Lynn’s Chicken Salad 

Ingredients:

2 or 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (boiled or pressure cooked), chopped/shredded

1 large onion (purple for color)

2 cups seedless green grapes (most cut in half)

8 to 12 oz pecan pieces 

1/4 cup chopped dill pickle 

1 heaping Tbsp mustard seeds*

1 to 1 1/2 cups mayo (I prefer Duke’s)

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp yellow mustard

(Optional: 1/2 tsp dill weed)

Directions:

-shred chicken or cut into bite-sized pieces.

-add cut green grapes (reserving the whole ones)

-add all other ingredients. Mix  thoroughly. (Start with 1 cup mayo and continue adding as needed until entire mixture is well-coated but not too mushy (stop when it first begins to clump together well).

-refrigerate for at least 4 hours (pref over night) before serving

*If making to serve immediately, microwave mustard seeds for one minute in 1/4 cup of hot water to soften. Discard water before adding seeds to the salad.

-garnish the top of the salad with a few whole green grapes.

Note: this makes a party-sized bowl of chicken salad. Cut recipe in half for smaller portion.

Lynn’s Knock-off Japanese Restaurant Ginger Dressing

Ginger dressing.  You know that orangy, sweet, wonderful stuff you get smothered all over lettuce at the local Japanese steak house?  Well, I love that stuff.  Sometimes I just crave it.

Lately, I’ve been looking at recipes at online, blending ingredients and asking around. While this concoction of mine isn’t quite as good as the local restaurant version, I think it tastes pretty, darn good.  Give it a try and tweak it to your own preferences.

Ingredients:

½ cup vegetable cooking oil

¼ cup apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

2 medium-sized carrots, peeled

3 green onions

1 heaping tbsp grated ginger

½ tsp salt

1 tsp of sugar

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of white pepper

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until very smooth. Serve immediately or chill in fridge. (I personally think it tastes better after 10 or 15 min in the fridge)

Serve over lettuce. Garnish with carrot shavings if desired.

Note:
*Dressing may be kept in fridge for up to a week.

* Recipe is very forgiving. I’ve used powdered ginger, black pepper, no celery salt and it is fine (but it does taste much better with fresh grated ginger instead of powdered ginger or ginger paste.) I’ve used 2 packets of leftover take-out soy sauce (and increased amount of salt used) with good results. I use packet of artificial sweetener instead of sugar with good result also.

Chicken in white wine mushroom gravy


Ingredients:

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium white onion

3 large white mushrooms 

3/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon minced garlic 

Few tablespoons flour (for dredging)

Dried basil

Celery salt

Juice 1/2 lemon

Olive oil 

Instructions:

Cut chicken into 2 to 3 inch cubes. Dredge with flour, salt, pepper.

Cook in hot skillet with a few tablespoons olive oil for 4 min each side, medium high heat.

Remove chicken, reduce heat to medium and add finely chopped onion. Cook until almost translucent. 

Add thinly sliced mushrooms to pan along with a few additional tablespoons of olive oil. Continue cooking until mushrooms turn golden brown. Add minced garlic. Cook for one minute.

Add white wine. Scrape all bits from the bottom of the pan then add chicken stock. Stir well and return chicken to the pan.

Cover and cook on medium for five minutes. 

Remove lid. Raise temperature to high. Add basil and celery salt to taste. Squeeze the juice of one half lemon over the chicken.

Gently scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until sauce thickens.

Remove from heat and serve immediately. May be served independently or over rice or pasta.

Spicy Tangarine Chicken Stirfry

  
Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 Tangarine 

5 green onions, diced

5 mushrooms, finely diced

1 tsp paprika 

Red pepper flakes

1/2 cup chicken broth 

1/4 cup chopped walnuts 

3 tbsp duck sauce

1 tsp soy sauce

Thinly slice chicken and cut into small chunks. Coat chicken with soy sauce, the juice of one Tangarine, the paprika and red pepper flakes.

Heat wok with 1/4 cup cooking oil or peanut oil. Add chicken and veggies to wok. Stir fry over medium high heat until chicken is cooked through. 

Add walnuts, chicken broth and duck sauce. 

Stir constantly until sauce thickens to a thin gravy stage. 

Remove from heat. Serve over prepared sticky jasmine rice.

EASY SHEPHERD’S PIE

shep

Ingredients:

1.5 lb ground beef or ground chuck, crumbled/cooked and drained
1 block cream cheese
1 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
1 small can whole kernel corn (yellow or white), drained
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 package of Crescent rolls

Directions:

Brown ground beef and onion in skillet, drain fat.

Add room temperature cream cheese.  Stir until cheese melts.

Add can of mushroom soup and can of drained corn.  Mix until well incorporated, warm and bubbly.

Place mixture in a greased casserole dish.

Top with Crescent rolls and cook per crescent roll directions, until the crust is flaky and golden brown.

Allow 3 to 5 minutes to cool slightly.  Serve.

Household Tip for Today: Easy microwave cleaning

Easy tip to clean microwave:

I use a kitchen sponge, but don’t want it to be a hotbed of germs.  This is how I keep the sponge and my microwave clean.

1.  Once or twice per week, rinse sponge with hot, soapy water.  Squeeze out excess.
2.  Add a few tablespoons white vinegar to the sponge (until it is fairly saturated).
3.  Plop the sponge into the microwave and nuke on high for about two to two-and-a-half minutes.  Let cool for 1 min.
4.  Remove warm sponge.  Wipe out interior of microwave with moist cleaning cloth or paper towels.

The combination of heat and white vinegar helps kill germs in the sponge and the steam produced loosens grime in the microwave, making it easy to wipe away.

Easy Tomato Bisque

tomatoINGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup tomato puree
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1 Tbsp. finely minced red pepper
1 Tbsp. flour (white or whole wheat)
1/3 tsp. onion powder
1/3 tsp. garlic powder
red pepper flakes; black pepper; salt (to taste)
1 pat of butter
1 chicken bullion cube
1 cup water
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Grated or powdered parmesan (optional) for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Spray pan with cooking spray or coat with a teaspoon of cooking oil.
2.  Cook onion & red pepper over medium heat until onions are translucent.
3.  Add butter and Tbsp. flour. Stir until well incorporated.
4.  Add bullion cube and cup of water. Heat and stir until bullion cube dissolves.
5.  Add dry spices.  Stir.  Add 3/4 cup tomato puree.
6.  Stir until bubbly.
7.  Reduce heat.  Add heavy whipping cream.  Stir until well mixed and heated through.
8.  Serve hot.  Garnish with cheese, croutons, crackers, or a dollop of sour cream.

(This recipe makes a large individual bowl of soup.  Double or Triple recipe as needed.)

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

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INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 heaping tbsp. shortening or lard
1 heaping tbsp. Mayonnaise
1 to 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
4 tbsp. melted butter or margarine

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Pour 3 1/2 cups of flour into large mixing bowl. Add salt, shortening and mayo.
2.  Cut* the shortening and mayo into the flour. (*chop the chunks with a fork or large spoon until they are small lumps and well incorporated into the flour)
3.  Slowly add in your buttermilk, mixing with a spoon until the dry flour is incorporated and the dough is firm but moist and sticky on the spoon and sides of the bowl (much firmer than cake batter; about the consistency of a thick, sticky, spoonable cookie dough).

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4.  Grease a baking pan with shortening and dust it with flour.
5.  Sprinkle a few tbsp. of extra flour over the top of your bowl of dough, then turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface.
6.  Dust your hands and the top of the dough pile with a little flour.  Gently press the dough a little and then fold it over once. Shake a little flour on any sticky parts of the dough, especially around the edges.
7.  The dough ball should be about 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick.  Press your biscuit cutter into flour and then cut out one biscuit. Pick it up carefully and place it in the pan.
8.  Continue cutting out biscuits one at a time, placing them in the pan with the sides of each biscuit touching one another.

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9.  Place biscuits in a pre-heated 375 degree oven.  Bake for 10 minutes (until biscuits start to rise and press against each other.)

10. Removed biscuits from the oven and drizzle melted butter on top of them.

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11. Return to the oven and bake until light golden brown (usually an additional 10 to 12 minutes)

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Make your biscuits larger and thicker than you instinctively think they would need to be.
I use a large-mouth coffee cup as my biscuit cutter.
I’m a Southern girl so I prefer White Lily self-rising flour, Crisco shortening, and Duke’s mayonnaise.
Over-handling the dough will make your biscuits tough.
I still mix my dough with the same big spoon that my mama and my grandmother used.

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Oven Fried Chicken

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INGREDIENTS:
1 frying chicken or 6 leg quarters or 8 drumsticks
1 cup flour (white or wheat)
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of cayenne powder (adjust to taste)
pinch of garlic powder
2/3 tsp salt (adjust as needed)
1/2 cup butter

DIRECTIONS:

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Pat chicken dry.  Sprinkle with garlic powder or garlic salt.
3. Combine flour and other dry ingredients in a bag.  Shake each piece of chicken until well coated.
4.  Line a 9 x 13 inch glass baking pan with foil.  Add butter.  Heat in oven until it sizzles.
5.  Place chicken in dish.  Bake 30 minutes.
6.  Reduce temp to 325 degrees.  Turn over chicken.
7.  Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until cooked through.

The coating on this chicken is light but very tasty and has a wonderful texture.  Chicken will be a light golden brown and very tender when done.

Oven-roasted Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

peppers

INGREDIENTS: 

2 dozen fresh jalapeno peppers.
1 block of regular cream cheese
1 medium onion, finely minced (or 1/2 cup green onions, minced)
1 cup Corn Flakes
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (sprinkle kind in green container or fresh grated)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Wash peppers.  Split lengthwise and separate. (I wear gloves)
2.  Scrape the seeds and  ribs from the inside of each pepper half.
3.  Place peppers on lightly greased (or sprayed) cookie sheet covered with foil.
4.  Mix softened, room temperature cream cheese in bowl with minced onion.
5.  Fill each pepper half with cream cheese mixture.
6.  Crush Corn Flakes.  Mix with Parmesan cheese and pour onto plate or other flat surface.
7.  Press each pepper (cream-cheese side down) into the Corn Flake mixture and then return to Cookie sheet.
8.  Cook peppers in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees until peppers have softened and topping starts to turn (15 min).
9.  Allow peppers to cool slightly.  Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.  Serve while still warm.

This recipe is a party and tailgate favorite.  If memory serves me correctly, I got this recipe about 20 years ago from a friend of mine who is a Pampered Chef consultant.