Tag Archives: salad

Caramel Apple Salad

This is a whole bowl of YUM!  Seriously, what’s better in the fall than a caramel apple?  When you’re finally sick of all the pumpkin stuff…

Plus, this salad has candy in it.  It’s a CANDY salad.  What the wha???

Caramel Apple Salad

  • 5-6 apples, cored, peeled and chopped (I used a combo of Granny Smith and gala)
  • 1 bag fun size snickers bars (about 25 fun sized bars, cut into quarters) – could also use Milky Way if you’re avoiding peanuts
  • 1 container cool whip
  • Caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup Chopped peanuts (optional)
  1. Place chopped apples, chopped candy bars, and cool whip in a large bowl.  Mix well.
  2. Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with nuts.  



Cran-Pomegranate Jello Salad


Once in a while, you have a bite of something and all you can think of is Christmas.  This is one of those recipes!  I got the recipe from my dear friend, Leslie.  Leslie’s mother saw it in the paper and made it for Thanksgiving a few years ago.  It was so good!  I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it my own (like adding pomegranate perils and cool whip).  This salad is beautiful and I hope you love it as much as we do.

‘Tis the season!  I love shopping for other people.  The only person I’m having difficulty in shopping for is my Dad.  When he wants something, he just goes right out and buys it!  How do you shop for a person like that?  Any tips?

Cran-Pomegranate Jello Salad

Based on a recipe from the Post Register a few years ago (can’t find the exact date or recipe)

  • 15 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
  • water
  • 6 oz. raspberry jello (one large box or two small boxes)
  • 14.5 oz. can WHOLE cranberry sauce
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh Pomegranate perils
  • 1 small tub Cool Whip or 2 cups freshly whipped cream
  1. Place the reserved pineapple juice in a measuring cup and add enough water to make 2.5 cups of total liquid.  Bring to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Remove from the heat and add the jello.  Whisk until the jello is completely dissolved.  Let cool until it thickens to the consistency of gravy, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the crushed pineapple, chopped apple, and pomegranate perils with the cranberry sauce.  Stir in the cooled jello.  Pour into a jello mold or 9″ x 13″ glass pan.  Refrigerate until the jello is completely set.  I usually put it together the night before.
  3. When ready to serve, unmold by briefly dipping in warm water, then turning the mold upside down on a large plate.  Cover the jello salad with cool whip or whipped cream and serve!

Restaurant Style Ranch Dressing

Holy bananas! It’s HOT outside.  When it’s this hot, I am all about assembling and less about cooking.  Sure, I’ll throw something on the grill once in a while, but there are those nights I just don’t want to deal with anything that has to do with heat.  The cooking kind, not the spicy kind. 😉

One thing that helps me through those nights is a good salad dressing.  The kind of dressing that can be used in wraps and sandwiches, too.  This is that kind of dressing.  Plus, there are about a zillion ways to customize it to make it your own!  My ideas are at the bottom of the basic recipe.  What do you like to cook have for dinner when its HOT outside?

Restaurant Style Ranch Dressing

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  • 1 cup cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 package (1 oz.) Hidden Valley Ranch Dips seasoning
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk (optional)
  1. Place cottage cheese, sour cream, and ranch seasoning in a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Add milk, if desired, to thin the dressing out a bit.
  3. Store in an airtight container for about a week.

Customization Ideas:

This recipe is easy to customize.  Just add a few things to the blender!

  • Southwest: add 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 4 oz. can green chilies (drained), and 2 tsp hot sauce.  Blend until smooth.
  • Chipotle: add 1 chopped canned chipotle pepper and 1 tsp adobo sauce.  Add more adobo to spice it up if you’d like.
  • Garden Herb: add 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped chives, 1/2-1 fresh garlic clove, and 1 Tbsp fresh dill.
  • Bleu Cheese:  Add 2 oz. crumbled bleu cheese and blend.  After blending, add another 2 oz. crumbled bleu cheese.


Some recipes just scream SUMMER!!  This is one of those recipes.  It is also nicely balanced– both in texture and in flavor.  Plus, its actually good for you.  Really good.  Whole grains and fresh vegetables good.  Just don’t tell anyone. 😉

The main ingredient in this salad is bulgar wheat.  Bulgar is a cereal grain made from either white or durum wheat.  It is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes, such as Tabbouleh.  The great thing about bulgar is that it has a combination of a nutty flavor, chewy texture, and high nutritional value.

Traditional Tabbouleh is made with mint.  I found that when I made it with mint, all I could taste was mint!  I swapped the mint out for the more mild parsley, but feel free to sub it back in or to use a combination of the two.

This recipe needs to sit overnight to allow the bulgar to soak up the flavorful liquid before it is combined with the other ingredients.  So don’t forget to plan ahead.

What is your favorite dish to bring to a barbecue?


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  • 1 c. dry bulgar wheat (also called bulgher, burghul or bulgur)  I used Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 heaping tsp. chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (about 1 cup packed) — You may also use mint or a combo of parsley and mint
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 oz. bottled pimentos (canned red peppers)
  1. Combine bulgar, boiling water, salt, and garlic in a large bowl.  Let stand 20 minutes.
  2. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley.  Stir well to combine.  There may be loose liquid in the bowl.  That’s ok.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Just before serving, stir in tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, and pimentos.  Stir well.
This salad is also great the next day with a bit of hummus and lettuce in a wrap.  Hope you enjoy!!
I am in Vegas this week for a conference.  I can’t wait to share ‘the benefits of being a Food Technologist’ with you next week!

Green Bean, Bell Pepper and Cherry Tomato Salad– Fancy!

I heard something TERRIFYING on the way to work yesterday!  The radio host was saying goodbye to a guest speaker on the show.  The guest speaker wished the host ‘Happy Holidays’.  What?  ALREADY?! 

Then it hit me– Thanksgiving is 22 days away.  Christmas is 53 days away.  Where did this year go?

I am looking forward to spending some time with family in a few weeks.  I love having Thanksgiving Dinner at my Mom’s house.  The food is always good, the company even better.  Plus, I get to give my Grandma Rapp a BEAR HUG!!  😉

This is an elegant salad that keeps well if you have some Holiday parties coming up.  It’s fresh and elegant.  And it tastes good.  Really good. 

When I make it for an upcoming party, I get all the green beans and red bell peppers chopped and  bagged in separate ziplocs, make up the vinaigrette in a small jar the night before (and keep it at room temp), and throw it all together at the last-minute.  It’s important to leave the tomatoes whole until just before tossing everything together.  Tomatoes should NEVER be refrigerated.  The refrigerator destroys their flavor. 

What are your favorite Holiday Party foods?

Green Bean, Bell Pepper, & Cherry Tomato Salad


1 medium shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1Tbsp. Sherry vinegar

big pinch salt

big pinch pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. dijon


1-1/2 lb. green beans*, trimmed, blanched, and cut into 1″ pieces

3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1″ chunks

1 lb. cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped (reserve 2 Tbsp)

1.  Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a pint-sized jar.  Shake until fully mixed and slightly thickened.

2.  Combine green beans, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl.  Pour in all but 2 Tbsp chopped almonds and all of the vinaigrette.  Toss to coat.

3.  Place salad in a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved chopped almonds.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate a few hours prior to serving.

*Fresh green beans can be difficult to find during the Holidays, but you can use frozen instead.  Frozen green beans also cuts down on the prep work for the salad.   Just thaw them out– they are blanched before they are frozen so there would be no need for blanching them ahead.  🙂

Chicken Fajita Salad

Wondering what to do with the leftover meat from your Chicken Fajitas that you made the other night?  Me, too!  This morning, I opened the refrigerator to throw something together for lunch (another lean pocket was NOT going to cut it today).  What did I see??

1.  Leftover grilled chicken and green bell peppers from Chicken Fajitas
2.  Iceberg Lettuce
3.  Carrots from the garden
4.  Tomatoes from the garden
5.  Cukes from someone else’s garden
6.  Cheddar cheese
7.  Ranch dressing

Folks, we have a salad!!  I added a couple of things that were hanging out in the pantry and… viola!  A lunch to write home about.  That reminds me… I need to email my Mom!

Chicken Fajita Salad
1/2 cup grilled chicken and green bell peppers from here:
1 cup iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 oz. cheddar cheese, chopped
1 cup various chopped veggies (tomatoes, cukes, carrots, celery, etc.)
1/4 cup drained and rinsed black beans
1/4 cup drained and rinsed canned corn
4 or 5 black olives, sliced
1 to 2 TBSP of your favorite dressing
6 crushed restaurant-style corn chips

1.  Place the chicken and peppers in a smaller container for transport to work.  Layer the lettuce, veggies, beans, corn, olives and dressing in a larger container.  Be sure there is plenty of room at the top for shaking.  Place the chips in a separate baggie.
2.  When its time to eat, heat the chicken and peppers for 45 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave.  Dump on top of the salad in the larger container.  Add the crushed chips to the top and shake, shake, shake!  Shake, shake, shake!  Shake your sa-lad!  Shake your sa-lad!  (while shaking your booty, of course)
3.  Enjoy and remain energized for your afternoon of whatever you do at work! For me its been cooking french fries.  LOTS of french fries.  Thank goodness no fries were included in this salad or I’d have to harm them mortally with a fork. 😉

Quick Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

Too hot to cook?  I’ve got a solution for you.  Panzanella!  It’s an Italian bread salad that is bursting with flavor.  Plus, its simple to put together.  Let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours and you’re good to go!

Purdum’s, Western Idaho’s favorite vegetable stand, is finally open.  I picked up some pickling cukes there and used them in the salad.  Yum!  So happy the veggie stands are finally starting to pop up again.  So head to your local farmers market or veggie stand and get started!

Quick Panzanella
1/3 of a sourdough baguette, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lg tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil, slivered
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (reduced to a syrup, then measured)
salt and pepper to taste

-Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss well, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours.  Stir well again and serve.

Have you seen ‘Extra Virgin’ on the cooking channel?  I love it!  Actress Debi Mazar cooks with her Italian husband, Gabriele Corcos.  The two are hilarious!  She has the New York accent and he has an Italian accent.  Highly entertaining and the food looks wonderful.  They made Panzanella a bit differently by rinsing the bread in water and squeezing it out, adding onions, etc.  They also never use sourdough bread, but I like the flavor it brings to the salad.  Plus, its what I had in the house.  There you go!

Summer is in full swing and many people are camping.  A coworker brought a little creature back from the fire pit of the campground.  Someone obviously was extremely bored in the woods.  Check this out…

What is it?  A potato mouse?  Who knows.  Just watch out when you’re in the woods.  There are some very strange individuals out there!