Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apricot Almond Chicken Salad

Here's the other dish I made for the Easter Picnic last weekend. Chicken salad or shrimp salad work great in these tiny pitas as an appetizer.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
black pepper
3/4 cup chopped or sliced almonds
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used canned chicken this time)

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add almonds, apricots and chicken, stir some more.

The measurements here are just estimates, adjust to your taste. Serve in pitas, on crackers, on a salad, in a sandwich.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake

This is part of what I made for my extended family's Easter picnic. Only one small serving came home with me. It's always good to see others enjoying something I made.

In case you didn't know, it's called a dump cake because you just "dump" the ingredients right into the pan.

recipe from Southern Living

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spread crushed pineapple on bottom of a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Top pineapple with cherry pie filling. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over fruit. Drizzle with the melted butter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until hot and bubbly.

This would be really great to top with vanilla ice cream when it's warm just out of the oven.

And here's the entire table of food at our family picnic (you might call it a potluck).....

My plate.... ham, mac 'n' cheese, potato salad, deviled egg, sweet potato casserole, baked beans, pasta salad, hash brown casserole, Buffalo chicken tender, baked ziti, Apricot Almond Chicken Salad in a tiny pita (I made that, too. Recipe coming soon.).

And that doesn't include dessert. I had another small plate for that. No need for dinner tonight!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salmon Croquettes

Do they taste better if you call them croquettes instead of patties??

I think so.

I hated these when I was a kid. I dreaded the times we would have Salmon Patties. They were edible only if they were covered in ketchup.

Of course, now you can get skinless and boneless canned salmon. I think that's what really makes the difference.

Ketchup no longer required!


2 (5 ounce) cans skinless, boneless salmon, drained
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (plain or Italian seasoned)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
more bread crumbs
2-3 tablespoons oil

In a medium bowl combine first 7 ingredients, mixing well. Shape into 6 or 7 patties. (Mix will be very moist.) Coat with more breadcrumbs and fry in a pan with a little oil, turning once halfway through.

Just a picture of my sweet baby Sheldon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cuban Wrap Sandwich

We had leftover Pork Loin the other day and this is what I did with it...

It holds traditional Cuban Sandwich ingredients wrapped up in a flour tortilla and grilled on my indoor grill/panini press/sandwich press (you know, it's like a George Foreman grill, but George didn't make this one).

Sandwich includes pork loin, ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and mustard. That's all. It's a simple combination, but, oh, so yummy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Sausage Pasta

You can see from this blog that I do a lot of cooking from recipes. I rarely just throw things together and make a dinner. But, that is just what I did with this meal. I bought the chicken sausage with no real plans for it, scoured the pantry, found black beans and tomatoes. Then I sort of copied the sauce from another recipe.

I'm really proud of this! It was delicious!

Not a Real Housewife Original

8 - 10 ounces linguine
12 ounces Johnsonville Smoked Chicken Sausage with cheese and chipotle peppers, sliced
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted Tex Mex style diced tomatoes (similar to Ro-tel), drained well
2/3 cup milk
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon Cajun/Creole seasoning (like Zatarain's or Tony Chachere's)

Cook linguine according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cook the chicken sausage in a little oil until browned.

Mix together milk and cream cheese (I heated this mixture in the microwave just enough to melt the cream cheese). Add this to the browned sausage. Add black beans and tomatoes. Stir and heat until warmed throughout.

Add the pasta and stir carefully.

Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bourbon - Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

Wow! Another new recipe in the same week. Can you tell I'm not really studying very hard right now?

I love putting the husband to work on the grill! We had really nice weather to sit outside on the deck for dinner. Eddie grilled the pork loin and squash (with a little olive oil spray, salt and pepper). I made the mashed potatoes and sauce for the pork.

recipe from Southern Living

2 pounds pork tenderloins
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Combine brown sugar and next 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; add pork. Seal bag, and chill 8 to 18 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove pork from marinade, reserving marinade.

Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Grill pork, covered with grill lid, 8 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155°. Remove from grill, and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine reserved marinade and cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Cut pork diagonally into thin slices, and arrange on a serving platter; drizzle with warm sauce. (Or drizzle sauce on each serving)


1 (24 ounce) package Ore-Ida Steam n' Mash cut russet potatoes
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced onions oil or butter to sauté onions
salt and pepper

Microwave potatoes according to package directions.

Meanwhile, sauté onions in a little oil or butter until caramelized.

When potatoes are done, add milk and butter; mash to desired consistency. Stir in onions, salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken with Pecan Sauce

This is a new recipe I tried for the first time last night. It turned out great, really delicious.

I have changed the recipe below to reflect how I will make it next time. The sauce was so good, I wanted more, so I doubled all of the sauce ingredients. Next time, I should have sauce for the chicken and some extra to spoon over rice or pasta.

recipe from Southern Living

1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts , pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons cider vinegar (if you don't love cider vinegar as much as me, maybe just use 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Heat pecans and 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from skillet.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. Cook chicken in hot oil in skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and done. Transfer to a serving platter. Top with pecans.

Add chicken broth to skillet, and cook 5 minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Add brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme, and cook 6 -8 minutes or until sugar is melted and sauce is slightly thickened. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Serve sauce over chicken.

Yield: 2 chicken breasts and enough sauce to cover chicken and some rice or pasta