Thursday, June 19, 2008

Curry/Chinese Chicken Salad

In an effort to save money, i've been trying NOT to purchase expensive "special ingredients" which is HARD for me! I get our usual "pantry" items and go with those. (Hence the Pantry pasta salad, etc.)

Also this weekend we bought a smoker at a garage sale ($5! Friend price from my dear friend and neighbor Jenny - came with delivery too!) For our first experiment we did: a brisket, some salmon and a whole chicken. Okay, THOSE were "special ingredients" but so worth it, we've used, or have plans for every single delicious bite! Most of the brisket (w/ BBQ sauce) and salmon were eaten Saturday night along with another batch of pantry pasta salad and grilled potatoes (done in my new lovely square cast iron skillet with "grills" on it. $4.98 on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond!) We even had enough to provide my jet-lagged MIL her friend with dinner.

So - here is Pantry Chinese Chicken Salad
2 cups shredded chicken from a smoked chicken. (a store done rotisserie one would work well too)
1/4 cup mayo ('cause that's all that was left!)
1 T lime juice
1 T honey
1 T soy sauce
½ t curry powder
1/4 cup water
4 interior stalks of celery with fronds - sliced thin
1/4 of a large vidalia - cooked until brown in 2 t canola
1/4 cup sliced almonds½ cup sliced red grapes (green would be fine or dried cranberries or even mandarin oranges)
cilantro for garnish
So - these were all things I had on hand. I made the dressing in the mayo jar to get every last drop of the scant 1/4 cup I had left - shook it up and dressed the salad.

How do you say delicious in Mandarin?!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Parents....

This is what I think of when someone says "Potato Salad". My mom is a good cook with some core recipes - this is one. She didn't really learn to cook as a child and didn't have the time raising the three of us, working (usually FT) and getting her masters when I was in high school (ahem - ALL A's!) My dad came later in life to cooking as well. With the scientific things (like perfect eggs), he is the master!

Marjie’s Potato Salad

5 large Yukon gold potatoes (or your preference) scrubbed well
2 T salt for boiling water
½ Vidalia onion very finely minced
3-4 stalks celery finely chopped
¼ to ½ c. dry white wine
2 T butter or margarine
½ - 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman's Olive Oil mayo lately)
3-4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Paprika to garnish

1. Bring large pot of water to boil and salt liberally. Chop potatoes into large chunks and cook on a low boil until a fork slides into one easily.
2. Drain potatoes, place in large bowl, and immediately (while the potatoes are HOT) dot with butter and sprinkle wine over them. Let wine and butter soak in.
3. Add rest of ingredients in bowl and mix well – taking care not to mash the potatoes. Add ½ cup mayo and see if it’s wet enough. If not – add ¼ cup at a time until it’s how you like.
4. Sprinkle with paprika if the queen is coming to dinner. You can also save one egg and scatter the slices atop the salad & then you will be very fancy.
5. Serve hot if you like (we do), warm or chilled.

Paul’s Hard Boiled Eggs
Put eggs in cold water and bring to a boil. Let boil about 1 minute and then turn off heat. Let sit in pot on burner for 15 minutes. Douse eggs with cold water and peel. These will be beautiful (no green ring) every time.

And no, Linda, probably not too points-friendly. Sorry!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Susan's Hot Sauce

1 medium Vidalia onion
2 large (or 4 small) roma tomatoes (I would probably get regular red tomatoes with the stems on about now!)
1 green jalapeno
1 red jalapeno
3 cloves garlic
Cilantro (if desired)

Chop onion into quarters and skewer all the veggies. Spray or coat garlic with olive oil.

Grill for 10-15 minutes.

Peel peppers (and de-seed if you wish) and throw everything into blender or food processor. Blend until chunky. Add in ¼ - ½ cup white vinegar and pinch salt. Blend and taste to correct seasonings. Add cilantro and blend again.

YUM! We like on eggs and hash browns, chips, with guacamole, on just about anything!

Pantry Pasta Salad

½ package dried cheese tortellini or more if you have a whole package!
1 cup orzo (cooked separately)
1/4 chunk feta crumbled
3 green onions chopped
1 roasted red pepper chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
20 slices turkey pepperoni sliced
½ cup salad dressing (I used light ceasar)
1 T brown mustard

Mix cooked hot pasta with all ingredients. Eat warm or chilled, as you prefer.

Add in whatever catches your fancy in your pantry or fridge - cubed cheese, chopped ham or turkey, fresh or sundried tomatoes, Vidalia onion, Parmesan, artichoke hearts ( I meant to put these in but forgot!)

Great for lunches when you are sick of sandwiches - LIKE ME!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

10 Things to Like Today

1. I'm off Friday afternoon.
2. The Lawyer slept last night
3. The kids L*O*V*E their new day camp
4. Fern has been sleeping with me (she hates the C-PAP)
5. We are having a garage sale on Saturday, even though it's a lot of work
6. Monica and I remain friends through everything
7. My new library friends too! And Jenny!!
8. I'll be with my family at the Holcomb Adventure Weekend & Kelly & Fred, etc. on 7/3.
9. *I* slept last night!
10. My new allergy pills seem to work - at least until I get home from work.

Kinda boring - but some days it's the little things......