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Sonoma Chicken Salad and quietselkie's Crock Pot "Roasted" Chicken recipes

Sustenance (Pooh)
quietselkie's Crock Pot Chicken:

Instead of baking chicken breasts like it says in the other blogs' recipes I link to below, I put a chicken in the crock pot like quietselkie blogged about years ago: a whole chicken sans neck and organs*, an onion peeled and cut up, some rosemary and thyme, and some celery, put in the crock pot. Sprinkle liberally with seasonings: Mrs Dash, poultry seasoning, that sort of thing. Cover and cook it on high for about an hour and a half, then turn it to low and go to bed. Or work. Eight-odd hours later, use a couple of spatulas to lift the chicken out, because it has lost all structural integrity by now. Put the mess in a casserole dish, frying pan, or something else that's big with sides, because a lot of liquid will come with it. Once it's cool enough to handle without burning yourself, pull all the meat out of the stuff you don't want to eat.

If you want to make stock, dump the rest -- skin, bones, gristle, used herbs and veg -- back into the crock pot. I save the neck and organs that come with the chicken for the stock; just put them into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and store them in the fridge. Some fresh veggies wouldn't hurt, like another onion, carrots, celery, a clove of garlic, and a bay leaf or two. I put in a vegetable bouillon cube, too. Cover it with water, put the lid on, and let it cook on low all day or all night. Strain what's left after it's cooled a bit, refrigerate the liquid, skim off the fat, and save the stock in the freezer if you aren't going to use it now.

Back to the chicken itself: once I've picked the meat out, I have about one and a half to two times the amount of chicken I need for this recipe. Depends on the size of the chicken I started with. The rest goes into the freezer so I can use it some other week for enchiladas, tacos, soup, sandwiches ... whatever. Chicken lasts anywhere from three days to a week in the fridge before the bacteria start to make it unhealthy to eat, so that's why I freeze the rest. Put it in a plastic bag and then surround it with foil. I use a Sharpie to label the bag with the date I freeze it; you can freeze cooked poultry for about four months before it starts to go bad. After four to five days of eating stuff with chicken in it, the last thing I want is more chicken.

Note: I'm not making stock today with the leftover chicken bits, so I chucked all the leftover solid parts into the garbage. But there's still some liquid left in the crock pot, so I put it in the fridge for now. I'll skim the fat off once it's solid; grease down the drain clogs pipes, so put grease in the bin. I've frozen stock in ice cube trays before, too. Sometimes I only need a little for a recipe or to moisten some chicken I heat in the oven, so I just pop however many I need out of the ice cube tray.

Sonoma Chicken Salad:

Adapted from here and here. Neither recipe is complete, but put both together, and you have all the ingredients and all the steps. The first link mentions ingredient substitutions and omissions because of reasons, so check it out. Costco used to have this in their deli section, but it was discontinued years ago. arynwy mentioned that someone probably reverse engineered it and blogged about it; thank Google several people did! So I didn't come up with anything here; I'm just combining.


1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
cooked chicken -- about 3 cups
1 cup pecans
1 1/4 cup craisins/dried cranberries, divided
2-3 stalks celery


1. Cook the chicken however you want -- chicken breasts or drumsticks do well in the crock pot, too, or you can cook them in the oven like in either of the links at the beginning of this entry. Once the chicken is cooked, refrigerate it.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Chop the pecans into medium-size pieces: each whole pecan yields 4-6 pieces. Lay the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for 7-10 minutes. They burn easily, so keep an eye on them. They should be light brown when they come out. Let them cool, then put them into the fridge.

3. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. You can make this dressing up to two days ahead of time. (I also chop 1/4 cup of the cranberries into very small pieces so the flavor gets a head start on mixing with the rest of the dressing.) Cover and refrigerate.

4. Chop the cold chicken into small, bite-size pieces. Cut up the remaining craisins into smaller pieces. Dice the celery into very small pieces (I like the taste but not the texture of celery, so if you like it, bigger pieces are fine). Combine all three in a large bowl with the toasted pecan pieces.

5. At least an hour before serving, pour the dressing over the dry ingredients. Cover, and let it rest in the fridge for a while; the flavors will mix more the longer it sits.

The timetable is pretty long; I wouldn't have time to make this during the week, what with work and everything. I started the crock pot chicken on Saturday night, picked the meat out Sunday morning, then made the dressing and toasted the pecans immediately after. Then I'll do steps four and five Sunday evening and let it rest overnight. I'll make the sandwiches Monday morning.

I used to use croissants to make into sandwiches, but now I just use wheat bread. Complex carbs instead of simple, you know how it is. One recipe takes care of me for the whole week with a few servings left over. (I'll probably give a few cups of this stuff to Dad.) I'll have this and green salads for lunch at least four days this week, if not all five. It's good for picnics or parties, on a sandwich or on crackers. YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM.

jumping on the bandwagon

Starry Night

You were born during a New moon

The moon is dark in this phase, because the half that's illuminated by the sun is facing away from Earth.

- what it says about you -

You want to leave an impression on people and make your mark on the world. When you love an idea, you'll work hard for it, sometimes even dropping whatever it is you're doing to go on to the next new great thing that's captured your imagination. The more freedom you have to chose what you're doing, the busier you'll be.

What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at


*happy sigh*

Otter Target
I finally finished the one-shot I've been yapping about!

Title: The Valley of the Shadow of Death (AO3)
Fandom: Cabin Pressure, The Vicar of Dibley
Rating: Gen
Length: <7000 words
Content notes: Crossover; canon compliant to "Yverdon-les-Bains" and "The Vicar in White"
Warnings: Minor character death, grief/mourning, religious content
Summary: Martin had hazy memories of that day, but for the rest of his life, he remembered that nothing had seemed as important as un-deleting the voicemail from his mother.

I had the theme music from TVoD on almost constant replay as I wrote this; you can listen to it here if you wish.

from Cheezburger

This gif gets funnier the longer I look at it:




and now I'm just showing off

Fist Pump (Dara)
Bottom row, second from the left:

2048 holy cow


*fist pump*

Yeah! (Dara)
After months of playing this game:

2048 final 22452

My final score was 22,452.

Lunch is over; back to work.


Jun. 17th, 2014

Smile (evil Sherlock)
I've mentioned a hundred times that I listen to film scores when I write. A consequence of this is that I have the scores to over a hundred films on iTunes.

Coworker Michael's retirement party is the day after tomorrow. Because he loves Hollywood and films, the party has a Hollywood theme. CJ, who's in charge of the party, realized yesterday that we should have music playing on the PA system during the party.

Movie music.

All of my training has prepared me for this moment.

*queue Twilight Zone music*

WTF (John)
I have a Trivial Pursuit page-a-day calendar in my office. You get a trivia question every day, and the next day's page has the answer to today's question.

Friday's question was, "What DJ was the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo TV series and films?"

Saturday and Sunday are combined into one page, so Casey Kasem was the answer at the bottom of the page on the day he died.

I know I've said it before, but truly ...

Headache (Bernard)
Tuesday hates me.

That is all.

go outside and look at the moon!

Panda Whut
It's pretty. Slightly spooky, but pretty. The bright orange dot northwest of the moon is Mars.

I'll head back out in a few to get more photos. They probably won't turn out well either, but it's worth a shot.


this vid fractures me every time I see it

Cat Paws
I know I've shared this before, but the laughter at the end of the video is similar to mine when Bubba joined me on the yoga mat this morning.

Little troll.

5.1 earthquake in La Habra

Do Not Want

I live a good twenty miles from there, so I felt it, but it was far enough away that it felt like a gentle rolling that intensified, slacked off, intensified, and ssslllooooowwwlllyyy slacked off. Went on for about a minute. But we're fine; the cat freaked out, I went to a doorway, and Mom stayed on the sofa. No damage, nothing knocked over, just grumpy from being scared. And slightly seasick for a moment.

Local friends, are you okay?


Eeyore (Balloon on Tail)
Beautiful dreams are wonderful. Being wrapped up in joy like a blanket, warm and secure. Having a partner who cares for me like no one ever has, knowing I would give anything for this lovely man my id concocted because I know he'd do the same for me. That we could work through the problems I brought with me and the problems he brought with him together. He's strong where I'm weak, but that's okay because I've got the things he struggles with down pat. Giving and getting the most wonderful kiss I've had in my life. All the colors looked brighter, and flowers literally bloomed everywhere we went.

Beautiful dreams are so wonderful, but waking up from them and remembering that my real life is a pile of shit is awful. (Okay, my entire life is not a pile of shit. I have friends, family, and a good job. But it feels like it sometimes.)

I'm glad I don't dream this sort of thing often. I've been depressed all day because it wasn't real. My nightmares are easier to deal with.

the best chocolate chip cookies I ever ate

Panda Whut
I call this my recipe because its final form is due to me tweaking and experimenting, but it's actually 92.5% from this recipe, with advice from here thrown in. And a food blog post I found via Tumblr. And this vid. I stand on the shoulders of giants.

Splurge on good brands of butter and chocolate if you can. It's definitely worth it. Find a finely ground sea salt or Kosher salt instead of table salt. Or else put some Kosher salt in a sturdy plastic bag and pound the shit out of it with a hammer until it's fine enough to use for baking.

You can beat the ingredients as long as you like until you start introducing flour to the batter; after that, mix as little as necessary. From the second article: "The liquid in the dough will activate the gluten in the flour and the more you stir, the tougher your cookies will be. Make sure the flour is fully incorporated, but be careful not to over do it."

This recipe makes about 24-30 three-inch cookies. Measuring and mixing take about half an hour once your butter is room temperature, and baking will take about an hour. Ideally, these two steps are at least a day apart; see #6.

2 5/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups regular semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup large bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for about ten seconds and then scraping down the sides in between.

4. Add vanilla, then scrape down the sides again.

5. Sift a cup of the flour mixture in, then blend until it looks incorporated. Scrape down the sides. Add another cup via the sifter, blend, and scrape. Sift in the rest of the flour and dump in the chocolate chips (and nuts, if you're using them) at the same time. Once the flour looks mixed, turn off the mixer. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl, and work any flour in by hand until it looks completely incorporated.

6. COVER THE BOWL AND LET IT SIT IN THE FRIDGE FOR UP TO 36 HOURS. 36 is the best, but 24 or even just overnight will do. Yes, you can bake them right from here, but the taste and texture both improve if you chill the batter for a while.

7. Preheat your oven to 375 F. (190 C = gas mark 5)

8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough by hand into 1.5-inch balls. Place them three inches apart on the parchment.

9. Ovens vary, so start by baking them nine minutes. You want to take them out of the oven when the very center looks a little under-done, and the edges of the cookies are starting to get golden brown. In some ovens, it's nine minutes; in others, it's closer to twelve. I set my microwave's timer for 10:45, and they come out perfect. If your cookies look more done than that, remove them immediately to a cooling rack; otherwise, let the cookies sit on the sheet for about ten minutes before moving to the cooling rack.

I like my chocolate chip cookies big, thick, soft, and chewy, and these fit the bill perfectly. The semi-sweet chocolate chips I used a few weeks ago are a Valentine's gift from Mom; See's is one of the best chocolate companies in America, but a pound of their semi-sweet morsels goes for about $7. That's almost twice the supermarket price. Mom sent me ahead to buy athletic shoes and lingered in See's to buy a bag of chocolate chips for me. The nice part is that sixteen ounces by weight turns out to be almost three cups by volume, which is -- TA DA! -- the right amount of semi-sweet chips for two times this recipe. The bittersweet chips and the salt provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the rest of the cookie.

yes or no

Meme Sheep
Stolen from teddyradiator

1. You can ONLY answer Yes or No!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and asks! Feel free to request any further explanation.

Now, here's what you're supposed to do, and please do not spoil the fun. Copy and paste this, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then see what happens. Read more...Collapse )



Mom forgot her towel before getting in the shower, so I went in as soon as she closed the curtain. I put her towel over the bar just as she squeaked.

Me: What is it?

Mom: I forgot soap, too.

Me: Here. [hands a new bar of Mom's soap around the curtain] I thought it was the spider.

Mom: WHAT?!

Me: Tiny spider. Cute spider. A body smaller than a grain of sand spider.

Mom: Okay.

Me: The big one is just outside the window.

Mom: WHAT?!?!


trying to get the hang of Thursdays

Panda Drape
Actually, this Thursday wasn't bad.

Craig Ferguson tweeted today that Endeavour is his new favorite TV show. I checked Netflix and saw that the pilot and the first series are available to stream! YES!!! I shall re-watch the pilot and at least one episode, keeping my eyes on the lovely Roger Allam. And Mom's coming home for a short visit tomorrow night, so we'll watch Hairspray. She won't stay through the weekend, though.

Work has been slow, so I'm cleaning out my office and going through a backlog of professional magazines (mostly Library Journal and Wired) this week. There isn't much cleaning I can do, though, since I only moved in three months ago. One of my coworkers has been out for the last six weeks, and I've been doing his job as well as mine. It's nice to learn something new after nine years on the job, but I miss him, so I'd rather have him here.

Speaking of learning something new, I've been learning French basics at Duolingo, which is a free language learning website. (Wikipedia article.) There are currently five languages for English speakers who want to learn something else: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian. The website is available in eleven other languages, mostly to learn English. You earn XPs like a role playing game, and it keeps track of where you are. I'm having fun so far. (If anyone ends up using it, feel free to friend me; I'm TrinaDubya.)

I love finding sweets I'd stashed in my desk and forgot about. It's just a small packet of peanut M&Ms, but I will take what I can get when my stomach growls a mere hour and a half into my shift.

Boo-Girl has started selling Girl Scout cookies; I'm off to Dad's to drop off a check and a list. There's a new variety of cookie, but they're only selling it in certain areas, so I've bought some for friends who aren't local but want to try them. I've become a dealer this week; I have orders for myself, two friends, and five coworkers.

I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped out for my evening constitutional and saw that it was a bit drizzly. Not a proper rain, but it was nice nonetheless. Until I splashed in a shallow puddle and got reminded that these are old shoes with cracked soles. Oops. Just means I need new shoes, since I plan to stomp around in puddles until I'm dead. And my shift ends soon, so I won't have soggy socks for long.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. (When am I not?) I hope you all have a good one, too.


Panda Whut
Trina Dubya

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September 2014


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