Michele’s Review – Italian Chicken Spread From “Hometown Christmas” By Gooseberry Patch

Welcome back to “40 Days of Joy” after a weekend off.

Are you attending a Christmas party this weekend?  Then here is perfect recipe from Gooseberry Patch’s “Hometown Christmas.”

Italian Chicken Spread

Patrice Lindsey

Lockport, IL

Gooseberry Patch

“Hometown Christmas”

This makes a yummy appetizer or luncheon spread.

13 oz can chicken, drained or 1 1/2 c. cooked chicken

1/3 c. mayonnaise

1/3 c. Italian salad dressing

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 t.  Italian seasoning

crackers or lightly toasted Italian bread slices

Place chicken in a bowl; fake or shred finely.  Add remaining ingredients except cracker or bread; stir well to combine.  Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature, or bake at 350 degress until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers or bread.  Makes 2-1/2 cups.


Michele’s Thoughts

This spread is delicious.  The taste will vary depending up what type of salad dressing you use.  I made a batch with dressing from a local Italian restaurant and the dip was on the zesty side.  For the second batch, I used Wishbone’s House Italian which is not heavily seasoned. I used Saltine crackers but an Italian flavored cracker would pair nicely with this dip.

If however, you use a bolder Italian dressing, I would use plain crackers or bread so your mouth is not overwhelmed with spices.

I did not bake the dip but tried it after 3 hours in the fridge.

The Book

I recommend you either add this to you holiday wish list, or get it as a gift for someone else.  Most recipes appear easy to make, which is crucial when you are grieving.  Your brain does not function at top speed during the first year so quick and easy are the most important ingredients in any recipe.

The book is available at GooseberryPatch.com.

Go buy the book and have fun making the recipes.

grief, Uncategorized

New Traditions & Gooseberry Patch: “A Hometown Christmas”

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I thought I would do a brief post today since you might still be sluggish from too much tryptophan.

New Traditions

Starting new traditions at Christmas is a perfectly natural and acceptable thing to do in establishing a “new normal” for your life once widowed.

New traditions can make you feel as though you are taking a tiny step forward in your grief journey. Each step forward is progress and prevents you from getting stuck in grief. A new tradition does not have to be something big like switching who hosts your family Christmas dinner. It can be something small, like my new tradition.

My New Tradition

I love looking through new cookbooks and trying new recipes.  While I am not back to cooking or baking like I did when Joe was alive, each year I find myself working on my culinary skills a little bit more. After all I may end up getting married again and need to cook for family gatherings.

A year or two ago, I fell in love with the “Gooseberry Patch” family of cookbooks and earlier this year received a copy of “A Hometown Christmas” , which contains favorite holiday recipes submitted by their readers.

So this week, I will finally be making a couple recipes to share this coming weekend. (Yes, I am a little behind schedule) I highly recommend you get a copy and check out the recipe for “Old Country Cake” on page 152.  You never will guess who submitted that recipe.

Now off to make “Italian Chicken Spread”, or maybe “Snowball Cake” or “Italian Fish Skillet” or…


Don’t be afraid to try a new tradition this year.  You just might like it. Even if you are not grieving, try a new tradition to shake things up a bit.

(P.S.  Thank you JoAnn & Vickie for choosing my recipe.)

(Coming later this week, “Finding Hope Through Actions”)


Weekend Wisdom: 5 Thank You’s

This weekend was going to a “Gooseberry Patch” weekend in honor of the release of “Hometown Christmas: Remember Christmas at home with our newest collection of festive recipes, merrymaking tips and warm holiday memories (Seasonal Cookbook Collection)[Hardcover].


However, I felt it was more appropriate to write about the kick-off of Lisa Ryan’s second annual “5 Thank You’s a Day Gratitude Challenge.”

As part of the challenge, you can list 5 things per day you are grateful for so here is what I am grateful for today.

I am thankful the firemen killed in yesterday’s hotel fire in Houston were:

  • born
  • brought joy to the people whose lives they touched
  • possessed compassion for their fellow man; so much so they would search a burning building for trapped people.

I am thankful for the medical personnel in the field and hospital who treated the wounded.

I am thankful for the police who do whatever they need to do in these circumstances.

I am thankful for the companies who make the equipment used by firefighters.

I am thankful for my brother-in-law (a fire chief) and paternal grandfather (a volunteer fire fighter) and for their years of service.


Thank you to firefighters and police for keeping all the hometowns in America safe.

God bless you and your families.