This is one of my all-time favorite party recipes...  Serving guests a salad in a Jar is so easy, so versatile and it can be used for so many different occasions. In fact, it is also perfect for lunch on the go or for the kids. Layer your favorite ingredients in a jar and chill. When you are ready to serve, simply shake it up. That's it!

If you are going to prep the day before your event, you probably should add the dressing just before serving so everything doesn't get soggy and just put it right on top. But you can prep up to four hours before with the dressing in the bottom and you'll be fine... but keep the jars chilled on ice, in the fridge, or in a cooler. And it is a perfect solution for picnics, too!

So pretty, so functional and so delicious! Layered salad in a jar makes serving and eating salad at a party so much easier! No grappling with tongs or trying to balance everything to add dressing.

So pretty, so functional and so delicious! Layered salad in a jar makes serving and eating salad at a party so much easier! No grappling with tongs or trying to balance everything to add dressing.


Makes 6


1- 9 ounce package of fresh baby spinach leaves, wash and remove the stems

1- 16 ounce container fresh strawberries, washed, dried, hulled, and sliced

1- 15 ounce can Mandarin orange slices, drained

2 cups walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

1- 6 ounce container Belle Chevre Belle and the Bee Breakfast goat cheese (or if you cannot find it, make your own by swirling honey into goat cheese to make it creamy and slightly sweet)

Poppyseed Dressing recipe  (or your favorite dressing


Start by spooning about 2-3 tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of the jar. Use enough so you can see the layer of dressing. Next, add about 1 1/2 cups of the spinach leaves. Layer the strawberry slices around the outside of the jar and work your way in so they look pretty. Do the same with the orange slices. Next, add the walnuts and top with a thin layer of the goat cheese. You want to be able to see each layer- the colorful layers is what is so pretty about this salad. Secure the lid and chill until serving time.


One of my summer favorites, this is also a delicious dip or dressing for fresh fruit.


1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/8 cup sweet white onion, like a Vidalia, chopped

1/2 cup plain yogurt (some people prefer mayo instead)

2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon poppyseeds

a bit of water to thin, if desired


Add everything but the oil and the poppyseeds into a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth and there is no trace of the onion. Reduce to the lowest speed and stream in the vegetable oil. Turn off the blender and add the poppyseeds. If you find it too thick (which I love for fruit) you can thin with a bit of water for salad dressing.  I use an immersion blender for this recipe. It's fast and easy to clean up.

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Hobo packs are one of the best ways to make good food fast.  I'm trying to cut back on calories but want to eat something other than cardboard or lettuce. These meals on the fly cooked in foil or parchment paper are so good and so easy because you can cook, serve, and clean up very quickly. These are not only good for a party; (we used to make them at Girl Scouts with hamburger, cooked on the campfire) but they are perfect for busy nights when you just want to get dinner on the table. I make up a few at the beginning of the week and cook them as I need them. Use any flavor profile you want: Greek, Italian, Southern, Cajun, you get the picture. I typically use what I have on hand and want to get rid of... onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, parsnips, butternut squash, and more are all great choices. NOTE: Make sure to slice the potatoes and other fast cooking vegetables larger than your carrots and other dense root vegetables so they'll cook at the same time.



1 small yellow onion, sliced very thin

2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin

1 potato, peeled and cubed

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

thyme, rosemary, oregano, or other herbs as you desire


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Tear off two 18' pieces of foil. Arrange the veggies on the foil. Begin with the onion, carrot, and then potato. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Add the chicken breast on top and a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper. Add any herbs you like. Seal the top and the sides of each package carefully so that no steam will escape. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes depending on how large your chicken breasts are. (Chicken is done at 165 degrees.)

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I'm working on getting some pounds off and have also eliminated sweets for a while. That doesn't stop me from wanting sweets, however. Here's a recipe that not only helps with the cravings, it helps pump up my energy level in the mid-afternoon. And while not typically party fare, a smoothie is actually very versatile, just perfect for breakfast,, brunch, or burger night. Make them very frothy and icy but without having to add ice by using very cold milk and freezing the fruit. Serve in place of ice cream shake for burgers with the kids. They will love it and you'll love that they ate fresh fruit.

This recipe takes about one minute to make and clean up if you use an immersion blender. If you don't have one, I'd suggest getting one- it is my #1 kitchen tool. So much easier than getting out the big blender or food processor!



1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chilled and sliced

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup skim milk, super cold

dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, powdered ginger or whatever spices you like.


Put all of the ingredients into a glass and buzz them with your immersion blender for about 30 seconds or until smooth. If you chill the milk and the berries, you will not need to use ice and the process is fast and easy. Makes 1.

For supper, I put together a quick "hobo pack" dinner of chicken and veggies which is far superior in taste and quality to pre-packaged diet food yet equally convenient. And it is only 300 calories for a lot of food with no preservatives.

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