Sunday, August 21, 2016


Pioneer Woman's Curried Chicken Salad on Parmesan Crisps

I have my favorite chicken salad that I have been making for years.  I posted the recipe on this blog a few years ago.  (click here for recipe)  It is full of wonderful ingredients like grapes and almonds.  I have made that recipe like a million times (I may be exaggerating just a little).  Anyway, I was watching Pioneer Woman the other day and she was testing recipes for her new restaurant...which is now on my bucket list!  She made two different versions of chicken was like my recipe and one was called Curried Chicken Salad.  She served it to 6 of her friends and family and let them choose which one they like best. guessed it...they chose the curried version hands down.   Well that got my curiosity up and I decided I needed to see what was so great about adding curry to the chicken salad.

First of all, I don't think I have ever had curry in anything I have eaten.  I know, I have lived a sheltered life.  Second of all, I don't even know what curry is!  My son, the chef, explained that there are different kinds of curry with different ingredients with different measurements.  Oh geez Louise...this is getting out of my comfort zone and out of my very small culinary world!  But I am so intrigued by Pioneer Woman's little contest and findings that I keep moving forward.

I chose a curry powder that had tumeric, fenugreek, and coriander as the first three ingredients.  It was by a company called Morton & Bassett.  So, with that obstacle conquered I was ready to start putting ingredients together.

I decided to make both chicken tried and true recipe and the curried version.  I changed both of them up a little by using baked chicken breasts.  I have always used canned chicken and Pioneer Woman uses an entire roasted chicken.  I sprinkled them liberally with garlic powder and garlic salt.  Since I didn't know anything about curry powder, I didn't want to use a spice that would conflict and I think garlic was definitely the right choice.

The results....the curried chicken salad was full of amazing flavor.  I absolutely loved it.  I feel like I have been living in a culinary bubble and I just popped out of it...yayyyy for me!  It was very creamy from the mayo and yogurt, but it was crunchy too because of the almonds and celery.  It had just the right amount of sweetness from the raisins and sugar but the flavor was boosted with the salt and pepper.  I just love sugar and salt together....example my watermelon with salt sprinkled on or an apple with a little sugar on it...but I divert.  Bottom line....I like my sugar with a little bit of salt.

Conclusion:  I like them both and I cannot choose!  I am definitely keeping my recipe but I definitely going to make the curry chicken salad too.  Why do I have to choose...I don't and that makes my world a little better and a little bigger.


2-1/2 pounds Chicken Breasts (5 or 6 large)
Garlic Powder and Garlic Salt
3/4 Cup Golden Raisins
1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
4 Green Onions, chopped
3 Stalks Celery, chopped very small
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
3 Tablespoons Curry Powder
2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Sprinkle the chicken breasts liberally with garlic powder and garlic salt.
Bake in a 400 degree over until done, approximately 45 minutes depending on size of chicken breasts or until a instant-read temperature probe inserted into the center of the breast reads 165 degrees
Chop into small bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl.
Add raisins, almonds, onions, and celery to the chicken and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, heavy cream, curry powder, cilantro, brown sugar, and some salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Allow to chill for several hours or overnight.

Serve over mixed greens or bread of your choice.  (it is good no matter how you serve it)

Serves 6 people easily


Monday, August 15, 2016


Today was life changing!  I made a homemade pie crust for my first time ever. LoL!

I don't know why I waited because it was literally the easiest thing I did all day.  It was so flaky and so light that I am still a little giddy! I used Pioneer Woman's recipe and it took me less than 10 minutes to make it and then another 15 minutes to let it cool in the freezer.  So, 25 minutes later I have a pie dough that, when baked, beat any bought pie crust I have ever had.  There is seriously no comparison!

Thank you Pioneer Woman...I am high "five-ing" you from my Little Magnolia Kitchen!


3 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cups Shortening
1-1/2 Sticks (12 tablespoons) Salted Butter (Cold)
1 Egg, Beaten
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Salt

Put the flour in a large bowl.
With a pastry cutter, gradually work the shortening and butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal, 3 to 4 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork and pour it into the flour mixture.
Add the cold water, white vinegar, and salt.  Stir gently to combine.
Form the dough into 2 evenly sized balls and place each ball into a gallon food storage bag.
Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (to about 1/2 inch thick) to make rolling easier later.
Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using them immediately, it is still a good idea to put them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill)  Note: I did this and then I had to wait for 15 minutes before I could work with the dough.  I am thinking that I might try 5 minutes next time.
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016


I was in a hurry the other most days...but I still really wanted to eat something homemade.  I also wanted to cook something that my little 3 year old grandson might eat.  So, after wracking my brain, I finally decided to make a soup.

I have never made this soup before.  I actually used Pioneer Woman's Hamburger Soup recipe as a guide because I figured it would be the best.  But, I changed it, of course.  I wanted more depth of flavor so I kept adding garlic, spices, onions, worcestershire, etc.  I did not add anything spicy because of my grandson.  It was a hit.  My husband said it was the best soup he had ever he got his picture in the post (don't tell him though, he was just being goofy in this pic).  My grandson didn't eat any of it. Ugh!  But he is 3 so ya just never know! Haha!  He actually ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich which is always a good choice and if I had a picture of him eating that, I would've posted it because he is just so precious!

This soup was done from start to finish in 45 minutes.  The potatoes take the longest so the smaller they are, the quicker the soup cooks.  Pioneer Woman's recipe called for carrots, but no baby lima beans or corn.  I didn't have any carrots but I had the other ingredients so that is what I used.  This soup is versatile and you can switch out veggies for the ones you like.  You could serve this with rice or tortillas.  And it is so full of flavor!  It is a recipe that I will be making over and over again!


2-1/2 lbs. Ground Sirloin
Garlic Powder (I use a lot)
Salt and Pepper
4 Green Onions, chopped
1 Medium Onion
3 Stalks Celery, chopped
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
4 Red New Potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 regular bag frozen Corn
1 regular bag frozen Baby Lima Beans
3-10 ounce cans Campbell's Beef Broth
2-10 ounce cans Water
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Garlic Powder (1-2 tablespoons or more...I don't think there is such a thing as too much garlic)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2-10 ounce cans Mild Rotel Tomatoes and Chiles
1-6 ounce can Tomato Paste
Red Chili Flakes or Cayenne Pepper or Hot Sauce for heat (if desired)

Place the meat in a large Dutch Oven and add green onions, onions, garlic, celery and a lot of garlic powder.  Also, add salt and pepper at this time to the meat.  Cook until the meat in done and then drain the grease.

Return to the stove and add the rest of the ingredients.  Return to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Salt to taste.  Top with shredded cheese and/or chopped green onions, if desired.  Serve with cornbread or garlic bread.