Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicken Salad Croissants and Strawberry Spinach Salad

Friends are coming over today! I can't wait. I've been looking forward to this all morning. The thing about friends coming over in the middle of the day is that it's an interesting adjustment to have a conversation with someone who says more than "dee dah" or "how come?" in return. But I bet I'll manage. When they ring the doorbell I'll try not to open the door and say "Well helloooooooo wittle munchkins!!" in a really high pitched voice.
When company comes over for lunch I have a sure-fire menu I like to use. Chicken Salad Croissants, Strawberry Spinach Salad, and some fruit. Yum. It's a bill of fare that is full of fresh ingredients and adds a rich palette of colors to the table.
First you chop up 1/4 cup each of celery and onion. Pretty!
Then add 1/2 cup each of golden raisins and dried cranberries.
Next you'll add 2 cooked, shredded chicken breasts.
Then 3/4 cup mayonnaise. Does mayo gross you out a little? It does me, if I think about it for too long. So let's not think about it anymore. Just add it and move on.
Add some salt and pepper and then you mix it all together. This is what it looks like. Chicken salad has never been a favorite of mine, but this recipe changed my opinion. If you feel the same way, just try it. Give it one chance. That's all I ask of you. Anywhere you go let me go too! Love me, that's all I ask of you! (Ahem. Sorry about that. Phantom of the Opera suddenly overwhelmed my senses). Back to chicken salad.
You alone can make my song take flight! Help me make the music of the night...
Good gracious, forgive me! I can't get a hold of myself.
This chicken salad is salty and sweet at the same time and there's delightful bits of crunchiness throughout. It really is a treat. You'll be pleasantly surprised that a chicken salad could win you over. And make you sing Phantom of the Opera songs out of the blue. We'll put it on some sinfully flaky croissants with a layer of green leaf lettuce. It's gonna be wonderful. Just wait til I show ya.
Okay. Now. Since friends are joining us today, I had to put my indentured servants to work. The twins were given dish duty, of which they tackled with zeal.
Oh my word. Bex is a beast of a baby! Look at him! He's totally Jumbotron!
I love when they touch each other. So sweet. In reality, Dee is probably about to shove Bex out of her way or squeeze his tender arm skin until he screams, but for the sake of this picture, I like to think she's just lovin' on her big brother. They do that sometimes.
Once, I think.
Or maybe I just dreamed that.
Oh yeah. Here we go. The fun's just beginning. A twinado's about to touch down. Oh wait. The twinado got sidetracked by his own reflection. He'll marvel at himself there for a while. You know, like 2 seconds. That's a long time in baby concentration time. A perfect companion for the chicken salad croissants is Strawberry Spinach Salad. You don't like spinach? You do now. I guarantee it or your money back. Look at these dark green baby spinach leaves. Even if you don't care for spinach, you have to admit, the color is gorgeous. Add some toasted almond slices. I put my almond slices in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes and nearly burned them. Live and learn. Wait. No, burn 'n learn. HA! I'm so clever! (eyes rolling)
Slice up and add a bunch of strawberries. (Don't be intimidated by my technical measurements).
Okay, now for the dressing which is the part that's going to make you a believer.
1/2 cup oil (I'm pretty sure you can use any kind you like. I use canola. Sometimes olive.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon worcesteshesteshesteshestashire sauce (more eye rolling)
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (both poppy seeds and sesame seeds can be found on the spice rack at the supermarket. I know you knew that. I was just saying that for the other people who didn't know that).
Shake up all ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss.
I like mini croissants. They're so perky. But big'ns would work out just dandy too.
Any summer fruit pairs nicely with this lunch.
Here's the sandwich assembled into a perfect little treat for your mouth. You can savor it with approximately 12 delicate little bites
or you can hork it in about 3 huge unlady-like bites. I know you couldn't guess, but I choose 3.
Wanna see it up close? No problem.
They're heeeeeerrrrrre! This is Roxann and Sara, mother and daughter. They are beautiful. And sweet. And funny. They're just good people. People you want in your life. Nice people.
Nice is such a generic word.
What I mean is gentle, kind, gracious, warm. You know. Nice.
Roxann is a grandmother
(among other things, like photographer, Close To My Heart consultant, creative mastermind, and chocolate chip pancake maker extraordinaire,
to name a few).
It's easy to tell she's a grandma--
The kids gravitate to her. And Sara! She's just a natural born mom. She loves kids and kids love her.
Grace thinks Sara is quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to her.
(They're enjoying a plastic citrus picnic here)
Look at Bug's face in this picture. That about sums up her adoration for Sara.
If Bug had her way, Sara would still be sequestered in Bug's room (for the next 8 years) and Bug would still be ordering her around on how to play dollhouse.
I found an anonymous quote to sum up the afternoon:
Good friends are cheaper than therapy.
That's what the visit was like--therapy!
We talked about Cricuts, scrapbooking, The Bachelorette, babies and blogging. We ate, we played, we laughed. Truly, is there anything more to this life?
And just so you didn't mistake the summery outfit Bug was wearing earlier as a corner turned, here is a photograph I took literally minutes after Sara and Roxann left. Honestly, I don't think their car had even turned out of our neighborhood. Ahhhh....winter clothes. All is right with the world now.
On another topic, I'm worried. When I typed "worcesteshesteshesteshestashire" sauce in the recipe above, my spellchecker said this: "no suggestions". Those two words looked so forlorn. Usually it gives me a hopeful list of 2 or 3 words, optimistic that I might choose one, even though I rarely do. But this time, it has given up on me. My spellchecker is depressed! It's like it realizes it has lost the battle it once waged with me on made-up words.
I'm sorry spellchecker. I'm sorry I've saddened you. Dismayed you. Frustrated you to the point of resignation. I'll try to be better. Here, watch. I can be rehabilitated. Look, here's one of my favorites: "butterific". Okay, spellchecker. I'll change it to traffic, just like you like it. There, there. Traffic....traffic...


Meghan said...

You are such a hoot! And I LOVE chicken salad sandwiches, my fave!!! I don't use the recipe you have but mine works too. :) I love that Grace needs to wear winter clothes, why not? You have AC right? ;) I love Sophie's outfit.. so cheery! And oh, where on earth did you find your little dressing shaker/bottle? I am on a mission to find one and I cannot.

Anonymous said...

I can't stop laughing. You are the best with words and feelings. You paint a wonderful picture of your life. You REALLY should try out for the food channel. The ratings would fly off the charts with just your banter alone. I'll check back again when I am feeling down or even even or up. Thanks you so-o-o much for doing this blog.

McVal said...

How adorable! It's hard to tell they're twins except I can't imagine having babies THAT close together without being twins! Ouch!
The recipes look great too! I'll have to try out that dressing.
Thanks for visiting my blog today! Please come back again. I'll follow yours too. Looks like we have tons in common!

WhiteStone said...

Chicken salad looks wonderfully yummy!
Ditto spinach salad.
The kids are darling.
And Roxann's hair looks exactly like mine...pre-chemo...Ohhh, I am so wishful for when it returns to this loveliness! Sigh!!!!!!!!

Dana said...

Another wonderful post! Sounds really delicious too! Wish we were closer, I'd pop in on you! :)

monica said...

This was a great post!! I laughed all the way through it!! That chicken salad looks awesome...never saw it made like that before. They look like good friends. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

InWeighOverMyHead said...

twinado???? LOVE that word! lol Your kids are soooo cute I want to add them to my weight watcher menu and eat them up! :)

Unknown said...

That looks SO good. What time is lunch?? :)

The kids are adorable and good thing that you are teaching them to help out already!

Dandy said...

Those recipes look fantastic! I can totally mix stuff without having any major mishaps! I love that look Grace has in that one picture when you didn't force her to wear winter clothes in the heat of summer.

Mr. M said...

I love chickend salad. I will have to give your version a try. I thought I have tried every version out there but I am mistaken.

I like to make it with the Omega-Fatty Acid Mayo (it's supposed to be good for you)...I hate mayo and figure it's only there to moisturize and hold things together. I usually make up a bunch and leave it in a tupperware dish at work to eat during the week. I also like it as a snack on Ritz crackers.


Lois Christensen said...

The recipes look delicious. I love chicken salad and never thought to put the cranberries and raisins in it! And the salad also looks yummy. Looks like you all had a great fun day!

Scrappy Girl said...

This whole meal sounds divine! Yummy!

Bentley Boutique said...

OMG, this looks delicious. I'm printing it off for when I get off of this diet:) Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your twins are SO cute!! I remember when mine were that small and into everything. Is that a Bentley Drinkware plate that he is holding?? It sure looks like my tangerine plate:)

Unknown said...

MMMMMM yum! I would be more than happy to visit for lunch any time. Oh my goodness, "jumbotron" - I LOVE IT!! I think I have a new nickname for Timmy! And the winter clothes...what the heck? Katie will only wear her winter pajamas for the last 2 weeks (that I purposefully removed from her pajama drawer and put in her winter clothes dresser). For some reason all her summer jammies are "scratchy" (even though they're from the same stores as the winter ones).

Unknown said...

PS. Not that you hadn't already won me over with your adorable children and witty banter, but I love a girl who takes pictures of her food. I do the same thing - oh and humming phanton of the opera to yourself? I'm sorry to tell you but you are as big of as a dork as's almost like you're my long lost twin.

Sugar Boogers & Tantrums said...

Thanks for stopping by. And the boys are precious and the food looks delish

Relyn Lawson said...

These recipes sound delicious. Thanks so much for your visit and your kind comment. I am glad you like the playlist. I love it and listen to it all the way through several times a week.

Bentley Boutique said...

Hi Elle Bee. I have a special award for you on my blog. Come on over and pick it up!

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

I loved this! Thanks for sharing this!

Also, bless you for taking time to visit kate! If you want, copy her pic and pass on her story through your blog! I am trying to keep the interest going :)


Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Oh my goodness, both of those recipes look wonderful! I am definitely going to try these! Thanks for sharing them!

Your kids are adorable! I love those smiles! And I love your word, twinado too! I bet those two really have some adventures! I just think being the mom of twins is such a blessing! I bet your life is always interesting!

It sounds like you had a wonderful day with sweet friends! Loved all the pictures!

Have a great evening, Elle!

Flat Creek Farm said...

I love this kind of chicken salad. Actually, yours looks way better than my recipe. I shall try it... thank you! As always, you make everything fun! I've decided, when I'm down... I'll just visit you for a pick-me-up! -Tammy

Elle Bee said...

I can't claim "twinado" as my own. Wish I could but I heard it somewhere else--can't remember where. :o)