Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


Crunchy Pea Salad

Sweet peas never tasted so good! This simple Crunchy Pea Salad is a delightful change from the leafy green salad variety and it’s perfect to eat on a hot summer day! It’s easy to make and great served with just about any main course. And to me, cold peas are much better than hot!

Crunchy Pea Salad

Truth be told, I didn’t like peas when I was growing up. As a matter of fact, I didn’t much like any type of vegetable as a kid. It was a struggle for me to get through a dinner without my dad repeating over and over again, “eat your vegetables” and “you cannot leave the table until you eat your vegetables”.

My family was part of the “clean your plate” club. Not something I was a willing participant. Yes I was stubborn. Back in the day, I spent many hours staring at my plate filled with the vegetables I despised until my dad finally gave up and excused me from my duties of guarding the uneaten veggies.

I dreaded dinner on a nightly basis. What I really wanted was dessert! What about you?

Crunchy Pea Salad

I guess it’s true with most kids — they don’t like veggies and they will refuse to eat them. It then becomes the parents struggle to get their kids to eat these nutritious things grown from the ground. When my son was little I did not force him to eat anything, rather I would offer him a bite of this or that, just a little bite to try.

I discovered that by doing this daily ritual, it made our mealtime a pleasant experience. And eventually my kid found the veggies he enjoyed. However still to this day, my  teen will not eat anything green! Give him a raw, uncooked, cold carrot and he is a happy camper!  Now I am not complaining. I would rather him eat some raw carrots every day than no veggie at all! I still offer him other veggies with hopes that he will one day find something green that puts a smile on his face!

Crunchy Pea Salad

And thank goodness that I evolved as well. I am a huge veggie lover. I probably love veggies more than fruit – I know that’s kind of weird since I love to cook sweet things! However, I still really don’t like cooked peas – but served cold and mixed with some of my favorite things well now that’s a different story!

So, even if you are not a green veggie or “pea” fan, you have got to try this salad. You start with a bag of thawed frozen peas, add some green onions, water chestnuts and cashews for the crunch. Then you toss it with some delicious buttermilk ranch dressing and voila — you’ve got a great salad to serve to your family, friends and guests alike. And it passed the taste test from my ever so picky hubby — he had two servings! So get ready to pass the peas!

Crunchy Pea Salad

Crunchy Pea Salad

1 (10.8 oz.) bag petite frozen peas, thawed
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Homemade Buttermilk Ranch dressing (or your favorite store-brought brand)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine peas, water chestnuts, green onions and cashews. Add the Ranch dressing a bit at a time until and mix lightly until you get the ratio of salad and dressing that you like. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Crunchy Pea Salad

This Crunchy Pea Salad is also one of those delightful transition type salads. It’s great served in the summertime along side barbecued chicken and can made an appearance during a Thanksgiving day brunch and even continue on through to Easter as a wonderful accompaniment to your succulent sweet ham.

Now come on and eat your peas with this delicious Crunchy Pea Salad!




Pear and Pistachio Salad {with Pear Vinaigrette}

I’m going green and fresh today! So get ready to jump into summer with this delightful Pear and Pistachio Salad with Pear Vinaigrette! It’s super easy to make and it’s got the perfect combination of sweetness and tang with an incredible crunch from the nuts. The dressing is light and refreshing — and better than anything pre-made!

Pear and Pistachio Salad {with Pear Vinaigrette}

You see my husband recently has gone on a “health kick”. Yes, it is hard to do that around my home with all the baking and sweet stuff! He does have a huge sweet-tooth and is now trying to eat a bit more on the healthy side. Good for him!!! So to help him with his progress, I decided to make this Pear and Pistachio Salad with Pear Vinaigrette. And let me tell you, he loved it! Of course, so did I! And making your own dressing can be done in just a snap and it’s so much better for you than the bottled stuff. Don’t waste your calories on salad dressing — you can do that with some yummy baked goodies (LOL)!

Pear and Pistachio Salad {with Pear Vinaigrette}

Pear and Pistachio Salad with Pear Vinaigrette

1/2 pear, pealed, cored and diced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lime
zest of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt & pepper
4 cups butter lettuce mix
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 pear, cored and thinly sliced

Add diced pear, vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper to a blender and mix on high-speed until dressing is smooth. Pour into small container. This will make about 3/4 cup.

In a large bowl, add about 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, then add the lettuce and toss well (I do this part with my clean hands). Adjust the amount of dressing to your liking. I personally like my salads lightly dressed. Then add the thinly sliced pears and pistachios and gently toss. Divide amongst salad plates or bowls. Makes 2-4 servings.

Nothing better than fresh lettuce and juicy pears along with tangy lime and crunchy pistachios. So get your fork ready to dig into this simply delicious Pear and Pistachio Salad with Pear Vinaigrette, you’ll be glad you did!




Basic Potato Salad

One potato, two potato…yep, it’s a delicious potato recipe just in time to celebrate both National Potato Month and the end of summer! You’ve got to try this tasty Basic Potato Salad. It’s quick, easy, and oh so good! And if you’re like me, you will love it!  I may have mentioned once or twice before that I am a huge potato lover. My husband says it comes from both my German and Irish heritage. Not sure it that’s true, but all I know is that I would definitely always choose potatoes over rice – any day, any way!


This recipe is simple, basic and in my mind goes well with any type of main dish that you are preparing. To me, a Basic Potato Salad is the perfect side dish! And it’s even better the next day – the flavors really come out and for me, I always have a spoon or fork nearby to snag a bite every now and again throughout the day!!!

Basic Potato Salad
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 lbs. small Yukon Gold or white potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Coarse salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream

In a large pot of boiling water, add potatoes, reduce heat to medium-high and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-25 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large bowl add vinegar, scallion whites, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix. Add hot potatoes to vinegar mixture and combine. Toss mixture occasionally while cooling to room temperature – approximately 1 hour.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and sour cream then pour over the potato mixture and combine. Add the scallion greens and gently toss. Refrigerate until chilled, or ready to serve.

Dig in and enjoy this simply delicious Basic Potato Salad!


Classic Green Goddess Dressing {served over fresh greens}

If you are looking for a traditionally delicious salad dressing to serve over some crisp salad greens — I’ve got the perfect Green Goddess Dressing for you! This refreshing and unique dressing was originally created in 1923 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. And as time went on, you could even purchase this wonderful dressing in a bottle. That time has long since gone, but I do remember eating a crab salad smothered with this dressing as a young girl at the Palace Hotel, as well my husband adores Green Goddess Dressing and always has it when he goes to Trader Vic’s restaurant.  He is amazed that we can never find this palate pleasing green dressing at the market – so I thought I would give it a try. Let me tell you, it is fabulous! It’s quick, easy – no labor intensive recipe here, just pure delight!
Classic Green Goddess Dressing
(Recipe adapted from The Palace Hotel)

1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh salad greens – your choice

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until all ingredients are incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl or glass jar and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Gently pour or spoon over your favorite salad greens.

I like serving this Classic Green Goddess Dressing simply over butter lettuce. The amazing flavors that come together are so incredibly delicious, that for me, you really don’t need much more than fresh lettuce.  It’s perfect for a light lunch, or served as a beautiful starter at the beginning of any meal.