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Friday, May 29, 2009

True Confessions: Hooked On Dishes and A Food Post-Mortem

Yay, it's Friday! Bring on the weekend.
But first, let me confess . . .
"My name is Cass, and I am a dishaholic."

I am also participating in Julia's "Hooked On" Friday blog party, at her absorbing Hooked On Houses blog. Click here!
And I've got a recipe, of sorts, for Gollum's Foodie Friday. No great pics, and one of the items is actually plucked from the trash, but -- well, see for yourself, and also see much much better food stories right here, at Designs By Gollum!

Dishes. I have a lot.
Witness the old walnut cupboard at the end of my kitchen:

Open the doors if you dare,
to find stacks and stacks of Christmas dishes, and
even Christmas flatware (wrapped in the yellow plastic).

There is very little upper cabinet storage in this kitchen. We plan to build open shelves on one wall, to hold much of this china clutter. It ain't pretty, and it should be.
I think there are 7 different patterns represented on these shelves.

In the dining room, the big pine breakfront does its bit for the cause:

There's that new Aynsley pattern I got at the hospital thrift shop:

And my oodles of Mikasa Far East; I confess I just got another service for 8 on Ebay for $25.

Wedgwood, rummage sale tea cups, and assorted glassware,

and underneath? Noooo.... don't look!

I warned you. Stuffed with white Thanksgiving china (embossed Della Robia type borders), and in the upper right corner, a stack of old Limoges plates with pink roses.

Look to the left of the Limoges -- clear fish platters!

Mikasa Ribbon Pink behind a side door:

The rest of it is tucked behind the Christmas dishes in the old walnut kitchen cupboard!

Across the dining room, my grandmother's china cabinet, a hodgepodge of bits and pieces, including. . .

yes! More of that old Limoges -- some plates, and bouillon cups!

A small stack of Far East dinner plates rests on the sideboard,
waiting to be tucked away in the breakfront:

We used those plates several nights ago, when we had a dinner guest on a night I did not feel like cooking. So I took an easy way out. No, not takeout food, but the next best thing:

Baked Salsa Chicken

Never heard of it? Neither had I, till I made it up a few months ago.
It's a foolproof chicken dish that cooks up easily -- my kind of everyday meal.

I don't have a picture of the finished item, but I can show you what we used.
Literally, what we used. I didn't take pictures of the cooking either, but I have evidence that I can show you.

You need chicken. I find that frozen boneless, skinless breasts or tenderloins work best. Here's the remains of the package I used, from Target of all places, and still in my freezer:

And you will need. . . Salsa. Thank goodness we recycle.
Using my best forensic investigator skills, I found this in the bin:

We use the Mild, but you can kick it up.

And you can use this:

Shredded cheese. We use sharp cheddar or a Tex-Mex mix,
but it's not critical what cheese you use, or even if you use it.

Method: Preheat your oven to 450-degrees.

Spray the bottom of a shallow baking pan with cooking spray, and add a very thin layer of salsa. Plop in the frozen chicken, in a single layer.

Dump on the rest of the salsa, and smoosh it over the top of the frozen chicken. I used two small jars the other night, for a lot of chicken.

Cover the whole mess with foil, and pop into the hot oven. Set your timer for 45 minutes, and go walk your dog or read a good decorating magazine. Don't start drinking yet; you aren't done and will be playing with hot food.

When the timer dings, take off the foil, reset the oven for 350-degrees, and reset your timer for 30 minutes. You can take a long fork and wiggle the chicken around a little bit if you have an urge to feel needed.

When that timer dings, pull out the baking pan, stir up the salsa and chicken a bit, and then sprinkle on whatever cheese you want, as much as you want, and put back into the oven. When the cheese melts, you have dinner.

We served this with Spanish Rice, and roasted broccoli. The chicken was fork tender, and every bit was gobbled up. I overcooked the roasted broccoli almost to the point of burning it, and discovered that it is fabulous that way -- crunchy florets! Serendipity.

Dion DiPoochy says it was delicious. Well, at least it smelled delicious. He is asking someone to call the authorities to stop the abuse; why, why, why is it always dog food?

Have a lovely weekend! Howard and I are planning an early traffic-avoiding start and heading out to the family beach house tomorrow; we need to get it ready for the season! I'll take pictures -- Cass


  1. Do you have enough dishes or what*?? (smile) Well, I too love dishes, and I loved seeing your collection. The Baked Salsa Chicken sounds good*! I'm thinking I'm going to have to give that a try*! Yum* _Ashley*

  2. Yep! I'd say you have a few dishes. :) The chicken sounds delicious. There is that sweet face again!

  3. Oh the lovely dishes - I love all of them. I had almost as many dishes as you do - but when we moved I sold several sets and gave away my pink willow - which I dreadfully regret. I had gotten them at yard sales and flea markets and could never replace them for the same amount. I just go crazy when we move - I get so tired of packing and moving that I get rid of stuff just to not have to deal with it. Aaarrggghhhh - don't let me near dishes when moving. I still have plenty left- but I miss the ones I got rid of - whatever possessed me? I'll enjoy what I have - and probably over time will replace some of what I got rid of.

    I love your display furniture - just lovely.

  4. Yeah, Cass, you gots it bad!
    Someone might need to stage an intervention! I'm kidding, of course!
    I'm going to need a Starbucks City Mug intervention. How many coffee mugs does a person need, anyway!

  5. You definitely deserve the dishaholic award! Just wanted to let you know I'll be posting my porch party the night before and then you all you have to do is sign in with mr linky.
    Hugs Rhondi

  6. I can just picture you sifting through the recycling bin, CSI-style with gloves and a flashlight!

    You, my friend, are the DISH QUEEN. I thought my mom had a dish "thing" but you put us to shame. I'm actually in awe of your collection, much less that you actually have places to stash them.

    If it were me they'd be in boxes tucked all over the house. :)

    And the poor starving pup - he and Gizmo could share their stories.

    Have a great weekend!


  7. Not only do you have a lot of dishes, but they are all gorgeous too!!

    I really need to find another antique china cabinet so I can display ALL the dishes I have - - - well, maybe I need TWO for that. hehehehehehehehe

  8. Girl, you sure you do not have any hiding underneath the bed! lol Yes, you have the dishes! You could open a B&B with all those dishes! lol I love them! Good for you! I promised Hubby I was going to stop! But I went and bought my 6 piece set of French dinner plates and black transferware! He helped me make a shelf for them, I guess he thought they had been here! lol I did buy 7 floral pattern plates at a garage sale and he was with me! For 25 cents each he did not complain! I did pass up a couple of great sets. I knew better! lol

  9. At least if you are Dishaholic (and I am one), YOU have wonderful places to store yours! I want that breakfront. It is gorgeous! The chicken sounds so good, and I love the way you wrote the recipe for us! I saved it, so I can make the chicken AND I can smile while I read your recipe. laurie

  10. Holy Dishes!!!! I don't think you will ever run low, and the chicken sounds delicious too.

  11. Cass you crack me up! Don't start drinkin' yet...LOL!
    It sure sounds easy peasy and delish!

    Can I come shopping at your house for gorgeous dishes? Woweee! You sure have some beautiful collections of them.

    Have a fun beach weekend.
    ~Melissa :)

  12. Actually, I think we might be tied for the title of who is the most seriously addicted. I do have some stored under furniture in flat boxes, etc... and let's don't even talk about all those I have given away or sold over the years. I'm not sure an intervention would help at this point.


  13. Good grief girl you need a 12 steps program for sure...and here I thought I had alot of dishes hey I'm a novice compared to you my friend ha ha!!Now tell me you use paper plates and I'll die...May you have a great weekend my friend...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  14. Sounds fantastic! I love the way you did the pictures of it - very cute!
    And now to the dish concern. They do have a 12 step program for that and it includes not taking a step into a flea markets, garage sales, Home Goods, or to the end aisles at Target.

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. And I thought I was addicted to collecting tea win hands down or should I say dish down:)

  16. Cass my dear...I read through all the comments before mine and they all missed one critical point. These are just the dishes at your house.

    WHAT ABOUT THE ONES AT THE BEACH HOUSE?I'll bet you have a couple pieces there don't you.

  17. Haha... Lori, yes, there ARE dishes at the Beach House. I am not taking pictures of them! Guilty as charged.


  18. Wow! I'd say you have alot of dishes! I like them all!

  19. This is a great recipe. I serve it on a bed of shredded lettuce - yummy!

  20. You could open up shop for sure... and actually make a profit with selling just half the dishes you have! :) What a fabulous collection you have there!

    Thanks for visiting my blog today!:) I hope you get chance to try the Pasta Salad! You will love it! :)

    Your recipe looks very easy and good! (Quick too!!!!) I will have to try it! I will have to have a Tex Mex night real soon!

    Donna Marie

  21. Yes, you do have a lot of dishes, but I would love everyone of them. I think I am a dishaholic too. I keep going to GW and bringing home more. I just can't seem to help myself. Your chicken sounds soooooo good. I will definitely give it a try. Hugs, Marty

  22. Yes you have many dishes,,,but there is always room for more! The chicken sounds good! Happy Foodie Friday! Have a great weekend ~ Susan

  23. OMG Cass,
    Thank-you for this lovely post! I am running to get hubby right now so that he can see that I really haven't bought that much yet! hehe. But honestly, they are all beautiful and the furniture is fab too. Hugs, Cindy

  24. I "need" to know what those two large platters standing on their side in the the walnut cupboard are :) You need and inventory system. Maybe you are better than I am--I am forever forgetting where I hide (I mean store :) my dishes!

  25. Do they offer 12 step meetings for dishaholics in your area? Omgoodness, you sure do have lots a dishes! I must say TT has been the impetus for my new 'little issue'.

    I give the chicken-salsa recipe a two thumbs up and will be on my next dinner menu. I mean, what's not to like?????

    Your little poochy has the sweetest little face...give that baby some chicken....

    Nashville, TN

    P.S. I forgot to mention....your house is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! It reminds me of the old farm house I grew up in.

  26. You do love dishes, indeed. Wow. Have a wonderful time at the beach house!

  27. Cass, that is some collection! And I thought I was a dishaholic. I have nothing on you! Wowie!

    Love your Far East pattern. Lovely!

  28. Is there a gene? Maybe it really is in our DNA. Your collection is a thing of beauty........and all that dish storage space! Bliss!

  29. You have an addiction, all right!!! Isn't it fun? Your recipe sounds good, and anyone who uses the word, "Plop," fits right in w/my method of cooking.... Sue

  30. Hi Cass!

    What a terrific blog! So glad I found you! I do love your dish collection, but I especially love the cabinets. The patina on the wood is gorgeous. Such beautiful pieces!

    And how cute is Dion! Much better looking than my Cavalier Buddy. Also, thanks much for your post on my blog. How nice of you to take time to send a note.


  31. A few loaves and fishes and I think you could feed 5000. :)

  32. Cass, you are a dish a holic and we are your support group. We could go around the circle and all repeat the same phrase. :)

    Your chicken recipe sounds delicious! I make something similar. Boneless skinless chicken, one package of taco seasoning, one or two cans of Rotel. Cook in crock pot all day. Shred chicken and we make tacos.

    Oh, your new banner is gorgeous!! I just love your house.

  33. Hi Cass,
    Your such a sweetie! Actually, hubby is bringing home a piece today that has more storage for my dishes and such. I am getting the disease! I just looked at my wardrobe and decided maybe I should work on that a bit. I am kind of lacking there. Have a lovely week-end, Cindy

  34. Your breakfront is gorgeous! Love it! Linda

  35. I so want to have more dishes but I DON"T have a place for them!! None at all!! I have room for my service for 12 of everyday and that is about it! I see so many awesome pieces, sets etc...I have to just smack my hand!!

    Thanks for sharing and that recipe sound good!!

  36. Hello Cass! I am a fellow dishaholic if in mind and heart only. I only have 3 complete sets of dishes but just love to look at dishes, admire dishes, pretend to order dishes, and then stop. I have a small house and have no where to put them...but, oh...if I did. :)

    I also loved the picture of your dog...what a handsome boy!

  37. Wow, your house is so beautiful.

    Your chinaware collection is HUGE - We currently have about 10 dishes (we're only two people) and not one of them fits in our dishwasher. Very unfair!

  38. Hi Cass,
    Just discovered your blog through the Hooked on Fridays blog party. I love your house it looks so beautiful in your banner. Looks like a place you would go for a big family reunion or picnic. As far as your condition (dishaholic), I can relate. I love dishes, too! I love that feeling of finding some obscure serving piece on eBay. It IS a sickness. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Egads!! I am seriously suffering from dish envy. Oh yes. It is a rather serious affliction with no known can lessen the pain by shopping for tableware but it never really goes away. Sad really.

    You lucky duck you!

    Mmm...that salsa chicken sounds good! Must try it!



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