Curry Chicken Salad

Image of curry chicken salad on half an avocadoParty Time
In our lives, we will attend many celebrations. (I know…such amazing insight!) There will be birthdays, holidays, and graduations. There will be happy celebrations and sad. What is interesting to me is the type of celebrations you attend in a lot of ways depends on your age and where you are in your life. Let me explain…

Not too long ago my husband and I were sitting around talking about how we really wanted to go to a wedding. It had been years since we attended a wedding and the two of us were kind of in the mood for a good party. The only problem is, at this point in our time on earth, all our friends are married and their kids as well as ours aren’t even close to thinking about marriage let alone doing it. So, alas, no party.

Same thing is true with bachelorette parties, wedding showers, and baby showers, though I’m pretty sure I couldn’t survive a bachelorette party at this point (It hurts just thinking about it.), I haven’t been to a shower other than the wet and soapy kind for almost 20 years. This is nuts because for about a five-year period of time it seemed like I was hosting or attending a shower of some variety at least once a month.

It got to the point that my sister and I became masters of the baby/bridal shower—mostly because my sister is just good that way. But, we got it down to a science. And, as long as the guest list was different, you just went with the same process, menu, and setup. Different colors of course. We were a well-oiled machine.

Our menu of choice included this Curry Chicken Salad that we served in a fresh papaya boat. But, you could also do it with half an avocado if you wanted to go smaller. The recipe came from a Junior League Cookbook of my mother’s that has given us several family favorites. The recipe below is the original. But, if I had to make this recipe today, 20 years later, I would make a few changes as my personal tastes and eating habits have changed significantly. I’ve noted them in parentheses in case you feel the same.

Curry Chicken Salad
Adapted from the Private Collection: The Junior League of Palo Alto Cookbook
Yields 8 servings Read more…

Fall Salad with Delicata Squash, Caramelized Apples, and Bacon

Fall Salad with Delicata Squash, Caramelized Apples, and Bacon

Eat Your Greens
As a kid, I always used to laugh at my mother’s and grandmother’s attempts at adding more veggies to the thanksgiving table. I mean, let’s be real. I was only there for the bird and the carbs. You can keep your green beans, thanks. The older I have gotten though, the more I look forward to something to help digest the potato and stuffing carb bomb.

The green beans are still an important part of our celebration. But, in recent years we’ve included various salads as well, such as this recipe for Persimmon, Asian Pear, and Toasted Almond Salad. Now, I am not the biggest salad person. Some people, like my sister, have salads with everything. That is not me. I kinda have to be in the mood for a salad. And, even then, using the word salad might be a bit of a stretch. I like additions to my salads. Chances are if I have made a salad, it is not just a bowl of greens. There will be a random mix of things like pieces of various fruits, cheese, nuts (usually spiced or candied), or cut-up cooked meats like chicken or even better, bacon.

On a recent trip to Oregon, while y’all were dealing with the “bomb cyclone” and 50 feet of rain, I had the opportunity to visit Powell’s, my favorite bookstore. If you have never been to Powell’s bookstore in Portland you are missing out. If you have, well then, you know. I could spend days in there and still want more. On this trip, I found a Portland Farmers Market cookbook that I have been working my way through since I returned.

Amongst the pages of beautiful Pacific Northwest offerings, I found this recipe for Fall Salad with Delicata Squash, Caramelized Apples, and Bacon. It would be the perfect addition as something green and a bit different for your Thanksgiving table.

Fall Salad with Delicata Squash, Caramelized Apples, and Bacon
Adapted from the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook
Yields 4 to 6 servings Read more…

Endive, Orange & Bleu Cheese Salad

Endive, Orange & Bleu Cheese SaladSalad Queen
My sister is the Salad Queen. No matter what the occasion, she can be counted on to bring a bowl of greens in any of a thousand iterations. It’s a good thing, as everyone could use more greens in their life. But, her leafy predictability has also become kind of a family joke. She can also be counted on for a rockin’ good cake. But, I digress….

One thing I have noticed over the years is that while she loves to experiment, she does have her favorites. And, they change with the seasons—as you would expect. A couple of weeks ago, when the weather actually started to feel like Fall, we were at her house for dinner. We enjoyed a lovely pork tenderloin along with some spicy sweet potatoes and this Endive, Orange & Bleu Cheese Salad. It is one of my favorites as well. And, it is a more accurate signal that the seasons have changed than anything else I know…as one or both of us will make it as soon as we have a reason too.

This salad is a great side for any fall-themed dinner. But it is also good the next day for lunch—especially with some sliced cooked chicken or whatever is left over from the night before. This also works for Thanksgiving if you’re someone who is thinking ahead.

Endive, Orange & Bleu Cheese Salad
Yields 2 Servings
Adapted from Ina Garten and The Food Network
Read more…

Tri-Colored Orzo Salad Revisited

Tri-Colored Orzo SaladAmy is on vacation this week, so we are pulling up this favorite recipe from our archive. This Tri-Colored Orzo Salad is something we make at least twice a month during hot weather. And, is the perfect accompaniment for grilled food.

This is a favorite salad that Amy says she makes whenever she has a BBQ or just needs an easy, tasty, goes-with-anything side dish. This recipe is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis. Every time she makes it people ask for the recipe.

The key is to use good quality olive oil. Try this tonight with anything grilled and any leftovers are great as a light lunch the next day!

Tri-Colored Orzo Salad
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentis and Foodnetwork.com
Yields 4 to 6 servings
Read more…