Foodies Know Best

I wanted to share one of my new favorite quotes and found it quite appropriate for this blog. Enjoy! xo-M

Julia Child Quote

 

 

I found this print on Etsy at LadyBirdInk’s shop. They make custom art prints for you to enjoy in your home. Check them out!

Advertisements

Chic and Chunky Chicken Salad

If you are like me, you love a good helping of chicken salad whether on crackers or croissant. If you are like me again, you don’t like paying $10 at a restaurant for a chicken salad sandwich. It just seems silly when you can make at least 4 servings or more for the same price at home. Here is a quick and fresh recipe for Chic and Chunky Chicken Salad. Impress your gal pals at your next house party or your grandma when she comes for a visit. This recipe is sure to please the crowd and fill their bellies.

My grandmother is coming see my new house tomorrow, so I whipped up this batch of chicken salad just for her visit. I plan to serve along with a whole wheat loaf and crackers. Of course sweet tea will be the drink option. If you haven’t gathered by now, I am a Southern girl following in her mom and grandmother’s footsteps of cooking and baking for the family.

 Chic and Chunky Chicken Salad

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cans of white chunk chicken breast, drained and shredded (I prefer Kirkland’s brand from Costco… My uncle is the owner for the poultry company that produces the meat for Kirkland’s, so I know I can trust the product and ensure a tasty meal.)
  • Handful of grapes, halved (Your choice, but red grapes are my fav!)
  • 1/4 of an apple, chopped (I love to use Gala apples because they are always crispy to give the CCCS a crunch)
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  • Handful of dried cranberries (Publix is my place to shop, so I use their products as much as possible. Always fresh and usually much less expensive than name brands like Ocean Spray… wait is that the sunscreen brand…no, we’re good that’s Ocean Potion. Back to the ingredients, sorry!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of mayo (this is really a taste preference, so remember always use a little at a time and taste as you go. You can always add more, but will have a messy time trying to take away if you add too much too soon.)
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
  • S&P

To start, open your cans of chicken, drain really well and empty into a large bowl. Finely shred the chunks of chicken breast.

Add in your halved grapes, chopped apple, minced celery and dried cranberries and mix well.

Next add in your mayo and relish and a good pinch of salt and two or three grinds of fresh pepper.

Mix, stir, mix, stir. (Shout out to my favorite spatula EVER – we have been through many a meal together and you will notice it’s appearance in the picture above… Le Creuset makes a mean spatula folks! Worth the investment.)

Chicken salad is by far one of my favorite fresh meals to prepare. So quick and simple yet packed with all the flavor you wish to add.

Chic and Chunky Chicken Salad       Chic and Chunky Chicken Salad

Extra: If you are a little squirrelly and love nuts, branch out and add your favorite(s) to this dish. My two go-to nuts are pecans and walnuts. They compliment all of the other ingredients really well and add they extra flavor and crunch to ensure your hungry eaters are getting everything they could possibly want in one dish!

If you like chicken salad chilled, prepare in advance, cover and chill it in the fridge. If you are in a bind, plate and serve your chicken salad as soon as your make it. Either way it is sure to be yummy and a crowd pleaser!

Great sides or compliments to go along with this dish include:

  • fresh fruit
  • pita or wrap
  • cheese slices on crackers with green pepper jelly
  • bed of lettuce and tomato
  • hoagie with melted provolone
  • fork 😉

Enjoy!

xo-M

Recipe Card – Click to Download.

Chic and Chunky Chicken Salad Recipe Card

Ode to a Chickpea, aka Hummus

Garlic Hummus

Garlic Hummus

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can of Chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Tahini paste
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • S&P
  • EVOO
  • Dash of Cumin Powder
  • Dash of Chili Powder
What You'll Need!

What You’ll Need!

In a handy chopper, mince the garlic as shown below.

Add 2 cloves of garlic

Add 2 cloves of garlic

Minced garlic

Minced garlic

Once you have minced your garlic, add in your chickpeas. Be sure to drain about half of the chickpea juice and reserve a few of your whole chickpeas for garnish.

Add chickpeas to mixer.

Add chickpeas to mixer.

After your chickpeas are well minced, add in 2 1/2 teaspoons of Tahini paste, lemon juice (hope you don’t have paper cuts) and the salt and pepper. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of EVOO into the mixture as well.

 

Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of Tahini paste,

Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of Tahini paste.

Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into a separate bowl and remove all seeds before pouring into mixture.

Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into a separate bowl and remove all seeds before pouring into mixture.

Blend together until creamy and to your taste.

Blended Hummus

Blended Hummus

Once blended, spoon into a serving bowl and mix in a dash of cumin and chili powder for a little kick. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve with warmed pita, pita chips, veggies or on a wrap!

Garlic Hummus

Garlic Hummus

Kalí óreksi! (That means bon appetit in Greek)

 

Secret Sauce Smoker Ribs

Smoked Half Rack of Ribs

Smoked Half Rack of Ribs

My husband loves to grill and just recently got a new smoker/grill for his birthday! He has been cooking up a storm on it so far. One of his favorite things to cook on the grill are ribs. Tonight was one of those occasions and they were delicious. He concocted his own secret dry rub for the ribs and let them marinade overnight. He smoked them for 2 hours and the meat was practically falling off the bone. So good!

With that said this ‘new’ family secret recipe (I am picturing Duke from Busch’s Baked Beans saying it, haha) will have to remain a secret, but I can share the rest of our dinner with you to give you an idea for dinner one night!

Smoked Ribs, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Smoked Ribs, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Mashed Potatoes

  • 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes (or regular baking potatoes, medium)
  • Pinch of S&P
  • 2 tablespoons Sour Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • Dash of Garlic Powder
  • Dash of Onion Powder

Peel, rinse and dice your potatoes. Add to a large pot and cover with water (salt water about 5 minutes into boiling). Boil for 10 – 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the water and mash the potatoes until creamy. Add two tablespoons of sour cream and butter. Add pinch of salt and pepper. To taste, add garlic powder and onion powder. If you like your mashed potatoes extra creamy you can add about two tablespoons of milk and extra sour cream.

(Extra: You can add even more flavor to your mashed potatoes by throwing in some cheese and bacon pieces or if you like it spicy add a few dashes of jalapeño mix.)

Fresh Slow Cooked Green Beans

  • Fresh Green Beans (1/2 pound for 2 ppl)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup of Chicken Stock (or beef stock)
  • S&P

Rinse the green beans and snip the ends off. In a medium sauce pan add your chicken stock and garlic to the sauce pan over medium heat. Add your beans once prepped. Let the broth come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the beans are tender. If you like your beans with a crunch, the remove from heat sooner.

(Extra: If you like your green beans with more flavor than just some garlic and S&P, consider adding one of your favorite spice packets or create your own concoction.)

These two sides are always great to have on hand when you find yourself in a cooking rut. They go with just about any meat dish you could create. Once my husband decides to share his ‘secret sauce’ I will be sure to post for you. They were yummy!!

We weren’t the only ones who thought they were good…

Doggie Bag Not Needed

Doggie Bag Not Needed

Fresh Grilled Tuna Steaks and Baked Sweet Potatoes

tunapotatosalad

One of the best things about living close to the beach is having fresh seafood at your fingertips. What a find with fresh, wild caught tuna in our local Publix!

For this dinner, here’s what you will need.

What You Will Need:

Wild Caught Tuna Steaks (make sure they are wild caught, a lot of farm raised fish are raised in unsanitary and inhumane conditions that can be harmful for you and your family)

Meyer Lemon

Butter

Garlic

Old Bay  Seasoning

Cilantro

Sweet Potatoes

Brown Sugar

Hearts of Romaine

Cucumber

Carrots

Shredded Cheese

Croutons

What’s Next:

We love to grill our fish, but you can always bake it too. To prepare your fish for their date with the grill, first roll out some aluminum foil. Place a few slices of butter onto the center of the foil and a few slices of lemon over the butter. Once prepped, place your fish on top.  Sprinkle the Old Bay Seasoning (or your favorite fish seasoning) along with some S&P (salt and pepper). Sprinkle some fresh minced garlic and cilantro over the fish and add another few slices of lemon and butter. Wrap up the tin foil around the fish like a tent and seal all of the edges firmly to hold in the steam. Place on the grill for about 10 minutes.

For the sweet potato portion of the meal, it’s simple… preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the sweet potato in the center of a piece of tin foil and pour over some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), S&P and butter. Roll up the potato burrito style in the foil with all its yummy rolled up with it. Place in the preheated oven and set your timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off see if a knife will slide into the potato easily. If not, REMOVE from tin foil and put on a plate in the microwave for about 4 minutes to finish the potato. Cut open and add butter and brown sugar. YUM!

The salad part is the easiest. Chop your romaine and place into bowl. Add carrots, sliced and diced cucumber, cheese and croutons. Garnish with your favorite fruit and salad dressing.

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!!

xo-M

Prepping the Tuna with butter, lemon, garlic, cilantro, S&P and Old Bay Seasoning

  Prepping the Tuna with butter, lemon, garlic, cilantro, S&P and Old Bay Seasoning

Grilled Tuna Steak and Baked Sweet Potato

Grilled Tuna Steak and Baked Sweet Potato

Romaine, Cucumber, Carrots, Cheese and Croutons

Romaine, Cucumber, Carrots, Cheese and Croutons

 

 

 

 

Cajun Shrimp Étouffée

ShrimpEtoufee

Cajun Shrimp Étouffée

What a great dish. I was meandering through Publix on my last grocery trip and just happened to walk past this etouffée mix package. After reading how simple it looked to make, I decided we should try it. Plus, this is a great excuse to go and buy some fresh seafood as well.

What You Need:

1 package of Cajun Étouffée Mix

Butter (5 tablespoons)

White Rice (1 1/2 cups)  (or your preferred kind of rice)

Water (2 cups for mix and 3 cups for rice)

Wild caught, fresh peeled and deveined shrimp (1/2 pound was plenty for two)

**Side note about your seafood choice. Try to always and only purchase fresh wild caught seafood. There have been numerous reports of foreign farm-raised fish and seafood being raised in filthy conditions and not safe for consumption. Not only are you keeping you and your family safe, you are supporting local fisherman and USA companies.**

What’s Next:

Start your rice first, as it will take a little longer to cook. Poor your water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lightly salt your water and add your rice. Bring back to a boil and then cover and simmer on low for 15 – 20 minutes or until all water has evaporated.

After you start the water for your rice get start on your étouffée mix. You will need a large non stick skillet, butter and the mix packet. Melt your butter on medium – low heat and then add your mix. Stir until it becomes medium brown color.  Add in your 2 cups of water and shrimp. ( I want to try this recipe with some crawfish next time, yummo!) Stir, cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Be sure to stir often. You will notice your mixture thickening, it should do this.

After 15 minutes, remove from heat and keep covered. Your rice should almost be done. Keep a check on it to ensure they are ready around the same time so nothing gets cold.

A good note my husband made was that he wished I had bought a baguette to go with it. I will definitely do that next time as it would add a nice touch, not to mention crunch.

Once your rice is cooked and ready, spoon out a good portion onto your plate or bowl and then cover with your shrimp étouffée.

Enjoy this yummy low country meal and tell me what you think!

xo-M