Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shower Recipes

Last month when I threw a shower for Mandy, I had several requests for some of the recipes. It's taken me a month, but I'm finally getting around to it, thanks to a reminder from Becky. I didn't really measure anything, just threw it all together, but don't think that I'm one of those cooks who can just whip things up like that. These are probably the only things that I make without measuring. Everything else, I need a recipe in front of me!

I believe Becky's favorite was the chicken salad croissants. I like my chicken salad to be sweet, with a little fruity flavor. Boil some chicken breasts (one pack from my Publix has 3 breasts in it) with some garlic (a good sized clove or two small cloves) and onions (half of one onion, diced or sliced -- however you can do it and not cry). This gives it lots of flavor and keeps it moist. I tend to overcook my meat because I'm always scared I'm not going to cook it enough and will then get my whole family sick. So I let it boil for a good 30 minutes or so. When it's done, I pour out the hot water and let cold water run on it for a bit to help cool it off. Let it soak in some cool water, then when the chicken is cold enough to handle, shred it. I usually start tearing it with two forks, but usually end up using my hands as it seems to be quicker. And now for the actual ingredients... Mayonnaise and sour cream (about 1/3 C. each); a stalk or two of celery, cut in half lengthwise, then diced up into small pices; grapes, cut into halves or fourths, about 1/3 - 1/2 C; about 1 tsp. of cinnamon; and maybe a Tbsp. of sugar. I'm really just guessing on the amounts. Just use whatever amount looks good and makes the concoction nice and moist and sweet and a bit fruity. I've used apples and pears in place of or in addition to the grapes and it's always been delicious with that little bite of sweet in there. In my opinion, the fruit is what sets the chicken salad apart from some of the others that are bland and, in my opinion, gross. After much taste testing along the way, spoon the mixture onto sliced croissants.

The other recipe that was a hit from the shower was the Monte Cristo Quesedilla. Seriously, I could eat this every day. Combine equal parts (1 Tbsp-ish) of honey, strawberry preserves, and dijon mustard. I'm usually not a fan of dijon. I'm more of a plain yellow mustard kind of gal. But the dijon with the whole kernals just works in this recipe. It gives it just a little bite, but the honey and the preserves tame down that kick of flavor that I usually can't stand. Spread some of the combined delicousness on a tortilla. Layer one slice of turkey and ham lunch meats, then a slice of cheese. I used American-Swiss for the shower, but have also done it with provolone and it's equally delicious. Then fold in half and heat in a skillet with melted butter. Flip halfway so that the cheese gets melty and the tortilla gets golden brown. Or if you have a fancy quesedilla maker like Mandy received at her shower, it'll make it much easier for you! Let it cool a little before you slice it, else all the goodness of the cheese and the spread will ooze out.

I used a sandwich my friend made for me as inspiration. Construct it the same way, using bread instead of the tortilla. Then dunk the sandwich in a french toast type of batter (eggs and milk) and cook. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yum.

Let me know if you make them and how they turn out. I love baby/bridal shower foods. They're probably some of my favorites!