Free Range Chicken Salad made with Greek Yogurt

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lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 090

This is a scrumptious chicken salad recipe. Light yet hardy. I do not measure things. But, I will guesstimate for you. Make it to your liking. If you want more or less of something, go for it!

Ingredients: 4 cups Organic/free range cooked chicken breasts shredded/diced –  3 cups Green and red grapes sliced in half – 1/2 cup cucumbers diced – 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (unable to find in town so not in this picture :{ – 2 plain Greek Yogurts(see pic)- 1-to 2 tablespoons Poppy Seeds to your liking- 1 tablespoon Paprika- Course sea salt to taste. Mix all prepared ingredients together, season slowly and taste as you go. You don’t want to over do it. Mine always turns out perfect, but you can add more or less yogurt depending on the consistency of salad you would like.

** TOPPERS: roasted/smoked almonds- avocado slices**only add these on top of each serving, or you will end up with soggy nuts and black avocado throughout your salad. Part of cooking is pleasing the eyes as well as the pallet :}

Serving Ideas: fill a wrap or soft tortilla – spoon onto romaine or a nice buttery lettuce – stuff an avocado – stuff a tomato – on your favorite bread

PREP:

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 073Sliced Grapes and diced cucumbers

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 077Easiest way to chop Almonds…ever. Lay the side of your chef knife on top of the Almonds, give it a good smack with the side of your hand(similar to peeling garlic) and wallah! (before and after in picture above)Use the blade to scoop them into your bowl.

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 089I love avocado with everything…

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 082Diced chicken added to grapes and cucumbers.

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 086Greek Yogurt, I always use this in place of sour cream and mayo(zero fat zero cholesterol 100% yummy) . Sometimes even in place of butter/ milk in baking, so much better.

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 088Mix everything together (excluding the avocado and nut toppings) and season to taste.

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 091DON’T FORGET YOUR TOPPINGS !

lees basketball game easter misc 3-2013 and 4-2013 092 ENJOY!!

Pick from one of the serving suggestions above, or come up with something new. Any way you serve it, it will be delish!!

Watermelon Sorbet

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watermelon sorbet1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons grenadine
3 fresh mint leaves
1 (3-pound) seedless watermelonDirections

In a small saucepan, bring sugar, syrup, lemon juice, grenadine and mint leaves to a boil dissolving the sugar granules. Let cool slightly. Cut the rind off the watermelon and cut into chunks. Puree half of the chopped watermelon in a blender. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large glass bowl. Repeat with remaining watermelon. Add slightly cooled syrup mixture and mix well to incorporate. Place sorbet into a 2-quart plastic container and freeze for 3 to 4 hours.

Lavender Sorbet

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sorbet

1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon culinary grade lavender
2 1/2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons vodka

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Add the lavender flowers; stir until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand approximately 10 minutes.

Place a fine strainer over a large bowl and pour syrup mixture through (straining out the lavender flowers). Add lemon juice and vodka to the strained syrup mixture; stir until thoroughly blended. The vodka (or any other type of alcohol) is the secret to a soft sorbet. Alcohol itself does not freeze and adding a little bit keeps the sorbet from doing the same. Vodka is excellent to use because it doesn’t affect the taste.

Pour into container, cover, and place mixture in the freezer. When it is semi-solid, mash it up with a fork and refreeze again. When frozen, place in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Cover and refreeze until serving time.

Can be prepared 3 days in advance. Cover and keep frozen.

Lavender Tea Cookies

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1 tablespoon dried culinary grade Lavender
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Lavender Frosting (see recipe below). If you do not wish to frost them, you can sprinkle with lavender colored or plain raw sugar.lav-cookies

In a mortar, grind lavender flowers with the pestle.

In a medium bowl, cream together ground lavender flowers, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. Add flour and salt; mix until combined (dough should be soft but not sticky.) Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until dough is firm.

Prepare Lavender Frosting; set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator.

On a lightly-floured surface, roll dough approximately 1/4-inch thick with your rolling pin. Cut into desired shapes with your favorite cookie cutters and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on wire cooling racks. When cool, frost with Lavender Frosting.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.



Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender flowers
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

In a small plastic bag, combine powdered sugar and dried lavender flowers. Let stand at least 1 day before using. When ready to use, sift the mixture into a medium-size bowl; discarding lavender flowers.

Add milk and corn syrup, mixing well. Additional powdered sugar or milk may need to be added (enough milk to make frosting easy to spread). Spread on baked, cooled cookies.

Lavender Jelly, so Elegant

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jellyLavender Jelly

So so, easy…

Recipe Type: Condiments, Jams and Jellies, Lavender Flowers, Pectin
Yields: five 1/2 pints
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 (1 3/4-ounces) box powdered Pectin or 1 pouch (3-ounces) liquid pectin
4 cups raw sugar


Preparation:

In a large saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in dried lavender flowers, and let steep for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, strain mixture into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers. Stir in lemon juice and pectin; continue stirring until the pectin is dissolved.

Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil; add sugar. When the jelly solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes (see below), stirring occasionally.

Boil Times:
2 minutes – soft gel
4 minutes – medium gel

Testing for “jell” (thickness – I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon.  If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the jelly is ready.  If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1 teaspoon to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.

After boiling, transfer the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.

Makes five 1/2 pints.

Flower Blossom Cubes

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ice

Gently rinse your pesticide-free flower blossoms.

Boil water for 2 minutes for all the air trapped in the water to escape. Remove from heat and let the water cool until room temperature. NOTE: This will ensure that the ice cubes are crystal clear.

Place each blossom at the base of each individual compartment within an ice tray. Fill each compartment half full with the cooled boiled water and freeze.

After the water is frozen solid, fill each ice cube compartment the rest of the way to the top with the remaining boiled water. Freeze until ready to use.

Edible Flower Butter

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chivebutter-9534

1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh or dried petals(may add herbs as well if you wish, depending on what you are making it for)

1 pound sweet unsalted butter, let it reach room temperature

Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to fuse.

Chill for 2 weeks or freeze for a few months.

Garnish Your Cheese with Edible Flowers

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The cheese can be prepared 24 hours in advance of serving. Use flat chunks of cheese, with edible rinds, in a variety of shapes. (Cheddar, Jack, Brie, or Camembert, in round, wedge, or square shapes).

Edible flowers or herbs
Cheese
2 cups dry white wine
1 envelope unflavored gelatin

Lay the flowers and herbs flat on top of the cheese in the presentation that you want to display.

Then remove the flowers and herbs, lay them aside in the pattern you want to display them.

In the medium size saucepan over medium heat, combine the white wine and gelatin. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Remove from heat and put the saucepan in a larger container filled with ice.  Keep stirring as it thickens, NOTE: Stir slowly so you don’t create bubbles.  (If it gets too thick, you can reheat and repeat.)

Place the cheese in a dish to catch the drippings from your glaze.

Spoon the glaze over the cheese and spread evenly. After a few minutes it will become tacky to the touch, then you can “paste” on your flowers in the design pattern you planned.

Refrigerate about 15 minutes; then remove from refrigerator and spoon more glaze over the flowers.

NOTE: Make as many layers of glaze as necessary to cover your decorations – can be three layers for a thick design. If the glaze thickens up too much, just reheat and replace in ice.

Serve with crackers.cheese

Edible Crystal Flowers

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Candied flowers and petals can be used in a variety of imaginative ways – to decorate cakes large and small – all kinds of sweet things, such as ice cream, sherbet, crèmes and fruit salads, cocktails.

Ingredients:

1 egg white or powdered egg whites

Superfine granulated sugar (either purchased or made in a blender or food processor – just blend regular sugar until extra-fine)

Thin paintbrush

Violets, pansies, Johnny-jump-ups, rose petals, lilac, borage, pea, pinks, scented geraniums, etc.

Wire rack covered with wax paper

Directions:

Carefully clean and completely dry the flowers or petals.

Beat the egg white in the small bowl until slightly foamy, if necessary add a few drops of water to make the white easy to spread.

Paint each flower individually with beaten egg white using the small paintbrush. When thoroughly coated with egg white, sprinkle with superfine sugar.

Place the coated flowers or petals on wax paper on a wire rack. Let dry at room temperature (this could take 12 to 36 hours). To test for dryness, check the base of the bloom and the heart of the flower to make sure they have no moisture. Flowers are completely dry when stiff and brittle to the touch. NOTE: To hasten drying, you may place the candied flowers in an oven with a pilot light overnight, or in an oven set at 150 degrees to 200 degrees F with the door ajar for a few hours.

Store the flowers in layers, separated by tissue paper, in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.crystal_petals

Flower Petal Syrup

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Making Flower-Infused Syrup:

1 cup water (or rosewater)
3 cups raw sugar or honey or parts of both
1/2 to 1 cup edible flower petals (whole or crushed)

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water or rosewater, sugar, and edible pancakes_300flower petals; bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 10 minutes or until thickened into syrup. Remove from heat.

Strain through cheesecloth into a clean glass jar.

Keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Can be added to sparkling water or champagne for a delicious beverage. Or, it may be poured over fruit, pound cake or pancakes.

Makes about 2 to 3 cups syrup.

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