So, here’s how it went down: I slaved over a hot oven for hours roasting a juicy chicken, only to notice that my family wasn’t beating a path to the kitchen to get to it. Well, alright then!!! Well, I learned that day if life hands you a chicken, then make chicken salad☺
Here’s my simple recipe:
- 1 whole roasted chicken, diced (or 4 cups diced chicken)
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 2 medium boiled eggs, diced (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp. mayonnaise
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Combine chicken and diced veggies in a large mixing bowl, add diced eggs (optional).
- Mix in the mayo, add the salt, pepper and lemon juice until desired taste is achieved.
- Serve salad on a bed of lettuce, refrigerate unused portion.
Note: As an even healthier alternative, plain, low fat yogurt may substitute for the mayo.
For those of us with leftover turkey, here’s an idea: turkey pot pie. This was my first attempt at any pot pie whatsoever. I don’t really like the “soupy” looking pies, so I made my filling a bit “thicker” than usual.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter (cubed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tbsp. ice water
- 2 cups diced turkey
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 medium potato, diced
- ½ onion, diced
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 2 cups turkey/vegetable stock
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Place flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and mix.
- Add the butter and use fingertips to rub flour into butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs. (A food processor may also be used).
- Add ice water one tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough begins to form a ball.
- Place on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about half an hour.
- Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board.
- Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan, trim off any excess.
- Refrigerate along with dough for top crust until ready for use.
- Repeat procedure with the top crust.
- Sauté vegetables in a skillet until tender.
- Stir in turkey, vegetable stock and cornstarch (medium heat). Add seasonings.
- Allow mixture to thicken before pouring into crust.
- Cover with top crust and cut a few slits to allow steam release.
- Brush crust with egg wash.
- Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
For those of you who are tired of the same old traditional pumpkin pie, here's an upgrade: pumpkin cheese cake!! This was as easy as pie☺
- 9” Graham Cracker Pie Crust
- 1 can (16 oz) Pumpkin Puree
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Whipped cream
- In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar. Add egg and beat until smooth.
- Spread mixture in pie shell and set aside.
- In another bowl combine pumpkin puree, ¼ cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and egg. Blend well and pour over cream cheese mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes or until the center is almost set.
- Allow to cool, then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- Top with whipped cream before serving.
Okay, I am in no mood for baking a whole turkey this year, so instead I purchased a few ‘gigantic’ drumsticks almost the size of the brontosaurus that Fred Flintstones normally had for dinner, lol!! The good thing is my family is very small and the drumstick is their favorite part, talk about win, win!!
I seasoned them with salt, black pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, but forgot to splash some lemon juice on them. They were placed in the oven pronto and baked for about 3 hours.
I allowed them to rest (covered with foil) before slicing, or should I say carving, and smothering with gravy.
Easy Turkey Gravy
Easy Turkey Gravy
- 5 cups turkey stock
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Bring the turkey stock to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Dissolve flour in water in a small bowl.
- Gradually whisk into the turkey stock.
- Season with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened.
You may use any meat of your choice, such as: chicken, turkey, oysters, etc. or you could go meatless. Diced apples and carrots could also be added to really jazz this dish up.
- 4 slices bread, lightly toasted and cubed
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp butter
- ½ cup sausage, diced
- Place a skillet on medium heat; add butter and sauté onion and celery.
- Combine all ingredients a mixing bowl, be sure to add the wet ingredients gradually so that the bread is moist and not mushy.
- Place in a greased baking pan and bake covered for about 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes to allow stuffing to brown.
Serves 2 (yep, just my hubby and me, the kids didn't seem too interested, lol!!)
Believe it or not folks, this is my first time ever making candied yams, and no, they are not just for Thanksgiving☺
Seeing that they are just for my husband and me, I prepared a small pan. You could adjust the quantities if you so desire. This dish is super easy, yet scrumptious!!
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed (2 – 3 cups)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- Place potatoes in a pot of water and partially cook (about 5 minutes)
- Drain potatoes and assemble in a greased baking pan
- Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat until it begins to thicken.
- Cover potatoes with mixture and bake for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are done.
Before I learned how to bake bread the entire process seemed so intimidating. I found a recipe for making dinner rolls and did a bit of tweaking to come up with this basic bread recipe designed just for beginners, like myself. Just follow the directions and you get a nice loaf of bread.
- 1 packet of dry yeast
- ¼ cup of warm water
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ¾ tsp salt
- 3 cups of flour
- Dissolve yeast in warm water (make sure water is warm and not hot).
- Place milk and butter in a small bowl and microwave until milk is warm (not hot), this should take about a minute.
- To the yeast mixture add the egg, sugar, salt and one cup of flour.
- Mix in the warm milk and butter mixture. (Must be warm if it is hot you will kill the yeast).
- Add another cup of flour and mix.
- Add a third cup of flour and to form a wet, sticky dough.
- Place dough on a floured board/counter and knead. Add more flour in when the dough gets too sticky. (Don't work too much flour into the dough).
- Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic, but still soft and slightly sticky. Form into a smooth ball.
- Place dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm spot, until double in size.
- After dough has doubled, shape and set in a loaf pan.
- Allow to rise and double in size again (about 30-45 minutes).
- Bake 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Turn bread out on a cooling rack. Slice and enjoy!!
Here is my method for preparing what I would call a great ham:
- Place an 8 to10 ham in a large pot of water and add about 2 cups of sugar. I normally boil my ham for about 45 minutes to get rid of the excess salt that hams are known for.
- Remove pan from pot and place on a rack, fat side up, in a large baking pan or roasting pan. Add 1½ cups of water to the pan.
- Bake the ham for about an hour or until it reaches an internal temperature of 148°.
- In the final 20 minutes of baking, brush the ham all over with glaze.
You may choose any of the following glazes:
Honey Mustard Ham Glaze:
- 4 tbsp prepared mustard
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup honey
Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
Simple Ham Glaze:
- 1 cup corn syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp prepared mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Stir constantly while boiling, for about five minutes.
Apricot Honey Ham Glaze:
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens, then remove from heat.
I first tasted caramel pie from one of the local fast food joints. Here is my very own recipe of the tasty treat. Enjoy!!
- 1 – 9” Graham Cracker Pie Shell
- 1 small can sweetened condensed milk (for caramel)
- 1 – 8 oz package cream cheese
- Frozen cool whip (thawed)
- ½ cup condensed milk (for whipped cream mixture)
- 1 firm, ripe banana (sliced)
- ½ cup finely chopped nuts
- 2 tbsp toasted coconut flakes
To make the caramel, remove label and immerse unopened can of condensed milk in pot of boiling water. Boil for about 2 to 3 hours, ensuring that water does not dry out. Allow can to cool before opening.
Line the bottom of pie shell with banana slices.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cool whip and ½ cup sweetened condensed milk. Spread half of the mixture evenly onto the pie crust and place in the freezer to harden.
Open the can of caramel and empty contents into a bowl (be sure to set aside some of the caramel to drizzle on top of your pie). Mix in the chopped nuts and coconut flakes and spread mixture on the first cool whip layer. Allow to set in the refrigerator.
Spread remaining cool whip mixture on top of caramel.
Drizzle with preserved caramel and refrigerate for about an hour or place in freezer for half an hour before serving.
Bahamians can’t resist a good potato salad. This easy to prepare side-dish is a Sunday Dinner favorite.
- 4 cups potatoes (peeled, cubed and cooked)
- 1 small finely chopped onion
- 1 small finely diced bell pepper
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- After cooking allow potatoes to cool.
- Combine potatoes and all ingredients, do not over-mix.
- Refrigerate for several hours ahead of serving time.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce (optional).
- You may choose to sprinkle paprika on your salad or garnish as desired.
- Take care to not over-cook the potatoes, remember, this is potato salad and not mashed potatoes.
- If your salad is too dry, add a bit more mayo.
I refer to Deviled Eggs as “glorified egg salad”. This dish is so simple a kid could make it. They seem to “show up” to just about every function and are quite popular at buffets so you can’t go wrong with this one.
- 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1-2 tbsp mustard
- 1tsp sugar (optional)
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Paprika (for garnishing)
- Slice eggs lengthwise, remove yolks and set aside in a small bowl
- Mash the yolks using a fork then add sugar, mayo and mustard. Sprinkle in salt, pepper and onion powder to taste. Mix well.
- Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika and refrigerate serving time.
Fried plantains, one of my favorite side dishes. It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks!
- 4 ripe plantains
- Vegetable oil
- Peel the plantain and cut into one-inch thick slices, length-wise or diagonally.
- Heat the oil and fry the plantain slices until golden brown.
- Place on platter lined with paper towel to absorb extra oil. That's it, you're done.
Tip: Plantains with the skin turning black are best for frying. They are much sweeter!!
Chocolate mousse just has a way of making the most amateur cooks, like myself, look like professionals. After perusing several mousse recipes I came up with this concoction:
- 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, separated
- 8 oz cool whip
- Thoroughly combine cocoa powder, sugar, milk, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl and heat in microwave (for about a minute or two).
- Add egg yolks a bit at a time to prevent them from being scrambled.
- In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Combine cool whip with whipped egg whites. Be sure to leave a bit of cool whip for garnishing, if desired.
- Gently fold in the chocolate mixture a bit at a time.
- Spoon into serving glasses and refrigerate until set.
- Garnish with cool whip before serving (optional).
Please note: raw eggs should not be consumed by children and the elderly.