Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

I’ve been grabbing a  rotisserie chicken whenever they’re on sale. Love them for quick meals, especially in the summer when I don’t want to heat up the kitchen.  At about 4-5 lbs, I can use them for several meals.  And the final leftovers make a great broth.

I used to make a Sonoma Chicken Salad (recipe here), and while it’s very good, I’ve gravitated toward a simpler mayonnaise-based chicken salad.  This quick and simple salad is a great use for some of that rotisserie chicken.

Pecan-Cranberry Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups diced chicken
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine thoroughly. You can add celery or onion if desired.

Serve on sliced rolls or croissants, or my favorite, lettuce leaves.

BTW, I never have photos of this because the cranberries turn it all pink, and it does not photograph well. But trust me, it tastes great.

 

 

Four Minute Potato Salad

This recipe is a family favorite!

From 2018:

At the last minute yesterday, I decided we needed potato salad at our cookout. Luckily, electric pressure cooker to the rescue!  Four minutes cooking time, about 10 minutes prep. I left potatoes and eggs in the fridge to cool while we ran around. Added mayo, mustard, some dill pickle juice just before dinner and served with grilled hamburgers and corn. Yum.

Perfect Picnic Potato Salad

  • 6 large potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • mayo and yellow mustard to taste – I used less than a cup of mayo and about 1/4 cup mustard – but I know some people like a lot more. I added a 1/4 cup of dill pickle juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add the steaming basket to the pressure cooker and add enough water to come to bottom of the basket. Add cubed potatoes (and you don’t need to be too fancy with cutting the pieces – just relatively same size for uniform cooking). Place washed eggs on top of the potatoes. Close the unit, set to steam for 4 minutes. When finished, use the rapid release method to ensure eggs don’t over cook and potatoes stay firm.

Add eggs to a cold water ice bath. Remove potatoes and drain excess water. Add to large serving bowl.  Peel eggs, wash and cube. Add to potatoes. Let cool completely before mixing so as not to turn the potatoes into mush.

Once cooled, add remaining ingredients and fold until well mixed.  Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 easily


Killing My Lawn: Summer 2

This is the first full summer for all the perennials I planted last spring and things are looking good. Loving how low maintenance it has been once everything was planted.

Soooo many bees. And the butterflies are starting to show up.  That center window is my office and I enjoy looking out, but even more fun is watching folks stop and oooo and aaaahhh at the flowers.

I have plantings that flower at various times, starting in April and going through fall. I want to add a bunch of marigolds for some heavy fall color.  (Killing My Lawn posts can be read here)

Veggie garden is doing well, except I’ve got a varmint eating my zucchini blossoms and something ate one of my young cuke plants. I’m thinking mice – as the cukes have a small gage cage around them and nothing bothers them once they get taller. I’m going to cover them at night for a while and see if that helps. Cayenne pepper has stopped the blossom stealing.

Instant pot potato salad recipe later tonight…until then…

 

Sprinkler Ducks

It was 100 degrees yesterday and I looked out and saw Nora panting, so it was time for some sprinkler fun. They played for about 30 minutes and then seemed content until the cool front arrived around bedtime.

Dinner Menu: Grilled Steak with Coffee Rub and Blueberry Coffeecake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Let’s start grilling season off with one of my most requested recipes. A steak coffee rub.

From August 2013

A friend of mine spent a few months one summer experimenting with coffee rubs. This was one of my favorites. If you need something fun to do with your next grilled steak, this is a recipe to try. And with my love of blueberries, can’t go wrong with a blueberry coffeecake.  Yum.

On the board tonight:

  1. Steak with Coffee Rub
  2. Green Beans w/Bacon & Onion
  3. Baked Potatoes
  4. Blueberry CoffeeCake

Steak with Coffee Rub

  • 3 tbsp chili powder (pure ancho or a blend)
  • 3 tbsp finely ground coffee (espresso works best)
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika (use a good one)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb of steak (rib-eye, sirloin, NY strip, etc) in 4 thick pieces

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Life With Willow

All you need to know about Willow’s personality is what happened this morning. I was cleaning the litterbox (around the same time every morning) and she jumped in, looked at me, and proceeded to do her business.

Like, never mind what I was doing.

Most cats wait until AFTER you clean it to go mess it up again. Not this one.

Willow just barges in wherever and whenever she wants. It’s her world, we just reside in it.

I know I’ve been MIA for quite a while. We’ve been doing a bit of remodeling. Between that and getting the gardens ready for summer is about all the time I have each day. Not to mention editing the latest novel.

I have a ton of photos of how the front yard has evolved this spring. I’m really pleased with it and how low maintenance it has been. My small rock garden is causing me more headaches than the entire front yard.

Bonus muddy ducks (I do adore it when they get all mud covered). They’ve been enjoying the rainy weather.

I have not been doing much cooking, but I will pull some summer menus this week and post at least one as grilling season commences.

Until then…

 

Puppy and Peony

I don’t know how this peony survives. It’s in the backyard, where it gets run over by wrestling puppies, and careless lawnmowers. The ducks trample it when the shoots are just emerging…and yet it flourishes. Trixie decided she needed to be part of the action. She’ll be eight months old in a week.