RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: carrots

Chicken Cassoulet

It was a mix of rain and snow again today!  Just as my mini daffodils are starting to bloom.  T and I neither one could come up with something for dinner… this always puts us in the pantry and refrigerator to see what we have on hand.  We had several options but the one that we both agreed to was Chicken Cassoulet, and it would be a dinner that we could both work on.  I love it when this happens… it usually comes out pretty good.

The recipe came from my Mom and I am not sure where she got it… it is a keeper!   It was at Tanya, her dinner of pork shank with giant beans looked so good the other day and it made me realize it was time for some beans and then when I found the beans in the freezer… it was good for go!   Just a few difference from pork to chicken and such…


  •          8 bone-in-chicken thighs (about 2 pounds) (I used 4)
  •          ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  •          ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  •          2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  •          8 ounces chicken sausage or kielbasa, cut into 3/4 inch slices
  •          1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  •          1 celery rib, chopped (about ½ cup)
  •          2 carrots, sliced on a diagonal
  •          2 garlic cloves, chopped
  •          1 ½ cups chicken broth
  •          1 can diced tomatoes
  •          2 cups cooked cannellini beans, save some juice you may want to use some (I used about two cups of cannellini     beans that I had in the freezer that were already cooked, with a little of their juices)
  •          ½ teaspoon thyme
  •          ¼ cup chopped parsley
  •          ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
  •          ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

I had cooked my cannellini beans a while back and had frozen some in some of their juices so just needed to thaw them out with… my chicken, and kielbasa.  I would use them later that afternoon to put the dish together.

Season the chicken with some of the salt and pepper.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet… once hot enough add the chicken and cook until browned well and cook the other side, cooking until well browned.  Remove from skillet and add the kielbasa and cook stirring once in a while until well browned.  Reduce the heat and add the onion, celery and carrot, cook stirring often, cook until just softened.  Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.  Now stir in broth, making sure to scrape up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Add tomato, cannellini beans, thyme, parsley, remaining salt and pepper: stir to mix well.  Now add the chicken and kielbasa.

Place the mix into a casserole dish.  Bake uncovered at 350˚ for 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and top is slightly browned.  Next time I will bake with casserole lid on… I think it will help it from drying out some.  Our only complaint!  Once you have all of the mix in the casserole you can mix the breadcrumbs’ and Parmesan Cheese and spread over the top (before you bake…) I did not use breadcrumbs and I sprinkled the Parmesan Cheese on when I had plated the baked dish. 

We were both pleased with our effort and no decisions need be made on what we will have tomorrow night for dinner we have left-over’s and we all know that left-over’s are always better the second night….


Kippered Salmon Bruschetta with Potato and Grilled Corn Chowder

This is a post I wrote several months ago and forgot about, hope you enjoy, the chowder was delicious as was the Kippered Salmon Bruschetta.

It has been a couple of days of cool wet weather; the summer season has come to an abrupt ending here in the Northwest.   Drizzle with rain off and off for the last few days have called for soup chowder for dinner.

We have plenty of Yukon potatoes and one ear of corn that can be put to good use, and too  will add a lone carrot  found in the crisper.  I decided to make a thick chowder for dinner.  Would grill the corn… that would add another level of flavor to the mix.

Diced up the potatoes and put all but about a cup into the pan.  Cover with water and add a pinch of salt.  Then take the left over cup of potatoes and put them in another saucepan and add one carrot that has been sliced.  A few minutes into the boil add about one half cup of frozen pearl onions.

Spray some olive oil on the corn and put it on the grill to cook.  Once it is showing grill marks rotate and grill until all sides done.  Then cut the corn from the cob and add it when  adding the half and half to the chowder.

When the first pot of potatoes are finished drain almost all the liquids off and mash them up good then add the mix of potatoes, carrots and onions with some of the liquid from that pot.  Then add the half and half to cover plus about an inch.  Now put the readied grilled corn into the mix.  Sprinkle the chowder with a little dill, fresh ground pepper, a little garlic powder and parsley.  Let it simmer on low for just a few minutes and it is done.

It was a very easy and quick chowder that is thickened with its own potatoes.  I do two separate batches of potatoes so will know just how many potatoes are mashed and also I do not accidentally mash any of the carrots and onions this way.

I normally would add some bacon pieces or pancetta or even a few pieces of ham, but tonight we would be having some Kippered Salmon Bruschetta as the side.

Buzz, one of T friends that is a part of the fishing season has been giving us some wonderful veggies from his garden.  Lots of wonderful home-grown tomatoes, there is cherry/plum of red and yellow and so many varieties of tomatoes in all sizes and shapes.   I actually did some pickled cherry tomatoes with one batch he gave us, one of these days I will get it posted.

Take about a dozen tomatoes and cut them up into nice size pieces and put them into a saucepan and add just a bit of water, not much, the tomatoes will have enough of their own juices after just a little bit of time.  Add four sliced cloves of garlic and just a little sea salt and pepper for now.  Once I had them reduced down (this took several hours) to very little juice (it is very thick and has lots of nice chunks of tomatoes) I added about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a little dill to the pot.  Ladle out about two tablespoons of the thick juice into a little dish and add about the same in olive oil to the juice.   This I would use to brush on the baguette slices before they are put on the grill.  It was already hot from grilling the corn.   Oil the grill a little to keep the baguettes slices from sticking.  This took not much more than a minute to have them all grilled.

Shred some Havarti Dill Cheese and mix with some sour cream… add just a pinch of dill and smoked paprika… you only want enough sour cream to be able to mix.  Take the cheese slicer and slice a few thin slices of the Havarti Dill Cheese to use on the bruschetta too.  On some of the pieces of grilled baguettes put the tomatoes mix and then add sliced Havarti Dill cheese and top with Kippered Salmon.  On the rest  spread the Havarti Dill Spread and put bean sprouts (I only had the large size and they needed to be used, I prefer the small sprouts instead.)  Then top them with Kippered Salmon.

It was amazing to have the chowder that warmed my bones and the bruschetta was really magnificent,  my favorite was the mix with the bean sprouts it added a new depth and the flavor was incredible….

Pork Barley Soup and Just Words

Ninnie had a bad day, but you cannot help but love her!

Bear with me today I feel in a ‘wordy’ mood!

Winter has settled in here where I live.  No snow, but cold air, cold wet air… no matter if it is a sprinkle, or a drizzle, could be muzzling, misting, in the form of  fog or even hail, light showers or  a deluge or some call a downpour… raining/torrents of cats and dogs it is still cold precipitation (of one kind or another.)   All always accompanied with grey skies.  But that can be a plus… when the sun shines it is a moment of perceived heaven.  You always take the time to enjoy the flash of rays that cast light… the rare winter sunbeams.  The casting light, reflect… bring thoughts of summer past or summer comings… one thing you know in the great Northwest sun basically makes itself known it seems only in the summer months with little minute sneak peeks during the rest of the year… but what a surprise… an attention getter… it is when beams of the sun rays are blessing you with a fleeting moment of the sun’s light.

We lost our electric the day before yesterday; an abrupt change in the weather front with high winds… I was trying to gather Ninnie and some things to settle in for the afternoon and the wind chimes made me take sudden notice that they were being carried on the wind now hanging horizontally… making mutable sounds as they tried to chime with the same notes but it was as impossibility while wafting on the wind like a sailboat on water.   

About the time I get Ninnie to the back door hail was added to the mix… it was drumming  on and bouncing off the roof and deck so hard it muffled the wind chimes scaring Ninnie to the outer reaches of the yard.   There was no way I was going out into the weather to try to… One… try to catch a terrified… anxious cat, I won’t even go there.  Two… knowing Ninnie like I do (she feels she will melt if one drop of moisture touches her) with wet fur… it always brings out the best in her… not!… Three… one arm people do not have any business trying to save a scared to death cat… nothing good can come of it!    

There was more than one danger in even attempting to do so.  So I stayed in the door frame so she could see me (I wonder does she realize that I do not like being wet and cold either!) until things settled down enough that she would know when she could make an abrupt dash for the door, which is what eventually happened. 

For the rest of the day she was not of very good sorts (take another look at that face… I’ll wait!) I think she thought I brought it all on and I was the only one to blame.    She will soon get over another of what she thinks is a personal attack on her life! Things did settle down quicker than it took the hail to melt. 

The hail was the closest thing to snow we have had this winter (unless a heavy frost counts) here in our neck of the words, I love snow and if it is going to be cold and wet I say let the precipitation be snow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

We again have high wind forecast for this afternoon and evening.  Everything has been made ready.  Ninnie is not allowed out for the rest of the day, and she is none too happy with me (again.)  She will have to live with it, when the winds start she gets all paranoid and it is hard for her to keep things indexed in her little brain.  Sounds being carried on the wind are hard for all animals’, one of the reasons they bed down.   As soon as Ninnie realizes what is going on she will do what she normally does… sleep through it.  She always sleeps through all the difficult situations in her life.   

So many stories, but have used up my words for today….



T made pork barley soup today.  It is very simple but so delicious!  I enjoyed it immensely!  The hot broth felt so good going down… his recipe as put to me…  brown some pork in olive oil add a chopped onion and a sliced up clove of garlic, throw in a couple of diced potatoes, sliced carrots, add a small handful of barley and couple jars of water.  Season with some salt and pepper and simmer for an hour or two.   Add some parsley at the end.  He said he just throws it in the pot and if you try too hard it won’t be as good….


Kippered Salmon Potato Salad

With having a wonderful supply of Kippered Salmon we have made several dishes that are out of this world with flavor.  The Salmon Potahto (Frittata) was the first dish and was a winner.   This round we (T for now is doing most of the cooking! I direct without much notice!) decided to make a salad with the Kippered Salmon.  We love the combination of salmon, potatoes, onions and add to the mix some hard-boiled eggs.  We threw in some carrots sticks, there was a lone carrot that needed to be used and we knew it would give it some wonderful color.


  •             Two Yukon Potatoes 
  •             Small onion sliced thin
  •             Two hard-boiled Eggs
  •              1 Carrot cut into thick Julienne’s sticks
  •             Kippered Salmon
  •            Small onion sliced thin
  •            Dressing of your choice
  •            Feta Cheese      

T par-boiled the potatoes for about 5-7 minutes and then cut them in half and then into wedges, he then sliced the onion thin.  T put the potatoes and onions on a baking sheet (separately not mixed) and roasted them in a 400˚ oven just until they were done with color.  The onions are off the sheet first they get done a lot faster than the potatoes.   He then steamed the carrot for about 7 minutes and put in an ice bath.  Wanted the carrot sticks just a little crunchy and this adds color to the carrots.

Once we had all the different ingredients ready we put them together on plate.  You can arrange them however you feel.  We did ours in a circle starting with the outside and finishing with putting the kippered salmon in the middle.

T made up a dressing with sour cream and dill, some brown mustard and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.   T liked his with a light Russian dressing.  We will leave this up to you.

The potato wedges with a carrot stick, some salmon and grilled onion were a very good mix… the eggs seem to blend it all together and made this one flavorful salad, what a nice lunch.  We added some grapes and apple wedges on the side.  We really enjoyed this salad a lot….

T’s catch this past fall… female 10 pounds, male 9 pounds

One female – 10 pounds, One Male – 9 pounds (he has more of a hook)

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

I have been following Chelsea at Sprinkles of Parsley for some now.  She has incredible recipes that she shares (posts) and always has complete detailed recipes with pictures that showcase each step along the way from beginning to end.  In the last year she not only does her food blog she does a weekly food article for a local newspaper in her area.  Each week she shares a new recipe with complete details with all her readers.

For a beginning cook, this would be the place to recommend them start their cooking, there is no way that anyone could mess up on one of her recipes.  Whether her recipes are on her food blog, Sprinkles of Parsley or in her weekly recipe at the Southington Patch they are all winners, I have yet to read a posting she has made and not want to make the recipe/food she is sharing.

I had made the Roasted Brick Chicken last evening and was going to make an all in one salad with leftover chicken breasts today.  Then I got my email from my subscription to Chelsea blog Sprinkles of Parsley this a.m. (good timing!) and the recipe she is sharing this week at the Patch was Buffalo Chicken Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing: A Quick Weeknight Fix.

She could not have posted this at a better time, at least for me.  I had everything I needed and the all in one salad was now going to be Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing.  It sure sounded good.  I will let you take the link to her article for the ingredients and the recipe how to, she does a better job than I do and she makes it all seem so easy.

I have to be honest with you, this is the best salad hands down I have had in a long time.   I love all salads, all kinds of salads and this one was full of flavor and the mix was perfect.  You will want to take your time eating this salad, let you pallet take in each of the textures, the flavors and let the fragrance lead with your taste buds.  Each and all combine to make this a salad to remember and one that will be a regular here in our house.

I did have to make a couple of adjustments, just because I had already cooked left over chicken,  (I did marinate it in the hot sauce for a while,) she marinated and grilled fresh chicken ~ I am sure it was delicious.  Next time I will be sure and use fresh chicken and marinate, I cannot imagine how it could be any better than what we had this evening!   I too added some English Cucumber; I had a partial one that needed to be used.

The pictures do not do it justice; this salad is the salad of all salads.  Perfect, you do not need to change a thing, you would not want to change a thing, you do not want to mess with perfection….



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