Chicken Salad Sandwich

Quick Post: This is really good – so good that I ate it twice this week. I had leftover roast chicken, and what better way to use it than for chicken salad? This is a combination of a few different recipes that inspired me. I love the crisp bite of the celery, the sweetness of the apple, the toasty walnuts…all of these ingredients work together to make one of my favorite sandwiches. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Salad Sandwich –

  • 1/2 – 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, small dice
  • 1 small apple, small dice (I used a Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 2-3 TBSP plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp of curry powder
  • cayenne, paprika, pepper, salt – to taste

Directions –

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve in a wrap, on a sandwich or over a bed of lettuce.

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Trail Mix Cookies

Yummy, chewy, sweet, tart, crispy, thin, nutty…there is a lot going on in these cookies. They’re like a cookie version of a granola bar, which makes them a great after school treat for the kids. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Trail Mix Cookies – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 6 tbsp. granulated sugar (*I used vanilla sugar*)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (*I used almond extract*)
  • 1¼ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. sunflower seeds

Directions –

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the egg.  Mix in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the oats until evenly combined.  Use a spatula to fold in the raisins, cherries, walnuts, chocolate and sunflower seeds, mixing just until evenly incorporated.

2. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least a couple of inches apart.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until golden brown and just set, about 10-12 minutes total.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Small Batch Brownies

Quick Post: Light, cakey brownie. Not chewy, but it hit the spot 🙂  Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brownies – adapted from Just Eat It!

  • 1/2 cup chopped chocolate (about 3 ounces)
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

Directions –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three – 6 ounce ramekins or a small baking dish.

Melt the butter and chocolate on low heat, stir and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk together the sugar and the eggs, then stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.

Add the flour and cocoa powder. Fold in the nuts. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until set, and the center should be a little underdone.

Banana Bread, Revisited!

This one is hands down, M’s most requested bread. I have been making it for some time now, but there is just way too much sugar and butter for my liking. He hasn’t noticed that I have cut the sugar in half the last two times I have made it! Score for me 🙂 This time  I used less butter and sugar, more bananas and went with the addition of toasted walnuts. These were all really great modifications and I’m glad I wrote them down, because from now on, this is how he’ll get his banana bread! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Banana Bread – heavily adapted from Crust and Crumb

  • 8 ounces flour (1 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1  tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 TBSP butter, room temp
  • 8 ounces sugar (6 ounces brown, 2 ounces white)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 11-12 ounces very ripe banana (about three medium), mashed
  • 3/4 cup lightly toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts
Directions –

1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

2. Using a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes.

3. Mix in eggs one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next. Mix in vanilla and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.

4. Mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 1/3 of the buttermilk, then 1/3 of the mashed bananas. Continue in this manner until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth. Stir in walnuts.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease one 9×5 loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until baked through. The safest way of knowing if it is finished is to test them with a probe thermometer. The internal temperature should be 180 – 185 degrees.

6. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out on a rack to cool for at least one hour before slicing.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom “Burger”

M requested hamburgers, homemade buns and baked beans (with bacon, of course) for dinner…not health food by any stretch of the imagination! The other day, I saw portobello mushroom caps for sale at Publix which started the wheels turning in my brain…”what could I do with those?” I typed “portobello” in the TasteSpotting search for inspiration – it never fails me! There were several recipes for burgers using marinated caps, some topped with caramelized onions, others with pesto, brie or roasted red bell pepper. I combined a few different ideas to come up with what sounded good to me. Mine will have the roasted (on the grill) red bell pepper, pesto and some traditional burger toppings. I know the hubbs is going to look at me like I have a third eye or something, but I’m not making him eat it!;o)

Anyway, this meal was so tasty and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on the beef. Portobello mushrooms are pretty hardy and it absorbed the marinade perfectly. I would definitely make this again, although I would be the only one eating them next time too. M hates mushrooms and bell peppers, so I don’t think I could pay him enough to try them. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Marinated Portobello Mushroom “Burger” – a Mom Makes Origional

  • 2 Portobello Mushroom caps, gills removed and brushed clean
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings –

  • 1/2 roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 TBSP Arugula pesto
  • small handful of salad greens
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 split Parmesan cheese bun

Directions –

Place the mushroom caps in a zip top bag, mix all the remaining ingredients and pour over the caps. Let marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Grill the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes a side add cheese half way through cooking time if desired.

Toast your bun, spread pesto on both sides, add a slice of beefsteak tomato, some salad greens, half a roasted bell pepper then top with your mushroom cap. Enjoy!

Arugula Pesto Ingredients – adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced

Directions –

Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Cheese Burger Buns – adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 6 ounces lukewarm water
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 3/4 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 7/8 ounce sugar
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese or the finely grated cheese of your choice
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt*
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder, optional but good
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant
  • butter for brushing on top
  • *Use 3/4 teaspoon salt if you use cheese powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt if you use grated fresh cheese

Directions –
To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, somewhat tacky dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container large enough to allow it to at least double in bulk, cover, and let it rise for about 60 to 70 minutes, till it’s just about doubled.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 8 pieces.

Round each piece into a smooth ball, and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten the balls to about 3″ diameter

Cover the buns and let them rise till they’ve expanded nicely, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush each bun with melted butter.

Bake the buns till they’re a light, golden brown, about 18 minutes.

Remove buns from oven, and brush with melted butter again. Place them on a rack to cool.

Yield – 8 big buns