, 2008 9:47 am

    Thanks to those of you who put tips and suggestions into the comments, like Kris, Roxanna, Lisa, and Barb above. I love that!

    Sharon, about you being surprised someone served that to company, that was funny because I had told Shannon that I’m going to make this for carry-in, but I wouldn’t make it for company because at carry-in, they can pass it up if they want to, where with company it wouldn’t be as easy to pass on.

    Barb, yeah! Start a food blog! It is so much fun. It does take time, but we all spend time on hobbies, not? :) It’s actually more like a part-time job… if I update 5 times a week, I’d say I’ve spent roughly 20 hours/week making the food, taking pictures, posting, and managing it. I do need to cook though, so some of that cooking time would be done anyway, but it is amazing how much time it takes to take pictures, esp because I usually take several of one step, then pick the best one.

    I’ve never made soft pretzels, but I’ve always wanted to. I guess that would fit in with ‘Out of my Comfort Zone’. I’ve heard there is a knack to it and that you need certain tips and all, so I’ve always been scared to try them. I’d love the recipe though! I’d definitely try them and do a post, unless you decide to start a site, that could be your first post! Tasting like the ones in the mall sounds like a winner! :) My email address is

  18. LaDonna on May 30th, 2008 12:36 pm

    I have never tried fruit or nuts in a lettuce salad maybe I’ll take the plung and try this one. Love your site by the way I have tried several recipes and loved them. Thanks so much for the ideas and impute. I think the hardest thing about cooking is deciding what to make. You help that process along for me. thanks!

    I do have to make a comment about breakfasts foods because I totally have wondered the same thing. I have always eaten wierd for breakfast like leftovers from the night before. My family always teases me about it. But I’m like hey who says that you can’t eat chicken or mashed potatoes for breakfast. That sounds a little healthier that sausage and bacon anyway ???? There is one thing that I have found that I can not stomach before ten o’clock and that is a salad. Something about the raw veggies or something just doesn’t sit well on the stomach…anyway sorry about the ranting ;-)I’ll have to try that salad,…just not before ten o’clock.

  19. LaDonna on May 30th, 2008 12:38 pm

    Oops, that’s input not impute that’s what I get for sending a comment and not reading over it before it’s sent.

  20. Rosa on May 30th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Just wanted to tell you i LOVE your site! so interesting & practical… i love grilled food & am looking forward to the”perfect steak” post…maybe in time for Father’s Day?

  21. Denise on June 2nd, 2008 2:21 pm

    Hey, just wanted to let you know that the P.B. Dream Bars were a huge hit. I made them for that carry-in supper. There were 3 other kinds of cookies and bars. Every other kind still had some left but these bars were totally cleaned up. And I got a lot of comments on how good they were! Thanks

Corn Chip Salad – Crunchy and delicious!

Posted on April 21, 2008
Filed Under Salads

I tried the corn chip salad over the weekend. Thanks for the recipe, Barb!


Barb posted it in the comment section of this post. She didn’t leave a link, so I can’t refer you to her site if she has one. The salad is very easy to make (no veggies to chunk up) and has a nice crunch to it. I liked the combo of salty (corn chips) and sweet (dressing).

Usually, when I think of salad, I think ‘diet’. This is not by any means a ‘diet’ salad! The only thing diet in there is the lettuce. Everthing else is laden with calories and fat. No wonder the salad is so good, huh?!

Barb was right though… leftovers are not good! I made 1/4 batch just for us and we didn’t eat it all, so I put it back in the fridge. The next day, it was soggy and the lettuce was wilted.

I’d say a whole batch would be about right for 18-20 people, unless you’re making it to go along with a big meal, then it would feed more people, maybe more like 25. Ok, hopefully that guess isn’t too far off for those of you who have it in a cookbook if it says how many servings it is! I could not find a corn chip salad recipe in any of my cookbooks.

Corn Chip Salad

1 head lettuce
6-8 hard boiled eggs
1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 pound shredded colby or cheddar cheese
4-6 cups corn chips, crushed (the more-the better)

1 cup miracle whip
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (can use apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Toss lettuce, eggs, bacon, and cheese. Add chips and dressing just before serving.

salad1.jpg  …Lettuce

salad2.jpg  …Eggs

salad3.jpg   …Bacon and cheese

salad4.jpg   Toss it.

salad5.jpg  Add dressing and corn chips.

I just put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and beat it with a wire whisk. Forgot to get a picture of it.

Toss it all together.


Sounds like some of you have made this, but if you haven’t, I’d highly recommend it. The corn chips in there is what makes it so good (and the bacon helps too!). Plus, I’ve always liked salads that are tossed with dressing.


9 Responses to “Corn Chip Salad – Crunchy and delicious!”

  1. Monica on April 21st, 2008 11:21 am

    I love this salad, too!!! I think it’s especially good made with the Chili-Cheese Fritos!!!

  2. Judi on April 21st, 2008 11:31 am

    Okay, so everything sounds real good, but the eggs are kind of throwing me. I’ll definitely have to give it a try. Thanks

  3. Audrey on April 21st, 2008 11:38 am

    What a really great recipe. Very simple.

  4. Shannon on April 21st, 2008 11:59 am

    That looks wonderful! I’m gonna have to try it. I know my girls would love it.

  5. Amber on April 21st, 2008 3:14 pm

    I make it without eggs and bacon and add pinto beans and this dressing:
    2 c. mayo
    1 c. sugar
    1/3 c. ketchup
    1/3 c. oil
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 Tbl. honey mustard
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. red pepper

    Or, you can just use French dressing. It tastes more like a taco salad. :)

  6. Bill Beck on April 22nd, 2008 9:34 pm

    Congratulations!!! You have been nominated for a 2007 Best Of Blog Award!! To find out more about how your site has a chance to become one of this year’s Best Of’s and how to nominate other bloggers, visit us at Remember voting begins May 5th so make sure you pass the word to your friends, family, and faithful followers.

    Bill Beck
    Project Mgr.

  7. Jessi on April 22nd, 2008 9:59 pm

    THANKS! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of weeks (I think I found it via Nate’s Conf. of CF) and have tried several recipes….I needed to come up w/ a good salad, for an event our Women’s Ministry is having on Friday-this sounds easy enough! (Except for hard boiling eggs and making the bacon….LOL!)


  8. Nancy on April 26th, 2008 5:28 am

    Last evening we had a family gathering and I took the Corn Chip Salad. It was SOOOO good. I will be making that again. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I have been enjoying them.

  9. Roxanna on April 28th, 2008 9:29 pm

    Thanks to Barb and you for the wonderful cornchip salad recipe! My daughter Makenzie (8) just loves it! I really like your website and I can’t wait to try the pb cookies. I have a hard time getting them chewy so am anxious to try! God bless!

An Entire Meal of New Recipes

Tired of looking at roses? Me too! Time to dust off this site again and put something fresh on here.

I’m going to feature a full meal today, a napkin folding post soon, and hopefully some inspiration will come by the weekend for some Thanksgiving ideas!

This meal is taken out of the 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook on pages 8 & 9… I know, I’m like a broken record, Quick Cooking cookbook this, Quick Cooking cookbook that. I just love those cookbooks, and you know why? Because they have PICTURES!!!!

Pepper Jack Meat Loaf

1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute (I used an egg)
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup (4 oz) shredded pepperjack or monterey jack cheese, divided (I used all pepperjack cheese.)

In a lg bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press half of the beef mixture onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of a greased 8″x4″x2″ loaf pan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over meat to within 1/2″ of sides.
Pat remaining beef mixture over cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 50 – 55 minutes until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 min longer or until cheese is melted.
Let stand for 10 min before slicing.
meatloaf3Yield: 6 servings. We really liked this! It was good for something different, although I still prefer meatloaf with ketchup stuff on top. That pepperjack cheese really gave it some kick. Lexi (who is 4 and a picky eater) said it’s too spicy. Tiffany (who is 19 mos and eats anything) chowed it right down. We ate it with ketchup.

Potato Chip Potatoes

6 medium potaoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
3/4 cup crushed potato chips, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a bowl, combine everything, except 1/4 cup of potato chips; toss to combine.Transfer to a greased shallow 2 qt baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining potato chips. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 40 – 50 min or until potatoes are tender.
potatoesYield: 6 – 8 servings. This was good, but nothing special. We ate it with ketchup because it was kinda blah without anything. It’s a good way to use up those last broken up chips at the bottom of the bag.

Creamy Pea Salad

2 pkgs (16 oz each) frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion, chopped (onion AGAIN!)
1 cup mayo or salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a bowl, combine everything except the bacon; mix well. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with bacon.
pea saladYield: 6 – 8 servings. Ok, I’m not even gonna pretend… this was NOT at all good! I don’t like cold peas or raw onions, but I decided to be open-minded and give it a shot, thinking maybe the other ingredients would make it good. None of the others liked it either. I ended up fishing out and eating the cheese and bacon and threw the rest away.

Chocolate Cherry Angel Cake

1 pkg (16 oz) angel food cake mix
1/3 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, well drained
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate, grated  I put an ounce (at least an ounce ) of milk choc chips in a food chopper.
2 Tbsp. butter (no substitutes)
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate Again, I used milk choc… I try to stick to the recipe, but with chocolate, whenever I use semisweet like the recipe says, I always end up saying ‘next time I’ll use milk chocolate’. So I’m just going to start always using milk choc the 1st time.
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 to 5 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherries and fresh mint, optional

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Fold cherries and chocolate into the batter. Pour into an ungreased 10″ tube pan.
cherrycake1Bake at 350 for 40 – 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely. Run a knife around sides of cake and remove from pan. In a saucepan, combine butter, chocolate, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and cherry juice until glaze reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over cake.
Garnish with cherries and mint if desired.
cherrycake5Yield: 12 servings. YUM!!!! This tasted as good as it looked! If you like chocolate covered cherries, you’ll like this! Shannon doesn’t like cherries and he even kinda liked it. It would be GREAT for around Christmas time too… doesn’t it look sorta Christmas-y?

All-in-one Taco Salad

Tried and True

Not a new recipe. Just one that’s so good, you’ve gotta have it!  It’s from the Derstine cookbook .

Taco Salad

1 lb hamburger
1 chopped onion
Salt and pepper
2 cans chili beans
Taco salad seasoning, 1 envelope
Lettuce, chopped (I use about 2 heads)
4 med tomatoes, diced
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated (I use taco cheese or Mexican cheese)

Sprinkle on crushed taco chips
2 c. oil
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. ketchup

Fry hamburger, add rest of ingredients, serving over lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Blend dressing thoroughly. I do an all-in-salad side dish out of this recipe. When we were on food committee at church, I got the idea from one of the ladies (actually she’s one of the Derstine’s who compiled the cookbook) who makes it whenever she’s on for salad.

Pictured below is a half batch. Fry the hamburger and onion. Add taco seasoning and salt and pepper. Drain the beans a little and put them in a large bowl.
Put in the hamburger mixture next.
Put cheese over that (the hamburger should be cold so the cheese doesn’t melt).
Put diced tomatoes on next (forgot to take a picture).
Then the lettuce.
Then the crushed chips (again forgot a picture). I make the chip layer at least 1/2″ deep. At this point, you can put the lid on and it can be refrigerated for at least a couple hours. Mix all the dressing ingredients in the blender.
Toss the salad and mix the dressing in (I don’t use quite all the dressing). Serve immediately.
taco5  Forgot a finished product picture, so this is what was left after the meal. Leftovers are not good… If you make it for lunch, the lettuce will be wilty and the chips will be soggy by suppertime. If served as a side dish, I’d say a whole batch would serve about 25 people. We had grilled brats and hot dogs with it… I know, kinda mixing all-American with Mexican, but that’s what we were in the mood for.


One Response to “All-in-one Taco Salad”

  1. Church Envelopes on April 13th, 2008 9:33 am

    I was researching the same thing when I saw this.. I can not agree more – but I am still going to look for a better source

Valentine’s Day is this week!

Posted on February 11, 2007
Filed Under Cakes, Holiday cooking, Salads

I just thought about it that I should’ve done a little Valentine’s meal in advance in case anyone wants ideas. For as long as I can remember, Mom made a heart-shaped meal every Valentine’s Day. Even after we children started getting married, it has stayed a tradition and we still get together for it. It’s often heart-shaped meatloaf, scalloped potatoes with heart-shaped potato slices on top, salad with heart-shaped cheese and meat in it, bread slices cut out in heart shapes, red punch, candy favors and jellos beside each plate, and a chocolate cake with caramel and white mtn icing. But, we’re not stuck on the same menu. One year we made heart-shaped pizzas. Here are a couple pictures of the table from the last couple years. I didn’t have good pictures of the food… I wasn’t into food photography then yet.   When we have our meal this year, I’ll be sure to get good pictures and put them on here.
vtines05 2005
vtines06 2006
Krista and Lexi with their Valentine chocolates from Grandpa.


And now for a couple recipes…  We had carry-in/fellowship meal/potluck at church today. I, wanting to be in the Valentine’s mood, made a couple things that were red and pink. I was on for salad and dessert.

Easy Cottage Cheese Salad    …From the Magnolia Cookery cookbook.

This is not kidding when it says ‘easy’! Here are the ingredients:
salad ingred A can of pineapple, a 3 oz box of jello (any flavor), a carton of Cool Whip, and a carton of cottage cheese.
One thing that makes it easy is that everything is all measured for you because you use it all.
Mix cottage cheese with dry jello. Mix well. Let set 5 min. Drain juice from fruit, then add to cottage cheese. Fold in the Cool Whip. Best when refrigerated 1 hour before serving. I really like this stuff!!!! But, no other comments from the other people in this household, please… they don’t feel quite the same about it as I do.
salad done

Red Velvet Cake     …From an Easy to Bake, Easy to Make recipe card

2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cans (16 oz each) prepared cream cheese frosting, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350. Coat the bottoms of two 9″ round cake pans with cooking spray. Place 1st 6 ingredients into large bowl of electric mixer. Mix on low speed, scraping bowl, until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, red food coloring, and vanilla and mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  (I wish I would’ve taken a picture of the unbaked batter, it looks pretty neat.)   Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and cool in pans on wire racks for 10 min. Turn cakes on to racks to cool completely. Stir frosting in cans to fluff the contents. With a spatula, loosen cakes from pans. Invert one layer onto plate.
red1 You can tell part of it is cut away… I do that to make it as level as possible. Plus, it gives some extra cake to make crumbs to go on top.  Spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Place second layer on top.
Spread top and sides with remaining frosting.
 It is SO good! People rave about it every time! It’s moist and soft. I usually make my own cream cheese frosting, but this time (because I like to try to make things as accurately as possible to feature on here) I bought it, like the recipe says. And, it just isn’t as good as homemade frosting!

I thought about baking it in heart-shaped pans, but didn’t then. If you make it for V-tines Day, you could do that OR bake it regular, then cut out heart-shaped pieces with a cookie cutter, then layer and frost them for individual serving sizes. That would look kind of cute sitting beside each plate.

Salad and dessert for a potluck

We had a carry-in/fellowship meal/potluck/whatever you call it at church today. I tried one new recipe and one old faithful. These 2 recipes would be well worth your time. Both are just great! The new recipe sorta turned out as a flop for looks, but was just delicious! I know now what happened, so I’m going to try it again sometime.

First of all, the new one… This recipe comes from the Treasured Recipes for our Mothers cookbook. Recipes submitted by Mr. Kolb and the 3rd and 4th grade class at the Lebanon Valley Christian School. We got this cookbook as a wedding gift from Elvin Martins.

Banana Split Ice Cream Dessert

3 bananas
1/2 gal. vanilla ice cream (in a square box)
1 c. nuts (I used walnuts , not chopped… more crunch that way!)
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. butter
2 c. 10X sugar (in WI, we call it powdered sugar )
1 1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla
1 pt. whipping cream or Cool Whip (I used Cool Whip)
1 1/2 c. graham crackers
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter

Cover bottom of 11″ x 15″ pan with graham cracker crust made from last 3 ingredients. Save 1/2 cup crumbs for top. I don’t have an 11×15 pan, so I put it in a 9×13. It worked fine, but the pan was full to the top… and that’s not why it flopped.

Slice bananas and layer over crust,

slice ice cream in 1/2″ slices over bananas,

sprinkle nuts over ice cream.
Freeze to firm. Melt the choc chips & 1/2 cup butter, add 10x sugar and evaporated milk. Cook mixture until thick and creamy, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool, spread over ice cream, freeze until firm. Whip cream until stiff (unless you’re using Cool Whip ), spread over choc layer and top with remaining crumbs. Store in freezer. Remove about 10 min before serving. Will keep several weeks!


My take on it: Absolutely tops! Definitely on my “would make again” list!!! It’s also fun to make, esp the slicing the ice cream part.  With all those ingredients together, you know you can’t go wrong!!!

Now, the ‘flop’ details… There’s a misprint in this cookbook. In the directions above, it says ‘cool’ instead of ‘cook’ until thick and creamy. That was very confusing to me, how you’d cool it, then remove it from the heat! So, anyway, my choc mixture never did cook, thus it never got very thick. But I poured it over the ice cream anyway and then panicked as it worked it’s way down into all the cracks and slowly but surely, traded places with the i.c.layer!  Then I was laying in bed stressing about it and a lightbulb came on in my head that it prob meant cook instead of cool! But it still tasted just GREAT and nobody at church probably knew anything was wrong with it.


And now the old faithful…  This is something my mom used to make when I was still at home (and still does). I remember requesting it for my birthday meals. It comes from the Taste of Home Recipe Book Second Edition . This cookbook was also a wedding gift, from Lee Rhodes’.

Four-Fruit Compote

1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/3 c. orange juice
1 T. lemon juice
1 can mandarin oranges, drained (we’ve never made it w oranges, and always sub 2 c. of grapes instead)
3 to 4 unpeeled apples, chopped
2 to 3 bananas, sliced

Drain pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup juice. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add pineapple juice, orange juice, and lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly; cook and stir one minute longer.

Remove from the heat; set aside. In a bowl, combine pineapple chunks, oranges, apples, and bananas.
Pour warm sauce over the fruit; stir gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate. Yield: 12 – 16 servings.


This can be made a day ahead, except the bananas should be sliced into it right before. They start getting brown and mushy after a few hours, but the apples hold up great. If you like glazed fruit salads, you’ve gotta try this one! It’s been my favorite as long as I can remember.   Sometimes Mom would add marshmallows or raisins.


Recipe Request

For the one who asked for a rice crispie roll recipe , I looked in about 15 of my cookbooks, including all my Taste of Home and Quick Cooking, and didn’t find one. So, I went online and found this one . It’s great… there are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures and they look SO neat!!! I just might have to try them myself! Hope that’s what you were looking for!