Archive for the ‘Salads & Dressings’ Category

Cold Tuna Noodle Casserole with Peas and Dill

My Mom’s cold tuna noodle casserole is creamy, packed with tuna chunks, green peas and the brightness of dill! It’s the perfect Friday meal during Lent!

This dish… gosh people this dish was literally served every Friday during Lent in my house growing up. And it didn’t matter if was for lunch or dinner. You see Mom had 4 go-to meals on Fridays during Lent – plain cheese pizza, grilled cheese, baked tuna noodle casserole (which is different than this one) and this dish. Some Fridays we’d have this for lunch and baked tuna casserole for dinner. So needless to say I got “tuna’d” out VERY FAST! When I moved out on my own I quit eating this. There were 3 reasons if you must know why:

  1. I absolutely can’t stand mayo or to touch it. It works in recipes, don’t get me wrong but the actual container of mayo makes me shudder.
  2. I get the heeby-jeebies when mayo is mixed with tube noodles. It’s a specific sound it makes and it makes me cringe. Trust me, I have to seriously be in love with you to make you her macaroni salad. Even now I’m making that “OMG no” face!
  3. I was beyond burnt out from eating it.

It wasn’t until, what, 5 years ago or so when a TKW family member asked if I had any Lent recipes. Immediately I thought of her dishes. And then something happened.. I actually craved this stuff. Since the ingredients are pretty much a pantry stable (fyi… you can use ziti, penne or good ol’ elbow macaroni in this recipe) I decided to make it. I was getting ready to assemble it when I got to the jar of mayo. I seriously had to put the jar down and walk away for a minute. No joke, there’s just something not quite right about it. Yet I have no issues with ranch, sour cream or even when I make homemade mayo. I’m weird, I know. But I sucked it up (not the mayo, God no) and put it in the bowl. Next came the mixing. I knew there was no way around that so I got smart. You’ll laugh (or roll your eyes and think I’m an even bigger dork) but I put my head phones on, turned up my tunes and got to mixing. No squishy noodley sound (as I sit here and shudder as I know that sound!

Now you can eat it right away but it’s best when it chills so into the fridge it went. About an hour or so later it was time for lunch. And just like clock work Mr. Fantabulous came into the kitchen, rubbing his tummy looking to see if I had read his mind and had something prepared. I just smiled, got out the casserole and plated it. Now what was funny was the look he gave me, his plate of food and then me. He said “Ahhhh what’s this??? Did you make macaroni salad??? For real? Wait! Did you gag???”. LOL he knows me so well. I said what it was and why I made it. As we sat down to eat, that first forkful all those wonderful Friday memories came back from my childhood. It literally tasted just like Mom’s. As he ate he said “Oh wow honey, this is really good! How come you never made it before? Oh wait, that’s right you have this issue with mayo and noodles. Yeah, get over it as I want this again… please my darling wife.” LOL

Call it a casserole, call it a salad just don’t call me late for dinner with this!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Jelly/Jam Jar Vinaigrette

Forget getting the spatula out to clean out the last bit of jam or jelly in the jar! Instead whip up a simple salad vinaigrette!

So my Mama taught me this trick a million years ago and honestly I’ve been doing this for just as long however I thought it was common practice for everyone to do. Apparently I was wrong when I mentioned this to my one girlfriend who was complaining that her daughter actually broke her spatula trying to get the last bit of jelly out of the jar. When I told her what I do/my Mama taught me it was like I told her the meaning of life. She literally was in awe and had a total “whoa!” moment. LOL I love those!

Growing up Mom never bought store-bought jams or jellies. Oh no, that was severely frowned upon. Now I’ll confess I do buy them from time to time only out of lack of time to make homemade. It’s not hard to make (really) and it doesn’t take long (really) but with everything else on my plate I just have to cut corners from time to time.

What Mom taught me was, instead of trying to scrape out the last bit of jam or jelly out of the jar (and ending getting your knuckles all sticky from it) leave the excess and make it into a delicious fruity vinaigrette! Genius, I know!
Seriously Mom’s are geniuses!

Best Broccoli Slaw Salad

This is a new spin on a classic broccoli slaw. Crispy and packed with veggies, seeds, cranberries, and bacon topped with my Grandma’s amazing old fashioned boiled dressing. Every cookout needs this dish!

I debated on what to call this dish. It is Broccoli Slaw? Is it Broccoli Salad?  I struggled with it as it has well both broccoli florets and broccoli slaw. So I went with a Slaw Salad. Sure I could have shortened it to Broccoli Slawlad but then again that just like I fat fingered it really, really bad. Trust me, spell-check is screaming at me right now with that word.

This dish I literally had 2 women in their 60’s get into a fist fight over. Well okay technically only one punch was thrown but seriously for me, it was a HUGE compliment. To have people go to the level that they actually fight over your dish… I know I did something good. You can read that story here.

Let’s just focus on getting this in your belly, k?

Grilled Italian Salad and Pizza = Perfection!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RealTasteForRealLife #CollectiveBias

So anyone who knows me knows that pizza is the greatest thing in the world to me.  I mean it even trumps bacon and to me #baconislove but there is just something purely magical about pizza. It’s the perfect food for me.  It’s that one food that everyone asks “If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only have one food for the rest of your life what would it be?”  It’s always been the same answer for the past 25+ years… pizza.  Don’t care what’s on it, don’t care if it’s hot or room temp – heck I love it straight out of the fridge cold.  I just puffy heart pizza.

When the folks from Freschetta asked me to come up with great accompaniment to go with their pizza I went with something I’ve been making gosh, 15 years or so. Now their pizza by itself but I always feel that when you have pizza as a meal, you need something with it (other than a drink). You need a side dish.  Now sure I could have gone with wings but that’s pretty standard.  You’re probably going to say “but Lor, you’re making a salad, what’s so different with that?”  Well I’ll tell you guys – it’s not your typical salad.  First it’s grilled.  Yes, grilled.  Next I’m taking some of the same toppings that are on the pizza and using those also as an accompaniment to the pizza plus a few other items.
Grilled Italian Salad Collage


Your pizza deserves something equally as awesome on the side! This salad is PERFECT!

Rainbow Tomato Roasted Corn Summer Quenching Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias

Okay so can I tell you how I am so happy Mother Nature let up her death-grip on Pittsburgh and her incessant need to keep us in winter temps for what seemed like 9 months and FINALLY give us summer weather?!  I mean for real lady – we NEED sun and summer.  And nothing screams summer like vacations, beach trips and fresh veggies.  For me summer cooking is all about ease, light & bright flavors and deliciousness.  I mean let’s face it, no one really wants to spend hours over a hot stove or oven while your family and friends are outside enjoying the beautiful weather. So this Rainbow Tomato Roasted Corn Summer Quenching Salad is perfect for you then!  Whether you’re having a backyard bbq, heading to the beach or just chilling out with friends.

But before we go to talking about this awesome recipe I want to take a minute and talk about summer sun safety.  For me I’m pretty much opaque when it comes to skin tone.  I’m very fair skin however I love the sun and that feeling of warmth on my cheeks. But being outside you need to take caution and make smart choices. Use sunscreen, apply frequently and hydrate!  Keep in mind you need to follow these ‘rules of summer’ weather you’re at the beach, hiking, working in the yard or just out and about.  Protect your skin – it’s the only one you have! All of these essentials you can pick up at your local Sam’s Club.  Plus what’s also awesome is Sam’s Club offers free health screenings on the second Saturday of every month.  The next one is scheduled for June 11, 2016. Check with your local Sam’s Club to see if they offer this service and if so, when the next screening will be. Plus did you know Sam’s Club has a Healthy Living Made Simple online magazine?  It’s pretty cool!  It’s your ultimate place for all of your health and wellness needs.  Definitely check it out!

Rainbow Tomato Roasted Corn Summer Quenching Salad10

Now for those of you that know me you know I’m a creature of habit. Saturday mornings are “my mornings” as I have my routine that I’ve had for gosh – 8 years now at least.  I get up, shower, put on my gym clothes and hit the gym for an 8am spin class. A quick shower and change then I’m off to do my weekly supply shopping. Sam’s club has been first stop in my routine for years. What I love about them is all of the amazing fresh fruits and veggies.  With tomatoes being their Superfood for May and June I had to pick up a container of their rainbow cherry tomatoes the last time I was there.
Let’s go shopping at Sam’s club and make this awesome recipe!

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