Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

lemon-basil-chicken-salad-02
I’ve been on a sugar cleanse lately, trying to cut back on the baked goodies for a while. So the recipe today is a savory dish that will be sure to please anybody.  I’ve had some fresh herbs growing on my windowsill for a while now, and I’ve been so proud of myself for not killing them – yet. Smile 

If you don’t know by now, I was not blessed with a green thumb, and most of my potted endeavors end in failure. 

However, my dainty green herbs are still going strong, so I wanted to incorporate them into something. I had a bright idea – or what I thought was one – until I discovered it had already been done. Lemon Basil Chicken salad. A quick Google search led me to numerous recipes, and I decided to try one from Paula Deen. I adapted the original recipe a tad to suit my tastes, by adding chopped apple and substituting walnuts for the almonds. The key here is definitely using fresh basil, which adds a lot of flavor.  You could even use plain yogurt in place of the sour cream and mayo if you wanted to.

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad  lemon-basil-chicken-salad-01
(adapted from Paula Deen)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 rib minced celery
  • 1 cup chopped apple (I used gala)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used light sc)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, celery, apple, basil and nuts. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add to chicken mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill. Serve on a bed of baby spinach for a light salad, or spread on some delicious homemade bread for a yummy sandwich.
Enjoy!

Amber


Featured Foodie Interview with Foodsherpa

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I've found a great new website for you all to enjoy. Foodsherpa. What is Foodsherpa you say? Well, let me have them tell you, "Experience an exciting new tasty food item every day through Foodsherpa. We scour food markets, artisan shops, local farms and more across the country and feature one amazing food item daily. You can check it out on our website or receive a daily email and even buy it to enjoy at amongst friends or on your own."

They have such a unique selection of fresh, artisan made foods, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. How does Cinnamon Pear Maple Syrup sound, or Strawberry Lavendar Jam?

Sounds like pure heaven to me :)

They also have a featured foodie section, and I was so honored when they asked to feature my blog.
You can check out my interview, and browse through some incredible foods on foodsherpa.com

Enjoy!

Amber


Cherry Limeade Streusel Cake

cherry-limemade-cake-07-for-web

I love cherries, especially fresh ones. Last year I bought some beautiful rainier cherries because they were so pretty with their pale yellow skin with a hint of blush. The dessert I use them for was a brainstorm that turned out so well, I decided to make it again this year. Since it’s the season for these yummy cherries, I picked some up at the store to remake the treat I used them for last time.  Cherry Limeade Streusel Cake.

I love making this cake in a skillet, with lime soaked cherries and topped with a buttery streusel and zesty lime glaze…it’s sooo good. I had a few kinks to work out from the last time I made it. The cherries sunk to the bottom, so this time I coated them with a little flour and that seemed to do the trick.  The cake is cooling as I’m writing this, and I’m pretty sure it’s time to glaze it….so I’m off to indulge in some deliciousness!

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Cherry-Limeade Streusel Cake              cherry-limemade-cake-collage-for-web
Cake:
4 Tbsp butter, unsalted and room temperature, plus more for skillet
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for skillet
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 pound fresh cherries, halved and pitted
2 limes, zested and juiced


Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt


Lime Glaze:
6-7 Tbsp powdered sugar
reserved lime juice from cake + 1 tsp lime zest
3 drops of almond extract


For the streusel topping:  Place the flour in a small bowl and add the butter.  Using a fork, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the sugar and salt, mixing it in with a fork.  Set aside.


For the cake:  Preheat oven to 375F.  Cut the cherries in half and remove the pits, then quarter the halves.  Place the cherries in a small bowl, and pour the juice of two limes over them, tossing lightly to coat.  Set aside.  Butter an 8-inch ovenproof skillet (or an 8-inch cake pan), and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Using a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the egg.  Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.  Remove the cherries from the lime juice, and pour about 2 tablespoons of lime juice into the batter (save the rest for the glaze).  Add the zest from the limes you juiced for the cherries.  Stir just until combined. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour over the cherries, and lightly toss. It’s o.k if the cherries get a little gummy, they will sill have some residual lime juice on them.

Pour the batter into the prepared skillet, and smooth the top with a spatula.  Scatter the cherry halves on top of the batter, the sprinkle the streusel topping over the cherries.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove pan from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour.  In the meantime, combine the powdered sugar, lime juice, zest, and about 3 drops of almond extract.  Set aside.

Once the cake has cooled, place a plate upside down, over the top of the skillet.  Holding the bottom of the plate, quickly turn the skillet over so that the cake is streusel side down on the plate.  Place your serving platter upside down over the cake, and flip again, so the cake is now streusel side up.  Drizzle the lime glaze over the top of the cake.  If desired, garnish with fresh cherries and a lime slice. 

cherry-limemade-cake-10-for-web

Enjoy!

Amber


7 Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake

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Here’s another recipe that I tried out for the Clickin Moms scavenger hunt I participated in. The hunt is now over, and while I had a ton of fun with it…I’m exhausted! I loved how it made me push myself and step outside of my comfort zone.

During this scavenger hunt I:
Found a Delorean, met with a magician, visited a cave, took my son to his first fair, talked a complete stranger into letting me take her picture during her pedicure, cajoled an unknown tattooed man into sitting on a pink bike for me, and walked into a gym and asked a random man to bench press 200lbs for me!  This is just naming a few of the bizarre things I’ve done this month Smile  If you haven’t guessed already, another list item was a seven layer cake, and rather than go out and buy a slice – I decided to make of own.  Of course.

This cake was not as difficult as I thought it would be, and was quite good. I think I would bake the cake layers for a little less time next time though, and double the icing recipe.  More icing = more deliciousness…right?

Seven Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake  seven-layer-cake-2-for-blog
(adapted from 100 Café Street)

Cake Layers:
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Baking soda
¼ c. apple sauce
2 c. self-rising flour
1 ½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
1 c. buttermilk

Directions:
 
1. Combine flour and baking soda.
2 Add eggs, apple sauce, sugar, vanilla and buttermilk.
3. Mix until well blended, but do not over mix.
4. Pour ¾ c. batter into 6 or 7, 9” round cake pans (depending on how much batter you have and how well you scrape the bowl) and use anodized aluminum, so as not to burn the edges.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
6. Cool on wire racks while making fudge frosting.

Fudge Frosting:
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
½ c. margarine
7 oz. Evaporated milk

Directions:
1. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat without boiling.
2. Add sugar, cocoa, vanilla and evaporated milk.
3. Stir well and bring to a boil.
4. As soon as it comes to a boil, time for five minutes (ONLY five minutes) and then immediately remove from heat.
5. Ice your cake layers immediately or the frosting will harden into fudge, rendering it impossible to spread. 6. Serve warm, if possible, and you have the most decadent, Southern tradition that will melt in your mouth and be remembered for generations to come!

Note: The recipe shows the original amounts, I would suggest double the icing to be able to have enough to frost the layers and the outside. I used disposable cake pans, which made removing the cake from the pans easier. I very gently turned the pans inside out, and slide a knife under the cake to lift the cake off of the pan. I tried greasing and flouring one pan, but that method still let the cake stick.

Enjoy!

Amber





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