Thursday, February 19, 2009

Foodie Friday: No Fuss, Minimal Carbs

Welcome to the 1st Foodie Friday at Gollum's. Already, Blogland is filled with delicious smells. I can't wait for the Potluck to begin! Yesterday, I set the table in preparation for the no cook, low carb, no fuss Chicken Salad dinner.

Of all my dishes, I love my white ironstone best. Here, I've mixed the Baroque with V&B's Allegro. I couldn't find a humongous platter, so for the main dish, I used the base of the floral tureen.

Next, I added napkins. The napkin rings are from K-Mart, and they have delicate beading around the edges.

Napkins by April Cornell for Danica (100% cotton)

I put nuts into the tiny dish in the upper left hand corner. If you're like me, you prefer extra pecans with your chicken salad.

Ironstone lends itself to layering.

Okay, enough Dish Pontificating. We're here to eat, drink, and be extremely merry. It's time to cook, or, as it happens today, time to garnish the storebought food.

I often serve iced tea in wineglasses. Somehow it tastes better, and the ice makes a pleasing sound as it clinks against the thin glass, reminding me of windchimes.

For the main dish, I bought a deli roasted chicken and made chicken salad.

Coral servers by Mariposa

My mother always says when you buy a deli chicken, the secret is to garnish like mad. So that's what I did.

It took under five minutes to make the chicken salad and the garnish. One time my mother timed me. She can do it in under 4 minutes, and she will turn 81 in a few days.


  • 1 deli roasted chicken (skin removed, meat cut into messy chunks) mayonnaise (I used 2 T mayonnaise and a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice, between 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoon.

  • toasted pecans (1/4 c, reserving some for garnish)

  • chopped celery and onion (I like my salad crunchy, so I used 1/4 c)

  • 1 scant teaspoon No Sugar Added relish, or dill relish

  • garnish with Italian parsley, lemons, tomatoes, 1 million lettuce leaves, cucumber slices

  • salt and pepper
CARB COUNT: Who knows? Mayonnaise- 0 carbs; celery (scant carbs--there are 3 carbs in a cup of chopped celery); onions (1/4 c chopped onion has 4 carbs, and I used mainly celery, so I refuse to count these carbs; pecans (1/2 cup chopped pecans has approximately 7 carbs); chicken: 0 carbs--if no sugar or glazes were used during prep...I usually buy a plain chicken and skip the mesquite, etc.

Next, I brought out my normal sized cookie cutters and made low-carb finger sandwiches.

Here's an umbrella of sorts :-)

A sunshine (can you see his green onion eyes and flat mouth?)

Low-Carb Finger sandwiches

  • Healthy Life high fiber bread, 6 net carbs/35 calories per slice

  • Duke's Mayo (0 carbs)

  • Italian parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers

  • Hungarian paprika (sprinkle over finger sandwiches)

  • assorted cookie cutters

Dr. Gollum was getting antsy at this point.

For a side dish, I made a simple fruit bowl--blueberries and raspberries--with a squirt of lemon juice, then I lined the bowl with lemon slices.

My mother adds Splenda to her fruit--and Grand Marnier. Talk about sublime.

I'm sure hoping that someone brought a real dessert. Otherwise, we only have Espresso Cream Puffs.

Dr. Gollum says they taste like ice cream cones.

Super Fast, Semi-low carb Espresso Cream Puffs

  • Siljans Croustades Crispy Shells (serving size 8 shells, 3 servings per container, 7 carbs per serving (I'm loving this--if the math is wrong, PLEASE don't tell me. ;-)
  • Redi-whip extra creamy (extra creamy has <1>
  • espresso powder (grind espresso beans or buy tiny package of espresso powder)

Squirt whipped cream into shells, garnish with little sprinkles of espresso powder. Simple! (Eat immediately--these do not like to be made ahead of time...the Redi-whip will deflate.)

While you all are here, I wanted you all to see the pond. When the light hits just right, it's dazzling.

Mister says, Let's go see what everyone else is bringing to the Potluck.

Shall we take a walk around the blogs and see what's cooking?

A note about Mr. Linky:

If you'd like to participate in Foodie Friday, add your permalink blog entry (after you post your entry, click on the title, then cut and paste the link) and your name/blog name to Mr. Linky.

See you at the table!


  1. Wow...does this look good!!! I'm buying some deli chicken tomorrow and giving this a try! The lemons lining the bowl is soooooo that pic! I love seeing the pond shimmering in the distance...raise the blinds...raise the blinds...I want to see! :-) Did Mister get a taste? Am I going to gain weight visiting all the posts each week? LOL Love your Foodie Friday! Susan

  2. Just great Gollum love the chicken salad and under 4 minutes..girl your Mama must be quick...I think I am up and running now Gollum and thanks for what I know will be a fun Friday..Tell Mama "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" form me and you know I just love Mister..he is just darling...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria ps let me know if I did Mr. Linky right...

  3. Oh Gollum...I am amazed and inspired! You have such a gift for making food look like a work of art! I am encouraged that store-bought food can be helped along to be such a wonderful treat...encouraged because the chances of my cooking very much are slim..unlike what I will be when I read all of these posts! lol Thanks for hosting this new event!!...Debbie

  4. Table is especially lovely today, food is to die for ... and more flatware to covet! Hope my broccoli mold is a nice addition to all of delicious food we will be sampling! Save a plate for
    Dr. G and Mister too.....

  5. Oh I do so love chicken salad and with LOTS of nuts. Ok, I guess that raises the carbs a bit, but sometimes you just gotta. lol The desert looks wonderful, and how easy is that. I can't wait to try it. Great menu. Hugs,Marty

  6. This is too good to be true!What you did with that chichen is amazing,truly amazing.And I thought Sandra Lee was "it".Thanks for the show,again.

  7. What a lovely lunch. You are so talented and it is nice that you share that talent with everyone too!

    Now I want chicken salad. I like to add dried cranberries too.

    Roberta Anne

  8. Hi Gollum, :)
    It all sounds wonderful! I must try this salad very soon.
    We love espresso flavors as well.

    I didn't know about your new event. I'll join you next week since I don't have anything prepared tonight.

    Thanks for hosting!
    What a lovely idea.
    Funny enough I actually thought to myself about hosting a food event and calling it "Tasteful Tuesday" or something along those lines.

    We must be on the same wavelength.

    Warmly, ~Melissa :)

  9. Wow!! This is just incredible looking.. I think I need to back up and start over. This is a virtual work of art.. not only yummy looking but a feast for the eyes.. Looks like your Mother is going to be having a birthday in a couple of days.. so Happy Birthday to her... Thanks for hosting today Gollum...hugs ~lynne~

  10. Gollum, that looks like you took all day to fix that meal! You are good! It's so beautifully presented. Loved the table setting, and I could pontificate about dishes all the live-long day. Your coral-stemmed serving pieces are just killer, too.

    I'm going to have to try your recipes. I brought the cake to the party. Hope you like chocolate takeout...

    Sheila :-)

  11. Evening, Dear Gollum! Oh, this is the most elegant looking chicken salad I've ever seen! I did get caught up on your beautifully set table a bit! :) Love fruit and the circling of lemon slices is so pretty! This is wonderful.
    Oh, Dear Gollum, I'm a little embarrassed now after seeing your gorgeous masterpiece of food perfection. After you see what I've posted you may kick me out!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. Gollum,

    I really like this Foodie Friday and yours was just unbelievable because I also follow a low carb diet (lifestyle). It's really not hard or lacking excitement if you have the imagination. Love the carb count!

    Your dishes and silver are gorgeous, as are the napkin rings. Gotta love K-Mart!!

    Your finger sandwiches are a work of art~they have to take some time but are well worth it.

    Dessert, mouthwatering. I love raspberries, blueberries and Reddi Whip, heaven!

    Thanks for coming up with Foodie Friday. I think I will join in next Friday! :-)


  13. Thanks so much for hosting this event!
    I love that it looks beautiful, you promise it's easy peasy, and I'm sure it's delicious. This is exactly what I needed to make hosting not sooo scary. :)

  14. My goodness I think I am drooling. The little sandwiches look so good, I have got to make these. And the table setting is divine as usual, you have such an eye for the special touches. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  15. you've got me cracking up at garnish the store bot... but it looks terrific, a gorgeous salad and placesetting! your finger sandwiches are darling, i adore your umbrella. and your fruit shots, omg you have so mastered food! and to think you gaze out at a pond... i am jealous, so jealous! never seen your cups before, they look fast and fun. super duper kick off to your ff, loved seeing it all, congrats on your new food success!

  16. ok...Now I am a tad embararassed at my simple entry...yours is outa this world!!! How beautiful and delicious looking!

    Thanks for having this cool Foodie Friday!

  17. Oh my gosh you are a food arteest(artist)! Even your photographs are beautiful.

  18. Beautiful tea sandwiches! I adore chicken salad, yours looks great. Like the idea of the Grand Marnier in the fruit also! Thanks for this event, Jewel

  19. First I love the pond view! The dishes are wonderful, as is the flatware. The chicken salad look beautiful and so yummy! I love the sunshine, and umbrella sandwiches! Great idea! I love the garnish you have used. I need to start garnishes! I always wait for summer when we are going gardens. But I have a lot of herbs and bay tree growing. I could go that way!
    Now I just love that you use wine glasses for the tea! I love to drink from a wine glass. My son-in-law would go home and tell my daughter, your Mama is drinking wine everytime I pick up the kids and even in the mornings when I drop the kids off. While working on the road traveling and trying to stay off sweet drinks. I drank koolaid which is only a few calories, in my wine glass. Our employess were telling everyone I drank wine on the job. I finally had to let them taste the koolaid! lol I just love wine glasses! The desert looks great too. I would love to have a puppie like Mister. He is so adorable.

  20. Beautiful as always! Thank you creating Foodie Friday!

  21. Oh my word!!! That looks so good! I ate dinner, but am starved now!
    :-) I love a good chicken salad. I can make a good deli roasted chicken go a long way. Have a great evening.

  22. This all looks wonderful! I know this is supposed to be about the food, but I adore those coral servers! Ok back to the food, love the idea of lining the fruit bowl with lemon slices! I never would have thought of that, but it looks beautiful. Thanks for hosting this event, it's been alot of fun. Now I'm going to go see what everyone else brought. Kathy (Happy Birthday to your Mom!)

  23. How exciting to be participating in the very first Foodie Friday! As always, you do everything "over the top"...and perfect!!

    I made chicken salad today...almost identical to yours...but I tossed in some red grapes cut in half... we had so many (they looked so good in the store..and I was hungry when I shopped)...loved the added sweet!

    We have pounds and pounds of pecans "from the farm" (in-laws family place) I add pecans to many things!

    Darn, I just remembered I had an apricot chicken salad recipe I wanted to try... (I looked online after I saw you had it in a puff pastry at your book party) Ah well, another time...

    Looks like Foodie Friday is a success...congrats!


  24. Looks so gourmet! As the old saying goes...presentation makes all the difference. I think you've done a beautiful job. I am going to try your chicken salad recipe!

  25. Oh I love chicken salad and pecans. Everything looks so beautiful and delicious. The dessert is pretty and light and easy. Hooray! I love the Mariposa serve ware. Perfect luncheon, Pam

  26. I love that you start with a rotisserie easy is that?! Everything looked almost too good to eat. I'm hungry now and it's almost midnight! Linda

  27. I got lost coming to the party and couldn't find Mr Linky... But I found my way and I'm here now!

    Gollum! Everything looks wonderful and thanks for the low carb adorable finger sandwiches!

    This was fun, I was telling my daughter about it and she wants to blog now too!


  28. Mr. Linky has a major malfunction!
    Mr. Linky doesn't likey Gollum. I've put in an urgent help request.
    I'm so sorry!

  29. This is just stunning! I love the recipes and what a beautiful view of your pond. I want to see more, love the flatware and all the other goodies. Cindy

  30. You're so very clever & your pictures are stunning!

    I've linked twice & I think I'm on the list now. ♥ Diane

  31. G... love your table and recipe for chicken salad. I have friends that own a kosher bakery in Dallas that use a similar recipe but put walnuts instead of pecans... I'm tryin' the pecans tomorrow!

    I love that twiggy flatware... but is it really still flatware if it's twiggy? confused... blessings. Dixie

  32. I thought I did it, Gollum! I was trying to visit everyone, and then they suddenly disappeared. I was thinking, "Was it something I said?" LOL! Whew!


    Sheila :-)

  33. Wow! What a beautiful presentation of the food and it looks so delicious too....Christine

  34. You are fabulous! I have so much to learn!!!

  35. Gollum, it appears that Mr. Linky got into the liquor cabinet while we were all out visiting. ;-)
    It looks as if the Sheladies are trying to overrun your blog! There are three of us now... only in reality, there are really just two: Eila and Elia.

    There are also two Dianes... but there really ARE two Dianes.

    This is like musical chairs. I come back around, and someone is bumped. But it's actually a fun challenge! LOL!

    Are you sure you and Mr. Linky aren't doing this on purpose???

    Enquiring minds...


    Eila :-)

  36. I am all about the low carbs, so I will definitely have to try these out! Especially since I have so much time on my hands now!


  37. Hi Gollum, Your lunch looks yummy! Such a pretty presentation. Only you can make a store bought chicken irresistible! ~ Robyn

  38. Hello Gollum, Congrats on your First Foodie Friday, I think Dr Gollum, young Bandwith, Mama Gollum and Misty are going to enjoy these Foodie Fridays as much as we are. The Chicken salad, fruit, finger sarnies and cream puffs look delicious. Your table is stunning as always. more delicious dishes and napkins. Have fun, hugs, Kathy.

  39. Your Ironstone is the most beautiful I have ever seen. Thank you for the closeups of! And the flatware...SO unique!! The touch of Spring color in the napkins..and then..because it doesn't even need it...NO placemats! PERFECT!
    Your food is presented so beautifully! You even used the color in the food to add to the entire effect. Sigh.... :)

  40. I could start a whole blog about my night with Mr. Linky.

    I am so sorry about the doubles and triples. I lost ALL of the links, and Susan kept me company and walked me through it. When the links went missing, I uttered a cry that was heard round the world. This was worse than my cookie debacle!!!!!

    Susan told me how to find them on Mr. Linky's secret page. lol

    I keyed them in one by one, and then I keyed them in again. And again.


  41. Dear Gollum, I can't imagine how freaky this whole Linky experience was .... hope you got at least a few hours of good, deep sleep!

  42. Hi Gollum- Hope that the Mr. Linky problem is fixed and that I did this all correctly. I discovered the store cooked chickens last gardening season and it was love at first taste. What a delicious time saver! Your dinner looks scrumptous. My tea is nowhere near that calorie conscious, but Lent is coming and we'll have to behave a bit. Thanks so much for doing this...Just love it! Nancy

  43. Thank you for fixing Mr Linky's problem.And thank you Susan. I'm afraid I didn't get all fancy like you, what a beautiful table. I,m going to copy your recipe for the chicken salad in my Blogland folder. It looks delish. I'm just bringing a dessert of Banana Pudding, but the recipe is almost 60 years old. LOL I wouldn't know how to begin to entertain like that, I'm just an ole country girl. :)


  44. Mmmm... I just love chicken salad! I'm not sure how I feel about having nuts in it, but it'd be worth a try. But just 2T of mayo for all that chicken? Where's the fun in that? It sure did look pretty though! OMG, my stomach is growling!

    Justine :o )

  45. This was a great I am off to find more dishes!

  46. Your blog is exquisite. Magazine worthy photographs, food to die for,the sweetest everything. Thank you for all the love you put into your presentations. Stop over to my blog one day. I would love that.
    With all good wishes.

  47. Good Morning Gollum,

    I did manage to post a recipe on my blog, but I'll have to come back and check out yours better and to view the others. Our son is here and I'm spedning as much time with him as I can.

    Your table and the food looks fantastic. I'll be back.......


  48. This looks like the perfect menu to treat my friends this spring! The table setting is lovely, too!

  49. Hi Gollum,
    what a wonderful event and your photos are just fabulous!!! I had to cheat today I hope you'll forgive me. I'm so sorry you had all that trouble with Mr.Linky, I know how frustrating that can be, I've had times in the past when he was driving me insane.

  50. Everything looks wonderful..I made it..:)

  51. It's my first visit to your blog and I'm so happy to find you and your new Foodie Friday! This should be a fun way to start the weekend.

  52. This looks absolutely delicious. I have an idea I'll be making chicken salad very soon!

    Fabulous presentation!

  53. What a success your first Foodie Friday is...congrats! Wish I had been able to play along but I will be next week. Your food looks incredible (I'm soo going to make those espresso cream puffs!) but that photo of the light on the pond outside your window made my jaw drop. You captured it perfectly!

  54. Gollum, so how I just know that you could make "Dirt" look good enough to eat! What a way you have with the garnishes. Somehow lemons and limes do, do the trick.
    We use grapes in our chicken salad and my daughter says that way I don't have to serve a dessert. But the other daughter says mom sneeks in an extra dessert. I am always afraid to try that link stuff afraid that I would end up losing stuff for other bloggers. Maybe Susan can post the directions for us!. Thank you for the invite to the party;even though I just ate everyones dish. lol

  55. Ok, I got lost a little bit, but I'm ok now...

    I hope I'm not late for the potluck! Your food looks yummy! Beautiful pictures, too!


  56. Gollum, I have never laughed so hard in all my life. Technology is always a challenge, and I have been on many a blog event where Mr. Linky's name was akin to dirt. ;-) LOL!

    I think you did a fabulous job, and I had a lot of fun. Pretty sure I have visited everyone before I have to leave "here" to go "there" for a weekend event. But I'll check back in later for people who link up later.

    Thank you for hosting us. I enjoyed myself at your party!


    Sheila :-)

  57. What a beautiful post Gollum and a great event to get non Foodies cooking or at least thinking of food. I have a food blog so it will be easy for me!! I hope I did Mr. Linky right as this is my first even of this kind. Thanks again for the open invite!

  58. Oh, my...I knocked and knocked at your door and never could get in....but...hope to this time.
    Your table, your food, your pond...EVERY SINGLE THING IS JUST PERFECT !! YOU are perfect and I am getting flustered thinking how REDNECK my food post is today compared to your MASTERPIECE ! Oh, dear...well, I think blogs take on the owners personality and I love that...anyway, I am pretty sure I AM a redneck...I am loving this Foodie Friday and be prepared to find lots of Redneck things to eat from my cottage.
    Thanks so much for doing is so fun, I can't get away from my computer and I GOT THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO GO...PEOPLE TO SEE...
    hugs, bj

  59. Honey you never cease to amaze and delight!!!!! Your idea of the deli chicken is wonderful. I love chicken salad SOOO mmuch, and now will make it all the time since I don't have to cook a cheicken!!!!!!!! DUUUUHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!:):) The pond pic is gorgeous and your table is FAB...once again! I know I am going to LOVE these Fri. posts!!!! Hugs, Pinky

  60. When food looks this pretty, it almost doesn't matter what it tastes like. So much inspiration in this post! If I had made my food look this pretty this week, I would have had a posting for today. I had to go to a meeting last night and I knew there would be food there and thought I'd take pictures of that food for my contribution to Foodie Friday, but forgot my camera! Hopefully next week I can join the fun. laurie

  61. Everything looks and sounds so scrumptous Gollum!
    The ice tea especially is appealing. Not so much because I am a tea-tottler but up here it is still the Hot Chocolate Season :)
    (Your President who visited us yesterday can vouch for that.)

    Thanks for sharing these foodie inspirations. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! -Brenda-

  62. Gollum, I came back for a second look while my house is peaceful and quiet. (Jacob is in school....boy can that kid talk, talk, talk -LOL). Your tablesetting is beautiful. I can see why your ironstone is your favorite. I haven't been to K-mart in years. The one closest to me is not in the best of locations, if you know what I mean. Did you find your little crispy shells at the grocery store? I bet the girls at work would like these as a quick little lunchtime dessert. ~ Robyn

  63. You have such a beautiful post...looks divine and chicken salad sounds so good...I've joined in and found out how much work this actually is...but it is fun and I need to be challenged...

  64. goodness me! this is a huge success!!! congrats gollum!!!
    the food looks fantastic ...must try this myself!

  65. This is heavenly! You truly have a gift of not only preparing but photograping perfection. I can hardly wait to try these out on my family. So delicious!
    Thanks for hosting this fun party!
    Next time I will come better prepared.


  66. I am so buying chicken and trying this recipe this weekend. Thanks for dropping by my blog yesterday! SO sweet of you...and glad b/c I found your blog and am now a follower.

    Love your blog!

  67. Gollum - Thank you so much for hosting this event..sorry I'm late but this was just too important to pass up!!
    Can't wait to view all the sights...

  68. I've enjoyed being part of the first Foodie Friday, Gollum! Wonderful idea!

    Your presentation is spectacular and I like how everyhting is low carb -- something I should be following a little more than I do.

    Looking forward to looking at everyone'e contribution and joining in again next week. Thanks!

  69. Gollum, Thank for hosting Foodie Friday, this is my first such event I have participated in, Iam a bloggy newbie. I am just not sure how to allow people to come to my site and then click your name and have them taken here to your site? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sue

  70. This is a top notch pot luck. Love how you made yours fabulous and easy... I love easy! Thanks for hosting!

  71. Evening, Dear Gollum. I just wanted to say how much fun Foodie Friday has been. I do believe you have a hit! Thanks for being the hostess with the mostess. By the way, you know we're all going to get really fat now! lol
    Be a sweetie,

  72. Dearest Gollum, This has been such a wonderful event! Thank you so much for hosting it!

    Perhaps you could put your Mr Linky debaucle experience in your next book. Think you might have a blogger addict character in the next story??? ☺


  73. I added to the potluck at Pat from Mille Fiore Favoriti suggestion...hope it isn't too late...the chicken salad looks does the glass of wine!

  74. Gloria, I'm going to have a wee word with Dr. G. lol Or Mister will bite him!

    Oliag, it's never too late to add a recipe. I will add your name to the pot next week for the drawing.

  75. Thanks so much to all of my blogging friends, new and old, for joining the potluck at the First Foodie Friday.

    I had a major kerfuffle with Mr. Linky, and all of the links vanished. I typed them in one by one, but, knowing what a terrible typist I am, I prolly made a mistake or five. Please let me know if I entered your blog link wrong, or if, during the wild dance with Mr. Linky, I missed your recipes and pictures of food.
    Have a great weekend!


  76. How is it one can miss what SEEMS like "just 1/2 day", but MISS SOOO MUCH??? Oh my gooooooness, just catching up here is INCREDIBLY & DELICIOUSLY MOUTH-WATERING! Can't wait to visit all the OTHER gals'/guys' postings as time permits this weekend! W-O-W, you NEVER fail to amaze me!!! Love, Linda

  77. Look out Martha & Paula ~ Gollum is in the house, ie, in the KITCHEN! Everything looks so beautiful! My DH is really the cook in our house ~ I might just turn him onto the blogs if I showed him THIS post!

    Sweet chicken salad sandwiches (my fav) & delish looking lemon-lined fruit bowl. The layered ironstone is stunning!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents