Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo”

Before I get to this amazing chicken or tuna salad, a brief rambling is in order.

I wrote a long preface to this post, but was told to ditch it.  Too personal, too revealing, too much apologizing for being gone so long , they said.  So, I gave in and ditched it.  All that matters is that I’m finally here, so let’s celebrate with sandwiches – or wraps, whichever you prefer.

Did you just hear the dull, hollow thud after I said that?  Yeah, it’s there, an apropos response to chicken salad sandwiches after 8 months away from blogging, not counting my last post and my brief appearance to pay tribute to my dear, late friend, Lis.

Loaded Chicken or Tuna Salad with Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch "Mayo"Sloppy and blurry, but oh so good.

For my second post back, I wanted to make something spectacular, and I tried, and I failed…twice.  It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever put in my mouth. Then I felt sick again, so I gave up and made an easy chicken salad, which really isn’t much of a recipe, but it’s the best I can do for now.  Plus, I can sit and chop, so win-win. Plus, who doesn’t love chicken salad?

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Posted in Dinner, Healthy, Lunch, Poultry, Rainbow, Salads, Sandwiches, Seafood, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 155 Comments

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine

Is anybody still out there?  I hope so.

I’m so sorry for my exceedingly long absence from blogging. I truly, truly feel awful about it, and I’m so happy and relieved to finally get something up.  As many of you know, I’ve been sick for some time, and it’s been extremely difficult to pull off even the most mundane tasks.

Since last June, for about 5 months, I could barely write, much less peel a carrot.  I was able to get in a paragraph or two maybe once a month and that was what I called a good month.  Around January, I felt a little better so I started writing a little more, and now I’m here.  For how long, I don’t know, but I’m here.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

Naturally, I couldn’t put this “Hi, I’m back!” post up without a recipe, since it is a food blog. but much to my disappointment, I couldn’t play outside the box, which is what I enjoy most about cooking and baking.  So, I had to choose something basic and simple, but basic and simple doesn’t make it any less amazing.  In fact, it usually makes it more amazing and difficult because every single facet must be spot on, and every ingredient top notch, since there are no extraneous components and preparations to hide behind.

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Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Pasta, Pork, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 102 Comments

A Shocking Loss. Farewell, Sweet Lis.

I know I haven’t been around in a long, long time, and I do owe you all an explanation, but for now, there’s something more important I need to touch on.  I will be back..and definitely back soon with the end of the BBFL story, but today, I need to talk about a wonderful, amazing lady.



If you’re a regular reader of my blog, when I’ve put up Daring Bakers or Daring Cooks challenge posts, you’ve probably seen me talk about my friend, Lis, on occasion- the co-founder of The Daring Kitchen, – the girl I jokingly referred to as wifeypoo.

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Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake

I forgot to add the baking powder.

This is why the smashed blueberry lemon loaf cake you see, which I made about a month ago, is flat on top.  Never one to make excuses as to why something didn’t turn out, this time I felt not adding the baking powder pretty much guarantees some kind of failure since it’s sole purpose is to help baked goods umm rise, so it was warranted here. However, it was still delicious and moist, though not something I wanted to post on this blog.

“Why not?” You ask? (I just need an excuse to explain).

If you recall, I mentioned ‘so-so potential posts’ in my last post. This is one of them, but it’s such a delicious cake (or quick bread, since the method is similar), I didn’t want to hold it back based on aesthetics and making it again just for aesthetics (the last thing I need is more cake lying around – no willpower here.) would have been ridiculous.  We all make mistakes in the kitchen, and this smashed blueberry lemon loaf cake is one of mine.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Yeah, I know what it looks like.  Tasted a lot better, though.

I annihilated my left wrist last week.  I’m okay outside of pain, a feeling of uselessness, and typing with one hand (poke typing).  If I hadn’t annihilated my wrist, you would be looking at and drooling over (one can hope, right?) a gorgeous, multi-layered cake loaded with texture and cool flavors – and topped with a candle, to celebrate 5 years of blogging.  Well, 5 years plus two or so weeks of blogging.  I can’t even be on time for my blogiversary.

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Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Healthy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 99 Comments

Tourte Milanese – A Meal en Croute

Good to see you again, Ms. Tourte Milanese.  You’re looking as beautiful as ever!

Yes, there is a story behind that unusual welcome to an edible, inanimate object.  I’m weird, but not that weird.  I hope.

Remember when I told you about the computer crash of 2011 where I lost almost everything?  It was mainly tons of photos of some of the best goodies I’ve ever made, most of them pretty labor intensive.  You see, I was on this roll from September 2010 to January 2011 – a fancy shmancy crazy roll.  Once or twice a week I was creating showstopping sweet and savory dishes like they were going out of style, and as luck would have it, getting some good clicks of them.

Tourte Milanese - layers of herbed eggs, ham or turkey, cheese and vegetables encased in puff pastry! A great brunch stunner and easy!

It was an amazing food blog run, and I had about 7 posts lined up.  The posts weren’t written, but the photos were ready – tucked in and snug as a bug in a rug in my photo program, waiting until I was ready to write and post.  Then..the crash.

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Posted in Breakfast, Daring Cooks, Dinner, Lunch, Pastry, Rainbow, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 123 Comments

Broccoli – Arugula – Kale Pesto and a Tribute of a Sort

About two weeks ago, the Sunday after the bombings in Boston, I started to think about life in a whole new perspective.  It’s not a perspective I might follow – just errant thoughts, pondering, and weighing options.

These thoughts led to my remembering an old friend, someone who was there for me through thick and thin for many years, as I was for her. She had some issues that were alarming at times, so much so that I found myself unconsciously pulling away from her bit by bit, a slow, torturous break-up.  She was starting to scare me, and I told her that many times.  She would just laugh wickedly.

Fettuccine with Cheesy Garlic Broccoli Kale Arugula Pesto

Soon life took us in different directions, and our once solid-ice friendship thawed to a drip-drop.  We spoke one more time about 4 years ago, catching up and such.  I could tell she wanted to renew our friendship, but I had my own problems and didn’t think I could handle hers at the same time.

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Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Pasta | Tagged , , , , , , | 42 Comments