mason jar salad collage

How to Make a Mason Jar Salad : Lunchbox!

mason jar salad collage

I’m sure by now you’ve been subjected to the Mason Jar craze! What isn’t to love about the classic look of home decor, painted jars, mason jar tumblers / drinking glasses and more from your grandma’s old stash! But something I found about a year ago has stuck with me and became a kitchen staple.

strawberry salad in mason jar

The Mason Jar Salad

Anyone can create their own salad and place them in a jar to stay fresh for 7 – 10 days!  It’s the convenience and handiness that I love for my busy days.  There are many different recipe combinations that you can create to make your own salad in a jar, but here are some basic tips that should be applied across the board to ensure maximum freshness and less prep time!

Wash and dry Wide Mouth Quart Mason Jars (lids and bands too).

I wash as many as I use with then current ingredients on hand.  If I have busy schedule for the week I will make at least 6 jars of salad (one for each day of the work week and one to grab and go on the weekend)

Prep (clean, cut, dice, slice, etc) all your ingredients for your salad.

Ingredients can vary for any salad created.  My creations usually consist of a handful of vegetables, salad greens, cheese and dressing.  If I’m in the mood for something sweet I’ll grab oil, strawberries, greens and mozzarella cheese.  The creations are endless, but try to use things you like and won’t get sick of over a week’s time. ;)  You’ll want to actually eat the salads you’ve made!

types of salad in jars

Build / Create Your Salad in a Jar / Layering Instructions

salad in a mason jar dressing

  • DRESSING:  ALWAYS, always, always, put the dressing on the bottom first.
    •  You can add as much or as little as you prefer.  I mainly choose a vinaigrette as they come out easier when you’re ready to eat and spread over my salad when dumping onto my plate.  Here’s a tip: When using a dressing that is creamier (think, Ranch!) or thick it’s best to turn your jar upside down the morning you plan on eating the salad.  This will help the dressing run off the bottom and onto the salad making it easier to get out when it’s time to eat.

salad in a mason jar veggies

  • VEGGIES / FRUIT
    • Put in as much as you’d like.  A basic vegetable salad I’m creating will always contain: chopped carrots, green olives, diced onions, green peppers and mushrooms on top of the dressing.  I love how the veggies will soak up and marinate in the vinegary dressings to take in the flavor.  These also act like a barricade to keep the meats and greens out of getting soggy!  {Once I used chopped broccoli, this was the only time I’ve made salads in jars that I couldn’t eat after about 6 days.  I’m not sure if the broccoli went bad but the smell was HORRIFIC! I had to dispose what was left of my salads — therefore, I don’t use this ingredient any more.}

salad in a mason jar meat toppings

  • MEATS 
    • Grilled, chopped and diced chicken is my go-to for mason jar salads.  It’s easy for me to prepare a few chicken breasts at a time on the grill and then chop them up to spread across a weeks’ worth of lunches.  Again, your taste buds may differ and you may want chopped ham, sliced steak or tofu!  Whatever works for you… the “meats” are added on top of the veggies so they don’t soak up the dressing.
  • CHEESES / SEEDS / TEMPERAMENTAL VEGETABLES
    • Adding shredded cheese in on top of the meat is my next step.  You can also use cheese crumbles such as blue cheese or feta.  My personal favorite is cheddar.  Above the cheese you’ll add your salad topper like sunflower seeds ~ or dare I say BACON (bits) :) .  This is the time you’ll add temperamental veggies such as avocado that would otherwise be ruined by laying in the dressing.

salad in a mason jar

  • GREENS
    • Time to stuff the rest of your jar with all the greens you’ve ever desired.  I personally prefer romaine hearts or spring mix but simple iceberg lettuce will even suffice.  I stuff the lettuce in the jar so it’s packed to the brim.  I even push the rest of my salad down when I am stuffing in the lettuce so I can cram in twice as much as room allows.

 As long as you keep the jar upright the salad will stay fresh and the lettuce won’t be soggy.  {Bleh, soggy lettuce. } I stack them up in the fridge and then keep them in there until I leave for work that day or until we are headed out on a busy weekend.  For about an hour or less of prep time, I’ve made my lunch for a week solid!  I throw the jar of salad in my bag and take it along.  If I can refrigerate throughout the day I’ll do so until lunch time.  (Like I mentioned before, if I’ve used ranch dressing I’ll turn it upside down to get the dressing off the bottom of the jar)  When it’s time to eat I pop off the ring and lid and dive right in or pour it out on a plate / bowl so I can mix it all up.

 Want an even EASIER way to prep salad in a jar?

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You know, there’s an even more fashionable and clever way to create an easy Salad on the Go in a Mason Jar.  By adding a BNTO to go container right under the lid of your mason jar you can keep your dressing (peanut butter, dip, hummus, yogurt, milk) separate from your salad (veggies, grains, cereal, chips, and more).  These are so cool and make packing a quick snack even easier.  You can purchase a BNTO Travel Mason Jar Container from my Etsy Shop for only $8.75 or as a complete mason jar lunchbox set for $15!

*This post contains affiliate links to items that I make a small portion of commission when purchased.  As always, I would never suggest a product I didn’t love and use myself.

10 GAMEDAY SNACKS

10 Gameday Snack Recipes

10 GAMEDAY SNACKS

What’s the one thing that everyone loves most about the Super Bowl, the World Series, and every other major sporting event? The food of course! With football season upon us, every Sunday will most likely be dedicated to quick and easy meals to dish out without missing to much of the game! The whole “chips and salsa” has been over played a bit. Make all your game-day guests drool and surprise them with these fun appetizers, cocktails, and unique sides. They’re full tummies will thank you!

  1. Jalapeno Popper Potato Skin {Miss Information}
  2. Flank Steak Bites {A Little Claireification}
  3. Hearty Spinach Artichoke Dip {Everyday Lounge Act}
  4. Baked Southwestern Eggrolls {The Pinning Mama}
  5. Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip {Pink When}
  6. Avocado Tomato Salad {Two Cavaliers}
  7. Pizza Balls {Modern Mommyhood}
  8. BLT Pizza {Susie QTpies Cafe}
  9. Surprise Ingredient Margarita {Thirty One 10}
  10. Craft Beer Cheese Fondue {A Night Owl}
comfortfoodwithoutlogo3

20 Fall Comfort Food Recipes

comfortfoodwithoutlogo3

Fall is almost here whether it feels like it or not and that means it will be time to prepare those comfort food recipes while we hibernate inside till it gets warmer out. I am always looking for some good comfort food to make for my family either ahead of time or prepare it that day. I have compiled a list of 20 Fall Comfort Food Recipes for you to make this Fall. Just click on the link/links of the recipe you want to view to be directed to the page for the recipe and instructions. Happy Fall!

    1. Stove Top Meatloaf
    2. Olive Garden’s Chicken & Gnocchi Soup
    3. Banana Bread Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
    4. French Onion Beef Stew (Slow Cooker)
    5. Homemade Spaghettios
    6. The BEST Chicken Soup Recipe
    7. Cream of Roasted Broccoli Soup
    8. Butternut Squash Risotto
    9. Curry Broccoli Chicken Casserole
    10. Tater-Tot Casserole
    11. Basil Mac & Cheese
    12. Vegan Drop Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
    13. Crockpot Chicken Fajita Soup
    14. World’s Best Mashed Potatoes
    15. The Best Cornbread Ever
    16. Chicken Crockpot Sliders
    17. Taco Chili
    18. The World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
    19. Sweet & Spicy Baby Back Ribs
    20. Bacon Parmesan Ranch Potato Salad

Check out more Fall Recipes here!

fallrecipes

25 Fall Recipes

fallrecipes

Fall is just around the corner and that means we begin staying inside more and making comfort food with yummy fall recipes for family and friends. I am always looking for a new fall recipe to make for family gatherings or for Thanksgiving dinner.  I have compiled a list of 25 Fall Recipes for you to make. Click on the link/links of the recipes you would like to view to be directed to the website for the directions. Come back and share with us what you made and how it turned out. Be sure to share a photo on our Facebook page!

 

 

 

1. Pumpkin Coffee Cake Cinnamon Struesel
2. Cinnamon Pear Twist Bread
3. Spiced Apple Compote Muesli Yogurt
4. Pumpkin Chocolate Pancakes
5. Pumpkin Caramel Latte Donuts
6. Pear Almond Arugula Salad
7. Browned Butter Whipped Butternut Squash
8. Pumpkin Maple Spice Granola Bars
9. Almond Apple Tart
10. Sourdough Apple Bread Grilled Cheese
11. Mini Stuffed Pumpkins with Sausage Rice Fruit Medley
12. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple and Toffee Frosting
13. Pumpkin Butter
14. Chai Muffins
15. Vegetable Stew
16. Easy Freezer Applesauce
17. Apple Blackberry Hazelnut Deep Dish Pie
18. Apple Dumplings with Maple Syrup
19. Minestrone with Pesto
20. 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Brownies
21. Roasted Cauliflower Soup
22. Autumnal Harvest
23. Spinach and Celery Soup
24. Autumn Salad
25. Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bundt Cake

birthdaycakesrecipes

10 Birthday Cake Recipes

 birthdaycakesrecipes

My kids are always asking me to make their birthday cakes from scratch. They like it better than the store bought cakes plus you get to add your own design to make your child’s cake special. Sometimes I run out of ideas for birthday cakes to make. I am always searching the cake designs so I have compiled a list of different cake recipes and designs. Click on the link/links below to the one you want to view the design and recipe. Come back and submit a photo on our facebook page and let us know how it turned out.

  1. Beach Party Birthday Cake + Butter Cream & Peanut Butter Icing
  2. Cookie Monster Cake
  3. First Birthday Smash Cake
  4. Mustache Cake
  5. German Chocolate Cake
  6. Dinosaur Birthday Cake
  7. Rainbow Cake
  8. Birthday Cake Brownies
  9. Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Birthday Cake
  10. TNT Birthday Cake
candycoatedapples

Candy Coated Apples

candycoatedapples

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[box title="Ingredients" color="#2E2EFE"]

Fresh Apples
Your Candy of Choice
Caramel Topping

  1. Cut your apples into slices.
  2. Smash up the candy bar of your choice.
  3. Add the caramel topping over the apples.
  4. Sprinkle the crushed up candy over the apples letting it stick to the caramel.
  5. Enjoy!

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tnt birthday cake

TNT Birthday Cake

tnt birthday cake

It was my daughter’s birthday last week and she loves when I make her a special cake rather than the store bought ones. She love Minecraft so I decided to make a TNT Birthday Cake. If you know anything about Minecraft, then you already know that you can use the TNT to blow up anything in the game.

[box title="Ingredients" color="#FA5858"]

2 White Cake Mixes
Red Food Coloring
Frosting
Mini Marshmallows
Black Licorice
White Ribbon

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First you make 2 square cakes with 2 white cake mixes. Follow the instructions on the cake box and add red food coloring to the mix. I used confetti cake mix to make it more fun and well my red did not turn a deep red. It seemed more pink to me.

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After you bake your 2 cakes and let them cool,  cut them in to squares like you are going to serve them.

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Then, begin to stack the squares on top of each other about 2-3 high depending on the thickness of the cake. After a thin layer of frosting in between squares to hold them in place.

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After you stack them, use a ribbon to wrap around the cake (remember this is just for decoration, it is not edible). Write the letters TNT in big letters several times around the ribbon before wrapping it around the cake.

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Next find a kitchen utensil to punch a hole out of the top about an one inch deep. Add mini marshmallows to the inside of the hole .Cut black licorice in half and stick one in each hole.

PicMonkey Collage

13 Labor Day Weekend Recipes

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Looking for some ideas on recipes for Labor Day Weekend? I have compiled a list from myself and fellow bloggers of recipes from the grill to desserts that will make your holiday weekend easy to create. Just click on each link below of the recipe/recipes you want to view to be directed to the recipe.

  1. Caprese Salad
  2. Patriotic Cupcakes
  3. Layered Strawberry Shortcake
  4. Homemade Ice Cream Cake and Dessert
  5. Watermelon Lime Sorbet
  6. Bacon Broccoli Salad
  7. 9 Layered Summer Salad
  8. Jell-O Cake
  9. 5 Layer Taco Salad Dip
  10. Summer Fruit Slaw
  11. Grilled Watermelon
  12. Cooler Corn
  13. Grilled Corn on the Cob
taco salad

5 Layer Taco Salad Dip

taco salad

Here is an amazing recipe for 5 Layer Taco Salad Dip that is so easy to make for any occasion as an appetizer or a side dish. I made it in under 10 minutes and it was a huge hit at my daughter’s birthday party. You can always add more layers if you would like, such as,  re-fried beans or guacamole. Pour a bag of tortilla chips into a bowl and you are ready for a party.

[box title="5 Layer Taco Salad Dip" color="#2E2EFE"]

Ingredients:

(1) 8 oz. Package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
8 oz. of Sour Cream
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning
16 oz. of Mild Salsa
(1) 8 oz. Package of Mild Shredded Cheese
1-2 cups of Shredded Lettuce
2 Large Red Tomatoes diced
1 Small can of Black Sliced Olives

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Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and mild salsa in a bowl. Beat with a mixer 1-2 minutes or until mixed well.
  2. Pour mixture into a shallow glass pan.
  3. Add a layer of lettuce.
  4. Add a layer of tomatoes.
  5. Add a layer of cheese.
  6. Add a layer of olives.
  7. Cover with foil and put in the fridge.

Tip: You can make it the night before and leave it in the fridge. The lettuce will still be crisp and the Taco Salad will taste fresh.
To view more recipes, check out my recipe page!

Enchiladas Verdes Recipe

First, I start to brown a pound of lean hamburger ($4-$5). I used a half of a finely chopped onion left over from another meal and a teaspoon of minced garlic to add to the hamburger. Then I used a taco season spice that I buy in bulk from GFS, but you can get a pack for $1. Salt and pepper to taste, then after browning, I push the meat aside and wipe up the grease since the meat is lean.

Use $0.50 off 2 McCormick Taco or Mexican seasoning mixes coupon found in 4/28 RP (exp. 5/26/13) to score Taco Seasoning packets for around $0.29 each.

Then I take 8″-10″ flour tortillas (under $1.50), warm them up in microwave for 20 seconds. I only use 5 for a pound of meat and make large enchiladas. I spoon on a desired amount of enchilada verdes sauce (under $1.50)

Sprinkle on queso cheese (usually goes on sale at Kroger for $2 for 8oz. package), add meat and fold. I do this five times and place tightly on a foil lined pan (easy cleanup).

Next, drizzle on more verdes sauce and top with more cheese.

Bake on 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes until cheese is fully melted, then i broil for another 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese just a little. I plate it and drizzle a bit more sauce over the top and pair up with some spanish rice.

Hope you enjoy!

Fourth of July Recipe: Patriotic Jello-O Cake

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Cake Mix
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Jell-O
  • Whipped Cream

Make White Cake as directed on the box.
After cake is cooled poke holes with a fork all thru the cake.

Make the Jell-O as directed on the box. I use Cherry because we like the taste of it but you can use any flavor you want.
After you mix the Jell-O, pour it all over the cake so it is covered. Next, put it in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Then, use the whipped cream and use it as frosting for the whole cake. I used food coloring to make a flag design,
but you can design it anyway you like. I added strawberries for the 4th of July.

Jell-O Cupcakes

Ingredients Needed:

White Cake Mix
Eggs
Vegetable Oil
Water
Red Jell-o
Blue Jell-o
White Frosting

Instructions:

  • Mix the cake batter as directed on the cake box
  • Then separate cake batter into 3 separate bowls
  • Add 1/4 cup of red dry jell-o into one bowl with the cake batter and mix
  • Add 1/4 cup of blue dry jell-o into another bowl with the cake batter and mix
  • Leave the 3rd bowl with just the white cake mix
  • Scoop one tablespoon of each color into cake liners layering them on top of each other
  • Bake cupcakes as directed on the cake mix box

 

Cupcakes will turn out looking tye-dye with red, white, and blue colors.
Add food coloring to White Frosting to make it more Patriotic. I did red, white, and blue for the Memorial Holiday.
If you don’t want to add flavor to the cupcakes, you could always just use food coloring in each separate bowl.