How to Make Your Own Vinaigrette Salad Dressing [Video]

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Have you ever made your own vinaigrette?  You probably have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen, it’s fresher than the store bought options (some have 20+ ingredients!) and something about it feels fancy!   Oh, and did I mention how fast & easy it is?

Here’s a video of an awesome basic kitchen skill to add to your repertoire~

What you need:

1/4 cup White or Golden Balsamic Vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon shaved shallot (or onion)

2 tsp brown sugar

salt & fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ready, Set Whisk!

Whisk together everything but the Olive Oil until well combined.  Then gradually whisk in the Olive Oil.

Use right away or store in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Let come to room temperature a bit before tossing with your fave greens & veggies!

Would love your feedback in the comments below & please let us know if you have ideas for future cooking videos? Thanks!


Your Sus Chef


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Enchilada Soup Recipe

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Another fabulous recipe from Your Sus Chef! Thanks Susanne…

This is SERIOUSLY one of the easiest recipes and it ALWAYS gets rave reviews.

Love that it’s a one dish meal but don’t forget the toppings because they MAKE the soup!

This recipe freezes well so be sure to make extra & save it for later~

What you need:

1 lb chicken breast, cooked (I sear the chicken breasts & then shred or pulled rotisserie chicken works too)

28 oz green enchilada sauce (I love Frontera’s it comes in a bag but any will do)

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed

10 oz white corn, frozen

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups chicken stock

S + P


sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)


grated jack cheese

green onion, diced

Ready, Set, Cook!

Saute the onion &  garlic in the olive oil until the onion is clear, take care not to burn the garlic. Add the enchilada sauce, chicken stock, chicken, beans & corn & bring to a simmer.   Season with salt & pepper to taste!

Top with a dollup of sour cream, green onions, cheese & cilantro.



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Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta

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Take it from me, the “Queen of the Cooking Challenged,” this is one SUPER yummy fail-proof recipe! When I started the “I Hate to Cook” series of easy recipes, I truly did hate cooking.  But what I am finding is the MORE I cook, the more I am actually NOT hating it! Gasp!  And it is recipes like this that have built my confidence. I even served it to my in-laws! And they loved it, or at least they told me so to humor me.

I found Jessica Seinfeld’s Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta on her Do it Delicious site. LOVE that site. Ladies, if you are at all cooking challenged like me, it is SO great because you can also watch a quick video on exactly HOW to make it. For me, that is really helpful because to some it might seem like second nature to know how to “smash garlic” but to a non-cook it is intimidating!  It takes all of the guesswork and stress out of the dish!

I tried this recipe out as-is as a vegetarian dish to start, and loved it, but then after my kids sampled Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage and gobbled it up, I decided to give it a go adding the sausage, which has been uber-yummy!  So I will give you the recipe with sausage, you can easily omit.

{Recipe from Jessica’s site: My comments in italics}

1 pound spaghetti (I use Trader Joe’s organic wheat pasta)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, chopped (I use 2 tsp of jarred minced garlic if in a rush)

1 handful (1 cup) fresh basil leaves, torn, plus extra for sprinkling (I like even more than this…LOVE fresh basil!)

2 pints cherry tomatoes (have made with both cherry & grape and the cherry turn out better in my opinion)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup fresh ricotta

1 package fully cooked Trader Joe’s chicken sausage


Start boiling your water. Cook pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and basil, and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper (12 turns on pepper mill) and cook, covered, for 8 minutes.

I periodically removed cover to stir, like every couple of minutes.  One time I made it and kept the cover on for the full 8 minutes and the tomatoes overcooked.

Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring, until the tomatoes split. Watch the video on her site to see what a “split tomato looks like!”

Meanwhile, cut the sausage into little circles and heat a skillet on medium heat. Cook the sausage until heated through, about 5 – 10 minutes.  They are fully cooked already, just have to heat them up.

Your pasta should be about done. Drain it.

Toss the pasta with the tomatoes and sausage and stir in the ricotta and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Serve sprinkled with the extra basil.

I also added some shaved fresh Parmesan on top. LOVE!


Even though my little ones won’t eat the whole dish put together, they will eat the components separately, go figure. So, I will serve them plain noodles with butter, cherry tomatoes and sausage on the side.


If you have an EASY EASY EASY go-to weeknight dinner recipe – one you think even I could do – please send it to me at jennifer {at} and I will feature your blog / recipe on my site after I give it the dummy test (me being the dummy) to see if I can make it.  And to see if I can not only make it, but if it is edible.   Because if I can do it, anyone can.

Happy cooking (… and not hating it!)

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Super Yummy Rolled Turkey Loaf

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4 oz. regular or turkey bacon
1 cups chopped portabella mushrooms
2 cups mozzarella cheese, cubed (8 oz.)
½ cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup chicken broth
1 cups soft bread crumbs
½ cups Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (2 oz.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 lb. uncooked ground turkey
8 oz. ground sweet Italian sausage

Preheat oven to 350.  In large skillet cook bacon until crisp.  Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.  Drain all but 1 Tbsp. drippings.  Cook mushrooms in drippings until tender; cool.

For filling, in medium bowl combine bacon, mushrooms, mozzarella and dried tomatoes; set aside.

In large bowl combine eggs and chicken broth.  Stir in bread crumbs, cheese garlic, Italian seasoning and ½ tsp. salt.  Stir in turkey and sausage.

On heavy-duty foil, pat meat mixture in a 9 x 12 inch rectangle.  Evenly sprinkle filling on meat mixture.  From one long end of foil, begin rolling the meat mixture jelly-roll style.  Transfer the roll, seam side down to a 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour or until instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 160.  Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.


My mom made this recipe a couple weeks ago & it was soooo good!  It is from Better Homes and Gardens (image too!) but she made a few tweaks.

One more day to enter to win a 2 night stay at the Dana Point Marina Inn!  Get your entries in before 5pm PST today!

Click HERE for more Easy Recipes on Tiny Oranges!

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Halibut with Orzo, Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes

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I haven’t posted a recipe in forever so I thought this one sounded good & healthy!  My friend Jenny sent it to me, it is one of her favs.  You can find this yummy recipe (and image) on

Baked Halibut with Orzo, Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes

(Makes 2 servings)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 – 6 to 7-ounce halibut fillets
1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups (packed) baby spinach
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and lemon juice in bowl; season dressing with salt and pepper.
3. Place halibut on rimmed baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with some of dressing.
4. Bake until just opaque in center, about 12 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite; drain.
6. Add 2 tablespoons oil and garlic to same saucepan; sauté over medium heat 1 minute.
7. Add drained pasta, spinach, and tomatoes; stir to coat.
8. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
9. Cover; let stand 1 minute (spinach will wilt).
10. Divide pasta between 2 plates.
11. Top with halibut and remaining dressing.

Have a good and easy recipe to share?  Shoot me an email to   Click HERE for more recipes on Tiny Oranges!

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