Balsamic Italian Dressing | Recipe

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

Sometimes its good to mix things up. So here is a variation on the Italian Dressing Recipe I use.

Italian Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning mix
  • 1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake. Shake again prior to serving. Store dressing the fridge and use within 5 days. If you have a pre-measured salad dressing bottle, use the marks on the bottle to measure your vinegar and olive oil. This recipe allows for variety mix up each type of vinegar.

Pasta Salad | Recipe

Image copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

Now that it’s warm we are cooking out and eating chilly foods. Today I am sharing a recipe for a really simple and great pasta salad that I always serve at a cookout.


  • Tri-color pasta – 1 box or bag
  • 1 Can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 2 Cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Green pepper, chopped
  • Cheese, cut to small cubes
  • Italian salad dressing
  • 2-4 Tablespoons salad supreme seasoning

Image copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.


  1. Cook pasta according to box, drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, add pasta, vegetables, dressing and seasoning, repeat and stir. I try to layer this step so that everything is equally distributed.
  3. Chill and serve!

Image copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

Cucumber Salad | Recipe

Image copyright Little Blue Hen.

In the spirit of last week’s Caprese Salad, I’m posting a similar summer recipe. This cucumber salad is light and refreshing. It’s also incredibly easy and incredibly delicious.


  • Cucumber, sliced or chopped (peeled if not organic)
  • Super red ripe tomato, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • Red onion, sliced very thin, optional
  • Italian dressing (use this recipe – forget the bottle)
  • Warm, crusty bread – for serving


  1. Combine all vegetables in a bowl
  2. Coat with dressing and mix thoroughly
  3. Marinade overnight or for a few hours in the refrigerator
  4. Serve on or with warm, toasty bread.
  5. Enjoy!

This is a really easy recipe and is perfect for a summer picnic or a quick lunch.


Caprese Salad | Recipe

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

Today’s recipe is a simple yet delicious one. This is a perfect salad to accompany a barbeque meal on a hot summer’s day. I must say, I think this salad tastes ten times better when my ingredients come from our local farmers market. The tomatoes are bright red and the basil is deep green. Well without further ado, here we go!


  • Fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind in water or wrapped in plastic wrap), cut into bite sized pieces
  • Super ripe, red tomato, sliced
  • Basil, rinsed and torn into pieces
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Arrange mozzarella, tomato and basil in an even arrangement on the serving pate.
  2. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar and EVOO.
  3. Top with fresh ground pepper.
  4. Enjoy!

What summer foods do you like to eat?


15 Salad Toppings

Image copyright Joe Buckingham.

Finding your salads boring? They can be, so spice them up! Today I’m listing 15 foods you might not to think to your salad but will really add personality and flavor.

  1. Strawberries – Strawberries are amazing with spinach and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Crasins – Add a little bit of sweet to your salads, crasins pair well with a nut like walnuts.
  3. Mushrooms – I am a big mushroom fan, I can add them to just about anything.
  4. Pecans – Add a little protein and flavor when you put nuts on your salad.
  5. Walnuts – Ditto.
  6. Apples – Sliced or diced apples can add a surprising crunch to a salad. Green apples work well.
  7. Sunflower seeds – Mix up your salad by adding a tablespoon of sunflower seeds. They’re also a great little snack.
  8. Homemade Croutons – You gotta add a little bready crunch to your salad.
  9. Broccoli – Raw or lightly steamed broccoli adds flavor, fiber, and variety.
  10. Chickpeas – Provide a protein and flavor boost with chickpeas. Don’t forget you can alternatively add a bit of hummus too!
  11. Black Olives – I love black olives they bring a savory flavor to the table. For a salty, sophisticated flavor, try kalamata olives.
  12. Grapes – Yum.
  13. Oranges – There is something about the citrusy flavor of an orange combined with the tart flavor of spinach. These two work together in a salad or with smoothies. Consider adding OJ to salad dressings.
  14. Peppers – Add color to your salad with red, orange, yellow, or green peppers.
  15. Onions – Sliced thinly, onions are a tasty addition to a salad. Personally, I love adding thinly sliced red onions.

With this list your salads should be exciting! I’d love to hear, what do you put on your salads???