DeeDee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries

TurkeyCran (1)

My daughter-in-law in St. Louis sent me a recipe for using up my leftover Thanksgiving turkey and we all loved it.  This salad combines sweetened, orange-flavored fresh cranberries and crisp almonds to dress up some leftover turkey.

Since I used up all the turkey to make the salad right after Thanksgiving, I thought I’d make another batch for dinner today using chicken breast.  It was delicious.  It’s a very easy recipe to put together and makes wonderful sandwiches.  Her recipe called for wheat bread slices, but I had some good bakery dinner rolls on hand and they worked well, too.

Make up the cranberry mixture and refrigerate a couple of hours ahead of time to get the best flavor.

Dee-Dee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries

½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tblsp. orange juice
1 Tblsp. grated orange zest
2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken breast), chopped
2 Tblsp. parsley, chopped
2 green onions, tops and tender green parts, sliced
¾ cup mayonnaise
Salt/pepper to taste
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 wheat bread slices, dinner rolls or bread of your choice
4 large red-leaf lettuce leaves

In a food processor with metal blade, process cranberries with sugar, orange juice and orange zest, using on-off pulses until coarsely chopped.  Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, parsley, green onions, mayonnaise and salt/pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.  At serving time, stir the cranberry mixture and almonds into the turkey/chicken mixture and spoon onto bread slices.  Top with lettuce.  Makes 4-6 servings.

TurkeyCran (2)

Havarti Cheese, Apple and Jam Sandwich


I wanted to dress up a grilled cheese sandwich and went around the kitchen picking up things – some good homemade raisin bread, Havarti cheese, a small amount of jam left in the jar, a tart apple, and butter.  This was definitely a welcome change from the usual cheddar cheese sandwich.


For each sandwich:
1 Tblsp. butter, divided
½ Golden Delicious tart apple, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 slices raisin bread*
1 slice Havarti cheese
1 Tblsp. jam or apple butter

In a small skillet, melt 1 tsp. butter and add apple slices.  Cook apples until light brown on each side and fork-tender.  Set aside.
havsand-bread*My favorite raisin bread

Wipe out skillet and place on burner over medium heat.   Butter a slice of bread,  add a slice of cheese and the jam.

Place the apple slices on top of the jam and add the remaining slice of bread, buttered side up.


Place the sandwich in the skillet and brown on each side until cheese is melted.

Makes one delicious sandwich. 


Ham Salad Wraps


A few weeks ago when I posted a tuna wrap recipe, one of my blogger friends said she didn’t like tuna but wondered how something like deviled ham would work.  That reminded me of a great ham salad recipe I found on Kelli’s Retro Kitchen and I put this wrap together using some good flavored leftover ham.  I really enjoyed this lunch dish and thank both Susan and Kelli for the inspiration.


  • 1-½ cups diced ham (leftover Honey Baked Ham)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tblsp. cream cheese
  • 1-½ Tblsp. chopped pickle (used my homemade sweet/sour pickles)
  • Scant ¼ tsp each garlic powder, cumin and smoked paprika

Pulse everything in food processor for slightly chunky consistency – don’t make puree.

  • 4 burrito flour wraps (8 inches dia.)
  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 long cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly*

*Place cucumber slices in a bowl and cover with water.  Stir in about 2 Tblsp. white vinegar and ½ tsp. granulated sugar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the wraps:

Heat wraps in microwave for 8-10 seconds and place a wrap on each of four plates.  Place a piece of lettuce on each wrap and spread ¼ of the ham salad down the center.  Top with cucumber slices ….


…..and fold down each wrap at the top and bottom.

Roll from one side and place seam-side down on plate.


Cut each wrap on the diagonal into three portions.

Serve with additional cucumber slices.

4 servings

Waffle-Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Back in the 1940s, long before I’d ever heard of a panini, my grandma made a grilled cheese sandwich that was pressed flat by – a waffle iron.

My paternal grandmother lived in rural Vandalia, Ohio, a two-hour drive from our home in Cincinnati.  Grandma worked as a cook in a large Dayton (Ohio) high school and brought home huge wholesale-size cartons of food.   On one of our trips, she introduced us to Velveeta cheese.  The only cheese we had at home was what we called “rat’s cheese” which came in thin slices from the butcher shop wrapped in white paper.   Mother used it in her macaroni and cheese and we had it with Ritz crackers and Pepsi on the rare occasions when we had guests come to play 500 rummy.

What fun it was when Grandma pulled out a 5-lb. box of Velveeta cheese, a loaf of bread and real butter (Grandma never used anything but real butter and cream) and made sandwiches for us on her 1930s era waffle iron.  My little sister and I were fans immediately, so when we went home, Grandma sent along a big box of Velveeta and the old waffle iron.

During summer vacation, after sleeping late, my sister and I would come downstairs to the kitchen table to find the waffle iron, a loaf of sandwich bread, margarine and Velveeta cheese.  Since we were combining breakfast and lunch, we were allowed to make as many sandwiches as we wanted.  There was nothing more delicious.  The cheese melted through the waffle indentations and sometimes got crispy.  The sandwiches were hot, melty, crisp and delicious.  We each ate 3 or 4 servings of what we called “toasted cheese sandwiches” and probably kept Mother short on bread all summer.

I still have the original waffle iron but don’t trust the electrical connection.  Instead, we make our sandwiches on a 1980s model waffle iron with heat regulator and non-stick surface (showing a little age itself).

My daughter and I don’t use Velveeta any more.  We enjoy using a variety such as Fontina, cheddar, mozzarella, Havarti, etc., sometimes several kinds mixed together, with good bread and butter.

The sandwiches are as delicious as ever, but we limit ourselves to just one apiece for lunch.  And the luckiest person is still the one who gets a little bit of the cheese that oozed out onto the grill and crisped.