Category

Picnics

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

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Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad with juicy oranges, radishes and snow peas makes eating salad your new favorite thing!

By adding some crunchy ramen noodles to this Asian-inspired salad, you get a more filling, fun meal. There are a few recipes for ramen noodle salads out there, using different dressings and flavors. I love fresh veggies and cabbage with sesame dressings. That Asian flavor isn’t overpowering like an Italian vinaigrette, and I usually have the ingredients for it in my pantry. I used my Ginger Sesame Dressing on this version.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

I saved us all about ten steps by calling for coleslaw mix! You’re welcome. This Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad comes together in a flash with pantry staples like ramen and salad mix. I added chopped cashews for extra yum.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle SaladI call for letting the salad rest in the fridge for a bit. This allows the dressing to soften the noodles a little. They are just a little too crunchy without resting. I used a mandolin to slice my radishes so thin. You can just slice with a knife if you like, or even just cut them into slivers.

To cut the orange I supremed it. That means I cut the fruit away from the membrane. Simply cut the rind off of the entire orange and cut on either side of each slice of orange, slipping it right out. I then just cut the slices into bite-sized pieces.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 410

Fat per serving: 17.5 g

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

You can substitute a can of mandarin oranges for the orange and try any kind of nut in place of cashews.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg ramen noodles (discard flavor packet)
  • 1½ cups diced cooked chicken
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz (1 cup) snow peas, chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashews
  • 1 16-oz pkg coleslaw mix
  • ¾ cup sesame ginger dressing Ginger Sesame Dressing

Instructions

  1. Break uncooked ramen into small pieces in a large bowl. Combine with chicken, radishes, orange, scallion, snow peas, cashews and coleslaw.
  2. Toss salad with dressing, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 25 min or up to 1 hr. Noodles will get softer the longer they sit.
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Right now I’m on a salad diet! I went on a trip and ate too too much! So…salad for me. But I have lots of great recipes, so if you’re in the same boat, or just love fresh dinners for summer, try The New Wedge Salad, with iceberg lettuce, beets, pancetta, hazelnuts and of course blue cheese. Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps are kind of a salad you can eat in your hand! I made a flavorful rice salad and you wrap your own portion in soft butter lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Recipe by Tara Bench
Photography by Antonis Achilleos
Food Styling by Paul Grimes
Prom Styling by Paige Hicks
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal May 2011

Cheeseboard Tips

By | Appetizers + Nibbles, Buffets, Christmas, Entertaining, Holidays + Seasons, Party Foods, Picnics, Snacks, Summertime Favorites, Tips And Techniques, Tutorial, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | No Comments

I live on the upper west side of Manhattan. There are several grocery stores and gourmet food markets, right in my neighborhood that have the most amazing cheese counters. I’ve picked some favorites out over the years and I know a bit about different cheeses, cultures and flavors–but I’m no cheesemonger! It’s still a bit overwhelming when I go to buy a variety for a party cheeseboard.

Cheeseboard Tips
If cheesemongering isn’t your expertise, then this guide will help you. I’ve included some of my faves and others that make for a good variety and beautiful presentation on a cheese plate. Because…that’s what I’m into.

Party pointers for serving cheese:

• When you shop at your local cheese counter, or gourmet food store, ask to sample the cheeses you’re interested in buying – they expect you to.

• How much should you get?  Figure on 1-to-2-oz of each cheese per person. It’s sold by weight so you can add up the numbers.

• Have labels for each cheese on the platter so people can remember the ones they especially like. You can make your own, write it with wax pen on a slate or buy those cute little reusable labels.

• Cheese doesn’t taste its best when served too cold, so take it out of the fridge an hour or so in advance.

•Find a variety of cheese boards, cutting boards, slate, etc if you don’t have one large serving platter.

Putting together that board:
Publication: Ladies Home Journal Year: 2010 Issue: Nov

  1. You can’t go wrong with a Swiss-style cheese like Uplands Pleasant Ridge from Wisconsin, or even a classic Gruyère.
  2. Goat’s-milk chèvre, with its tangy flavor, is a crowd-pleaser.  I like spicy Majorero Pimentó, rubed withpaprika – or try Cypress Grove Chèvre.
  3. Every board should contain at least one buttery-soft cheese like Brillat-Savarin, Brie or Camembert Châtelain.
  4. For an adventurous crowd, choose a pungent cheese that has been “bathed” in salt water or wine for added flavor.  Try Stanser Rotelli or an Époisses.
  5. Not all cheddars are created equal.  Include a crumbly English-style variety, such as Grafton Special Reserve Clothbound Cheddar, from Vermont, or a French Cantalet.
  6. No board is complete without a sharp, fragrant blue.  I like Oregon’s Rogue River Blue and Grassland Blue from Minnesota.

Cheese tips:

Cheese tips

• To keep and store cheese, wrap it first in parchment or waxed paper, then loosely in plastic wrap or place in a ziptop bag.  Many will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

• Don’t throw out the rinds!  Toss them into soups, stews and sauces when you’re cooking for extra richness and flavor.

Entertainers tip:

Entertainers tip• A dollop of chutney or jam tastes great with salty, tangy cheeses, while a drizzle of honey delivers sweet balance to sharp cheeses like aged cheddar.  Dried fruits and nuts are delicious with many types of cheese and it’s always nice to have rustic bread and plain crackers to nibble on.

 

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Originally published in Ladies Home Journal November 2010
Prop Stylist: Jen Everett
Photographer: Paula Hible

Apple Cinnamon Popcorn

By | Appetizers + Nibbles, Birthdays, Entertaining, Healthy + Diet, Holidays + Seasons, Kids, Party Foods, Picnics, Snacks, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | No Comments

The combination of apple and cinnamon is classic.
Buttered popcorn is classic.
Why not class yourself up a bit with a double whammy: Apple Cinnamon Popcorn.

 

Apple Cinnamon Popcorn

Recipe:

Apple Cinnamon Popcorn
Crispy apple chips are the secret here. Crush them into powder for this classic-flavored seasoning.
Makes 12 tbsp seasoning

1/3 cups (2 oz) freeze-dried apples or apple chips
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

  • Blend together apples, confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon in a blender or food processor until powdery. Toss 6 tbsp mixture with 1 bag microwave popcorn or 8 cups of air-popped buttered popcorn. Store extra apple cinnamon mixture. Keep popcorn airtight up to 3 days.

Chocolate Malt Popcorn

By | Appetizers + Nibbles, Birthdays, Candy, Entertaining, Healthy + Diet, Holidays + Seasons, Kids, Party Foods, Picnics, Snacks, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | No Comments

You know how good chocolate malt milkshakes are? How about putting that deliciousness on crunchy, buttery popcorn? Done and done!

Chocolate Malt Popcorn

 

Recipe:

Chocolate Malt Popcorn
Perk up your popcorn by tossing it with this sweet, chocolatey mix.
Makes 15 tbsp

6 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
6 tbsp malted milk powder

•Mix together sugar, cocoa and malted milk powder. Toss 5 tbsp mixture with 1 bag of butter flavor microwave popcorn or 8 cups of hot, buttered air-popped popcorn. Store extra cocoa mixture. Keep popcorn airtight up to 3 days.