Vidalia Honey Vinaigrette (and other words I hate to spell)


You know, my mother is one of the best cooks around and certainly the best I have ever known. It’s no wonder, she was trained at the finest culinary school of all time, the elbow of her grandmothers. So when I can give her one of my recipes and have her, Daddy, and both of my grandmothers singing its praises (not to mention making it three times in one week) I feel like I’ve really accomplished something in my life.

Todays recipe is the one that did just that. This is one of my favorite salad dressings that I like to whip up and it’s so very easy to do (my other favorite salad dressing is Mama’s homemade Thousand Island, the link is at the bottom of this post). I gave this recipe to Southern Living to print in the October 2010 story they did on me and I was just tickled with the reviews it got there as well, so now its time for me to share it with you.

A lot of folks don’t make homemade salad dressing anymore because bottles of every shape and flavor are available at pretty good prices at the grocery store, but those bottled ones don’t hold a candle to homemade and you’re really going to be surprised at how easy this is!

Oh, about the rest of the post title…

Close your eyes for me and spell Vinaigrette. Seriously, could there be a harder word to spell? With a bachelor’s degree and English honors, I still have so many words that trip me up and I always get a good giggle at some of the simple ones that seem to present a persistent problem to my short circuited brain cell.

I’m gonna mention a few more throughout this post as they come to me and I’d love to hear the words that trip you up in the comments section on this post. To keep it fun, I’ll pick one person at random and send ya a “Whatever Cranks Yer Tractor” sticker (I’ll pick one tomorrow night and put their name here after I do).

You’ll need: Cider Vinegar, Vegetable Oil (or your favorite oil), Dijon Mustard (honey dijon will do), Honey, Vidalia Onion (or other sweet onion), Salt, and Pepper.

Necessity– Oh good grief this word is a hard one for me. I never know how many c’s and s’s to put in. Thank goodness for spell check.

In a sauce pot or skillet, place a tablespoon of oil over medium heat for a few minutes.

Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, over medium heat.

Opinion: For years, I wanted to put an extra “p” in opinion. Even though I don’t do that now, every time I spell that word I stop and look at it to make sure I have it right.

Your onion will start to brown after a few minutes, keep stirring and cooking while it caramelizes and develops that yummy flavor.

Souvenir – the mother of all messed up words. My definition of this word is “Cheap plastic junk that you buy out of compulsion while on vacation.” Now seriously, close your eyes and spell it for me. See how hard that is? If you got it right, you deserve an attaboy so here ya go “ATTABOY!”.

You want them to be nice and browned all over – but at this point I’m usually tired of fooling with it so this is good enough for me.

Your onions could stand to cook for another minute or two if you want but this will do just fine.

I just love low maintenance recipes.

Maintenance isn’t the easiest word to spell either, ya know.

Now pour your cider vinegar into the pot.

This part always makes me think of dying Easter eggs…

Oh, I forgot to warn ya about that vinegar facial you are about to get..


Now I want you to take your spoon and just kinda rub all around on the bottom of your pot.

Fancy folks call this “deglazing” the pan but we can just call it for what it is, rubbing the bottom of your pot to get the stuff up.

The vinegar will clean off all of the wonderful caramel glaze on the bottom of the pot and pull all of that delicious flavor up to be used in your dressing.

I know there are a gazillion other words that trip me up but I’m going on about two hours of sleep right now due to a wild case of insomnia among my children last night so I just called up Mama and asked her what words tripped her up the most. She said : worcestershire, jalapeno, occasionally, and necessary. See how normal we all are?

Now we’re going to put all of that into a blender and add our oil, salt, pepper, mustard, and honey.

Oh how I love honey…

Now put your lid on your blender (I like to state the obvious from time to time) and press that button!

Whichever button you press depends on your mood. If you’re having a pretty good day, just hit “whip”. If you’re feeling a little tension in your life “pulse” might work better for you. If you need to work off a little stress before the kiddies get home, go straight to “liquify”.

Now the trick is to let this just go to town in the blender for a few minutes, even though it will appear to be perfectly blended after just a few seconds.

You want to form an emulsion here, which basically means you are whipping the ingredients to within an inch of their life, thereby causing them to be too frightened of your awesome blender-given power to separate too quickly.

This will make your dressing nice and creamy and it will mostly stay that way.

After storing it in the fridge for a time, you will need to give it a good shake, though. This is why I like to store mine in mason jars because they are so handy to shake and keep around, taking up very little space in the fridge.

You can serve this over greens, with vegetables, or any salad combination of your choice.

My favorite is a salad of dark greens with pecans or almonds, cranberries, and apples.

YUM! Now thats some good eatin’!

Vidalia Honey Vinaigrette
  • ¾ Cup Vegetable oil (or oil of your choice, note that other oils may alter flavor)
  • ½ cup Vidalia onion, chopped (or other sweet onion)
  • ¼ Cup Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard (honey dijon is fine)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Place one tablespoon of oil in skillet or sauce pot and heat over medium. Add chopped onions and continue cooking, stirring frequently, over medium heat until browned and caramelized, about eight minutes or so. Pour in cider vinegar and stir well to loosen coating on bottom of pan.
  2. Pour entire contents into blender and add remaining oil along with all other ingredients. Blend on high for two minutes, until well blended and emulsified. Refrigerate several hours before serving over your favorite salad. Recommendation: Dark greens with pecans, chopped apples, and dried cranberries.

To get Mama’s Homemade Thousand Island Dressing recipe, please click here.

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree,

it will spend it’s whole life believing it is stupid”

~Albert Einstein

This excellent quote was submitted by Tamara and holds a great significance to me. Thank you so much, Tamara! To submit your quote, please click here to visit our Give A Penny page.


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  1. Jenny C says

    Oh my, I had to laugh reading this. I was so embarrassed (yah, that word always gets me too), by a spelling error at work. I had just started with a company and I have to point out that there was a lady who always in my mind intimidated me. Well, I had to send out a email explaining a problem, I trusted my spell check to make sure there were no errors. Keep in mind that I went over this email for grammar errors etc. as it was going to all the big wigs. The word was inconvenience. I don’t know how I spelled it, but the spell check changed it to incontinence.. And no I did not catch the error before sending it out. So, I get a call about an hour later, from none other, you guessed it, the above mentioned lady. She asked me about the email and sternly asked if I had meant inconvenience in my email. I franticly (I don’t know if that is spelled right) pulled up the email and read it , the color draining from face. I began to apologize over and over almost in tears, and she started laughing! She said that she had never laughed so hard and that it livened up a boring meeting. We became friends after that. Still to this day I laugh when I see the word inconvenience or incontinence!

  2. Nancy Dimick says

    I recently learned a new word when signing legal paperwork to settle my Dad’s estate. Administratrix. To pronounce it I have say it veeeery sloooowly. And it sounds kinda sleazy, doesn’t it?

  3. Jamie Wagner says

    This was absolutely wonderful!!! It’s a great substitute for mayonnaise on my turkey sandwich for today’s lunch too!! Thanks for a real winner. Sorry I missed you in Houston today, pays to read thru emails more closely, rats!

  4. Jackie says

    Worcestershire, recommend, sherbet, and misspell are just a few. And I used to win spelling bees! When I put Worcestershire sauce on my shopping list, I just write W sauce. Hey, I know what it is. 😉

    Chrisy, thanks for another great recipe for me to sink my teeth into (in more ways than one)!

  5. SweetCarol says

    I have been looking for a Vidalia onion dressing. (I always thought it was i before a even if it didn’t sound that way. I used to have an onion dressing that was put in the blender but it wasn’t cooked. It had sugar instead of honey in it along with an oil. I have no idea what happened to it but it was wonderful and clear as it had no carmelized onion. If you have one like that, I’d love to have it. However, I am sure going to try this one as it looks yummy. I am going to use my Tupelo honey since it is better for diabetics. Problem is my husband likes it better than the orange blossom we have and he is not diabetic. I have to send away for it or drive down the turnpike to find it.

  6. D'Ann says

    I love to make my own salad dressings, too – even though my husband actually works at Fred Meyer (Kroger), and there are a gazillion nifty salad dressings under their own label in the store. The words that trip me up every time are harass, knowledgeable – and vinaigrette – and I have to look ’em up every time…

    Also…gonna make a list of the tricky words that trip us up, and use them as spelling words for the granddaughter I’m homeschooling – evil grandmother/teacher that I am… :)

  7. Eva says

    Looks yummy, is now in my files, and waiting for a salad worthy of it!
    My word is receive that one has always thrown me, and recommend, both a pain in my butt! I have many more, and spelling errors are not always because I can’t spell them its my fingers are dyslexic.


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