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RECIPES/ Sides/ Sponsored

Healthy Homemade Onion Straws

Healthy homemade onion straws.

Every year we go out to eat for my husbands birthday, and every year he chooses the same restaurant because he loves their onion straws.  We just celebrated his birthday (quite a few months late–been busy!) and he decided we go to the same restaurant, but only get onion straws as an appetizer, then head over to a different place for dinner. I was relieved as the place is a burger joint and I would much prefer the Blue Sushi and Sake Grill that we ended up at. It was a super fun night out with my sweet man!  It was a stormy night, which made it quite fun and romantic. We drove an hour to Omaha to hang out in their downtown area, and ended the night at the best European dessert cafe called Delice, sitting next to a fireplace.  So much fun.
Fun date night with husband.
We devoured our greasy, delicious onion straws and a fun fruit drink, and honestly I felt quite sick right away!  I love onion straws, but my body is not used to the grease.  I knew I would have to try and figure out how to make them minus the grease & stomach ache, and I have done just that!

Ingredients for healthy homemade onion strawsHomemade onion straws

I started by slicing my onion thin with one of  my favorite kitchen tools–my mandoline.  This is not necessary, as onions can be sliced thin easily with a knife…but take my word for it…if you get one of these you will eat more vegetables.  I use my mandoline daily and it takes just minutes to slice up a whole bunch of vegetables.  My kids love it when I slice apples with it…nice and thin!

I searched the web for some baked onion straw recipes, and came up with one of my own using them as a guide.  My recipe is close to this recipe from Closet Cooking.

I thought I had bread crumbs, but I didn’t.  I decided to use the Triscuit Wheat crackers I had on hand ( I used Trader Joes brand) and it really gave them a good crunch & added some great fiber to the recipe. This is optional though…you can use regular bread crumbs, italian bread crumbs or panko crumbs.

The process was very easy, but messy.  I used my hands to dip the onions.  The mess really was no big deal and took just moments, but it kept me from taking pics of the process!

These were not greasy or overly salty like most onion straws you get at restaurants.  They are full of flavor and nice and crispy, and really hit the spot without all the heaviness of your typical onion straws!

My family all ate them and loved them, and I will make them again for sure!  My man was quite appreciative that I thought about him and took the effort to make a healthy version of one of his favs.

Ingredients for healthy homemade baked onion straws

Healthy Baked Onion Straws

1 large onion, sliced thin
1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup crushed Triscuit type wheat crackers (I used a food processor for crushing) (or bread crumbs or panko crumbs)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp salt

Soak sliced onions in cold water for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, get 3 bowls out.  Beat egg in one bowl.  Mix flour and baking powder in another bowl.  Mix crushed cracker crumbs or bread crumbs and seasonings + salt in the 3rd bowl.

Spray or coat a baking pan in oil to prevent sticking.  I used Earth Balance and spread it out over the pan.

Drain onions well.  Dip in flour/baking powder mixture.  Then dip in egg.  Then dip in breadcrumb/seasoning mixture.  Place on pan.  It is ok if the onions are not entirely coated…they will crisp up.

Bake at 450 for 7-10 minutes.  Watch closely as they can get too brown very quickly.  Enjoy!


Homemade Salad Dressing So Good You Will Want To Drink It Straight

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am ready for some food on the lighter side!  Enter this amazing Homemade Salad Dressing.  It really IS SO GOOD that you will want to drink it, or at least eat more greens than usual, just so you can have it.  I made this a week ago, and I have wanted a salad every day since.

 I make it a priority to eat leafy greens every day no matter what, whether in the form of a smoothie or a salad.  The amount of nutrients you can get in leafy greens just can’t be beat, & this dressing makes it super easy to actually want and look forward to a daily salad.

This dressing is a breeze to throw together.  It uses ingredients that most people have on hand.  The recipe calls for dijon mustard,  which I didn’t have, so I used plain yellow mustard.  It was still drinkable & delicious!

 {it starts with a base of olive oil & red wine vinegar}

At our local farmers market, there is a booth that I always look forward to.  She has tiny sample cups of salad dressing, and a chunk of bread to soak it up with.  We love her salad dressing, and I buy a bottle every time we go.  I have been missing her dressing now that it is fall, but I must tell you, this recipe tastes JUST LIKE hers.  Even my daughter noticed this when she tasted it.  Looks like we will be saving some money come Farmer’s Market season–or not–now that I have this recipe I will probably need to buy more greens!

 {add seasonings & stir}

This would make a great dipping oil for bread when entertaining, and also a great marinade for chicken or fish.  It is so much better for you than the salad dressings on the market, most of those are full of preservatives and high fructose corn syrup.  Blech!

{pour into bottle & shake before using}

This recipe will be one I use often.  It has been a week and I’m already out.  Time to make more!  Good thing it is an easy recipe.

Homemade Salad Dressing
Prep Time
5 mins
{so good you will want to drink it straight}
Recipe Type: Salad
Servings: 6
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard I used regular mustard
  1. Mix together and shake well. Store at room temperature tightly covered.
Recipe Notes

from Cooking On Clover Lane




Have you ever made your own salad dressing?  Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

HEALTH/ How-Tos/ Natural Products/ RECIPES

Incredibly Easy Homemade Disinfectant

I can’t tell you how great it has been to no longer choke as I am cleaning from the fumes of harsh chemical cleaners!  I love that I can assign my daughters different jobs around the house and not worry about handing over bottles of cleaners to them.  It just is a good feeling.

This homemade disinfectant can’t get any more simple.  It just uses hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of essential oils for scent, which is optional.

For heavy duty disinfectant jobs, like raw chicken, I’ve read all over the Internet about a this study, which uses a hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, in two separate spray bottles.

“It doesn’t matter which you use first – you can spray with the vinegar then
the hydrogen peroxide, or with the hydrogen peroxide followed by the vinegar.
You won’t get any lingering taste of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and neither
is toxic to you if a small amount remains on the produce. As a bonus: The paired
sprays work exceptionally well in sanitizing counters and other food preparation
surfaces — including wood cutting boards. In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all

Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and
surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective
at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any
commercially available kitchen cleaner. “


Homemade Disinfectant

Hydrogen Peroxide

10-15 drops of essential oil (optional–for scent)

Spray bottle

I chose Lemon essential oil as my scent.  I LOVE any citrus scent!  You can order the oil I used here on Amazon. 

I am on a roll in making homemade cleaners as I am tired of paying the prices of organic cleaners.  I wanted an easy way to label them, so I got my daughters alphabet stamp kit out and made a bunch of labels.  You can find links to more of my cleaning recipes below!

Between my cancer history and my daughters asthma issues, I am passionate about getting as many chemicals out of our home as possible.  Making my own cleaners is a super easy way to make a HUGE difference in cleaning up the air in our home.

Homemade Glass Cleaner That Smells Great

Awesome Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Under The Kitchen Sink Cleaner Organization

*update-an opaque bottle is a must for hydrogen peroxide.  Guess I will have to go shopping.  I’ve read that a small spray bottle top can fit right onto the bottle that the hydrogen peroxide is sold in, so that is my plan!


Easy Homemade Glass Cleaner That Smells Awesome!

I’ve made homemade glass cleaner before, which consisted of just water and vinegar.  It worked well, but I found myself missing a good scent when I cleaned.  I looked around Pinterest for a homemade glass cleaner and found this one.  It appealed to me because it uses essential oil to add scent.  I also liked that it used a drop of dish detergent, which I think adds a bit of shine to the glass compared to just using vinegar and water alone.

Homemade Glass Cleaner

1 cup distilled white vinegar

2 cups water

1/2 tsp dish soap

15 drops essential oils

Put all in a spray bottle and shake.



I chose Grapefruit essential oil as my scent.  I LOVE any citrus scent, especially grapefruit.  I got mine at my local health food store, but next time I will be ordering it from Organic Mountain Rose Herbs, where the price is much better!

I started making my own glass cleaner a couple years ago.  I have 2 glass tables, one in the dining room which is centrally located in our home, and one in the kitchen.  My youngest was struggling with asthma and allergies, and I read a book on how a mother got rid of spray chemical cleaners and it made a world of difference with her daughter’s allergies.  At that time I was the queen of the blue spray glass cleaner, spraying it numerous times a day in our home to get rid of fingerprints on our glass tables.  Little did I know that it was going right into my little ones sensitive lungs and causing an asthmatic reaction.  When I switched to organic cleaners, her asthma immediately got better.  She still struggles with it if she gets a cold or during spring allergies, but she is no longer on inhalers year round.  I was amazed at what a difference switching up cleaners made in her health!

I am on a roll in making homemade cleaners as I am tired of paying the prices of organic cleaners.  I wanted an easy way to label them, so I got my daughters alphabet stamp kit out and made a bunch of labels.  More cleaning recipes to come!

Between my cancer history and my daughter’s health issues, I am passionate about getting as many chemicals out of our home as possible.  Making my own cleaners is a super easy way to make a HUGE difference in cleaning up the air in our home.

What about you?  Have you ever made your own cleaners?  Would you ever consider it?  Do chemicals in your home environment concern you?


Homemade Cheese-Its

I found this recipe from A Bird And A Bean.  It is such an easy and fun snack to make!
I do not buy much processed junk food, so when we get a craving for something crispy and cheesy, I now know have the perfect recipe to make.
Next time I will roll them out thinner for more of a crunch.  These had crunchy bottoms and crisp layers of cheesiness, and my girls liked them “poofy” so they were still a hit even rolled a bit thicker.  
I think I will take a toothpick and poke the middle of each one before baking next time, it may help de-poof and will make them look like the original.
Thanks, Erin, for a great recipe! 
 I love eating a cracker with minimal ingredients and no preservatives!

Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
**I didn’t need to chill mine, I think if you add less water you can skip this step.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small squares
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag grated extra-sharp 2% Cheddar cheese (preferably orange)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in food processor, and pulse until crumbly. Add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Form into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Place dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper, and roll out to 1/8 inch thickness. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, and, using pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 1 inch squares. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 25 minutes. Test for crispiness; crackers may take a few minutes more to finish crisping. Remove from oven when crisp and just starting to brown. Let cool and serve.


Homemade Hamburger Buns From The Bread Machine

I’m so stinkin’ excited about this recipe for Homemade Hamburger Bun!  I’ve tried one other recipe that was good, but not as good as this one.  I’m sticking with this recipe because:

~ They are hearty but still soft
~ Easy to make, utilizes the bread machine
~ The recipe makes enough to freeze some for later
~They can be used for more than just hamburgers.  (chicken salad, egg salad, dinner rolls, hot dog buns)
~They are inexpensive

I grilled hamburgers for dinner tonight.  They made me happy.  Quite frankly, the whole meal made me very happy. (*warning-brag fest coming up…)  These buns turned out great, I used fresh herbs from my herb pot to season Roasted Red Potatoes, the lettuce for our burgers was from the garden, and dessert…  oh… dessert is gonna be so good!  After I publish this post, I will be off to my local co-op to get some plain vanilla ice cream.  I have been up to my elbows in strawberries the last few days, and thought that Banana Splits would just do our bodies some good.:)  I have fresh chopped strawberries, bananas, and I’m going to make Homemade Chocolate Syrup.  I think I’ll grab some nuts while I’m there at the grocery store.  YUM!
I just love summer. (sigh)

The original recipe for these hamburger buns was posted over at Bliss Tree.  I use the same ingredients but different method.  She said you can use these as either Hamburger or Hot dog buns.  If you have a minute, you should check out her post.  She goes on a rant mid post that made me smile (and after eating homemade jam made from freshly picked strawberries today, I totally get her)-you’ll have to click on over to know what I’m talking about.  Oh, and if you don’t want to make these in the bread machine, click over to her recipe.

Homemade Hamburger Buns (using the bread machine)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoons honey
1 egg, room temperature
4 1/2 cups flour (unbleached, whole wheat, or a mix) ( I used 3 cups whole wheat, 11/2 cups white)
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or one pkg)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

~Pour milk, water, melted butter and honey into a glass bowl.  Microwave until warm, just to take the chill off.  Add the egg.
~Pour into bread machine.  Measure flour and put on top of wet ingredients.  Make a little well in the flour, add yeast and salt.  
~Set machine to dough cycle.  When finished, take dough out, knead for a few turns, then divide into 16 pieces (12 for larger buns).  Roll into balls, place on greased sheet (I used parchment paper instead), flatten tops down a bit, cover with a cloth and let rise 30 minutes until about doubled.  
~Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

*You can brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse sea salt or whatever you would like.  I forgot this step, but I bet they would be pretty!
This Post Is Linked To:
Thrifty Thursday @ Tales From Bloggeritaville


Homemade Granola Bars

I have wanted to make homemade granola bars for quite awhile now.  I just can’t stand how expensive they are at the stores, and so full of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup or sugar!  I’ve seen several recipes for granola bars, but I am not sure I will need to try any others out after tasting these! They were very easy to make, made a big batch, and tasted super yummy.  They are great for the lunch box or an after school snack!

I found the recipe at Kitchen Stewardship.  I will need to continue to look around and find more recipes on her blog, she earned my trust with this one recipe!

Homemade Granola Bars
41/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened* (I did 1/4 c butter and 1/4 c peanut butter. YUM! I’d like to try coconut oil instead of butter in my next batch)
1 cup honey (I used 3/4 cup, +1/4 cup water, then added 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup chocolate chips for more sweetness)

Add-ins: 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped walnuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut etc)

Lightly butter a 9×13 inch pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and honey together first, then add all ingredients except add-ins.  Beat hard until combined.  Stir in add-ins.  Press mixture into the pan, really press so the bars don’t fall apart. (I used my hands).
Bake 325 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown.  Let it cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  Let it cool completely in the pan before removing and serving.
This recipe makes at least 20 good-sized bars, which as Kitchen Stewardship said, “might be equivalent of 3 boxes of Quaker chewy bars.  Even though butter and honey are on the pricey side, it still works out to be nicely frugal”

More thoughts from Kitchen Stewardship below:


  • Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and skip the chocolate chips
  • Use 1/2 cup natural peanut butter in place of 1/2 cup of butter (tried this today – it is divine!)
  • The honey flavor is very distinct in this recipe, but when using peanut butter, it almost disappears.  I’m wondering if PB is sweet enough that I can cut out some honey and just use water instead.  ??
  • Crumbs in the bottom of the storage bag?  So yummy over homemade yogurt with fresh fruit.

this post is linked to:
Tasty Tuesday Parade Of Foods @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Show and Tell Wednesdays @ Blue Cricket Designs
Real Food Wednesdays @ Cheeseslave