Friday, May 7, 2010

Garden Update

For the last two weeks we have been planting the garden with lots of success and a couple of failures. The tomatoes and peppers are thriving, growing daily and enjoying the warm weather and recent rain. The butter peas and scalloped squash are up and growing. Purple hull crowder peas are slowly peeking through the soil. The failures include the La France green beans and zucchini and yellow squash. They were planted early and it looks like they will need to planted again. The cucumbers are questionable. We were unable to find seeds so we bought a few plants. I'm not sure how they are going to do. We have always had more success when planting from seed.
Everyday the garden changes. Kenny is working on the irrigation and then we will begin mulching.
Tending to the garden is a lot like tending to your children. You work hard to provide the perfect environment so they will grow and flourish.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chicken Salad

Every good Southern cook has a favorite recipe for chicken salad. For years, my

chicken salad of choice was seasonsed with curry. When deciding on a menu for Bunco, I decided to create a menu that could be made ahead and served with little effort. After my technique class on chicken at Williams-Sonoma, I had lots of chicken and

Chicken Salad

2 chickens, cut up
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup pecan pieces, roasted
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup lowfat sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups grapes, halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken pieces on baking sheets. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour, or until done. When cool remove the skin and chicken from the bones. Cut into chunks.

Mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add the nuts, vegetables, fruit and tarragon to the chicken. Add mayonnaise and sour cream mixture, adding just enough to moisten the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve on croissant rolls with lettuce. Yield: 10 - 12 servings.

Guacamole with a Twist

In a search for an appetizer for Bunco, this one caught my eye. I already had many of the ingredients on hand and it was such an interesting twist on the traditional guacamole that I had to try it. One thing I really liked was the fact that it used oregano and parsley in place of cilantro. I know I should give credit for the source, but I don't remember where I found it! I did make a few changes to the original recipe, substituting Vidalia onions for the red onion and adding fresh lime juice. It was a hit and will be one of my "go to" recipes in the future.
Guacamole with Feta
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocadoes, diced
1/2 cup Vidalia onions, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Juice of one lime
4 ounces feta cheese
Combine all ingredients and serve with taco chips.