Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders with Rainbow Slaw for SRC..and Part 14B | Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders with Rainbow Slaw for SRC..and Part 14B

July 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Asian, Breads, Dinner, Lunch, Rainbow, Salads, SRC, Vegetables | 78 Comments
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We’re all familiar with loads of twists on pulled pork, pulled beef, pulled chicken – pulled any meat that can be shredded into juicy strands after being simmered in a sauce for a few hours – then slopped on a bun, which soaks up some of that sauce.  I’ve seen riffs on Asian pulled pork and chicken, but I’ve never seen the following Asian take on it until I scrolled through my blog assignment for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders with Rainbow Slaw
Does any carnivore NOT love Sesame or General Tso’s chicken?  Well, the blog I was assigned, Eat Little, Eat Big..authored and photographed by Susie, who just so happens to live on the beautiful island of Maui (lucky!), came up with this brilliant idea.  She simmered chicken breasts in a similar sauce used for sesame chicken – in a crockpot- for a few hours.  Voila, Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken!

Initially, I was going to make her Crunchy Oven Baked Fish Sticks, but then  decided that there was no way I was turning on the oven in this oppressive heat.  We’re talking 98 – 100 degrees the past week, so I loved that this dish was slowly simmered in a crockpot..or slow cooker, whichever you prefer to call it.  Potatoes, puhtatoes.

Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  First, I toasted the sesame seeds, then I omitted the ketchup and used tomato paste instead.  I used Chili Paste (Sambal Oelek) in lieu of chili flakes, added rice wine vinegar for a bit of acid, and a little chicken stock for more sauce.

I also changed the cooking time since I was starting with semi-frozen chicken breasts, plus…to get that really shredded texture, more time was needed, semi-frozen or not.  To thicken the sauce after simmering, I made a slurry of cornstarch and chicken broth, instead of using cornstarch alone.  I grated some fresh ginger into the sauce simply because I couldn’t fathom sesame chicken without ginger.

Before I even finished reading the recipe, I had decided to pile this pulled chicken on buns.   At the bottom of Susie’s recipe – she suggested doing just that.  SO, I piled this chicken on buns, but not just any buns.  Back in Dec, ’11, I baked some plain buns using an extra batch of dough I made from the Daring Bakers Char Siu Bao recipe  and froze them.  Instabuns! For the sliders, I used store-bought slider sized potato buns.

I love Asian bun dough.  It’s soft and so velvety, so I knew they would make great vessels for burgers or sandwiches. Use any kind of bun you’d like, even a doughnut if that suits your fancy, since it, ummm, it seems to be all the rage, but I’m not really recommending it, so, proceed with caution, and an adventurous palate!  Oh, sprouted buns are also nice and  work very well because they’re sturdy, leaving lots of leeway for sauce soakage, without falling apart,  I highly recommend those along with the two aforementioned buns — not doughnuts.

Finally, you know how much I’ve waxed on and on about my love of natural rainbows incorporated into dishes?  What better than an array of colorful vegetables to pile on these buns with the chicken?  We’ve got shredded red cabbage (the purple), a mix of red, yellow and orange bell peppers, and blanched snow peas -  all tossed together with a light vinaigrette.

This is my summer of Eat the Rainbow.  Well, I’m trying to Eat the Rainbow.  More to come soon.

In conclusion, these honey sesame chicken sliders are pretty, darn amazing and perfect for any party, so I do recommend you proceed without caution!  If you’re GF, eat it out of the slow cooker, like I did at one point.

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken Sandwiches with Rainbow Slaw
Inspired by Susie of Eat Little, Eat Big
Makes a ton of sliders, a half-ton of average sized sandwiches and maybe 6-8 unhinge your jaw, sandwiches 

Pulled Honey Sesame Chicken
4 semi-frozen chicken breasts, cut in half (starting with semi-frozen chicken seems to help it shred better once cooked), OR, about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cloves garlic finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger
1 teaspoon chili paste (more if you like a lot of heat)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chicken broth or stock
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds, the amount depending on your preference
burger buns or slider buns

NoteIf your chicken breasts are kind of big, I would suggest doubling the sauce ingredients poured over the breasts in the crockpot.  The cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of chicken stock for the thickening slurry remains the same, but add 2 tablespoons sesame oil instead of 1 when the sauce is thickened and done.

Rainbow Slaw
1 small red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, sliced thin
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, sliced thin
1 small orange bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, sliced thin  (OR two carrots, peeled and shredded)
About 1/4 a small head red cabbage, shredded
1 very small red onion or half a red onion, sliced thin
1/4 lb snowpeas, blanched, each snowpea sliced in half vertically and horizontally.  No worries about peas falling out – it just makes it better

Note – Slice and chop vegetables smaller for sliders.  If you want a really shredded slaw, use the shredding disk or very thin slicing disk in your food processor for all the veggies (stack the snowpeas to shred).  I used a knife that needed to be sharpened so I couldn’t slice the veggies as thin as I would have liked.  It’s much easier to pile a more shredded slaw on the sliders or sandwiches and much easier to eat.

Vinaigrette
5 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced with kosher salt until it’s a paste
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
squeeze of lime juice
freshly ground black or white pepper (to taste)

SLAW AND VINAIGRETTE DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine all of the vegetables in a bowl.

2.  Make Vinaigrette.  Place all ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake vigorously until blended.  Drizzle your preferred amount over vegetables and toss.

3.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the flavors blend in the fridge for a few houes.  You can use it immediately, but it’s much better after marinating for a few hours.  SO, make this salad while the chicken is cooking.

PULLED SESAME CHICKEN DIRECTIONS:
1. Season frozen chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place in the crockpot.

2.  Mix all the sauce ingredients together except for the sesame oil, sesame seeds, cornstarch and 2 extra tablespoons of chicken stock.  Pour over seasoned, frozen chicken in the crockpot.

3.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours, until the chicken starts to fall apart.  Remove chicken from sauce and shred with two forks.  Set aside in a bowl.

4.  Pour sauce into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Stir together the cornstarch and chicken stock until smooth, then pour into the simmering sauce.  Cook until the sauce has thickened, whisking constantly – it only takes a minute or two.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.  Pour over shredded chicken and mix well. Season with more salt and pepper if it needs it.

6.  Assemble sandwiches.  Cut buns in half – toast if you like.  Place a heaping spoonful of rainbow slaw on the bottom bun.  Top that with a heaping spoonful of the pulled chicken.   Pour some extra sauce over chicken and top with other half bun.  Enjoy with plenty of napkins!

Click on the blue frog below to see what my fellow SRC Group A participants chose from their assigned blogs.

Now to Part 14B (I know, I know – will it ever end?)) of Bad Boy First Love. If you’re just tuning in, Part One is HERE, Part Two is HERE , Part Three is HERE, Part Four is HERE, Part Five is HERE, Part Six is HERE, Part Seven is HERE, Part 8 is HERE, Part 9 is HERE, Part Ten is HERE, Part 11 is HERE, Part 12 is HERE, Part 13A is HERE, Part 13B is HERE, and Part 14A is HERE.

I decided, for all parties involved, there was no need to say anything.  It wasn’t fatal, no harm was done, but if I opened my big mouth, there’d be plenty of harm done and it wouldn’t be pretty.

I fell asleep to his sexy voice.

The next morning I woke up with the phone cord wrapped around my neck and the handset hanging off the edge of the bed.  Although I had cordless phones..I was kind of attached to my eclectic, multicolored corded phone.  It meshed with my bedroom..you know, the important stuff when you’re teenager.

Great, I could have strangled myself in my sleep and college would be off.  Scratch that, I wouldn’t be alive to realize that college was off.  I wondered if the roommate ‘death’ rule would apply to roommates who had not yet met me?  I bet they’d love me anyway, considering the straight A’s for the semester thanks to my untimely and generous demise.

I realized I never got to say a proper goodnight/goodbye to him, but I didn’t want to wake him up.  He had two more days of work left before he came home to North Jersey, where I would no longer be.  A bit of sadness struck at that thought.  I even had a moment where I wanted to call the whole thing off and ask him to marry me, but I decided I’d phone him as soon as I got to Boston, instead, a much more logical decision, I reasoned, since I was officially a college student now.

It was already 11 am, and I hadn’t done my final ‘scan’ and felt completely overwhelmed and unprepared.  This led to several hours of ‘scanning’, which led to many fights with my parents, which led to me taking off in the car to bid one last adieu to my friends, which led to us not leaving until 5 pm.

To add insult to injury, the large SUV my father had rented, since I basically packed my whole life into several suitcases and trunks, was not there.  The guy at the rental car place made a mistake and rented it to someone else and all they had left was a medium hatchback.  This meant the backseat went down, so my whole life was crammed in so tight that some of it was spilling over the front seat, where I had the misfortune of sitting…in…between…my…parents.

I don’t have the kind of relationship with my parents that most do, so this was pure hell on top of hell, with a side of red hot forks poking every cell in my being. The whole drive was literally hell on wheels..so much so, that at one point, I insisted they let me out of the car on some highway in Connecticut.  I walked along the grassy divider in the dark for about 15 minutes before they were able to find an exit to turn around and come back, but truth be told, it was the most serene 15 minutes I’d had all day.

There was actually one positive side to all of this wrath..it distracted me from missing Dreamboat.  The anger was like a warm blanket shielding me from the cold pain that was looming deep in my soft, mushy core – tapping me every so often (Yo, is this mic on?), trying to break through.

Around 8 pm, my father decided he didn’t want to drive anymore..and being a stickler of rules, wouldn’t allow me or my mother to drive since his name was the only name on the rental agreement.

He pulled off at an exit..having no idea where he was going, until he saw the bright lights of a Howard Johnsons.  We were in Worcester, MA, only an hour away from Boston.  I begged him to keep going since there was a freshman orientation the next morning at 9 am, but he refused. Well..at least I could try and call Dreamboat later on that night.

Not so fast.

He let me know, in no uncertain terms, that there was no way he was paying for any long distance calls from a motel phone.  Between the disappointment of not getting to school the night before the first day to start meeting people and my roommates and the melancholia of missing Dreamboat, there was not much more I could do than sleep it away.  Sleep didn’t come easy, so I watched movies until 3 am, when my body finally started to shut down and I was able to doze, but it wasn’t sound, and I must have woken up at least three times, tossing and turning,

I heard my room phone ringing incessantly and sporadic banging on my door throughout my slumber, but ignored it all so I could sleep more.  I finally woke up at 11 am.  My parents had already spent 4 hours going out to breakfast and walking around.  I’d missed orientation – so  there was no need to rush anymore.  I relaxed.  Oh, wait..checkout was at noon, so I was told I better start rushing.  Figures.

When we finally arrived in Boston, I found out I had been assigned to an upperclassman dorm since I had changed schools at the last minute. All of the shiny, modern housing and towers of freshman dorms were already filled up by the time my father sent them the dough. My new home was an old, shoddy, broken down, building, and my dorm room was a kitchen, tiny bathroom. and two bedrooms – mine with a bunk bed.

Sound familiar?  I spent two Augusts with a kitchen, bathroom and tiny sleeping quarters, but that never mattered because I was there to be with Dreamboat.  Now, I just had to endure it and enduring it might have been easier if the whole place didn’t have tilted floors.  Yep, tilted floors..a permanent slope in my dorm/apartment.  I thought about roller skates.

I still wish I had staged a fall and sued.

By this time, the anger between me and my parents had reached a breaking point.  After unloading my life, with some help from some nice, strong upperclassmen, and dumping it..along with me, into my new, tilted dorm room/apartment with a kitchen – they left me sitting on the lower bunk – alone.  There was no phone hooked up to call Dreamboat or my friends, so the alone soon turned to lonely.  My roommates were nowhere to be found.  My bunk mate had already unpacked and taken the bottom bunk I was sitting on.  Great, I had to sleep with the ceiling in my face.

Laissez-faire, I thought, as I slowly started to unpack my life into this dump.

My roommate turned out to be a freshman who changed schools at the last minute too, and the two in the other bedroom were a sophomore and a junior.  Unfortunately, the only thing me and my freshman bunk mate had in common was being freshman, but that was good enough for the time being.  We stayed up talking a while and then I wrote a letter to Dreamboat to let him know my phone wouldn’t be hooked up for a few days.

If only cell phones were what they are today, and we had the worldwide web, video calls etc..the transition would have been seamless.

The next morning..I woke up feeling rejuvenated – a whole new life was starting for me.  I quickly showered and dressed, skipping breakfast because I needed to be in a certain hall by 9 am.  They were gathering freshman in alphabetical order per lecture hall.


As I walked to the main quad where this Hall was located, I was feeling more and more excited with each step.  Fellow students at my university packed the streets and campus.  It was like lunch hour in NYC – not to mention, Boston is rife with colleges and universities, all within a short distance of one another, so it wasn’t unusual to walk by students with other school logos emblazoned on their shirts, knapsacks, baseball caps..etc.

I took a right turn into the quad, and I was blown away.  It was akin to what I felt it would be like stepping into Willy Wonka’s chocolate river room for the first time.  All the students – bright and shiny, from measly freshman like me, to huge, hulking, athletes walking in packs , bags slung over their shoulders for practice later.

A group of guys were playing hacky sack.  Is there a college quad anywhere in the US where there isn’t a bunch of guys playing hacky sack on a nice day?  I’d put money on it that there isn’t.

Regardless, I was so mesmerized by it all, I barely made it to the hall on time.  I broke out of my spell, and ran to my assigned surnames names beginning with R to U lecture hall, tripping up the steps several times, my outer klutz always on display..and grabbed a seat.

Within minutes of taking a seat, I met the girl who would become one of my best friends throughout my freshman year.  Finally, something positive!

After being assigned counselors to help put our schedules together and a long visit to the campus bookstore where we spent mucho dinero on the books we needed for our classes, and of course, lots of other frivolous stuff, including almost everything with the university logo on it, we went back to her dorm.

She was living in one of the beautiful, modern freshman dorms, so in time, I was practically living there too.  I met a bunch of great people in that dorm who also became good friends, and soon, I was considered part of that dorm..although I was living a hobo lifestyle between dorms.

The good thing about having my shoddy, upperclassmen dorm to go back to occasionally, was the quiet.  We all went there when we wanted a little peace or had to study for an exam.  The other good thing was  my upperclassmen roommates.  They guided us where to go for fun..introducing us to the ‘big’ pub on the main avenue of our campus where they let everyone in.  They would simply blow a horn if the ABC showed up so we could all sneak out the back before they could check for ID’s.

This was the place almost everyone went after hockey, football and basketball wins.  Weekend nights, the place was  packed to the gills with students of all ages and lots of athletes checking out the new freshman crop of girls.  It was hard to tell who played for what team, outside of the hulky giants, who were obviously football players.

The first night there was a blast.  We danced in front of the video jukebox..checked out the guys (well..they did), drank, well, ‘drank’ for me would be the one sea breeze I sipped all night long.  Like I’ve said many times on this blog, I can’t hold my alcohol, and one more sea breeze would have had me outside, introducing my dinner to the pavement.


Eventually, I hit the bottom of the drink with a few loud sips of air, so I walked to the bar to return my glass.  The bartender, whom they called ‘Sully’, slid another sea breeze my way.

“Umm..I didn’t order that, there must be a mistake.” I said, not relishing the idea of half digested chicken stroganoff pounding at my cheeks.

Sully motioned behind me “It’s from him. He bought it for you.”

I turned to see a tall, dark-haired, handsome athlete sitting on a divider facing away from the jukebox.

Right at that very moment, I realized our phone had been hooked up two days before, and I hadn’t called Dreamboat.  The excitement of meeting new people, new classes, and the city of Boston, had dominated my first week of school so much, I actually..and it was SO hard to fathom this..

FORGOT about him a little.

I turned to this handsome stranger, smiled and said “Thank you.”

I didn’t want to pursue it further than that, but he walked over and introduced himself, so a pursuit was unavoidable.

He was in his junior year, from a town on Cape Cod, a hockey player, went to prep school, and was a draft pick for the Bruins..but decided to finish college first.  Before I knew it, we were conversing like old friends, even after the bar closed, sitting on the edge of a fountain in the courtyard of his dorm which was less than a block from my tilted dorm.

I made fun of his New England accent, like I did with all the people from MA or any New England state, I’d met.  He loved my imitation of it, then told me I had no accent, so he made fun of Jersey instead.  Nothing new…everyone does.  “What exit?” being a favorite.

We were laughing a lot in between the lighthearted chat, and before I knew it, a good two hours had passed, which alarmed me a little.

Dreamboat and I never had two hour conversations like this, even on the first night we met.  In fact, most of our conversing was lip to lip. Dreamboat’s voice blasted in my head..

“..you’ll meet other guys..rich college guys, you won’t want me anymore.”

Damn, I missed him, but I think I had just met a rich college guy.  Hmm…

That looming pain that had been stymied by the fierce anger at my parents, then all the newness of college life, finally broke through, and it hurt, it hurt like the sting of a thousand jellyfish – which brought me back to that magical summer night we reconnected. My eyes started to well up.  Time to exit!

I abruptly stood up, told hockey guy it was a pleasure to meet him, but I needed to get some sleep.

He stood up too..then asked, “Can I get your number?  I’d like to take you to Faneuil Hall and that restaurant in the North End I told you about.” Silence from me, then..”I want to show you around Boston. Let me be your tour guide.” He finished, gallantly, with a silly half bow.

I wasn’t lying when I told him this..

“We just got our phone hooked up, so I don’t know the number offhand, plus, I have a boyfriend back home whom I love very much.”

I hated the conflicting feelings that were coming on like gangbusters and confusing the hell out of me.  I loved Dreamboat so much it hurt, but this guy was intriguing to me..I loved the conversation we had.  What was happening?

He smiled, not quite as dazzling as Dreamboat’s, but nice.

“Everyone has a boyfriend or girlfriend back home when they’re freshman.  They usually don’t last, well, mine didn’t” He said with a chuckle.

Then some weird fate kicked in.  My junior year roommate came walking by with some friends..calling my name out in jest when she saw I was talking to this cute guy.  She walked over since she apparently knew him, using his name when she greeted us..and started extolling my virtues to him.

She gave him our phone number.

I gave her the evil eye.

I walked back to our dorm with her and her friends, now listening to her extol his virtues.  She was tipsy..

“Lisha..you don’t undershtand, he’sh not a womanizer, he’sh such a good guy, and SO cute..you’d be crazshy not to go out with him!”

I adamantly stood my ground.  “I’m in love with Dreamboat – not gonna happen.”

As she started skipping sprightly ahead of us, she uttered the words I’d heard far too many times the past week..

Those relationships never last – you’re young, you’re in college now..enjoy it!”

I called Dreamboat the next morning..which was Saturday. I had forgotten he’d nailed down a cushy construction job from a man who owned a company near him in North Jersey, and spent weekends in Toms River, a few doors down from his shore house. Part of that job entailed working Saturdays.  I tried again around 6 pm.  He answered..my heart fluttered.

“Hi, baby.” I nearly squealed, which seemed o have become the norm with him.

He responded with happiness and surprise..

“Hi, killer, I got your letter, but then I heard nothing so I thought you’d already met some rich college boy and cast me off.” He said, in lighthearted jest, but I knew he’d meant it just a little,

I thought of the hockey player..the timing was uncanny.

Suddenly, I needed to see him more than ever..those weird, conflicting feelings were front and center and I wanted them to go away.  I grabbed the teddy bear with his t-shirt and pressed it to my face..inhaling. His scent was fading.

“Come see me, baby…drive up here next weekend..I miss you..need you.” I said with my mouth pressed against the receiver, trying to get as close to him as I could.

He seemed relieved that I still loved and wanted him..

“I want to, sweetheart, I need you too- BUT..”

Ohhh, shit..the inevitable ‘BUT’!

“…I don’t think the Mazda would make it both ways.”

OK, not that bad a ‘BUT’.  He was right.

“Then fly to me.” I whimpered pathetically

“You know I work Saturdays, baby. I just started, I can’t take time off after 1 week. Why don’t you come home and spend the weekend with me?” He asked, adding an edge of sexy come hither to convince me.

My parents would never pay for a flight home after only 2 weeks of school.  I would have to stick it out until Thanksgiving.

I dropped the subject, then started telling him about my first week of school.  I guess my enthusiasm bothered him a little.  He was sort of hoping I wouldn’t like it so I’d transfer to a local college and told me that in a half-joking way.  His tone changed from sweet, loving and happy, to sad and kind of cold.

The conversation was turning morose rather quickly, plus, as I mentioned in a previous part, he wasn’t a phone person.  The phone for him was for making plans to meet up, not two hour conversations that most women think nothing of.  He did try with me..I’ll give him that.

I didn’t know what else to say..so I told him I loved him.

He responded in kind..but added “..maybe too much.”

What was that supposed to mean?

He read my mind..”It sucks knowing I won’t see you for 11 weeks..really sucks.”

I whispered softly “It sucks for me too.”

Then silence.

I hate awkward silences (and still hate them to this day), so, I started rambling, which is what I always do when there’s awkward silence.  I can’t help it.

“I bought you a bunch of t-shirts and  sweatshirts at the campus bookstore.  I can mail them to you if you want – one is red with…”

He interrupted..he knew this part of me very well, but couldn’t kiss me to stop it.

“Thank you, but you can give them to me when you see me – I want them from you, not a box.” He said, the coldness still lingering a bit.

This was the most uncomfortable conversation I’d ever had with him.  I settled down and responded with an “okay”, feeling utterly beaten.

We said our goodbyes since the call was about to get very expensive, (like I mentioned – lucky college kids with internet and cell phones these days), and made plans for him to call me the following Wednesday.

I sat on my top bunk for a long time, dissecting and analyzing the conversation in my head, interspersed with the infamous mantra I’d been hearing since I arrived..

Those relationships never last..Those relationships never last..Those relationships never last..

Dreamboat called that Wednesday, but it was another awkward conversation.  I had to keep convincing myself he wasn’t a phone person and to not take it to heart.  We spoke more times, for weeks after, but it was just never the same.  He was hurting, I was hurting. It had now been a month and the seven or so weeks left before we’d see each other again, seemed like an eternity.

After our last phone call..I felt down for the next couple days – too down, and to such a great degree, that my energy was sapped.  I wondered if I was falling into a depression.

I ran into hockey guy many times in the quad during those weeks, when he was on his way to hockey practice. He always found me on the same bench, flipping through my notes before my last class of the day.  One day he convinced me to walk with him to the arena. It soon became a ritual.  It was always nice to hang out with him..he lifted my spirits.

When the following Friday night came around..I was sick as a dog with a raging cold.  Well, that at least explained why my energy sapped.

My friends from my other dorm/home came by to check on me.  They were going to the pub.  They took along my freshman bunk mate and about 20 minutes after they left, my two upperclassmen roommates went to join them, so I had the place to myself… to suffer miserably in.

I fell asleep…my own snoring, gurgling and runny nose waking me up sporadically.  I finally gave in and took some cold medicine to stop it.  In a short time I felt a little better and started to doze off again, buried in a cloud of crumpled up tissues.

Somewhere in my stuffy head…I heard the phone ringing.  I crawled pathetically to the end of the bed, where one of my new friends put it just in case I needed to call anyone, to answer it.

“Hello?” I croaked

“Hey you, I hope you don’t mind me calling, but I just saw your friends down at the pub, and asked where you were.  They said you were home sick.  I was worried.” A nice, friendly voice with a New England accent, chirped.

Yep – it was hockey guy.  Why did I smile?

“Yeah..I’ve got a really bad cold.  There was no way I was going out tonight.” I snorfed into the phone.

“You want some company?  It stinks being alone when you’re sick.” He asked, sweetly.

I couldn’t believe it, but there was the word, spilling effortlessly from my mouth..

“Sure.”

“OK..I’ll be there in about 15 minutes.” He said quickly, then hung up.

I started to doze again after we hung up.  What was I doing?  Wait, I did nothing, he was a friend and it was going to remain that way.  Then I realized how gross I was and jumped out of bed and into the shower.  He’d be here in less than 10 minutes.

Why did I care??

I started rushing, pulling on my favorite pair of jeans and a cute top..tripping over my feet as I hurried.  I had to at least blow dry my hair and put a bit of makeup on to cover my red nose and dark circles.

Why did I care??

There was a knock on the door. I was mortified with my mop of wet hair and sick face.  I had no choice..I had to answer it.

Why did I care??

I opened the door slowly, practically plastering my wet hair over my swollen nose and greenish, pale skin.

Stop it…you shouldn’t care how you look, he’s just a friend.

There he stood with a container of chicken soup in one hand, a flower in the other, wearing a tight, beige V-neck sweater and perfectly worn jeans, which showcased his well-muscled, hockey player thighs and………..flip-flops.


I found the flip-flops, coupled with his sweater and jeans, incredibly endearing.  His upper body was also tight and muscled – but not in any kind of steroidal ‘Schwarzenegger’ way, just a nice, fit way.  This guy was an athlete, a well- chiseled athlete..a manly man in every sense of the word.

Don’t get me wrong, Dreamboat had a great body, but when one is an athlete who  practices and works out every day, there’s not an inch that can be pinched. I could almost see the outline of a six-pack beneath his sweater.  Dreamboat had a slight six-pack, but two beers were missing.  A four-pack, I guess.

I looked up into his chocolate brown eyes.  He had such a sweet, handsome face and short, thick, dark curly hair. that I kind of wanted to touch. His skin was smooth, not a mark anywhere. He’d obviously shaved and he smelled great too – a definite bonus.  I love light cologne on guys.

Wait..bonus?  Where was I going with this?

He immediately commented on my wet hair and scolded me gently, asking where he could find a towel.  When I showed him..he grabbed one and  draped it over my head and then started ruffling it through my hair, drying it as best as he could, while I sat on a tall kitchen chair.  I felt like I was at the salon.

“You have a bad cold, this is going to make it worse..you didn’t have to shower for me, silly.” He said, ruffling the towel like my father used to when I was a kid, after my Mom released me to him post bath.

I know..why did I?

I just blew my nose and didn’t respond.

This was not good, I was feeling something.  Nothing even remotely close to what I felt with Dreamboat – no jelly legs, no intense butterflies..but it was something.

Part 15 coming soon.

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  1. Great looking sandwich! The combination of flavors sounds amazing!

  2. I kind of have a thing for sandwiches, and these look amazing!!

  3. great adaptation! glad you enjoyed the blog! susie

  4. Aw I really like hockey guy. I had a similar dreamboat situation… went off to a different college from my high school boyfriend… and it didn’t last… so I’m definitely being brought back to those days just reading your experience.

  5. Terrific sliders! So droolworthy and tasty.

    Ah, cant wait to read part 14c!!!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. Amazing pulled sesame chicken sandwich, amazing! I love sesame. And pulled meats.
    And I was loving dreamboat and now I kind of love hockey guy… you make it hard to stay with only one. Can´t wait for the next part! Though I´m starting to have the feeling that these parts A and B will still go on for a while…

  7. These are just beautiful, Lisa, I was looking at the SRC roundup and this was the first pic that attracted my attention! Must be so yummy! Can you slide on my way? :-)

  8. Wow looks great and leave it to you to make it all colorful. So the hockey guy is skating into your life. So far he comes across as a very nice guy. Now dreamboat seems to be having a hard time with you being away – understandable but he should talk more on the phone. I look forward to seeing how this goes – nice cliff hanger :).

  9. Well I have to say your chicken sliders drew me in, then the fact that you are going to school in Boston where my daughter just graduated from and trying to sell her furniture before moving back to the Midwest. But, your story about Dreamboat and the hockey guy kept me. I’m sure I’m as old or older than your parents but I too remember going through something similar.

    Long distance relationships are next to impossible but if you have a strong relationship it could work out. I’m not sure how old dreamboat is but you have a good 4 years ahead of you at a great school, they’re all good in Boston, and it sounds like you get good grades, don’t waste your time staying in your dorm and not enjoying college, friends, parties and socializing with guys, even if that means dating. Life’s too short.

    My son had a friend who went off to school and didn’t date anyone. After she graduated the guy broke it off. She kept herself from exploring other relationships for 4 years, it was really a shame. Don’t get me wrong you and drew oat can work it out but let the cards fall where they will. Try not to stress over it, everything always turns out for the best, even if it hurts along the way.

    Best of luck to you.

    • Actually, Vicki..this happened almost 20 years ago :) Just a memory now. I wish I was still in college! LOL

      • Oh I feel so silly. I tried to see when this took place. Here I am talking to you like it was yesterday. How embarrassing!

        I guess u missed the beginning #1 where you probably mentioned this. I suppose I should start from the beginning. I was wondering why no one else commented.

      • No matter, I think your comment is awesome and everyone can benefit from it xo I feel awful for the girl who remained loyal during one of the best, ‘exploratory’ times in one’s life and was then dumped! How is she now?

  10. Another winning recipe and I love the whole rainbow theme. Talk soon and of course please check out my SRC entry Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

  11. Lisa how on earth did I miss that fact. I feel so silly although I’m still older than you. What college did you attend? I can’t wait to hear the ending. Like I said you’re story captivated me.

  12. Lisa I am hanging on the edge of me seat again…Part 15 can’t come soon enough. And I love those sliders.

  13. That meat looks amazing! Just oozing out the bun…and love the idea of rainbow slaw too :-)

  14. The flavours, the look, everything about these sandwiches are stunning!
    Gorgeous!
    Just like your writing – cant wait to read the next part!

    Cheers
    CCU

  15. Holy Confetti, Bat Man! Check out that slaw! That dressing’s a keeper for lots of things – looove ginger; The shredded chicken recipe is another delicious winner. Gee – and *only* 10 hours between marinating and simmering in a crockpot? ;-) Still, I think even I could pull this one off. Betcha it’d taste even better with thigh meat. 14B: Ok Lis…so now we begin to sense the *suggestion* of your weakened will up in oh-so-lonely Bahston. Trading absentee Dreamboat’s 4-pack for Hockey Guy’s 6-pack? Hmmm…which reminds me – my own lethal 12-pack had long been declared a “Deadly Weapon” within state lines….until the cruelty-of-time + hallucinations + hair + Pepperidge Farm = ummm…yep. A hint of a 2-pack :-)

    • I was initially going to use thigh meat, but then decided I’d already made too many changes to her recipe, plus – white meat was ‘requested’ ;)

      ————————————

      I’m LOLing at “Trading absentee Dreamboat’s 4-pack for Hockey Guy’s 6-pack?” Yet another awesome comment by the masterful J! Nothing wrong with a 2-pack!

  16. Ok, so i’m watching that movie Eddie and the cruisers on tbs last saturday night, and I was like..why does Eddie’s face seem so familiar, especially the eyes and nose..who does he remind me of…? Ta Dah! Dreamboat, well ‘A’. See it?? http://www.flixster.com/celebrity/michael-pare-ii/#photos/9802661

  17. Love these sandwiches! Your pictures were making me hungry as I was reading your story ;) Ok, so I gotta tell ya…. I saw the new post email come through my inbox and I had to wait until this afternoon to read it. I finally sat down to a few minutes to myself all settled in for Part 14B only to be interrupted by motherhood (damn it!) so I had to wait until the kids went to bed but man, oh man was it worth the wait! I’m loving Hockey Guy!! I love Dreamboat too so I’m stuck in between a rock and a hard place here. But Hockey Guy seems so sweet and endearing, nurturing and hunky too. Can’t wait for the next part! Can this story just never end? Can you just keep up all hooked by telling us your whole life story and about all your relationships in one long string? I love your posts always but the love story at the end is like the icing on a cake ;) xoxo

  18. whoa Lisa! That looks so amazing! I’ve never seen pulled chicken! Definitely makes for a much healthier recipe!! Mmmm.. Your sliders are just to die for!! I’d totally love one right now!! Great choice!

  19. What a delicious sandwich. Love all the fresh veggies! And, I’m so behind on your story, please compile it all into a book that I can read!

    • Katrina @Baking and Boys!

  20. Now this is a great recipe to keep in mind! One more reason to prepare some Oriental buns mmmm :D

  21. All I can say is that this sandwich looks amazing!

  22. I haven’t had dinner yet, and I REALLY wish I had one of your sandwiches! Had to read 14A and14 B to catch up today:)

  23. Okay, I’m totally making this, I love the flavors and I love the slaw (and I’m not normally a slaw person). Pinning it for future drooling!

  24. I’m so impressed with what you did with the recipe! The sliders are just gorgeous and the flavors sound over-the-top delish! I love eating the rainbow too–great idea to add that colorful slaw, not just for flavor but to make them even more visually appealing. That really is half of the flavor!

    • Veronica, I have been trying to comment on your blog for ages..ever since your post about the bicycle your grandfather gave you. Your site never opens for me. Have you checked it?

      • What do you mean it doesn’t open for you? What comes up? It does open for me and my views per day seem about the same as always.

      • Veronica – I keep trying in both IE and Chrome, but your page won’t load. I’ve cleaned out my cookies, rebooted etc..Still no luck! This is what I get..
        ————————————-

        Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to veronicascornucopia.com
        Try reloading: veronicascornuco­pia.­com

      • That totally sucks! I’m so sorry! I have NO idea what is up with that, I’ve never had any one else tell me this…but then again those with the problem wouldn’t be able to even tell me. I did ask recently on my facebook page if anyone was having any trouble with my website as one lady said her virus software tells her my site has malware but those that answered back said they’ve never had a problem. Anyway, how did you see the blog on my Grandpa & the bike if it wouldn’t load? Did it load once and then never again?

      • Veronica..I finally got on your site two days ago and left 2 comments. One on the bicycle post and one on your strawberry shortcake post. Didn’t you get them? If not check your spam folder, maybe?

        —————————————

        The first time I saw the bicycle post..it kept spinning when I submitted a comment, then I got an error page and couldn’t load the page for weeks after.

      • Weird, YES I see them now but for some reason I didn’t get an email notification when you left the comments. Well I’m glad it’s working now and thank you for the comments! :)

  25. The photos alone are enough to make my mouth water. And I love giant “unhinge your jaw” sandwiches!

  26. Just saw these on Pinterest..great idea! Glad I found your blog b/c I’m so hooked on your story now! Thanks!

  27. Hi Lisa! I’m still here ;) I just had to give a break the past few months. I came back to Brazil so had to readapt,plus the wedding of a daughter and a premature baby of the other daughter, all at the same time almost drove me crazy and got me super busy! But things have settled down now. I had to catch up on my reading of your story, I think I read 4 chapters at once :D Can’t wait to read more! And this sandwich, OMG, instantly made me hungry! Thank you so much for your warm welcome and sorry for having “disappeared” without notice.
    Hugs and kisses from Brazil!

  28. You sure leave a reader hanging! I cannot believe this is all TRUE! Amazing! Now – to the food. I have never seen such a gorgeous slaw. Not to be forgotten. I will be making this, at the very least, immediately. The entire dish looks deadly!
    XO
    V

  29. Oh no. you got Gary out of the way, and now there’s hocley guy? I guess I’m a romantic and I want you to end up with Dreamboat! I love this “unique twist” on the pulled chicken..especially because I really love sesame chicken! My kids would love these sliders!

  30. Such an original twist on pulled meat. Oh the magic words: Sambal Oelek, tasty. And wow to that rainbow slaw. The whole combo is divine.

    Hockey guy sounds like the start of my current relationship. This is good! But poor Dreamboat.

  31. First of all, this pulled pork and all the elements sound AMAZING! Second of all – this story is taking a twist! Where is it headed?! I thought you and dreamboat were a sure thing?! Ahhh!

  32. Congratulations to you my friend, you have just been nominated for 2 awards :D
    Check them out here :)
    http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/ironic-comfort/

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  33. I am at a loss for words. These sandwiches are calling out to me. I need them!

  34. OMG! First of all, this sandwich just has my name written all over it! I must make it!! :D And secondly, you know how much I love Bad Boy Love and this has taken a really interesting turn indeed! What will happen to Dreamboat? And what about hockey guy? :O I cannot wait for the next instalment!

  35. The slaw is gorgeous and the sandwich looks delicious! I love this idea for a hot day. Would you come to Memphis and make me some of those yummy Asian buns? And how did I know that there was a another dreamy guy on his way into your life? I can’t wait to learn more about him…and soup and a flower? In college??? He sounds like an amazing catch!

  36. That Pulled Sesame Honey Chicken is fabulous! I love love these flavors. I have to try this. And your buns (ha ha) are perfect! What a sandwich! And the story… OMG I’m seeing it now….. I want more so please hurry up! Now if I could only come over for dinner and listen to the rest of the story. (and unhinge-your-jaw sandwiches? *snort*)

  37. Saw these on tastespotting, and it is definitely a unique twist on pulled chicken. Looking forward to trying them.

  38. I made these yesterday and they are fabulous!! I cut the recipe in half so I only had a 1/4 ton of sliders lmao. Lovin’ your blog and story!

  39. Part 15????! LOL…you hooked me with a Part 1! What amazing sliders…this would be fabulous for a neighborhood get together…so unique and yummy. Now, get back to writing the next (final?) installment :)

  40. Looks yummy. What a fun blog check out my blog if you get a min and have not already :).

    Have a great day

    http://thedailysmash101.blogspot.com

  41. Oh no!! I want you to stay with Dreamboat! Well, I’ll wait and see before jumping the gun :>) When is part 15?? <3

  42. This is dinner at my house tonight. I was shocked I had about everything on hand…getting more chicken so I can double it and freeze some. Sadly, we will have store bought buns….the good kind though! Perfect rainy day dinner…

    • Let me know how they turn out for you, Susie!

      • OMG, we loved them! And let me tell you, I have a family of skeptics. I am planning on blogging it, but will link you and your recipe since I bastardized it…didn’t have exactly what I needed after all. Not so much honey, a lot more chili paste…no red cabbage at the grocer (seriously?!) They devoured it, slaw too, which I ate half of at 10 a.m. after mixing it up. It was even better at 6!

      • I am So glad to hear that you loved them! I cannot wait to see your post! :D I ate some leftover slaw at 3 am last week! LOL

  43. Time to break out the slow cooker! Piled high sliders are mouthwatering and a real winner with a rainbow of veggies :) Team Dreamboat or Team Hockey Guy – hmmm. Gotta go with Hockey Guy, he’s really trying – flowers and soup and wearing flip flops – plus, pre-college relationships never last…

  44. These look delicious. Cobo of General Tso and Sesame Chicken – how could you go wrong with that??

  45. that looks so delicious, i can barely stand it! i think that’s what i’m making for dinner!

  46. Those sliders look just to die for. As I know I find your story to die for too… I actually waiting with reading part 14a until there would be 14b so I sort of skipped those delicious matcha cake things you made ( which looked awesome with my favorite marzipan wrappings) and went straight to part 14b. Hockey guy sounds cool and I cannot wait to find out what’ll happen next !

  47. I am loving the sliders, but you know you have me with the story!! It’s fun hearing about Jersey (Tom’s River and “What exit?’). LOL! This Philly girl remembers that stuff so well. The college story is also so familiar…similar situations probably happened to many of us and then Boston! I lived and worked there for 5 1/2 years and took a few classes at Northeastern, so all the memories are coming back. I can’t wait to hear what happens with your hot hockey player! :-)

  48. The sliders look incredibly good, amazing and sooo delicious! I’m feeling super hungry right now!

  49. Ooh WAW!!! This is one fabulously, amazing & awesome looking filled sandwich!
    I have never tasted pulled chicken before let alone with these beautiful combinations of sesame & honey. That rainbow slaw caught my eyes too! ;) I must make this soon! :) xxx

  50. My husband is a very picky eater but one thing he never says no to is chicken. That is why I am always looking for new chicken recipes…this one right here is beyond amazing! These sandwiches will be a huge hit in my house…thank you for the inspiration Lisa

  51. Oh my word girl, you have my undivided attention for sure! I just showed hubby (aka Grill Chef) and he was immediately interested too:-) Love love the flavor combination! I don’t think I have had pulled chicken before, but will be soon:-) Hugs, Terra

  52. Can’t wait for part 15…those pulled chicken sandwich pictures are so distractingly gorgeous!

  53. Your Pulled Sesame Honey Chicken is the bomb! Love the rainbow theme and gorgeous bright colors of the veggies. The sauce flavoring has me drooling and I want one for dinner now!:)Super story that I don’t want to end but want to end so I know what happens…lol xo

  54. You really took the pulled chicken to a new level, and I’m just dazzled with your rainbow salad and vinaigrette dressing!

  55. Mmm, these sandwiches look so very tasty! Love the rainbow slaw – so pretty!

  56. um, yum!! I love using the crock pot in the summer because it doesn’t heat up the house. I typically get stuck in a rut with my old stand-by recipes, though, so I need to branch out. Also loving the rainbow slaw!!

  57. Mmmm pulled chicken! Love the twist on the classic dish!

  58. I made these Saturday and they were so good! I didn’t have chili paste, so I used diced red jalapenos instead. It was AWESOME, and the slaw was so yummy! Thank you!

  59. Is part 15 coming soon?

  60. Wow those sliders look so mouthwatering

  61. I’m really enjoying your story! Seems like a love triangle is brewing!

  62. [...] Pulled Chicken Sliders [...]

  63. What amazing chicken sliders & an even more amazing story to go with it. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the game!

    • Thank you, betty! Have you tried them yet? As for the story..thank you, again, although I think of it more as a journal of a magical memory – I just needed to write about it.


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