Thursday, July 28, 2011


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Sometimes in the summer I just don't want a heavy dinner. Tonight was one of those nights. Enter = Chicken salad! It's so light & yummy but filling at the same time. And, a bonus, it doesn't heat up the house! Woo hoo! Let's go!

You'll need:

Cooked chicken, red grapes, celery, slivered almonds, mayo & black pepper.

Come by the cooked chicken whatever way you'd like - leftovers, a rotisserie from the grocery store, grill it, bake it, boil it - today I threw some frozen breasts in the crock pot with a little bit of broth & seasonings. Just make sure if you cook it fresh for this that you give it time to cool. Hot chicken salad isn't quite as yummy as the cold stuff!

Mix everything but the pepper & mayo in a bowl.

Then add in your mayo & pepper! Start out light on the mayo & add more as you see the need. You can always add more but once you have too much there's not a lot you can do.

I started out with 1 cup of mayo for 4 cups of chicken & ended up adding about 1/4 cup more.

You can cover it & chill it until you're ready to eat or just serve it up right away!

YUM!! The celery & almonds give it 2 different types of crunch while the grapes add a splash of sweet. And of course the creaminess of the mayo with the chicken.... goodness. YUM! As a throwback to my childhood we had a loaf of whole grain WHITE bread here at the house so that's how we served it up. But you choose - Hubby at all the leftovers scooped out of the bowl with Ritz crackers! Put it in a pita, a tortilla, a little dinner roll.... oh the possibilities!!

Doesn't this just look like the perfect summer dinner!!?

Chicken Salad Sandwiches:

4 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups red grapes, either halved or quartered
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 - 1 1/2 cups mayo
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients & mix until thoroughly combined. Cover & chill or serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crispy Oven Potatoes

I think we're over due for a side dish around here! These are some really good potatoes - they stay nice & soft inside but get a perfectly seasoned crisp on the outside. The spices sort of remind me of the fries at KFC. They were a nice change of pace from our usual Onion Roasted Potatoes or Silver Dollars.

Here are your ingredients:

Potatoes (I went with Yukon Gold on this recipe & loved them!), garlic, butter, salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried marjoram, flour & a bay leaf.

First off, throw your seasonings into a gallon ziplock bag - the salt, pepper, flour, thyme & marjoram.

Give it a shake to bled them together & then add your potatoes. You're gonna want to scrub them & dice them, first!! LOL

Give it another shake to distribute the spices all over the spuds.

Melt the butter into a 9x13 dish. Dice your garlic & add it in; spread it around as evenly as you can.

Dump in the potatoes & top it with your bay leaf.

Cover with foil & bake in a 450 oven for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes remove the foil & give them a good stir. Then put them back in the oven, UNcovered this time - and go another 15 or 20 minutes, until they look ready to go!

And that's it! Pull them out & take a big whiff of the perfect, savory potatoes & get them on a plate so you can dig in!


Crispy Oven Potatoes:

1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
2 pounds small-medium potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 450.

In a gallon ziplock bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, thyme & marjoram. Add potatoes; seal bag and shake to coat. Melt butter into a 13X9 inch baking dish; stir in the garlic. Add potatoes and bay leaf.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and stir; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until potatoes are lightly browned and tender. Discard bay leaf.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gooey Bars - PB Mallow White Chocolate

YUM! With summer in full swing there is always a reason to bring treats somewhere - a family picnic at the park, hiking in the hills, snacks for a road trip, neighborhood BBQ, potlucks at church, something to nibble as you stroll around the farmer's market, treats at the campsite, something to take to a neighbor or friend, etc.... wouldn't it be nice to have a yummy little homemade something waiting in our bag! Meet your piece of yummy - the Gooey Bar! This particular one uses yellow cake, a mixture of peanut butter/marshmallow, and a topping of white chips. It's really good. And really sweet! And kinda gooey - but not so gooey that it's gonna make a mess of you & your kids! LOL It's the perfect bit of gooey to make it rich & wonderful & indulgent!

Grab some:

Yellow cake mix, egg, butter, peanut butter (creamy), marshmallow creme, sweetened condensed milk, a bag of white chips.

This is essentially a layered bar so let's dive into layer 1 - the cakey bottom!

Mix together your cake mix, softened butter & 1 egg.

You can start out doing it with a spatula/spoon but as it forms a dough ball your gonna need to get your hands dirty & mix it like a big ball of Play-doh!

Spread that into the bottom of a prepared 9x13 pan. It's easiest if you divide it into quarters and then just smoosh it down with your fingers.

Next up - layer 2 - the gooey!!

If you're lazy like me just rinse out your cake bowl & use it for the next layer. If you love doing dishes grab a new one! Mix the mallow creme (or fluffernutter, as all the east coasters call it!), the PB & the sweetened condensed milk. It'll take a few good stirs but just keep going until you get it all combined.

Turn this:

... into this:

Pour layer #2 over the smooshed down cake layer!

Layer 3 is the easy one - just sprinkle the ENTIRE bag of chips down over the top of your gooey layer.

Pop the whole shabang into a 350 oven for 23-25 minutes.

Now this is the hardest part of all - LET IT COOL! It'll come out a little jiggly in the center still but it'll set up as it cools down. The cake firms, the chips set - but the gooey layer stays nice and soft and.... well, gooey! LOL

These got shared with 2 different homes on my street and there were still plenty of them here to put the kids in a sugar coma! My neighbor enjoyed them so much that the very next day she made her own pan of them - but instead of yellow cake she used chocolate cake, and instead of white chips she used a mix of milk & PB chips. They were equally divine! Don't be afraid to play around with the flavors. You really can't go wrong!


Gooey Bars [PB Mallow White Chocolate]:

1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1 egg
1 stick (8 TBsp) butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-oz bag white chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350; spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with PAM.

Place cake mix, egg, and butter into a large bowl. Mix until well combined, will be the consistency of thick cookie dough. I used my hands towards the ends. Press dough into prepared baking pan.

Place peanut butter, marshmallow creme and condensed milk into a large bowl and mix until well combined. Pour over crust then top with white chips. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until cooked through. Center will seem somewhat jiggly, but will set up while cools.

Let cool completely, cut into squares and serve.

Source: Picky Palate