Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Avocado Chicken Salad and Savory Oatmeal Cookies

Finally!  Some good things to post about!  Yeah!

This past Saturday we were pleased as punch to be able to host our monthly ladies’ tea party.  We were missing a few people but sure had a lot of fun with the wonderful ladies who were able to attend!  I won’t yack on about stuff (as i usually do) but will get right down to business because i’ve got quite a few new recipes to share with you!

First up to bat…Avocado Chicken Salad found at The Spontaneous Hausfrau.  (    To quote the girls, this one is a keeper!  The avocado adds a wonderful creaminess and that extra zing from lime juice which really puts this on another level.  Th only changes i made were to use celery seed instead of celery and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (no salt) in place of the Lawry’s Season Salt and they were great.

Next in the line up is a really cool twist on oatmeal cookies found at  (   Don’t think of your grandmother’s sweet cookies filled with chewy raisins.  This is a savory treat bursting with the tang of Parmesan cheese and the pungent taste of rosemary.  Very unique and quite a surprise for the taste buds!


Avocado Chicken Salad

1/2 an avocado
1 tablespoon lime
1/2 cup mayo
6 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s season salt or TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute
2 1/2 cups poached or roasted chicken breast,  chopped
1/3 cup celery, diced, or 1 tablespoon celery seed
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Combine the avocado, lime, mayonnaise, sour cream, worcestershire sauce, and season salt and mix until creamed well.   Transfer the dressing to a large bowl and fold in the chicken, celery, and dried cranberries until well-combined. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.

Savory Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup sifted unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place the oats in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the water over them.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, brown sugar and egg. Pour this mixture over the oats, stir to combine, and set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, fine sea salt, baking soda, rosemary, and black pepper. Whisk to combine well. Stir in the Parmesan.

Gradually sprinkle the flour mixture over the oat mixture, stirring until combined.

Form 1 tablespoon size scoops of batter and place, evenly spaced on a parchment paper or baking mat-lined cookie sheet. Flatten each piece of dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Use your hands to form an even disk. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of each.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the edges are slightly darkened.  Cool on a cooling rack.

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Pizza Irene

Takes more than a hurricane to keep people from going to the annual Tomato and Garlic TasteFest at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA.  Last year, Michael and i “happened” upon the museum because of their colorful sign advertising the T/G Fest and afterwards became members of the museum.  (It has a wonderful garden!)   The TasteFest is quite interesting.  Tomatoes you’ve never seen or heard of in all shapes, colors and sizes–and you get to taste test them!  Same with the garlic.  Pungent, pungent and more pungent.  I do the mateys and Michael does the garlic.  Let’s just say that vampire visits are not a problem for a couple days.  Anyway, we enjoyed it again and came away with packets of seeds for three of my favorite tomatoes and a bulb for one of his favorite garlics so hopefully next summer we’ll be enjoying our own.



Persian Star

This led me to think about tomatoes, garlic and a recipe which as usual leads down multiple paths until….

Pizza.  I adore pizza.  One of the best foods every invented, wouldn’t you say?  Tomatoes and garlic are a very necessary part of pizza, so grande!  Pizza it is.  After wandering here and wandering there and then following the White Rabbit down the Rabbit Hole, the pizza idea has developed.  But what to name it?  After, again, numerous considerations, a thought forms: why not name it for the hurricane?  Thus, Pizza Irene was born.

Hope it will be a direct hit with you and you’ll feel a surge of longing when the thought of pizza strikes your mind.  Just one piece could lift you out of your depression  and, without warning, waves of happiness could wash over you.

Next blog post: what to do with an overabundance of corn.

Pizza Irene

Favorite pizza dough (homemade or package mix, prepared)

Cloves of garlic, roasted

Basil, fresh or dried

Parmesan cheese

Roast beef, shredded

Cream cheese, softened

Mozzarella, sliced or shredded

Swiss cheese, sliced or shredded

Prepare pizza dough as directed.

Slice tomatoes into thin slices (if using Roma tomatoes, cut in half and remove core and seeds.)  Prepare garlic.  Place tomatoes and garlic on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Roast in a 325 degree oven for one to three hours, depending on tomato type and thickness.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Grease pizza pan.  After rolling out dough, sprinkle Parmesan cheese across top.  Bake at 450-500 degrees for five to ten minutes.

Crush cloves of garlic. Use amount of garlic that suits your taste.  Add crushed garlic and chopped/dried basil to softened cream cheese, mixing thoroughly.  Spread cream cheese mixture across pizza dough.  Top with tomato slices, shredded beef, swiss and mozzarella cheeses.

Bake until cheese is bubbly.

Pizza Irene

Dunne, Irene

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Grilled Caprese Sandwich

“You are what you eat.”  Strange.  I don’t remember eating any sexy beasts today. ;0)

But…i did eat one very sexy sandwich!  Oh, baby!  Yes ma’am, that was oh, so fine!  What was it?  (insert evil snicker)  Let’s see.  How long should i string you along?  Okay, i give.  I wouldn’t hold back on you, honestly, i wouldn’t.  Because you need to try this.  You really, really need to try this.  And i’m not saying that lightly.  It was…ahhhh!

Of course i know you’ve already figured it out.  You read the title, for crying out loud.  Dear Miss Ashley asked if she could fix me a sandwich for lunch because she was going to make one for herself.  Well, i’ve been intending to try a Grilled Caprese ever since the tomatoes have gotten ripe but for some reason just haven’t done so.  Pretty soon, the mateys will be a distant memory (the fresh ones, that is) and the basil will probably start to wither as well, so no time like the present.  Now, my girl can make a mean sandwich!  Truly, she can.  This one was no exception.

All you  need is bread, tomato, basil, mozzarella, olive oil and something to grill on.  That’s it.

Ashley brushed the olive oil on honey wheat bread, then “kicked it up a notch” by sprinkling some dried basil, Italian seasoning and sea salt on the oil.  Smart girl!  She began toasting the bread, oil side down, with sliced mozzarella and basil on top.  Once the mozz was melty, she added the tomato, sprinkled with a little salt and pepper, and put the sandwich together, toasting it just a little longer.  Wish i’d thought to take pics but was too busy eating.  Trust me, there will be a next time, so we’ll snap some then.

I highly recommend you try this.  You’ll be one sexy beast.

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