Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making Homemade Salad Dressing

Fresh salads and healthy lifestyles go hand in hand. After all, what could be better for you than a big plate full of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, fiber-rich legumes and lean proteins? Unfortunately, you could end up negating these delicious and healthy choices if you aren’t careful about the type of salad dressing you use.

Taking a quick look at the list of ingredients on your favorite bottle of store-bought dressing can be a real eye opener. In fact, you may be surprised to see a host of ingredients you weren’t expecting, including high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, trans fats, MSG, and an assortment of artificial colors and preservatives to make it all seem more fresh and natural.

How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing

Fortunately, making your own homemade salad dressing is faster and easier than you might think. Plus, you get to control how much you make at one time, so you don’t have to worry about throwing out your hard-earned money if you don’t use it all in time.

When it comes to homemade salad dressings, vinaigrettes are fast, easy and delicious choices. One general rule of thumb to keep in mind when creating your own vinaigretts is to use 1 part vinegar (or other acidic ingredient) to 3 parts oil.
In other words, if you use ¼ cup vinegar, you’ll want to use ¾ cups of oil. If you like a little more kick to your dressing, try a 2:1 ratio instead.

When choosing these key ingredients, don’t be afraid to get creative. Think beyond plain white, red or cider vinegar and give rice vinegars, aged or white balsamic, or fruit-infused varieties a try, as well. Citrus juices, such as lemon, lime, oranges and grapefruit, also work particularly well.

When it comes to choosing your oil, it’s hard to beat a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. However, you may want to consider other healthy alternatives, such as a more delicate grape seed oil, as well. Olive oils infused with garlic, rosemary or other herbs are also great choices.

A third ingredient you may want Dijon mustard. Dijon is a popular choice because it tastes great and helps bind all the other ingredients together.
t to add to your vinaigrette is

Beyond these three ingredients, there are countless ways you can customize your vinaigrette recipes to complement your salad ingredients. For example, you can add minced garlic, onion, shallots, fresh or dried herbs, honey, or a variety of fruit juices or zests.

Basic Vinaigrette

Here is a basic recipe to get you started:

3/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl or container with tight-fitting
lid. Mix or shake vigorously to combine thoroughly.

Starting with this basic recipe, I bet you can come up with dozens of yummy options to suit whatever salads are on your menu. Enjoy!

See some salad recipes to go with your homemade dressing!

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Teriyaki Steak Wraps

1 Tbsp butter
1 lb. beef steak, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
4 (8 inch) tortillas
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
sour cream and chives (optional)

In a skillet over medium coals on campfire or grill, melt butter. Add the cut up steak into the skillet and cook quickly until just browned, then remove to a plate and keep warm. Pour teriyaki into hot skillet and stir until slightly thickened. Add the cabbage and cook until just starting to soften. Put meat back in skillet and stir until just heated through, then remove from fire. Lay out the tortillas flat and divide the meat/cabbage mixture into the center of each tortilla. Fold up the sides then roll over the mixture to form wraps. Serve hot. Makes 4 wraps.

You can serve with sour cream flavored with chives or other toppings if you wish.

Dive into a whole lot more camping information and 90 camp inspired recipes!

More Camping Resources

Campfire Cooking Recipes
Campfire Desserts
Campfire Games
Campfire Trout
Fun Camping Activities

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Monday, July 7, 2014

What to take to the beach

Summertime means beach time in our family. We live in a state with lots of beautiful lakes so we spend lots of time cooling off at the beach on those hot summer days.

Of course this entails packing enough good healthy, easily to tote foods, that will keep your family satisfied for the whole day. I try (emphasis on try) to take wholesome foods that don’t have a lot of packaging to keep down on the garbage waste. I also try to take foods that aren’t in big bags, that little, sandy hands won’t be reaching into them and ruin the whole bag. There’s nothing worse than biting down on a grain or two of sand.

Here are some ideas for feeding your family at the beach that are easy, healthy, satisfying and cooler friendly.


They’re easy to peel and you can throw the peel in the grass for the deer or other animals to eat!  


Great choice for the beach. Again you can throw the core on the ground for the animals, but make sure you throw it out of the path where people walk.  

Pickles and cheese:

One of my kids’ favorite beach snacks. I put a few pickles in a sandwich bag and some slices of cheese in a separate baggie. This one you’ll want to make sure little hands are clean before they reach in and grab.  

Prepared sandwiches: 

I used to take a loaf of bread, the lunch meat, cheese and all the fixings, but it’s much easier to make the sandwiches at home, pack them in a zippered baggie and tote them in the cooler. You will want to place them on top of the ice, for obvious reasons.

Individually wrapped snack cakes or cookies:

Probably not on the top of the list as far as healthiness goes, but for some reason those little chocolate snack cakes taste so good at the beach. Take them out of the box before toting. If they won’t melt in the heat, carry them in a cloth bag as opposed to a plastic bag. (Side note: the cloth grocery bags they have now are GREAT for toting food to the beach!!!)

If they will melt, say they have chocolate in or on them, then place them in zippered baggies before placing in the cooler. The plastic that is already on them won’t prevent melted ice from seeping through.

If you do decide to take chips, make up individual baggies for each person. This will help save little, sandy hands from ruining the whole bag!  

Watermelon slices :

These are cool, refreshing and delicious. But, how do you make them cooler ready for the beach? You can cut up 1/2 inch squares and place them in individual baggies. Or you can cut into regular triangles and place one slice in a baggie or plastic wrap.

Prepared Hamburger Patties to Grill:

If you decide to grill hamburgers on the beach, prepare your patties ahead of time. I’ve taken a chunk of hamburger meat to the beach; forgetting beaches usually don’t have hot water and soap to wash the raw, greasy meat off your hands. Know what I mean?

So, make your patties ahead of time, have your veggies sliced and ready in little baggies, as well as your cheese.

As far as condiments go, I buy separate bottles specifically for the beach. That way if they get sandy, it’s not a big deal to toss out or try to salvage some before you toss the whole bottle.

Beach time is fun time and can be a great family bonding experience. Toting food doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking if you prepare in advance using the tips and suggestions above.
Here are more picnic recipes and ideas

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~