Category Archives: Salads

Smokin’ Wild Rice Salad

Being from the midwest (of the USA) I love wild rice. Our oldest daughter shared a wild rice recipe I made this past weekend for company. Today, our youngest daughter called for the recipe and I was happy to give it to her. She called me as she was shopping for ingredients. She called me as she was starting to prepare the meal. She called me shortly thereafter when her kitchen was on fire. Yes! I was my daughters 911 call from her kitchen.

My daughter: “Mom, Help!”
Me: “What?”
My daughter: “My kitchen is on fire?”
Me: “What?!?”
My daughter: “MY STOVE IS ON FIRE!”
Me: “Your stove or your oven?”
My daughter: “I don’t have baking soda! What should I do?”
Me: “Where is the fire?”
My daughter: “Mom!”
Me: “Is the fire on the stove or in the oven?”
My daughter: “There are flames on one of the burners! They’re getting bigger.”
Me: “Put the pan lid over the burner.”
My daughter: “I don’t have baking soda should I use water?”
Me: “Did you put the lid on?”
My daughter: “Yes but it is still burning, should I use water?”
Me: “No water! Use flour!”
My daughter: “Flour will burn. Should I use water?”
Me: “Just use flour. What is happening?”
My daughter: “It is out. But my dinner is ruined!”

My daughter and I talked for a few more minutes as I asked if she was okay, talked about the miraculous fire proof-ness of stoves, how to clean up charred pans and laughed with relief.

I never got the memo at the hospital that when you gave birth to children you were on the roller coaster ride of your life. I am learning to enjoy the roller coaster. The twists, the turns, the highs, the lows, the plunging, the climbing and the sheer joy of the ride. What a ride.

My daughter took her unfinished meal to her sister’s kitchen to complete. I am hoping there will be no more exciting phone calls this night. But if there are, I now have the internet at the ready to search for solutions. And by the way, you are never supposed to put flour on a grease fire… my daughter knew that but miraculously flour worked today. I have already called her to tell her to buy a very large box of baking soda.

And the wild rice salad? It is delicious.

Smokin’ Wild Rice Salad
3 cups cooked wild rice, cooled
1/3 cup chopped green onions
8 ounces sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup red grapes, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
3 cups cooked chicken, cubed

1/2 cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
4 Tablespoons milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine wild rice, onions, water chestnuts, grapes, celery and chicken in a medium bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup mix dressing ingredients. Fold dressing into the salad, stirring until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate a few hours before serving.


Chicken Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Recipes are passed down through the generations. In my family, we don’t have secret recipes because we love to share. If we love it, we are absolutely sure others will love it too. I like to give family and friends handwritten copies of my favorite recipes. For me, handwritten recipes are special. I cherish my own recipe box where I can see my mom or grandma’s handwriting. Seeing their writing as I cook helps me connect with them even though I can no longer pick up the phone and call them.

Today I am sharing a recipe that is one of my daughter’s favorites. She called me today and asked for this recipe. Being newly married, she is slowly building her own recipe box. I have this recipe in handwritten form but for today I am sharing it with her (and you) on the web. The internet is so convenient.

Chicken Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 chicken breasts
1-2 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 box rainbow rotini
1 green pepper 1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper
1 bunch green onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup olive oil 1 scant tablespoon salt

Place chicken breasts in dutch oven with enough water to cover. Sprinkle old bay seasoning in water (Old Bay Seasoning adds a punch of flavor). Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken breasts from pan to cool, reserving water in pan in which to cook the pasta. Add water to the pan (enough to cook the pasta) and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.

Cube chicken, slice peppers and onions. Toss chicken, peppers, onion and garlic with pasta.

Whisk dressing ingredients together until fully blended. Pour over pasta. Mix to blend and serve immediately or refrigerate and serve.