Because it seems the most creative thing I have been doing lately is cooking here is another favorite recipe of mine. My friend Michelle made it for a gathering at my house a few years back. The flavors work together so well. It has a nice and simple sweetness to it. I just took this orzo to a pig roast and those who tasted it really loved it. If you look with your eyes you just might pass it by, but really this is a keeper kind of recipe.
Orzo With Mandarin Oranges And Candied Sliced Almonds
1 box orzo (I used Barilla)
3 celery stalks, chopped into small pieces
3 bunches of green onion (white part only) chopped into small pieces
(I used some of the green as well)
2 large cans mandarin oranges, drained
Mix all of the above ingredients together.
For dressing combine the following:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
parsley flakes for color
dash of pepper
Add dressing to salad. Put in fridge. It is best to make this orzo the night before or early in the day you will be serving it.
To make the almonds:
1 larger bag of sliced almonds (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cups sugar
Put almonds and sugar in pan and cook on medium until sugar melts. Stir constantly or the almonds will burn. And trust me they burn quick:) Next, place the almonds on wax paper to cool. Once fully cooled, break into pieces and store in a Ziplock bag until you serve the salad. Right before serving stir in the almonds. If you mix them in too soon they wont stay crunchy - which is partly why they taste so good in this salad.
Here is a unique kind of slider. The roasted asparagus and goat cheese pair so well. Hope you will give them a try!
Chicken Salad Sliders With Goat Cheese & Asparagus
3 large chicken breasts or a deli-ready rotisserie chicken
salt and pepper
5 oz. goat cheese
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 red onion, minced
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, and roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Slider Buns (I made a mix of garlic butter & then broiled the buns until browned)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a baking pan; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes. I have been in a hurry each time I have made this recipe so I purchase a rotisserie chicken from the deli counter, and use all of the meat from that. When chicken is cool I just shred it up into small pieces. Chop if needed.
Meanwhile I roast the asparagus. Basically preheat oven to 400 degrees. Break off the tough ends of the asparagus, and for this recipe cut stalks into 1 inch pieces. I put a sheet of aluminum foil on my cookie sheet. Place asparagus in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, but still crisp. I just keep checking every few minutes,and stirring until I think they look good. For long spears this would take around 25 minutes. Not that long when they are cut up into bite sized pieces though.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm chicken, goat cheese, honey, red onion, and roasted asparagus. Serve the chicken salad on the slider buns. Refrigerate leftovers.
They are so good! The goat cheese will pretty much melt into the other ingredients since the chicken and asparagus are warm. Feel free to add more cheese. This is one of those very forgiving recipes where you can add extra this and that (cheese, onion) and it will come out tasting fantastic!
I am so behind in showing photo's of the finished office building I worked on. Next week - crossing my fingers!
Until then I wanted to share a special place my mom and I just visited. It is called the Yule Love It Lavender Farm. This is their tenth year of business, but this Friday and Saturday will be the last days of operation. If you haven't enjoyed a day at this farm you just might want to plan your visit. There is a farm tour at 10:15. You can enjoy the tour or just do u-pick, and enjoy the grounds.
There were many varieties of lavender.
I adored this structure. This is where lunch is served, and you don't want to skip it. We enjoyed lavender lemonade, the freshest organic salad with feta, beans, and corn on it. Also, a chocolate chip lavender cookie. I want to go back this week for the lunch alone.
The owner, Iris, is also a writer. She is learning more and more about farming, and growing her own food. She wants to live off of her land. As the lavender dies off - which in Michigan that happens - she will be planting more and more crops for her family to harvest.
The chicken coop is adorable. Love the yellow door. See the chandelier? It really works too!
These are her older hens.
Here are the hens that came to the farm this past Spring.
Our day at the lavender farm was one of the most peaceful days I have a had in a long time. Just pure peace and enjoyment!
Good Morning! I have a great recipes to share today! This is my very favorite chicken salad recipe. I have been making it probably longer than I have been a Mom. The chicken salad is so good with the grapes and the tarragon vinegar. It makes it a little different than the norm - just so good. Not overly mayo at all. I make it for myself, and I make it for gatherings. Always delicious! Paired with the herbed waffles it just becomes that much more special.
The recipes below are adapted from a little book called The Best Of Waffles and Pancakes by Jane Stacey. I also make both of the dishes at times with dried herbs I have on hand by pretty much just following what seems right - using less of each than this recipe calls for in fresh herbs. Probably like half as much. You can also simply make the waffles and use them to make sandwiches. We made roasted chicken and bacon sandwiches with chipotle mayo. I think a BLT on them would also be a great idea.
I hope you make this, and love it as much as I do!
Herbed Waffles and Chicken Salad
5 cups cubed cooked chicken (just boil the chicken for this recipe)
2 scallions, chopped (white and tender green parts)
1/2 c. red seedless grapes
1/3 c. minced fresh parsley
1/4 c. minced fresh basil
1/4 c. toasted sliced almonds
2/3 c. mayo (I use Hellman's Light)
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
lettuce leaves (optional)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. minced fresh parsley
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 scallions, chopped (white and green tender parts)
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablesppons butter, melted
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
The break/lunch room is really simple. I lucked out in that I didn't know what the kitchen finishes would be - but the furniture I chose totally worked. I needed the furniture to be easy to take care of - and to fit into the budget.
I just need to finish off the walls and art. I hope to add some decals to the walls, and some bright and cheerful artwork.
Getting everything in place in the building is going well. I'm just waiting for my House of Belonging artwork - then I can take some real photo's and show you how it all turned out!
This time with my design board for the CEO Office.
This office is large with lots of windows. The first thing I really wanted to put in there was a Strut table as a desk. I would really love to have one of these at home. This office makes me want to redo my entire office.
For this room I chose the navy desk. Once again they wanted the desk chairs to be able to roll around, and the other chairs to swivel. They fell for the House of Belonging art I chose for the reception and conference rooms, and wanted another for in here. After seeing that there were building plans for that table under the art, I had my handy friend Kyle build one. It is amazing. Solid and large!
Under the seating area I used a indoor/outdoor rug from Target. It adds fun and pattern to the space. I also framed up their first run circuit boards from each of their buildings. They look amazing!
All that I have left to do in here is add some personal art, and probably some baskets. The built piece is not going to look as styled as it is in the photo above - think man. Overall, it is a really roomy and relaxing space. I'm looking forward to getting the main art piece, and taking photo's!
While out wasting a little time before I needed to get Noah from baseball practice I decided to take a quick look in Pottery Barn. I was so surprised to see a table just like the one I purchased for the office building. I saved so much money, and didn't even know!
This is the Art Van Keaton Trestle Table. I got mine for $481.13. 76
inches long. It's not quite as long as the Pottery Barn table, but I saved over a thousand dollars. The legs on this table are darker which I actually really
like. They look amazing in the space. I'm still waiting for my large artwork so when that is in I will take the final photo's.
I'm really happy with this look for less. The tables I purchased (I put two together) are really sturdy, and great looking!
Hello and thank you for stopping by. You will find a little of everything here, but mostly I like to talk about my family (hubs, 2 teen boys, 1 spunky Whippet), decorating, food, making things, random things I like, etc.