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I love salads. My favorite is the California Chicken Salad at O’Charley’s! I tried to duplicate it and along with their menu, think I’ve come pretty close. As you can see from the photo, it made a lot! Probably enough for 2 people as an entrée or 4 people as a side salad.  But it was my dinner and I wanted to duplicate what I had at the restaurant.
After eating something so healthy, we can eat Turtle Cookies, right? Right! This month, we also feature a very good bar cookie and everyone will want your recipe!  
Bon Appetit!

California Chicken Salad


My version. I chose their Balsamic Vinegar Dressing and bought a pint of theirs for $3.25, to take home. (I tried to duplicate it below) You can definitely taste the apple cider vinegar in theirs and it’s sweetness. Honey Mustard Dressing would be a good choice also


9-oz. bag Spring Mix Salad Greens (romaine, iceberg, shredded carrots, red cabbage)

1 medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings

4-oz. cup mandarin oranges (they come in a pkg. of 4, 4-oz. cups, on the fruit isle)To

1 pint fresh strawberries

Sweet Cherry tomatoes

Pecans or Walnuts (see “tips”)

Dried Cranberries

Bleu Cheese Crumbles, 1 small tub

1 medium size chicken breast, sprinkled well with Greek Seasoning and cooked. Then sliced into 4 “fingers” (we cook our chicken on the George Forman) OR you could just buy chicken tenders

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (or your choice)


The following directions make a lot. Use the amounts at your discretion, as for an entrée or side salad. I didn’t measure, I just scatter what I thought looked good, keeping things in layers. Don’t toss until you’re at the table ready to eat. It’s pretty in layers.

In this order:

A bed of lettuce


1 red onion ring, separated

Mandarin oranges slices

3 or 4 sliced strawberries

3 or 4 Cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Small handful toasted nuts

Dried cranberries

About ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles

Pour the desired amount of dressing evenly over salad (1/4 to 1/3rd cup)

Then place the chicken strips on top.


Balsamic Vinagrette:

Whisk together:

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 - 1½ tsp. light corn syrup

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Slowly whisk in ¼ cup ex-virgin olive oil

Pour into a salad dressing carafe and shake well


Note: the corn syrup not only sweetens the dressing but helps to thicken it.

Turtle Cookies


A bar cookie that will bring you raves!



2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup butter, softened


Caramel Layer:

1 cup pecan halves

2/3 cup butter

½ cup light brown sugar



  cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine crust ingredients, mixing until fine crumbs. Pat firmly in ungreased 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the pecan halves evenly over unbaked crust. Combine the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute. Pour over pecans. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Then immediately scatter the chocolate chips evenly over top. Allow them to melt slightly for a couple of minutes, then “swirl” them, leaving some whole for a marbled look. (Do not spread them!)  Cool completely  and cut into bars.  Makes 3 to 4 dozen

Toasted nuts: To toast pecans or walnuts, place a small sauté skillet on top of the stove and warm over medium-high heat. Add the nuts and stir constantly to ensure they toast uniformly. Since heat releases the nuts’ oils, no added oil is needed. They toast quickly so watch closely and keep them moving so they don’t burn. Pecans and walnuts take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Spray colanders or strainers with Pam before draining potatoes or pasta…no sticking!

Out of self-rising flour?

Sift together:  1 cup all purpose flour, 1½ tsp. baking powder and ½ tsp. salt.   Multiply as needed.
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