Thanksgiving Side Dish – Cauliflower Salad with Tarragon Dressing

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I’m going through all my “favorites” that I’ve saved specifically for the menu and loaded them into their own folder, I’m going through my cookbooks and perusing other great blogs (of course!).

This one is actually something I made about five years ago – cleaning out the fridge and pantry. I initially made it with broccoli and I loved it so much I’ve made it several more times and also tried it with cauliflower, which is equally as good. (FYI: I didn’t cook the broccoli, but I felt like the cauliflower salad wouldn’t be as good raw).

Just a quickie nutritional tidbit….Cauliflower is high in fiber, folate and vitamin C, extremely low in fat and can be a great sub for mashed potatoes if you’re watching carbohydrates. If you haven’t seen it, check out my Cauliflower Smash with Grey Poupon Gravy. It’s so yummy and would be a great low carb side dish for your Thanksgiving spread.

Cauliflower Salad with Tarragon Dressing

1 head cauliflower, washed and broken into pieces

3/4 cup salted peanuts

1/3 cup raisins (or craisins, dried blueberries, or your favorite dried fruit)

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 tbsp mayonnaise (not low-fat)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp dried tarragon



Bring a large pot to a boil and add the cauliflower; cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Whisk together the vinegar, mayo and tarragon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the cauliflower, and throw it all in a big mixing bowl. Add the raisins and peanuts, then drizzle the dressing over the top. Toss to thoroughly combine.

This salad is great warm, but it’s also really good cold after it’s sat in the fridge for about a day.

Happy Monday!

~Dixie Chik~

PrintFriendly and PDF

Candied Jalapenos (Cowboy Candy)

Oh my gracious.

Wow, are these good. So good in fact, I made myself sick eating them and one of my coworkers now has mouth sores from eating so many at one time.  Alright, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but her mouth does burn.

Sorry, Sheila.

I was a bit intimidated at first because I had never canned (or jarred) anything before and it seems so….complicated. But I wanted to make them so bad, and it is SO not complicated! I’ve made three batches now and it’s a cinch.

If you are a jalapeno fan, you will absolutely LOVE, INHALE, and forever CHERISH these pretty little gems. Ok, maybe not cherish them since you’ll be eating them, but you could cherish the recipe.

I found it on Tasty Kitchen by Rebecca from Foodie With Family – and – here’s the link.

Candied Jalapenos

3 lbs. fresh jalapeno peppers, washed

2 cups apple cider vinegar

6 cups white granulated sugar

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp celery seed

3 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Wearing gloves, cut the stems from the jalapenos and discard. Slice into uniform discs and set aside.

In a large pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, tumeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the pepper slices and simmer for another 4 minutes.

Transfer the peppers to sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the rim.

Bring the heat back up to a boil and boil hard for 6 minutes. Pour the syrup into the jars and insert a cooking stick to release any trapped air. Pour more syrup if you need to, ensuring that it’s full to 1/4″ of the rim. (Yes, I know the picture below does not depict that, but hey – a girl’s gotta snap a picture when she can).

Wipe the rims and place clean two-piece lids on the jars.

Sweet and hot. Such a fabulous combination.

Oh, and look what I did (this is only one example of what I’ve been throwing these on)….

This is my Salisbury Steak with Balsamic Gravy topped with the pretty little things.



~Dixie Chik~

PrintFriendly and PDF

Greek Chicken with Tzatziki

I love, love Greek/Mediterranean food. Hummus, tabbouleh, stuffed grape leaves….I could go on and on. We have a locally owned Mediterranean restaurant that makes baba ganoush like nobody’s business. I can’t even come close to replicating it…not sure what their secret is but it quite possibly could be a crack rock.

When I realized I have never posted about this recipe I was a bit surprised…this is one my very favorite chicken dishes. I had it for the first time about 10 years ago and it’s on my regular rotation. I always see recipes for Greek chicken that involve potatoes, but for some reason that doesn’t appeal to me. Couscous and chicken, however, is a big fat Yes.

This is actually a pretty healthy dish – a combination of good fats, lean protein and of course, fat free Fage Greek yogurt. Eating absolutely delicious food that also gives you health benefits, to me, is Good Living.

My husband isn’t crazy about this because of the olives and feta, but he just picks them off. More of the yumminess for me.

Greek Chicken with Tzatziki

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 garlic cloves, minced

16 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained

1 4 oz can sliced black olives

1/2 cup hearty red wine such as Merlot or Cabernet

1/2 cup chicken stock

3 oz Feta cheese, crumbled

3.5 oz container Fage Plain Yogurt

1/2 hothouse cucumber, diced

1 tsp dill (you can use dried if you don’t have fresh)

1/2 lemon, juiced

Olive oil

1 cup couscous (I used tomato couscous), cooked according to the package

Fresh pita bread

In a large pan bring about 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and saute until fragrant. Yes….until you can smell it.

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill and lemon juice. Stir well and refrigerate.

Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Add the tomatoes through chicken stock. Please, please don’t skimp on the wine – it gives it a flavor depth that nothing else can really do. Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer over medium low for about 15 minutes, basting the chicken every now and then with the liquid until chicken is thoroughly done. Remove from heat.

Serve the chicken over couscous with a healthy ladle full of tomatoes and olives, and sprinkle plenty of feta on top.

Use the tzaziki as a dip for pita bread….

Or do like me and pretty much eat it all together 😉


~Dixie Chik~

As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here:
PrintFriendly and PDF

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

I’m so excited to be guest blogging for Katrina from In Katrina’s Kitchen today! Don’t you just love her 😉

Today I am sharing a recent dish I made, Lemon Ricotta Pasta. I started out making a simple creamy sauce to accommodate my daughter’s pickiness….but after throwing this in and that the end result was a much more complex (and yummy) flavor than I expected. This is light enough for a side dish, but definitely has just enough richness to be a main. I put grilled chicken with it and it was delicious. Feel free to alter the ingredients to your taste – I think next time I’ll be adding more lemon and cayenne.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

1 15 oz container whole-milk Ricotta cheese

Juice from 1 lemon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

Olive oil

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Spaghetti, cooked

Swirl about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Turn the heat down to medium and add the ricotta cheese and give it a good whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients, whisk until all combined and bring to a slow boil. Cover with a lid, but keep an eye on it. Simmer for about 5 minutes or so until thickened. If it’s too thin, whisk in a little spoonful of flour and cook a few minutes longer.

Serve over pasta. Enjoy…

Please make sure you visit Katrina’s site!

Thanks so much Katrina!


~Dixie Chik~

PrintFriendly and PDF

Salisbury Steak with Balsamic Gravy

Ever wonder what the difference between salisbury steak and hamburger steak is? I think Salisbury Steak is made with gravy and Hamburger Steak is without. If any of you think I’m wrong, let me know 😉

I’ve googled it a few times and that’s really the gist of it.

Growing up, we called it hamburger steak and it has always been the ultimate comfort food. Well, one of them at least. We didn’t always have it with any type of gravy, but when I was younger I had to dip mine in plenty of ketchup.

Now when I make mine, I like to make my own gravy and always caramelize some sweet onions….and if I’m in the mood bell peppers and mushrooms too.

Don’t forget the mashed potatoes.

Salisbury Steak with Balsamic Gravy

1 lb ground round

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

Olive oil

1 small sweet yellow onion, sliced into rings

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup beef broth

1 tbsp flour

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, divided

1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Coarse salt

Combine the ground round, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp Worcestershire in a large mixing bowl and form into 4 burger sized patties. Refrigerate.

Over medium-low heat, drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and add the garlic; heat and stir until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt – this will help release the sugars from the onion – and cook until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and cover with foil.

Turn the heat up to medium and add the burgers. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until done all the way through. I like to increase the heat a little towards the end to get a nice thin crunchy layer on the outside. Most of you don’t like that. I love it.

Move the burgers to a plate and cover with foil. Keep in mind that they will continue to cook for a few minutes after you remove them from the heat, so if you don’t like them very well done take them out just before they look as done as you want them.

Back to the pan-and by the way please don’t rinse it out – you’ll need those little bits of flavor.

Turn the heat back on to medium and add the beef broth, 1 tbsp Worcestershire, vinegar and flour. Whisk until bubbly and thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.

Put the steaks back in the pan with gravy, and top with the caramelized onions.

Oh, and by the way….I topped mine off with some candied jalapenos that I have been jarring for the past few weeks.

Sooooo good. Promise I’ll post that soon. They are oh so addictive.



PrintFriendly and PDF