Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Sonoma

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

NASCAR heads out West for road course racing at Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Sonoma, California is generally known as the birthplace of wine-making in California. The region is ripe with delicious foods, obviously great wines, and good living.

To capture the essence of the area I found recipes that could possibly transport you without ever leaving your kitchen.

For those of you who enjoy it, opening a bottle of California wine to drink with your food may be another great way to escape to Sonoma.

First, because you cannot have too many great chicken salad recipes (recall the one from Michigan last week), here is another delightful one to add to your repertoire.

Sonoma Chicken Salad
Recipe found on



1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
5 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
2 cups red seedless grapes
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced


In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.

When the chicken is cold, dice it into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery and dressing.
Serves 6

Californians tend to like to eat light, fresh, and healthily. They love salads and this one fits the bill for delicious dining and healthy living. The following recipe recommends brands for the ingredients. Please substitute your favorite brands in their stead where applicable.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with California Avacado
Recipe found on


3 Tbsp. STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. loosely packed fresh dill
½ lb. orecchiette or small pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
1 ripe Fresh California Avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
½ medium hot house cucumber, cut lengthwise in quarters and sliced
1 cup (6.5-oz jar) Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and cut in half


Place olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender; blend until creamy. Add dill and pulse just until incorporated. Pour over pasta and toss to coat.
Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.
*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

It wouldn’t be Tantalizing Thursday without dessert. I found this luscious one that utilizes rhubarb outside of strawberry rhubarb pie.

Easy Rhubarb Sauce Recipe
Recipe found on:


1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2-1/4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pound cake or vanilla ice cream


In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Add rhubarb; cook and stir for 5-10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon peel and nutmeg.
Serve warm or chilled over pound cake or ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1-1/4 cups.

Editor's Note: If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

I hope you watch the road race from Sonoma this weekend and cheer on your favorite NASCAR hot shoe who can turn both left and right successfully.

And I hope you get an opportunity to try one, both, or all three of these recipes, like them, and incorporate them into your summer rotation.

Please join me tomorrow as we close out another week with the ever-popular and totally fun Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

1 comment:

  1. Being raised in California, it tickles the funny bone that out here in the South/East all ya gotta' do is put avocado on something and it is "California."

    I LOVE avocados. My favorite way to eat it, is to slice and lightly toast a baguette. Slightly smash a fresh avocado, smear onto toasted pieces with a little ground sea salt and a wee bit of ground pepper.

    However, just regular sandwich bread will do fine in a pinch... but be sure to toast the bread. Somehow the flavors are very different between toast and non toasted bread.

    My mother's variation of this treat, is to also drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on it. Served with a little blini. ;)

    Side Bar: Our house had an apricot tree (i will never eat an apricot however- another story for another day), cherry tree, peach tree and a flowering plum tree. About a 1/4 mile down the road a house had a lemon tree we used to steal lemons off of when we were kids. My hometown has a pumpkin fair every year. ;) If that doesn't scream California, I don't know what does!

    Have a good day Miss Candice!