Salad Dressings

Homemade salad dressings are easy to make and are infinitely better than anything you can buy at the store.

This recipe is a close approximation of a salad dressing we made when I worked at The Red Chimney in San Francisco…

Louie Dressing

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp white grated onion
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • hefty pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

Mix first 5 ingredients and then fold in whipped cream.

Spicy French Dressing

  • 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp. finely grated white onion or 1/8 tsp. granulated onion
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sunflower or safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 to 3 tsp. Sriracha; more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. grapefruit bitters (optional)

In a small saucepan, warm the vinegar, mustard, celery seed, onion, and 1 tsp. salt over low heat, whisking occasionally until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Pour the vinegar mixture into a small bowl. Whisk in the honey, oil, ketchup, Sriracha, Worcestershire, and both bitters, if using.

Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and chill, covered, for 1 hour.

Season to taste with salt. Serve or store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


Italian Dressing

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to jar. Shake well. Check for seasoning and add S&P, as desired.

Gorgonzola Dressing

  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp Blue Cheese mustard (or mustard of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • a few drops worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Mix vinegar, shallot, mustard, celery seed, garlic powder, worcestershire sauce, and a hefty pinch of salt & pepper. Mix in the sour cream and then the milk.

Add the gorgonzola and mix well. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream until smooth.

Stir in the the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Salad Dressings

Hana's Collard Greens

This is Hana’s recipe. She is a master at improving every dish.

Clean the collards and remove as much of the stem as you like. I would take it out at least until it’s about 1/4 inch in diameter.

Dump the leaves into a quickly boiling pot. A pasta pot works great. Stir once or twice. After five minutes remove from water.

You can wait for them to cool, or cool them under cold water. Then take handfuls and squeeze out as much water as possible, leaving squeezed-out chunks of collards. Chop them on the cutting board to desired size. (1-1.5 inch slices work well for us).

In a big frying pan, cook chopped bacon until crispy and remove. Then remove most of the grease. Add to the pan chopped onions and garlic to suit.

When the onions and garlic are done, add the chopped collards and cook until everything is blended and hot. Add the bacon back to the pan and mix it in.

Have hot pepper vinegar ready to pour over them on the plate.

Basic Cupcakes

This is my go-to cupcake recipe. It’s a take on an old Better Homes & Gardens recipe and is about as basic as basic can be.

I play with it, switching out cake flour for all-purpose, I’ll add a bit more butter, 2-or-3 eggs,  play with the sugar amount.

A basic rule of thumb is flour and eggs add structure, sugar and fat add tenderness.

I liberally use alcohol in the batter – a few tablespoons of pistachio cream or rum or some-such thing – and just go for it, adding coconut or chopped nuts, or whatever. I kinda figure it’s a cupcake. Folks will like them even if I screw them up.

Basic Cupcake

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Beat butter about 30 seconds to lighten. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at time, beating on medium speed until well combined and scraping sides of bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total).

Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Use a #20 scoop to fill liners about 3/4 full.

Bake at 375°F about 18 minutes.


Possibly one of the easiest condiments to make, providing you have a blender. You can make it by hand, but your arm will get tired.

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in blender. Pulse until well-mixed.

With blender running, very very slowly pour the first 1/4 cup oil into yolk mixture, a few drops at a time. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream until thick. Cover and chill.


Linda's Chicken Liver Pâté

Linda Heston Kremstein

  • 4 sticks butter
  • 2 lbs chicken livers
  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 – or more – tsp cognac

Melt 1 stick of butter. Add onions but do not brown.

Add other ingredients – except butter – and cover. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes.

Process in food processor with remaining butter. Add cognac, and S&P, to taste.

Serve with chopped eggs or onion and toasted baguette or crackers.

Recipe can be cut in half.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Pecan crust

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 pkg graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

Mix pecans, graham crackers, and sugar in food processor until finely blended. Add melted butter and pulse until well-mixed. Press mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Bake at 375° until lightly browned all over – about 10-12 minutes. Reduce oven to 325°

Cheesecake filling

  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 3 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger

With mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars until mixture is well blended and smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add sweet potato mixture, the whipping cream, sour cream, maple syrup, and spices. Mix on low speed until well blended.

Wrap bottom of cheesecake pan with heavy-duty foil, pressing it up the sides. Pour batter over crust. Put cheesecake pan in a  roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Set pans in 325° oven and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake pan.

Bake until cake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove from water bath and cool on a rack, about 1 hour, then chill until cold.




Walnut Pie

My mom made this often and is one of my all-time favorites.

  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cups maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups walnut halves and pieces
  • pinch salt
  • 1 unbaked 9″ pie shell

Preheat oven to 375°

Mix flour, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and a pinch salt in saucepan. Stir and heat just until butter melts.

Beat eggs with vanilla. Add sugar mixture. Stir in walnuts.

Pour into 9″ unbaked pie shell.

Bake in lower third of oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is set. Cool.

Cranberry Tangerine Bread

 Tim Dineen

A take on a basic Cranberry Orange bread.

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cubes butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh tangerine juice
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a food processor, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place in mixing bowl. In a measuring cup whisk together the zest, the juice, Cointreau, and the eggs. Add the mixture to the flour mixture and stir the batter until it is just combined – don’t overmix. Stir in the cranberries and walnuts and spread evenly into two well-buttered 9×5 standard loaf pans.

Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 1 1/4 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool the bread about 15 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool completely on racks.

Serve plain or top with powdered sugar or icing glaze.

Tim's Mom's Potato Salad

  • potatoes (russets, yukon gold, red bliss)
  • pickles
  • hard-cooked eggs
  • celery
  • shredded carrots
  • mayonnaise
  • catsup
  • mustard
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Mix and chill.

I think my mom probably used some Lawry’s seasoned salt in hers, but it’s not something I generally have in the house…..


So easy and soooo good!

Makes 1 quart

  • 2 lbs peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup white balsamic or wine vinegar
  • sachet; one small bunch thyme and one healthy pinch each of whole black pepper, coriander seed, fennel seed and mace.

Sweat onion and garlic through without browning.  Add remaining ingredients including your sachet.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 2 hours.  Remove sachet.

Whirl in a blender or with an immersion blender and strain.

Salsa di Limone

Lemon Sauce


  • 4 large lemons, peeled and segmented
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


Put the lemon segments, honey salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, pulse to a coarse consistency. Pour the olive oil in and whirl until the mixture is almost smooth; leave a little texture.

Transfer the sauce to a jar and store in the refrigerator.

Roasted Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Maple Cream

Pecan Crust

Chop 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans in a food processor until finely ground.   Add 1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 5 tablespoons melted butter.  Mix well. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. Press mixture evenly over bottom of pan.  Bake at 375° about 10-12 minutes.  Set aside.


  • 1 large sweet potato (enough for 1 cup mashed)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Maple cream (recipe follows)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Peel sweet potatoes and cube. Place in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and brush with melted butter. Bake until potatoes are soft when pressed, 30-40 minutes.
  2. Mash in a bowl with lemon juice until smooth. Reserve 1 cup; save any extra for another use.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until mixture is well blended and smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add reserved sweet potato mixture, the whipping cream, sour cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix on low speed until well blended.
  4. Wrap bottom of pan with heavy-duty foil, pressing it up the sides. Pour batter over crust. Put cheesecake pan in a 12- by 15-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Set pans in oven and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake pan.
  5. Bake until cake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove pans from oven. Let cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours, or up to 3 days (cover once cold).
  6. Up to 6 hours before serving, cut around inside of pan rim to release cake; remove rim. With a pastry bag, pipe dollops of maple cream onto cake.

Maple cream

In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat 3/4 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, beat in 1/4 cup maple syrup just until blended.

Notes: You can make this cheesecake up to 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Garnish with cream up to 6 hours before serving; cover and chill until serving. Prep and Cook Time: about 2 1/2 hours, plus at least 2 1/2 hours to cool and chill.