Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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The power of suggestion can be a beast, can’t it?

On the way to the grocery store, I was listening to Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next? podcast. And in an ad, she mentioned a recipe for arugula salad with peaches, goat cheese, and almonds. Once I got into Publix, I couldn’t stop thinking about an arugula salad with peaches. I love both of those ingredients a lot, and it sounded so good.

I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, though, but feta – I could eat feta on everything. And adding a crunchy bagel chip (I got for dirt cheap with a sale plus coupon) for a “crouton” and an amazing vinaigrette due to some locally made white balsamic vinegar? Mr. V and I ate all of ours plus any the kids didn’t eat.

(Which, if you know my kids, was most of theirs. Surprisingly, David and Libbie did actually try arugula and at least ate peaches and the bagel chips.)

As with most salads, I recommend throwing in whatever quantity of ingredients looks good to you. This recipe is an approximation of what I used, but make it to your tastes. And then enjoy the applause of those around you, because SO YUMMY.

(Want to have peaches for dessert, too? Try Peach Pie Coffee Cake with Maple Buttercream or Fresh Peach Cake!)

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: one entree-sized portion or four side salads

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Peppery arugula, tangy feta, sweet peaches, crunchy almonds, and a balanced vinaigrette come together for a delicious summer salad.


  • half of a 5-ounce clamshell of arugula
  • one peach, thinly sliced
  • 2 T crumbled feta cheese
  • a handful of whole almonds, roughly chopped, or sliced almonds
  • 3 to 4 bagel chips, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 T white balsamic vinegar, preferably peach-flavored
  • 3 T salad oil of choice (I used a cold-pressed combination oil from ALDI but olive oil would work, too)
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl or plate, layer arugula, peaches, feta cheese, almonds, and bagel chip crumbles.

Whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette together until uniform.

Drizzle vinaigrette over salad right before serving.

What is your favorite summer salad? We’re trying to introduce our kids to having a salad or cold vegetable course before our dinner, and I’d love your suggestions!

Parmesan and Herb Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

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It’s time once again for the Secret Recipe Club reveal! This month my assigned blog was The Cookaholic Wife. Nichole shares “sweets, treats, and recipes for beginners”—a great site to find some yummy desserts on.

I needed an appetizer, though, to share with the other women on the retreat I went to this past weekend. So I settled on Parmesan and Herb Chicken Tenders, a Rachael Ray adaptation.

I decided to forgo the frying step in the recipe, simply because I know I can make crunchy, baked chicken fingers; also, it’s another pan I would have to wash. I hate washing dishes.

I also had to make some changes in the herbs. (I didn’t realize the amounts were for fresh herbs, either, so I may have gone a little herbalicious!) We just moved, and the spice containers I use were still packed. I was missing several spices, so I exchanged the rosemary and thyme for plain old Italian seasoning, which I could find. I’m sure fresh herbs would be divine as well.

Here is my version of the chicken fingers, with props to Rachael Ray, Nichole, and Sara at The Piggly-Wiggly.


Parmesan and Herb Chicken Fingers

Yield: 15-20 tenders

Parmesan and Herb Chicken Fingers


  • You will need three dishes for chicken-dipping, if you don’t have the Pampered Chef coating tray set that I am coveting.
  • In thing 1:
  • 1 1/2 c. flour (whole wheat or white)
  • In thing 2:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. + 2T water
  • - Beat water and eggs together in dish.
  • In thing 3:
  • 1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 T minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • generous sprinkling of salt and pepper
  • - Mix all together with a fork.
  • You also need:
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. chicken tenderloins


Preheat oven to 350F. Place baking racks on top of two rimmed cookie sheets (I use cooling racks on top of jelly-roll pans). Spray racks with cooking spray.

Dip tenders in flour; shake off excess. Dip in egg and then coating, coating well and pressing the panko mixture on. Place tenders on racks. Spray tenders with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until tenders are cooked through and slightly brown. Serve with honey mustard or spaghetti sauce.


O'Charley's-Style Honey Mustard Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3/4 cup sauce


  • 1/2 c. salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
  • 3 T dijon mustard
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or a pinch cayenne pepper


Stir all ingredients together well. Refrigerate until serving.

Added to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home.

Meatloaf Muffins Two Ways

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I have made Cheesy Meatloaf many, many times during the course of our marriage. It’s a recipe where my husband refuses to budge; all meatloaves made in our house MUST be this exact recipe. One time I tried to put in onions. EH [imagine big buzzer sound here]. Extra Worcestershire sauce? EH. Italian seasoning? EH. EH. EH.

Unfortunately with the whole cheese-less existence right now, I am not making a meatloaf that I cannot eat. And Mr. V is getting itchy for his meatloaf fix. So I decided I could interpret the recipe into meatloaf muffins and make half without cheese.


And since I can’t stop tinkering with recipes, ever, I added a little Dijon mustard and fresh thyme to my muffins. Don’t tell Mr. V, but I think I might like them better than the original.

Not that he’ll ever let me make a whole meatloaf that way.

Meatloaf Muffins Two Ways

Yield: 10 muffins

This is my mother-in-law's famous cheesy meatloaf recipe. My husband doesn't believe in meatloaf without cheese!


  • 1 egg
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup sharp shredded cheese
  • for non-cheesy muffins
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
  • omit cheese


Whisk egg, Worcestershire sauce, and 4 ounces of tomato sauce together in a mixing bowl. Add salt, a few grinds or sprinkles of pepper, and beef to the bowl; combine with hands. Add oats and mix together.

Take fists of mixture and spread out like a small hamburger patty. (About the size of your palm.) Put a sprinkling of cheese in the middle of the patty, then fold in all the edges to cover cheese and make a ball.

Place balls in greased muffin tins and flatten slightly.

Cook at 350 15 minutes. Pour about 2 teaspoons tomato sauce on top of each muffin. Sprinkle more cheese on top of muffins. Cook an additional 7-8 minutes. Let sit for a minute before serving.

Non-Cheesy Meatloaf Muffins Derivation:

To meatloaf mixture, add 1 T Dijon mustard and 1 T fresh thyme leaves. Omit cheese. Just form beef mixture into balls and place in muffin tins. Cook the same, omitting added cheese on top.


Added to Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Hunk of Meat Monday, Ingredient Spotlight: Oats, and Ultimate Recipe Swap (freezer friendly) at Life as MOM.

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