chicken salad with fennel fronds, raisins & pears

I tried a new recipe this week. Well, okay I tried a few new recipes this week. One was for this chicken salad and another was a chicken dish consisting of little foil packets filled with fennel, carrots, red onion and large chicken breasts. Yes, large chicken breasts. I’m honestly a little grossed out at the largeness of most chicken breasts these days.

I’m sure I’d find some lovely AA size chickens grazing nearby at a local farm, but here at my neighbourhood Wegmans, they’re more like (rather definitely) DD’s. Because of their enormous size, ninety-nine percent of the time I cook with chicken (they say breast is best), I halve them, or butterfly them, to yield more appropriate and human-portioned fillets. Then, and only then, can I tolerate them, cook with them and eat them.

As I was saying, the other night for dinner we ate huge chicken breasts.… Continue reading

chicken kabobs with tomato, cucumber and feta salad

Now that summer is in full swing, Graham and I have taken to grilling out quite a bit. It helps that we have a patio to grill on. Graham started digging a very large hole (a twelve-by-twenty-three-foot hole) last summer, and because of all the rain we got towards the end of the summer and into fall, we had to postpone working on the patio until this past spring. But the good news is, the hole got filled and stones were laid! And now we have a lovely patio to dine alfresco.

We’ve yet to come across any furniture for the space, so in the meanwhile we pull out a little wooden table from our basement and pair it with two plastic green lawn chairs. Fancy, I know. But at least we have some nice ambiance overhead- a string of paper lanterns. They’re fun and pretty, battery-operated and came with… Continue reading

potato salad with celery leaves, parsley and eggs

Yes that’s a lovely little dollop of potato salad you see there atop a pair of fresh garden salads. It’s a rather small dollop because we went through this potato salad fast! It was my first time ever making this famed picnic side, and I’m more than pleased I finally decided to give it a go.

I received a bag-full of homegrown potatoes from my sister’s father-in-law, Ray, and they had just been lounging about in their big brown bag, ever so patient, ever so eager, waiting to make an appearance in some lunch or some dinner. And so, since we were having a party on the fourth-of-July, I decided it was time to pull them from hiding and make something fine of them.

Mayonnaise is an obvious staple that a good potato salad requires. Mayonnaise also happens to be one of those ingredients that I never have on hand… Continue reading

white bean and broccoli salad

I was craving something crunchy, lemony, and bean-y for lunch. This delicious salad is what I came up with. And I’m pleased to say it turned out well. So well that it may indeed be my go-to pasta salad, if ever asked to make one for, say, a cookout or costume party. I was just telling a friend the other day that I’d never made pasta salad before (crazy, right?!) and was pretty sure there had to be a good reason.

After much thought and deliberation, I realised it had to do with the usual suspects, or the common ingredients, one finds in a typical party pasta salad: Ahem… numero uno) tri-coloured rotini, dos) glugs of Italian salad dressing, tres) cubes of red meat or white cheese and quatro) some straggling veggies from the bottom crisper drawer. Now, please let me say that there is nothing at all wrong, no… Continue reading

summer corn salad

The other day I picked up some fresh corn from the market. It’s hard to believe corn is already in season! With my freshly husked corn, I got out my chopping block, raided the fridge, and threw together a delicious salad with all the fresh vegetables I had on hand. To top off the vegetables, I made a simple lemon vinaigrette. It turned out pretty tasty. Tasty enough that we ate it for lunch and dinner for the next three days. I served this salad with a side of brown rice cooked in water with a teaspoon of chicken base. The slight saltiness and texture of the rice was delicious paired with the crunchy, tangy vegetable salad.

I’ve read a few recipes that call for boiling the corn before cutting it off the cob. Don’t bother! Raw corn off the cob is perfect for a vegetable salad and is delicious… Continue reading