Most things are so much tastier when made at home, including salad dressing. Store-bought dressings are convenient, and sometimes convenience is a necessity, but when you have a spare 5 minutes to whip up a dressing yourself, it’s worth it.  This week’s recipe is a simple one, but it’s a good one to have in your arsenal and a good template to use for making your own salad dressings. Don’t love balsamic? Use champagne vinegar instead. Want a little extra zing? Add a dab of dijon mustard. Not a fan of spice? Omit the red pepper flakes. This recipe is versatile and can easily be adjusted to suit a variety of preferences.  Recipes like this… View Post

Lemons make a great addition to so many dishes. A little squeeze of juice can make a dish come alive, they add wonderful tartness to fresh fruit sorbets or homemade popsicles, and who doesn’t love a good lemon tart? When it’s the beginning of fall and we’re not yet ready to give up the fresh flavors of summer, the answer might be dehydrated lemon rounds. Dried lemons are more versatile than you might think. Drop a couple into a water bottle for a gently infused drink. Toss them into soup, simmering rice, or pots of brazing meats. Pulverize them in a coffee grinder to make your own lemon pepper seasoning. Take that lemon powder and… View Post

  Cucumbers can be a valuable addition to many dishes. They add fantastic fresh flavor to my Tzatziki on some creamy-crunchy Black-Eyed Pea Falafel. A few slices of cucumber and a squeeze of lemon juice transforms ordinary water into sippable spa heaven. Sushi isn’t really sushi without some cucumber strips inside. I’m totally intrigued by Joy the Baker’s Cucumber Gin Salt and Pepper Cups.  Homemade pickles are crazy simple to make and their flavor is unmatched by grocery store brands. Kirby cucumbers are classic for pickling, but Persian cucumbers also work well. I used mini snacking cucumbers and they were excellent. No matter what type you choose, just make sure they are firm and unwrinkled – fresh cucumbers will make crisper… View Post

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Does anyone actually know why we celebrate this day? Because I didn’t until I Googled it just now. In Mexico, it’s a celebration of the Mexican army defeating France in the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican war. To Americans, it’s a wonderful day that requires the consumption of Mexican food and salty drinks. No matter your reason for celebrating, there’s no better way to commemorate this day than with a big bowl of guacamole. This guac is a favorite in the Larson home, and until I went to write this recipe, we had never measured our ingredients. Around here, guacamole crafting is an art that involves adding a pinch of… View Post

It’s hard to say when the world looking at bacteria as the enemy, but if you pay attention as you go about your daily life, you’ll probably notice hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, and signs telling you when, why, and for how long you should wash your hands in just about every building around. Don’t get me wrong – personal hygiene is important – but bacteria is not always a bad thing. Our digestive tracts contain billions of bacteria, some good and some bad. The “good” bacteria in the gut are hugely responsible for maintaining our immune health, warding off illnesses, and may even play a role in weight maintenance and prevention of chronic diseases. How… View Post