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mayo and dairy-free chicken salad

avocado chicken sandwich

Yesterday’s classic minestrone soup was quite the hit, so how about another recipe with ingredients that anyone can find in any grocery store?

avocado

This easy chicken salad has only 5 ingredients and none of those five is mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt… no dairy and no mayo!

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April 8, 2014   6 Comments

Olympic sliders

A quick note before we get to today’s recipe: If you read yesterday’s post about the amazing cauliflower, you’ll recall that I said my friend, Ronnie had the dish at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Ronnie sent me a fabulous photo of the hotel lobby all decked out for Christmas. It’s a must see, so I’ve added it to the bottom of that post, for all to enjoy. Check it out!

So… I heard about an amazing snack that is served at a bar in Brooklyn. The bar is called Pork Slope and the appetizer  – Chicken & Waffle Sliders. How perfect would that have been for the Super Bowl?!?

pork slope slider

Via

Dang it. Oh well, you know what I did? I served it as our Official Olympics Opening Ceremony Snack. Yeah, take that lopsided 2014 Super Bowl! You were not worthy of these Olympic sliders!

olympic snack

I found a recipe online, changed it just a tad… and …. it was a major hit with my two guys.

waffle grocery

A quick word about the frozen waffles. The recipe I found called for Aunt Jemima frozen square waffles. I could not find Aunt Jemima waffles at my grocery store, nor could I find square waffles. Belgium waffles – that was all they had in any and all brands. The closest thing to square that I was able to find were octagonal waffles.

2 buns

What you want to use for each slider is four squares of a waffle for the top “bun” and another four square piece for the bottom “bun.”  Here is what I did.

stop sign waffle

Take a waffle.

3 buns each

Cut 3 “four square” pieces from each waffle.

6 waffles, 18 pieces, 9 sliders

A package of 6 frozen octagonal waffles yielded 9 sliders. Here’s the math:

6 waffles = 18 “buns” = 9 sliders

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February 12, 2014   5 Comments

Homemade San Tung “Dry-Fried” Chicken Wings

San Tung Dry Fried Chicken Wings 1

San Tung is that restaurant in San Francisco that Marissa and I have to eat at the night I arrive in San Francisco each and every time I visit her. It serves the famous “dry-fried” chicken wings that we crave and love.

I desperately wanted to make them for the family on Super Bowl Sunday.

After much online research and some trial and error, I have the recipe for you to make at home!

fryer and set up

You’re going to need a large pot, Dutch oven, or preferably a deep fryer. If using a pot, you’ll also need a candy thermometer. Plus, you’ll need a couple big bowls, wire racks, paper towels and a baking sheet.

If you’re like me, you like your wings cut into two pieces, the drummett and the wing.

cut through skin

When cutting the wings in half, just cut through the skin, then bend the wing so you see where the joint is and cut right through the joint.

cut through joint

It’s easy once you find the joint and don’t try cutting through the bone. Then cut off the wing tip, there is a joint there too.

cut off wing tip

Save and freeze the tips for the next time you make chicken stock.

This recipe makes about 60 wings (30 wings cut in half) and it takes over and hour and a half to fry them all – twice. The recipe can easily be cut in half.

OK, let’s get started…

San Tung Dry Fried Chicken Wings

Homemade San Tung “Dry-Fried” Chicken Wings

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced (green and white parts)
1 small bunch cilantro, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1  1/2 cups honey or agave nectar
3/4 cup water
1 head garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Szechuan chili sauce

Wings
8 pounds chicken wings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cups canola oil
2 cups cornstarch, divided
1  1/2 cups water

split onions and cilantro in half

Sauce: Mix together the green onions and cilantro. Divide in half, placing half in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

sauce ingredients

Place the other half in a large bowl and…

whisk sauce

…whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients.

cook sauce

Pour the sauce into a large skillet and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

reduced

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February 3, 2014   2 Comments

no chip “nachos”

I served this appetizer at the Christmas Craft Party and I’ll be bringing it to a family Christmas party next this weekend. (I think I may be in denial that Christmas is a week from Today!)

It is chicken nachos, minus the chips!

melty goodness

In the place of chips are those adorable mini bell peppers you can find in most grocery stores and always at Costco.

lazy chicken

I was in a super time-crunch for the craft party so I used a new product I found at Costco, rotisserie chicken breast meat. It came in a 2 1/2 pound package, I pulled out what I needed, and froze the rest.

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December 18, 2013   3 Comments

another chili recipe

Once I made the decision to serve chili at the 2013 Fall Craft Party, I knew I wanted one with beef and one with chicken. I already have a Favorite Chicken Chili recipe, but if I made that, then I wouldn’t have a new recipe to blog about!

chili buffet

And, that my friends, is why I came up with this recipe.

Because I’m always thinking about you, your happiness and well-being – your desire for new and tasty recipes. That’s how I roll. It is who I am.

OK, enough of that, on to the recipe!

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October 23, 2013   3 Comments

cool pointy peppers

sweet pointed peppers

While shopping at Costco recently, I was looking for the mixed bell peppers I usually buy. I stumbled across these cool looking “sweet pointed red peppers” instead.

They taste exactly like red bell peppers. So, I decided to stuff them for a pretty new twist on your everyday stuffed bell peppers.

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August 29, 2013   1 Comment

simple stir-fry

I really love stir-fry. When I have a plethora of fresh vegetables on hand, there is nothing I’d rather make.

stir fry equipment

With a little prep, a nutritious and colorful dinner comes together in a matter of minutes.

More often than not, I don’t even take the time to make rice. None of my family seems to miss it, so why bother?

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August 28, 2013   1 Comment

sizzlin’ fajitas

Connor is between semesters at school so he is home for a couple of weeks. On Sunday, I asked him to decide what we’d have for dinner and he didn’t hesitate – he requested fajitas.

fajita fixins

It’s been ages since I’ve made ‘em, so I went all out and cooked up not only traditional beef, but also shrimp and chicken. The best part about that… we had plenty of leftover beef and had tacos on Monday night. Yay for leftovers!

flap meat

Connor and I shopped at Food City for our meal. In our search for skirt steak, we happily stumbled upon flap meat. Flap meat can be difficult or next to impossible to find at standard grocery stores like Safeway, so when I come across it, I can’t help but get a little excited.

Flap meat comes from the bottom sirloin, and although it’s from a similar region as flank steak or skirt steak, it’s a different cut. The flap is not very tender, but it is well-marbled and very flavorful. It’s sometimes called flap steak or bavette and is an excellent meat for carne asada and fajitas.

If you can’t find flap, use either skirt or flank steak for this recipe.

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August 27, 2013   2 Comments

neighborhood bunco appetizer

I hate to always brag, but I live in the greatest neighborhood. Oh, how I do love and appreciate my neighbors!

neighborhood

Along with our Amazing Progressive Dinner Parties, we have fun monthly Bunco nights. Unfortunately, I’m only make it a couple times a year, since they usually fall on a night that I’m working at Les Gourmettes Cooking School.

Happily, I was able to attend last week. It was so nice catching up with everyone after the long hot summer. NOT that the Long Hot Summer is anywhere near over, but families are back in town and the kids are back in school, so that “summer” is over.

Players bring an appetizer, salad, dessert, or drink to share. I brought these tasty little treats.

pepperoni pizza skewers

By the way – did you know that string cheese freezes great? It doesn’t change texture at all.

stringcheesesticks

I suppose that proves it’s not exactly real cheese, but it sure did come in handy when I pulled what I had left, from some that I had bought for Connor, out of the freezer.

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August 21, 2013   No Comments

best baked chicken thighs… ever!

the best baked chicken thighs EVER

I suppose the heading says it all, but I still can’t say enough good things about these easy to make chicken thighs!

They. Are. So. Good!

Just be sure to take the time and the end to slowly reduce the cooking liquid until it is a syrupy glaze.

Please let me know if you make these and if you agree that they are The Best!

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August 6, 2013   6 Comments