Make your own salad dressings

It is heating up here on the Gulf Coast.  I am particularly aware of it since we are currently without air conditioning.  I keep sticking to the table as I type, just so I don’t forget that I am hot and it isn’t cooling off very quick, despite the setting sun.  I’m now reduced to exhibiting my decades-old stretch marks as I stripped down to a lightweight cotton skirt and sports bra top.  I’m inside, I don’t care if I’m ever-so-much-more-than-twenty and my idea of a figure is round at this point.

Heat does not bring out my best side.

Then there are things like cooking and cleaning.  Heat does not provide me with inspiration there either.  I am SUPPOSED to be testing some cake recipes…but when I look at the oven, with sweat stinging my eyes, I don’t feel very inclined to do so.  I wish I had a summer kitchen, outside with screen walls and cool breezes.  Or, as an alternative, that the previous owner of our house, an electrical engineer, had updated the wiring so that we could operate an air conditioner, even if it was a window unit.

But that is another story, right?

Salad is about as excited as I am going to get.  At some point, producing a meal is advisable.    The thing is, when I look at the prices of salad dressings in the grocery store, I cringe.  A “cheap” bottle of dressing is $3 or more.  “Good” salad dressings can easily be north of the $5 mark.  Add in the price of the rest of the salad ingredients, and dinner for two is now approaching the same price as a trip to a budget restaurant, with more work.

While we can opt to buy the cheapest ingredients, we can further cut costs by simply making our own salad dressings.  It’s not even hard, even if they lack preservatives and additives, making them have a shorter life span in our refrigerators, and that might not be a bad thing either!

Ranch dressing is a favorite, along with creamy Italian, Italian, Raspberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette, Strawberry Vinaigrette, and good old Thousand Island.

Ranch Dressing

  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • 1 tbsp. minced chives
  • 1 tbsp.  garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2. tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. coarse pepper
  • 1.2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. buttermilk or yogurt

Toss everything into a blender and blend until
mixed.  Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to
use.  Use within 1 week of mixing.

Creamy Italian Dressing

  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 3/4 c. good olive oil
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Crumble spices into a medium bowl. Whisk in vinegar
and lemon juice. Add mayonnaise and whisk again,
then gradually whisk in olive oil. Finally, whisk in
Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a jar with a tight
fitting lid, and refrigerate at least an hour before
serving. Shake well before serving. Will keep for a
week in the refrigerator.

Italian Dressing Mix

  • 1/8 c. garlic powder
  • 1/8 c. onion powder
  • 1/8 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. dried oregano
  • 1/8 c. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 c. dried basil
  • 1/8 c. dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp. crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. celery salt
  • 1/4 c. salt

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake to mix.

To make fresh dressing, combine the following:

  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. dressing mix

Refrigerate for up to a week after mixing.

Raspberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette

  • 1 sweet onion, peeled & quartered
  • 1 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/2 c. sugar (more or less to tastes)
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. olive oil

Put onion, raspberries, red wine vinegar, sugar,
mustard and salt into blender container. Blend until
it is a smooth puree. Pour into quart jar, add
vinegar, and shake until blended. Refrigerate until
used. Keeps up to two weeks in refrigerator.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 1 pkg.(16 oz.) frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed
  • 6 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil

Put strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and vinegar into blender and puree. WHile blender is running, add oil in a steady stream. Blend about 1 minute longer until mixture thickens some. Pour into jar, cover and store in refrigerator.

Keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Thousand Island Dressing

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp. finely minced onion
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Put dressing in a jar and refrigerate several hours, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors. Keeps up to a week in the refrigerator.

About giascott

Writer, blogger, cook, grandmother, mother, wife, radio personality, outdoor enthusiast, dog enthusiast, crafter, artist, and part-time nut~~I've earned a lot of t-shirts in my day! I'm one of those crazy independent women who can cut down a tree, build you a shed, sew you a dress, cook your dinner, make some soap, pitch a tent, build a fire, catch some fish, dig in the garden, chase a kid or two, write you a poem, paint you a picture, and a dozen other things...just don't ask me to sing! I'm also embarking on a relatively new portion of my life, one of being disabled. I'm learning some lessons along the way about a lot of things too.
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