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May 2019
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July 2019

Da Chicken Coop

The other day I had for the first time ever, chicken and waffles. The first venture on my staycation. 

I had them at Da Chicken Coop, almost right out my back door. Don't hate me. 

It's outside seating and you walk up to the window to place and pick up your order. No biggie, it was a nice day. 
I ordered the small dark meat chicken and waffle and was asked besides the syrup for the waffle would I like some hot sauce for the chicken. heckyesthankyouverymuch. 

That was the tenderest, juiciest chicken I've had in a long time. Wish mine was that good, and I'm a pretty good chicken cooker.

How do you eat your chicken and waffles? 
So first I tried a bite of chicken and waffle with just syrup on both, then I tried a bite with plain chicken and just syrup on the waffle, then I hit my jackpot. Hot sauce on just the chicken, syrup on just the waffle, stab the chicken with your fork, then stab the syrup-laden waffle, enjoy.

I was under the impression that it was a southern thing, after doing a little research it has been attributed to a similar Pennsylvania Dutch dish, but on further reading, it is said to be from Harlem and others say it's Southern Soul Food. 
Will we ever really know for sure?

Looks like I'm off to a darned good start on my staycation. 

And that's that!

Pickled Red Onions

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These onions make a wonderful garnish for fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, and salads, or you may like them so much you just eat them by themselves. They have a terrific citrus flavor and have no added oil, which makes them all the more appealing. 

Recipe from the Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook

I hope you have a mandoline, it makes slicing the onions much faster and easier, but sorry, it doesn't cut back on the tears.

By the time I finished writing this post, the onions softened up enough to be completely submerged into the brine. 

Pickled Red Onions


  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 6-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 4 bay leaves, broken in half
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium-sized red onions, peeled and cut into slivers


  1.  Combine all the ingredients except the onions in a large bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the onions and combine well. 
  2. Cover the bowl and let the onions stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 24 hours. Stir the mixture once again and then refrigerate, covered. 
    These onions will keep for up to two weeks. After that, these onions retain their flavor but lose some of their vibrant color


Yippie Skippie, I'm starting my vacation.
I'm not able to wander too far from home for a vacation this year, so what better thing to do with my time off than to re-discover my hometown.

Just a quick little background. I was born and raised in San Diego County, mainly Lemon Grove. After a few stints of living other places, (the last 15 years being in the Campo-Lake Morena area), I moved back to Lemon Grove to be the Private Cook in my sister's Homestay for College students. Now that the school semester is over and our last student has departed I'm going to take a little time off, O.K. a lot of time off, like the whole month of July.  

I'll still be doing some cooking, but only when I feel like it which so far has been every day. Wait!!! I thought I said I was on vacation. 

Perhaps I should call it a foodcation because I'll be scoping out the local restaurants, and I'll be wandering into other zip codes as well. This is such a culturally diverse area that discovering some different cuisines is going to be exciting. 

I'll be posting my Staycation, not only the food but other interesting things I might run across in my ventures. Of course, that will also include some of my amateur photography.

If interested you'll find the posts in the Staycation category. 

Off to some new and interesting ventures.

Mystery snack a.k.a. !What the Heck!

The cooking group I participate in is not only informative and fun but can get a bit wacky at times, which is why I fit in so well. 
One of our participants who shall remain nameless, Karen Burns, posted about this snack.


I don't remember where she said she got it from or even is she did. It's quite an unusual combination that believe it or not, works. 
On a Ritz type cracker, put a dollop of peanut butter, then a small dollop of horseradish on top of that and pop it in your mouth. 

I thought it would be fun to do a mystery tasting with some friends and family. I didn't tell anyone what they were eating, I'm just so happy they are adventurous and willing to try just about anything, and that they trust me, well, at least to a certain extent. 


After inspecting the cracker and a little sniffing a tentative bite was taken. 

What The Heck!!

I love the doubletake here.

No one thought it was horseradish, I heard ginger discussed which probably would be pretty good too. 

Now I think I need to work on a wine pairing for this. LOL

And that's that!

Italian Chicken Salad Sandwich


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This has got to be one of the best non-mayonnaise based chicken salad recipes I believe I've had in a long time. 
For the bread, I used cocktail croissants they are the perfect size for a luncheon sandwich. Of course, we all went back for another.

Mix the chicken with the celery, roasted red peppers, toasted almond slivers, red onion, and parsley. 


Not many ingredients. Quick, easy, very flavorful and it has the crunch factor. 


Then add to that the red wine vinaigrette and you have a great chicken salad.

At first, I was tempted to double the vinaigrette recipe because it didn't look like there would be enough, but it's just the right amount. 

Italian Chicken Salad Sandwich

Makes 5 1/2 to 6 cups
6 servings


  • For the chicken salad
  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin on chicken breasts (2 large or 3 medium, or 1 rotisserie chicken) 
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup sliced red onion
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 6 sandwich rolls like ciabatta, or croissants

  • For the vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Make the chicken salad: Use a rotisserie chicken, or rub some olive oil over fresh chicken breasts, and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and roast the chicken breasts in a 425* oven until cooked through about 30 minutes. Set the chicken aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and bones and shred the meat.
  2. Make the vinaigrette: Place the vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Whisking continuously add the oil in a steady stream, pour the vinaigrette over the chicken salad and toss to coat.

Recipe adapted from the kitchn. 

And that's that!

First Annual Memorial Day Chili Cookoff

It's a good thing my family is flexible, well, we are either extremely flexible or extremely bored and are game for anything at the last minute. We decided on Thursday to have a chili cookoff on Sunday. I love my family.

Since we all think our chili is the best, we decided that we are all first place winners and voted for the one that we thought was the second best chili. 
Here's the winning bowl of chili. 

You will want this recipe, trust me...

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