homemade caesar dressing (anchovy-free)

homemade caesar dressing (anchovy-free) via she likes to eat

i am not a huge salad person.
yeah, i know i’m a girl and so i should order salads all the time and think they’re awesome and be like “oh, all i want is a salad”. but honestly, i’d rather have a steak. and bring me some A1 sauce.

but there are a few exceptions to my not-fully-on-the-salad-team self: homemade salad dressings and a really good caesar salad. i love a rich, true caesar salad – anchovies and all. that crispy romaine lettuce, the crunchy croutons, and i adore the thinly sliced chicken that you find on the caesar from some cafes. although not everyone likes the anchovies – namely my husband – and often i gravitate more towards a caesar dressing without them.

one cold night, not very long after i’d had my second baby, a friend brought over a gorgeous casserole with a homemade caesar salad. this was that dressing – i had never had a caesar dressing that i got cross-eyed over while eating it, it was that good. seriously, after i first made this myself, i could be found randomly going over to the fridge, opening the door, unscrewing the jar it was in just to smell it. inhaling its perfect lemon and garlic scent = bliss.

deelee’s homemade caesar dressing

ingredients

1/4 cup half & half, plus more for thinning

1 tbsp dijon mustard

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

1 cup mayonnaise (duke’s is my favorite, if you can find it)

1/3 cup freshly & finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

salt & pepper

directions

1. in a small food processor, puree the half & half, dijon mustard, and garlic cloves. then add the lemon juice, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, and worcestershire sauce – puree about 20-30 seconds. add salt & pepper to taste (i don’t add much at all). thin the dressing with the extra half & half, to the consistency desired.

2. store in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably, before serving (the flavors will meld and become stronger). toss with romaine lettuce and croutons. top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

enjoy!

green chile strata

green chile strata via she likes to eat

a good friend of mine makes this incredible strata.

every time we hang out over at her house, i am always requesting she make it. it’s the recipe of a cousin’s brother’s mom’s best friends’ daughter’s sister (or something like that) and i was lucky enough to get a copy of the recipe. my copy is a photo i took with my phone of an email printed out on a piece of paper that you can tell has been used in the kitchen A LOT: crumpled, a little torn, and liquid spilled on it has caused the ink to run.

these are the best kinds of recipes, y’all. tried and true. passed from a great cook, to a son, to a friend, to a cousin… you know each of those people have loved it, made it, and then been asked for the recipe. i don’t know the originator of this blissful strata, but in my book, it belongs to my dear friend erika, and i hereby name it…

erika’s green chile strata

ingredients

4-6 flour tortillas

two 4- ounce cans chopped green chiles, drained well

6-8 ounces canadian bacon, chopped (pat dry in a paper towel)

8 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)**

6 eggs

1 3/4 cups milk (whole or 2% – not skim)

3/4 tsp salt

directions

1. generously coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil spray. cover bottom of dish with tortillas, tearing tortillas to fit without overlapping. sprinkle with half of the chopped green chiles, then half of the chopped canadian bacon, and then half of the cheese. repeat layers once more, ending with the cheese.

2. in a medium bowl, beat the eggs. add milk and salt and whisk until combined. pour over the layered ingredients in the baking dish. place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

3. preheat the oven to 350. bake for 50-60 minutes – strata should be slightly puffed and bubbly, and turning golden. let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

**if you want to add a little heat, try using pepper jack cheese instead of the monterey jack – it’s SO good.

enjoy!

pear & granola crisp muffins

pear & granola crisp muffins via she likes to eat

i love a good muffin. especially this week, when we have been waking up late and rushing about, trying to get out of the house quickly. i haven’t been much in the mood to scramble the eggs, toast the bread, and butter it. and jelly it. and cut it into quarters for the precious, picky three year old living in my house. i am all about giving my kiddo a healthy meal first thing in the morning, but in real life, THIS WEEK, i simply could care less. as long as we get out the door in time for mommy to drive through starbucks and get her latte.

these muffins are packed with chopped up pears; they don’t have as much of the “muffin” as most muffins do. i like this. maybe because it makes me feel like they’re a health food. maybe it’s because IT MAKES THEM DELICIOUS. then they have this glorious little crumble of granola and brown sugar on top. it browns nicely in the oven and gets just a bit crispy thanks to the supporting cast, butter.

happy fall, y’all.

pear and granola crisp muffins

ingredients

for the muffins:

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

2 tbsp butter, melted

2 pears, peeled and diced (about 1/4 inch dice), about 2 cups

1/2 cup granola or oats

for the granola crisp topping:

1/2 cup granola

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 tbsp butter, chilled & cut into small pieces

directions

1. preheat the oven to 400. line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or spray with oil (i like to use coconut oil spray).

2. to make the topping, whisk dry topping ingredients (granola, flour, brown sugar, and salt) together. cut in, or using your fingers, the cold butter until clumps form. set aside.

3. in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, and melted butter. in another large bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. fold in the granola (or oats) and pears.

4. divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. sprinkle generously with granola topping. bake about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. cool 5 minutes or so before taking the muffins out of the tin. serve warm with butter.

enjoy!