Well here we are, in the dog days of summer! In my neck of the woods, it’s been the monsoon days of summer. Rain! RaiN! RAIN! But hopefully, we have a little break in sight for that and can now “look forward” to good old hot.humid.days.of.August! And who wants to turn on anything that will add to that heat? Ummmm, nobody. This recipe for Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes was first published last summer in Carolina Country Magazine and a frequent go-to for me. We all love to grab a cooked rotisserie chicken now and then… we can do so many things with one… not to mention throwing the skin and bones into the crock pot overnight after pick’n for the BEST flavorful chicken broth. You DO do that don’t you? Oh there’s so much flavor in those bones and skin (if you don’t eat it) and all you have to do is cover with a quart or two of water, turn on low, and head to bed. By morning time, you’ll be waking up to the aroma of tasty broth to use for soups, cooking veggies like greens and butterbeans or just to sip. You can throw in some herbs on the front end, or simply cool and freeze and season on the back end depending on how you’ll be using it. I freeze in pint-size containers and it’s great to be able to grab and cook a little pot of butterbeans or collards with this deliciousness!
So here’s to the versitile Rotisserie Chicken!! Pick one up today and make this chicken salad twist… ooooh la LA, you’ll be glad you did.
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classy with a bit of sass!!
Who wants to cook on hot summer days? No need with this flavorful Italian chicken salad.... just pick up a rotisserie chicken, throw in a few ingredients and toss with the simple Dijon dressing, and that's it! Except for a juicy ripe summer tomato you're going to stuff with this good stuff.
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, boned & shredded (about 5 cups)
- 1/2 cup sliced roasted peppers, drained
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garniish
- 1 4 ounce carton feta cheese with basil and tomato, reserve 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- 8 large tomatoes, cored and drained upside down
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- crushed black pepper
Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Stir dressing into chicken to coat. Add all remaining ingredients (except the tomatoes) and mix well.
Chill several hours or overnight. Stuff tomatoes and garnish with reserved feta cheese crumbles and parsley. Serve immediately
- Don’t cut out too much of the delicious tomato — just enough to mound the chicken salad!
- If you have fresh herbs... oregano, rosemary, basil, etc., use them instead of dried for more robust flavor!
|August 26, 2017||Posted by Wendy Perry under apples, cook & eat nekkid, cook'n with NC goodies, crock pottery, slow cook'n & instant pots, farms & farmers' markets, honey, Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher's Lounge, published, sensational sides|
Fall is in the air… well kinda sorta, now that fresh North Carolina apples are making their debut at farmers’ markets! And with that, comes comfort foods, like applesauce. Who doesn’t love that? It makes such a quick and simple healthy side dish for so many things, including breakfast! What could start your day off better than some NC maple or brown sugar pork sausage with a side of freshly made applesauce? Check out this site for lots of great information about North Carolina apples!
And because you can crock a pot so fast, unless you really want to, there’s no need to do huge batches and can. Just make some fresh every week or so as you need in your house!
This recipe is so easy… you can have it in the pot in 5 minutes and go on about your business. It takes care of itself… wouldn’t it be great if all our foods did that?
My applesauce is featured in this month’s September issue of Carolina Country Magazine but you can find it printable below. As you will see in the notes, there are easy ways to vary this basic recipe. You can use your favorite pie spice… and I really like to use the Georgia Peach Spice from Savory Spice Shop.
And here’s a helpful hint... for those of you with small households, I highly recommend getting yourself a mini crock pot (or two) for cook’n. I have a couple and cook in them several times a week. The heat is so intensified due to its smaller size, food gets hot faster and cooks much faster too. I enjoy soft creamy grits some mornings in 30-45 minutes. I buy Boston butts when on sale and have them cut in half to freeze one/cook one… a half fits perfectly into the mini pot and in a couple of hours, I have my own Eastern North Carolina pulled pork BBQ! The portions are perfect for a couple of folks and you won’t end up with lots of leftovers (but maybe just enough to throw together a mini crock pot of soup). I’m not sure all the places you can get them, but I picked up both of mine at thrift stores… one for $3 and the other was $7. And I recently gifted one to my “other mother” from Roses for $12! You can’t beat that…. and they are a great inexpensive Christmas gift for singles, couples and seniors that aren’t able to stand and do much cooking anymore. You can even pair up with a grocery store gift card if you want to help someone on a fixed income at holiday time! And for you single and couple campers out there, a mini is a must-have.
So without further adieu I give you my delicious slow cooker applesauce! Happy Sauce’n and Happy Fall y’all! Please be sure to share my recipe and blog with friends, and thanks!
- 8-10 large apples cored and roughly chopped, peel half
- 1/3 cup apple juice or water
- pinch salt
- brown sugar, honey or sugar as needed
- apple pie spice or something similar
Add apples, water and salt to slow cooker. Stir and cover. Cook on high about 2 hours or low about 5 hours until tender.
Leave chunky, or puree with an immersion blender for smooth sauce. Taste for sweetness and add sugar as needed. Dust with apple pie spice.
- Serve warm or chilled. Great alongside pork and chicken or stirred into your morning oatmeal or yogurt. Perfect for lunchboxes too!!
- Spice: Use cinnamon or any sort of "baking" spice you like such as pumpkin pie spices. I love to use the George Peach Spice blend from Savory Spice Shop!
- Variation: Use half apples and half pears for a wonderful apple-pear sauce.
|August 3, 2017||Posted by Wendy Perry under cook & eat nekkid, corn, farms & farmers' markets, garden goodness, honey, Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher's Lounge, salads, slaws and such, sensational sides, wendy's signature recipes|
Corn…. here, there and over yonder! Oh, the delicious time of summer is here in all its golden glory, and I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get.enough.CORN!
I love it raw… lightly steamed on the cob… grilled… in my grandma’s corn puddin… as a side…. or as a meal, like last night when I made my favorite corn salad. Just good nekkid food at its finest…. nekkid just like the Good Lord gave it to us!
Corn time is HOT time here in North Carolina, so anytime I can “cook” supper, without cook’n a damn thing…. well, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. I tell you, we just do not appreciate our local farmers enough… who toil in this heat for US… and bring us their goodness, for such bargain prices! I get a tad defensive when I hear folks saying “that food is more expensive… I can’t afford it.” Say WHAT? I sometimes feel like I’m stealing from them, and just say “keep the change” even though it’s a mere pittance of what they deserve. Having come from generations of farming families in rural NC, I consider them to be “my people.” I know my food didn’t come from the back cooler at the Food Lion. So when I have the choice, it’s farmers’ market freshness for this gal.
I love strolling about, tasting little “wheels” of fresh corn, to find that day’s bestest! But usually, there’s little difference so I
try to buy from different farmers each trip to share the love. I think about how early they had to rise to get that freshly harvested load of corn to the market… some coming from counties away. Sleepy. Hot. Tired. …and ready to call it a day! And probably not interested in cook’n anything either when they get home.
So wherever you are, run to your local farmers’ market and shop! And don’t cook this salad for supper. Grab some fresh corn…. field peas that are abundant right now, squashes and tomatoes and peaches and figs and melons…. oh my! The bounty right now is endless… too bad it can’t be available all year long, although if it were, it probably wouldn’t taste nearly as good. Savor the seasons.… and Make.Corn.Salad! Your mouth (and those you share it with) will thank you!!
The dressing is so simple…. bright and flavorful, and citrus is the perfect pairing with the corn.
Summer = Farm Fresh Vegetables! And there are few things better that freshly pulled corn. The hardest thing about corn is deciding which way to eat it on any given day, but when my craving sets in, I just MUST stir up this summer corn salad. There's just nothing like the sweet corn, with its little "bite" stirred together with some feisty radish.... and freshly snipped herbs all dressed simply with honey and the bright flavors of citrus! So run to your local farmers market and get some sweet corn and make some for yourself. But watch out, it's addicting!
- 5-6 ears fresh corn shucked, cleaned and cut off cob
- 1 bunch radishes cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- a few snips fresh herbs (I used chive, cilantro and thyme)
- about 1/2 cup local honey (drizzle in a little more if suits you!)
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1-2 tablespoons Savory Spice Shop California Citrus Rub
Combine all vegetables and herbs in large mixing bowl. Drizzle with honey and juices. Add spice rub and stir to combine. EAT!!
- Feel free to add other herbs that you prefer. I just use what I have growing in my herb pots around the porch. Feel free to throw in other veggies too! I sometimes add a little bit of minced celery to this salad. Just don't get too carried away and lose focus on the CORN.
- If you do not have a Savory Spice Shop near you (although you can order their incredible goodies online!)... just look at what they have in it and use similar things. I do love pairing citrus with the honey for this salad. It just seems like a perfect match. You can zest your orange and lime into the salad and add whatever seasonings you have on hand. Don't not make it just because you don't have the SSS rub.
|July 9, 2017||Posted by Wendy Perry under contest creations, cook & eat nekkid, cook'n with NC goodies, doggie delights, feastivals & festivals, honey, ice cream & frozen treats, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, wendy's signature recipes|
Four years ago today, my sweet Speagle Chamblee crossed the rainbow bridge.
As I sat here looking at our pictures in this heat wave, and having seen a friend post pictures on facebook last night of commercially sold pet “ice cream,” I came to realize I’d never posted this pet recipe here on my blog!
On a last minute thought, I threw this together several years ago and entered it into the NC Sweet Potato Festival Contest “Miscellaneous” category where it won 2nd place! (It seems the last minute recipes I “throw together” are the ones that do best in contests.)
My sweet Chamblee was my guinea pig, and he did love my sweet potato “nIce Cream” treats. And guess what? They are people friendly too. So while making them for your fur babies, you can lick the bowl and spoon. This is a perfect recipe to get your kiddos involved in the kitchen. They will love these healthy snacks and feel so proud they made them for their furry best friends too.
Now being the North Carolina made foods evangelical that I am, y’all know I used NC made peanut butter (lots to choose from so use your favorite or quickly and easily make your own)…. and of course North Carolina Sweet Potatoes…. these grown just a few miles down the road!
So without further ado…. I will leave you with a little bit of my stroll down memory lane today of Chamblee…. who was by my side for 15 years.
And I think since I keep packets of baked sweet potato in my freezer (you DO do that don’t you?), in his memory, I will make my sweet little June Bug some today…. also a Speagle!
Y’all have a “nICE” week… stay cool, and treat your babies to some “nICE Cream” treats too! A fun thing to do inside the air conditioning on a hotttt summer’s day.
- about 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
- about 1 cup nonfat yogurt SEE NOTES
- about 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
- 1 squirt honey adult dogs only
- a few crumbled sweet potato chips, optional garnish
Throw everything into a small bowl and stir together until well mixed. Portion out into small custard cups; cover and freeze. Remove from freezer a few minutes before serving to soften.
NOTE: Chamblee l.o.v.e.d. spicy hot potato chips (and so does June Bug), so if I have some on hand, I sometimes crush a couple of chips and/or sweet potato chips on top of his nICE Cream... making him his own little nICE Cream Sundae!
BE SURE THE YOGURT YOU -- USE IS FREE OF SWEETENERS, NATURAL OR ARTIFICIAL!
*** There are many people foods that are not safe for your pets. Before adding ingredients you might like in your nICE Cream to your pooch’s, be sure to look at safe pet food lists. The last thing you want to do is harm your baby with a treat.
Happy July y’all…. the world’s slowwwwest blogger dropping by! I’m gonna be ramping things up (yes, I know I’ve said THAT before!) since I’ve been doing so many shindigs lately and have lots of NEKKIDness to share… plus, I’ve been getting requests from clients and their guests for recipes. I don’t keep many recipe secrets and am always happy to share (most), so feel free to ask for others anytime… happy to oblige.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a fun afternoon in the kitchen with a fun family celebrating a high school graduation. Instead of going out to a noisy restaurant to celebrate this momentous event, they decided to have an intimate afternoon and supper at home. They enjoyed playing board games, Wi and other fun stuff. Dad, who hired me, had put together a really special video with snippets of all the important folks in his daughter’s life. I didn’t even know these folks, but that was so heart-warming to see well wishes from around the globe… but I think perhaps most touching were the words of wisdom from her little-bit-older-but-VERY WISE sister. She is one smart cookie! They have an ”international” family of Germans and Japanese… (who says I can’t come up with a crowd pleasing menu?)…. and it warmed my heart to be there in the open kitchen putting together their dee-lish Nekkid Supper while seeing them enjoy each other’s company on this special day!
This is the menu created for their casual family-style meal…
“Pickled” Pickled Shrimp (recipe below)
Toastettes topped with a dollop of Greensboro’s
My Three Sons Pimiento Cheese garnished with fresh chive from my garden and topped with a dollop of cherry preserves
Eastern North Carolina Cotton Honey-Mustard Slaw (recipe below)
As requested, REALLLY Cheesey Taters... so I made some…
“The Bestest Cheesyest au gratin ‘taters EVER!” …
with Gruyere, Jarlsberg, and Fontina topped with Asagio!
(AMAZING and I think the BEST I’ve ever made!!!)
“Crispy Toastettes with Honey Carrot Butter”
Skillet Seared Beef Tenderloin Medallions with sides of
“Mushroom Menagerie Marsala Gravy” along with
Whipped Horseradish Cream, and…
Fresh herbed chicken tenderloins
…sauteed in browned butter
Dessert was left warm in the oven… an ooey gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake!
I hope you’ll enjoy, and call me if you’d like to enjoy life’s celebrations at home instead of out in a busy…loud and noisy… impersonal restaurant! We can even do an interactive party if you wanna roll up your sleeves and throw-cook with me!
Wendy’s Almost Famous “Pickled” Pickled Shrimp!
What to throw together...
- about 2 lbs. jumbo sweet North Carolina Shrimp, peeled/de-viened with tail on
- 1 jar NC's Mt. Olive Sweet 'n Hot Pickled Peppers WITH juice
- 1 pint jar Pierce Foods Watermelon Rind Pickles WITH juice
- 1 pint jar Pierce Foods Okra Pickles, DRAINED
How to throw together...
- Cook Shrimp. I prefer to steam in microwave or stove top vs. boiling as steaming keeps the good flavor and nutrients IN the shrimp instead of boiling them out into the water!
- Place cooked shrimp into non-reactive container. Pour peppers with juice, watermelon rind pickles with juice and DRAINED okra pickles over shrimp. Toss well. Refrigerate and chill. I like to do this a minimum of 8 hours before serving for the juices to "pickle" the shrimp and get nice and cold.
- Pierce Foods is a shop I frequent at the Raleigh Farmers' Market. If you go by there, tell Mr. Pierce I sent you. If not in this area, you can sub any similar products, but try to buy LOCAL and from your area farmers' market too!
Don't be alarmed with the color change to a yellowish tint. That simply means the pickle juices are "pickling" the shrimp just as you want to happen!
The reason I drain the okra pickles is because that juice is twangy and I want my pickled shrimp to be sweet.
What to throw together...
- Cabbage and/or other similar greens
- any kinds of radishes
- spring onions-red onion-sweet onions…any sorts of onions or combination
- and any other nekkid veggies you'd like!
How to throw together...
- A variety of cuts makes this slaw pretty and far from boring. I thinly slice cabbage into ribbons... cut turnips into matchsticks, make long wide shreds of carrots using a vegetable peeler, slice/dice radishes and throw in thinly sliced red onions and chopped green onions (white and green parts).
- Just at serving time, throw in a heap'n help'n of chopped cilantro. This not only gives the slaw a pretty and vibrant punch of green, but throws in one more level of flavor... and THAT is rarely not a good thang!
The fun thing about this slaw is it can be whatever you want it to be... and can throw in any old things you wanna. If you have some of these nekkid ingredients on hand but not others, fix it anyway. This is a great way to clean out that produce drawer with those tidbits of this and that... not enough on its own, but perfect with thrown together with sister veggies.
Wouldn’t you love to make memories around your supper table at home… instead of a noisy restaurant with strangers?
It was my pleasure Robert… thanks to you and your happy family!!