We'll Tell You Ours if You Tell Us Yours

by Sarah Villafranco, MD /

Okay. It’s time to share some secrets. We will try to make this a regular feature on our blog, as we all have lots of excellent secrets to share. We will post a small, secret something, and you reply with a secret of your own. (You need to reply, because we will stop sharing ours if you don’t share yours.) There are not really any rules or categories, except that it needs to be rated PG, and it should be something you think is a really awesome little secret, to the point that you almost don’t want to share it.

Case in point – my favorite salad dressing. This has nothing to do with Osmia or skin care, except that there is some cool emulsion chemistry involved. I learned this trick from my stepmom (not a chemist, but an excellent cook), and have been grateful ever since. I make this dressing almost nightly, and my kids won’t touch dressing from a bottle. Smart lil’ buggers.



So here is the secret recipe:

  1. Start with a good quality balsamic vinegar. If you are going to splurge on one of the THREE ingredients, this is the one. I like Fini (black label) – very nice, yet still relatively affordable as balsamic vinegars go. Don’t use a balsamic reduction – just a good quality, aged balsamic. Pour 1/4 cup into a small jar (you will need a lid).
  2. Add two generous pinches of coarse sea salt. I like pink Himalayan salt, but any coarse salt will do – just not boring old table salt.
  3. THIS IS THE KEY STEP: WALK AWAY FOR 5-10 MINUTES. Here is where the chemistry magic thing happens. You need to let the salt sit in the vinegar and get completely dissolved in the acid. When you come back, give the jar a gentle swirl to make sure you don’t hear any crystals scraping the bottom. If you do, keep swirling until it goes away.
  4. Add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I choose organic, cold-pressed). If you don’t feel like measuring stuff, just make sure the balsamic and the oil are in equal parts. Ish.
  5. Put the lid on the jar and SHAKE. (Not you. Shake the jar.) For about a minute.

Et, voila. C’est ca. A strangely thick emulsion that will make you want to eat salad all day, every day. Or at least once a day. If it’s too tart (I’m a sourpuss), add a teaspoon of Grade B Maple Syrup. If you like a little kick, add a bit of dijon. (Add these things to the vinegar and salt step, allowing them to sit before adding oil.) The dressing will keep for 3 days at room temperature. If it separates a little, just shake again before serving, though it should stay fairly emulsified if you followed all the magic instructions.

Try it, and let us know how it goes.

Now. Your turn. We’re waiting.

Leave a Comment

I love this exchange!

I found this recipe months back on yahoo. I’m still shocked at how easy and tasty this is

Avocado Cream

2 cups flat leaf parsley ( I used cilantro)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 avocados, peeled and pits removed
1 teaspoon lemon juice from fresh lemon – keep the peel for zesting later
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Mixture
Add 2 cups of flat leaf parsley leaf in a food processor and run for a minute or so until chopped.

Add roughly chopped garlic and avocado to parsley. Slowly add oil into running food processor then add lemon juice and rice wine vinegar.

Process until the mixture is smooth.

Add salt and mix well. . Season to taste with more salt ior cracked black pepper.

Boil fettuccine or spaghetti according to package instructions
In large bowl mix together pasta, as much or little avocado mixture as you want

I had this with some grilled shrimp. But it is tasy however you have it.. The avocado cream is rich and creamy.I think the magic is in the rice wine vinegar.

Try it and enjoy!

Pressy on July 09, 2014

Activated charcoal and water to remove stains from your teeth. A natural alternative to bleaching trays. It really does work!

Beth on July 09, 2014

One of my favorite kitchen tips is to use ice cube trays to freeze individual portions of broth, herbed butters, pesto and sauces. Since I’m a restaurant widow five nights a week, having some flavorful ingredients at the ready in small portions makes it more appealing to cook fresh, healthy meals for one.

Charyn on July 09, 2014

I use ‘homemade’ swiffers. I use the dryer sheets after I’ve used them in the dryer to dust furniture, floors, whatever! They pick up dust, repel static and I feel better knowing I’ve put them to even more use before throwing them away. I actually have a little bag of them waiting for when I clean my place…I’m sure if someone found this bag, they’d think I’d gone a little loony!

Linda on July 09, 2014

My favorite thing to eat:
• Wild caught sockeye salmon (love the Whole Foods “Thai Ginger” marinade – just put a tiny bit over fillet before cooking. In summer – grill, in winter – pan fry.
• Cut up red bell pepper, cilantro and mango (all organic – tastes better!). Pile high on top of the cooked salmon.
That’s it! Mmmmmm…..

Karla on July 09, 2014

My all time favourite secret is manuka honey (or Medihoney if you can find it) for skin healing. At night put it on any open sore like a blister, cut, picked pimple, etc. and cover the wound with a bandaid. In the morning you should be able to already see a healthy new layer of skin forming. Do this for three consecutive nights and the wound should be almost completely healed by the morning of the 4th day.

Covering the honey and wound is the key step here though because new tissue needs a moist environment to grow!

Cheers! :)

Nadia on July 09, 2014