Happiness is spaghetti with red sauce

I have not always been a foodie.  Quite the contrary, in my tender years I was a very picky eater.  I would only eat cold cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and, potatoes of any kind, peas and fried hamburgers for dinner.

Anything else placed on my plate and I would move the food around my plate, eat a little bit to make my mom happy and sometimes hold it in my mouth and then excuse myself from the table and spit it out in the toilet.

I was not an easy child to deal with when it came to food.  This was especially hard on my mom as we were very poor and food was not always easy to come by.  There were times when she would rifle through her purse, coat pockets and sometimes lift the linoleum up off the floor, just a little to see if any coins had rolled under.  She would give me the coins and I would run to the store and buy a large can of pork and beans and that would be our meal for the evening.

One evening my mom went to the pantry to prepare dinner and all that was on the shelf was a box of Ronzoni thin spaghetti and cans of Del Monte tomato sauce.  She came into the kitchen, looked at the expectant faces at the kitchen table and said, “We are going to have a treat this evening, spaghetti with red sauce”.

I loved it.  The combination of this perfectly cooked spaghetti and the sweet tomato sauce was so good I cleaned my plate.  I knew not to ask for more because even at that young age I knew that seconds were not an option.

I cannot explain why that simple meal became one of my all-time favorites but it did.  Was it the fact that my mom called it a ‘treat’?  I really don’t know but to this day whenever I am feeling ill or feeling low, I find myself searching the pantry for these two wonderful ingredients and prepare a bowl of spaghetti with red sauce.  I will curl up on the couch, put on one of my favorite shows, eat my spaghetti and in no time I feel better.  For me it was and has always been, a wonderful comfort food.

Over time I added a little bit of cheese to my favorite dish; sometimes Velveeta cheese, sometimes American cheese.

I tried to introduce this simple food to my husband and family with mixed reviews.  My husband did not like my wonderful dish however, the girls did.  So, whenever he was away on business, which he was most of the time in the early days, the girls and I would enjoy this simple concoction and eventually my ‘spaghetti with red sauce’ came to be known as ‘out-of-town-spaghetti’.

Of course, as the years rolled by my tastes became more sophisticated and I learned to cook many wonderful Italian sauces that include many delicious ingredients that I would never have eaten as a child.  But none of those dishes can compare to my simple ‘spaghetti with red sauce’ to cure whatever ails me.

Foodie or not I return to this meal for many reasons, memories of my mom and how she could make such a simple meal seem so special, perhaps remembering the hard times we all shared and overcame and, a reminder that simple things usually are the best.

Mary

Writing 101: Day Ten-Happy

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A loss of faith in corporate integrity

When I first started to write this I was thinking about telling a sad story of the loss of our family dog, Sam.  Then, I thought, no, I would write a happy story about the time when our cat, Shadow got lost for three weeks and how we came to find her.

But, the day I started to write I was faced with another kind of loss that has left me frustrated, angry about the loss of corporate integrity.

There was a time when companies stood behind their merchandise and made every effort to repair or replace their goods to keep their customer base coming back for the latest the company had to offer.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, A foodie without a refrigerator | The Delicious Divas, we have been enduring an ongoing struggle to get the manufacturer of our refrigerator to do just that; repair or replace our refrigerator.

Our journey towards that end started in January and here we are in April.  At this juncture, we have had six repair calls, several parts replaced, one twice, and each time it failed.  The last failure was catastrophic causing the compressor to blow and spill oil inside causing a terrible odor that permeated everything inside.

We sat anxiously waiting for the repairman to come to replace yet two new parts, hoping against hope that they would not work and he would finally deem the refrigerator unrepairable.

When he came that day, Chris walked in with a smile on his face and said, “Good news, I have been told to give you a ticket with a replacement number and I am to take away the parts”.

As he prepared to leave he said, “If I were you, if they haven’t called by Friday give them a call”.

Well, we did not hear so, Randy called and I thought he was going to explode.  I sat quietly as he talked to the customer service agent and watched as he became more and more upset.

At one point I heard him say with a great deal of frustration in his voice, “So, what you’re telling me is that you are not going to do anything about the refrigerator?”

“No,” the customer agent replied.

“Then why,” Randy asked, “did you give us a ticket number for a replacement?”

“We did that as a courtesy”, she replied.

With a great deal of control Randy said, “So you are telling me that the ticket means nothing”.

Her response, “I bet you think we are stringing you along until the warranty runs out”.

“Yes,” Randy responded, “between you and the repair company, I believe that you have definitely been stringing us along”.

She said, “It’s no good because you are out of warranty.  They are very strict when the warranty is up. That’s it.  It does not matter if they are working on repairs or not”.

Randy said angrily, “We are out of warranty because you dragged this problem out and have not fixed the problem”.

After Randy hung up he walked over to where I was sitting and, looking frustrated and drained said, “I think I am living in a nightmare”.

I felt so bad but there was nothing I could do or say that would help.

We sat for a while in silence and then the phone rang again.  The customer service representative called back and said she felt bad about the situation and would see if they could do something; perhaps refund at a pro-rated amount of the cost of the refrigerator.

After Randy hung up we just looked at each other and thought collectively: We’ll see.

What ever happened to honor and integrity? What ever happened to a handshake between two people meaning something?  What ever happened to two entities entering into a contract with both parties promising to honor whatever was agreed to?  We bought their product; they promised to fix or replace it.  To date they have done neither.

You would think the company would be concerned about their reputation.  But, I guess keeping your word, honoring commitments, living up to expectations by some companies are just words on paper and no longer mean anything.

Whatever the outcome of this twelve week nightmare, we have determined that even if we finally get the company to honor their commitment to replace our refrigerator, we will never again buy their brand.

So, now, the company’s loss is a very good customer.

Mary

Writing 101: Day four—Loss

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Mixed memories of a place I lived long ago

I spent my early childhood in a state that, at the time, was called the melting pot of the world, New York; specifically I lived in Brooklyn, New York.

At a very young age I lived in a Catholic children’s home.  My mom had tuberculosis and could not care for me.  I vaguely remember living in two apartment buildings after I was released back to my mother’s care, but at age twelve I remember clearly living in a three-story walk-up on Warren Street.  We moved there when I was nine because our family was growing and we needed a larger apartment.

When we first moved in, the neighborhood was quite nice with a mixture of one-family homes, apartment buildings, garages and a wonderful deli on one corner and a drug store on the other.

Our apartment was in a typical brick building with a fire escape anchored to the front of the building and a small fenced in area called an airy-way. The fire escape was a blessing on hot summer evenings to escape the stifling heat of the apartment.  It was also a great place to sit and listen as the Puerto Rican neighbors that lived next door would play their guitars and sing late into the evening.

Each floor of the apartment building was one apartment.  I lived on the second floor with my mother, three brothers and my brother’s father who from this point on will be referred to as, the-man-who-lived-in-our-house.

There was no air-conditioning so most summer evenings all the windows would be open and would stay open through the night.  There were two entrances to the apartment one entered into the kitchen, the other into the living room.  Having two entrances came in handy once in a while when the-man-who-lived-in-our-house would come home after a night of drinking and  kick in one of the doors and we would run out the other.

The roof was where the-man-who-lived-in-our-house raised homing pigeons.  The roof was always smelly.  And then there was the basement.  I only ventured down into the basement once and knew I would never go back.  It was dark and forbidding and always made me feel that there was someone or something lurking in the shadows.

Once as I was walking down the stairs and a rat suddenly ran from the basement and stopped at the bottom of the stairs.  I stood frozen on the stairs not knowing what to do.  I feared that if I tried to run it would chase me.  As I stood there thinking about what to do, the rat decided to jump.  All I could do was crouch down and pray it did not grab hold of me.  Thankfully, it jumped over my head.  I ran as fast as I could out of the building and all the way to the corner.  Breathless and sweating, I stood there for quite a while before gaining the courage to go back.  From that point on I never walked the steps, I ran.

The apartment was spacious with a large kitchen, two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, a small hallway with a pantry and coat closet and one extra room the-man–who-lived-in-our-house used to repair TVs and radios. This small room eventually became my bedroom after the-man-who lived-in-our-house moved out.

The kitchen was painted white with white and black tiles, there was an ice-box, a wood burning stove, hot water heater, a sink and a large laundry tub.  The rest of the house was always painted in dark colors,  There was forest green, maroon and a very dark blue as I remember.  My mom was into monochromatic decorating so she would always change out the window blinds to match the colors of the walls.

My mom was the building superintendent.  The title of ‘super’ meant that she was in charge of keeping the building swept, mopped and reported any repairs that were necessary.  She was also responsible for keeping the airy-way and sidewalk swept each day.  For these responsibilities she was afforded a much cheaper rent than the other two tenants.

To this day I do not refer to any place that I lived as my home but rather places that I have lived.  A home, after all, should be a place that you remember fondly.  Unfortunately, I do not remember this particular space, or for that matter any other places I grew up in fondly rather, I remember the roaches that would scurry as soon as a light was turned on, sweeping up mouse droppings on a regular basis, and crying myself to sleep because the bed bugs would torment me each night as I tried to sleep.

What I do remember fondly were our neighbors.  The tenants on the first floor were American Indians.  The gentleman was a chief and would don his headdress each time he attended a parade or other special event in and around the city.  Their apartment was filled with dogs and cats and so much furniture.  They were fortunate because they had a wonderful back yard with a grape arbor.  I would look down and see their cats walking on the arbor all the time.  Every so often they would offer my mom a bowl full of grapes that smelled like cat urine.  She would graciously take them but I do not remember ever eating a one.

The tenants on the third floor were so friendly.  They both worked and had one little girl.  I do not know what the dad did for a living but he was an amateur photographer on the weekends and loved to play the xylophone.  I used to love hearing him play whenever they had parties.  He offered to take my First Communion and eighth grade graduation pictures.  They were lovely.

I also loved the neighborhood.  It was in this neighborhood that I came know of many different cultures, many types of food and music. It was as though our little neighborhood was a microcosm of New York City.

As the years rolled by many of the dwellings in our neighborhood became more and more run down and people started to move away.  We moved away when I was fourteen.  I returned after I graduated from high school to see if any of the neighbors remained.  There were only two left and they were packing up to leave.  I learned years later that the neighborhood had been torn down to make way for a hospital.

Mary

Writing 101: Day Nine-Home

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Songs that have touched my life

Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die. ~Paul Simon

From as far back as I can remember I have loved a wide range of music.  I remember as a child, I listening to big band music and watching American Band Stand to hear the newest sounds of the Rock and Roll era.

During a very low point in my relationship with my mom an aunt took me in and introduced me to a wide range of music genres including country, classical, jazz, Broadway hits and a great collection of John Philip Sousa marches.

This lovely woman passed away before my senior year in high school.  Upon graduation I moved away from home and one of the first things I did was go to a local record shop and order all the albums I could remember from my aunt’s collection.  Somewhere in my heart I believed it would help me keep her memory alive.

And, while I love an array of music genres and artists, there are three songs that have become special in my life.

Jump

“I get up, and nothing gets me down.

You got it tough.  I’ve seen the toughest around.

And Iknow, baby, just how you feel.

You’ve got to roll with the punches and get to what’s real

Might as well jump.  Jump!

Go ahead, jump.  Jump!

My childhood was chaotic; my young adulthood was a learning curve that presented many ups and downs and, I was struggling to understand how to be a good wife, homemaker and mother for a long time without the slightest idea on how to accomplish these roles especially as I did not have good role models growing up.

As the years rolled on I realized that I had to become comfortable in my own skin and needed to establish my own path.  Just about the time I came to this realization, the voice of Van Halen’s lead singer David Lee Roth exploded from the radio into my kitchen singing, Jump.  I remember listening to the words and as they took hold on my consciousness I started jumping, throwing my hands high above my head and yelling, “Yes”.

From that point on I knew that I had to shake off the past, move on and grow.  To this day if I hear “Jump” I can be seen dancing and singing around my home.

I Do (Cherish You)

“In my world before you, I lived outside my emotions

Didn’t know where I was going, ‘til that day I found you

How you opened my life to a new paradise

In a world torn by change, still with all my heart, ‘til my dying day”

Unfortunately, this growing process brought about a time of sadness to me and my family.  The stresses and strains caused by my past and the struggles to overcome differences between my husband and I, my marriage ended.

This separation from the past was hard on everyone but the family was very supportive of both myself and my husband as we worked toward living apart.

Over time and after going through the grieving that accompanies the loss of a marriage, I moved on and found myself connecting to others experiencing similar life changes.  I began by joining several support groups eventually meeting the man I knew would be my soul mate for the rest of my life.  This wonderful man was patient, kind, and made every effort to support my need for a relationship built on trust and respect.

One of the things I love about Randy is his use of words.  We were riding through the mountains one beautiful Sunday afternoon and as he looked out across the green clad mountains he said, “Everything looks so lush”.  I could not remember a time when I heard a man use the word lush.  I loved it.

Then one day, about four years into our relationship, Randy placed his hands on my face, looked me in the eyes and said, “Mary, I cherish you”.  Cherish!  So many people in my life used and over used the word love that I had become somewhat jaded by the use of the word.  But here was someone saying he cherished me.  Oh, my, I just melted.

When it came time to plan our wedding the only song that would do was “I Do (Cherish You) by Mark Wills.  This song said it all.

On Eagle’s Wings

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,

Who abide in His shadow for life,

Say to the Lord, “My Refuge,

My Rock in Whom I trust.”

And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,

Bear you on the breath of dawn,

Make you to shine like the sun,

And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

Time has passed and my life has continued to be so very, very good.  I have arrived at that point in life when you begin to think about the afterlife.  One sunny, Florida Sunday, we were in church and the choir started to sing On Eagle’s Wings by Michael Joncas.  I had never heard this song before.  I heard the choir sing and felt instantly  that after making so many mistakes in my life that I would be forgiven my sins, be sheltered in God’s arms and reside for eternity in heaven.

Hope for redemption and everlasting life in heaven gives me a comfort that takes all the fear out of my eventual journey towards the afterlife.

There are many more songs that have touched my life but these three carry a very special meaning.

Mary

Writing 101:Day 3- Commit to a Writing Practice-Songs

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My heart calls me back to Virginia

For the better part of 40 years I lived in Northern Virginia until retirement brought me to Florida.

I love my new home and all the friends I have made over the years in Florida but my heart still misses all that is in Virginia.

What I miss most is my beautiful family.  I still have two daughters living in the area, two wonderful grandchildren and many, many friends.

I also miss the beauty of Northern Virginia and all the places that I could travel to within the state that brought me such pleasure and filled my eyes with such beauty.

Living in Northern Virginia afforded me a unique opportunity to live near the nation’s capitol.  I loved the museums, the theaters, places of interest and just being that close to the seat of government for my beloved country.  My favorite museum is the Freer Gallery of Art.   And, oh, walking the tidal basin when the Cherry Blossoms were in bloom; just breathtaking.

Right after we retired, Randy and I went on a 12,488 mile motorcycle trip around the country that was just wonderful.  But, when we finally arrived back in Virginia, I was filled with such peace and happiness.

Virginia is where I found love, had three wonderful children, bought the first house I had ever lived in, watched my children grow into beautiful adults, saw two of my grandchildren born, had a great job working with children in a local elementary school and forged many wonderful friendships.

I grew up in a big city filled with concrete, buildings infested with bugs and rats, gang wars and not much hope of making much of my life.  As soon as I graduated from high school I packed all my belongings in a cardboard box, boarded a Greyhound bus and bought a ticket to the District of Columbia.

There I spent some time with a girl from my hometown that had gotten a job on Capitol Hill.  I lived there for a time while looking for a job.  After I found a job I moved to a small but nice apartment in Virginia.  I knew from that moment I would stay there.

I fell in love with the trees, the flowers, and the birds of this beautiful state.  The Dogwoods of Virginia remain my very favorite tree.  I watched with fascination every spring through my kitchen window when the Cardinals would return and take up residence in my backyard trees.  Oh, yes, there are many birds that come to Virginia but the Cardinal will always be my favorite.

Some of my favorite places to visit were Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Colonial Williamsburg.  I loved the days Randy and I would hop on the motorcycle and ride through the mountains especially in the spring.  We would ride along roads filled with S-shaped curves and as we got higher and higher stopping periodically and looking at the beautiful valley below.  The mountains were filled with hickory trees, oak trees, mountain laurel, daises, rhododendrons and so much more.  Once in a while we would pass a section of road where the rocks glistened with traces of small water falls from the snows melting high above signaling the beginning of a spring.

We would make our way up to one of our favorite spots called Hawksbill Summit in Shenandoah National Park, park the bike and walk a fairly strenuous path until the wooded, cool trail opened revealing a view I have forever imprinted on my heart. We would sit on the edge of the rocks looking down on the mountain sides covered in trees and be mesmerized watching hawks gliding effortlessly above the valley. The tree, mountain, valley view all took a back seat to the hawks that would catch thermals taking them higher and higher into the blue sky above.  They were so beautiful.   As they flew around I imagined myself as a hawk and felt such freedom; a sense of freedom that had eluded me all through my childhood.

We both love this place so much that when it came time to decide where we would spend our eternity we made the decision to have our ashes dispersed on Hawksbill Summit. Perhaps I will finally have the same wonderful feeling of freedom the hawks had as they glided around the summit.

Mary

Writing 101: A room with a view

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A foodie without a refrigerator

Where do I begin?  It is now our eighth week trying to get our refrigerator fixed or replaced to no avail.

The saga of our broken refrigerator started in January when we noticed that the ice maker in the freezer was not producing ice.  I remember one evening sitting on the couch getting ready to watch a little television when I looked over at Randy and said, “I haven’t heard the ice drop this evening”.

You know how it is, there are background noises that we all get used to and, for me, one consistent noise was the ice dropping in the basket mid-evening followed by the whoosh of water filling the ice maker again.

Randy jumped into action reading the manual and searching the web for information on how to fix the problem.  After a few attempts, he finally called a repair service to come out and take a look.  Once the repairman realized that the refrigerator was still within the warranty period, he said he could not work on it and that we should call the manufacturer.

We did, and they sent out another local repair company.  After taking a look the repairman said it was our dryer and he would have to order a dye dryer and that it would be easy to install.  He ordered the part and set up another date to come back and replace the part.

He returned a few days later and replaced the part and magically the refrigerator started to work again.

I was a little hesitant to fill my freezer again until I was sure that all was well but little by little I made several homemade soups and bought a few pieces of meat and retrieved a 10lb turkey that was residing in my next door neighbor’s freezer.

A few weeks passed and started to notice that the freezer was getting warm again.  I took out a bowl of soup out for dinner and noticed that it defrosted much faster than in the past.  That brought me back to the freezer to check and, sure enough, the soups that should have been frozen solid were returning to liquid form.

Another repair call was placed and this time we needed an evaporator due to a leak.  The repairman noticed that the Freon level was way down and replaced what was lost.  Well, that did not last long.  Within a week he was back replacing the evaporator and recharging the Freon.

I remember saying to Randy, “Maybe I will just bring the turkey back and cook a big meal rather than have him stay”.

Randy looked at me and asked, “What are you going to do with the leftovers?”

I just stood there staring at him.  I felt my shoulders slump and said, “Oh, good heavens, I didn’t even think of that”.

The next day, I woke and headed to the kitchen to start the coffee brewing.  Before I got to the kitchen I was hit with a wall of noxious odor that took my breath away.  I opened my refrigerator and actually felt faint the smell was so bad.  Angry, I spent the rest of the morning tolerating the odor and throwing everything in the trash.  I remember just standing there when I was finished looking at my, now totally empty refrigerator, feeling frustrated and oh, so angry.

We made yet another call to the manufacturer’s customer service line only to be told that they would, once again, have to send a repairman out to take another look.

This time not only did the evaporator fail, and the Freon leak again, but the compressor blew and spilled oil all over the parts.

At this point, we lost all our food from the freezer twice, the smell, even days later, was not very pleasant and the manufacturer has spent over $1,600 on parts and labor.

Now, adding insult to injury, I am a foodie who loves to be in the kitchen preparing wonderful dishes and here we were spending every evening eating out; and trust me when I tell you, it is getting old.

So, the question is, “At what point does the manufacturer say it is time to replace the refrigerator?”

Evidently, not yet.  The new parts arrived today and the repairman will come tomorrow to install.  I can’t help but wonder how long this repair will last and if the noxious odor will remain?

We actually went to Lowe’s to look for a replacement and found two that we liked.  I was thinking about getting a black refrigerator this time but when I inquired how long it would take to have one delivered and found out that it would take two weeks, tears welled up in my eyes.

I stood in the aisle in the store and thought: Oh, for heaven’s sake, who cries over a delivery date for an appliance?

The answer was simple: A foodie without a refrigerator.

Mary

Writing 101: Day One: Unlock the Mind

Posted in appliances, Food, refrigerators | Tagged , | 9 Comments

“This sandwich was so good…”

Chopped Chicken Sandwich

Chopped Chicken Sandwich

It has been a while since returning to one of my favorite cookbooks, The Slim Down South Cookbook by Carolyn O’Neil, MS. Rd.  From the first reading of the book, I marked so many recipes to try I knew it would take some time to try them all.

I have already made the Pecan Pancakes, the Thai Noodle Salad and the Corn and Black Bean Salad recipes; all three were wonderfully delicious.

On a particularly hot day in March I decided to make something simple and quick for dinner.  I had marked a recipe called Chopped Chicken Sandwich.  Just reading the ingredients made me anticipate a lovely combination of tastes and textures that I knew would delight my palate.

Chopped Chicken Sandwich

4 hoagie rolls

½ cup grated Swiss cheese, divided

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

¼ cup Sweet and Spicy Dressing

Vegetable cooking spray

2 ½ cups Crunchy Pecan Slaw

  1. Light 1 side of grill, heating to 350° to 400°. (medium-high) heat; leave other side unlit.
  2. Split rolls in half horizontally, and hollow out soft bread from tops and bottoms, leaving a ¼-inch thick shell. Reserve soft bread for another use if desired. Sprinkle bottom of half of each roll with 1 Tablespoon Swiss cheese.
  3. Stir together chicken and Sweet and Spicy Dressing in a small bowl. Divide chicken mixture evenly among bottom halves of rolls. Lightly coat each sandwich with cooking spray, and wrap with aluminum foil.
  4. Place sandwiches over unlit side of grill, and grill, covered with grill lid, 10 to 12 minutes. Unwrap sandwiches, place over unlit side of grill and grill 5 minutes or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted. Remove from grill, and cut in half.
  5. Remove top halves of rolls from sandwiches. Arrange about ½ cup Crunchy Pecan Slaw over chicken and cheese. Cover with top halves of rolls. Serve immediately.

Serving size 1 sandwich—CALORIES 486; FAT 19.9g (sat 5.3g, mono 8.6g, poly 5.1g); PROTEIN 33.2g; CARB 45.2g; FIBER 2.9g; CHOL 72mg; IRON 2.5mg; SODIUM 620mg; CALC 206mg.

Sweet-and-Spicy Dressing

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup honey

2 Tablespoons hot sauce

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 tsp celery salt

¼ tsp black pepper

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Service size 1 Tablespoon—CALORIES 43; FAT (sat 0.2g, mono 1.5g, poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 0.1g; CARB 6.1g; FIBER 0g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 146mg; CALC 1mg.

 

Crunchy Pecan Slaw

1 head Napa cabbage, cut into thin strips

1 Braeburn apple, cut into thin strips

½ cup sliced radishes

½ cup Sweet-and-Spicy Dressing

3 green onions, sliced

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

  1. Toss together cabbage and remaining ingredients in a large bowl until blended.

Serving Size 1 cup—CALORIES 141; FAT 9.9g (sat 0.9g, mono 5.7g, poly 2.5g); PROTEIN 2.3g; CARB 13.7; FIBER 3.7g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.8mg; SODIUM 136mg; CALC 49mg.

The only ingredient I did not have readily available was the Napa cabbage but was pleasantly surprised to find it at my local grocery store. The recipe was a little busy having to complete three steps but it really was very simple especially using precooked chicken breasts.

This sandwich was so good!  Each layer of the sandwich was a taste delight starting with opening the aluminum foil for just a few minutes to make the hoagie roll crunchy to the many tastes and textures of the slaw.  Oh, my, the softness of the cabbage mixed with the crunch of the apples, radishes and pecans was wonderful.  The dressing with the sweetness of the honey and hint of heat from the hot sauce added so many flavors.

The sandwiches with an extra helping of slaw were just the perfect dinner for a hot, Florida evening.

Note:  This sandwich was so good that I made them again during my annual first-round March Madness visit to daughter Kristine’s home in Virginia. Unable to find Napa cabbage, we substituted with a pre-packaged slaw mix that included cabbage, red cabbage and carrots.  We also used the oven to heat and toast the sandwiches.  These sandwiches were just the right food for spending a marathon day watching one basketball game after another; easy to prepare and delicious.

Enjoy,

Mary

Posted in chicken, Cookbook, dressings, pecans, Recipe, sandwiches, slaw, sweet-and-spicy dressing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments