Category Archives: recipes

Soy Marinated Steamed Chicken with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ooooh yes. These recipes? SO good.

Full disclosure? The chicken recipe is not my own. It’s Tyler Florence’s, and I found the original here on Food Network. But I’m still reposting it because in the past, when I’ve only saved links, I’ve twice had awesome recipes disappear from the web and ughhhh. I still mourn them.

mmmmmmm marinade

The brussel sprouts? I just roasted them the way I would other veggies. After mixing them in olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. And if you’re new to brussel sprouts, like I kinda am, the ones in the first pic may LOOK burnt — but they aren’t! They were perfectly crispy on the outside and warm and delicious on the inside. I wish I’d doubled the recipe because we both went back for more, but there were only three left. So… I let N save them and the last chicken breast for his lunch the next day. SUCH a sweet wife, right?

I’ve never steamed meat before. I’ve never used a bamboo steamer. I will definitely do both of these things again. I was supposed to use the steamer with a wok, according to the recipe, but we only have an electric wok and I have no clue how to use it. And was too lazy to figure it out, though it’s probably not complicated, ha! So I used our pasta cooker. The 10-inch bamboo steamer (bought it here) fit pretty perfectly. And the chicken turned out pretty fabulous. So screw the wok!

Things I’ll change? Well, I’ll probably quadruple the garlic (I doubled it this time). And take out the ginger (even though I’d already cut it in half). I’m not a ginger fan, but I kept it in just for this first try because I know ginger’s a big element of asian seasoning… But I think it tasted to strongly in the chicken. I marinated the breasts for a few hours, next time I’ll do it overnight.

Things I did change: I added some soy sauce and garlic salt to the boiling water. Not sure if it made a huge difference to the taste of the chicken, but it certainly didn’t hurt!


Baked Parmesan Seasoned French Fries

I discovered this recipe on Pinterest, and followed it to this blog post on Play with Sugar where the original can be found. Here’s how they turned out for me!

Um, okay. Let me start by saying these fries are SO good! And the best part is that besides tasting delicious? They’re easy.

No. Seriously. E-A-S-Y easy.

See. I like to make tasty things, but I am not a chef. I grew up with a father who is amazeballs in the kitchen. Creating delicious meals is his passion. While some daughters may have helped out and learned from his expertise, I… simply enjoyed eating those meals.

But I’m working on my kitchen abilities. Slowly. And with lots of failures.

These things?

NOT failures.

Yep. Served them with hot dogs. NOT super healthy. But I did get the kind that don’t have any nitrates added, so that counts for something, right?

If I can make them? ANYONE can. Trust me.

They’re basically just like:

Get your spices ready
Mix them together and then add parmesan cheese
(cheese not pictured)
Slice up the potatoes
Shake ’em all up in a bag
Spread ’em
Even just looking at this pic — where they’re not even cooked — makes my mouth water… 
Pull out…
… of the oven
Plate ’em up
Aaaaaand enjoy! 

I increased the amounts for most of the spices — and doubled the cheese — from the original recipe. AND this recipe, made with three medium potatoes was enough for two people. There were no left overs, thanks to the Nelsonic eating machine 😉

Oh, and also? The cheese adds such a nice crunch — but if you’re dairy-free, I bet these would still be pretty bangin’ without the parmesan…

Dad’s Ham Salad

Wow. I have been siiiiiiick the past month. No energy. No ability to eat anything. Queasy 24/7.

I still lack the energy to do much, but I wanted to get this recipe down since I just made it and don’t want to forget it…

My dad’s ham salad. It. is. SO. good. And for the most part, it’s also SO easy.

Also I forgot to take photographs of the beginning few steps–and the ones I took at all were with my iPhone. Not the best quality, but whatever.

I had a baked ham from earlier in the week. (For some unfortunate reason, ham is the only thing that’s a SURE thing going to taste good to me these days.) I cut off the skin and any little patches of fat and then sliced it into chunks. (Inch by an inch, or so, and pretty flat, since the ham had already been cut into slices.)

I put all the little chunks into our 9-cup food processor, so eyeballing it, I’d say it was about a total of 7 cups of meat. And the rest is as follows! (Although this recipe is formatted for 4 cups of meat, so adjust accordingly)


4C Baked ham, sliced into small pieces (fat and skin removed)
1/4C Chopped onion
1/4 C Sweet relish
2t Dijon Mustard
Mayo (eyeball it)


1. Put the ham in a food processor and press pulse until it’s the desired consistency (see in the photo with the mustard & relish below)

2. Add the onion to the food processor until it’s blended into the ham. (Or you can just mince the onion really finely and mix it in later. I hate mincing onion, sooooo…)

3. Pour ham mixture out of the processor into a bowl to mix the rest of the ingredients with. Add sweet relish and dijon mustard. (There is more than 1/4 C of each here because I started off with almost double the amount of ham.)

Note the consistency of the ham! 

4. Add mayo. I’m actually not sure how much I ended up using. You can see the starting amount below, which LOOKS like it’d be more than enough–but I had to add quite a bit more to bring the consistency of the ham salad to where I wanted it. BUT start with a small amount and add to it. Because you can’t take it back if you use too much!

5. Enjoy!! It’s great on rolls (either by itself or dressed up with tomatoes, lettuce, etc), it’s great on crackers, honestly… it’s even great just by the spoonful.

Recipe pairings for next week

Nelson’s working today. Boo for Saturday work.  So I’m taking the day to clean house and plan some dinner meals.

And, okay, some of these aren’t the healthiest–but home cooking is SO MUCH healthier than the usual pizza/thai/fast food meals I’m used to…

Here are the recipes I’ll be trying over the next week:

Now, off to clean the house (and break out my new nonstick cookware!) and grocery shop!

The BEST Chicken Salad Ever. (With Poppyseed Dressing!)

When I was visiting my sister, Liz, in Colorado Springs over Christmas last year (2011), she took me to this adorable little cafe downtown. And introduced me to the best. chicken salad. ever.

I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t sure about the poppyseed dressing. I like my chicken salad with mayo. Always have. And what the heck was up with pimentos? Don’t get me wrong, I love them in olives. Especially in olives in dirty martinis. (Unless those olives have blue cheese stuffed in them instead. Because holy yum. But… that’s a different post for a different day.) So. I was skeptical.
Then I took my first bite.
And my mouth had an orgasm. 

My mouth has the same reaction with my homemade version, shown here!

The cafe didn’t give out the recipe, but through my high powered deduction skills I managed to recreate the deliciousness. (Read: There aren’t many ingredients and they’re simple enough that a five year old could probably figure them out.) I’m sharing it here so I never lose the recipe–and for anyone else searching for chicken salad that’s freaking out of this world.

The things I love about this recipe: Besides that it makes my mouth feel so good. It’s ridiculously easy to make. And there are cheats for every ingredient.
Exhibit A:
(Ignore the onions–don’t know why I bought them, as there are none in my recipe. I mean, you could probably add them though!) 
Everything is pre-made!
Some people might cook their own chicken (in which case, I recommend poaching chicken breasts with bone and in skin, because it cooks the chicken thoroughly while maintaining all it’s moisture), or buy stalks of celery (or hell, maybe even grow it?) or make homemade poppyseed dressing.
That is not me now. It will most likely never be me. I like shortcuts. I LOVE working with chicken that’s already been cooked whenever I can. Because raw chicken? Um, gross. (Which is funny because Liz blogged about that today, too.) Pre-sliced celery? YES I WILL. Less cutting for me. Yup.
The recipe is so simple I don’t even have real measurements to share.
  • Two rotisserie chickens. I just use the white meat from them. Sometimes I give N the dark meat, but mostly I toss it. Which I DO feel guilty about. But it’s the truth and I don’t want to lie on here.
  • Half a jar of Pimentos–make sure they’re SWEET pimentos. I’ve made them with regular ones before and ew. 
  • Almost an entire jar of Brianna’s Poppyseed Dressing. (It doesn’t have to be Brianna’s–I’ve used others and the salad’s turned out fine. But Brianna’s is the best, in my opinion.)
    • When you first pour almost the full bottle on the chicken, you might think it’s way too much–but as it settles in the fridge, some of it soaks in. I’ve tried using less, and the chicken salad’s turned out a little dry.
  • Celery. As much or little as you’d like. If you’re not huge on celery, I still wouldn’t make this without it, because I love the crunch. But that’s just me.
  • Croissant rolls. I like the cheapo ones at my local grocery store (Giant). I’ve tried fancier ones, but they’re all flaky and not fun to eat with the chicken salad.
I slice the celery into tiny pieces. Then shred the chicken by just pulling it apart into bite size pieces. Add everything else and mix with my hands.
And that. is. it. 
So easy!
I let it chill for a couple hours before eating any. And I let it sit in the fridge for 3 days-ish before I toss what’s left. Maybe it would stay for longer, but I’m not well-versed in how long food stays good–and after a nasty bout of salmonella last year, I’m not taking any chances.
OH and it makes… um… six or seven servings, if your croissants aren’t huge? Maybe more? It always varies depending on how huge I make my sandwiches. 🙂

And Piper gazed at me through half lidded eyes while I made the chicken salad. The quality of the picture is shit, but I still don’t want to forget it.