A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Best Chicken Pasta Salad

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A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

My husband and I love a really good pasta salad, so I tweaked and experimented and created the Best Chicken Pasta Salad, which I named after me:) 

With it’s creamy perfectly balanced flavored dressing, crisp  tart apples, smoky Gouda cheese, velvety avocado, crunchy almonds; combined with the other scrumptious ingredients, we think you will agree too that this is the Best Chicken Pasta Salad!

This will generously serve 4-6 adults with a loaf of crusty bread.

It’s a great recipe for a picnic, just be sure to keep it cold because of the mayonnaise and the chicken.

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

Salad Ingredients:

2-3 green apples, cored and cut into small bite-sized pieces; my handsome hubby prefers I peel the skin off, so that’s a personal preference too (the tart balances the other flavors and compliments the smokey cheese)

3-4 cups of cooked chicken,  A rotisserie chicken is fabulous here and what I generally use.

3/4 – 1 cup celery, chopped into small pieces

8-12 oz. Gouda cheese, cut into small pieces (the package of sliced is the usually the most cost effective, just dice it up)

2-3 avocados, diced

2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in halves (they look pretty, but can use green grapes if they are sweeter and in season)

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled

16 oz / 1 lb. package of Rotini style pasta (corkscrew type to hold all the good dressing in and sturdy enough for the other ingredients – use a GOOD brand or it falls apart when you add in the other ingredients.  I prefer Barilla pasta)

 

Dressing Ingredients:

16-18 oz. light mayonnaise (2 – 2 ¼ cups), only real mayo here, please don’t use Miracle Whip.  You can use regular if you’d prefer over light

1/2 cup light sour cream (you can use regular instead of light)

1 ½ Tbl. poppy seeds

2 Tbl. honey

5 Tbl. lemon juice (bottled or fresh)

3 Tbl. seasoned rice vinegar

1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/2 – 1 tsp. roasted garlic seasoning, optional, but balances the sweet nicely – I use McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s original seasoning




Directions:

First toast the nuts as shown below*

Cook pasta as directed on package.

When the pasta is al dente (not mushy or too soft), rinse and drain to remove the starch so it isn’t sticky and clumpy later after it sits.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Pour the dressing ingredients over the salad ingredients and combine gently.

Gently toss in the pasta and fold till all mixed through.

 It is best to serve this salad chilled for at least an hour. It sits well over night too.

Carrie's Chicken Pasta Salad *To toast nuts, pour them into a non-stick pan and cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until the nuts are a slightly browned.

It only takes a few minutes but it brings out a delicious deep flavor.
Picture1

 

My Carrie’s BEST Chicken Pasta Salad would be perfect to take to a neighbor, friend or family member in need.  If you’d like to know more, I have this post:  What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

And even more information at    How Can I Help When Someone Is Sick And Show I Care?

A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Copyright and recipe by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

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Raspberry Heaven

Raspberry Heaven Salad or Dessert

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Raspberry Heaven

Raspberry Heaven

My friend Natalie brought this bowl of heaven to our book club and called it a salad, but I think it could be a dessert or midnight snack.  It is absolutely amazingly light and delicious.  I am so glad she brought this to share and allowed me to bring it to you!




 

Raspberry Heaven

Ingredients:

2 (3 oz each) boxes of Jello brand Tapioca pudding

1 small box Raspberry jello

3 cups water

8 oz. cool whip

12 oz. frozen raspberries or mixed berries





Directions:

Combine the water both boxes of tapioca pudding and jello in a saucepan.

Raspberry Heaven

Bring this to a boil stirring constantly; boil for 1 minute.Raspberry Heaven

After the 1 minute, transfer to a bowl.Raspberry Heaven


Cover with a lid or plastic wrap, then let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.Raspberry Heaven

Just before serving, fold in the cool whip and bag of frozen berries.  (I poured the jello and tapioca mixture into a larger bowl for this step)Raspberry Heaven

Serve and enjoy!

Raspberry Heaven

Recipe from Natalie Woll, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

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Homemade refried beans topped with cheese

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans


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Homemade refried beans topped with cheese

Easy Refried Beans made in a Crock pot or slow cooker

Are you looking for the  BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans?

Not those flavorless, bland refried beans, like some canned ones, or those made with tons of lard.

These have really great depth of flavor, and the BEST part….

My easy Best Refried Beans creation are made in the crock pot!

I mean what can be easier than that?

And the result -every time I serve these BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans, I get rave reviews and so will you! 

I have easy to follow picture tutorials so you can easily make these BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans yourself and I’ll also tell you the trick to freezing them perfectly.

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Ingredients:

1 lb. dry pinto beans (1 1/2 – 1 2/3 cup), rinsed, remove any shriveled beans or stones  

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large yellow (best flavor for long cooking) onion, peeled and cut into chunks

2 Tablespoon garlic, chopped or minced

1 jalapeno or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped (adds flavor, not heat)  

—-

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder. However Chipotle adds a wonderful smoky flavor)

4 Tablespoon real butter (don’t skimp here!)

1 to 1  1/2  teaspoon chicken bouillon, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning 

 

Directions:

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

The night before  rinsed the beans in a colander, checking for  stones or shriveled beans.

Let sit large bowl and cover with at least 5 inches of water.

Let them soak overnight, or at least for 8 hours.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

This is an important step.  

Why?

Because by soaking the beans and then rinsing them very well with water before proceeding; this cuts down dramatically on the gastrointestinal issues (aka gas) produced by beans.

After soaking the beans overnight, rinse them in a colander over and over with water a few times.

Pour the soaked and rinsed beans into a crock pot.

 

Next step

Prepare a Jalapeno or an Anaheim pepper.

Using  disposable gloves is a good way to cut up the peppers because it keeps the juices/oils from the peppers off of your fingers/fingernails; which can really burn your eyes or sting your face or anywhere you touch.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Removing the seeds and membrane, which will leave the flavor, but not the heat.

In the crock pot, along with the rinsed beans, add in the salt, cut up onion, garlic and jalapeno or Anaheim pepper.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Next Step

Cover  the bean and vegetable mixture with approximately 4-5 inches of water.  

Place on the lid and set to cook for 4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.

The time of cooking will vary depending upon the age of the beans. 

Be sure to check on your beans periodically to see if more water needs to be added.

Again, this depends on your beans.

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

When the beans are tender to the bite, then pour into a colander which is set INSIDE of a large bowl and drain to reserve the bean juice. 

Or scoop out the liquid with a spoon and save.  ***VERY IMPORTANT STEP  You want to SAVE the liquid the beans have been cooked in!!!

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Next Step

  • Place the drained bean mixture into a food processor. 
  • A blender will make a very smooth bean, whereas a food processor will allow you to make the beans with texture if desired.
  • If you prefer really chunky re-fried beans, use a potato masher instead of a food processor.

Add in the ½ tsp. salt, vinegar, cumin, chipotle chili powder, REAL butter, bouillon and Montreal steak seasoning.  (I like to 1 1/2 times the seasonings, but then I love a punch of flavor.  I recommend making as directed in the recipe though the first time, and then adjusting to your taste.)

THE BEST REFRIED BEANS (CROCK POT)

BEST Crock Pot Refried Beans

Give it a whirl, then add in a bit of the reserved bean juice; just a small amount at a time until the texture is the way you prefer.

Serve warm.

TIP:  Refried beans freeze very well.

Soon into freezer baggies or containers when cooled and place in freezer.

SAVE some of the bean juice and  freeze in a separate freezer baggie or container.

When thawing the beans, also thaw bean juice and add to beans if they seem dry after freezing. They will taste like the day you make them – or better since the flavors have had time to marry.  ENJOY!

Homemade refried beans topped with cheese

Easy Refried Beans made in a Crock pot or slow cooker

Carrie’s recipe copyright 2016, 2018
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Jicama Salad

Cabbage and Jicama Slaw

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Jicama Slaw

Jicama Slaw

 

Cabbage and Jicama Slaw

This Cabbage and Jicama Slaw is NOT you’re average slaw baby!     

I created a perfect side for your Mexican inspired meals.

This one is light, refreshing and so flavorful.  

Have you had Jicama before?  Oh, it adds a wonderful earthy, sweet taste and it’s crunchy fabulous.  

Then I added in just enough cilantro to brighten the entire dish.  

It’s a terrific twist on OLE!

If you are looking for another scrumptious salad with Mandarin Oranges, here’s one that has strawberries, spinach and a really delightful dressing, this Strawberry-Orange Spinach Salad hits the spot

Cabbage and Jicama Slaw

Ingredients:

1 medium jicama, peeled and grated

16 oz. cole slaw mix (coarse chop, NOT fine shred if available)

11 oz. can mandarin orange segments, drained, reserve juice

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbl. red wine vinegar

1-2 tsp. fajita/taco seasoning

1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

½ tsp. salt, or to taste

½ tsp. balsamic vinegar

Fresh cilantro, leaves – to taste

 

Directions:

Peel skin off the jicama with a vegetable peeler.Jicama SlawOr with a knife, careful to get just the outer top layer.Jicama SlawGrate the peeled jicama using the largest holes on the grater; set aside.Jicama Slaw

In a large bowl, add the coleslaw, jicama and the drained mandarin oranges.Jicama Slaw

In a small bowl, whisk together reserved 2 Tbl. of the Mandarin juice, mayonnaise, vinegar, fajita seasoning, pepper and salt to taste.

Pour the dressing over the jicama mixture.

Toss to mix thoroughly and top with cilantro.

Add more Mandarin orange juice ONLY if needed.Jicama Slaw

Mix well. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

If there is excess liquid, simply strain it off; absolutely delish!Jicama Slaw

 Carrie’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2016, 2018

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A large bowl filled with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple tidbits, grapes, kiwi, bananas and mandarin oranges. A citrus glaze is poured over top and tossed in gently.

Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad

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A large bowl filled with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple tidbits, grapes, kiwi, bananas and mandarin oranges. A citrus glaze is poured over top and tossed in gently.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad

Have you wondered how to keep a fruit salad fresh, including the bananas? This Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad is the answer!

Are you looking for a healthy fresh fruit salad dressing that is fabulous to make ahead for a party or a crowd? Yep! This fruit salad is the one!

Why is this Easy Fresh Fruit Salad perfect?

Well, to being, it has a light syrup glaze which compliments the fruit, but doesn’t overpower it.

The unique citrus syrup or dressing, glazes the fruit, which brightens and enhances the natural flavors. 

I love how easy this comes together, and it screams summer!  

It’s a great dish for for entertaining, to take to an outdoor concert and serve in nicer paper products, or for healthier eating with your family and they will think you are giving them a gourmet delight:)

MORE Fresh Fruit Salads

If you are looking for another simple delicious fruit salad, you might like this one.  It’s made with a little different twist on the fruit, and the sauce or syrup is an orange base instead of a lime.  It’s equally good.  You can see it HERE

Oh, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this tart with fresh fruit that my daughter introduced me to.  Danitra makes amazing food, and this one didn’t disappoint.  It begins with a really good sugar cookie type base, next is a creamy delicious filling, and then scrumptious beautiful fresh fruit arranged on top.  To make it extra special, it is finished with a delicate glaze, and it is SSOOO beautiful and tasty!!! Check it out  HERE.

If you prefer a creamy type of fruit salad this Creamy Orange Fruit Salad looks amazing.

I hope you get a change to try this Quick and Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad, and possibly the others too at your next BBQ, get-together with friends, office party, neighborhood put-luck, or family dinner; you’ll be glad you did!




Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

1 pound of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

20 oz can of pineapple tidbits, drained

12-16 ounces of fresh blueberries

1 pound of seedless grapes, red preferably for color

4-5 kiwis, peeled and diced

15 ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained

2 bananas, sliced

 

Citrus Glaze:

1/4 cup honey

2 tsp. lime zest 

1 Tbl. fresh lime juice

 




Directions:

Zest the lime.Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad In a mixing cup, whisk together the Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad ingredients – 

The honey, lime zest and lime juice; combine well and set aside.Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit Salad Add all of the prepared fruit to a large lovely bowl.

Just before serving, pour the Citrus Glaze over the fruit and gently toss to coat evenly.  

Immediately serve your

Quick And Easy Citrus Glazed Fresh Fruit SaladCitrus Glazed Fruit SaladAdapted slightly from Cooking Classy  

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016, 2018

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Healthy Lentil Soup

BEST Ever Lentil Soup

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Healthy Lentil Soup

Simple Healthy Lentil Soup

This soup is wonderful!   It is very economical, healthy, gluten free and easily made vegetarian.  

Serve with my Whole Wheat Muffins for a tummy pleasing meal.




BEST Ever Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

8 cups water, more if needed

2/3 cup lentils

1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked

1 tsp garlic powder 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped

3 vegetable bouillon cubes (Knorr, or equivalent)

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 Tbl. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s or seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 lb. carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce Splash with Texas champagne (hot sauce)

1 Tbl. dried parsley


Directions:

Do not peel carrots it retains more vitamins.

Slice them about 1/2 inch thick.  

Slice the celery about 3/4 inch thick.

Chop the onions.

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lentlil Soup 1Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or more until the lentils, vegetables and rice are tender.

Add more liquid if needed. Lentlil Soup 2Serve. 

 Carrie Groneman’s recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014

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Refreshing Cranberry Mousse Dessert

Scrumptious Cranberry Mousse

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Refreshing Cranberry Mousse Dessert

Cranberry Mousse

This is a beautiful salad for the holidays, but perfect for anytime of the year.  Light, refreshing and can be made smooth by pureeing the ingredients or left a bit chunky – your choice.  ENJOY!


 

Cranberry Mousse

 Ingredients:

6 oz. package strawberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

20 oz can crushed pineapple

14 oz. can whole-berry cranberry sauce

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon rind, grated

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream




Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Stir well for THREE minutes.cranberry mousse 1Wash the lemon with soap and water then grate the lemon rind, using care to ONLY grate the top of the top of the yellow layer and not the white pith, which will make it make the mouse bitter.cranberry mousse 2Now cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice by twisting a fork inside the flesh to extract all the juice possible into a cup.  Then measure out 3 Tablespoons. If necessary, add in bottled juice to make up the difference.cranberry mousse 3




Drain the pineapple well; using a spoon to press out the juice, reserving the pineapple juice and set aside.cranberry mousse 4In a mini processor puree the cranberry sauce. cranberry mousse 5To the dissolved gelatin, add in the reserved pineapple juice, 3 Tbl. lemon juice, nutmeg, drained crushed pineapple and sour cream.  cranberry mousse 6Pour into a large serving bowl or individual serving cups, the gelatin mixture and chill until set; at least 2 hours.  serves 16-20.cranberry mousse 7OPTION:  Puree the pineapple and the cranberry together for a smooth mousse.

Adapted slightly from Taste of Home

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

 




Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

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Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Do you love good Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes as much as I do?

The kind that are creamy with a fabulous gravy that’s easy to make?

And cheesy too of course.

This Dutch Oven Scalloped Potato dish is all that and more.  It’s an easy side dish to make while camping, on a day trip or home doing some dutch oven cooking.

It’s always a winner and a favorite for all ages. 

 

 

I have a GREAT 2-page Dutch Oven cheat sheet HERE to help you follow along with successful dutch oven cooking

 

Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients:

1 pound good bacon, diced into bit sized pieces

2 medium onions, chopped

2 Tablespoons garlic, minced

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 – 10.5 oz. cans of cream of mushroom soup, or your preference

12 oz. can of evaporated milk

1 cup of sour cream

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Montreal Steak seasoning

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt, or according to taste

 

16 oz. (1 pound) of grated cheddar chese

 

Directions:

Start you charcoal, using a 12″ dutch oven as directed HERE, (along with all the basics you’ll need to know!) place 16 briquettes on the bottom; heating until hot. 

Add in the bacon and fry until brown.

Scalloped Potatoes in the Dutch Oven

Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Add in the onions and continue to cook until the onions are translucent.  

Add in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Scalloped Potatoes in the Dutch Oven

Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the: 2 cans of soup, evaporated milk, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, Montreal Steak seasoning, Smoked Paprika and salt.

Add in the potatoes.

Pour the soup mixture over the potatoes and stir gently to coat evenly.  

Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Place the dutch oven lid on the top.  With the 10 briquettes on the bottom, put 16 on the top. As the coals are turning completely white and burning out, add more as needed.

Stir gently every 15-20 minutes; for about 60 minutes total or until the potatoes are tender and done.

Then sprinkle on the cheese.

Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Place the lid on and melt until all bubbly.

Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Serve.

You can print the entire tutorial by clicking here  

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or only the recipe below

Recipe for Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe by Carrie Groneman, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

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For More Posts On This Topic:

 

What, How & Why In Dutch Oven Cooking – All About Dutch Oven Cooking: 101

Basic information for dutch oven cooking

 

How Do I Use The Coals & Temperature – All About Dutch Oven Cooking: 101

Charcoal temperature and dutch oven

 

Stan’s Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler in a Dutch Oven

 

Dutch Oven Mini-Pull-Apart Butter Rolls

Butter Pull-Apart Rolls in the Dutch Oven

 

Dutch Oven Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken in a Dutch oven

 

Dutch Oven Dorito Enchilada Casserole

Dorito Enchilada Casserole

 

Dutch Oven Hearty Corn Bread

  Corn Bread 1

 

 

 

 

 

Dutch Oven Beef Roast with Vegetables

Beef roast and vegetables in the dutch oven