Lynda's Chicken Salad

My mother-in-law is a wonderful cook. She has one of those great binders filled with recipes that are stained and tattered. I keep thinking I'll sneak it out one day and make a copy of the whole thing. I wouldn't have to sneak though, she isn't selfish with her gift. We used to have a big party every 4th of July and she would make the most delicious chicken salad for lunches. I did get that recipe from her and lately I have been craving it pretty badly. Yesterday I picked up the ingredients I didn't have on hand and made some for dinner. There's some good news/bad news though: I'm the only one who likes it in my family. Good news for me is I don't have to share! Bad news for me is it doesn't last forever.
The Ingredients:

1 cooked chicken (I buy a rotisserie chicken in the deli but you could use canned)
6 boiled eggs
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup relish
1/4 cup diced celery
1.4 cup chopped pecans
mayo or Miracle Whip to taste (I prefer Miracle Whip but I have also used the olive oil mayo for this and it was wonderful)

The other day on This Week For Dinner, Jane posted a tip she had seen about shredding chicken for recipes. Use you stand mixer. If you say so, Jane!! I tried it out. First, I took all the meat off my rotisserie chicken and put it in the bowl of my mixer

Then turn the mixer on about medium

It took about 8.3097 seconds!

After chopping up the boiled eggs, you just combine all the ingredients and mix to your preferred consistency. I like it not too wet but not too dry. I bought some pitas to eat with this but you could use bread or tortillas or lettuce cups or crackers or just a fork!

So good! I love the crunch of the onion and celery and the texture of the pecans is wonderful. You could probably use walnuts instead of pecans but I prefer the pecan, since I am a Texan. It's our state tree you know ;)


Amish Friendship Bread--Chocolate Cheesecake

Are you tired of these yet? If you answered yes, then I apologize because I AM NOT! Each one has been more delicious than the previous one and I cannot wait to run through all the different variations on my to-do list. Here's a website with a great selection .
The Ingredients:

1 cup Amish bread starter
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 small boxes instant cheesecake pudding mix
2 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients. In a smaller bowl, mix the dry ingredients, including the pudding, but wait for the chocolate chips. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet mix and blend well. Stir in chocolate chips. Prepare two laof pans. I like to spray them with cooking spray and then sprinkle them with sugar. It adds a delightful crunch to the outside of the loaves. I guesss for this bread you could use cocoa instead. Now for the cheesecake portion:

1 tub (12 oz) whipped cream cheese or 8 oz block, softened **not fat free**
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Cream ingredients together and pour on top of bread batter. Fold the cheesecake mix in a little bit and then pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for about 1/2 hour before removing from loaf pan. Slice and enjoy!!

Problem Solved!

About a week ago I was complaining on my Facebook status about baking soda containers. I can't figure out why  they don't seal back up. I understand the ones where you tear the cardboard sides then put them in the fridge or freezer for odor absorption. But I use a lot of baking soda in my BAKING and I am always worried that it isn't good or fresh as the box gets emptier. Occasionally I have used the rest in a box for cleaning and bought a new one for baking. Then there are the lovely times when the nearly full, but not sealed box falls out of the cupboard and spills all over the counter and the floor. Goo times!!
Anyhoo, just after posting, I was putting away some clean dishes. Among them were some half pint mason jars that I had used for peach jam at Christmas. They are the kind of squatty, pretty ones and I had the idea to put salt and pepper in them and keep them by the stove for adding seasoning to recipes!

They have a nice wide mouth so I can either use a measuring spoon or my fingers to pinch out what I need.

Well, last week I was at Target and perusing the kitchen gadgetry when I spied some pint-sized short squatty jars. A single sunbeam shined down from heaven and a lightbulb went on above my head. I bought them and came home and did this:

Now my cocoa powder and my baking soda have a lovely little jar to call home until I add them to something delicious. Next step is to get some of these awesome chalkboard labels and write the name of what is stored inside. I have two jars left, I wonder what I can put in them.....


Amish Friendship Bread--Lemon

I thought Easter would be a great reason to make a fresh lemon variation on the Amish bread. Pattie loves the Lemon Pound Cake at Starbucks so I am hoping she will like this bread too. It is still baking as I post so I will have to add taste notes later. But here is the recipe to get you started! More recipes at this website
The Ingredients:

1 cup Amish bread starter
1 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice*
1 Tbsp lemon zest*
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 small boxes instant lemon pudding mix

*I used the zest and juice of 2 small lemons. First I zested them:
It took all the zest from the two lemons I had to make the full tablespoon required. Then I juiced the two lemons with my reamer:
and it was the prefect amount as well! Can't beat fresh ingredients :)

In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. In a smaller bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Add the dry mix to the wet mix until fully combined. Pour into two sugared bread pans and lightly sprinkle some sugar on top too. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until done. Leave them in the pan to cool for about 30 minutes and they will be MUCH easier to remove from the pans.
I like to put one loaf in the freezer once it cools completely. That way I have a dessert or brunch I can pull out or take with me to a gathering. I hope you are enjoying the variations as much as I am!!


Kitchen Upgrade

I know some of my readers here also read the family blog, but for those of you who are solely Feeding the Chaos followers, I thought I would link you to the post about my new counters. I just love them! Backsplash will get put in next week (hopefully) and I will update with pics then.

New Counters post