Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Week 1 Wednesday (1/8/14)

Recipe Review

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Basic Chicken Salad
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From my Frontier
Page: 50   Copyright:  2012 Harper Collins

         This is by far the best chicken salad I have ever had in my life.  I really didn’t think I would like it because I have had chicken salad with grapes and didn’t really enjoy it.  I think the big difference is the creamy sauce. The taste is so rich that I was disappointed when I came to the bottom of the bowl.  I did make an error in that I forgot to toast the almonds, which I will correct the next time I make it.  I did eat two servings and loved every bite. A real secret to making great food is to use fresh spices. This is one recipe that I will make a lot for my school lunches because it is filling and very refreshing. I may also put it on a bed of lettuce for a really hearty lunch.

Today’s critics:  The Serpico and Lehman Families

         The Serpicos: Nicole, Joe, Nicholas, and Michael.  Michael took a big bite and then covered his mouth with a napkin and left the room.  He later told us he liked the grapes and chicken but didn’t like the sauce.  Nick tried it, which was wonderful, but he didn’t care for it.  Nicole said she would make it again but would take out the onion because it no longer agrees with her system.  Joe said that it reminded if of “picnics in the summer.” (I love that critique - I had an immediate visual on that one)

Joe Serpico

         Brandy Lehman sent in this critique:  “I love Chicken Salad...serve it on crackers, bread, toast, eat it with a fork, I don't care, I love it and can make a meal out of it. Things I liked about your Chicken Salad - The large chunks of chicken appeared to be all white meat, which was delicious. It felt hearty, but light, if that makes sense. The fresh dill not only appealed to the eye, but the nose as well. It did not overpower the dish. I absolutely loved how finely chopped the celery was, I think that was my favorite part. The grapes were refreshing and also provided a serving of fruit. I also liked the crunch of the slivered almonds.  My only con - I thought it was lacking something that I can only describe as a little "zing", so I put it on Italian Herb flatbread crackers, which made up for what I was missing. I also tried it on Club butter crackers, which was good, but the crackers kept breaking, so that was annoying. I don't think I could have eaten it on its own, like I said, "zing factor". Overall, ONE THUMB UP, ONE THUMB DOWN  Cory did not try the dish.

Gabbin’ About Gratitude

         If today, I had to name one person that I am truly grateful for it would be my best friend, Donna Dowd.  I was blessed the day that she came into my life. She entered my life as the parent of a student in my class and we became fast friends quickly. 
         What makes Donna Dowd special?  She is the best friend you can ever ask for in life. She always goes above and beyond and is there with support. She is a fantastic natural cook.  She is one of those people who just put in a pinch of this and that and turns out a masterpiece.  She is a wonderful mother. She and Bill are blessed with three amazing kids (Patrick, James and Meghann - all of whom were my previous students). They are now very important to my life. I sometimes feel like their "other mother". Donna is a great listener who supports all of her friends. She is extremely funny, without even knowing it.  She is a great, gifted teacher, but most of all, she makes me smile and laugh and I love everything about her.
         Donna and I have had many adventures in the past.  We used to go to garage sales and mini shopping sprees down Third Street in Geneva.  We only went to a few stores before we were tired and just wanted to go for a yummy lunch. Donna is the type of friend that you laugh with over something silly.  We also laugh weeks, months, and years later as we revisit those stories. Everyone needs a friend like Donna.
         Donna, thank you so much for your friendship and sharing your wonderful family with me throughout the years. I can’t imagine my life without you in it.

Memory Musings

         My favorite memories are those of my dad, Dick Scent. My dad was so full of life and joy.  He was so handsome.  I remember my best friend, Kathy Stopka Kirchler, telling me one day how cute my Dad was.  At the time I laughed, but agreed.  Dad was a charmer. When I went to work at Hawley Products, where my dad was a salesman, the ladies in the factory all raved and oohed and aahed over my Dad.  I was so proud (as if I had anything to do with that!) He always had a joke for every situation. I never ever knew where he got them but by the time I was older I knew a few of them by heart. He was so charismatic that everyone loved him.  He loved to play golf and coach basketball, two sports at which he excelled! He was a great husband, father, uncle, and eventually grandfather.  
          He loved his grandchildren more than anything in the world.  He played with them and always mowed the lawn with one of them on his lap.  He even cut down golf clubs so the boys had real clubs of their own. My dad passed away 20 years ago this past month at the age of 63 years old. He influenced the lives of everyone he met. I miss him dearly, but thank God I have my wonderful memories to make me smile.

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