Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Thursday, May 3, 2012

another chicken salad

are you tired of mayonnaise based chicken salad?  actually, i have strayed away from those salads for years now, and actually search for variations of chicken salad that can be served for lunch or appetizers.

this is another recipe i found on the key ingredient website, which seems to have a variety of simple recipes that have been tried out by others around the country.

see if you like this one, which can be served in wonton cups or on a bed of lettuce.

use about 2 cups of roasted and cooled white-meat chicken, probably leftover from another meal.  add 1/2 cup sliced green onions, 1/3 cup shredded carrots, 1/3 cup finely chopped celery, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.  use less parsley if selecting dried.

mix these ingredients in a bowl and then mix the dressing in a small cup.  use about 3 1/2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil or canola oil.  (not olive oil, as the taste would not complement the salad) and to the oil, add about 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme. (or less, if dried)

drizzle dressing over the chicken salad and incorporate.  this is a personal decision on how much dressing to add to the chicken.  some like more and some like less.  i added sliced almonds at the end for another bit of crunch.  options for this salad would include:  chopped pecans, sliced grapes, or sunflower nuts added at the end of the mixing process.  of course, the amounts could be increased for entertaining.

serve the salad an interesting way in wonton cups.  simply heat the oven to 350 degrees, and then spray each side of the wonton wrapper with spray oil.  press the wonton wrappers into standard size muffin cups.

bake the wontons for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.  cool and serve.  i think adding some flavor to the wontons would also work prior to baking, such as dried dill or dried thyme.  my suggestion would be to only use the standard size cups, as the wonton wrappers are just too large for the mini muffin cups and they will not crisp properly.

salad on a skewer

here is a quick recipe that i found online within the key ingredient web application.  it seems that people from around the country submit their favorites, and this one looked good enough to try.

these skewers could be used for appetizers, game time snacks, outdoor entertaining, or even just as a quick salad option when only two of you are dining.  they are very much like my Greek salad recipe, without the greens. also, served over a small bed of mache, one of these skewers drizzled with dressing would look very chic.

to make the skewers:
select the very best grape tomatoes, 3 ounces of reduced fat feta cheese, kalamata olives which have been pitted, red onion, fresh oregano, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, ground lemon pepper, and short 6 inch bamboo wood skewers.

place the feta in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill firm.  this tip will help you skewer the feta without it crumbling.  cut feta into cubes for the recipe.  next slice red onion, and then begin to assemble the skewers.

in this order, use tomato, feta, olive, onion, and then another tomato if desired.

in a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons chopped oregano, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. add lemon pepper and kosher salt to taste. drizzle dressing over the skewers.  serve and enjoy !

fresh corn salsa

as the supermarket produce aisle fills with spring and even some early summer vegetable choices, i just had to try the first corn of the season..  although corn seems to improve as the season continues, i purchased four ears of corn and prepared them last week. 

Brian and i had two of the cobs for a dinner, but i saved the remainder to make this salsa recipe the next day.

i love this salsa with the multi grain Breton crackers, made by dare foods, which originated in Canada.  they now have plants in the united states in spartenburg, SC and in Denver, CO.  the 12 grains and seeds in the crackers taste excellent with this salsa.  i first found dare foods, when i discovered Bremner wafers many years ago, and have found their cracker products to be my favorites.  they are most often found in the deli section of the market.

to make the salsa:
prepare and cook 2 or more ears of fresh yellow corn.  chill in the refrigerator prior to preparing the salsa.
remove the kernels from the cobs and place in a mixing bowl.

next, chop 1-2 Campari or Roma tomatoes, 1 white onion, and add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh or dried parsley. salt to taste.

Campari tomatoes have low acidity, a nice texture that is not mealy, a higher sweetness, and are very juicy.  they are a perfect choice for a salsa tomato.

in a mixing cup, use 3 parts olive oil to 1 or less part of red wine vinegar.  for example:  3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  more vinegar can always be added for the zesty zing on the salsa, but it can't be removed once added.  so, use the vinegar sparingly to your taste.

this salsa can be used with traditional tortilla chips, or even would be very tasty on baked fish or chicken.  chill the salsa for the best taste and flavor.  sounds like this might be a choice for an upcoming cinco de mayo party !  ole !