Thursday, October 29, 2009

Winter Chopped Salad

Our friend, Dina Jones, brought this salad to our Harvest Party a week ago. I enjoyed it SO much and have been thinking about it ever since I ate it, wanting more! Yes, it's THAT good! The recipe is from the book, Seriously Simple Holidays by Diane Rossen Worthington. This would be a great dish to take to a party, serve your family for dinner or as a first course at a big family dinner. The flavors mesh so well together and the dressing is subtle but delicious. This salad makes quite a bit so you might need to adjust the size if you have a smaller group to feed.

Serves 6 as a first course or 8 as a main course (I think it really serves much more than that!)


1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 head radicchio, cored and finely chopped (the red lettuce)
2 heads romaine lettuce, light green and white leaves only, finely chopped
1 1/4 pounds cooked chicken breasts, skin & bones removed and cut into 1-inch dice (about 3 cups)
1 Fuji, Gala, or Pink Lady apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup candied pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup crumbled blue or fresh goat cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

1. Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings.

2. Place the radicchio, romaine, chicken, apple, cranberries, nuts and cheese in a large salad bowl.

3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with pepper (if desired) and serve.

Advance preparation:
Make the dressing up to 2 days ahead, cover, and keep at room temperature. Whisk well before using. Make the salad up to 4 hours ahead, cover, and refrigerate.

The Clever Cook Could:
* Substitute 3 cups diced cooked turkey for the chicken
* Add 6 strips of bacon, fried until crisp and crumbled.
* Omit the chicken and serve the salad as a first course
* If you're not a fan of chopped salad, tear the leaves into bite-size pieces instead of finely chopping them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Simplest Roast Turkey

If you would like a GOOD, simple and FAST Turkey recipe for the holidays, please try the one below. It makes one of the tastiest, juiciest turkey's that I've ever had and it only takes 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours to cook!!

From Gourmet Magazine (found by Laurie Reynolds)

1 turkey, 14-16 pounds
2 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp black pepper

Note: You must start with a clean oven or be sure. If you don't have a clean oven the fire alarm will let you know when the turkey is really getting there! If you don’t want to hear “from the turkey” then clean your oven before beginning!

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Mix salt and pepper in small bowl and sprinkle it evenly in turkey cavities and all over skin. Fold neck skin under body and, if desired secure with metal skewer, then tuck wing tips under breast and tie drumsticks together with kitchen string.
Put turkey on rack in a large flameproof roasting pan. Roast, rotating pan 180 degrees halfway through roasting, until thermometer inserted into fleshy part of each thigh (close but not touching bone) registers 170 degrees, 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours. Carefully tilt turkey so juices from inside large cavity run into the roasting pan. Transfer turkey to a platter and let stand 30 minutes (temperature of thigh meat will rise to 180 degrees. Cut off and discard string from turkey.
Makes 8-10 servings. (I have used larger turkeys up to 20 pounds and they turned out fine, just adjust cooking time and watch temp.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grilled Baked Potatoes

I love baked potatoes but hate how long they take to cook. I came across this recipe at and loved it. Grilling them makes the skins so crispy and flavorful.

4 baking potatoes (2 lb.)
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup Real Bacon Bits

HEAT grill to medium-high heat.
PIERCE potatoes with fork or small sharp knife. Rub with oil; sprinkle with salt.
MICROWAVE potatoes on microwaveable plate on HIGH 8 min. or until tender, turning after 4 min. Place on greased grate of grill. (you can also wrap them individually in foil before grilling, but the skins will be less crispy)
GRILL 12 to 15 min. or until potatoes are crisp and lightly browned, turning occasionally. Split potatoes. Serve topped with remaining ingredients.

An-Jell-o Food Cake

This is a family favorite on my husband's side, and he always asks for it for birthdays. It is super easy so I never complain!

1 angel food cake, baked (store-bought is just fine!)
1 3 oz. pkg Jell-o (we always use strawberry but other flavors would be great too)
1 8 oz tub Cool Whip, thawed

Slice cake in half horizontally. Fold Jell-o mix into cool whip until blended. Spread 1/3 of the Cool Whip mixture over bottom layer of cake, cover with top layer. Frost top and sides with remaining Cool Whip mixture. Better if refrigerated a couple hours but can also be eaten immediately. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Garlic Cheese Spread

I just had to ask my sister for this recipe again because I misplaced mine. If you love cheese and garlic, you will LOVE this!! It is a delicious cheese spread and great for parties and entertaining.

1/2 lb parmesan, block
1/2 lb Asiago cheese, block
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (you can lessen this a little)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Remove any rind from the cheeses and chop the cheeses into rough 1 inch chunks. Place in food processor with the garlic, oregano and red pepper. Pulse until reduced to the size of fine pea gravel. Stir in the olive oil and black pepper and pulse again. Cover and let stand at room temp for at least 4 hours before serving.

You can refridgerate this but it is best served at room temperature because the olive oil tends to solidify in the fridge. Serve with triskets or sliced breads.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

3 chicken breasts
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chives
1/2 tsp rosemary (crush if possible)
1/8 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
3 T mayonnaise
3 T mustard (Dijon or regular)

Breaded Topping:
1 T parsley
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Combine chicken and marinade in one bag. Mix well. Mix breaded topping in seperate bag. Can freeze at this point if you'd like to save it for a future meal. When you're ready to cook, coat chicken in breaded topping. Lay in pre-greased baking dish and spray heavily with cooking spray oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and a vegetable dish.

Creamy Chicken Hot Dish

From Joy Zeller

2 celery ribs, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 T butter or margarine
1 to 1 1/2 cups real mayonnaise
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup crushed potato chips

In a small skillet, saute celery and onion in butter. Place in a bowl; add the mayo, soup, peas, lemon. Stir in chicken and rice. Transfer to a greased 7x11 in baking dish (or two smaller dishes). Sprinkle with potato chips. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes until heated through.

Beef Burgundy

From Katie Laven

2 lbs stew meat
1 cup burgundy wine
1 pkg onion soup mix
2 cans golden mushroom soup

Cook all day in slow cooker
30 minutes before serving, add 8 oz sour cream

Slow ‘n’ Easy Barbecued Chicken

From Joy Zeller

¼ cup water
3 T brown sugar
3 T white vinegar
3 T ketchup
2 T butter
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 broiler/fryer chicken 2 ½ - 3 lbs, cut up and skin removed.

After cooking:
4 tsp cornstarch
1 T cold water

In a small saucepan, combine the first 11 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Place the chicken in a 3 qt slow cooker. Top with sauce. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until juices run clear.

Remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Strain cooking juices and skim fat. Transfer to a saucepan. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth then stir into juices. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Spoon some of the sauce over chicken and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Yield: 4 servings.