Since having a few rooms painted in the house, I have been on a quest to purge. It’s amazing just how long it takes. Getting rid of old, unused “stuff” is something that I have done with each move, but you would be amazed at the “stuff” I have kept. Some things make me just shake my head and wonder exactly what I thought I would do with it.
For the past week, I have been weeding out cookbooks! Oh my, I did not realize I had such a cookbook hoarding problem until all of them were in stacks on the floor surrounding me! Even then, I’m hesitant to get just trash them before I go through them page by page. It’s a sickness! A sickness that I’m trying to overcome because the feeling of freedom feels so much better than clutter!
I ran across this Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe in an old cookbook from New York. I am typically a very plain chicken salad kind of gal but thought I would give this recipe a try. It is a wonderful fresh summer salad that I loved! The combination is perfect with the crunch of the celery, the tartness of the apple, and the vinegar added a delicious depth of flavor.
Wine vinegar tends to be milder and less acidic than cider or white distilled vinegar, so they make a great addition to sauces, salad dressing, and marinades.
Waldorf Chicken Salad
- 4 Honeycrisp apples, diced (or other crisp, tart,and sweet apple)
- Mayonnaise, to taste
- White wine vinegar
- 4 whole chicken breasts, cooked, and picked clean from bones, and chopped
- 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ to 1 c. chopped celery
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds
- Leaf lettuce
- In a large bowl combine enough white wine vinegar with the mayonnaise to create the consistency of salad dressing.
- Add the chopped apples, chicken, walnuts, celery and poppy seeds.
- Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve on leaf lettuce.
A few weeks ago I had a hard drive crash, and sadly I had not backed anything up in a while. Isn’t that the way it always goes. We get comfortable and we’re just rolling along and then boom! I lost many photos and a Photoshop program that I have used daily for years. I’m not sure why, maybe because they have now switched the the Creative Cloud, but I can not get the program to reinstall. I am weighing a few cheaper options at the moment but as of now I do not have anything. As soon as I have a new photo program up and running I promise to make this casserole for a new photo!
For now I would like to share this old family favorite. My mother-in-laws Chicken Poppy Seed casserole is wonderful. It’s one of Savannah’s favorites and a great dish when you need to carry something to a friend recovering from surgery, a potluck supper, family reunion, or as we do here in the south take to the family of the deceased. (Yes, we really do that!) It’s quick and easy to prepare and can even be made with a purchased rotisserie chicken. It’s a great weeknight meal served with a fresh vegetable or salad and don’t forget the cranberry sauce! 😋
Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole
- 4 chicken breasts
- ½ c. butter, melted
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds
- 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
- 1 (10.75-oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 2 to 3 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
- Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, the reduce to medium, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Drain the water and shred the chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine the butter, crackers, and poppy seeds in a bowl, set aside.
- Blend the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and about half of the shredded cheese in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix to combine.
- Pour chicken mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Top with cracker mixture.
- Bake in preheated oven until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.
I have a question for the ladies out there. Do you ever take your purse and dump it out? Dump every little coin, paperclip, hair tie and piece of trash out of it? Then pick through the contents, get rid of those things that are cluttering it up and placing your necessities neatly back inside your purse.
With the painter almost finished here at our house I have been thinking about what I have that is really necessary and what can be considered clutter. It’s as if I have “dumped” it out and I am starting over. Just thinking about the purge makes me feel invigorated. Imagine if you will, how much better our lives would be if we applied “dumping the unnecessary” to ourselves. How much better would we feel to get rid of the negative thoughts that are cluttering our minds every day?
These muffins are wonderfully moist and delicious. The finishing touches are not necessary, but I love the added crunch on top. I promised easy recipes, and that is still my goal. This week’s recipe is easy, but I’m not sure how many of you will have almond paste lying around. These muffins are well worth the trip to the grocery store though. This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks. One that is well worn with plenty of vanilla splashes and creased pages. Almond Poppy Seed Muffins is from Marcy Goldman’s The New Best of Better Baking.com. You may add one teaspoon of lemon extract and a little lemon juice for a fantastic lemon poppy seed muffins.
Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
- 1 c. sugar
- 4-oz. almond paste, minced
- ½ c. finely ground almonds
- ½ c. (4-oz.) unsalted butter
- ¼ c. canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. sour cream
- ⅓ c. milk
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
- 2½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- FINISHING TOUCHES
- Slivered almonds
- Coarse Sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Position the oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the sugar and almond paste together well, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the ground almonds, butter, and oil and blend well. Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds and blend, scraping the bottom of the bowl occasionally to ensure nothing gets stuck in the well of the mixing bowl. If the mixture seems too loose, add a touch more flour. It should be the consistency of thick cake batter.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with some slivered almonds and sugar. Place the muffin cups on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake about 30 to 35 minutes, until the muffins are nicely browned and spring back when lightly touched. Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.