Blue Cheese Dressing and a Giveaway

October 9, 2009

Dressing Collage

You know the moment.  You are in a restaurant.  You’ve placed your order.  Your order comes with a salad and the waitperson asks you what kind  of dressing you want.  What do you answer?

For me, it’s honey mustard.  For my mom, it’s blue cheese.  As a child, I could never understand this.  Why would you want something so stinky on your salad?  As I got older, I grew to appreciate blue cheese and even came to like crumbles of it in my salad.  But I could never get past the gloppy texture of the actual dressing.


Annie Sommerville has a perfect recipe for blue cheese dressing in her classic book Everyday Greens and like so many things, blue cheese dressing is a totally different animal when you make it yourself.  The first time I made this recipe years ago I couldn’t believe the flavor or the texture.  I also couldn’t believe how good it tasted over summer’s heirloom tomatoes and spicy arugula which is how Sommerville recommends you serve it.  Last weekend I found myself with some wonderful tomatoes but just regular ordinary lettuce and an avocado that needed to be used.  It was perfect that way too.

If you read other food blogs, you may have heard about the swag bag that some of us got at the BlogHer conference a few weeks ago.  There was the bag that everyone got which contained cans of soup and a box of cereal (I’m not kidding) among other ho hum things, and then there was the after party bag that contained the good stuff.  I left some of it in the hotel room (I have no need for a meat tenderizer) but I brought the rest home with me.  I keep looking at the beautiful Japanese knife and the kitchen shears and paring knife – all still in their packages – and wondering what to do with them.  Should I open them?  Should I give them away?

Of course the answer is give them away.  I have wonderful knives and I have shears and two paring knives.  I was lucky enough to go to BlogHer (and now am in New York) and I truly feel like I should share the bounty.  I’d like to send someone the knife, the shears and paring knife combo, and the $25 gift card to where all this wonderful stuff came from.  As long it is legal to ship knives internationally, I will send it anywhere.  Just leave me a comment and tell me what kitchen tool you can’t live without.  You have until Tuesday, October 13th at 7pm PDT to enter.  I’ll pick a winner using a highly scientific method.

(UPDATE:  The contest is now closed!)


One Year Ago:  Mediterranean Five Lentil and Chard Soup with Walnut Gremolata

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
Adapted from Everyday Greens
Makes about 3/4 cup

1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 ounce tangy blue cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp. Champagne vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Puree the buttermilk, cream, the cheese, vinegar, oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.  Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the parsley.


  1. Good question!! Can’t live without my… red mixing bowls!! :)

    Comment by Michelle — October 12, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

  2. My favorite kitchen tool is my Black and Decker electric mini-chopper. I have had it for years and it’s still going strong. I use it for onions, chocolate, nuts; you name it. It’s small and oh so easy to clean.

    Comment by April — October 12, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

  3. As far as kitchen tools go, it’s probably the mini grater I found that actually fits in a drawer and doesn’t take up much space in the dishwasher. Love that for anything that’s too small to bother getting the food processor all dirty!

    Comment by Kristie McNealy — October 12, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

  4. I can’t live w/o a can opener!

    Lovely blog :)

    Comment by Jaime — October 12, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

  5. Thanks so much for the fabulous giveaway – I would be SO thrilled to win! I absolutely could not live without my stainless steel cheese grater!

    Comment by Aimee W. — October 12, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

  6. I can’t live without my $5 stoneware Pfaltzgraff casserole dish I bought at their outlet store probably 12 years ago. My girlfriend and I decided on a whim to take a trip across the border ( We’re Canadians! ) with three children under the age of two! We now live in different parts of the country but I think of her every time I use this dish, and I use it all the time! Miss you Nance!

    Comment by Heather — October 12, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

  7. I don’t want to enter since I got the same swag bag as you but I agree – salad dressings are a whole new world when made from scratch. I hated all dressings as a kid. I’ve gradually come around but still prefer homemade vinaigrette or buttermilk ranch. Yum!

    Comment by maris — October 13, 2009 @ 1:12 am

  8. I could not live without my kitchen shears! I use them for everything from raw meat, to veggies, to cutting dough! I have 2 pairs!

    Comment by Jennifer C. — October 13, 2009 @ 2:48 am

  9. The most important kitchen tool to me would have to be a good knife! It’s what I use the most often in my kitchen; with the shears coming in a close second – if not battling for first place with the knife!

    Comment by Siobhain Armani — October 13, 2009 @ 3:57 am

  10. I love honey mustard dressing too. I’ve never really liked blue cheese on it’s own but blue cheese dressing is always yummy. How nice of you to give all of that away! =) As for the kitchen tool I can’t live without… as odd as it might sound, might be a steak knife. I never eat steak obviously but the knives are always sharp and they’re cheap so I put them in the dishwasher after using them. I always use them if I want to just cut up a piece of fruit or slice a tomato and don’t want to wash a knife!

    Comment by Ashley — October 13, 2009 @ 4:11 am

  11. How easy to turn chicken, shrimp and steak with a great pair of tongs.

    Comment by Maree Sperle — October 13, 2009 @ 4:24 am

  12. Hi Dana,

    This dressing looks wonderful……….thanks for sharing.

    Kitchen tool that I can’t live withouth……jalapeno seeder. There are several out there, I have tried them all. This particular one is similiar to a potato peeler, makes for a quick clean to grill or stuff jalapenos!

    Love your site!

    Comment by Teresa — October 13, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  13. One of my favorite tools is a pastry cutter. It’s great for making delicate biscuits, pie pastry, and fruit crisp toppings!

    Comment by Joanne Janssen — October 13, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  14. I love my onion chopper…makes great hash browns too

    Comment by Lacey — October 13, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  15. Absolutely, definitely, positively, indispensable to me is not exactly a tool (is that cheating?): It’s truffle salt. Even a simple dinner of eggs and toast is divine with a little bit sprinkled on top. As for tools I can’t live without… the winner would have to be my salad spinner. Wet salad greens are sad looking and salad dressing slides right off them. This provides a true shortcut for a necessary but otherwise terribly tedious job.

    Comment by Nuna C — October 13, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

  16. my water kettle! it is used all the time. from tea to coffee to par boiling to cleaning up. and it’s just seconds to boiling water.
    this dressing looks great btw – gonna make it tonight on a salad with apples and walnuts. yum.

    Comment by k. walters — October 14, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  17. Hello:
    I like your site.
    I couldn’t find a way to leave you my email address so I could receive your blog.
    Please add me to your list to receive your blog.
    I am in San Francisco.
    Got your Blog from STACY SNACKS BLOG.
    Chef and Caterer Frank

    Comment by Frank — October 20, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

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