School is starting, cooler weather is coming, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon be here…I only believe the last three! It’s beginning to feel as if cooler weather will never happen! This past week, I spoke with a friend of mine who goes to Michigan every summer, as they can’t handle the heat in our area, and she told me the day-time temperature was in the mid-70s and would drop down at night, I told her we could fry eggs on the hood of our cars! Needless to say, she likes their temps much better than ours.
This past weekend was a totally wonderful and awesome one for me. Two of my daughters were supposed to come in for a visit, some shopping and maybe even eating out a couple of times. The plan changed a little when my youngest grandson called and asked if he, his wife and their baby could come celebrate the baby’s first birthday at my house. The party sort of grew from that point on! At one time we were going to be enough of us overnight, that I asked to use bedroom space at my brother’s home here in Yoakum, but again, our plans changed and that wasn’t necessary.
First, my youngest great-granddaughter who was supposed to be a guest got sick and they were unable to come, then my youngest granddaughter and her husband decided to come just for the day, and then her mother and brother were coming for the day only also. Then, one more tiny change, in that the parents of the baby were only staying one night, not two, and we were back to only two beds being needed!
To say that we had a great time is putting it mildly, that baby is so dang cute and had such a good time playing with the trucks and cars and building blocks, and being held and hugged. He is truly a well-behaved baby, and I can’t say he cried except when the dog tried to kiss him!
Before the party, we had a really great meal, as my son-in-law brought a big bag of cooked shrimp/potatoes and corn, and then we some potato salad, and a bowl of chicken salad for those who don’t care for shrimp. It was really, delicious, and when my guests left Sunday, they left the remaining shrimp for me, and you can bet I’ll enjoy every single one of them!
My sister and her husband came over to share in the party and had a great time watching as he learned how to pull tissue paper out of his gifts and open them. He got lots of cute clothes and a little play center that had a hoop to toss a ball into, music that played and when a hoop was made, it kept points. He had a very good time with it, and then we picked up the toys and his grandma and mama put a sheet on the floor to catch the crumbs from the cute, decorated cup cakes that were his birthday cake. He had blue icing all over his face and hands and wanted to hug his mama…she would turn him around to his little table and he’d take a couple more bites. Then, it was time to go get sprayed down and the icing washed off, and it was back to the toys and playing.
My daughter and her husband brought their new puppy with them. She is a totally cute black and white dog, (her face looks as if she is wearing a black mask, as both eyes have a black patch over them), rescue dog that was simply being called and talked to, but without a name. However, before the first evening was over, she had a name. It was Mouse! She managed to stick her paw under my couch and encounter a sticky trap, which of course was then attached to her foot. We took her into the kitchen, sprayed the paw with non-stick cooking spray and it came right off. My daughter said; “Guess we’ll have to call you Mouse” and it stuck. My son-in law, had been saying when the right name came along, he would name her, so the name seemed to fit, and we called her Mouse the rest of the weekend. I could not tell if she was responding to her name, but when my son-in-law would whistle to get her to stop doing something, she obeyed fairly well. He is working on teaching her not to jump on people, but since she is about four months old, she still jumps occasionally!
A truly great part of the weekend was knowing that my youngest granddaughter was not badly injured in the wreck she had last week. Her dog did not fare as well, as he had to have surgery and did not get to come with them. They were picking him up at the vet-clinic on the way back home. The good news (for them) is that her husband has his first church in Wheeler, TX, up in the panhandle and they moved to this location on Monday of this week. It was hard to see them leave, but we know God has his plans for them and they are in His care.
Last week, we talked about taco salads, this week, since the weather is still unbearably hot; I’ve found two of my favorite chicken salads. Either one can be made using rotisserie chicken, while the first one can be made using canned chicken if desired. It isn’t quite as tasty as when you cook the chicken yourself, but we’re trying to keep the kitchen as cool as possible.
Light Chicken Salad
3 or 4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced*
1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
2/3 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
½ cup dried cranberries, if desired
Enough light mayonnaise to moisten
Cook chicken breasts in water seasoned with salt and a small amount of onion and celery, cool until you can handle the meat, remove skin and bones and cut into small pieces. *If using canned, I’d use 2 of the 7 or 8-oz cans.
Wash the apple, and chop it, and add to the chicken, add remaining ingredients along with enough light mayonnaise to moisten. Serve with crackers, Melba toast or bread rounds as party food, or do as I did and make it a main dish. (I made this, this past weekend and forgot about the walnuts, and we didn’t miss them. Also, we decided to put the sunflower seeds in just before serving and forgot them also, lots of cooks and excitement in the kitchen, so stuff got missed or forgotten, and not one soul knew the difference).
Cinco de Mayo Chicken Salad
3 cups cooked, diced chicken,
4 sliced green onions, including tops
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper,
1 avocado diced and tossed with lemon juice to prevent discoloration,
1/2 cup bottled chili sauce (Hunt’s, DelMonte)*,
4 tablespoons mild picante sauce,
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard,
1/2 teaspoon black pepper,
1 teaspoon chili powder
Combine chicken, onions, bell pepper and avocado in mixing bowl. Combine chili sauce, picante sauce, dry mustard, black pepper and chili powder in a bowl and mix well. Pour over chicken mixture until coated thoroughly. Serve with tortilla chips. Garnish with additional avocados if desired. *This is found in the aisle with the ketchup and the store brand (if they have one) is OK also.
Equal parts packaged, mixed salad greens and spinach
1 small can Mandarin oranges
½ cup cashews
1 sliced red onion (optional)
Mix the greens together, top with the Mandarin oranges and cashews, toss lightly to combine; top with the onion slices, if used. Serve with your choice of dressing, Ranch, poppy seed, honey mustard or vinaigrette. I like to make this using about half of a package of sliced fresh strawberries and serve with poppy seed dressing.