Copycat Cafe Max Chicken Salad

I was introduced to Cafe Max when we first moved to Dallas by my best friend Tina.  And since our move five years ago, I can honesly say without a doubt, this is my favorite place to eat salad. I always get the salad trio.  The chicken salad is DELICIOUS!  Flavorful, sweet (but not too overpowering). I also get the Ceasar salad (the dressing is really good), then I get the pasta salad which is so rich and tasty.   If you live in the Dallas area I stongly recommnend stopping by Cafe Max, they are moderately priced at about $10 dollars but they give you SO MUCH FOOD!  However, if your looking for the recipe on their chicken salad I FINALLY found it!!  It’s a faboulous salad that is super simple, elegant and flavorful.  Trust me it’s so good and perfect for any special brunch occasion.

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Ingredients:

3-4 Chicken Breast

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pineapple juice

red/yellow/green pepper

Toasted Pecans (optional)

Red Pear

Italian Salad Dressing

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Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, and pineapple juice.  Marinate chicken in mix in a plastic bag or dish for atleast an hour chilled.  Once chilled bake chicken and mixture in a baking pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  (Make sure chicken cooks all the way through).

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While baking, julienne slice pepper and pear.

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Once chicken is cooked thoroughly, slice chicken into strips and add pear and pepper slices.

Pour Italian dressing over mix (as much as you desire).

Copycat Corner Bakery Chicken Salad Recipe

One of our favorite places to go for lunch after church on Sundays is Corner Bakery.  But…since the addition to our third little munchkin, you might as well get me a red nose and some big shoes and call it a day if we eat out anywhere besides chuck e cheese.  So what is a girl to do?  That’s right, make my own and eat at home!  Plus since were trying to be frugal these days it’s another good reason to eat at home. This is a great  Sunday brunch recipe for my family.  I hope you enjoy it as much we do!

Copy Cat Corner Bakery Chicken Salad

here’s what you need:
1 rotisserie chicken – chopped
1/3 small red onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 granny smith apple, chopped
1/4 cup currants (these are small rasins I found them at sprouts)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 miracle whip
1 TB sour cream

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 in a bowl combine onion, celery, apple, currants and almonds

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next add in miracle whip, sour cream and chicken. mix until well combined. place in the refrigerator or use immediately.

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I like to eat mine on a crescent roll with tomatoes.  Russell likes his toasted on bread and a little pepper!  Either way it’s tasty!  Do you have a favorite go-to recipe for your Sunday brunch?  If so, we would love to know how you make yours!

Velveeta Cheese Copycat…YES it actually melts for Queso!

chow cheeseI recently posted about my first experience with trying to make my own velveeta cheese.  While the cheese was fantastic, it did not melt to make queso.  I did a little (Okay….maybe a LOT) of scouring online and found out why.  You can check it out here. Chemically, when cheese melts, the fat and water separate.  There is a chemical, sodium citrate, that will help them not to split when heated.

Now….I laugh at my hypocrisy.  I cook most of my foods from scratch because I hate all the chemicals that are in processed foods.  I want to be able to identify what I am eating.  Sodium Citrate is one of the things I would have scoffed at.  It is made from fermenting molasses and citric acid.  Crazy huh!

Now…you can’t just go over to Wal-Mart and buy this stuff.  You have to order it online.  I actually bought mine on eBay because it was cheaper.  The end result was super melty cheese that you can make amazing macaroni and cheese or chile con queso out of!

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup plus 1 TBS water or milk

1 tsp. Sodium Citrate

5 Ounces cheddar cheese (DO NOT buy pre-shredded cheese)

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Grate the cheese.

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Boil the water and dissolve the Sodium citrate completely using a whisk.

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Slowly, about a 1/4 of a cup at a time, whisk in cheese.  Do not add more until it is completely melted.

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Repeat until all the cheese is melted.

Pour this cheese over cooked macaroni, or add some Rotel for queso.  AMAZING!!!  (And super FRUGALICIOUS!!)

I normally double this recipe to make chile con queso!!

(I wish I had pictures of the final product……In my excitement I dropped my phone and picked up some chips!!!!!)

Copycat Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake

My son Colson and I LOVE Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake.  It’s become one of our favorite stop offs when we’re out running errands. But, the longer I’ve sat through the drive through the more I’ve pondered the idea of making my own. With a few google searches and some simple ingredients, I finally made it happen.  I will say it was a sucsessful, sweet and frugalistic win for sure!

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

Here’s what you will need:

1 box yellow cake mix
3.4 ounce instant or cook and serve Lemon pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces sour cream
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Icing
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray 2 loaf pans generously with cooking spray.
2. Place all cake ingredients in no particular order into stand or electric mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Divide cake batter between two prepared loaf pans spreading evenly. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

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Remove and let cool for 15 minutes before before removing loaves from pans.

To prepare icing, place powdered sugar into a large bowl. Drizzle in lemon juice stirring until smooth and thick. Should be a good drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over cakes and let set for 20 minutes for a firm icing. Otherwise slice while still wet if desired.  Makes about 24 slices
Note: You can make this same recipe into cupcakes, small loaves and even a layered cake. Adjust baking time accordingly.    removing loaves from pans and Enjoy!

COPYCAT CHICK-FIL-A COOKIES

photo(53)I am an addict.

I love Chick-Fil-A chocolate chunk cookies.  I can attribute at least 5 pounds on my hips totally to these circles of deliciousness.

That being said, I am a frugal gal who hates to throw down just over a dollar every time my craving wins out.  So what did I do?  I scoured the web along with the Chick-Fil-A ingredient list and tried to come up with an equally delicious cookie.

I think my experiment was a S.U.C.C.E.S.S!  (The house full of teenagers that come to bible study at my house on Wednesday nights agreed.  Three of them actually work at Chick-Fil-A!!)

When digging around online I came across two blogs that have also attempted a copy cat.  Check them out here and here.  I tried both and they were pretty good! The recipe I landed on is a little different than theirs.  After WAY too many batches, I think it is as close as I am going to get without hacking into someone’s computer system!  (No…of course that thought never entered my mind…..)

Stop by and let me know what you think!

Here is the Recipe:  (Step by Step Pictures are below)

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Quick Oats

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 1/3 C Dark brown sugar

1/3 C Sugar

1/2 C Crisco or Lard

8 TBS Butter at room temperature (NOT Margarine)

3 TBS Honey or Corn Syrup

2 tsp. Vanilla

2 eggs (at room temperature!!!!!)

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet Chocolate Chunks

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

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Mix the flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda

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In a different bowl combine the dark brown sugar, sugar, crisco, butter, honey (or corn syrup) and vanilla

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Add room temperature eggs.  This helps the cookies to rise better than using cold eggs.   You also want to wait to add the eggs after your have beat your other wet ingredients so the eggs don’t get over beaten.  This keeps the cookies from getting too dense or tough.  (I know…seems tedious but amazing cookies are in the details!)

Incorporate the dry ingredients and the chocolate.  Don’t over mix, just until all the flour is mixed in.

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Use a BIG FAT Ice Cream scoop and dish out on your cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 8-11 minutes.  You want to pull them out when you just start to see browning on the edges.

Let cool…….If you can wait 🙂

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