Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicken Waldorf Salad Wraps

I'm trying to do a lot of things lately.  I'm trying to eat healthier.  I'm trying to post more frequently.  I'm trying to pack my lunch more often.  Here's trying to kill three birds with one stone.

Chicken Waldorf Salad Wraps were very easy to make.  Me 'n the taster had a sample, and both agree we will be happy to eat this for lunch for the next couple of days.  The recipe makes 5 wraps.

First, shred some chicken.  This is the breast meat from a rotisserie chicken.  

Then start throwing everything else in the bowl.  Diced apple...
 ...dried cranberries...
 ...toasted walnuts, mayo, celery seed, salt and pepper.
 Mix it around a bit, then add the bleu cheese.
Mix it a bit more, then lay down your wrap.  Homie.
Add some lettuce for crunch.
Then add the chicken salad.
Roll it up.
Eat it.  Yum.
I hope it's sunny tomorrow so I can eat my lunch outside.  

Chicken Waldorf Salad Wraps by Bonzo Bean

2-3 cups shredded chicken
1 jazz apple, diced (or other crispy apple)
1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
2-3 oz crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 t celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
Romaine lettuce
Multi-grain sandwich wraps

Mix everything but lettuce in a bowl.  Lay down wrap, add lettuce, add chicken salad, roll.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On Women and Food

We crazy.  That is my profound, philosophical, well-researched opinion regarding women and food.  (ha!)  Let me tell you a little story.

There is a cafe in my office building that sells "grab and go" lunches.  Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're not, they are always convenient.  Today's lunch was a grilled chicken burger with french fries and fresh fruit.  I thought no more about the choice than it was an elevator ride away.  I was busy, and didn't want to fool around with lunch.

As I'm in the elevator I think to myself, "I've had fries once this week, I really don't need them again."  I asked for a salad instead, and the kind people obliged.  I'm waiting for my sandwich and a lovely blonde woman walks up to the counter and orders her lunch.  She fussed a bit over the cheese on the sandwich, but otherwise seemed a pleasant person and sat quietly nearby to wait for her order.

The waitress brought out both lunches at the same time in their boxes, and said to me "here you are, with salad."  To the other woman, "and yours, with fries."  The woman's face fell.  It would have been hysterical, had it not been so ridiculous, and sad.

I had a feeling where this was going, and made my way rather swiftly to the elevator hoping she worked on that floor and we wouldn't have to ride together.  But we did.  Between the 4th and 3rd floors she managed to say all of the following:

"Wow, that was so smart of you to order salad instead of fries.
I really should have ordered salad.
I probably won't eat all the fries, it's a really big sandwich.
I try to never eat them all, and throw most of them away.
You know, I'm going to Hawaii next week and I really want to be at the bottom of "my range," but you know I'm not right now..."

Had I thought it would do sufficient damage I would have stuck my plastic fork in my eye just to make it stop.  What is it that compels women to do this?  I wanted to scream at her "JUST EAT THE F'ING FRIES LADY!"  Seriously, you're tall and blond and skinny.  I am average height, brunette and curvy.  Yes, I said curvy.  The woman had nothing to prove to me, no matter what I look like, but come ON!  Do you really think that I am judging your french fries that much?

What's even stranger is that I felt this small, ugly, greenish feeling inside me as this was happening.  You know why?  Because I had ordered the salad.  I had "hand," as they used to say on Seinfeld.  I was the virtuous one.  I was able to look down my nose upon my leafy greens and judge her french fries.  I don't think I did judge, but I knew I could have.

I wouldn't have said everything she said in the elevator had the situations been reversed, but I know I would have thought something equally pathetic.  "Who's she with her salad, all high and mighty and healthier than thou?  What, you think you're better than me?  I haven't eaten all day and lay off me I'm starving!"

After ruminating about this over the afternoon,  I'm still stewing over what that says about me.  I'm glad I was nice to her, and tolerated the verbal onslaught as she flogged herself for eating the evil fries.  I'm glad I sent her on her way with "have a great time in Hawaii."  I'm glad I ordered the salad.

We crazy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's Bonzo Bean's birthday!  I cannot believe a year has passed since my first post.  I have had more fun than I ever anticipated writing this blog.  I've learned a lot about cooking, writing, and photography.  I am delighted by the people who have taken the time to read what I've written, or cook one of the recipes.  I am so grateful for their compliments and support.  I have so much more to learn, and I am excited for what the next year will bring.

You can't have a birthday without cake, and when I thought of my favorites, Pineapple Cake came first to mind.  My mom has made this cake for me more times than I can count.  It is fruity and very moist from the chunks of crushed pineapple, and is topped with cream cheese frosting.  You could put cream cheese frosting on just about anything and it would be good, but it's really good on this cake.  I love the way the pineapple stays a bit chunky in the batter, and that the cake can be served warm with it's frosting all ooey gooey and dripping down the sides.
Pineapple Cake is beyond simple to make.  First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan.  Then, dump all of the cake ingredients into a bowl.
Mix with a wooden spoon until blended, but don't over-mix.  Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan.
Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the cake is still warm, but not hot, prepare the frosting and frost the cake.
Cut a piece.
Make this cake, you will love it.  I promise.
Thank you for reading, and for making this year so much fun.

Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts.  I used pecans, but you could also use walnuts, or no nuts at all.
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, do not drain

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon.  Grease and flour 9x13 cake pan.  Pour batter in to pan and bake 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

1/2 stick butter
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
4 oz softened cream cheese
*Beat together with electric mixer and frost while the cake is still warm.