Enjoy-Your-Food-Storage Chicken Salad

Do you ever wonder if something truly good can be made from your food storage? Like, so good that if you didn’t know it was from food storage you never would have guessed it? Well, the answer is yes. This chicken salad was made at a Shelf Reliance party featuring their Thrive products and it was soo tasty! You don’t even have to worry about cooking the chicken if you have Thrive’s freeze-dried chicken…

1 1/4 C freeze-dried chopped chicken
1/2 C freeze-dried celery
1/3 C dehydrated minced onion
3 C water
1/2 C mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine chicken, celery, onion, and water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low; simmer until the mixture is rehydrated. (This should take about 10 minutes.)

2. Pour mixture into a colander and allow to drain for another 10 minutes, then cool in the refrigerator.

3. Combine the cooled chicken mixture with the mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy atop crackers or as part of a sandwich–whatever tickles your fancy!

Source: Lightly adapted from the Thrive Cookbook–Food That Fits Your Lifestyle (The only adaptation was the onion because we didn’t have Thrive’s freeze-dried onion.)

Special thanks to my mom, Anna, for her help with this post. 🙂

Fresh Spinach Salad

This is a delicious recipe. Be sure to allow enough time to chill the dressing for 30 minutes. You can either prep the eggs, bacon, and onion during the chilling time, or you can prepare them in advance so those portions of the salad will also be chilled once the salad is assembled.
1/2 C vegetable oil (I use EVOO)
1/4 C red wine vinegar (I prefer balsamic vinegar)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. dried whole oregano
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. fresh spinach (I use the bagged, prewashed kind)
6-8 slices bacon, cooked and sliced (or you can buy precooked bacon crumbles or pieces, though I don’t recommend bacon bits)
2 boiled eggs, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, sliced and separated into rings or chopped (I don’t use the whole onion b/c it has such a strong flavor–just use as much as your taste-buds like)
grape or cherry tomatoes as desired
1. Combine oil, vinegar, salt, oregano, and pepper in a jar. (I have this awesome dressing emulsifier from Williams Sonoma.) Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Chill at least 30 minutes.
[Photo from Williams Sonoma]
2. Combine spinach, bacon, eggs, and onion in large bowl.

3. Add tomatoes to the salad. (You might choose to halve them for easy stabbing.) I don’t toss the salad because doing so causes the toppings to collect at the bottom.

4. If you have a dressing dispenser, I recommend keeping the dressing in it and adding the dressing to the individual servings (rather than tossing the salad with the dressing until it’s well coated) because the salad shrinks dramatically once the dressing is added. You can imagine how soggy your leftovers will be if you add it all at once. If you don’t have a dressing dispenser, you can use something with a spout, like a liquid measuring cup, and just whisk the dressing with a fork as needed.
Makes 8 servings.
Source: Brew Family Cookbook (Tomatoes aren’t part of the original recipe; I add them for color and flavor.)

Danny’s Macaroni and Cheese

Have you ever had tomatoes in your mac and cheese? I hadn’t until this recipe. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the idea, but I love it!

1 8-0z. package elbow macaroni (I used corkscrew for fun)
1 14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 8-oz. package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until almost done–about 8 minutes; drain.
3. Mix cooked macaroni with tomatoes and shredded cheese. Pour into a baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
The original recipe doesn’t instruct you to spray the baking dish, but you may want to.
Source: Submitted to Allrecipes.com by Debby. See her quote for an explanation about its name. (I’m guessing her husband is Danny.)

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

A party favorite!
1 8-oz. block cream cheese
1 10-oz. box frozen cut or chopped spinach, thawed (you can also use the majority of a 16-oz. bag)
1 12-oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
3/4 Cup sour cream
1 Cup grated mozzarella cheese (original recipe called for cheddar; I used a combination of Monterey jack and cheddar b/c it’s what I had)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Soften the cream cheese (I think I micro-waved mine for 30 seconds). Whip the cream cheese with a mixer.
3. Squeeze the spinach between paper towels to remove excess moisture and then add it to your mixing bowl with the cream cheese.
4. Roughly chop the artichoke hearts; add the artichoke, sour cream, and cheese to the mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix together.
5. Scrape the mixture into a small oven-safe baking dish. Bake until lightly golden and heated through, about 15 minutes.
6. Serve warm with pita chips or bread.

Rolo Brownies

Chocolate, chocolate, and caramel. Mmmmm…
24 frozen Rolos
Brownie mix (or make batter from scratch) and whatever the brownie mix calls for (eggs, vegetable oil, etc.)
1. (Freeze the Rolos first.) Make the brownie batter.
2. Grease muffin pan well and fill each insert 2/3 of the way full with batter.
3. Place a frozen Rolo into the center of each brownie.
4. Spread batter from around the Rolo over the top to cover it completely.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool for a several minutes and carefully remove from pan. Enjoy!!!
Source: Rachel B. posted to Pinterest, my friend Porsche repinned it, and Porsche and my sister, Kylie, were kind enough to make them while visiting 🙂

Sour Cream Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Admittedly, this recipe is similar to some previous postings: Anne’s Banana Chocolate Chip Bread and Julie’s Banana Sour Cream Muffins. But since this recipe has sour cream and chocolate, I guess you could say it’s a great combination of the two! If you’d like to lessen the fat by replacing the sour cream with yogurt, you may be interested in viewing this article beforehand.

non-stick cooking spray
1 stick of salted butter, softened to room temp.
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
2 large or 2.5 small ripened bananas, mashed
1/2 C sour cream
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
2 T cocoa powder
1 C flour
1 C mini (or regular) chocolate chips
1/2 C chopped walnuts (opt.)
1. {Mash your bananas if you haven’t already.} Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan–or 2 mini pans–with non-stick cooking spray (I recommend the type with flour in it).
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in egg, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended.
3. Add baking soda, cocoa, and flour. Mix everything until well incorporated (about 3 minutes in a KitchenAid mixer).
4. Add chocolate chips and nuts.
5. Pour batter into loaf pan(s) and bake 50 min.-1 hour. (This loaf took around an hour and 10 minutes.)
6. Insert tooth pick in center of loaf; the bread is done when the tooth pick comes out clean. Remove from heat and allow bread to rest in the loaf pan for 10 minutes.
7. Remove bread to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Source: I found this on Pinterest, originally posted by Alice to savorysweetlife.com

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Is that a black and white photograph of food? Why, yes, it is. Because whipped cream is white, anyway.

My husband has recently had a hankering for strawberry shortcake. So at Food Lion today, I was going to buy some whipped cream in a tub from the frozen section–but then I looked at the ingredients. Cream was not one of them. In fact, the main ingredient was water. So I decided I’d whip my own cream.

1 C heavy whipping cream
3 T confectioners’ sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1. Chill a small mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator ahead of time.
2. Using your chilled bowl and beaters, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Store in the refrigerator.
Note: Do not overwhip your cream or it will start becoming runny.

Strawberry Sauce

Yummerz…and it can do so many things…
1 pint (which is 2 C or 32 oz.) strawberries
1/3 C white sugar
1 t almond or vanilla extract
1. Wash strawberries and remove stems.
2. Combine berries, sugar, and extract in medium saucepan over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, constantly stir/break up the strawberries. Allow to simmer for five minutes as you continue to stir and break up the berries.
3. Once it’s been five minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool enough to transfer mixture to blender. Pulse to desired consistency.
I didn’t put this batch in the blender because I was making it for use in strawberry shortcake, and my husband likes the chunks. But other times, when I use the blender to truly make it a sauce, I like to use it for strawberry lemonade/limeade. See the source for some other usage ideas and for a picture of it with a thinner consistency.
Source: Kate from Our Best Bites

Sweet Potato Bread

Happy New Year, Everyone! Having a New Year’s Eve party? Try serving this yummy quick bread; it’s full of flavor. The taste reminds me more of Amish Friendship Bread than of sweet potato, but the yams make it healthier–or at least make you think it is so you don’t feel as guilty when you eat half a loaf in one day…

3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t salt
2 t baking soda
2 t ground cinnamon
2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground allspice
1/2 t ground cloves
3 C white sugar, plus topping
4 eggs
1 C vegetable oil
3/4 C orange juice
2 C mashed sweet potatoes aka yams (I used canned; see link below for instructions on how to use from fresh)
1. If you haven’t already done so, mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl with a flat bottom using a potato masher. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix most of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, eggs, and oil. Stir in orange juice and sweet potatoes. Stir flour mixture into egg/sweet potato mixture until just combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. (This recipe yields 2 9×5 loaves. If you’re making mini loaves like I did, check them after 30 minutes.)
Source: lightly adapted from Sweet Potato Bread II as submitted to Allrecipes.com by Umm Asiyah

Instant Christmas Wassail

Just in time for Christmas! If you’ve never had wassail before, I’ve been told it’s similar in taste to Russian tea. I’ve never had Russian tea, but I know I like wassail!
1 C Tang
2 C sugar
1 1/2 C lemonade mix
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1. Mix well.
Source: My mom

When serving I like to pour the water in first and then add the wassail mix and stir; I think it incorporates better that way as opposed to putting the mix in your mug and then adding the water.
Yields more than the quart pictured above (not more than a cup more–I didn’t measure it).