Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Caroline's Chicken Salad

My favorite chicken salad by far is at Hammock Bay in Naples, FL.  It has grapes and pecans, and is always one of my favorite lunch spots when we go to Marco.  A couple of years ago, I realized that I could totally make this chicken salad on my own... the result of my experiments, one of my favorite lunches.  Also, I personally think mine tastes better than Hammock Bay's salad too!  I'm super picky about chicken salad, but in my opinion, this is one of the best ones.  Here's how I make Caroline's Chicken Salad.

You need:
  • Chicken (2-3 cups - depending on how much you want to make)
  • 1 celery heart, diced
  • 1 cup of red grapes - sliced in half
  • 1 cup of pecans
  • 1 apple, diced into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise - I use the olive oil kind

Depending on what kind of chicken you use, you can dice it, shred it, or just open up a package of Tyson grilled chicken strips!    My favorite way is to put 2-3 chicken breasts in a slow cooker with a container (32 oz) of chicken broth.  I add a little salt and cook it on low all day.  Before I take it out, I shred the chicken and let it sit in the broth for another 1/2 hour.   Then I remove the yummy shredded chicken and it's ready for my chicken salad!  Lila also is trying it as a snack because it is so soft and juicy.

Combine chicken, celery, red grapes, and apples and mix together in a large bowl or container.   I usually make mine in a container with a lid so I can shake it up as I'm making it.

Next, after you mix it up, add the pecans.

After you add the pecans, mix or shake it up!  Then add the mayo.  I'm not a huge fan of mayonnaise, so I use the least amount possible.   You could obviously add more or less depending on your chicken salad.

Mix in your mayonnaise.  Then mix it or shake it up!

Finally, it's time to enjoy!  I usually like to eat mine with some crackers or some bread of some sort.  This is an easy recipe to make for lunch, or to take for lunch too!

With anything, feel free to try to add new things to your chicken salad or omit things you may not like.  If Honey Crisp apples are in season, I will add double the amount of apples.  I've also been wondering if adding mandarin oranges would change how much I love this chicken salad... I'll just have to test it out!   I hope you like it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spinach Pie

 This morning we had Jess & Ethan over for breakfast.  Other than some yummy morning buns from Trader Joe's, I decided to make some Spinach Pie!   A Weight Watchers recipe my mom had found a couple years ago.  I've tried adding various ingredients however the way I made it today is by far my favorite. 

You need:
  • Three egg whites
  • 1 bag of frozen spinach (I usually move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before)
  • 16 oz. Fat Free Cottage Cheese (which I normally would never eat... however in here, it's fabulous)
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • Canadian Bacon (optional)
First, preheat the oven to 450ºF.

Then mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Next, put the mixture in a pie pan.   Sometimes I sprinkle a little extra Parmesan cheese on the top... I LOVE Parmesan cheese. 

Bake your Spinach Pie for 45 minutes to an hour - I watch to see when the top is golden brown.

Then enjoy!   I've tried it with bacon, tomatoes, and other veggies as well included with the above mixture.   Be creative!   If you come across a yummy addition, please share in the comments.  I'd love to try it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Homemade Butterfingers

I came across this recipe in my google reader over the holidays... and it was an instant hit!   It is really very easy and takes very few ingredients!

You need:
  • Peanut Butter
  • Wheat Thins
  • Almond Bark or Melting Chocolate
  • Some fun sprinkles

First thing you do is make peanut butter sandwiches out of the Wheat Thins and Peanut Butter.

After all of your sandwiches are made, then it's time to melt the Almond Bark (or dipping chocolate).  Follow the directions on the package... if you've never used Almond Bark before, you can throw it in the microwave and melt it.  Just make sure you stir it and follow the directions on the package!

Now's it time to dip in your sandwiches.  Fully submerge your sandwiches into the chocolate, then lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.   If you are decorating them with sprinkles, I would put them on after about a row on your cookies sheet.  Otherwise the chocolate will get too hard and they won't stick. 

After your tray is full, put it in the refrigerator and let it "cool" for 15 minutes. 

Once they are "cool", package them up and share (or keep them for a yummy treat for yourself). 

If you try this out, leave me a comment and let me know... or if you know a different way, I'd love to hear it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Crockpot Ribs - "Little Pieces of Heaven"

For those of you who know me well, you know I love to use my crock pot!    Here is a crock pot recipe that is sure to please.   This is one of Mike's favorite things that I make and he's nicknamed them, "Little Pieces of Heaven".

You need:
  • 1-2 slabs of ribs (I get mine at Trader Joes - they are the best)
  • 1 can of Coke or Dr. Pepper
  • Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Directions:First, take out your crock pot.  I love to use Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners for easy clean up!   Next place your slabs of ribs in the crock pot.

Next, add in your can of pop.  I usually use Coke, however, on Friday we only had Dr. Pepper.   So I tried Dr. Pepper and the results were fabulous.

Next add salt and pepper to your ribs.  I just sprinkle it on top... not too much!

Next, cover your crock pot and set it on low for 8 hours.

After 8 hours, or whenever you get home from work, drain our the pop.   

Keep the Ribs in the crock pot and smother them with Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce.   I just try to make sure that all of the ribs are covered in Sauce.   Be careful however, because the ribs are so tender they tend to fall off the bone. 
Once your ribs are coated in BBQ sauce, cover back up your crock pot and cook your ribs on high for 1 hour. 

After an hour, take them out carefully to serve!    The ribs tend to fall off the bone so be gentle taking them out.  

Enjoy!   Don't forget to have some napkins handy!

If you try this recipe, leave me a comment and let me know how it goes.   Good luck! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So What Am I Making Today?

I'm starting this blog to keep track of my recipes and other things that I attempt to make!   So many people always ask for my recipes, so this is my way to keep track! :)   I hope you enjoy!