This week I learned a valuable lesson about entertaining: No matter the circumstances, do not, I repeat—DO NOT—attempt a bathroom makeover project the same week you’re hosting a party. I tend to use pending parties as a catalyst to help me get things done around the house. I always think it’s a good idea. It is not, and I ask you all to please remind me of this on a continuing basis.
All that being said, the bathroom got finished, the food got made (with David’s help), and the party was a success. I went 4-0 in the mischief department—I “created” four dishes on the fly and they all turned out pretty good: Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad, Curry Chicken Salad, Jalepeño Pimiento Cheese, and Chardonnay Oak Smoked Salt Almonds. (Ben, I finally found a use for that salt!) All of those dishes were made after I finished scraping paint off the bathroom floor at 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday night.
While I was painting, Dimples McSkinny (AKA David) was in the kitchen chopping away. His project was fruit salsa, which entailed dicing about 15 pounds of fruit. Wary of being judged on his knife skills, David took special care to carefully dice every apple, strawberry, banana, and mango properly. No joke: He chopped fruit for two-and-a-half hours straight. He really does have the patience of Job. The fruit salsa, served with cinnamon-sugar tortilla “chips,” was also a hit. It’s a Southern Living recipe that my mom introduced us to…very tasty. Check it out here.
The recipe I’m sharing today is for the Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad. In researching the recipe, I couldn’t really find a version to build on, so this is some fairly unique mischief. Give it a go if you’re in the mood for something different, or if you’re having a Mexican-themed party and need a make-ahead option.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad
-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-olive oil, ancho chili powder, salt, pepper
-1/2 cup olive oil mayo
-1/4 to 1/2 cup light sour cream
-juice and zest of 1-2 limes
-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
-4 green onions, chopped
-1 cup of red grapes, halved
Season the chicken with the olive oil and spices, roast in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes, and let them cool before dicing. Meanwhile, combine the mayo, sour cream, and lime juice in a bowl. When the chicken has cooled, add the mayo mixture, then stir in the cilantro, onion, and grapes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper as needed. FYI: you might need to make a little extra dressing to bind the salad. Serve with crackers or blue corn torilla chips.
That’s it for today! We’re heading to Jackson for my Uncle Steve’s (and soon-to-be Aunt Zina’s) wedding, which will also involve a reception at my parents’ house. Maybe some mischief will come out of the party prep. What am I saying? Of course some mischief will occur. Have a great weekend!