Years ago I was talking to a friend who went through the Masters in Nutrition program with me. We were talking about cookbooks and I said how much I liked old cookbooks because they had basic recipes with basic ingredients. She said she did not like them because they would use things like butter, full-fat mayo, cream. etc. All the more reason for me to like them.

I found one such cookbook in my mother-in-laws things. It is The Fannie Farmer Cookbook Eleventh Edition.

My next dressing in the series is a Parmesan vinaigrette. This was another last minute-what do I have in my fridge - what haven't I made - dressing.

First a couple of store bought Parmesan dressing.

This is a regular Parmesan garlic vinaigrette
Vegetable oil (soybean, canola), distilled vinegar, water, Parmesan cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt), salt, sugar, garlic (dried), roasted garlic puree (roasted garlic, vinegar), onion (dried), Worcestershire sauce (distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, water, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, natural flavor), spice, natural flavor, and xanthan gum.

This one is a "light" Parmesan Asiago vinaigrette

Water, Balsamic Vinegar (Wine Vinegar, Grape Juice, Water), Vinegar, Salt, Contains less than 2% of Sodium Lactate, Romano Cheese made from cow's milk (Part-skim milk, Cheese culture, Salt, Enzymes), Parmesan Cheese, (Part-skim milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Asiago Cheese (Milk, Cheese culture, Salt, Enzymes), Soybean Oil, Dried Garlic, Mustard Seed, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Spice, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Natural Flavor, White Wine, Vitamin E, Tartaric Acid, Natamycin (Natural Preservative).

I posted here about why I do not like fat free dressings.

Now onto my dressing.

~ 3/4 cup olive oil
~ 1/2 cup vinegar
~ 6 Tbsp Parmesan and Asiago cheese - finely shredded
1 clove garlic - minced
Salt and Pepper - to taste

Whisk all ingredients together. 

Here is a better picture to show the consistency.

I approximated all the ingredients and kept tasting as I went along. This is a good savory type dressing. I do think it might be missing something. It needs a bit more of a tang or something. So if anyone makes this or something similar, let me know and maybe I can improve this recipe.

I have done a series of homemade dressings and sauces where you can find all of them listed with links.

Back in 2012, I thought this site would be more craftsy. Over the years, I have realized that I am not a crafty, DIY person. I prefer nutrition and wellness and oils. However, I kept several posts on my site of the more popular craft-type things I have done. This is one of them. 

My brother and sister-in-law had a baby about 2 months ago. I knew I wanted to do something for them that was a little bit more personal; a bit more "handmade". Now I am not the most creative, crafty person, so I was stumped on what to do. Then I saw these numbered ties on Etsy.


I bought them from Little Baby Bumblebee.

Then I just bought a bunch of onesies in various sizes to fit my nephew the whole year.

Here is a close-up.

I think they turned out great and he looks so cute in them. If I was really crafty I would make the ties myself, but that is just not in the cards, at least for now.

Note: I did not receive any type of compensation from Little Baby Bumblebee for this post. I just like to support small business.

Homemade Lemon Ginger Dressing |

This is the next dressing in what has become a series of homemade dressings. If you missed the previous weeks, you can find the other recipes by clicking on the titles.

Asian dressing
Warm bacon dressing
Zesty sun-dried tomato dressing

My next dressing is Lemon Ginger dressing.

This is a light, citrus-y dressing that is great now that the weather is warming up. I dressed a spinach salad with it. As always I wanted to first compare this dressing to a store bought version. I could not find any lemon ginger bottled dressing. I did find a honey and lemon dressing. Now, normally I compare the bottled dressing because the ingredients are not so great, but in this case I don't think they are terrible.

Expeller pressed canola oil, champagne vinegar (may contain sulfites), clover honey, extra virgin olive oil, truffle oil, Meyer Lemon juice, shallots, dijon mustard (water, mustard seeds, vinegar (25%), salt, citric acid), meyer lemon pulp, sea salt, spices.

I generally avoid canola oil when possible but the rest of the ingredients are actually not that bad.

Now here is my dressing

8 Tbsp oil - I prefer cold pressed avocado
Juice of 2 lemons ~ 2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp fresh ginger - minced
1 Tbsp raw honey
Pinch of salt - to taste

Whisk all ingredients together.

Fat free dressing may seem like a healthier option, but it actually may not be the best choice. |

There are many reasons I choose to not consume fat-free dressing when choosing a salad dressing. The main two reasons are the found in the ingredients lists in fat free dressing and issues with vitamin absorption.

Although making homemade dressing is so simple and quick, I know that people will still buy pre-made dressings once in a while. In fact, I bought one not too long ago because I really was not in the mood to get all the ingredients to make the dressing I wanted. Believe me, I get it.

In choosing a dressing, I still looked at the ingredients list to find the least processed one I could find, but I completely avoided any label that said fat free. 

Here are a couple reasons not to consume fat-free dressing.


The first reason for full fat is the ingredients list. I love looking at ingredients lists. It just confirms to me why I want to eat real foods that do not come in packages. Looking at a few fat-free dressings labels, we can see some scary ingredients.

An example of Fat Free Ranch


Water, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors (Milk), Soybean Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Sugar, Garlic Juice, Onion Juice, Cellulose Gel, Lactic Acid, Distilled Vinegar, Chives, Monosodium Glutamate, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum, Garlic Powder, Garlic, Color Added, (Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid, Calcium Disodium Edta) Used to Protect Quality, Cellulose Gum, Spice, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E).

An example of Fat Free Red Wine Vinaigrette


Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Red Wine Vinegar, Cabernet Sauvignon Wine, Sugar, Salt, Soybean Oil (Adds An Insignificant Amout of Fat), Garlic, Onion, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Calcium Disodium Edta (Used to Protect Quality), Natural Flavor, Sulfiting Agents.

I just don't feel comfortable eating some of those ingredients, and since it is so simple to avoid them in salad dressings, I do.

Vitamins and Vitamin Absorption

The second reason I do not eat fat-free dressing is because of vitamin absorption.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins. This means our bodies need fat accompanying them for vitamin absorption. Many people eat salads to be able to get more vitamins in their diet. But if we dress those salads with a fat-free dressing, our body may not optimally absorb them. So those great nutrients in the veggies could be lost.

I think everyone needs to make the decision for themselves on what they choose to eat. I just hope I provided more information so that people can make an informed decision.

I am currently reading Joel Salatin's latest book Folks, This Ain't Normal. I am about 3/4 of the way through reading the chapter You Get What You Pay For. Once I read this quote I knew I had to share. 

I think people are so concerned with the cost of food, they do not realize how much it can effect health. We need to stop trying to buy the cheapest food and maybe make monetary sacrifices in other areas.

I guess I am on a salad dressing kick right now. This is the third dressing recipe I have posted in as many weeks.

This is a zesty sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Another very easy dressing recipe with most things you probably already have on hand. But as always let's compare to a bottled version.
secret chicken adobo recipe |

#1 is Filipino and his favorite Filipino dish is chicken adobo. Specifically his mom's chicken adobo. So when we were engaged and visiting his family for Christmas, his mom taught me how to make chicken adobo.

I made special aprons just for the occasion.

Here we are in her kitchen putting the ingredients together to marinate the chicken. 

have made this twice since she taught me. The first time I tried it by myself he said it tasted nothing like hers. So I had to try again. The second time I think I nailed it. 

So at this point I am sure you are ready for the recipe. 
I posted about my homemade Asian dressing, and someone asked what I put in the salad I dressed it with. Although I am sure you can put the dressing on just about anything you want, this is what I included in my salad.

Cabbage - shredded
Carrots - shredded
Snow peas - ends cut off and cut in half
water chestnuts - sliced
Ground beef  - I made thai lettuce wraps and had the beef left over. I can't exactly remember how I flavored it, but I know I included soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger and onions. I think I found a recipe for it on Pinterest (where else!)

The nice thing about this salad is that you can make it a few times, usually because a head of cabbage is so large. I also bought a 5 pound bag of carrots, so I had more than enough. I plan to make it again later in the week and will probably use left over chicken.

warm bacon and onion salad dressing

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This bacon dressing with sweetened onions is one of my favorite dressings. I have been making it for years. There are times I will make a big batch and eat the same salad 3-4 days in a row.*

Is anything better than bacon? I have heard bacon called the gateway meat. Those who are vegetarian end up eating meat because of bacon. I believe it.

I first saw this recipe in Rachael Ray's magazine. It is a Guy Fieri recipe. He placed it on top of grilled romaine lettuce, which is a great combination. However, sometimes grilling lettuce is a pain. Then you have to take the extra time to cut up the lettuce in pieces later. I am a lazy salad eater. I like little pieces of lettuce and goodies that can be easily eaten in one yummy bite. Then you have all the flavors of the salad on one fork.

But first let's compare. I could not find a warm bacon dressing bottled but I did find a tango tomato bacon dressing which I thought would be a closer match then a creamy ranch style bacon dressing. Here are the ingredients.

No thank you.


1/2 pound bacon- I use Applegate farms
1/2  onion - diced; I like using red, but you can also use white or sweet. Because you will be cooking it, the sweetness of the onion comes out.
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup oil - light in taste


In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until nice and crispy. Take out the bacon, but do not discard the bacon fat.
Add the diced onions to the bacon fat and cook until soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and cook it down about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the olive oil.

I served this over some romaine lettuce with tomatoes, avocado and crumbled blue cheese. The pungent blue cheese is a perfect pairing with the sweetness of the dressing.

*If you don't mind a bit of routine, eating the same thing a few days in a row or a few days in a week is an easy way to eat more real food. Real food usually takes a bit more time prepping and cooking. Instead of prepping each meal each time, prep once eat twice or thrice. 

I have done a series of homemade dressing and sauces, where you can find all of them listed with links.


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