Tag Archives: salad

Any Excuse To Eat Doritos

Emily Bite’s Doritos Taco Salad has been popping up all over my IG account {flipflopfoodie_ww} and I knew it had to make it onto our menu plan one week real soon.

I had it down for tonight which is usually Taco Tuesdays in our house, but since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to have corned beef & taters so decided to make this up last night after soccer practice.

I will admit at first I was a little skeptical of the Catalina dressing….I am not a huge fan of it and thought about using ranch or a more creamy dressing, but wanted to make it according to the recipe. I also wanted to make my own dressing to have more control over the ingredients. I did a simple Google search and found this one. Since it was my first time making it, I cut the recipe in half….all measurements are halved and what I used. The amount I got was plenty for one big salad with a little leftover. You could certainly double or triple to make extra to have on-hand.

DIY Catalina Dressing

1/6 cup white vinegar

1/6 cup EVOO {or any salad oil}

1/4 cup ketchup

3 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

A couple shakes garlic powder

Blend with a hand mixer or an immersion blender and refrigerate until ready to use.


The salad has very few ingredients, but is full of flavor and was a total hit with 3 out of 4 family members. One family member refuses to eat anything green so he didn’t even try it. His loss!


I used:

3/4 of a large head of iceberg, chopped

1 roma tomato, diced

1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

4 ounces {45 chips} Nacho Cheese Doriots, crushed to bite size pieces

1 pound ground sirloin, browned with 1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning

1/2  cup of the homemade Catalina dressing


Toss everything together and plate it up ~ dinner is served!


Next time I think I’ll add some fresh corn, black beans, red onion and jalapeños. It was excellent as-is, but I like lots of “stuff” in my salads!

This salad is also perfect for picnics as there is no mayo in the dressing. Pack it up with the dressing on the side and mix it up right before serving.

We really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to make it again on a busy weeknight.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Summer Salad ~ Pasta Caprese

I wish I could say our summer travel took us to the island of Capri…


It’s on the bucket list.

Instead we will enjoy a salad which gained it’s fame on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast ~ Caprese Insalata

We went to spend an evening with our neighbors last weekend and I offered to bring a salad. With four bright red tomatoes from my friend’s community garden plot sitting in our vegetable crisper and a bunch of basil in our own backyard, I decided to do a caprese salad, but add in pasta for a heartier side dish yet still fresh and summery.

Pasta Caprese

{recipe via}

  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced {I used about 8 cloves!}
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound pasta, such as campanelle, penne or fusilli {I used gemelli}
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add sugar, if desired (depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes). Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Marinate at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. Stir in the basil and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally, until serving.

{Note: the original recipe called for 1/4 cup lemon juice. I felt it needed some balsamic so I subbed 1/8 cup with that acid, but if you don’t have that on-hand, you could go with 1/4 cup lemon juice}


It was delish and perfect for the warm summer months. This pasta would also be festive during the holidays, as well!

Enjoy! Happy Tuesday.


P.S. Linking up with Mel over at The Larson Lingo….get your summer salad swap on!

Summer Salad Swap

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

Wanted to share a San Diego taqueria fave that you can make at home ~ Carne Asada Tortas with Chipotle Lime Avocado Crema & Cilantro Corn Salad

{for those of you who aren’t familiar, a torta is just a roll with carne asada rather than your typical vessel, the tortilla}

A carb is a carb is a carb.

Cilantro Corn Salad

Carne Asada marinade

{I used a 2-pound flank steak}

Chipotle Lime Avocado Crema ~ just mix some sour cream, one avocado, the juice of half a lime and one chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped ~ mash together with the back of a spoon

Torta rolls ~ Costco {thanks, Vicki!}


The leftover steak will go on a salad later in the week with this dressing…

Muy bueno!


Have a great week!

Nighty night.


Wanna Be CPK ~ BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Always trying to duplicate the Original BBQ Chicken Salad from California Pizza Kitchen…

This will just have to do ~

1 bag romaine, chopped into smaller pieces

1/2 of a rotisserie chicken {or leftover chicken}, cooled and chopped

1/4-1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup {or so} sweet white corn {I use frozen, thawed}

1/4 cup shredded cheese {I used Mexican blend, light}

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped

Chopped cilantro {however much you like ~ we like A LOT}

1/2 of an avocado, sliced or chopped

red onion, finely chopped {optional}

Squeeze of lime {optional}


I just mix a little store bought light ranch and some bbq sauce and toss!

{You can also get fancy and drizzle bbq sauce over the salad like CPK does, but the brand I bought wasn’t a squeeze bottle and I didn’t want to over-do the sauce/dressing}

They have a new Caramelized Peach Salad that I will try to recreate soon!


Nighty Night!

Like A Gingerbread Man With It’s Head Cut Off

Oh my.

It’s been 5 days since I’ve posted! Every day I plan on sitting down and doing so, but it just hasn’t happened.

My days have been filled with the following…

driving around to four stores looking for gingerbread syrup for some martinis…then it dawned on me that I could have just walked into Starbucks and possibly begged them to buy a {tall} gingerbread syrup. Then I visited every CVS in town tracking down some calendars. I tell you, once I get something in my head, there’s no stopping me.

making more of these with Caramel Kisses {delicious, but don’t press the m&m down too hard or you will have oozing caramel which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not as tidy for packaging them up nice and neat} and the Hugs {milk chocolate inside white chocolate with stripes ~ those turned out super cute! {you can see the salted caramel ones to the right ——-> under my Instagrams}

Our little ballerina partook in her fourth recital and Gramma and I had the {pleasure} of working backstage. Keeping track of a dozen tutu’d 4-6 year olds is no joke. This paranoid mom was doing a head count every 10 seconds when I wasn’t filling cups with goldfish or providing water refills, that is. I {think} I may prefer sitting in the audience cheering on my girl rather than stressing backstage and applying lipstick touch ups at the last minute, but she’d been wanting me to be a stage mom for some time and I most certainly didn’t want to let my little lady down. Thanks again, Gramma, for being on potty duty!

Also, thank you to Gramma for starting a beautiful new holiday tradition and treating to front row seats at our local production of The Nutcracker. I was amazed at all the beautiful young dancers….my goodness. My girl decided to wear her costume straight from her recital to the ballet ~ swapping her ballet slippers for some boots and adding in one {Fancy Nancy} coat…

Holden sang a very simplified version of {Soon And Very Soon} in church on Sunday ~ You Tube to come!

I hosted a little Merry Mama gift wrapping to-do where several gals came over armed with rolls of paper, rolls of tape, bags of gifts and lots of chit chat. This was where my gingerbread martinis were supposed to make an appearance, but honestly my girls were so busy wrapping they didn’t even notice! I served the Winter White Wine sangria, artichoke dip, cranberry meatballs and Christmas pasta salad {2 packages Buitoni spinach tortellini, one box small shells, 4 small tomatoes [chopped] and a whole bottle of Bernstein’s Light Fantastic Cheese Fantastico ~ cook both pastas [separately] according to package directions, add chopped tomatoes and then stir in the bottle of dressing…can be made the night before} along with my beloved Hershey pretzel snaps and See’s molasses chips for a little sweet somethin’.

My little Pinterest find came together for treats for Elliott’s classmates:

{I picked up a bulk bag at CVS and divided them up into cello bags, but later found them prepackaged in a box of 24 at Smart And Final which is the route that I will go for Holden next year}

I also literally threw together a frame and some glitter clothespins to hold thoughtful gift cards from the kids to E’s teacher ~ one Goodwill frame, a can of black gloss Rustoleum, some twine, a glue gun, some clothespins {thanks for lookin’ out, Lisa!} and a rainbow of glitter…

These frames are also perfect for displaying Christmas cards during the holidays or birthday invitations throughout the year. Just get yourself a frame and discard the graphic and glass, spray paint it if need-be, use your glue gun to string twine across the frame every 4 inches or so by pulling it tight and securing it with hot glue onto the back of the frame. Easy. For the clothespins, just brush some Elmer’s glue onto the pin with a foam brush, sprinkle on your glitter over a bowl, shake off excess and let dry. Easy.


And that is where I’ve been, friends! I’ve missed you and hope to post more regularly now that the kids are both out of school and we’ll be having some LAZY mornings days while they’re on break.


Prelude To The Turkey

Last Friday while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I remembered it was a {short week} and that took the pressure off a little as far as meal planning and packing lunches go. I gave in and purchased two Lunchables for Elliott for Monday and Tuesday, but made up for it with our dinners!

We tried several new recipes this week that I wanted to pass along…are you ready?

French Onion Soup {a favorite of Jay’s}

This was my first ever attempt at this soup. I looked at several recipes before settling on the one from Epicurious…very pleased with the way it turned out, though. I found the little ramekins at Ross for $1.99 each. They were the perfect size for two ladles of soup and two baguette croutons. Gruyere is about $20 a pound, but so worth it {I got 8 ounces at Sprouts for a little over $10}!

BLT Pasta Salad {via Pinterest}

Spotted this and realized I had every single ingredient ~ the perfect way to use up several tomatoes on the vine, some center cut bacon, a head of romaine, some green onions {in place of the chives} and the last of some light sour cream! I even had a box of whole wheat penne in the pantry. This could totally pass for a main course salad.

Bombay Sloppy Joes {courtesy of cute Aarti from Food Network}

Sloppy Joe goes exotic! When I first spotted these, I filed them away in my mental food rolodex. I love Indian flavors and knew that these would be right up  my alley. The slight sweetness comes from just a bit of honey and raisins and the kick comes from serrano peppers! The house smelled divine as this was cooking up. I will never buy Manwich again. We’ve been making Rachael Ray’s homemade sloppy joes for years, but these are a nice twist.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes {again, via Pinterest}

Not a great pic, but they were soooo yummy. We had our neighbors over in their pajamas this morning, brewed a huge pot of coffee and enjoyed these. This was one of the new traditions on this year’s holiday list {click on the link if you want to see how the pancakes are really supposed to look ~ ha!}. You could certainly use pancake mix, but I made this from scratch as the recipe suggests and it was a cinch. I made mini silver dollar size by using a tablespoon to measure out the batter. The cream cheese drizzle puts them over the top!


Looking forward to Mr. Turkey and all his side dish friends tomorrow.

I am learning that a lot of people don’t care for the green bean casserole with the dried onions….I love it! It kind of wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it.

What is the one thing that is a must on your Turkey Day table?

Wingin’ It

My Mom tore out and passed along an article titled, “Help Your Kid Find Her Passion” from the November 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping.

I don’t know about you, but I am always worried if we, as parents, are enrolling our little ones in enough activities or are we doing too much? Are we making enough time for school work or do we need to spend an extra 15 minutes each day? Do my kids actually like the activities that they are in or did I force it on them? Both kids started religious education this Fall and even though they did not have a say in it, I feel that it’s something they must do. Fortunately they love it, but I am considering it an extracurricular activity since Elliott’s takes place during the week. Holden goes on Sunday mornings while we’re in mass, so I don’t really regard his as such.

I don’t want to overbook my children, but I also don’t want to overlook a spark or a passion that they may be exhibiting.

Most of the time as parents, we are totally winging it. I don’t think all the parenting books in the world can answer all the questions or challenges of raising a child. I know I/we will always wonder “are we doing enough for our children?”. On the same note, I don’t want to make myself mad running around town {and beyond!} more than I need to. The day in and day out activities are enough, but when you add in everything else {extracurriculars for one or multiple kids, homework/school projects, appointments, the occasional weekday play date}, it can quickly get out of control and I can get overwhelmed. I want to enjoy taking them to activities, not look at it as a burden. We just have to figure out what is best for US and not worry about what everyone else is doing. {I am guilty of that, but getting better}

This article really helped me. I hope that if you’re feeling the same or trying to pinpoint your child’s interests you’ll peruse it, too.

I think the bottom line is that we all want our children to be happy, healthy and well-rounded no matter how many activities they may be doing.


And speaking of wingin’ it, I am always looking for buffalo chicken recipes without the bones! Now that I’ve discovered the boneless buffalo wings, I’m never going back.

I spotted this Buffalo Chicken Salad on Pinterest from babble.com and it’s what was for dinner Monday night. We had a make-up {make-up as in because we missed one, not make-up as in Toddlers & Tiaras} dance class and would be home later than normal on a Monday, so I grilled up the chicken early in the afternoon, chopped all the veggies, layered it in a big bowl and it was ready to toss up when we got home close to 7pm.

It was super yummy and I will certainly make it again {Jay was not a fan of the celery, so next time I will only put it in mine ~ how can you have buffalo chicken without celery? You simply can’t!}

I added cucumber and red onion and used store bought Ranch.

Not the best picture, but don’t let that deter you from making this salad.

Happy {busy} Wednesday!

Fantastico! ~ Chopped Antipasto Salad

When we were in Myrtle Beach over the summer we went to dinner at King’s Famous Pizza {thanks Yelp!} one evening. We ordered the antipasto salad and I vowed right then and there that this was something that I was going to recreate at home. Their house dressing was amazing ~ they had obviously gotten requests from customers to buy it because they had it all bottled up and ready for sale! The best way to explain it is a cross between Italian and honey mustard ~ tangy and sweet, but not too sweet.

Last night I threw together this antipasto salad and it was quite satisfying…

Romaine, chopped

Light Salami, diced {about 10 slices ~ I used Gallo}

Lowfat mozzarella, shredded {1/2-3/4 cup}

Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained {about 3/4 can}

Tomato, seeded and chopped

Red onion, chopped/minced

Pepperoncinis, chopped {about 6-8}

*Toss with Bernstein’s Cheese Fantastico dressing*

{light dressing that doesn’t taste light!}

Other possible add-ins: bell pepper, red pepper, cucumber, black olives, artichoke hearts or chopped giardiniera {Italian style pickled vegetables}. You could also substitute pepperoni or other Italian meats for the salami. Next time I’ll add in just a bit of honey mustard and try to recreate King’s house dressing.


Rotisserie Chicken Two Ways

One rotisserie chicken.

Two completely different meals.

I’m on it.

Last Friday afternoon I picked up a fresh rotisserie chicken, brought it home and immediately took it off the bone. Hint: it’s MUCH easier to get off the bone when it’s warm than when it’s cold.

I took half the chicken, chopped it up and added it to this crock pot lasagna recipe ~ lasagna with mushrooms, spinach and a bechamel sauce. I also chopped up one red pepper and added that in with the onion, mushroom and spinach mixture.

{Since Leah’s recipe didn’t include the chicken, I just went ahead and followed her directions and scattered the chopped chicken on top of each veggie layer}

Started the crock pot at 3:00pm and when we got home at 7:00pm from dance, dinner was ready!


Recipe numero dos….

I had the other half of the chicken ready for another meal and decided to make this curried chicken salad with almonds and raisins from Tyler Florence.

Two words ~ DEEEE-LISH!

I had all ingredients on-hand. LOVE when that happens.

I served it with some leftover quinoa.



I don’t know about you, but Mr. Rotisserie and I are good friends. I can always count on him.

Please DO share some of your rotisserie chix secrets!

Happy Tuesday!


Linking up again with Lady Behind The Curtain ~ Cast Party Wednesdays


Well Hello and Happy Monday!

I just realized that I haven’t really been posting much on the weekends…not my intention, but I guess it’s OK because that means that we’ve been busy and still enjoying summer even though school is definitely in full swing again.


Today marks day 28 of my 30 Day Shred.

I have to say that I have been MUCH better this time around. I did take a couple days off due to my knee bothering me, but I did something in lieu of the DVD those days ~ either biking or walking the big loop in our development at night. I love that the DVD is only 30 minutes and I really try to give it my all and make the most of the half hour with Jill and her girls. Also, I’ve been using 4 pound hand weights and I can probably go up to 5 pounders. Today the kids did it with me and used the Handy Manny plastic tools as their hand weights…yes, Squeeze, Pat, Felipe and Dusty joined in on today’s shred ~ WHATEVER works.

I feel great, though and can tell a difference, but I certainly need to tighten up the eating. I was doing great with that for the first two and a half weeks and then got a little lazy.


Speaking of eating better, I have a couple healthy recipes to share since the last couple were far from it…

Spicy Honey Lime flank steak and this quinoa salad from Pinterest {thanks Erma for pinning it!}…

I marinated the flank steak in 1/4 cup honey, the juice of 3 limes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 tbsp Sriracha for about an hour and a half, flipping from time to time. Jay grilled for about 6 minutes on each side. Will make great salads and sandwiches throughout the week.

I also made Giada’s gazpacho last week…

It’s verrry healthy if you don’t put anything on it! She topped it with some polenta croutons which looked amazing. I, however, threw on some cheese & garlic croutons from my pantry. Would also be nice with a little dollop of light sour cream and some crushed tortilla chips.

The perfect summer soup since it’s served cold and has a nice refreshing kick to it.


LOVE this pic of Holden and me taken this weekend at the concert in the park…

{yes, I am fully clothed and no, Holdy is not drugged}


This week is a jumble of the new school schedule, homework {already!}, pool time {if they behave!}, park play date, dance class and two birthday parties this weekend.

Never a dull moment.

Hope your week is off to a successful start!