Archive for the 'Salads and Salad Dressings' Category

Recipe: BBQ Chicken, Beans and Salad

|September 7, 2013|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Oh so simple!

I love bbq chicken!  And when you make it in the oven it is just fall-off-the bone goodness!

The little guy had his year-end picnic a couple weeks ago and they had a local BBQ place (BW's BBQ) do the chickens.  Well – to me – you go to a chicken barbecue and you see them making the chickens, basting/mopping them, etc.  Well it smelled good – but that was about it.

What ever happened to the days you went to a chicken barbecue, got a half chicken on a plate and they passed salads of all sorts around for you to help yourself to?  And the salads were GOOD!

After the chicken was cooked it was placed in a styrofoam container with a scoop of coleslaw and a scoop of potato salad.  (just gotta love portion control!) Plopped a plastic bag with a plastic fork and knife, one thin paper napkin, and a wet one to clean your hands when you were done.

Where would you like me to start?

I'll start with the chicken – dry – no flavor – apparently they use a rub which burns on the grill and that was the only taste there was to the chicken.  You got to eat charcoal flavored skin and the meat on the chicken had absolutely NO FLAVOR WHATSOEVER. Talk about dryness!  You had to choke it down!

Moving over to the potato salad – made with those frozen diced potatoes – card board tasting – disappointing.  Sure as hell doesn't compare to homemade!

Coleslaw – certainly nothing worth writing about.

Well none of us could finish it – not because it of the size (I think elementary school lunches have more to them!) but because of the taste.

I don't know about you – but I love a good barbecued chicken that has that fall-off-the- bone goodness and is finger-licking good!

Certainly not worth the $12 per person we all paid!

Hell – if it was good – I would have paid more than that!

And being such a bbq chicken nut – I just decided to make a simple dinner to satisfy that fall-off-the-bone, finger lickin' good bbq chicken.

Just oven baked, served with pork and beans and a nice refreshing salad with a simple and tasty homemade oil/vinegar vinaigrette.  Oh so good – and flavorful! 



We had a hard time getting the chicken in the dish before it fell off the bones!


Served with egg dinner rolls…………..


Recipe: A quite filling salad – makes a great meal!

|March 26, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

We had such a mild winter – or should I say we had an absolutely INSANE winter this year.  The temperatures were up and down and of course everyone got a "bug" of some sort.

And then we had such beautiful summer-like weather where it just put you in the mood for "lighter" cooking.

I absolutely love antipasto A/K/A LOADED salads!

Here's one I made that just hit the spot – and it felt so nice to have the hot weather and a good salad for a complete  meal.

I used my salad mix which I love to make a big bowl of and I can enjoy it till it's gone: chopped romaine, iceberg, chipped purple cabbage and chipped carrots.  Just place in your salad bowl and top with sliced cukes, sliced radishes, (which are under what you see) thin sliced deli turkey and ham, genoa and hard salami, mozzarella slices cut into squares, provolone slices cut into wedges, Swiss slices cut into thin strips, chopped tomato, black and green olives, sliced pepperoni and hard-cooked egg quarters.

A nice vinaigrette of olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon, sea salt, cracked black pepper, crushed basil – andif you make too much – oh well – sop it up with crusty Italian bread!

I can never tire of salads like these and the prep time is well worth it!

Recipe: Wishing for BBQ………..

|February 27, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I know that February is almost over, and that is has been a very ABNORMAL winter here – but I am wishing for BBQ!

Do you know that since November my rose bushes at the side of the house have been green and growing chutes?  I also have green mutant somethings coming up as well – whatever they are.

With this weather the way it is I don't know if it's fall, winter or spring!  No wonder everyone is getting sick.  Not cold enough to kill the germs.

They said that the ants and the bugs are making their appearance already.  Last week I had a mosquito at my door.

Talk about Twilight Zone!


But I want BBQ!

So the closest I can get right now is crockpot BBQ.  I had a boneless beef bottom round steak in the freezer – a tad more than an inch thick. 

I washed it – like I wash everything – even though it was frozen and I drizzled olive oil over it, turning it to coat and placed in my crockpot.  I seasoned both sides with sea salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, onion powder and parsley and turned it HIGH.


I bought a tray of eggs at the market – you know the ones that come 2 1/2 dozen to a flat.  Supposedly LARGE EGGS.  And written on the plastic wrap around it – NO GROWTH HORMONES and all  that yada yada.

They should have given the chickens growth hormones – dang eggs ain't much bigger than pigeon eggs! 

I was in the mood for potato and macaroni salad but I decided to combine the both –

I either made macaroni salad with potatoes in it or I made potato salad with macaroni in it.  Either way – worked for me.

While I steamed by taters, I boiled my "pigeon eggs", chopped some celery, grated a bit of onion,  added sweet pickle relish and mayo, chopped my eggs – and "sprinkled" the top with stuffed olives.

I also made stuffed eggs – combining sweet pickle relish, a bit of grated onion, and mayo – topping with stuffed olives.

Smothered my steak with BBQ sauce during the last 45 minutes of cooking.

And I satisfied by craving for BBQ as well as my craving for potato and macaroni salad!  At least for now that is – but I would still love a huge plate of pork ribs!  Soon!!!!

Recipe: A nice slice of top round and a crockpot! And bean salad!

|October 9, 2011|read comments (4)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

A couple weeks ago there was a beef sale at the market – buy one, get one (of equal or lesser amount) free. Usually I don’t bother much with those “sales” because the price per pound has been increased immensely and they pump them with so much water.

But I stopped to take “peek” at their thick-sliced top round steaks. They had 2 beautiful ones there – each averaging $9.00 so I bought them, brought them home and froze them. Paying $9.00 for both – okay.

Yesterday I took one out of the freezer to thaw it for today. By 4:30 this morning (remember – I have to be at the babies house so mom can catch her ride to the terminal – she’s a school bus aide) I had the steak rinsed, patted dry, in the crockpot with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic, parsley, and a bit of onion powder. I sliced up a beautiful onion – one of those that would be perfect for a large bloomin’ onion – turned the crockpot on HIGH and ran out the door.

When I got home after 9:00 I turned the steak over – it was about half cooked. Fine by me.

So I made a basic 3-Bean Salad:

1 can (15 oz.) yellow wax beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) green beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained


1/3 cup sugar, in
1/3 cup vinegar (I used white today – cider is okay to use as well)

Stirring in:
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley

¼ cup olive oil – mix well.

Pour over beans; mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

By 11:30 I was peeling my potatoes to make mashed potatoes and starting my gravy. I tried to turn the steak and it just fell apart! Excellent!

One bowl of really good gravy!! Mmmmmm…..!

Really a no-fuss meal – filling – and the steak was fork-tender and just melted in our mouths.

Add a slice of French bread – I’m a happy camper!

We had our big meal at noon-time – and the left over meat and gravy will make nice “pulled beef’ and gravy open-faced sammies with steak fries for dinner! (with a much easier clean-up!)

Recipe: Baked Fish, Tater Wedges, Slaw, My Bistro Tart

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Of course, it's Friday. A no meat day in our home. We still carry out this tradition.

It's also damp and cold – a perfect day to put the oven on – and – it's healthier to bake fish than to always have it deep-fried.

I've made my coleslaw early today –

Creamy Coleslaw

2 pounds of cabbage
2 large carrots
Minced red and green bell pepper for color and presentation (not quite half of each)
1 small onion
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup milk – I use whole milk in all my cooking and baking
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled is fine)

Shred cabbage and carrots with a grater or food processor.
Finely chop onion, or process in food processor. Combine cabbage, carrots, belln pepper and onion in a LARGE bowl.

Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients and pour over cabbage mixture and stir well. Refrigerate 2 hours, over night is even better, stir before serving.

My "fish butter" is made and in the refrigerator ready to go:

4 teaspoons butter (not margarine)
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
A grind of black pepper from the pepper grinder

And the lemon is cut into slices; covered and in the refrigerator.

I've also made my coating for my fish and it's in a shallow dish covered with plastic wrap until I'm ready to bake the fish which is basically homemade bread crumbs combined with My Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning:

1/2 cup fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup dried lemon peel (you know I make my own)
1/4 cup dried minced onion (I make my own)
1/4 cup dried minced garlic (I make my own)
1/4 cup dried parsley leaves (I make my own)

Stir all the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

All I need to do for the fish is to rinse it off (I wash everything!) and pat dry, dredge in a flour mixture of flour, some Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper then press into coating and place on lightly oiled baking sheet – 350* F. 10 to 15 minutes (depending ont he thickenss of the fish).

I'll scrub my taters and leave the peels on and cut into wedges. I'll toss them in a bowl with melted butter, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh minced parsley, a bit of dried basil. Place skin-side down on lightly oiled baking sheet – and since these take longer I'll have them on at least 45 minutes or more before the fish goes in the oven.

My "bistro apple tart" sounds good as well –

I just roll my crust out and place on a large baking sheet; place my cut apples (using My Apple Spice Mix – posted in my blog here) in the center and pull the edges up, folding over about 2 inches coming up the apples. Center apples are not covered. Bake at 350* F. until a beautiful light golden brown and the apples are tender.

I use a double crust recipe (I don't like thin crusts) and if you want you can place the tart on parchment paper to make it easy to remove from the baking sheet to wire rack to cool. Try serving with warmed caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream; top with chopped walnuts, if desired.

And don't be afraid to add craisins, raisins, or nuts to your apple filling.

I've got rye bread which I'll slice thick and heat in the oven while the fish is baking. It's much better than toasting the bread – takes longer – but it's really good with a good bread – try it!

Recipe: remember the ham salad?

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

As you've already seen – I made my ham salad not long ago (a couple posts down from here) and of course, as always, there is never any waste when that is made. Just like ham salad – I made bologna salad – you can use it for so many things. Stuffing pita breads, making sammies or hoagies, served as a spread for crackers, bagel chips, etc., stuff into tomatoes, etc.

So easy to make – and of course – it doesn't last long around here.

I purchased a whole bologna at the market (which I shared with someone else so they could make this as well) and we enjoyed bologna salad!

Just like making the ham salad, cut bologna into chunks and mince in the food processor.

Mince an onion as well and add sweet pickle relish – salad dressing or mayo to desired consistency and enjoy with bread and butter pickles!

At this time of the year, when there is so much to do for the holiday and so much baking – it's nice to have something like this that you can make a quick lunch, dinner or a snack with.

Recipe: before Thanksgiving – Ham Salad – from 11/2010

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Before Thanksgiving it is so hectic for me. All the scrubbing and cleaning, windows, curtains and all, plus the menu planning, who's who, etc. and I just need more time to get everything done. And it always comes together for me.

The Sunday before seems to be the last day of making a big meal for us to enjoy until the big "stuffing" day.

On this day I made a pork steak dinner – just look under Pork, Yams, Potato Dressing – it's there.

Then it's "cheater" meals until Thursday.

The Monday before Thanksgiving I pick up the last of what I need – and in my travels I purchased a 3-pound canned ham. Great for sandwiches – and ham salad. That is always popular around here. Always rinse off well and pat dry with paper towels.

What I like about it – it's easy to make and you can add as much as you want of anything you want in it – and it's a great sammie-stuffer, or can be used as a spread for crackers, bagel chips, etc., or use to stuff tomatoes, celery, pita breads; you can turn it into a sub/hoagie by adding lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc., or you can serve it on lettuce leaves for a nice salad. There is so much you can do with a salad like this.

Here's my minced ham, minced onion, sweet pickle relish –

Once mixed – I can eat this with a spoon and I'd be in heaven!

Ham Salad

Deli/cooked ham (leftovers are good for this)
Sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet pickles
Onion and/or celery
Mayo or salad dressing

Mince your ham in your food processor; occasional lumps are okay – they taste good! Add enough sweet pickle relish, minced onion and/or celery, and mayo/dressing to make it the right consistency.

Will last in the refrigerator for 3 days, covered. Unfortunately – mine NEVER lasts that long!

Served on a nice deli rye with pickles and olives – Yep – I can do this quite often!

I hope you try it! Make it for yourself, your family, or for your next party as a spread.

Recipe: A day to spend in the kitchen –

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

From February 2011 –


Making just one of my CHEESE SALADS –

It's storming outside – many places are closed – unfortunately, my babies had to go to school today. If this storm would have just started sooner they would be home right now. So I am just watching the weather and shoveling every 2 hours.

It took me quite a while to get into the city this morning. The roads were terrible and any driving over 10 mph meant donuts all over the road. When I got to their house I had to park in a parking lot at the end of their street – or I would not get in and out of their drive or their street. And no plows were in sight.

So I am worried sick about them in school today and having to take the bus home.

The snows let up a bit – looking out my front window

I don't know if you can see that fence across the street – but the thruway is just beyond that –

so I turned to the refrigerator and pulled out some goodies to make a few things today.

I've got cabbage and carrots, and since I stopped at the market after I put the babies on the bus – and I got a package of chicken thighs and cole slaw sounds good for tomorrow's meal.

And I've got cauliflower and I've got tons of bricks of various cheeses, a red bell pepper, a green bell pepper, onions, black olives – so it sounds like one of my jarred salads will also be good for tomorrow.

I sliced some carrot very thin; sliced a sweet onion thin and cut the slices in half; drained a 6-ounce can of black olives (pitted); cleaned my cauliflower and cooked about 2 cups of florets in boiling water until crisp-tender and drained and cooled; and tossed all in a large mixing bowl. Added chopped red bell pepper and chopped green bell pepper – usually a medium pepper of each is fine and I bought the largest peppers I could because I needed a bit for a sauce I want to make to night. The extra chopped pepper is in the fridge waiting for tonight's goodies.

Next I cut my cheese – a little more than 1-pound of cheese for this salad. You can see that the extra-sharp yellow Cheddar was cut into squares; the mozzarella was cut into fingers; and the baby Swiss was cut into triangles.

Next I made my "dressing" which was a bit more than 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, and a pinch of chili powder. No vinegar is used. Yes, you can add vinegar – but for this one I did not want any – gives it a unique taste.  Some Kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Whisk well and pour over, mixing lightly, but well enough to coat.

NOTE: This is not the type of salad where you want extra dressing. It's a make-a-day-ahead salad that you need to tip and turn in the refrigerator every so many hours. You don't want dressing sitting in the bottom of the jar – it won't taste right.

I transferred it all to a glass gallon container and placed in the fridge.

I'll tip and turn throughout the day today and tomorrow, etc. until it is gone. Believe me – when I make this – it NEVER lasts very long.

This is a great side, and goes well served in lettuce cups as well.

Recipe: Chicken, Roasted Veggies, Cream Sauce, Cole Slaw, Cheese Salad

|August 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

From February 2011 –

I don’t think it could be any colder than it is today and yet it is going to get worse. I’m tired of shoveling and I thought it was too cold to snow – but of course – I should not have even thought of that. I should know better. My driveway is calling me now – but it will just have to wait until later.

Yesterday the roads were atrocious and I had to drive into the city to watch the babies, get them ready for school and take them to the bus stop and then pick them up after school. The morning commute was a nightmare – took me 3 times longer to get there and had to park in a parking lot and walk the rest of the way to get to their house. No city plows.

After school was better – arctic cold – but the roads were in better shape and the snow subsided. So I drove through the drive thru at BK and got 3 hot chocolates before I picked them up from the bus. Believe me – they were really appreciated! I know I needed it because their bus was late and I freeze in the car waiting for them.

On my way home in the morning – even with it storming, I stopped at the market and picked up a package of chicken thighs to make for today’s dinner. Once I got home and shoveled again – I got to start making dinner for today. I have an abundance of various block cheeses and we absolutely love cheese salads. You can see that recipe and the pictures at my post – A day to spend in the kitchen –

This morning I decided to make my coleslaw for today. Using a simple hand grater I shredded my cabbage and carrot and grated a bit of sweet onion to add to it. For the dressing – (eye balling it all)

In a small bowl, combine:
About 2 T. sugar
2 – 3 T. white vinegar – whisk to dissolve

Whisk in:
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
A drizzle of vegetable oil (about 2 T.)
About 1/3 cup mayo (salad dressing is fine – but I had mayo opened already in the fridge)

Whisk well, pour over cabbage mixture, mix well; cover and refrigerate until dinner time.

As far as the cabbage mix –
3 – 4 heaping cups cabbage, shredded
½ large carrot, shredded
A few tablespoons grated onion

I didn’t want to make too much.

Moving on to the “chicken department” – which I will post another continuing saga with Tyson at the end –

You just have to love buying packages of Tyson chicken thighs – I swear it. You never know just how much of what is tucked under the perfect looking thighs. I know I cut off more than a pound of fat and excess skin from them – and I only purchased eight of them. You grab a thigh out of the package and there is enough skin on them to wrap around them twice! But I trimmed them of excess skin and fat, thoroughly washed in cold water with salt – twice, and rinsed well; pat dry.

Placed in my roasting pan and drizzled with olive oil, turning to coat. Seasoning:

Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
Just a bit of onion powder

I seasoned the inside first, turned and seasoned the skin side; covered with foil and roasted at 350* F. for about 1 3/4 hours or so until done.

Meanwhile, I prepared my veggies for roasting:

Russet potatoes, cut into chunks (** see AFTER my Tyson “report”)
Cauliflower, cut into florets
Carrots, cut into chunks
Cooking onions, cut into wedges

Just toss with olive oil and season with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, and parsley – transfer to baking dish and cover with foil – placed on the top rack about an hour into cooking the chicken and the veggies were done in 45 – 50 minutes.

Instead of making pan gravy, I decided to make a cream sauce –
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup whole milk
About ½ cup sour cream

Heat through without boiling.

Chicken thighs, roasted veggies, cream sauce, cheese salad and coleslaw:

Made a delicious hot meal for us today!

And now for the continuing saga – Tyson chicken –
I’ve been cooking chicken for decades – I know my chicken. Granted, chickens were better years ago – let’s face it – what wasn’t? Well last week I purchased a Tyson Roasting chicken. Looked good. It wasn’t frozen (just a note here.) I remove it from the bag, drain all the yucky liquids out of it, cut off it’s ass – yeah, you know me – asses off first! Then I proceeded to rip out all the fat and innards they didn’t clean out, cut off all the excess fat and skin and clean in cold salted water – TWICE. Rinse well, pat dry, and place in my roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season, shove a cleaned carrot stick and celery stalk with the leaves in the cavity, tie the legs, pour in some chicken broth, cover, and into a 350* F. oven. Looks good. Smells good. I wanted to use the carcass to make homemade soup.

Mind you – my chickens, just like my turkeys – fall apart. Always tender, juicy and good.

I basted several times. And when I removed it from the oven – I had met up with an armored chicken from the Twilight Zone. A sharp knife would not penetrate the skin. It was rock hard.


Something is wrong – really, really wrong here. So I pull out my weapons of mass destruction (heavy duty knives) and I start to SAW this bird apart. Sure didn’t get too far with it. The sound of sawing the skin was scary alone.

Needless to say – it was a meatless – or should I say – chicken-less meal that day. A real disappointment.

No we didn’t starve – I have meat in the fridge and some turkey leftover from a previous meal that I was able to quickly cook for us to eat.

But as far as that chicken goes – I don’t know where the hell it came from! The thighs I made today were good – but that bird – scary thought of what it would have done to us if we ingested it. Although I don’t think we would have been able to bite into it. Never in my life did I ever encounter anything like that! Even the turkey cooked for Christmas in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was more tender than this thing.

**And – now to start on the Jolly Green Giant and his ho-ho-ho valley of veggies. I purchased a 10 pound bag of Russets – and I have only found 3 potatoes so far in the bag that were not rotten inside. They look good on the outside – and I was going to make baked potatoes the other day when I bought the bag (on Thursday) but something told me to cut them open and check them out. Yucky brown!

Oh well – is it just me or do you have problems with lousy produce as well?

And I won’t even ASK if anyone has ever encountered a chicken that could not be cooked and cut!

Recipe: A meal in less than 30 minutes – from May 2010

|August 25, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen