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Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

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Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

We just had a thoroughly enjoyable day.   Our good friends invited us to the Symphony in the Flint Hills.  What a marvelous event.  It’s a fund raiser to heighten the appreciation and knowledge of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie.   The Flint Hills are a region in eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma renowned for their prime cattle grazing.   The Flint Hills got their name from the abundant deposits of flint lying near or on the surface of the land.   Aren’t they lovely?

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Started in 2006, the Symphony in the Flint Hills become a Kansas tradition that now attracts approximately 7,000 attendees from all over the world.  There are a variety of speakers in multiple tents scattered across the prairie, talking about topics as diverse as The Kanza Indians in the Flint Hills to The Tallgrass Prairie and Cattle Ranching.

I really enjoyed learning all about the challenges of running a profitable cow-calf operation.  (And I sometimes think I have it tough…)  We had a fantastic dinner of pulled pork and BBQ beans and then settled in for some great music.  One year they even staged a cattle drive on the hills behind the orchestra.  Outstanding!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

I grew up not far from there.  I used to love it most of all when a mega storm would blow up!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

So what, you may ask, does all this have to do with Chicken Salad?   Not a darn thing.  I just thought you’d find it interesting.  Although, now that I think about it this would make an great recipe for a picnic.

There are a lot of good chicken salad recipes out there.  I think this is one of the great ones.  Here’s why:   The cool sweetness of the red grapes with a hint of garlic takes this chicken salad to a whole new level. Combining sour cream with the mayo adds a wonderful savory element.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.   Your whole family will love it!  This Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad recipe is hands down the perfect go-to chicken salad for sandwiches (think flaky croissants).   Jeff also likes to sometimes eat it on top of a bed of lettuce (when I remind him he’s on a diet).

Full of tender juicy chicken, fresh sliced red grapes, celery, toasted walnuts and crunchy celery, there’s a lot to love here.  In fact, the batch that I made to serve 6 today only has 2 helpings left after my dear husband got done with it.

This makes a great salad for quick delicious lunch or a light supper, and takes hardly any time to mix together.  The sweetness from the grapes always makes it a favorite with kids!

Easy Delicious Poached Chicken Recipe

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

You can either buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it, or make up a batch of my poached chicken.  It cooks up 14 cups of incredibly delicious poached chicken.  All ready for you to shred (quickly and easily in a stand mixer) as the foundation for multiple meals!   This chicken salad recipe uses 4 cups, leaving you 3 cups for Cheesy Chicken Melts and 7 cups left over for this fabulous tortilla soup!

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Great Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

If you’re hosting a family reunion, pool party or girls camp, you gotta try this Chunky Chicken Salad.   It’s great in a wrap or served on its own.  It’s also delicious served in a croissant for a bridal luncheon or a brunch.   It can be made up to 2 days ahead (it gets even better), serves 25 and is easily doubled or tripled if you’ve said “Yes!” to an even larger crowd.

When served alone, as straight-up chicken salad, the average serving size is 6 – 8 ounces per serving.  For sandwiches or (large flour tortilla) wraps, plan on 5 ounces of chicken salad per wrap.  It’s easy.  Just fill a large flour tortilla with about 10 ounces of chicken salad.  Roll up.  Cut in half (I like to cut it on the diagonal).  And secure each half with a toothpick.  Makes 32 (1/2 tortilla wrap) servings.

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Or Make Now

Family Size

 

Best Ever Chunky Chicken Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Makes 6 cups.   For the shredded chicken you can poach a couple chicken breasts or buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless - skinless - cooked and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 pound red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup English walnut pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large garlic clove - minced
  • 1 stalk celery - chopped
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts.  Cut the grapes in half.  Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

Large Group

 

Best Ever Chicken Salad for a Crowd
Prep Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Makes 32 (5 ounce) servings.  For the shredded chicken you can poach several pounds of chicken breasts, using my easy method to poach chicken or buy 4 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens.   Serve alone or fill 1/2 tortilla for a wrap. 

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 8 Chicken breasts - boneless, skinless - cooked and shredded (about 16 cups)
  • 4 pounds red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups English walnut peices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves - minced
  • 4 stalks celery sliced
OPTIONAL FOR WRAPS:
  • 16 large flour tortillas
  • 32 toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts. Cut the grapes in half. Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated, covered, for 30 minutes - 1 hour.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

  2. If serving wraps, lay each tortilla flat and spoon on about 10 ounces chicken salad. Roll tortilla, cut in half and secure with 2 tooth picks to create 2 wraps.

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Hawaiian Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

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Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Slow cooker Kalua Pork is a quick and easy wonderful foundation for your family meal plan.  Combine it with my Hawaiian Beach Club Coleslaw for fantastic sandwiches.  Or enjoy it with my Maui Mango Barbecue sauce (coming this week).  It’s also an outta this world topping for a fabulous Kalua pork pizza with Maui Mango Barbecue sauce, pineapple tidbits and onions (also coming this week).  All wonderful, easy dishes for your family.

It’s also a great easy dish for a large group activity.

Want a luau with minimal work?  This is just what you’re looking for.  It doesn’t get much easier than this slow cooker Kalua  Pork.  It’s as close to the real thing as you’re going to get without buying a La Caja China (Which I have and love! More about cooking a pig in a La Caja China here) or digging a pit in your back yard.  Note: Another option you’re cooking for a larger crowd is this easy pulled pork for a crowd recipe

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I love, love, love make-ahead dishes that hold and re-heat well.  We like to entertain quite a bit and one of my cardinal rules (and it should be yours too!) when having company is to do as little at the last minute as possible. I generally plan to have only one dish on the menu which requires any last minute attention.   If I’m very familiar with the recipes, at most I’ll allow for 2 last minute dishes.  Anything more than that is just inviting stress and sub-optimal results.  And we all have enough stress without adding any self-imposed to the pile.

Before we jump in to the cooking let me tell you a bit about this recipe.   Kālua (pron. Kah-loo-a) is a Hawaiian word meaning to cook in an underground oven.  Kalua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method utilizing an underground oven called an imu.   The word Kalua is also used to describe food cooked in this manner, such as kālua pig, a common luau or family gathering main dish.  Here’s an emu cooking a pig for a family gathering.

 

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

The general method for cooking kālua pig in an emu consists of first digging a large pit and lining it with banana or ti leaves.  The leaves  insulate the pig, facilitating the steaming process, and adding flavor.  Next, ever abundant lava rocks are heated over an open flame until they are extremely hot.  These rocks are then placed in the pit.  Finally, a whole dressed pig is seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and placed in the pit.  It’s covered with more banana or ti leaves, soil and hot lava rocks and left to cook approximately 8 hours.

Besides being roasted whole in an emu (which we’re not going to do, thank you very much), several things characterize kālua pig: 1) the  red Hawaiian salt seasoning, 2) the banana or ti leaves and 3) a slightly smoky flavor.

While you can certainly substitute Kosher salt, the red salt is fun and can be easily purchased here.  Since we’re trying to make this easy, we can manage a fabulous kālua pig without the banana or ti leaves.  We’ll mimic the smoky flavor with a bit of liquid smoke.  By the way, my kālua pig is cooking while we speak and I WISH YOU COULD SMELL IT.   Better yet, make one for yourself.  It’s incredibly easy and the meat, which falls off the bone, and is very tender and moist, with a slightly salty, smoky flavor that is just delicious.

 

Sold yet?   Great, let’s get started, shall we!

You’ll want to use a 4-6 pound Boston Butt roast like this one for the family-size recipe – or get a 9-10 pound roast if you’re cooking pulled pork for a crowd.

Begin by piercing your roast all over with a knife or fork. This enables the flavor from the salt and liquid smoke to penetrate the roast. Traditional Kaula pork is seasoned with red Hawaiian sea salt.  We always pick up a bag of this salt when we go to Hawaii on vacation, but you can save some money by taking a virtual romantic Hawaiian vacation here and purchasing the salt on-line here.

If you’re cooking a 4-6 pound roast, use 1 tablespoon red Hawaiian sea salt.  Here’s the roast with 1 tablespoon of the salt rubbed on top.

If you’re cooking a 9-10 pound roast, use 2 tablespoons red Hawaiian sea salt.

You can see it a bit better here.  I know this looks like a lot of salt – but trust me you’ll want to use the full amount of salt.   We’ll also be adding more later.  That’s ok.  This is the only seasoning this large cut of meat gets.  It’s also what makes the difference between an OK result and a GREAT result.

Next, put your roast in the slow cooker, fat side up.  Pour 1 tablespoon liquid smoke over the top of a 4 – 6 pound roast (and 2 tablespoons for a 9 – 10 pound roast).   Put the cover on the slow cooker and set to LOW. There is no extra liquid needed with the roast since it’s cooking low and slow

A 4-6 pound roast will be fall-apart tender after 7-8 hours on LOW.

It will take a 9 pound roast about 12 hours on LOW to cook to the point that it is fall-apart tender.  It will become fork tender after 10 hours, but you want those extra couple hours to make it shreddable.    NOTE:  Many slow cookers will only stay on for 10 hours on LOW.   You may need to set an alarm to remind yourself to re-set the slow cooker for another 2 hours on the LOW setting if it’s going to turn off after 10 hours.

Once your roast is fall-apart fork tender, remove it to a cutting board to shred.  Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a fat separator and set aside.  Shred the roast.  Once your roast is shredded mix in at least 1/2 cup of the defatted the juice to keep it moist.  Serve immediately or return to the slow cooker to hold, covered, up to 2 hours on LOW setting.  NOTE:  If you’re going to hold for later serving, MAKE SURE TO reserve the remaining juice to add when you’re reheating it.

 Just look at how juicy this pork looks.  It’s loaded with flavor!

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Kalua Pork
 It’s fantastic with this Maui Mango Barbecue Sauce!  Stay tuned – recipe coming later this week…
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Kalua Pork
Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Pin for Later

Tropical Summer Salad

Or Make Now

Family Size

 

Hawaiian Style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork - Family Size
Prep Time
10 mins
 
This recipe is very easy to make with little effort. It turns out perfect every time and the smell while it's cooking will drive you wild! Don’t skimp on the salt. This is all the seasoning the roast gets and it makes the difference between good pulled pork and GREAT pulled pork. A 5.25 pound raw pork butt roast cooked down to 48 ounces after the fat cap is removed for serving. This is 16 servings of 3 ounces each.
Course: Main Course
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 1 (4 - 6 pound) pork shoulder or Boston butt roast
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke Hickory or Mesquite flavor
  • 1 tablespoon red Hawaiian sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (OR 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
Instructions
  1. Pierce roast all over with a knife, then sprinkle the sea salt evenly all over the roast. Place the roast in the slow cooker, fat side UP. Then pour liquid smoke over roast.

  2. Cook, covered, on LOW for 7- 8 hours.
  3. When roast is fall-apart fork tender, gently remove most of the fat cap with tongs and discard.
  4. Gently remove roast from pot to a large bowl and shred with a fork.
  5. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt (OR 1/2 teaspoon table salt).

  6. Pour the juices from the slow cooker through a strainer into a fat separator. Add ½ cup of the separated juice back in.
  7. You can either just return the roast to the slow cooker to serve immediately.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Pulled pork will keep up to 3 days, bagged and refrigerated or up to 2 months, frozen in a heavy duty freezer bag.
  1. When ready to serve, pulled pork can be returned to slow cooker and held on LOW setting for up to 2 hours.

Large Group

 

Hawaiian Style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork - For a Crowd of 30
Prep Time
10 mins
 
This recipe is very easy to make with little effort. It turns out perfect every time and the smell while it's cooking will drive you wild! Don’t skimp on the salt. This is all the seasoning the roast gets and it makes the difference between good pulled pork and GREAT pulled pork. A 9 pound raw pork butt roast cooked down to 85 ounces after the fat cap is removed for serving. This is 28 servings of 3 ounces each. Plan on it serving 25 - 30.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cooking for a Crowd
Servings: 30 people
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 1 (9 pound) pork shoulder or Boston butt roast
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke Hickory or Mesquite flavor
  • 2 tablespoons red Hawaiian sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt OR 1 teaspoon table salt
Instructions
  1. Pierce roast all over with a knife, then sprinkle the sea salt evenly all over the roast. Place the roast in the slow cooker, fat side UP. Then pour liquid smoke over roast.
  2. Cook, covered, on LOW for 10 - 12 hours.
  3. When roast is fall-apart fork tender, gently remove most of the fat cap with tongs and discard.
  4. Gently remove roast from pot to a large bowl and shred with a fork.
  5. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt (OR 1/2 teaspoon table salt).
  6. Pour the juices from the slow cooker through a strainer into a fat separator. Add ½ cup of the separated juice back in.
  7. You can either just return the roast to the slow cooker to serve immediately.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Pulled pork will keep up to 3 days, bagged and refrigerated or up to 2 months, frozen in a heavy duty freezer bag.
  1. When ready to serve, pulled pork can be returned to slow cooker and held on LOW setting for up to 2 hours.

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a Hawaii frame of mind.

Maui Road to Hana Banana Bread

This Road to Hana Banana Bread is moist and flavorful, transporting you to the islands in one bite. The crunchy sugar topping adds sweetness and texture. Read all about it along with our recent vacation to Maui.

Beach Baby Pudding Cups

These Beach Baby Coconut Pudding Cups are everything that's great about the islands! Kids LOVE ‘EM. You will too since they are so easy to make.

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

Even people who don’t like pineapple or coconut take a bite and say “WOW!” Treat yourself to a mini trip to Hawaii with these luscious Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Looking for a quick and easy treat? This Hawaiian Wedding Cake comes together in a snap and tastes like a piña colada on your plate.

Page 1 of 3123

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Sausage potatoes green beans

Sausage potatoes green beans

  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      

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Simple Pleasures Sunday

Comfort Food at its Best – Sausage Potatoes and Green Beans

One of the BEST.  DINNERS.  EVER.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Do you have a sister?  I do.  In fact I have many.  Some are not directly related to me, one is a cousin and one is technically a half-sister.  But the one thing that they all have in common is they are wonderful, smart, strong, loving, caring women.  Another thing they share is that I love them dearly.

Sometimes you don’t realize just how much you love someone until something happens that shows you their character and depth.  My half-sister, Geri, is 18 years older than me.  (can you imaging what a surprise THAT was to my 38 year old mom!?!)  so we didn’t know each other very well growing up.  She is a scary-smart, no nonsense, roll up her sleeves and get things done kind of gal.  We stayed in touch, but she lives in a different state and we could go months without talking.  Then several years ago my half-brother passed on.  He was not exactly a neat person and I found myself standing in his (extraordinarily cluttered) home wondering just exactly how to deal with the sheer volume of his belongings.  Geri, who was getting ready to leave for her flight home, was watching me closely as I surveyed the scene and said simply, “Who’s going to help you with all this?”  “No one,” I replied somberly.  “Not true,” was all she said as she went to the phone to cancel her flight.

I love my sister.

Turns out we have a lot in common.  For example, one of our all time favorite meals is Sausage, Potatoes and Green Beans.  It is warm, comforting and oh so easy to cook.  Sisters – I hope you’ll love it as much as Geri and me!

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Fixing this Sausage Potatoes and Green Beans meal couldn’t be easier.   This is all you need.  In this dish I strongly prefer canned French-style Green Beans for their unique taste.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

 

Just chop the onions.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

 

Chop the potatoes.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

 

Chop the Polish Sausage and fry it until it’s slightly browned.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Add the potatoes, onions, beans and butter (the butter makes it).

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

And 20 minutes later – you have the most wonderful meal in the world.  Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and butter and Geri and I will join you for dinner.

Sausage Potatoes Green Beans

Pin for Later

sausage potatoes green beans

Or Make Now

Let’s get started!

 

5 from 1 vote
Sausage Potatoes Green Beans
Sausage, Potatoes and Green Beans
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

A quick, very easy WONDERFUL meal.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 - 2 packages Polish Kielbasa (Polish Sausage)
  • 1 large onion , white or yellow - cubed
  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes - cubed
  • 2 cans French Style Green Beans - don’t drain
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Chop potatoes, peel and shop onions, cut sausage into finger width slices

  2. In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook sausage until browned on both sides. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.

  3. Add onion and some of the juice from the beans. Sauté until onion is softened, scrapping up browned bits on bottom and sides of pan.

  4. Add potatoes, green beans including juice, 2 tablespoons butter, and ¾ cup water.

  5. Cover and reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Cook 15 - 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are fork tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

 

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Betsy’s Christmas Clam Chowder

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Page 1 of 212
Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

AlohaDreams

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup

Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup

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Simple Pleasures Sunday

Comfort Food at its Best – Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Soup

When was the last time you snuggled into a big soft cozy chair, with a hot cup of cocoa, a warm, ultra-soft blanket wrapped around you and a fantastic book you’d been dying to read; the rain pattering softly on the windows, thunder rumbling in the distance and the space around your chair lit with the soft glow of the table lamp or a pumpkin spice candle.

Hygge

If it wasn’t recently, you need to – sometime soon.  That wonderful, warm cozy sensation such an activity inspires is called hygge (pronounced “hooga”)

The word hygge comes from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being” and it encompasses many things, including the art of creating intimate gatherings, removing annoyance from your life, cultivating an attitude of gratitude for your current blessings, enjoying cozy togetherness and especially cocoa by candlelight.  This is hygge.

Hygge

Another key component of hygge is sharing fabulous comfort food with family and friends.  While I don’t remotely agree with Danish politics, at a Danish hyggelige dinner there are no divisive discussions about politics, family issues, or someone’s dysfunctional kids. No one makes snide comments, complains, or is overtly negative.  Everyone pitches in and lends a hand, so that not one person gets stuck doing the dishes.  There’s no bragging, or attacks, or competition.  It is filled with well-meaning communication with a focus on appreciating the here and now, the good food, and the folks.  We all need a little more hygge in our life.

Our regular dinners with our dear friends are hyggelige to the max.  These are the faces of hygge.

Vegetable Soup

So for our Simple Pleasures Sunday this week, and to send you some hygge of your own with love, here’s another one of my favorite comfort food recipes – Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup.  This soup is like wrapping yourself in a soft warm snuggly blanket.  It’s really, really, really good.  It’s also really, really easy.  Just chop some stew meat or chuck roast and add it to a stock pot to sear over medium heat.  While the meat is browning, chop some potatoes like so.

Vegetable Soup

Next chop some celery, carrots and onions.  Jeff loves using a bench scraper to transport food in the kitchen.

Vegetable Soup

Add 4 quarts of water to the stock pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to dislodge any browned bits.  Then add 15 cubes of beef bullion and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and all the vegetables except the cabbage.

Vegetable Soup

Let everything cook for 30 minutes at a low simmer.  Jeff generally uses green cabbage, but he thought the red cabbage would add some festive Halloween color.  (Besides which, that was what we had in the vegetable crisper…)  Waste not, want not.  Doesn’t this look wonderful?

Vegetable Soup

You may be tempted to rush it, but the soup needs the full 45 minutes of cooking time to tenderize the meat and allow all the wonderful flavors to mingle and marry.  It’s worth it when you’re rewarded with this.

Vegetable Beef Soup

This Vegetable Beef Soup is so tasty and filled with love. Look at all that beautiful fall color and the meat is fork tender.  Not to mention, t’s just brimming with hygge.

Pin for Later

Vegetable Beef Soup

Or Make Now

Let’s get started!

 

Jeff’s Vegetable Beef Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

A warm, savory comforting bowl of love.  An AlohaDreams.com recipe brought to you with hygge.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 bowls
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 8 Yukon Gold potatoes , medium size - peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 large white or yellow onion chopped
  • 12 - 16 ounces baby carrots , sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 6 stalks celery , chopped - 1/2 inch thick
  • 15 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 4 quarts water
  • ½ head green cabbage , or red - sliced ¾ thick
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot over medium high heat, sear stew meat until browned on all sides.
  2. Add water to pot and scrape bottom to remove the browned bits.
  3. Add beef bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce and all vegetables except cabbage.

  4. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. Break cabbage slices apart and add to soup. Cook, uncovered and additional 15 minutes. Serve.

 

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a hygge frame of mind.

Wonderful Rich Tortilla Soup

This tortilla soup is quick and easy to make. It has everything to become your new favorite: chicken, corn, and avocados. Added bonus - it freezes well.

Kansas City Steak Soup

  Aloha Dreams    Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design         Better than Plaza III Steak Soup Have you ever been to Kansas City and eaten at the Plaza III?  This iconic Kansas City restaurant has been a steak mecca for many years.  But perhaps...

Betsy’s Christmas Clam Chowder

Mom used to tell stories of her relatives from Maine having Oyster Stew for Christmas Eve. I like the idea of annual traditions, it helps tie generations together. I do not like the idea of oyster stew. This offers a nice compromise.

Page 1 of 212
Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

AlohaDreams

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Cheesy Chicken Melts

  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      

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Cheesy Chicken Melts

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Welcome to the first of a series of recipes which take advantage of our Poached Shredded Chicken Master recipe.  It’s designed to create maximum results with minimal efforts.

This one’s for all the hard working moms (and dads) who spend 8 hours working (at the office or at home) only to drag themselves into the kitchen at the end of a long, tough day to pull together a delicious meal for their family because they know family dinner is key to family unity and strength.  This one’s designed to make your life easier and your table livelier.

Emily and Serena – this one’s for you !

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Even better – use my Make Ahead Shredded Chicken and you’ll have dinner on the table within 30 minutes.  They freeze great too!

Here’s how:  Just split the buns in half and place them in a baking dish like this.

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Then combine 3 cups chicken, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup chopped picked jalapeno pepper slices and crumbled bacon.

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Divide the chicken mixture between the buns, then top with the cheese.

Cheesy Chicken Melts

In a small bowl, combine 8 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.  Spoon half the butter mixture over the cheese and place roll tops on the rolls.

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Pour remaining butter mixture over roll tops and bake, covered with foil, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 – 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted and top of rolls are light brown.  Serve.

Your family is going to love these darling little sandwiches. They’re fun and they taste fantastic!

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Pin for Later

Cheesy Chicken Melts

Or Make Now

Let’s get started!

 

5 from 1 vote
Cheesy Chicken Melts
Cheesy Chicken Melts
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Grab some shredded chicken and whip up these deliciously easy and cheesy chicken melts in minutes. A Worcestershire and butter bath add even more extra flavor to these tasty sandwiches.   

An AlohaDreams.com recipe 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 mini sandwiches
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
Filling
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 strips bacon
  • ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeño pepper slices (don't worry, these aren't hot)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Rolls & Melted Topping
  • 12 (3 inch) savory sandwich rolls (I use King’s Hawaiian Savory Butter Dinner Rolls)
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of ta microwave safe plate with 2 paper towels. Add the bacon in a single layer. Cover the bacon with 2 paper towels. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. When done check the bacon and microwave in additional 30 second bursts until the bacon is done to your liking. Crumble and set aside.

  3. Cut the sheet of 12 rolls in half horizontally and place bottoms into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Set roll tops aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups cooked shredded chicken, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup chopped picked jalapeno pepper slices and crumbled bacon.

  5. Divide chicken mixture between 12 roll bottoms.
  6. Top with 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese. Set aside.

  7. In a small bowl, combine 8 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
  8. Spoon half the butter mixture over the cheese.
  9. Place roll tops on rolls.
  10. Pour remaining butter mixture over roll tops.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Can be made to this point, wrap top tightly with foil and frozen for up to 2 months. Or placed individually in a freezer bag, sealed tightly. When ready to serve, thaw over night in refrigerator.
  1. Bake, covered with foil, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 - 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted and top of rolls are light brown.

  2. Serve with pickled jalapeño slices if desired.

Recipe Notes

Reheat any leftovers in the microwave for 30 - 60 seconds.

 

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a Hawaii frame of mind.

Maui Road to Hana Banana Bread

This Road to Hana Banana Bread is moist and flavorful, transporting you to the islands in one bite. The crunchy sugar topping adds sweetness and texture. Read all about it along with our recent vacation to Maui.

Beach Baby Pudding Cups

These Beach Baby Coconut Pudding Cups are everything that's great about the islands! Kids LOVE ‘EM. You will too since they are so easy to make.

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

Even people who don’t like pineapple or coconut take a bite and say “WOW!” Treat yourself to a mini trip to Hawaii with these luscious Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Looking for a quick and easy treat? This Hawaiian Wedding Cake comes together in a snap and tastes like a piña colada on your plate.

Page 1 of 3123
Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Shredded Poached Chicken

Shredded Poached Chicken

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Super Easy, Quick & Tasty

Make Ahead Meals – Shredded Chicken Master Recipe

Shredded Poached Chicken

Hi guys!

Who wants a super-tasty, quick, easy weekday recipe? Me too!   In talking with many of you, a common theme is: we need easy recipes that come together quickly and taste wonderful after a hard day’s activities.

Done and done.

Meet one of your best solutions – Poached Chicken.  This makes 14 cups of incredibly delicious poached chicken.  All ready for you to shred as the foundation for 7 meals!

Shredded Poached Chicken

I know, that sounds like kissing your sister – but you’re going to love my poached chicken. Sure you can buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. But my recipe tastes so much better, it’s less expensive AND you can make up a BIG batch and freeze to use in all the wonderful quick and easy chicken dishes I’m going to be sharing with you in the weeks ahead.  Like these Cheesy Chicken Melts. They’re savory gooey cheesy chicken goodness in mini sandwiches.

Shredded Poached Chicken

If you’re not careful, instead of being a great foundation for your next masterpiece, poached chicken can be tough and flavorless. Well NOT in our kitchens. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves.

Pull up a seat and let me tell you our secrets:

  1. We’re going to cook it at a slow simmer (you barely want to see bubbles) and then remove it from heat to finish cooking.   So long tough bird.
Shredded Poached Chicken

2.  We’re gong to use (wonderful smelling) seasonings and mix some of that cooking liquid back in when we shred it. Good-bye dry,    tasteless chicken.

Shredded Poached Chicken

3.   We can shred it using a stand mixer or a pair of forks.  Can you say easy?

Shredded Poached Chicken

4.   Finally, we’re going to make enough for 7 meals at once and then freeze it in meal-size portions so we can quickly whip up something like my Cheesy Chicken Melts.   Hello delicious!

Shredded Poached Chicken

Are you in? OK then – let’s get started.

Shredded Poached Chicken

Pin for Later

Poached Shredded Chicken

Or Make Now.

 

5 from 2 votes
Shredded Poached Chicken
Shredded Chicken Master Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This workhorse is the foundation for many super-tasty, quick, easy weekday recipes.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 14 cups (7 meals)
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 6 pounds chicken breasts or thighs (boneless, skinless)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion - sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic peel and lightly crushed
  • 1 (32 ounce) box chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Special equipment
  • 8 (1 quart) freezer bags
Instructions
MAKE IT.
  1. Add all ingredients to a large stockpot on the stovetop and bring to a very gentle simmer.
  2. Simmer for 12 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Let chicken sit in pot off heat for 7 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a large bowl.
  6. While chicken is cooling, strain cooking broth, discard solids and set broth aside (you should have about 4 ½ cups of broth).
  7. When chicken is cool enough to handle, using two forks, shred meat. (Or, if you own a stand mixer, my favorite way is to use the dough hook, adding the hot chicken in 3 batches to the mixer, turn on to low and run until chicken is shredded.)

FREEZE IT.
  1. Note date and contents on 8 quart-sized re-sealable freezer bags.
  2. Divide the chicken into 2-cup portions (12 ounces) and transfer to 7 of the freezer bags. You want to fill your bag about ¾ of the way full. Pour 1/4 cup chicken cooking liquid into each, squeeze out the air and flatten.

  3. Pour remaining juice in remaining freezer bag to use for chicken stock.
  4. Seal and store quart bags flat in a 2-gallon freezer bag.

  5. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
USE IT.
  1. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  In a hurry? Use the defrost setting on the microwave.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Can also use bone in, skin on chicken. This will reduce the yield of cooked chicken to about 12 cups. If you use skin-on chicken, simply remove and discard the skin before you shred the chicken. You may also find that you need to skim some of the fat from the cooking broth before spooning it over the chicken.

 

Here’s some other fantastic recipes to put you in a Hawaii frame of mind.

Maui Road to Hana Banana Bread

This Road to Hana Banana Bread is moist and flavorful, transporting you to the islands in one bite. The crunchy sugar topping adds sweetness and texture. Read all about it along with our recent vacation to Maui.

Beach Baby Pudding Cups

These Beach Baby Coconut Pudding Cups are everything that's great about the islands! Kids LOVE ‘EM. You will too since they are so easy to make.

Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

Even people who don’t like pineapple or coconut take a bite and say “WOW!” Treat yourself to a mini trip to Hawaii with these luscious Hawaiian Pineapple Cheesecake Bars.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Looking for a quick and easy treat? This Hawaiian Wedding Cake comes together in a snap and tastes like a piña colada on your plate.

Page 1 of 3123
Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom

EXPLORE

If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!

SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

AHONUI

Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

PARTY

Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Page 1 of 212
Tropical Salad

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