Thursday, December 22, 2011

             It is chilly and rainy.
The house is quiet because it's 6:30am.
I'm not going anywhere.
Nobody is coming over.
Ironman gets home today .
I'm in the mood to cook.
Imagine that.  

First Recipe:
Poppy Seed Chicken Salad
I once prepared this recipe and took it to work.  So many people stopped by my classroom or left notes in my box requesting the recipe, that I finally just made copies and left them on the table by the coke machine.  It continues to be a hit.  I almost always make it around Christmas because I have a pretty bowl to put it in.  

I took photos this morning as I prepared it.  It is easy peasy.
Shred 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts.  
I had chicken left over from P.W.'s chicken pot pie I prepared Tuesday night.
Chop 3 green onions.
                                          Put chicken and green onions in pretty bowl.
                                                 Add 2 tablespoons poppy seed.
 Let me take a break and give you time to admire my measuring spoons.  PRETTY!
I have a set of measuring spoons and a set of measuring cups.  Love them.  Here are a few of the measuring cups.

Oops.  One of them has cinnamon in it.  Or had cinnamon in it.  I should take better photos.  Sorry.

                                                  Back to the chicken salad recipe.
                                    Next add 2/3 cup chow main noodles to bowl.
                                                   Add 2/3 cup slivered almonds.
                            *I don't measure these.  I admit it.  I just pour a few noodles and
                          a few almonds and eye ball it.
                                                          Give everything a toss.
                                                For the dressing:  1 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                  1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                   1 Tablespoon vinegar
                                                                                  salt and pepper

                                      I mix mine in a Mason jar.  Give it a good shake.
                                           Chill in the refrigerator.  Chill the salad, too.
  Do you see that Kroger Brand plastic wrap?  I heart it.  I've always been a victim of plastic wrap.  It doesn't seal.  It doesn't tear out of the dang box.  I've thrown entire boxes away before because it was just so AGGRIVATING!  But this stuff - I bought it because it was so much cheaper.  Let's be honest about that.  Wow!  Cheaper and easier and seals consistently.  Thank you Kroger.

I chilled the dressing separately from the salad.  Pour dressing over salad just before serving.  Give it a good toss.  Serve with crackers.  Or as a sandwich.  Or just plain.  It was gone in a flash at my house.

After the salad, I cleaned up the kitchen.  

I like to clean as I work. I like things organized and tidy.  I once had a teacher at school step into my classroom for some adult conversation.  She watched me tidying up and organizing and rearranging and wiping things with clorox wipes.  After a few minutes she said, "You know, my MIL used to tell me to clean up as I was cooking.  Clean as you go. But that doesn't make you a better cook.  It just gives you a clean kitchen."

I ignored the comment.  

After I cleaned up my chicken salad work area, I started on COOKIES!!

Oatmeal cookies
World Famous Butter Cookies
Sugar Cookies
Snowball Cookies

All the cookie recipes start with "1 cup of butter"

I won't add the step by step directions, etc.  But I must show you something lovely.
This Cuisinart Mini Chopper.  I've had it for 24 years.  Yes, yes I have.  It was a wedding gift from a cousin.  I'm sure it'll chop just about anything, but when it comes to chopping nuts - there is no other tool I'd choose.
                                                      Drop in the pecans.
                                              Plug it in.  Swirl the top.  Count to 5.
                                              Perfectly chopped nuts.
                       Oh sure, I have a food processor. In fact, I have 2.  But when I just
need a few nuts chopped for a recipe, I grab the mini chopper.
                        Here's my prepared cookie dough.  Wrapped in Kroger Plastic Wrap.
                                         Labeled with my handy dandy label maker.

                  After Christmas I'm going to really cut back on the butter and sugar.


  1. If a cookie recipe doesn't start with 1 cup of butter, is it really worth making? I think butter makes everything better!