Archive for April 22, 2015

Fruit and Nut Chicken Salad

Last summer I “discovered” chicken salad all over again. Not the “traditional”, tried-and-true recipe I had used for YEARS but a jazzed up version that uses fruit and nuts. I hadn’t really even thought about the possibility of another “version” of chicken salad out there til I saw it in the deli section of my grocery store and decided to give it a try…from the first bite I was hooked!

And, since they no longer carry my favorite chicken salad…and I’ve been craving it, I decided to come up with my own version! This recipe is super easy and you can substitute other fruits and/or nuts as your taste buds guide you.

Until next time,

Much Peace & Love,

~Renee

 

Just a few ingredients are needed. The relish is optional...I used it this time but I think I'll leave it out next time...depends on my mood...

Just a few ingredients are needed. The relish is optional…I used it this time but I think I’ll leave it out next time…depends on my mood…

I chopped up the grapes, then chopped the mandarin oranges. (Only got a pic of the grapes...why? I really don't know. LOL)

I chopped up the grapes, then chopped the mandarin oranges. (Only got a pic of the grapes…why? I really don’t know. LOL)

I just chopped the chicken up with my spoon.

I chopped the chicken up with my spoon.

Here are all the ingredients...ready to be mixed up.

Here are all the ingredients…ready to be mixed up…

Mmmm mmmm good!!!

…and, mmmm mmmm good!!!

Fruit and Nut Chicken Salad

1 (12.5oz) Can Chicken

1/2 Cup Mayonaise 

1 Egg, hard-boiled & chopped

1/4 Cup Grapes, chopped

1/4 Cup Mandarin Oranges, chopped

1/4 Cup Pecans, chopped

1/4 Cup Walnuts, chopped

1/8 Cup Sweet Relish (optional)

1. Lightly toast the pecans and walnuts, if desired. If not toasting, move to the next step.

2. Drain chicken, place it in a medium bowl, and chop it up.

3. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. 

4. Serve in sandwiches or on crackers as desired. (I usually prefer crackers!)

5. Refrigerate left overs…IF there’s even any left!

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Cherry Cheese Danish Bars

I really like cherry cheese danish…they’re just so good! I decided I’d make some…in bar form to be quicker and easier. And, boy am I glad I did! They’re super good and you can personalize them the way you like…use a different fruit that you like better than cherry (or that you’re more in the mood for).

I put them in the breakfast category but they’re also good for brunch or a snack any time! (Or even dessert!)

If you’re like me, you can’t wait to try these as soon as they’re done but, believe me, it’s DEFINITELY worth the wait til they’re chilled…it makes them even better! 🙂

Enjoy!!

~Renee

Blending together the softened cream cheese and the granulated sugar.

Blending together the softened cream cheese and the granulated sugar.

Then, blending in the egg.

Then, blending in the egg.

Here's half the crescent rolls spread to the edges of the pan. (You can tell I've used this pan a lot! LOL)

Here’s half the crescent rolls spread to the edges of the pan. (You can tell I’ve used this pan a lot! LOL)

Spreading the cream cheese filling over the crescent roll crust.

Spreading the cream cheese filling over the crescent roll crust.

Dropping little spoonfuls of the yummy spreadable fruit.

Dropping little spoonfuls of the yummy spreadable fruit.

Here, I'm pressing the other half of the crescent rolls to the shape/size of my pan.

Here, I’m pressing the other half of the crescent rolls to the shape/size of my pan.

It was slightly tricky getting the top crust on...I should've left the wax paper on top til it was in place.

It was slightly tricky getting the top crust on…I should’ve left the wax paper on top til it was in place.

Nice and brown on top...now to let them cool.

Nice and brown on top…now to let them cool.

I'm drizzling on the glaze.

I’m drizzling on the glaze.

Ahh, the finished product...oh-so-good!!!

Ahh, the finished product…oh-so-good!!!

Cherry Cheese Danish Bars

1 Tube Crescent Rolls

8oz Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 Cup Cherry Spreadable Fruit*

Glaze ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

2 Tbls Milk

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter sides of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan; set aside. **

2. In a mixing bowl, blend together the cream cheese, vanilla and granulated sugar til light and fluffy. Blend in the egg.

3. Press half the crescent rolls into the bottom of the pan, spreading to the edges. Spread cream cheese filling on top. Dot the top of the filling with small spoonfuls of the spreadable fruit.

4. On a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap, press the remaining crescent rolls to the size of the pan. Place it directly on top of the filling (with the wax paper on the outside). Carefully remove the wax paper.

5. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or til the top is lightly browned and filling looks set. Allow it to cool completely.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients til smooth. Drizzle glaze over the cooled bars. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. (IF you can wait that long!) Cut into bars and enjoy! 

*Can use a little more according to your preference. Also, you can change the fruit if you’d like.

**Can also use cooking spray.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Outer Banks, Etc

Howdy folks!

I didn’t get a recipe posted last weekend and here’s why:

We had been planning a vacation for my hubby, my daughters Jenny and Hannah, and me for a couple months and it was finally getting down to the wire…almost go time.

My intention was to post a nice recipe for y’all right before we left. (I had even taken pics and everything!) But, alas, I didn’t get ALL the things on my to-do list done. Sorry…BUT I hope you enjoy my account and the pics of our vacation.

Who knows? Maybe it’ll have you wanting to go there too…We went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Such a beautiful place…with so many friendly people! (And, being at the beach is always good therapy for me!)

First, we went for an early morning (2 hour!) horse ride at Equine Adventures. They have some really beautiful horses. We had a great guide…she didn’t even seem “ruffled” in the least by my nervousness at one point (okay, maybe you could say “terror” for a few minutes when my horse wanted to keep up with the other…faster…horses and I did NOT. Hahaha!)…thank God for her patience! Their web site is equineadventures.com…you should check them out!

After our ride, the girls took a much needed nap and Mike and I headed over to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It wasn’t open (til May) so I didn’t get to climb all those steps…but really wanted to!

A little later on, we got to visit with my step-daughter Crystal and her family who live there. We hadn’t seen them in so long and it was an AWESOME visit! (We’ll have to go back some time in the near-future…hint, hint Honey!) 🙂 Regretfully, I forgot to get pics of all of us together, but next time!

After all the excitement in OBX, we headed to Mama’s house in VA. As usual, our visit was over WAYYY too quickly but it was so nice to see my family! I love and miss them so much!!!

Anyway, I’ll post another yummy recipe soon! In the meantime, here are some of the vacation pics. I hope you like them!

~Renee

 

Here we are...all happy campers. So glad the sun came out long enough for our ride!

Here we are…all happy campers. So glad the sun came out long enough for our ride!

Beautiful girl, beautiful horse, beautiful scenery

Beautiful girl, beautiful horse, beautiful scenery

What a big, beautiful smile...looks like somebody's happy her Mama planned this vacation! ;)

What a big, beautiful smile…looks like somebody’s happy her Mama planned this vacation! 😉

Lovin' the beach!

Lovin’ the beach!

My Handsome Honey walking his horse in the water's edge.

My Handsome Honey walking his horse in the water’s edge.

Running alongside our guide.

Running alongside our guide.

Jenny's pretty chill on her horse. I think everybody (except me) was a natural.

Jenny’s pretty chill on her horse. I think everybody (except me) was a natural.

Hey, I survived my eager horse! Hahaha!

Hey, I survived my eager horse! Hahaha!

My gorgeous oldest baby girl.

My oldest baby girl.

It was awesome to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse up close! I wish it'd been open already...I really wanted to climb all the way up!

It was awesome to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse up close! I wish it’d been open already…I really wanted to climb all the way up!

Hannah found a pretty conch shell.

Hannah found a pretty conch shell.

Jenny and Hannah comparing shells.

Jenny and Hannah comparing shells.

I'm reflecting...and trying not to freeze! (The wind was so cold my hands were getting numb.)

I’m reflecting…and trying not to freeze! (The wind was so cold my hands were getting numb.)

**PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.