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Salads and Dressings

Apple Scrap Cider Vinegar from Modern Cider

December 11, 2017
Apple Scrap Cider Vinegar from Modern Cider by Emma Christensen | Recipe at

Lately, I find myself being associated more with beer, given my new book. But truth be told, I love cider, too!

I’ve done a bit of cider writing this year and I’m intrigued not only by the varieties cider but by the varieties of cider apples. There are so many types I’m just beginning to learn about them along with the type of flavors they bring to the finished product. 

So I drink cider, but I have yet to attempt making cider on my own. 

When that time comes, though, good news. I have the perfect resource.

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Maple Dijon Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

October 31, 2017
Maple Dijon Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe |

One of the best things about always being surrounded by food people is that I’m often reminded of things I haven’t made in the longest time. 

It keeps things interesting in the kitchen. I’m constantly encouraged to go back and make this or that again. 

Take pomegranate molasses, for example. 

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Crispy Prosciutto Fig Salad with Lemon, Chive and Honey Dressing

September 12, 2017
Crispy Prosciutto Fig Salad with Lemon, Chive and Honey Dressing | Tested recipe at

Fig season isn’t over yet, is it? My fresh figs are long gone, but I’ve still been seeing them around online so hopefully I’m not too late.

I made this salad a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post it ever since. Travel picked up for me in September and as usual the blog was the first thing I could put on the back burner for a few days. 

So here I sit with a tasty fig salad recipe to share and fig season is coming dangerously close to ending. 

The inspiration for this came from my friend Tracey. She told me about a salad she makes with bacon and figs and it got me thinking about similar combinations. 

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Quick Pickled Cucumber Tomato Salad

July 19, 2017
Quick Pickled Cucumber Tomato Salad Recipe |

I hate to say it, but I’m pretty sure my days of canning are over. Or at least on pause for a while.

I’m not opposed to doing it again, but I learned something pretty quickly after our big garden and endless canning motivation back in Kentucky – we can’t eat it all. Especially when it is jam, or jalapenos, or relish.

Salsa we did a pretty good job of polishing off, but the rest of it? It was just too much to have around or even to give away. 

These days my time is spent making small batches of jam in a saucepan and popping it in the fridge, versus a water bath for long term storage. Same goes for pickling – it is small batch quick pickling all the way.

Growing up we always had cucumber salad in the summer made with a sugar and vinegar dressing.  

I still make a similar version, but with a bit less sugar. Occasionally I throw in other veggies which is how this salad came about.

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Skillet Sweet Corn Salad with White Nectarine

June 22, 2017
Skillet Corn Salad with White Nectarines Recipe | Fake Food Free


There are two things I love about summer – sweet corn and white nectarines. 

Normally, I wouldn’t think of putting the two together, but lately I’ve had this thing for mixing fruits into savory foods. I’m a huge fan of the of sweet and savory and combining fruits and veggies feels like a better habit to me than, say, eating too much salted caramel. 

So blueberries sometimes find their way into chicken salad and cherries often appear in my bean salads

Given this new habit I found myself wanting to try nectarines with  my corn. My first thought was a corn fruit salsa, but then I decided to skip the chips and eat this as a summer side dish. 

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Grilled Cherry Salad with Garbanzo Beans, Cilantro, and Lime

May 12, 2017
Grilled Cherry Salad with Garbanzo Beans, Cilantro, and Lime Recipe | Fake Food Free

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve abruptly slammed on my brakes at the sight of fruit for sale since moving to California. Don’t worry, I’m careful. But at least one of every 10 drives involves a brake and swerve. 

In this case, it was local cherries.

I’d lost track of the timing since last year, and I wasn’t quite sure what week to expect seeing trucks with them for sale parked at intersections. I was less than a mile from the house last week, when a truck came into view.

No. It couldn’t be. Is it that time already?

I was coming from behind the display so the truck was blocking my view. But just as I got close enough to see those round, glossy cherries piled high in cups lining a folding table – brake, swerve, park. 

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Chickpea, Brown Rice, and Kale Salad in a Jar with Pesto

February 26, 2017
Chickpea, Brown Rice, and Kale Salad in a Jar with Pesto Recipe | Fake Food Free

I’ve always wanted a messy garden. I know that sounds strange. Most people want a gorgeously organized, symmetrical growing plot with every veggie in its place. 

Not me. I’ve always loved the look of gardens that are bursting at the seams with greenery growing in every direction. Like a forest gone wild that produces food. 

This might be because I lack the skill to produce one of those perfect gardens. Maybe I’m drawn to messy gardens because they are easier to maintain. But really it’s how they look. 

I’m getting there. 

Kale and Carrots in a raised bed garden | Fake Food Free

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Fall Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple Cider Vinaigrette

October 11, 2016
Fall Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple Cider Vinaigrette Recipe | Fake Food Free


I totally cheated. 

I was walking through the supermarket and it was about 11:15. Lunchtime was quickly creeping up on me, but I knew that I’d have to dive back into recipe work for clients the second I got back home.

I needed something quick to make, but I couldn’t get my mind off the piles of winter squash all around me in the produce section. 

I wanted roasted squash. On a salad. With other fall-like things. 

So I went over to that little section with all the pre-cut veggies. And there it was. Little cubes of butternut squash ready to pop in the oven. 

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Simple Cilantro Jicama Salad

August 11, 2016
Simple Cilantro Jicama Salad Recipe | Fake Food Free

I buy jicama once in a blue moon. I have no idea why. Every time I get it into my kitchen, I marvel at the crunchy texture and its snackability. (Technically not a word, but it should be, don’t you think?)

So in honor of not completely going all fall on you with recipes, I picked one up last week to show that I still have a little light and refreshing summer left in me. I thought I’d show you what I do with it. It’s also known as the simplest salad ever. 

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