My Favorite Chicken Salad

As summer very slowly slips away here (we've had 40 days of no rain and 80 degree days, very unusual for a Montana September) I've become acutely aware that making quick and cool summer recipes will come to a halt.  So I thought in honor of summer I would do one more summer type recipe to close it all out and usher in soup and meat season; otherwise known as "fall".  Here it is, my chicken salad.  I actually eat this all year long, but it becomes much more of a standard in the hot months.  It's so easy to make, it's fresh and flavorful,  it's healthy, and you can make a big batch of it and have it all week long.  To make it really easy on myself sometimes I'll use a whole rotisserie chicken, so good and quick.  (Then you can make stock from the carcass and freeze it for fall time soups.)  Here's the DL...
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
3/4 cup  (sliced lengthwise) red grapes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
pinch of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
In medium bowl mix all ingredients except chicken until well incorporated.  And chicken and stir to coat.  If needed add more mayo.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Spoon onto sliced croissants, sandwich bread, or flour tortillas.  Enjoy!  {makes 6-8 servings}

Pecan Pie Bars

I haven't posted in a while.  Things have been a little crazy around here.  I have been cooking a lot, just not posting all the yummy recipes.  Now that we are done with a good friends wedding I can come back to the world of blogging.  And I'm coming back with a bang with these amazing, delicious, and delectable Pecan Pie Bars.  Where actual pecan pie can be too rich for me, these bars are the perfect amount of deliciousness  Plus, there's no fussing with a pastry crust.  So the prep time is minimal  I usually have these whipped up in less than 15 minutes.  These bars are perfect for Fall and the crust is to die for!  Whenever I make these bars I devour them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, & late night snack.  Here's the skinny...
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted & cooled
pinch of salt
1 cup whole pecans
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
Using electric mixer blend together crust ingredients until smooth.  Evenly press crust dough into prepared baking dish.  Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat eggs until bubbly.  Mix in sugar.  Add corn syrup, salt and vanilla.  Mix in melted butter.  Using a spoon stir in both cups of pecans.  Pour filling over the baked crust.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool before cutting into squares.  Enjoy!

Quick & Easy Burritos

 I just had one of those weekends.  You know, the ones where you don't stop for a second and then you suddenly realize it's Monday and you're not even going to get to think about a break or mildly sleeping in for five more whole days.  Yeah, I had one of those.
First of all I did a booth at a vintage market called The Prairie Sisters with a couple friends.  I love doing this and it's only twice a year.  But it is non stop for a day and a half and requires a lot of loading, unloading, and moving furniture.  I'm not as young as I use to be, that physical stuff wears me out after a while!  Our booth did great and I walked away with a few fabulous items as well [I'll share them with you on the Home & Garden page].
During the middle of our show on Saturday I had to quick (and by quick I mean on hour worth of travel) drive out to The Ranch and snap some pictures of a couple horses we're trying to sell.
Once I got our there I saw my children who had been out of my care since Friday afternoon and in the hands of their grandparents and father.  I found my daughter wearing her skinny jeans (that are suppose to only be for school and church, not ranch work), a pj shirt that is a size too small, and dirtier than all get out.
I also snap a few pictures of these cute baby birds by our tack room.  Then I headed back to the market to finish out the day.  Sunday is always busy around here.  This Sunday I also taught Sunday school to the cutest two and three year olds you've ever seen, the three older kids had a birthday party, and I spent the afternoon editing a pile of wedding photos.
Needless to say Sunday dinner was not in traditional form.  I had  thirty minutes to whip something together, so I made these super quick and easy Mexican Sausage Burritos.  My Mom makes these and I love them.  It's just a bonus that they literally take no time at all to make.  These are also great to freeze and have later or take to a friend in need of a meal.  They are a great meal to make when you only have a brief moment to feed your crew.  Here's the DL...
1 pound sausage
1/2 medium onion diced
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained
1 can (10 oz) Rotel or diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup sour cream
3 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
8 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
sour cream, sliced green onions, picante sauce for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Cook onion and sausage in skillet until meat is cooked through.  Turn off head and stir in black beans, Rotel (or if you need it to not be spicy just plain tomatoes), and 1 cup sour cream.
Put about 2 tablespoons of cheese and 1/2 cup meat mixture into a tortilla.  Roll it up and place seam side down in baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Top burritos with remaining cheese and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and starting to bubble.  Let cool for 3 minutes and serve.  Enjoy!
*These burritos pair wonderfully with a fried egg!

Come a Junkin'

If you're in the Missoula area tomorrow (Saturday, 9/8), you have to swing by the Prairie Sisters party and find some treasures!
I'll be there with my friends Jami and Val at the Fabulous Farm House 5 booth selling our wares.  Here are a few more shots of our booth.
It's packed full of wonderful furniture, antiques, and decor.
A little something for everyone.  I've already bought four things that I could not longer live without.  I'm sure tomorrow I will find a few more items that I absolutely need.
The show is at the fair grounds in the commercial and culinary building from 10am-5pm.  Five dollar admission charge.  Mountains of fun items inside and good food too!
There are a ton of booths and your sure to find something you can't live without.