Sunday, July 22, 2012

So Good to be Back!

It feels great to be back in action in my own kitchen, and I have spent the past night and day whipping up some of the intriguing recipes I have found lately.
Annie was interested

First, last night I decided to make what is known as "Terribly Terrific Toffee."  I know, the name is pretty dorky, but something tells me that you have probably had this toffee before, and you would most likely agree that it is terribly terrific.  You remember: saltine crackers coated with toffee and covered with chocolate?  I have had it, and it's delicious, and easy to make, so I made some last night.  Basically you just have to boil butter and brown sugar, pour it on top of saltines, bake it quickly, top it with chocolate chips, let them melt, spread it evenly, and voila: toffee that is totally terrific.  I do recommend keeping leftovers in the fridge if it's humid like it is today!  It's best when it is really crispy.  I love the mix of flavors and textures: at once it is salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth.  It's no culinary genius recipe, but it's still damn good.

Then this morning Kenzie told me I was in charge of lunch.  I had sent her to the grocery store with a huge list last night, so I had lots of plans.  I decided chicken salad would be a good lunch meal. Now, I am not a big chicken salad fan.  I hate mayonnaise, so chicken salad has been mostly off limits.  Then, I found it: a recipe for chicken salad that uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo!  Genius!  I still hate making anything with meat, so Kenzie got me a rotisserie chicken.  I have to say this might be just as gross as cooking my own, but in the end I had enough chicken to double the recipe.  There are some interesting things going on in this chicken salad, things like brown sugar, green peppers, red grapes, and dijon mustard.  I tasted it and thought it was a bit too dijon-y (I hate all condiments, basically) so I added a couple mor tablespoons of Greek yogurt.  Thus I ended up with a salad that is a bit too wet for my liking, but the flavor is amazing.  I like the weird mix of tastes, and knowing that there is no mayo makes me happy enough to devour a sandwich for lunch, and I am looking forward to another one for dinner!  The recipe recommends honey wheat rolls, which I wish I had, but Kenzie didn't find them at crappy Market Basket.  She got onion rolls, and it works quite well in there as well.  Obviously Mom had a complaint - I didn't cut the peppers up small enough - but Nick liked it so much that he had seconds, without bread! 

Kenzie had been begging for a dessert she saw me pin on Pinterest, so up next were blueberry lemon bars.  These are basically key lime pie, but with lemons instead of lime, and in bar form.  Plus blueberries, obviously.  You have to make the graham cracker crust and bake it, then mix up the filling, bake them, and chill them, so there was a long period of waiting that Kenzie and I had to endure, but I would say they are worth it: they are very summer-tasting, if that makes sense.  You have to like lemon to like these: there is a half cup of fresh lemon juice in them.  They are tart and tangy, but the graham cracker crust is a nice and sweet contrast to that.  Plus you have the juicy pop of the blueberries every now and then!  I'm keeping these guys in the fridge for now as well so they don't melt, but hopefully they won't last too long.

totally terrific toffee
healthy chicken salad
blueberry lemon bars

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