Basil Green Goddess Dressing

I don’t usually make creamy salad dressings. I usually make just a simple vinaigrette. While leafing through Barefoot Contessa at Home for the millionth time, this salad dressing really caught my eye, and I knew I had to try it. It has a wonderful basil flavor and a nice creamy texture. You don’t need many vegetables to make this salad extraordinary. Just lettuce, maybe some avocado and tomato. The dressing is enough to make just lettuce seem special.

I don’t have a blender. But don’t worry, this dressing was still easy to make, using my immersion blender and the measuring cup that comes with it. Actually, that might have made the task a bit easier. Not only was I able to measure the ingredients in the cup, I also stored the dressing in it and didn’t have to dirty an extra dish! Not owning a dishwasher makes you really think about that one extra cup, bowl, or spoon.

Ina’s recipe for this dressing suggests serving it with Bibb lettuce and a few tomatoes. I happened to have had some romaine lettuce in my fridge, so I just used that. I think a crispy lettuce is just perfect for this dressing, so don’t go pouring it over your baby arugula (or if you try it, let me know).

This is a perfect way to use up some of the basil in your summer garden if you’re sick of making pesto (or you just don’t have enough basil to make pesto). It’s also a good creamy salad dressing for the winter, though. Which is when I like it best.

I’ve actually never made regular Green Goddess dressing before, which is made with tarragon instead of basil. I’m not such a fan of that flavor, and I happen to love basil, so my guess is that I’d like Ina’s updated version better. She also added anchovy paste, something I don’t stock in my pantry. If you want to add it, add a teaspoon.

Not only is this a good salad dressing, but since it’s thick you can use it as a dipping sauce for veggies, a perfect mid-day snack!

Zeke, who usually doesn’t eat any salad, went back for seconds of this one.

Basil Green Goddess Dressing, adapted from Ina Garten. I halved the recipe.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and light green parts only (6-7 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


1. Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add the sour cream and process until smooth.

3. Pour the dressing over salad and serve.

Grilled Lemon Chicken

People always say that chicken on the grill is hard, tough, and dry. Well, they never tried butterflying a chicken, marinating it for a day, and grilling it with a brick weighing it down!

So remember when I told you that I successfully butterflied a chicken? It’s because I wanted to grill a whole chicken! Now that summer’s here, it’s actually too hot to turn on the oven, and I’m trying to use the grill as much as possible. Hamburgers and steaks get boring, so I’m giving some different types of dinners a try, including Ina’s Tuscan Lemon Chicken. Not only was it an impressive dish, it was actually quite easy. After marinating for 24 hours (yup, I prepped the dinner the night before, while cooking that night’s dinner), I just put the chicken on the grill and waited, flipped, and waited some more. The result? A VERY juicy chicken dinner.

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Lentils are boring. I think the only way I’ve ever even eaten lentils is in soup (and that’s the red variety, the kind that Esav traded his birthright for) and in rice and lentils. But when Ina made her salmon with lentils and everyone about the lentils on the bottom, I knew I should try it. Continue reading

Ina’s Deeply Chocolate Gelato

Even though we like frozen desserts all year ’round, they’re especially refreshing when it’s hot out. And being that Summer is right around the corner, I’m sure you’d all agree that it’s the perfect time to make gelato!

From what we can tell, Ina Garten really likes chocolate. Everything chocolate that she makes is really chocolatey. So it isn’t a surprise that her Deeply Chocolate Gelato is rich, creamy and, just like the title says, deeply chocolatey. If you really like chocolate and gelato, make this.

And if you like chocolate, you should make her Outrageous Brownies, which we’ve made a pareve version of a bunch of times (but they were pre-blog, so unfortunately we didn’t take photos… next time!)

Where were we? Oh, yes. Chocolate gelato. You should probably serve it with something not as chocolatey, like a fruity syrup or whipped cream.

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Nick and Toni’s Vodka Sauce

I really like pasta, and lately I’ve been eating the homemade kind. With homemade pasta, of course I need homemade sauce! The traditional garlic and oil was getting boring, and I don’t really love tomatoes, so unless they’re cooked for a really long time, I don’t like making sauce with them (sometimes I do, anyway). I do, however, like red sauces. And I really like pink sauces, and I used to only have them in restaurants. But now I’ve found a way to replicate the restaurant flavor at home…and it didn’t even take THAT long. True, the sauce had to simmer in the oven for an hour and a half, but if you have laundry to fold, a paper to write, or some TV to watch, then do it when the sauce is in the oven. Oh yeah, and you’ll definitely have to do some dishes, too.

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French Pear Tart

I had too many pears this week, and I just couldn’t figure out what to do with them. Then I remembered that I had some pie crust in the freezer and decided to make Ina Garten’s apple tart. I made a few changes, the most noticeable one the fruit I used, but I also realized that the recipe for tart dough was not hers, but the one from The Art and Soul of Baking. It was kind of crumbly (maybe because it was pareve), but still tasted great. Next time I’ll try Ina’s. Continue reading


Truffles are usually seen as these special and decadent Valentine’s Day gifts that are impossible to make at home…did you know that they’re really easy? It’s much cheaper to make them at home, not to mention that homemade candy makes a much more personal gift than Godiva.

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I’ve been wanting to make this soup for a really long time, so when I saw that kale was showing up at the market, I added it to my menu. It takes a pretty long time to make, so I decided to make it on a Sunday and serve in on Monday. On Sunday morning I woke up early, soaked the beans, and went to work. When I came home a little before six, I went shopping for all the produce needed: celery, carrots, onions, garlic, basil, and kale. There was no kale at the fruit store, they ran out and are getting more tomorrow. There was no kale at the supermarket, either. They also ran out. I already soaked the beans, so I had to improvise on the soup. It came out delicious, anyway.

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Apple Cranberry Crisp


apple crisp

It’s cranberry season! That means I get to buy bags and bags of cranberries and bake lots of desserts with some and freeze the others (you can keep them in the freezer for about a year – just throw the bag in the freezer and that’s it!).

Well, when I added too much sugar to an apple crumble recipe, I knew that adding the recently bought cranberries would be perfect to save the dessert from being too sweet. With that addition, it occurred to me that this is a great fall dessert!



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Meringues Chantilly with Roasted Berries


As you probably figured out by now, I really like Ina Garten. I watch her on the Food Network all the time and own one of her cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa at Home. Every time I look through it, I bookmark more recipes to try. The day after I put a post it on her pavlova with mixed berries recipe, I watched the episode where she made meringues chantilly with roasted berries. I liked the idea of everyone having his or her own serving. I also liked the fact that the berries would be roasted instead of just fresh, especially because the raspberries I had were frozen (yep, from the same batch as the raspberry jam). I also found some packaged strawberries in the freezer, my dad probably bought those when they were on sale.


These were surprisingly easy to make, probably because I used the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. The hardest part was the shaping, but after one or two even that got easier. I didn’t have a pastry bag (uni-tasker!) or a star tip, but I did have a zip top bag and some scissors, and that worked almost as well. Continue reading