My Recreation Recipe of Legend’s Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad

I recreated Legend’s Strawberry Walnut Salad with my own twist. And you know what? I think I beat it in taste! lol. Here is a side to side comparison.

Legend’s Salad on the left, Mine on the right

So I’m sharing with you my recipe in my recreation of this flavor explosive delish salad that I had recently at Legend’s Restaurant in Columbia, TN. And for the most part, it’s pretty healthy too. The prep time is very simple and minimal. And you can take short cuts, but if you want the best possible flavors, do it this way below. I’m not a professional recipe writer, but I think I can lead you in the right direction here! This will serve three people a good size dinner salad (for us two it’s dinner one night and a mini salad for each of us for lunch next day), but it would also be a wonderful side or salad course for a dinner party of six. It makes for a great spring salad as the strawberries start to come in early and our tastebuds are just awakened by their ripeness! The flavors of the marinated chicken, the blue cheese against against a crunchy bacon bites, and the strength of the balsamic vinaigrette along with the teriyaki taste of the chicken – just absolutely sends you to the moon over each bite. As said, you can vary this to your liking. But here is how I did it for the flavor enhancing experience. I wanted to post not only to share it, but so I can come back and do it again and remember what I did! Sorry I do not have exact ounces or sizes here.

I also cut up my chicken into more bite size instead of the thin finger slices so we don’t have to cut the chicken and send strawberries and walnuts flying across the room while watching TV . The chicken will need to be marinated ahead of time for best flavor and I’ve provided both the marinade and the dressings that I used here. And you may as well go ahead and crisp up the entire package of bacon when you cook it because you know if you don’t eat it on the salad, you or someone will later! Anytime you can cook extra at once, do it and add it to the next meal!

Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad Ingredients:

  • Small Container of Spring Mix Salad
  • Chicken Tenders or Chicken Breast cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
  • Package of Thick Cut Bacon
  • Package of Walnuts (I used big walnuts and broke them in half instead of chopped walnut fragments.)
  • Package of Dried Cranberries
  • Package of Blue Cheese crumbles
  • Package of Fresh Strawberries
  • Homemade Balsamic Vinegar Dressing*
  • Homemade Chicken Marinade**

A day ahead or 12 hours ahead. Marinate the chicken. You can do several steps ahead of time, if you want, which works great if you are having company. I just did the marinade and then did the rest an hour before we ate. It only takes about an hour to fix the salad in total time. About what it is for any meal at home.

So you don’t cross contaminate, I found it’s good to go ahead and put lettuce in the bowls first, wash and slice the strawberries and place them around the outsides of the salad for presentation appeal, break up the walnuts and add them, toss on the blue cheese, cranberries, and set the salads in the fridge while you make the dressing, and cook the bacon and the chicken.

So I used the best thick cut country style bacon I could find. Full on flavor and makes for hefty good chunks of bacon crunch in the salad. I cooked it in a black skillet. You can do your own variation but I’ve found this is my favorite way to cook the bacon! Make sure it’s good and crispy! Set aside on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the grease! This is probably the fattest part of the recipe – but aren’t they saying now we need our fats to help us absorb nutrients? So there’s that!

I then poured off some of the bacon grease and left only a little in the skillet, enough to cook the chicken in. Sorry, you don’t have to do this – you can use a different way to cook your chicken but this is what I did. The skillet was still hot and I poured in the chicken and its marinade and basically just “stir fried” it till it was done (no longer pink in the middle). There was a little bit of extra liquid left, but I used tongs to pick up the chicken and place onto the salads. I crumbled the bacon onto the salad. It’s ok to put hot chicken on a cold salad. George said “mmm the hot chicken on a cold salad is really good”.

Then I poured the dressing on the salad and used a “squirtable” balsamic glaze over the whole dish going back and forth in Z motions!

*Sonya’s Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

  • Olive Oil (2 – 3 Tablespoons)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (2-3 Tablespoons)
  • “Couple of Squirts” of Lemon Juice
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A shake or two of red pepper flakes (I used “jalapeño dust” that George had in the cabinet)

Self explanatory here – just mix it all together. Most of this is a shake or two of each! The best cooks don’t measure right? This above was good for George and I to have a big dinner salad and a side salad for lunch the next day. It would also serve 6 people if having a small salad with your meal. Hope that helps.

**Sonya’s Sassy Honey and Soy Sauce Chicken Marinade:

  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Honey
  • 1 Tbs Minced Garlic (I keep a jar in the fridge since we use it so much)
  • Couple of shakes of onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I put in enough olive oil and soy and honey to cover the chicken. I placed it in a storage baggie, massaging it good to mix the ingredients. And don’t be shy on the honey either. Note: I plan to use this marinade for making a chicken dinner one night! The flavor was incredible of the chicken itself. Use the marinade for 12 hours or overnight. The flavors soaked in wonderfully in that amount of time. Hmmm, I bet this marinade will go with shrimp, beef, or pork too?

Well, there ya have it. I hope you enjoy it! Better get dressed and ready and head to work! It’s only Thursday but looking forward to the weekend. Have not been able to work on ANY of my TO DO LIST this week. Too many appointments and not enough free time. Then I cooked last night. And our dryer went down! George has ordered parts. I’m so proud of him! The parts come in today and hopefully he will be able to fix and we’ll be in business for the weekend. Clean and soft dry clothes are always nice! 😉

Winnebago Minnie, Hair Cuts, Hair Styles, and Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad

Here’s a phone screen shot of the Micro Minnie! This is what I’ve been calling the Minnie Winnie, although if you google Minnie Winnie you get a different pic entirely. So I figure I could probably drive and haul something like this. I’m not sure though about the hitches. Is this something a woman can do? lol I need to be able to do all this stuff myself and to learn to be able to fix things. I’m not sure George is on board so I have to be able to do it on my own. I also would most likely buy used, but who knows. By the time I want to buy one maybe this “pandemic RV boom” will be over and there will be some on the market as people come off the road and begin to live their lives again. To me, living my life, would be traveling and on the road seeing places. But I want a home base as there is too much stuff I would not want to part with. I’m ok with smaller trips and weekend jaunts for George’s sake. But I do want to do some long hauls out west and the Florida keys, and places like Jackson Hole, and Lake Tahoe, and – wherever we can think of we want to go that interests us. But I’m posting this because yesterday I signed up for the Winnebago website for emails and information. I figure I should learn about them and their packaging and know what the options are and styles and such so I know what I want. ;-). I can start planning ahead.

My Hair Cut and Let’s Talk about Hair Styles

BEFORE!

Yesterday’s “appointment” was getting my hair cut. It had been so long. It felt so good to have someone play with my hair. She did a wet cut first, then washed it, and dried and styled it. As most hairstylists do, she laughed at my attempt to cut my own during the pandemic but she was rescuing me from myself and fixing it. lol I reminded her I did get some compliments and got the closest to the hairstyle I wanted more than any stylist could but that no, it was not a scientific cut by any means and both sides of the head was different, lol. I told her I was also tired of my own cut, lol. I could not cut the back so I had to let it just grow. But she cut and carved and cut and carved. She was very nice and we talked the first half and was quiet the second half. I debated whether to set another appointment or not b/c if you set it you feel committed to a stylist and it’s hard “to break it off” later. But I was very happy with the experience and my hair grows pretty fast, so I set an 8 week appointment. At some point I may go 12 because some times it is good to let it grow out some and then go back for a good fresh cut and style, whereas every 6 to 8 weeks it gets too feathery and choppy for my liking.

I told you yesterday I believe or certainly a recent entry – I always come out with feathers, lol. And yesterday was no exception, but at least it’s long feathers here, lol. It is quite nice the way she styled it. I liked it very much. I know that I will not spend the time to make it that nice. I’ll dry/style quickly and go. Please excuse my no make up pandemic face below.

AFTER
AFTER
AFTER Looks the Same in Front

They way she cut it is more versatile than I imagined, because this morning I noticed that when it dried it was wavy and curly and I could put moose in it and just go. But I can style and make it straight or curly or choppy or not choppy. The front was a little longer than I wanted but it works with this style. I can always chop it off later if wanted, lol. And I can make it look more like a Meg Ryan cut at that point if I do. Mine right now is shorter in the back and longer in the front, which is something I have not really liked as a style, but it seemed to work on me the way she did it. Phone screen shots below:

This is the pic I showed her I really liked. But I don’t think we made it there yet. lol

So I may be able to get close to this look if I don’t feather it back. But we’ll try again next time.

She did however, cut it very similar to this.

And this but she put a few more layers and texturizing because my hair is so thick. That’s the reason I end up with more feathers lol and way more layers than I intended. She did cut the bottom more like this below.

So yes, I may sound picky, but it’s just a goal or a target. And they all get really close! I am happy with it though! She did a great job! And it’s always fun to keep trying til we hit the bulls eye. I’m going to enjoy playing with it the next few days. All in all, it doesn’t matter what cut you get. Within a couple of weeks it goes back to the shape it always does, LOL.

Here’s a pic of my hair in in college. This was a charcoal drawing my Mom had done and it’s in her Gone With the Wind room, which is fitting. I am a free spirit for sure. I guess this was the Farah Faucet days. I always liked having flipped up curls going down the back of my head. This is the look my hair was growing out into but I do NOT like it long anymore. It’s just not for me.

Anyway! I’m out of here. I have a dental appointment and need to dress and get ready and leave in an hour.

Getting all my appointments in before quarter end hits. Can’t do much of anything in April as far as appointments as I need all the time I can on both ends of the work day.

Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad

I’m fixing my own version of this salad tonight as I want George to experience this Strawberry Walnut salad: I have chicken marinating in garlic, soy, honey, pepper flakes, and olive oil. I will add the strawberries, blue cheese, bacon, walnuts, and cranberries and balsamic glaze on top. I’m looking forward to cooking this up and sharing this with him tonight. It was so good. I guess I need to remember to make up a little balsamic dressing. Can’t forget that part. But I’ll pour the balsamic glaze over the chicken though. The glaze is a little thicker and lingers moreso than the vinegar itself.

Better go! Ya’ll have a good day! I have just enough time to get going. Boy these days sure go by fast. So much to do and I don’t get to work on my to do list much. It’s just been busy! Thinking about taking a vacation day just to give me some wiggle room to catch up. But I’m afraid I’ll need the days later. Then there could be some surprise days Mom might need me for so it’s hard to plan. Or I can plan them and just work a Saturday in it’s place or something, I guess it will all work out but planning PTO is on the to do list too! I can’t ever get there! lol.

Best Lasagna I Ever Made and My iMovie Processes

While taking Roger out yesterday, I noticed how pretty the lavender had become. I love it. It has been a great thing to plant in the flower bed and it comes back every year. I think that might be thyme behind it. I depend on George to remind me of which herbs are which.

He has worked very hard in the yard. And the house looks good amidst the tree limbs there. That tree was not very big back in 2008 when we moved in. It provides a lot of shade now. I can remember in the hot part of August trying to stand in the small shady spot and now it overtakes the yard and in mid- day instead of late afternoon. It’s really nice.

The day went by so fast. This whole weekend has. My main task for yesterday, besides getting the lasagna made, was to catch up on the ironing. I did that. I ironed I don’t know how many pants – maybe 8? I washed several loads of laundry also as we had our swim suits and towels that we added to the mix and a load of whites to do.

So I had on my list a while back, to make lasagna. It was on my new year’s list. We had such good lasagna at Aunt Gwen’s and then also at Judy’s. And so I decided that I wanted to make it myself. As a girl who has always loved pasta, I can’t believe I never have. It was always something as a teen, that we gals would get excited when someone was making it. It was always “this big thing”. Even today, people will tell you how much trouble it is. So all my life, loving spaghetti as I do, and those long strands of goodness, I just always stuck to that.

George has been mentioning it recently, and I watched a You Tuber make it. And the trick to it not taking so long is to make it in 2 sections. It seemed much easier than a lot of other dishes I’ve attempted to make. But I have to say it’s the best lasagna I’ve ever made. I’ve never made one before, ha!

Pretty much the meat sauce was easy and as normal – kinda like a spaghetti sauce. I followed their instructions though and they used a few different spices than I normally do – like fennel seed and parsley.

Any Italian sauce is recommended to have two meats. I learned that from Restaurant Impossible. So we had ground beef (from the cow we bought) and we had a country sausage (from the pig we bought.)

George had me add a rub to the sausage that made it “Italian sausage”. I couldn’t tell you what was in it. I’d have to ask him. He’s not in the room, lol.

The meat and seasonings had to cook for an hour and half. And then I went ahead and made the cream sauce, which was an egg, Ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese. With fresh parsley added in. I think that was it. I’m trying to recall from memory.

Here is the link:

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/23600/worlds-best-lasagna/

Then I boiled the noodles up for 8 minutes and ran cold water over them so they would stop cooking.

So we had our Happy Hour Zoom call with friends – in which we kept losing our connection (one time it was their laptop that died though) and we had to switch to Face Time. I can never seem to stay connected on Zoom though. Grr. We did not have a problem with Face Time I noted.

After the call I went and layered up the lasagna while the stove preheated. It was fun! I loved making this. I loved layering it in. You layer in your sliced mozarella. I loved that we bought the kind already sliced. I still pinched apart some though to spread it out across the layers more evenly. It baked 25 min with the foil on and 25 with the foil off.

George said it was really good and if “the house chef” says it’s good, that is a good thing.

George made a wedge salad with fresh made ranch dressing. I love that stuff.

He also made green beans.

I began videoing a few things yesterday for the “next” video. This is just crazy.

I also worked hard on the audio for the video this weekend, a chunk of it done yesterday and I’m almost finished. Gosh I lose time when I am working on these videos. I enjoy this process so much.

Some of my “missing files” in iMovie came back. My sound effects. I wish my music would come back. Once this last video is done, I’ll try to see if I can delete and download. I think I read it was $15? But if it recognizes me it will know I have an account and maybe let me have it. I could contact Apple I guess. I think somehow I deleted the files that came with iMovie when I deleted my own media files from the last project. Geez. I selected “All” and I only meant for it to select the files from my project. I didn’t know it was selecting all files from iMovie. Such a learning curve.

I’m realizing very quickly how hard this is going to be to do it the right way to grow the channel. But after my post yesterday. I’m not going to push myself. That takes the fun out of it. I’m going to create the channel. I will work on it and publish to it. I will learn and dabble and play. And at some point it will become a natural process and I’ll be in a better position to commit to a schedule. If I were to commit to one now it would be 1 video per month. lol. Plus I’m doing fairly complicated videos b/c I’m trying to piece chunks of time together to tell a story and much of it all just non related. I mean going from COVID to new toilet to family visiting, to dinner. There was a lot to cram in and “piece together”. I should have it finished today. If not sometime this week. I need to begin logging my hours on it.

But the process I use of creating an iMovie is something like this:

  • Pulling in the photos and videos to a file on iMac from my photos (shared b/w phone and imac)
  • Pulling in that said file into iMovie
  • Adding the photos and videos into the timeline in the order that I think I will use it.
  • Going through each video clip and clipping out what I don’t want in there.
  • Going through each photo and selecting how I want it to be. Either selecting it to fill the screen or using Ken Burns which makes the photo move. I adjust the “Beginning and End” to the movement so it floats over the right spots.
  • Add in overlays such as titles, text, logos, pictures, pictures within a picture, or a picture that comes in while the video is playing.
  • There are options for using graphics with a transparent background so it shows over the pic also. Have to go outside of iMovie for that.
  • Picking out the music. I seem to use 3 or for songs in mine. I’m not sure if that is normal, but I don’t use the whole songs – just clips of it – usually the beginning.
  • Adding in the music to the timeline.
  • The whole time I’m working with the audio to make sure the clips sound constant at the same levels so those who are watching do not have to turn up and down the volume while they watch. I’m splitting audio clips in order to make some of the music go down lower while we are talking. Sometimes I’m finding these are hard to do.
  • Then I do a final run through and still make tons of changes.
  • Then I do the upload to my iMac and cross fingers.
  • Then I replay it after the upload b/c sometimes files get damaged or the sound ends up being different and I have to go back in and adjust.
  • Then I upload it to YouTube
  • Then I upload it to the blog
  • Then I upload it to the Facebook Group for Less Hustle More Coffee

So…it is quite the process. But I’ve fallen in love with it. I want to do the Next one in Movavi! I DID look at creating Thumbnails. Of course if you don’t create one they will do it for you. (YouTube will). But when you post all the time it’s recommending that you do your own and have consistent font and such. That’s for another day. For the future. I don’t want to get any more overwhelmed. But when I post on a schedule, that will be a good idea. Right now, I just have to have fun with it. Not pushing myself!

I thought about things yesterday and I do have some topics that I can focus on to grow the channel when I’m ready to do so. As I go about the house I can see some things that I would love to talk about. Mainly related to:

Decorating on a budget, setting up a home office space, how to get organized, time management tips, ways to chill out when you are stressed, new apps I like. These are all the things I blog about just not in bullet form. So I will figure this thing out and it’ll be fun. The whole thing is to be fun, but…to have some goals with it. I like to reach goals. I think that is why I have a to do list. It makes me feel I’m worthwhile. 😉 I had been stuck on the niche thing because I’m all over the place on this blog. I will call it a reality lifestyle blog and then mention in the description that I share (the above things I mention). I’ll put those as key words in the description and tags of the YouTube set up. You do this in your settings when describing your channel.

Anyway, once I get the video finished I will start working on setting up the new channel.

Ahhh these weekends go by too fast. Dang it. I can’t believe it’s Monday already. But alas, it’s only a 4 day weeker – a busy one too as I prep for the Holiday payroll the following week and it’s a month end pay date coming up which means that beginning Wednesday I will start paying off the taxes for those that are monthly paid. So a very busy week.

And I’ll end here so I can get a few things done in the house and get this iMovie done. And if it all works out this week I can finally begin to knock some things off my list. I’ve been avoiding the to do list while working on the iMovies. Also feel like I’m shirking my responsibilities because I love the editing process so much, that I often even forget to eat. I do eventually go find crackers to munch on. But I could lose weight doing it, lol.

Ya’ll have a wonderful Memorial Day. And I am thinking of those that fought to protect us today and served. Thank the Lord for such a beautiful weekend. Now I’ve got to check and see how Katy’s ranch cat “Ford” is doing.

Now that Memorial Day is here, for us in the South. Summer has officially arrived. And the heat will begin with it.

And I kinda have an itch to get out and do some things. Do you? What you gonna do this summer?