Basic Salad Dressing

Basic Vinaigrette (courtesy of, “How to Cook Everything”)

1/4 cup good vinegar (you can use sherry, balsamic, red, or white wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced shallots (optional & I leave these out)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Briefly mix the vinegar, salt, and optional mustard with an immersion blender, food processor or blender, or with a fork or wire whisk. Slowly add the oil in a stream (drop by drop if whisking) until an emulsion forms or just whisk everything together briefly. Add the remaining oil faster, but still in a stream. Taste to adjust salt and add more oil or viengar if needed. Add the shallots and pepper. This is best made fresh, but will keep, refrigerated for a few days; bring back to room temperature before using.

To make a small amount of Basic Vinaigrette: Combine 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, 3 to 4 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon minced shallots as above. Add pepper, then taste and add more vinegar, salt, or oil as necessary.

Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake

1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding
8 Oreo cookie sandwiches (approximately 1 cup) (I use the off-brand available at Aldi)
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup whipped topping. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. Stir in chopped cookies. Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long piece of foil; top with half the whipped topping mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining whipped topping. Bring up foil sides; double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet. Freeze (at least) four hours.

Amy’s Notes- One year I had difficulty with the tin foil sticking to my cake so this year I prepared the cake in a cupcake tote container with a lid and that worked much better than wrapping in tin foil and was easier to stack with other items in our freezer.

Microwave Lemony Broccoli

Microwave Lemony Broccoli

1 (14 ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets, cleaned and cut into florets or 2 heads fresh broccoli, cleaned and cut into florets (I prefer fresh)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice, bottled is fine
2 garlic cloves, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon salt, adjust to your liking

Microwave broccoli, minced garlic, and water in covered bowl on high for 6 minutes or til crisp tender. While it is cooking mix the rest of the ingredients together. Drain cooked broccoli. Pour lemon garlic mixture over broccoli and mix to coat.