Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Portuguese Fruit Salad

The "Portuguese" is really just to impress people.
  • Chop your favorite fruits up and put them in a bowl. I used bananas, pears, apples, kiwis, oranges, and grapes, and I should have added strawberries.
  • Pour a few tablespoons of sugar over the chopped fruit. (Not too much, lets still keep this healthful!)
  • Pour some kind of fruit drink in just below the top of the fruit. I used V8 Splash "Fruit Medley," but I think any of them would have been good. (p.s. V8 Splash is WAY cheaper than V8 Fusion, but feel free to go wild with what juice you put in.)
  • Stir up the concoction carefully, so as to avoid mashing the fruit.
  • Cover and store in the fridge for about 2 hours. I didn't have time to do this, but it probably would have been a little better if I had.

Southwest Chicken Salad

It was really just a made-up thing, so I couldn't really tell you proportions, but here's the "recipe" anyway and you can figure out how you like it best.

  • Cook breaded chicken strips in the oven as directed on the bag. (Kroger brand "Crispy chicken breast strips: fritter style" are better than Tyson brand). Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Chop Romaine lettuce (or whatever kind you prefer, although iceberg would probably not be a good choice) and place in a bowl.
  • Drain (and I rinsed, but I don't know if that made it better or worse) black beans. I also heated them up afterward. (You know, now that I think of it, it would have worked better to heat the beans with all the juice from the can, then just scoop out the beans when adding them to the salad. That's probably what you should do...). Add beans to lettuce.
  • Heat up corn.
  • Add the chicken, corn, and beans at the end just before serving.
Winger's-like Sauce
  • Heat up 1 part Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • Add 3 parts golden or dark brown sugar
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved
A few extra notes:

This sauce is amazing, albeit on the spicy side (more so than the real Winger's sauce). However, a few cautions about the sauce:
  • Do not sniff it directly, as it will burn your nose. (It won't damage you, but it sure is strong and stings a bit.)
  • DO NOT use any white cooking materials (spoons, bowls, etc.) when preparing or storing this sauce, unless you've always wished those white cooking materials were orange.
I would HIGHLY recommend using this sauce on the crispy chicken strips by themselves (without cutting them into bite-sized pieces). The best way to coat them in the sauce is to put the cooked chicken in a bowl with a lid, pour the sauce (warm) liberally over the chicken, cover, and shake. Looks beautiful at the end! Have some Kleenex ready, because your nose will run.

Ranch seemed to work pretty well for those with more sensitive taste buds. Ranch mixed with the sauce was even better.

And I'm done.

White Chicken Chili


1 lb. Great Northern white beans (3 normal-sized cans)
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (the frozen chicken breasts are fine)
Olive oil
2 large onions
Garlic, minced
1 4-oz can chopped green chilies (chopped/diced jalapenos work too)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
Optional: cilantro leaves, sour cream


  • If using canned beans:
    • Drain beans and place in a pot.
  • If using real beans
    • Rise beans well, pour into a bowl, cover them with water and soak overnight
    • Drain and rinse beans
    • Place beans in a pot and cover with water.
    • Add 2 Tbs olive oil and 4 whole garlic cloves. Salt and pepper to taste.
    • Cook until tender (about 1 hour).
    • Remove garlic, drain beans, and place in a pot.

  • Put chicken breasts in a pot and fill water to the top of the chicken
  • Boil chicken breasts for 15 minutes (until cooked through), remove from pan and cool.
    • Save 6 cups of the water you boiled it in for broth. Add 1 or 2 chicken bouillon cubes to the broth while still hot. 
    • Make sure to take out all the gross chicken floaties. Add this to the beans in the pot
  • Cut off any extra fat or other gross parts from the chicken. Tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Onions and spices
  • Chop onions. Mince 4 large garlic cloves (or just use minced garlic - I'm not sure how much, just make it up.
  • Heat 4-6 Tbs olive oil in pan and add onions. Sauté for 10 minutes
  • Stir in garlic, chilis, cumin, oregano, cayenne and chili powder and cook two minutes
  • Add to beans and chicken in the pot.
Bring the chili to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender. Sprinkle cilantro leaves and add sour cream on top of each serving as desired.

A few notes:
  • It's hard to put in too much cumin, so don't worry about adding a little extra if you want to.
  • I doubled the recipe when we ate it for dinner group and there was still probably half left after everyone finished. The chili freezes really well, too.
  • If you use the frozen chicken breasts it may take a little longer to boil (I'm not sure).
  • Club crackers are delicious.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

4 to 5 medium russet potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups diced ham or 1 (6 ounce) can
1 tablespoon additional butter

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, salt , pepper and onion powder and blend well into a smooth paste. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and bring slowly to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat.

Pare and slice the potatoes very thinly, about 1/8-inch thick. Butter a casserole dish and place half the potato slices over the bottom. Scatter the diced ham evenly over the potatoes and then cover with half the white sauce. Layer the remaining potatoes over the ham and pour the rest of the sauce over the top, smoothing with a rubber scraper to make sure all the potatoes are covered. Dot the top with 1 tablespoon butter.

Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid or foil, turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake another 30 to 40 minutes until potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown.

Serves 4 - 5*

*I doubled the recipe when I made it Tuesday.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

as per request by Bob...he can testify to its deliciousness.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
assorted fresh fruit

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla; mix well. Serve with fresh fruit for dipping. Refrigerate leftovers.

Laura and I used this as dessert pizza "sauce" on a sugar cookie dough crust, and topped it with fresh fruit. It was awesome. I would highly recommend this use of it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken Salad Veronique

This is directly from the Dassler-Coalwell Family Recipe Book with my notes in {}:

3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed {I used canned chicken, 2 large cans}
1 cup grapes, seedless, halved (red or green)
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted {I omitted these}
1/2 cup celery, chopped {ditto}
3 T. onion, chopped or 1 tsp. onion powder {I used onion powder}
1/2 tsp. celery salt or Beau Monde
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/3 cup lemon yogurt
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard (I use Dijon) {so do I}

In a medium bowl, mix chicken, grapes, almonds, celery, onion or powder, and celery salt. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt and mustard. Fold mayonnaise mixture into chicken mixture and refrigerate. Serve on lettuce or croissant. {I served these on pitas}

Serves 6.