Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

There is a little restaurant here in Dunedin right off the Pinellas Trail called Jolli Mon’s. They have been through some ups and downs, a couple of owners, and a few different menus, but there are a couple of items that I love that have made it through, one being the Key West Salad. It is a light and refreshing salad that I crave on warm summer days. I have recreated it to the best of my ability and topped it with a simple Mango Mustard Chicken. This is a great summer time meal.

Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

1 10 oz bag romaine hearts

1/4 c sliced toasted almonds

1/2 c shredded smoked gouda cheese

1 can mandarin oranges drained

1/4 c Nautrally Fresh Poppy Seed dressing

4 chicken breast cutlets

1/4 c mango jelly

2 T Dijon Mustard

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350, Place chicken cutlets in a shallow baking dish. Add mustard and mango jelly to a small sauce pan and heat over med until jelly is melted and combined with mustard. Pour over chicken in pan, season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes, turn on broiler and cook 5 minutes more, to add some color.

Mango Mustard Chicken

Mango Mustard Chicken\

Meanwhile put salad together, add all remaining ingredients to a large bowl and toss.

Key West Salad

Slice the chicken and top the salad, makes 2 large or 4 small servings.

Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

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Chocolate Toffee Popcorn Balls and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

This past weekend was yet another fun and memorable book club meeting. The book was The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin. It is historical fiction, my favorite, and told the tale of Vinnie Bump, a perfectly proportioned, little person who was only 2 ‘ 8 ” but never let that stop her from getting what she wanted. Born to a farming family in New England who sheltered her from society, Vinnie knew she wanted more, she took risks and left the safe haven of her home to find adventure and fame. She ended up becoming an icon and celebrity who traveled the world thanks in part to a man named P.T Barnum. I was shocked to find out how much of this story was actually true, and amazed by her strength and courage, even if she was slightly selfish and cold hearted at times.

I had trouble thinking of a dish for this meeting, She does travel to New Orleans and mentions Gumbo, but that is an all day affair. And also not really a good food for book club, we tend to do more snacks, and small appetizers that are easy to share and eat on your lap while discussing the book.

Luckily my Martha Stewart, Everyday Food magazine came a couple of days before the meeting and had a recipe for popcorn balls, perfect, small single servings that were easy to make and went along with our theme, Vinnie, the heroine of the book was actually in the circus for a short time.

Chocolate Toffee Popcorn Balls

2 T butter

10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows

10 c popped corn

1/2 c heath toffee pieces

1/2 c toasted almonds

1/2 c mini chocolate chips

sea salt

Make sure you have your popped corn ready and toast your almonds in a dry sauté pan over low heat for about 4 minutes of until fragrant and slightly colored and set aside. In a large pot melt butter over med heat, add marshmallows and stir until melted, remove from heat and add popcorn,almonds, toffee pieces and chocolate chips stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon sprayed with cooking spray until evenly coated. Spray hand with cooking spray and form small balls with the mixture and place on waxed paper to cool (about 10-15 min). Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt if desired.

Serve or store in an airtight container.

Blueberry and Cucumber Salad with Lime and Ginger Dressing

This healthy and  refreshing Summer salad is punched up with a zip of lime. Delicious as a side to any dinner or add grilled chicken to make this the entrée.

2 c fresh spinach washed and torn into bite sized pieces

2 c romaine washed and torn into bite sized pieces

1 c fresh blueberries

1 cucumber  peeled, halved and sliced

1/4 c sliced roasted almonds

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl

Dressing:

Juice of 2 limes, or about 2 T

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 t sugar (or substitute)

1 t minced ginger

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl, pour over salad, toss together

Chicken and Fruit Salad with Orange Jalapeno Dressing

For the salad:

1 bag or box of mixed greens

1 rotisserie chicken cut into bite size pieces

1 cup diced honey mango

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

4 oz crumbled feta cheese

1/4 sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or platter, serve with Orange Jalapeno dressing

Orange Jalapeno Dressing:

1/2 t minced jalapeno

1/4 cup orange marmalade

2T apple cider vinegar

2T extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl, drizzle over salad