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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.

What’s For Dinner: Grilled Cajun Lemon Shrimp

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Grilled Cajun Lemon Shrimp

Ingredients:
1 lb jumbo or colossal shrimp, raw (shelled and deveined)
1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper*
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper to taste

Recipe:
1.  Shell and devein shrimp (it is much easier than it sounds if you have never tried it)
2.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon onto shrimp in a bowl or zipper lock bag.
3.  Let shrimp soak in lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes.
4.  Rinse shrimp thoroughly in cool water. Coat with olive oil. Slide shrimp onto skewers.**
5.  Coat shrimp evenly with cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
6.  Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side (until “grayness” of shrimp is replaced by pink/white).
7.  Serve while hot.  (I chose to serve alongside a green salad and a grilled rib eye.)

*(you can “cheat” and omit the dry seasonings for your favorite brand of Cajun seasoning salt)
**If using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water for at least 10 minutes prior to grilling.

What’s For Dinner: Crispy Baked Chicken

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Crispy Baked Chicken

Ingredients:
6 to 8 pieces of chicken, any type
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
red pepper flakes, to taste

Recipe:
1.  Mix all dry ingredients in a paper bag, a zipper lock bag, or an old bread bag.
2.  Add chicken one piece at a time.  Shake to coat.
3.  Place chicken on foil-covered cookie sheet (that has been sprayed with cooking spray).
4.  Bake chicken in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for around 30 minutes (until deep golden brown and juices run clear when pierced).*

*wings usually cook within 25 minutes or so.  Boneless, skinless breasts usually cook between 35 to 40 minutes.

 

What’s For Dessert: Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

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Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 cup sugar
1 large or jumbo egg

Recipe:
1.  Mix the three ingredients together.
2.  Spoon onto greased non-stick cookie sheet or parchment paper
3.  Lightly press with your fingers or a fork.
4.  Cook in a 325 degree pre-heated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until cookies barely start to look “dry” with a slightly moist center (for soft bake cookies) or bake 12 to 14 minutes until fully dry for crunchy cookies (being careful not to burn edges or bottoms of cookies).

Household Tip for Today: Mess-free deviled eggs

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Mess-free stuffed eggs

When making stuffed (deviled) eggs, use a large zipper lock plastic bag.

After slicing the eggs in half, remove the cooked yolks and place them in the bag and zip to seal.  Crumble the eggs by mashing the bag with your hands.

When yolks are mashed, open bag and add the rest of your ingredients (mayo, mustard, pickle relish, etc.).  Seal the bag tight and manipulate the bag with your hands to “mush” all the ingredients together.

Once mixed, push the mixture to the bottom of the bag, twist the excess bag at the top and snip off a bottom corner of the plastic bag with scissors.

Squeeze the egg mixture into each boiled egg half the same way you would use a piping bag for icing.  When you are done, simply toss the bag.  No mess to clean!

What’s For Dinner: Meat-lovers Crockpot Pizza Casserole

pizza casserole

Meat-lovers Pizza Casserole

Ingredients:
1 box rigatoni or elbow macaroni
1 jar/can spaghetti sauce (I prefer Hunt’s Garlic & Herb) or 3 cups homemade sauce
1 jar of pizza sauce (I prefer Pizza Quick brand)
1 lb ground beef or ground chuck
1 lb breakfast sausage
1 small package of pepperoni
1 oz shredded cheese (parmesan or mozzarella)
***

Recipe:
1.  Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain water. Store in fridge.
2.  Skillet-fry ground beef and sausage, breaking into large chunks (small meatballs).
3.  Drain meat.  Add spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and cooked meat to crockpot.
4.  Cook sauce on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
5.  30 minutes prior to serving, rinse pasta in hot water, drain and add to crockpot.
6.  Dice pepperoni into small pieces and add to crockpot.  Stir and let cook for up to 30 minutes on LOW or until pasta heated throughout.
7.  Top with cheese.  Serve.
8.  You may also add onions, peppers, mushrooms etc. to the casserole for a Supreme Pizza Casserole.  (add jar mushrooms when adding pasta)***