Chicken Dinner

Chicken Dinner

It’s probably a strange thing to say, but when I went to my dad’s for the weekend, long before I went to live with him, one of the first things we got was a chicken dinner. I don’t know what it was about this dinner, but it was always so good, and we could not wait until the next time we could have one. The restaurant that made them is long gone, and that is a huge shame. It was by far one of the best meals I had as a kid, and I could always count on it being the same each time I ordered it.

Today, as I was leaving my weekly paddle tennis practice (and readers, I could write 10 columns about my obsession with the weirdly wonderful winter sport of bouncing around inside of a cage while smacking a ball that’s as hard as a frozen grapefruit at your friends and enemies…but I will spare you…for now) when my teammate Lisi hollered out, “Caroline, what are you making for dinner tonight?”

Source: https://www.newjerseyhills.com/bernardsville_news/lifestyles/everything-food-winter-winner-chicken-dinner/article_5357b7b0-b2e9-5f23-8500-d337ed12b5bb.html

The chicken dinner we had came with two pieces of chicken, a bun, coleslaw (that we never ate) and a small portion of macaroni and cheese. My brother and I always asked for it the moment we came to Dad’s house, and many times he had already ordered it by the time we got there. He loved the chicken dinner as much as we did, and he waited until we were there for the weekend before he would get it for himself.

Looking back, I know that the chicken dinner was not the best thing for us health wise, but it was always a great treat. We saw Dad every other weekend back then, so it wasn’t like we were eating it every day. If that restaurant were still open I would imagine he would still get them, and we would most likely order the chicken dinner when I go to visit him. It’s probably a good thing they aren’t there any more. The people that took over that particular business once the first owners decided it was time to retire had the same menu, but for some reason the dinners were just not the same.

You don’t have to order out for a great chicken dinner. You can make your own at home, though if you know of a great place like I did, you may not want to bother with the mess. A good chicken dinner will take hours to prepare, but when you are done you are going to know it was well worth your time. It doesn’t have to be bad for you if you use good oils like Canola oil to fry your chicken dinner. Just remember to have it for a special treat. Even with the healthy oil you are going to be putting down a lot of extra calories.

Southern Recipes

Southern Recipes

The South is known for its hospitality when it comes to food. Different regions and cultures have their own Southern recipes, reflecting the traditions of Native Americans and ideas brought from Africa, France and the Caribbean. It all makes for a tasty melting pot of dishes. It’s not always the healthiest of cuisine but there are plenty fish and vegetable elements for people concerned with healthy living.

With the start of 2020, it’s a good time to look back on some of the good things that happened in 2019. Alabama NewsCenter has tallied the results in each grouping of stories to see which ones you responded to the most, and we’re sharing your five favorites along with a story (or stories) we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss.

Source: https://www.alabamanewscenter.com/2019/12/26/best-of-alabama-newscenter-2019-recipes/

Many Southern households wake up to the aroma of Country Ham with Red -Eye Gravy served for breakfast. This is usually cooked along with grits, biscuits and eggs. Dinner may be chicken and rice, cooked in the Spanish way, with hot pepper sauce, paprika and saffron. Texas has its own dishes, with Tex-Mex recipes that are well known across the world. San Antonio Chill is one example, a meal based on beef or pork and cooked with dried chili peppers, cumin and oregano. They know how to make a good cake in Texas too. The Texas Sheet Cake is made with sour cream and cocoa with a chopped pecan frosting.

African American cookery, otherwise known as soul food, often uses peanuts, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes and okra in Southern recipes. Peanut butter gives a tangy flavor to Chicken and Groundnut Stew. Jambalaya is another favorite, made with shrimp or ham and rice, bacon and bell peppers. There are variations, made from chicken or seafood.

Jambalaya also crops up in Cajun and Louisiana dishes but the most well known dish from these parts is the classic Gumbo, a Louisiana stew or soup. There are several versions, passed down from Indian, French, Spanish or African influenced Southern recipes. The basis for the dish is the roux and it usually contains okra. There are recipes for crawfish, some methods using thick cream and dry sherry. Alligator is another delicacy; cooked in a delicious lemon and white wine sauce.

In Kentucky, the locals like to sit out on the porch at the end of a hard day and relax with a glass of Mint Julep. This tradition calls for mint leaves, sugar, ice, water and bourbon. Kentucky bourbon can also be found in Bourbon and Chocolate Pecan Pie. Another treat for a sweet tooth is Jam Cake, made with blackberry jam, spices and raisins topped with a cream cheese frosting. Vegetables are not forgotten here and this state is fond of asparagus in its Southern recipes. They like to grill it, after marinating it in dill, lemon, and garlic.

Picnic Idea

Picnic Idea

There’s nothing better on a warm Summer’s day than to go for a picnic. I love to go on picnics at every opportunity, on the beach and in the countryside. It’s nice to keep coming up with a good picnic idea and to try new things. Whatever you eat, food never tastes better than when it’s eaten outside. There’s probably a scientific explanation for that but I don’t know what it is.

When our kids were little, we used to have themed picnics. Once, we all dressed up as pirates and we ate seafood. Another time, we dyed all the food blue. Then we played games. The only problem was trying to stop our pet dog from eating everything! It’s an advisable picnic idea to feed the dog up before you go. The other problem is the unwanted attention of wasps. We bought some mesh covers to go over the food and the wasps eventually used to give up and go away.


Long summer afternoons inspire singular thoughts: namely, how to make the most of it. In partnership with Minor Figures, we look at planning an ideal summer picnic without too much planning.

Source: https://www.broadsheet.com.au/national/food-and-drink/article/architecture-hassle-free-picnic

My favorite location for a picnic is by the river. You can keep cool by going for a paddle and you can wash the dishes in the river afterwards. We have a large, old fashioned wicker picnic basket with sections for crockery and cups and glasses. We bring the food in a cool box. My preference for a picnic idea is to choose things which are easy to eat outdoors, such as sandwiches or finger food.

Chicken wings and legs and burgers in mini sesame buns are an appetizing picnic idea. Stick to what you know you like. Picnics are not a time to experiment with the family’s likes and dislikes. Throw a bit of salad in, some crusty bread and a big bag of chips with some dips. Another picnic idea is lots of Mayo, Relish and Ketchup so that the food isn’t too dry. Don’t forget some soft drinks for the kids. My husband and I used to pack a thermos of coffee. You could take wine or beer of course, but alcohol during the day just makes me sleepy.

Desert could be some fruit, perhaps a pre-prepared bowl of fresh fruit salad. Muffins, doughnuts or cookies are a welcome picnic idea. We were very fond of taking Carrot Cake or Banana Cake. Sometimes we’d pack those individual tubs of chocolate mousse. You don’t want anything too heavy.

Don’t forget the napkins and the bags to take your garbage home in. Leave the beach or the countryside as you found them. If you need them, remember the can opener and the corkscrew.

The Wonders Of Tabasco Sauce

The Wonders Of Tabasco Sauce

For a while, I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with my cooking. My husband began to put Tabasco sauce on just about everything that I made him for dinner. Either I was a bad cook, or his taste buds were getting worn out. I was relieved when he informed me that my cooking was fine (though that is still up for debate), it was just that he found a new way to enjoy some of the foods that he loves the most. The change is not in the basic taste of the food, but rather, it gives everything a kick.


Tabasco is quite possibly one of the most ubiquitous hot sauces in the world, found in bubbling pots of gumbo, dashed onto scrambled eggs from diners, and “borrowed” from Chipotle restaurants. It’s not too surprising the peppery hot sauce has found world domination, as its been produced since the late 1800s and therefore has had plenty of time to perfect its fiery recipe in Louisiana. 

Source: https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/tabasco-sauce-rocoto-pepper-flavor

Tabasco sauce is something that has been around for a long time. When we make hot wings in my house, this is what we use. I do love the taste of it, but I never really thought about putting it in any other foods that I make. It does not go well on lasagna, but I have to admit it makes a nice addition to a slice of pizza. You have to learn just how much Tabasco sauce you can handle, but after a while you figure it out. You can add just the right kick without making your meal something completely different than with which you started.

If you find that you love the taste of Tabasco sauce, you can find ways to add it to your menus without just dousing a meal once it is done. You can find subtle ways to add it to recipes. You may already use it when you make chili, but you may also find that you can add some Tabasco sauce when you want to add a little kick to your beef stew. It might work well with your ribs, and you can always add a little to your homemade pizza sauce to see if you like the finished results or not.

You can even come up with new recipes for Tabasco sauce. If you like hot wings, otherwise known as Buffalo wings, you can try to use that taste in new foods. Think about making hot wing pizza by using a Tabasco based sauce for your pizza and using chunks of chicken on the top of your cheese. It may be very good. You can also try using Tabasco sauce mixed with butter as a dip for many other types of chicken that you may serve to your family. If you look around, you may even find cookbooks and recipes that show you how to use this yummy sauce in a bunch of new ways.

Paintball Game

Paintball Game

In the real world, we can’t just run around shoot one another. Uh, well you know what I mean. Although some individuals and groups pay no attention to these laws, the majority of us with an education realize that there are certain things we can’t do. Unloading an assault rifle at a group of people is one of them. Of course this doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternatives. Trust me when I say there are. Who’s heard of paintball stores and paintball wars? This little game of cat and mouse has been going since the 80s when it all began. And it seems like it’s only getting more and more prominent and popular as time passes.

Have you ever been hit with a paintball? It freaking hurts! If you don’t believe me, just give it a whirl in a paint gun battle. You will soon be enlightened. They don’t strap on all that clothing and gear for nothing. It’s to block the paint balls from hitting your skin. This happened to me once back when I was only 13 years old. My parents bought me an awesome paintball gun for my birthday, as requested. It was literally the coolest present ever. Thank God for the paintball stores and mail order catalogs. I immediately took it outdoors with my brother and we started target practice. Then we idiotically got the notion to shoot one another with it. You know the drill; just to see what it feels like. Well I was shot first, right in the bare arm. OUCH! I squealed like a 13 year old boy. Oh wait, I was one. Anyway, I didn’t have it in me to shoot my 12 year old brother after that. It just didn’t seem right. Two painful welts are certainly not better than one.

Take precautions! Even though I know how exciting it is to hit up the paintball stores for new artillery and oodles of wildly colored ammo, make certain you take the necessary precautions before engaging in an all-out paintball war. These guns are powered by CO2 and they hurt like a mother. Wear the vests, standard padding and helmets. It’s all typically available at the paintball stores as well. Also, make sure you find a legitimate course to enjoy, if you’re searching for paintball battles. Aim for the chest!