Archive of ‘Sauces and Dressings’ category

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I am looking forward to making one of my favorite dishes… Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce! It’s sooo good, and is incredibly easy to make with only a few ingredients!Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This sauce is so good, and is incredibly easy to make with a few ingredients!

As a kid, I didn’t like cranberry sauce. I thought of it as the big red wiggly blob of funny tasting stuff from a can that my Mom put out at Thanksgiving.  I, of course, (being the dutiful daughter that I am), followed her example for many years in my own home. Funny thing… I never really liked it, and the gelatinous texture made me cringe.

Years later my Mom began making a homemade cranberry-orange sauce, and I found I really enjoyed the fresh sweet and tartness and have that fantastic recipe here on the blog, too.  Her recipe is almost more like a fresh “relish”, requires no cooking and has orange, apple and fresh cranberries in it (finely ground using a food processor).  I tend to make that version often during the holidays; it’s so good I can eat it right out of the bowl with a spoon, and is very similar to the kind sold at Trader Joes!

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I also enjoy a whole berry cranberry orange sauce, which is cooked… with most of the cranberries “popped”, but left whole in the sauce. I slightly adapted my Mom’s original recipe to make this version.  This recipe does not include apples, requires a very short cooking time to enable the cranberries to “pop”, and is full of cranberry orange flavor! It tastes AMAZING!

 

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The recipe is so easy to make from scratch. Basically the ingredients are placed into a large saucepan, and mixture is cooked, stirring frequently until most of the cranberries have “popped”, which usually takes between 8-10 minutes.

Here’s an interesting side note – did you know when the cranberries are cooked at a high temperature and “pop” open, they release pectin? Yep, they do, and then the pectin turns around and slightly thickens the sauce naturally.  Who knew a sauce using these two main ingredients could be so delicious?

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Anyways… I hope you will consider making your very own fresh cranberry orange sauce this Thanksgiving.  I think you will be amazed at how great it tastes!  The awesome thing is that it can be made a couple days before you serve it, so it can free up your precious time in the kitchen the day of the big feast (just keep it covered in the fridge!).

Now that you know how to make your own whole berry cranberry orange sauce, you can serve it proudly with all your other delicious traditional Thanksgiving side dishes! I love to serve Pecan Praline Yams and Brown Butter Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Red Peppers with our Thanksgiving meal, along with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Southern Cornbread Dressing.  YUM!

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

From our family to yours… we wish you a memorable Thanksgiving with those family or friends dear to you. As our family gathers, we are mindful of the many blessings, large and small, that God has poured into our lives, and we acknowledge and thank Him for these gifts, with overflowing, grateful hearts!

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

My hope is that you, as well, would know the joy of a heart filled with gratitude this season!

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Adapted from my recipe for Homemade Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce
 
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It's easy to make a phenomenal tasting whole berry cranberry orange sauce from scratch with only a few ingredients!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: Approx. 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (12-16 ounces)
  • Zest from 1 large orange (reserve just a bit for garnish)
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Extra orange zest for garnish
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together orange zest, fresh squeezed orange juice, water and granulated sugar. Stir and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add fresh cranberries. Bring sauce to a boil. Once mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cook (uncovered), stirring often, for 7-8 minutes, until the cranberries have "popped" open and the sauce has thickened. Once this occurs, remove the cranberry sauce from heat, and set aside. Let cranberry sauce cool completely. When ready to serve, garnish with additional orange zest, if desired. Serve this delicious sauce at room temperature or refrigerated! May be made 2-3 days in advance. Store in refrigerator in covered container.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Whole Berry Cranberry Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This sauce is so good, and is incredibly easy to make with a few ingredients!

 

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Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing

This delicious creamy, lemon salad dressing is easy to make from scratch in a couple minutes, with only a few pantry ingredients!
Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This delicious, creamy lemon salad dressing is easy to make from scratch in a couple minutes, with only a few pantry ingredients!

I’ve made this salad dressing too many times to count since first receiving it from a parent of a student who attended a school I worked at many years ago. Vickie brought a salad for our staff during Teacher Appreciation days and I LOVED the dressing on it.  When I asked her what kind of dressing it was, she told me it was homemade!

Well, I loved it so much that I asked her for her recipe, and thankfully she was kind enough to give it to me.  In fact I still have her original recipe handwritten on a piece of yellow legal paper.  The salad dressing compliments a variety of mixed green salads, but the one I enjoy it on most is my recipe for Mixed Greens, Cranberries, Feta and Pecans. Amazing!  Here’s how easy it is to make:

Gather a few simple ingredients from your pantry… you will need a lemon, finely ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil mayonnaise, and real maple syrup. That’s it!

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE MAYONNAISE.  Mix them very well, until fully blended.

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add mayonnaise to salad dressing.

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Whisk mayonnaise in, until completely blended into dressing

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place salad dressing into a covered, airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. TIP** This dressing can be used right when you are done whisking it together, but if refrigerated for several hours (or longer), the flavors really have time to mingle, and the dressing will have even better flavor!

Right before serving, give the container a good shake or stir the dressing to re-mix ingredients.

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it… see how easy it is to make this yummy salad dressing?  Hope you have the opportunity to make this, so you can see for yourself just how delicious this dressing is on a mixed green salad!  Have a great day!

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: Vickie Spracklen

Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing
 
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This delicious creamy, lemon flavored salad dressing only takes a few pantry ingredients and a couple minutes to make!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: approx. ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup
  • 2 dashes finely ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup real mayonnaise
Directions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup and finely ground black pepper. Mix or whisk well, to fully blend ingredients.
  2. Add mayonnaise to blended salad dressing. Whisk salad dressing well, until smooth.
  3. Place salad dressing in an airtight, covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve. The longer salad dressing is refrigerated, the better the flavors can develop.
  4. Right before using, give the salad dressing a good stir or shake to re-mix ingredients.
  5. Enjoy this delicious salad dressing!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This delicious, creamy lemon salad dressing is easy to make from scratch in a couple minutes, with only a few pantry ingredients!

How To Make Lemon Curd

Do you know how to make lemon curd?  Tart, sweet, and bursting with flavor, this thick lemon curd tastes great in tarts, on waffles and pancakes, and in many desserts.How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Thick tart and sweet lemon sauce tastes great on pancakes, waffles, in tarts and other desserts!
I first tried lemon curd years ago at a breakfast get together at a friends home.  My friend Sandy offered me some of her homemade Lemon Curd to put on my waffle, I think I must have said something like… “Okay, but what IS lemon curd?”  I anticipated it was like the curds you find in cottage cheese. Silly me.  The lemon curd was absolutely amazing, and once I tried it, I was hooked!

The first time I decided to make homemade lemon curd (for a dessert recipe I was making), I assumed it was going to be quite difficult to make. Boy… was I wrong! It was very simple, and the results were fantastic!  Here’s how to make your own lemon curd:

In a small saucepan (over medium heat), combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Whisk these together well.  Once mixed, whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and the salt.

How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add butter to the pan and cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted and the curd has thickened. This will take approx. 3-4 minutes. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL! Just keep on whisking.

How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Keep whisking until the lemon curd has thickened…

How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once curd has thickened, remove pan from heat and let the curd cool to room temperature. While curd is cooling, give it a good stir every few minutes. Once lemon curd has cooled to room temp, cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator. The lemon curd will need to be well chilled prior to serving (at least 3-4 hours). Lemon curd can be stored in a covered container in refrigerator and will keep for up to 5-6 days.

How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lemon curd is very versatile and can be used in many recipes, such as lemon tarts, as a topping for waffles and in other desserts!  I used it in a recipe for Lemon Curd Filled Won Ton Cups! Aren’t they cute? Yummy!

How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I might also mention that it is hard to not eat this amazing lemon curd right out of the pan with a spoon… just sayin’!  It’s soooo good.  Hope you’ll give it a try. You’re gonna love it!

How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.littlemisscelebration.com/2013/06/16/lemon-lime-curd-in-sugared-wonton-cups/

How To Make Lemon Curd
 
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As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert Sauce
Serves: approx. 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tablespoon cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan (over medium heat), combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Whisk these together well.
  2. Once mixed, whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and the salt.
  3. Add butter to the pan and cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted and the curd has thickened. This will take approx. 3-4 minutes. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL! Just keep on whisking.
  4. Once curd has thickened, remove pan from heat and let the curd cool to room temperature. While curd is cooling, give it a good stir every few minutes. Once lemon curd has cooled to room temp, cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator. The lemon curd will need to be well chilled prior to serving (at least 3-4 hours).

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!How To Make Lemon Curd / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Thick tart and sweet lemon sauce tastes great on pancakes, waffles, in tarts and other desserts!

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Homemade Hoisin Sauce

Ever try to cook a Chinese dish and need Hoisin Sauce as one of the ingredients, but don’t have any in the pantry?  I’ve been in that situation before, so today I want to share with you how easy it is to make your own Homemade Hoisin Sauce!Homemade Hoisin Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I usually buy a “name brand” Hoisin sauce at the grocery store. However, sometimes (especially when cooking a stir fry or another Asian recipe), I find I need just a bit of hoisin sauce, and I’ve run out (even though I THOUGHT I had some in the fridge).

Authentic hoisin sauce is made using soybeans or soybean paste… but… (go figure) I don’t usually have those items hanging around my home.  But… this recipe is an incredibly close substitute in taste to store-bought (and without using soybeans), so I say it’s a winner!

Homemade Hoisin Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s why I searched for, and found a recipe online for how to make your own hoisin sauce.  That way, if I run out of store-bought, it is easy to make a small batch of homemade, without having to run to the store at the last minute! Hoisin sauce is one of the ingredients required to make Hoisin Asian Meatballs and my Mixed Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette and Crisp Panko Chicken, so it’s nice to have in the fridge.

Here’s the ingredients you will need to make hoisin sauce:  soy sauce, water, molasses, creamy peanut butter, rice (or white wine) vinegar, garlic powder, hot sauce, and cornstarch.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To make the sauce, put all ingredients EXCEPT CORNSTARCH into a small pan.  Heat the ingredients using medium heat, until the peanut butter and the molasses dissolve, and the sauce is smooth.

Turn up the heat on your stove top to medium-high heat.  Add cornstarch, and whisk ingredients together until all lumps are gone.  Once sauce is smooth, turn heat to a simmer, and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This is what the sauce looked like, after it had thickened.  The recipe, as written, will yield about 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce.  Be sure to store the hoisin sauce in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for 1-2 weeks.  Once refrigerated, the sauce may thicken even more, so when you get ready to use it, stir it real good before using.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it!  See how easy it is to make your own hoisin sauce?  I love learning how to re-create store bought food items in the comfort of my own kitchen. Knowing how to do this has come in handy more than once, and saved me countless trips to the grocery store “for just one more thing”.

Have a fantastic day, friends!  Hope you will remember this recipe when you need hoisin sauce for a great dish you are preparing!

Homemade Hoisin Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/hoisin-sauce/

Homemade Hoisin Sauce
 
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It's very easy to make your own Asian Hoisin Sauce in the comfort of your own kitchen, with just a few ingredients!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Sauce (Asian)
Serves: ½ cup sauce
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar (may substitute white wine vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce (I used srriracha)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Directions
  1. To make the sauce, put all ingredients EXCEPT CORNSTARCH into a small pan. Heat the ingredients using medium heat, until the peanut butter and molasses dissolve, and sauce is smooth.
  2. Turn up the heat on your stove to medium-high heat. Add cornstarch to sauce; whisk ingredients together until all lumps are gone. Once sauce is smooth, turn heat to a simmer, and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit.
  3. Sauce can be used immediately on meats or veggies. Store in airtight covered container in refrigerator. When ready to use after refrigeration, give it a good stir, use and enjoy this sauce in a variety of meals.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Homemade Hoisin Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

It’s the middle of summer, it’s extremely HOT in Oregon this week (with temps expected to reach 108-110 degrees), but we do have some yummy ice cream in the freezer and this amazing, thick Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce ready to drizzle on it, so it’s all GOOD! We will be hot, but at least we will have a smile on our faces!Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You may never want to buy hot fudge sauce at the store again after tasting this homemade thick chocolate sauce, ready in 10 minutes!!
This recipe for hot fudge sauce is a keeper, folks… fudge-y, creamy… and ready in under 10 minutes!  I’m NOT kidding… it tastes amazing!  Here’s how you can make this decadent sauce at home, rather than buying it at the local grocery store!

In a large saucepan, bring whipping cream, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, salt, and HALF of the finely chopped chocolate to a boil over medium heat. Stir often until chocolate has melted. Reduce the heat under the pan and simmer (a low boil) for 5 minutes, making sure to stir the mixture frequently to prevent scorching.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Remove pan from the heat. Add butter, vanilla extract and the rest of the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is smooth and lump-free. Let the hot fudge sauce cool just a bit before serving.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon the slightly hot fudge sauce over ice cream, cake, or even drizzled on top of dessert crepes!  It is soooo good!

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Store the unused sauce in a covered jar or container with a lid for up to a week in the refrigerator. Once refrigerated, the sauce will thicken considerably. When ready to use it again, place the amount you will be using in the microwave (in a microwave-safe container) and re-heat for 10-15 seconds. The sauce can also be reheated on your stovetop.Enjoy!

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This sauce is so delicious and fudgy, you might be tempted to grab a spoon and eat it straight out of the jar (not that I would know… wink, wink!). This recipe is most definitely going into my “keeper” file!  Hope you will give it a try – I just KNOW you’re gonna love it, too!

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/04/10-minute-homemade-hot-fudge-html

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce
 
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Thick, creamy, rich and decadent, this quick and easy hot fudge sauce is so good you may never want to buy it at the store again!
As Prepared By:
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (can also use dark or bittersweet), finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
  1. In a large saucepan, bring whipping cream, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, salt, and HALF of the finely chopped chocolate to a boil over medium heat. Stir often until chocolate has melted. Reduce the heat under the pan and simmer (a low boil) for 5 minutes, making sure to stir the mixture frequently to prevent scorching.
  2. Remove pan from the heat. Add butter, vanilla extract and the rest of the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is smooth and lump-free. Let the hot fudge sauce cool just a bit before serving.
  3. Store the unused sauce in a covered jar or container with a lid for up to a week in the refrigerator. Once refrigerated, the sauce will thicken considerably. When ready to use it again, place the amount you will be using in the microwave (in a microwave-safe container) and re-heat for 10-15 seconds. The sauce can also be reheated on your stovetop. Enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You may never want to buy hot fudge sauce at the store again after tasting this homemade thick chocolate sauce, ready in 10 minutes!!

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Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing

I recently made Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing from scratch… it was completely EASY to prepare, and it tastes FANTASTIC on a crisp mixed green salad!Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This delicious salad dressing is made in a couple minutes with a few pantry ingredients!
The process was so easy you’re not even going to believe it!  I found the recipe through Pinterest, thought it sounded good, and decided to give it a try! I am sure glad I did, because now I can make my own Catalina dressing from home, with only a few simple pantry ingredients!

Here’s how completely easy it is to make: Place all the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and whisk them together very well, until they are completely blended. Once completely blended, pour the salad dressing through a funnel into a clean, decorative jar (with a lid). THAT’S IT, folks!  How easy is that?  (**NOTE: You can also place the ingredients in a blender and pulse or blend for a minute).

Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I removed the dressing from my refrigerator just a few minutes before serving, gave it a good shake, then drizzled this delicious dressing over my mixed green salad.  Catalina Salad Dressing is also delicious on Taco Salad, too!  The dressing is so good, and it only took a couple of minutes to make, which is shorter than the time it takes me to get to a grocery store and pay much more for a name brand bottle that costs two to three times as much.  I like that!

Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you’ll give this recipe a try… I really think you’ll appreciate the convenience and simplicity of this yummy Catalina dressing on a delicious salad. The recipe can be easily doubled.  Have a fantastic day!

Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.littlehouseliving.com/homemade-catalina-salad-dressing-recipe.html#_a5y-p=2956216

Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing
 
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It's SO easy to make your own creamy Catalina Salad dressing to use on salads, taco salads, etc.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: approx. 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup mild tasting oil
Directions
  1. METHOD 1: Put all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk until ingredients are thoroughly combined. METHOD 2: Place the ingredients into a blender and process until fully mixed.
  2. Pour into a covered bottle (a funnel makes this easy!) or container . Store in refrigerator. Shake or stir dressing before using.
Notes
If you use olive oil, you will need to take the salad dressing out of refrigeration about 10 minutes before serving, as the oil solidifies some during refrigeration.

Here’s another to pin on your Pinterest boards!Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This delicious salad dressing is made in a couple minutes with a few pantry ingredients!

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Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

The other evening I made a Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette to go with dinner. It tasted wonderful, with crunchy apple slices, creamy goat cheese, spinach, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and a fantastic dressing – amazing!Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Talk about a quick and easy salad (and homemade dressing)… wow! The entire salad and amazing vinaigrette dressing took only about 15 minutes from start to finish. My husband and I both loved it!

Here’s how you make this incredibly EASY salad:  Place baby spinach , thinly sliced apples, red onion, dried cranberries, toasted pecans (or walnuts), and goat cheese (half of total amount) into a large salad bowl.  Note: I sliced the apples right before serving. If preparing this salad ahead of time, remember to brush apple slices with lemon juice, to prevent them from darkening once exposed to air, OR slice the apples and add to salad just before serving.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Quickly whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients or place in a bottle or container with lid, and shake to fully combine.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lightly drizzle the salad with vinaigrette.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Toss the salad to mix in the salad dressing, covering all ingredients.  Once salad has been tossed, top the salad with the other half of the goat cheese, and serve!  THAT’S IT!

See how easy that was? In case you are thinking that the salad is too easy to taste good, let me assure you, the vinaigrette is absolutely fantastic on this salad, AND the salad itself is FULL of great flavors AND textures (chewy, crunchy, creamy)!

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you have a wonderful day. Seek out someone you can encourage or give a helping hand to today.  We can ALL make a difference in this often hopeless world. Blessings.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/my-favorite-apple-spinach-salad/

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
 
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Quick and easy to prepare, this salad is full of flavor and textures, thanks to spinach, crisp apple slices, red onion, cranberries, creamy goat cheese, toasted pecans, and apple cider vinaigrette!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For salad:
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 apples (cored/thinly sliced- leave peel ON)
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnut halves), lightly toasted
  • Half small red onion, peeled/thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, DIVIDED. (May also substitute feta or bleu cheese)
For Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (may also substitute champagne vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled/minced
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (or honey), to sweeten
  • pinch salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Place baby spinach, sliced apples, cranberries, toasted pecans (see NOTES section), red onion slices, and crumble HALF of the goat cheese into a large salad bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, jar, or container with lid, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients. Shake or whisk until all salad dressing ingredients are fully blended.
  3. Lightly drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss salad, to combine.
  4. Crumble the remaining goat cheese over the top of the salad, and serve!
Notes
To toast pecans (walnuts): Place in skillet (a dry skillet) and cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes, stirring/turning often, until nuts are lightly toasted and aromatic. Let nuts cool a minute or two, before adding to salad.

 

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Peach Coulis

If you’re looking to enhance a peach dessert this summer, why not make a simple Peach Coulis (Koo-Lee) to decorate the plate OR the dessert, and make it even MORE beautiful?Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!  Make this quick fruit sauce to enhance your desserts!
A coulis is simply a slightly thickened, puréed and sweetened fruit sauce that is an easy way to bring more fruit flavor to a dessert. It can also be used to make the dessert LOOK GOOD (like they do in restaurants!)  Check out my recipe for Raspberry Coulis!  Decorating with a fruit coulis gives your dessert the “wow” factor, and is so easy to make.

Here’s how you make a delicious Peach Coulis:  Place fresh peeled and sliced peaches, granulated sugar, cinnamon and water in a medium skillet or saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil.

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 5-6 minutes) and peaches have significantly softened and begun to break down.

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Put the mixture into a blender and mix until smooth. 

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once blended, place a mesh colander over a bowl, then pour blended liquid into strainer.

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Push the liquid through the strainer (any leftover chunks or pieces of peach will remain in the strainer). I like to use a wooden spoon to press down the sauce into the mesh strainer.  Don’t forget to scrape down the underside of the mesh strainer for more sauce! Once all the liquid has been strained through strainer, what is left in the bowl underneath is the coulis. It will be a slightly thick peach sauce that tastes amazing!

I like to pour the coulis into a plastic decorating bottle with a cap on it (fairly inexpensive – I got a set of plastic bottles at Michael’s craft store). The squeeze bottles make it easier to decoratively drizzle the sauce over the dessert. (*You can also put the coulis into a zip-loc bag, snip off a tiny corner of the bag, and squeeze sauce out that way). The sauce is ready to be used right away, or can be refrigerated until ready to use (coulis will keep for several days in the refrigerator).

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When ready to serve cake, pie, any kind of peach dessert (or in this case my Peach Shortbread Tart), decoratively drizzle the Peach Coulis onto the plate and/or dessert and jazz it up a little bit!  The sauce would also taste great as an ice cream or pancake topping!

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you have a fantastic day! May you feel loved, encouraged, and supported as you go about your work today, whether it be in a professional setting or working in your home. Blessings!

Peach Coulis / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://www.marthastewart.com/338850/raspberry-coulis

Peach Coulis
 
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Easy to prepare fruit sauce that can be used as decorative garnish and flavor enhancer for your desserts!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups peeled, thinly sliced fresh peaches
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup water
Directions
  1. Put the peach slices, sugar, cinnamon and water into a skillet or saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil on Medium-High heat. Once it boils, reduce heat to Medium-Low, and continue cooking for about 5-6 minutes, until all sugar is dissolved and peaches have softened considerably and begun to break down. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Place cooled mixture in blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Place a mesh strainer/colander (fine mesh) over a bowl. Pour blended fruit purée into strainer. Use a spoon or spatula to push the mixture down into the strainer. Continue pushing liquid through strainer (remember to scrape down the underside of strainer for additional sauce!), until all liquid has been pushed through. You might have a few solids left in strainer. Discard these.
  4. The sauce will be in the bowl below the strainer. Place sauce (coulis) into a covered decorator bottle with a cap or another covered container.
  5. The sauce is ready to use once completely cool. Coulis will last for several days when stored in refrigerator.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
No plastic decorator squeeze bottle? No problem! Another way to decoratively drizzle coulis is to place it into a zip-loc bag. When ready to use, use scissors and snip a tiny bit of the bottom corner of the bag off, then squeeze coulis out THAT WAY!

 

 

 

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Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits)

I grew up loving biscuits and gravy! It was always a big treat when my Mom (a Texas girl) made us Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits)! Can there be anything better than fresh, fluffy biscuits smothered in a thick gravy made with BACON?Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy tutorial showing you how to make delicious gravy for Biscuits n' Gravy!
Now I will concede that biscuits and gravy will probably not help you get you that girlish figure you’ve always wanted, but let me tell you… sometimes you just want a hearty breakfast that fills you up!  I’ve made biscuits and gravy so many times over the course of my almost 40 year marriage I can’t even count them.  My hubby LOVES it when I make biscuits and gravy for breakfast (must be HIS Southern heritage, too)!

Here’s how I make ’em:  First I cook bacon until it is crispy.

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Once bacon is done, remove it from pan to a paper towel, to drain off any remaining grease. Once cool enough to handle, crumble it into small pieces.

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Do not wipe out the skillet you cooked the bacon in. Discard MOST of the bacon grease (I save mine in a jar in the freezer), BUT KEEP ABOUT 2 TABLESPOONS IN THE SKILLET (My Mom calls this Liquid Gold – ha ha).  See all those little bitty bacon bits on the bottom of the skillet? Those, plus the bacon grease will incorporate LOTS of flavor into your gravy!

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, flour, pepper and salt, until lump free.

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Put the bacon crumbles and the milk/flour mixture into the skillet.  Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat a bit, continuing to stir while the mixture thickens.  Absolutely give it a taste, to check for seasoning. I always add a lot of pepper, and usually more salt to get it to taste just right!

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once the gravy has thickened, add a Tablespoon (or two!) of cold butter. Stir until butter is melted and incorporated into gravy.

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
It’s a fairly thick gravy. See how it coats the spoon when done?

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once gravy is heated through, seasoned to taste, etc. get your warm biscuits ready! Split them in half and place them on a plate. I used my recipe for homemade Southern Buttermilk Biscuits here… nice and tall, but any store bought biscuits will do just fine!

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon the hot bacon gravy over each biscuit half. Smother them good!

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
That’s IT!  Grab a fork, and dive on in!  Biscuits n’ Gravy may not be so good for your HIPS, but, mercy… they sure taste good on the LIPS! (Go take a long walk after breakfast… it’s all about balance, right?). I really think you’re gonna LOVE this gravy! Bacon really DOES make everything BETTER!

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The gravy can be refrigerated if you have leftovers. Cover it well, and it will keep for a couple days. Reheat (you might need to add a touch of milk), stir it well, and it will be ready to eat again!

I see biscuits and gravy on the menu at lots of restaurants that serve breakfast, but honestly… I’d rather have my homemade version. It’s DELICIOUS (and inexpensive too!).  Have a great day, and give this bacon gravy a try on your favorite biscuit… I think you will LOVE it!

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My Mom

Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits)
 
Prep time
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Make this thick, delicious Southern Bacon Gravy to pour over hot biscuits. Biscuits and Gravy... yum!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
For gravy:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 pieces bacon, cooked until crisp (RESERVE 2 Tablespoons bacon grease in skillet)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 8 warm biscuits (pre-cooked, or bake them while cooking bacon)
Directions
  1. Cook bacon in large skillet until crispy. Remove cooked bacon to paper towels to absorb grease. When cool, crumble bacon into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Do NOT clean skillet. Leave 2 Tablespoons bacon grease in skillet. Discard the rest.
  3. In separate bowl or container, whisk together milk, flour, salt and pepper, until lump-free. Pour the milk/flour mixture into skillet with remaining bacon grease. Add crumbled bacon pieces. Heat mixture on medium (whisking/stirring constantly) until it comes to a boil; reduce heat a bit, and continue cooking and stirring, until gravy has thickened (5-6 minutes). Give it a taste test.
  4. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste (I ALWAYS add more). Once gravy has thickened, add 1-2 Tablespoons cold butter. Stir until butter is melted, incorporated into gravy, and mixture is heated through.
  5. Slice warm biscuits in half horizontally. Place biscuit halves onto serving plate. Spoon hot gravy over each half. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
In the words of my Mom... "you can't have enough pepper in this gravy!". Don't be afraid to season this gravy well! Taste, taste, taste, and add salt and pepper until it tastes exactly the way you want it to.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Southern Bacon Gravy (For Biscuits) / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy tutorial showing you how to make delicious gravy for Biscuits n' Gravy!

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Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Looking for an easy, fresh, and wonderful tasting salad dressing for your summer salads? I’ve got just the one for you… Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette!Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
With a few basic ingredients and a blender or food processor, you can have this tasty salad dressing ready to go in just a minute or two!  I love to use fresh strawberries and blueberries in my salads (along with some feta cheese and pecans or almonds), so this strawberry-based vinaigrette compliments it quite nicely!

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

All you have to do is blend the ingredients until smooth, and BAM! You’ve made this fantastic Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette!  I like to make my own salad dressings, rather than always having to buy them. They always seem much fresher that way.  If you enjoy making your own salad dressings, as well, you should check out my Poppyseed Salad Dressing and Citrus Vinaigrette… they are also full of flavor and easy to make!

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will consider making this Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette… it’s a keeper! The original recipe was from Amy at The Idea Room.  The recipe as written in this post makes about 2 cups of salad dressing.

Have a wonderful day. Thanks for taking time to visit this website!  I am grateful for each of you.  My sincere hope is that you find delicious recipes here that help you feed those you love and care about.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://www.theidearoom.net/2016/04/strawberry-balsamic-vinaigrette-salad-dressing.html

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
 
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Summer salads are made even more tasty with this quick and easy Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette!
As Prepared By:
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 8 large strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Place honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sliced strawberries into a blender or food processor.
  2. Process ingredients until smooth.
  3. Lightly season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste.
  4. Enjoy on your favorite salad (especially good with sliced strawberries in salad!)
  5. Store leftover salad dressing in covered container in refrigerator.

 

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