Friday, January 27, 2012

Clone of Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

I have been making this recipe for years and it is one of my favorite salad recipes. You could literally drink the dressing it is so good. We are having company tonight and this is what I am making. Just in the mood for a good ol' salad. I usually don't make the chicken from scratch anymore but just stop at Hardee's or somewhere and buy chicken fingers and cut up and add to the salad. To me, Hardee's has the BEST chicken fingers on the market right now. Enjoy!

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

3 T. honey
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1-1/2 T. rice wine vinegar
1/8 t. sesame oil
1 t. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard

1 chicken breast
3 c. chopped romaine lettuce
1 c. red cabbage
1 c. Napa cabbage
1/2 carrot, shredded
1 green onion, chopped
1 T. sliced almonds
1/3 c. chow mein noodles

1 egg
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. Corn Flakes
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2-3 c. vegetable oil (frying)

Preheat oil in deep fryer or deep pan to 350 degrees. Blend ingredients of dressing with electric mixer. Chill. Beat egg and milk, mix well. In another bowl, combine flour with cornflakes, salt and pepper. Cut chicken into 4-5 strips. Dip chicken into egg mixture and then into flour mix. Fry each finger for 5 minutes. Toss romaine, red and napa cabbage and carrots. Sprinkle onion, almonds and chow mein noodles. Add chicken and dressing.

Sheryl Parsons - Papier Mache Extraordinaire

I spent an entire day doing nothing but drooling over Sheryl Parsons' papier mache santas. She certainly has the process down to a science. For years I have wanted to try my hand at making papier mache santas but have always let my intimidation get the best of me. I have several books on the subject and have studied and studied them and bought several packages of celluclay but just plain chickened out. Why do we let things get to us like that? I mean, the worst that can happen is that I fail. I loathe failure and let just the mere thought of it keep me away from trying new things. I must work on this and get over that. A true hang up of my character if ever there was one. I am looking to Sheryl right now for inspiration and courage to try this...If I fail then so what? I go back to my comfort zone and do something I feel comfortable in doing, like my painting. You MUST go check out her is full of the most beautiful santas imaginable. Right now she is one of my heroes. I am finding several new heroes this year and they are all so creative.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes and Sloppy Chicken Joes

Well, hubby called me this past Friday and told me we were having company on Saturday night. Instead of making a big dinner I just wanted to make some kind of sandwiches as we would rather hang out at our bar and socialize more than eat but I knew I had to feed my friends something. I really had nothing that I could think of in the pantry or fridge to fix them until I came across these recipes and had the ingredients to make both the Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes and the Sloppy Chicken Joes (a BBQ type). I also had potatoes to make Buffalo Chicken Potatoes and BBQ Potato Wedges. I really liked them all...out of all four recipes I had only made the BBQ Potato Wedges before. I hope you find them fast and reliable on those days when you have absolutely nothing to fix. Who doesn't keep chicken and potatoes around? Enjoy!

NOTE: Instead of the ground chicken I just boiled about 10 chicken breast cutlets and shredded them and divided them up and used them in both recipes.

Buffalo Chicken Joes

6 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup hot sauce (i used texas pete)
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 large stalk celery
3/4 cup grated carrots
4-5 tbsp fat free ranch dressing (could also use fat free blue cheese)
1 tbsp vinegar

Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet.

Chop celery and place in skillet with carrots. Add in two minced cloves of garlic. Add vinegar and ground chicken. Cook until chicken is brown and vegetables are tender.

Add in hot sauce. You can add as little or as much sauce as you like, depending how hot your like your buffalo wings.

Turn off heat and add in 4 tbsp of fat free ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Number of Servings: 6

Sloppy Chicken Joes
serves 4

1 1/2-pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or shredded rotisserie chicken)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
4 to 6 hamburger buns

Dice the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

In a large skillet, combine the tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the diced chicken breasts, cover and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. (If using rotisserie chicken, just cook until heated through.)

Serve the chicken on the hamburger buns.

Buffalo Potatoes

4 to 5 Large Idaho Russet Potatoes, peeled, each cut in 8 wedges
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1/2 c. Dry Parmesan Cheese
1 c. Instant flaked mashed potatoes
2 t. Old Bay Seasoning
1 pinch Cayenne pepper - I used 1 t.
Pan spray coating
salt to taste

1. Blanch potato wedges in salted water. (boil salted water and add potatoes and cook 4-5 minutes, until semi-tender), drain. While hot, toss with half the oil.
2. In bowl mix cheese, flaked potatoes, Old Bay Seasoning and pepper. toss with warm potatoes to coat well.
3. Spread potatoes on pan sprayed with coating.
4. Bake at 450° F, 18-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
5. Season with salt.
6. Serve with Marinara, Bologneses or Blue cheese sauce, if desired.

BBQ Potatoes

Cut potatoes into wedges. Lay foil on bottom of pan. Put wedges on foil and brush with ketchup, paprika, mustard, little butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush with more sauce and bake 15 minutes more.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jump Start on the Craft Season

So proud of myself that here it is the middle of January and I have managed to get a gourd painted today. This was so much fun to paint. I have a ton of gourds that need to be painted up so I'm hoping to do that this year. A fun change from painting only ornaments. I had to take the picture outside with our snow since the gourd is of santa building a snowman. A customer of mine had asked if I could do a santa gourd much like one of my lightbulb ornaments...I think I got it right, even painting a more thorough face. I'm studying some different santa faces to paint this year. So far, so good! I also added a photo of the big snow we got yesterday...our first for the winter season. I don't mind getting it on the weekends when I don't have to drive in it. So pretty and calming. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Kitchen Remodel

Been very busy for many months painting my oak kitchen cabinets white. As you can see the old oak cabinets had an arch on the top ones so we ordered new doors for the top only. I wanted a modern kitchen and I thought the square ones looked more simple and modern. I love clean lines. Plus our old bottom ones were that way anyway. What a process. Now that we have our new refrigerator we found out it doesn't fit right under the cabinet that is there so we have ordered a smaller cabinet for that space so it looks like my painting cabinets project STILL is not over with. UGH! Just this past week we had Granite Transformations come in and put in our countertops and blacksplash. What a difference that makes. My kitchen looks so clean now. Well, except for the floor but we aren't putting in the bamboo flooring until we get a few ceiling drywall projects finished. Such a slow process...worth the wait tho! We are putting the wood floors in the kitchen and our great room which are connected. Will post pics of those when it gets done. We are also thinking about cutting out the middle of my pantry door and a few of the top cabinet doors and adding glass which will add to the modern look. We also have ordered stainless steel door handles that look really modern. I just couldn't wait to share how far we have come. I have attached a picture of what the kitchen looked before we started the whole process and what it looks like right now. enjoy!