Over the years, creative cooks have added their own special touches to chicken salad, and we now have a wide variety of recipes from which to choose.
One of our family favorites is Hawaiian Chicken Salad. One of my daughters tasted this at a friend’s house and wanted the recipe. The hostess smiled and said, “It’s one of your mother’s recipes.” This is always a big hit at our church events.
For those who like a chunkier chicken salad, Cranberry Chicken Waldorf Salad would be a good choice.
No meal is complete without dessert, but it doesn’t have to be elegant to be good. Cupcakes seem to have become a culinary rage. Of course, people have enjoyed cupcakes for years, but now there are actually bakeries that specialize in unique cupcakes. My Lemon Danish Cupcakes are easy to make, and feature a center similar to the cream filling in a Danish sweet roll.
I have been told that the cheesecake-flavored cream cheese spread is not always readily available, so if not, use the regular soft cream cheese in the tub and add an extra tablespoon or two of confectioners’ sugar.
HAWAIIAN CHICKEN SALAD
4 cups ground or finely chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
Combine chicken, relish, pecans and pineapple with enough mayonnaise to bind. This will make enough chicken salad to make 16 full sandwiches. It is also good served with assorted crackers.
5 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped apple (unpeeled)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
Combine the chicken, pecans, cranberries, raisins, celery and apple (sprinkled with the lemon juice). Mix well. Stir in enough mayonnaise to coat well. Spoon onto a bed of leafy lettuce and serve with crackers.
LEMON DANISH CUPCAKES
1 box lemon cake mix (I use Pillsbury for this recipe)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) jar apricot baby food
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
8 ounce tub cheesecake-flavored cream cheese spread
2 to 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, sour cream, apricot baby food, lemon juice, water, eggs and poppy seeds. Beat on low speed for about 1 minute or until well mixed. In small bowl, combine cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Line muffin pans with paper cupcake liners. Spoon the batter into liners, filling about half full. Drop a small dollop (about a teaspoon) of cream cheese mixture in center of each cupcake. Spoon about a tablespoon of batter over the top, covering the cream cheese. This will make the liners about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. The cupcakes will not be brown on top. Remove from muffin pans and cool on a rack. Drizzle the cooled cupcakes with the confectioners sugar glaze. Makes 24 cupcakes.
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Combine sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Mix well. If glaze is too thick, add a little more milk. If glaze is too thin, simply add a little more confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle over top of cupcakes.