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BACON AND MANDARIN ORANGE SPINACH SALAD

Bacon and Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad-TSLC

Salads are a favorite at my house especially during the summer months.  This Bacon and Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad is one of our favorites.  If it has bacon, I like it!  This salad is very versatile and you can make it your own by adding other fruits, nuts, etc.

SALAD

5 pieces bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled (save drippings)

1 (15 ounce can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained, reserve syrup (You could use fresh oranges in the salad and orange juice in the dressing)

2 to 3 cups fresh baby spinach

1/3 cup purple onion, cut up or chopped (could use green onion or just regular onion)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (could use toasted almonds or just about any kind of nuts you like)

DRESSING

3 to 4 tablespoons bacon drippings

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/3 cup light mandarin orange syrup

2 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons sugar, Optional

Combine salad ingredients and toss to mix well.  Combine dressing ingredients and heat until warm.  I put my dressing in a small pitcher like a cream pitcher and let each person add the amount they want at the table. Salad will keep in the fridge for a couple days without dressing.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.  Enjoy!

Note:  You can buy sesame seeds already toasted in the spice section of your supermarket or you can put them on a baking sheet and toast in 325 degree oven about 10 minutes until brown. I love using sesame seeds in all kinds of recipes because they are very rich in calcium.

Bacon and Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad TSLC

If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Kitchen Sink Salad

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SOUTHERN CHEESE STRAWS

Cheese StrawsJust about everyone from the South knows about cheese straws.   My Mississippi Mother-in-Law would serve these little cheese sticks when she had her lady friends over for tea or to visit.  They are great to serve at parties. Cheese straws make great snacks and are good with a dip.  They keep well in an airtight container in the fridge.  I like them as a snack during the day when I get hungry! Children love them and they are fun to make.

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and at room temperature
8 tablespoons butter or margarine or 1 stick, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (Put seeds on baking sheet and toast in 325 degree oven about 10 minutes until brown)
 
Combine all ingredients and keep mixing until you can form a ball. (I do this with my hands. It’s kind of like making sausage balls. You have to work the butter and cheese into the flour).  Roll out dough as thin as possible and cut strips 4 inches long by 1/2 inch wide.  Bake on ungreased baking sheet in preheated 400 degree oven  for 15 minutes until brown. Can turn during baking.  Makes about five dozen cheese sticks. Enjoy!
Cheese StrawsCheese StrawsIf you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Biscuit Twists.
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YUMMY HOMEMADE GRANOLA

Yummy Homemade Granola I am addicted to this granola.  I, originally, found the recipe on Pinterest and checked it out Shape.com.  I have tweaked it to my liking.  You can check out their version and make whichever one you like or experiment and make your own. It is great over yogurt or ice cream, with milk as a cereal and as a snack anytime.   I have a jar of it in my office and grab a handful whenever I get hungry. I think you will love this stuff and won’t be able to stop eating it!

5 tablespoons Kroger Roasted Peanuts & Honey Crunchy Peanut Butter
5 tablespoons molasses or honey (I used sorghum molasses)
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (I used some dry roasted salted sunflower kernels I had on hand)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup nuts (I used 1/2 cup cashew pieces and 1/2 cup walnut pieces)
 
Stir together peanut butter and honey or molasses(whichever you use) and melt in microwave for about 30 seconds.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Stir after 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Put in plastic container or jar with lid.  Makes a little over 5 cups.  Enjoy!
 
Yummy Homemade Granola
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NUTTY GINGER CHICKEN

Nutty Ginger Chicken This tasty chicken recipe is different and a great way to serve chicken to guests.  We like it over brown rice but can use brown or white.  You could serve it over pasta, too.

2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into strips (I used chicken fingers, can use any chicken parts you like)
4 to 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (can use more)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6 tablespoon oil (I used Canola)
1 medium red pepper, cut in strips
1 medium green pepper, cut in strips
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained (could use fresh mushrooms)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/3 cup cashews or peanuts
3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds (Optional)
Rice or Pasta
 
Add pepper to all-purpose flour, dredge chicken in flour and brown in oil in a large skillet.   Add red and green peppers, garlic and mushrooms to chicken and cook until peppers are tender.  In a bowl mix soy sauce, cornstarch, water, ginger, and  bouillon cubes and whisk together.  Pour over chicken in skillet and cook until mixture boils and thickens.  Serve over rice and sprinkle with the cashews and sesame seeds.  Makes about six servings.  Enjoy!
 
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