Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No Ordinary Weekend - No Ordinary Chicken Salad

It's been an interesting few days around the Obi house. Strange happenings is a goin' on. Okay, not so strange, but definitely out of the ordinary. 

First, I drove to Oklahoma Friday to see my grandsons and help my daughter, Amy, with a workshop she was putting on Saturday. Thanks to a wreck that shut down the interstate, what was normally a 2.5 hour trip turned into 4 hours. After an hour in traffic that was either at a dead stop or a pathetic crawl, I was never so glad to get moving again. Or to see a rest area. (I knew I should have stopped at one cup of tea before heading out)

At any rate, as I finally made my way into Oklahoma, the Arbuckle Mountains greeted me with a fantastic view. 
Yeah, I know. They're not really mountains. But they're still pretty.

That night, I had pizza and cupcakes with my grandsons. Elijah prefers his cupcakes with a little something extra, though.
Frogs and cupcakes. 
Definitely a boy thing.

Saturday morning, Amy and I set off for the community center where she was teaching a workshop on distressing furniture. I was so proud of her. Everyone had a great time and I can't wait to try out some of the techniques I learned.

Imagine taking this $10 garage sale find...
To this...
in just a few hours. 

Remember the ornate plastic wood-look furniture from the 70's?
Before on the left, after on the right.
Love the transformation.

The workshop included lunch. 
Pasta salad, fruit salad, chicken salad (do you detect a theme here?) and sandwich fixings. Oh, and cupcakes. Gotta have cupcakes. 

But, for once, I don't want to talk about cupcakes, I want to talk about chicken salad. Chicken salad is one of those things that is so easy to change up and make just about any way you like. So this is just one version of mine. 

I made this for hubby's and my lunch earlier last week. 
We had a partially picked over rotisserie chicken in the fridge, so I picked that sucker clean, chopped up the meat and added some finely chopped celery and onion. He hates celery, so I have to hide it.
Chopped up apple is also a nice addition for a hint of sweetness, but since I was out of apples...

Next, I added some mayo, sour cream and Dijon mustard. Why Dijon? I like the taste better than regular mustard. Not as harsh.
Stir that all together. Add a little salt and pepper.

Then, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, I toasted some sliced almonds.

And added them to the mix for a nice crunch.

Lastly, I squeezed the juice of half a lemon over the whole thing and stirred one more time.


Some other great additions would be grapes, dried cranberries... Cranberries also add a nice pop of color. Mine is a little monochromatic. But tasty, nonetheless.

My trip back to Texas was much smoother and I made it back before the rains set in. Yesterday, my sister-in-law informed us of flooding at the ranch.

This is the entrance to our camphouse.

Fortunately, the houses are all on high ground, so all should be well. We'll just have to wade in.

Now it's your turn. 
Have you ever distresses/re-purposed furniture? 
What's your favorite chicken salad? 


  1. WOW! Poor Texas! I have friends still without power.

    And I repurpose furniture all the time. Doors into tables, cribs into benches, thrown out dressers into storage cabinets. I used to create things for friends but I don't have time anymore. I think my last project was an old door with a glass knob cut in half, and put in a corner as a really fun book shelf! Little kids always come up and turn the knob as if this door in the corner is going to open.

    1. I love it, MJ! I'm in awe of people like you who can think outside the box. I rarely have that capability. Thank goodness my kids got it.

  2. I love seeing old things given new life, and what fun those projects are, Mindy! And so cool to get up to OK and hang out and help Amy and the crew!

    Talented mother + talented daughter! Wonderful!

    I love all kinds of chicken salad. I love it with fruit and nuts and just about anything.

    But my family likes my original simple one done with chicken breast meat, cooked in strong broth, and then cooled, chopped and tossed with celery, salt, pepper and mayo.

    That is the family fave, and it probably sounds a little lame to my Southwestern buddy here, but these guys love it!

    I've got my youngest, Finance Boy in town for two more days, and then he heads off to Boston and NYC again.

    I love having a chance to spoil a kid, even a grown one.

    Most fun ever!!!!

    1. Families, especially our guys, tend to like things simple, don't they, Ruthy? Go figure.

      I know you're loving having finance boy home. And spoiling him. It's just the mama in us.

  3. Wow, so glad your houses aren't flooding. Drought and then floods. One extreme to the other.
    Chicken salad looks yummy. I like it with a little curry in it also.

    1. Sandra, my husband and I were saying the same thing just this morning. We've seen drought and floods at the ranch, yet the land always bounces back. Definitely extremes, though.

      Curry, you say? Huh. I never would have thought of that.

  4. I love a good chicken salad, and like you, I make it differently every time! Sandra's suggestion is my favorite, though. Curry is a must for me!

    Texas weather is a lesson in extremes, isn't it? The first year we lived in Abilene we had below zero weather in December, flooding rains in the spring, and then day after day after day of 100+° days in an endless summer.

    These rains will pass, and the destruction the floods leave behind will be repaired. So sorry for the people caught in it, though.

    1. BTW - I knew we had lived in Texas too long when we were driving to Kansas to visit my parents. We crossed the Red River (Texas/Oklahoma border) and I commented on how green everything was!

      Yeah. In the real world, Oklahoma is never green. :)

    2. I don't know, Jan. I'm not sure it's possible to live in Texas too long.

    3. We do have extremes in the Lone Star state. Guess it keeps thing interesting.

      So that's two folks who like curry in their chicken salad. I might have to slip a little in for a test. Though it would have to be just for me. Hubby likes curry even less than celery. But if I were to put peppers in it, he'd be a happy camper.

  5. I have seen news clips of the flooding in Texas. Crazy. Drought to Floods...you Texans don't do anything in half measure do you?

    I love repurposing furniture. I have a ton of projects I want to try. This spring I'm converting odd stuff into planters so I can have a raised bed garden for easier access. And now that the snow has melted and the temps have warmed up, I'm going to get started. Woot!

    1. Well, when it comes to the weather, Kav, I'm not sure how much say we Texan's have. Perhaps God is trying to help us keep our reputation intact.

      Your new garden sounds so exciting. You'll have to post some pictures on FB when it's done. Then make sure we all see them. :P

  6. I had a workshop yesterday with someone from Houston. Then I turned on the news and saw the pics of his neighborhood. Not good!

    I haven't eaten chicken salad in ages, but I always added dried tarragon to mine. I loved the flavor. I learned that trick from the most popular item on the menu at a local lunch place.

  7. Mindy, I'm sorry about the flooding!

    I love chicken salad with fruit! Grapes and dried cranberries. I also love it just plain, with mayo, celery and onion (using roasted chicken). I love pretty much any chicken salad!! :)