Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What's Cooking: Waldorf Chicken Salad


Lately I have been trying to make dishes that I can get two or three dinners out of, so I decided to make a batch of Waldorf chicken salad.  I made almost an identical batch of tuna salad too, and I loved that as well!


Here is a list of the basic ingredients you will want to include.  The quantities are easy to vary based on how much salad you are making, and how you like it prepared.

1 package boneless skinless chicken tenders (about 1.25 pounds)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup of Greek yogurt
1/4 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup of chopped apple
1/4 cup of chopped nuts (I used cashews)
1 box of raisins
1 clove of garlic (for poaching)

I started by poaching my chicken.  I had never done this before but it was a pretty easy way to cook chicken and apparently it keeps it moist.  Start by putting the chicken and chopped garlic into a large pot, and then filling with water (beware! don't put too much water or it will bubble over and make a huge mess in your kitchen... oops!)  Bring the water to a boil, and once it was boiling turn down the heat, cover the pot and allow it to simmer for about 8-10 minutes.  It may take longer to cook larger breasts, but just check that it is white and cut into it.


Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and allow it to dry and cool off.  I used a cake rack and it worked well so that they chicken could drain a bit too.

As your chicken is cooking and cooling, you can chop all the other ingredients.  You can chop them as fine as you want, it depends on how lumpy you want your chicken salad.  I used green apple, celery and cashews.  (Some people add grapes or raisins, and I prefer raisins.  However, I don't like the raisins to get soggy if I'm saving the chicken salad for a few days, so I just add mine when I'm ready to eat.)

Once your chicken is cool, chop it into small, 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces.  Then throw everything in a bowl, including the mayo and Greek yogurt and mix it together.  Speaking of which, I would start out slow with the mayo and yogurt, and add more to your liking.  I learned the hard way that it is easier to add mayo to chicken salad than it is to take it out!


Once my chicken salad was all mixed I threw it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before eating.

Side note: this post was supposed to end with my chicken salad in a pita looking so cute and delicious, but when I went to get a pita that I just purchased the day before, it already had mold on it!  Every single pita in the package was moldy.  I was SO mad and pretty grumpy about my late evening run to Publix just to get a hoagie roll.  I was so hungry when I got back that I forgot to take a picture.  Oh well!

Like I said, I tried this recipe with tuna as well and I just adjusted the ingredients for the quantity of tuna that I was using.  Such a yummy way to make tuna salad - I never make it another way again!

Enjoy!

cPe
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Kind of Town

A few weeks ago I visited my friend from school, Erica, in Chicago (I know, I know I'm really behind!)  It was so great seeing her and going back to a city that I absolutely LOVE.  To be fair, every time I have been to Chicago I have had absolutely perfect weather, so it has made the city look even more beautiful.  We had such a good time together and it was probably the best weekend I had all summer!


The first night we went out with Erica's coworkers and it was so fun to be out with a huge group.  I have certainly missed that in Atlanta!  We even saw some of our friends from college, and I was so excited to see familiar faces!

On Saturday morning we headed to the Art Institute.  I'm usually not a big fan of art museums, but I actually loved seeing all the exhibits!  The Impressionism, Fashion, & Modernity exhibit was at the Art Institute and it was so interesting to see famous paintings and the dresses that inspired them!  We saw some other famous paintings as well including American Gothic.





This painting reminded me of the town I grew up in in Pennsylvania.  When I looked at the plaque it was called "Bucks County Barn" which is where I lived!  I was so excited to see Bucks County represented all the way in Chicago :)


 After the museum we decided to rent bikes and ride them along the lake.  It is such a pretty way to see the city, and like I said the weather was perfect!



I love this section of the lake.  Honestly who would think you would see this in Illinois?!


After biking we ended up at the beach.  It was so funny because they have "concrete beaches" - if you dig far enough under the sand you reach concrete.  Apparently they ship the sand in from other states.  I think it's so crazy to sit on the beach and have a view of skyscrapers!


We walked home along the Magnificent Mile, which is the main shopping district in Chicago.  We ended up crossing over the Chicago River, which is another aspect of the city that I just love.  Plus, the architecture is gorgeous as well!


Apparently this building was built to look like a champagne bottle during prohibition - I can totally see it!  Seems like something Gatsby would love!


Saturday night we went to see a Second City show which is a famous Chicago comedy troop.  They specialize in improv, and the show was absolutely hilarious.  I would highly recommend going to a show if you are in Chicago or if Second City travels to a theater near you.  They send a ton of cast members to SNL, so we are hoping some of the comedians that we saw will make it big!


Sunday morning Erica and I went to brunch with some of her friends.  It was a perfect end to our weekend, and I was so sad to leave!  I had the best time with Erica and I was so glad to meet all her friends.  We are already trying to convince our college friends to all go on a trip back because we love Chicago so much!

cPe
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Birthday + Q&A


I can't believe it but I missed my little blog's birthday!  My first post was on August 26, 2012 and in case you missed it you can go back and read it here.  I am so happy that I started this blog as a way to get more involved in the blogging community.  I read blogs for almost two years before finally starting one myself, and I was so envious of the connections that bloggers formed with each other.  I realized that I should stop sitting on the sidelines just reading and actually start writing too!  I know that I have fallen off track with blogging a bit lately, but I am really going to try to get back into it.

One of my favorite posts to read on other blogs is question and answer posts.  I love getting the chance to ask other bloggers about their lives, and I think it is a great opportunity for bloggers to connect with their readers.  I would to give you all the opportunity to ask me some questions too!  So what do you want me to know?  Leave a comment or send me an email at pretty_in_prep@yahoo.com and I will do a post soon with my responses!

Thank you all for stopping by my little corner of the internet and reading along this past year.  It has been so much fun and I can't wait to see what the next year holds for me!

cPe
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Morning Blessings


Good morning everyone!  Did you have a good weekend?  Mine was so nice.  It was the first weekend I have been home in four weeks, so I enjoyed shopping, laying out, crafting, catching up on TV and ordering some take out.  I spent the afternoon with some friends from church yesterday and started a new book as well, so it was a great weekend!  
  • I feel like every week in this post I say I had a fun and relaxing weekend, and that is a blessing in itself!  I was thinking about it the other day and I am so content in my life right now.  I feel like after working so hard in school, everything is falling into place.  It makes me so excited for what my future will hold!
  • One thing that I was originally nervous about this year was being "alone" in Atlanta.  I was worried about coming down here without really knowing anyone.  I have realized though that having more time to myself has actually been a blessing.  I have time to focus on myself - working out more, being successful at work and strengthening my faith.  I love spending time with the new people that I have met, but I also love having time to myself.
  • My job has already afforded me so many amazing opportunities, but a new one is coming up this week.  I will be traveling to UNC this week to recruit for my company at the career fair.  I am so excited to visit a new school and talk to people about why I love my job.  Plus it is certainly a blessing to get a day off from work :)
  • More so than ever I have been realizing lately what a HUGE blessing Matt has been in my life.  He is so loving, patient and supportive, and sometimes I lose sight of that.  We had such a wonderful time during his visit last weekend and it made me think about how incredibly lucky I am to have in my life. 
Hope you all have a great week :)

cPe
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Morning Blessings


Good morning!  I just got back from a whirlwind 10-day trip, hence my silence last week.  I visited a friend in Chicago two weekends ago, spent a week in Philadelphia for work and then got to go home this past weekend.  It was nice to be away from my desk and day-to-day work but I feel like I have a lot to catch up on when I go back into work this morning!  Special weeks like this of course leave me thinking about all of my blessings...

  • It was such a blessing to see so many of my friends and family.  I missed everyone so much and it was so nice to have a trip home to look forward to throughout my first six weeks of work.  I got to see everyone and do everything that I wanted to do while I was home, and it's a blessing to know that I can go home and pick right up where I left off.
  • Going back to Philadelphia for development sessions for work also reminds me how much I truly enjoy my job.  Not everyone loves the work they do or the company they work for, but I really do and that's a huge blessing!  Hopefully I'll still feel this way once I've been working for five or ten years :)
  • I don't think about this enough, but I am blessed to live such a comfortable life.  There is never anything that I need that I don't have access to, and unfortunately there are so many people who can't say the same thing.  I shouldn't take that for granted.
  • And of course, I'm blessed to have witnessed the Nsync reunion!
Have a great day and even better week!

cPe
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