7 Easy Homemade Salad Dressings ~ So Much Healthier!






I don’t know about you, but I LOVE salads.  The more you can cram into it, the better.  Nothing quite tops it off though like a great dressing.  Full of flavour, just the right amount and ooooh so delicious!

I find though that most dressings are either A.  Full of sodium or empty calories or B.  Lose their appeal after using them a few times.  How about making your own?  It’s not that difficult and you can control exactly what you’re putting into it to make your own masterful creations!

Here’s a few recipes to get you started:



1. French Vinaigrette: Mix together 15 mL (1 tablespoon) red wine vinegar with salt to taste (about 1 mL/1/4 teaspoon) and 15 mL (1 tablespoon) finely chopped onion or shallot. Whisk in 45 mL (3 tablespoons) olive oil and 5-10 mL (1-2 teaspoons) Dijon mustard. A classic dressing, this also tastes great on roasted vegetables and sandwiches.

2. Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette: In a small, oven-proof dish, place 3-4 sliced fresh garlic cloves in 120 mL (8 tablespoons) of olive oil. Roast at 160°C (325°F) until garlic is soft and browned, and oil is infused with garlic flavour. Let cool. Whisk garlic and oil with 40 mL (8 teaspoons) balsamic vinegar. Delicious on spinach salad or as a marinade for chicken breasts or skirt steak.

3. Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:Whisk together 45 mL (3 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar, 125 mL (1/2 cup) olive oil, 10 mL (2 teaspoons) pure maple syrup (or more to taste) and salt and pepper to taste. Tasty with roasted root vegetables and as a marinade for pork chops.

4. Japanese Carrot-Ginger Dressing:In a food processor, combine 125 mL (1/2 cup) vegetable oil, 50 mL (1/4 cup) rice vinegar, 30 mL (2 tablespoons) soy sauce, 10 mL (2 teaspoons) sugar, 7 mL (1 1/2 teaspoons) fresh grated ginger, 1 medium peeled and chopped carrot, and 30 mL (2 tablespoons) chopped onion, then pulse until well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste. Try with fresh chopped cucumbers or steamed veggies.


5. Sesame Miso DressingIn a food processor, mix together 50 mL (1/4 cup) vegetable or canola oil, 75 mL (1/3 cup) rice vinegar, 15 mL (1 tablespoon) sugar, 15 mL (1 tablespoon) soy sauce, 15 mL (1 tablespoon) sesame oil, 3 mL (3/4 teaspoon) ground ginger, 15 mL (1 tablespoon) white or yellow miso paste and 10 mL (2 teaspoons) sesame seeds. If you find you have extra, consider using it as a marinade for salmon or cod.


6. Honey Lime DressingPuree 50 mL (1/4 cup) lime juice, 30 mL (2 tablespoons) olive oil, 30 mL (2 tablespoons) honey, 30 mL (2 tablespoons) chopped fresh cilantro, 1 garlic clove and 0.5 mL (1/8 teaspoon) paprika. Yummy on taco salad and black beans. Omit the garlic for a fresh fruit salad dressing.


7. Cilantro Sour Cream Dressing: Puree 455 grams (16 ounces) salsa verde, 125 mL (1/2 cup) water, 125 mL (1/2 cup) sour cream and 125 mL (1/2 cup) chopped cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. This works for salads and tastes great on fish tacos and quesadillas.



Salad Dressing Basics

Basic vinaigrette dressing is oil and vinegar and can be modified many ways. The classic ratio is 3:1 oil to vinegar, but play around to find your favourite balance and experiment with different vinegars and acids (like lemon juice) to add flavour depth.A basic dressing can keep for months in the fridge, which makes it a great staple. If you add perishable ingredients like fresh veggies, mayonnaise or sour cream, the dressing will last as long its most perishable ingredient (usually no longer than a week). To store, place in an airtight container in the fridge.


Tip: For easy clean up and storage, combine ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously to mix. When you’re done using the dressing, just twist the lid back on and refrigerate.


For more tips, click here to see the full article from Homemade Simple

Avoid Using So Much Paper & Plastic ~ Some Handy Tips!


1. Cloth napkins

I made the switch to cloth napkins last year and have never looked back. I started with a dozen cloth napkins my husband and I received found at a garage sale, but have added to my stash over the years. (The frugal side of me loves finding cloth napkins at bargain prices.) I love that they wear well – they’re sturdy for dabbing food off of faces or wiping off sticky hands. And after they’re washed and dried, they look like new.

2. Dish cloths

I’ve always used kitchen towels, but within the past couple years I’ve started using dish cloths, too. My mom had influenced me to stick with disposable scrubbers and sponges, but after being disgusted at the thought of germs, I bought a pack of dish cloths. I love using them. It’s so easy to wash a sink full of dishes with them, clean up messy counter tops and tables, then stick them in a load of laundry so they can be reused.

I’ve noticed a paper towel commercial has tried to discredit dish cloths by claiming they’re covered in germs– that would be true if they were reused and rarely washed. Just be sure to wash and dry them after each batch of dishes, and you’ll have a clean, cheap, and reusable solution.

3. Reusable glass containers

After investing in a couple sets of reusable glass containers, plus lots of leftover canning jars, I’ve virtually eliminated using plastic wrap or aluminum foil. I used to depend on the disposable containers to cover leftovers. Originally I bought the glass containers so I could throw away every plastic container in my kitchen in an attempt to get BPA out of my home.

Now that I’m exclusively using glass containers, I also save glass food jars and bottles. The shapes and sizes can be a little odd, but they’re free. And I’ve found they’re perfect for storing homemade dressings, soups, and sauces.

4. Cloth diapers

My children were not cloth diapered but I sure wish I had.  We would have saved SOOO much money. With all of the different varieties of cloth diapers that are available, many really are as easy to use as disposable diapers. Surprisingly, the laundering process isn’t disgusting. (I promise) The environmental benefits are huge – you’re not adding tons of diapers to landfills.

5. Handkerchiefs

For generations, people wiped drippy noses with handkerchiefs – I knew I needed to try, too. During cold and flu season my family still uses paper tissues if we’re frequently blowing our stuffy noses. But for sniffles or a good cry, I love using handkerchiefs because they’re so gentle. And I adore my late grandmother’s hankies, because they’re so pretty and vintage looking.

What ways have you reduced paper and plastic use in your home?


Summer Rainbow Fan

rainbow-fan-01I’ve seen this posted in a few places lately ~ and it’s such a simple but creative thing to do.  Kids will LOVE it!

All you need is:

A fan, a screwdriver to remove the fan blades, and spray paint –   I recommend Krylon or Rustoleum  spray paint any color you wish.

For something even more trippy… use glow in the dark paint!

Brighten up any room this summer with this cute rainbow fan. 🙂

Easy, Non-Toxic Way To Rid Your Yard of Fire Ants

fire ants

Pesky fire ants making mounds in your lovely yard?  Try this non-toxic way to get rid of them.

Simply pour 2 cups of CLUB SODA directly in the center of afire ant mound.

The carbon dioxide in the water is heavier than air and displaces oxygen which suffocates the queen and the other ants. The whole colony will be dead within about two days.

Each mound must be treated individually and a one liter bottle of club soda will kill 2 to 3 mounds.