Grilled Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken Salad

When I saw this recipe I was excited to try it.  We like salad at our house but when I eat a chicken salad I have two stand-by’s that are my go-to salad.  I was excited to get a new one into my rotation.

I do have to admit that I was a bit concerned about grilling chicken on the grill.  Although I’m a master griller when it comes to brats and beer can chicken; chicken breasts strike fear in my heart.  A lot of chicken breasts that I’ve eaten that were grilled tended to be a little overcooked as well as dry and tasteless.  I don’t know if it’s a testament to my grilling skills or the marinade on the chicken but my chicken turned out wonderfully!  I heated the grill on high for a few minutes, sprayed the grate with grill spray, turned the heat down to medium and then cooked the chicken towards the front of the grill which on my grill is a bit off the flame.  The chicken turned out incredibly moist and tender.  If you don’t have a grill or prefer not to grill, the chicken can also be cooked on the stove top or baked.

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Quinoa Summer Salad

IMG_1475I have found a delicious new gluten-free salad for the summer. I am addicted to it as it tastes so fresh and on top of that it is healthy and made with all natural ingredients. My neighbor, Peggy, made it for an end-of school get together and I haven’t been able to get enough of it since! Please note that there is no “recipe” just ingredients as she basically whipped this up and then told me what she put in it. I gave my best attempt to recreate it.

My first round was not good (too much quinoa and not enough olives and lacked flavor), but the second time I improved and I am hoping the next time I make it I will hit it out of the park. We will see. Here are the components: [Read more…]

Air Plant Creations



Hi, everyone! I feel like it has been forever since I posted something! Hope all of you, are readers, are having a great summer. So what have I been up to? Many things and not all fun, but I won’t focus on that, I will share only the fun with all of you.

One of these things, well this is fun for me, was the discovery of air plants. I actually discovered them in June while in Portland, OR, on a work trip. I was walking down the sidewalk and found these beautiful unique plants on the OUTSIDE of outdoor grass plant baskets. I remember standing and staring and trying to figure out what they were as I had no idea how they were growing on the outside (above picture). [Read more…]

Summer Salad

Summer Salad CCTNT


Summer is full upon us and fresh salads are great to prepare in advance to have for an easy go-to side dish for several meals.  I usually make several at a time to give some variety, including broccoli salad, potato salad, shrimp salad, and macaroni salad.  When visiting my parents a few weeks ago, my mom made this fruit salad – it reminds me of a combination of apple salad and broccoli salad – and it’s wonderful.  It didn’t last even two days!  This is now a new ‘go-to’ salad for our family – give it a try, I know you will love it!

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Creamy Chicken Casserole

Creamy Chicken Cassarole CCTNT


Quick and easy casseroles are one of my favorites.  Those that are simple and have only a few ingredients, most of which are cupboard staples are the best.  When making different recipes using cubed or shredded chicken, I usually cook up extra and then put it in 3-4 cup portions and put in the freezer for later.  This recipe is a good option for a weeknight, and if you have chicken already cooked off and cut up you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour.  Add a tossed salad and some fresh vegetables and you have a great family meal.

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Mini Cookie Dough Fruit Cups

Mini Fruit Cups with CCTNT

Earlier this summer, my sisters and I held a rummage sale.  My sister Kate showed up with these delicious little mini sugar cookie dough fruit cups that she wanted us to try.  Well, we tried them, and tried them, and tried them….. HOLY CATS they were good!  We couldn’t stop eating them.  So, for our Father’s Day celebration, I made them.  No surprise, they were a big hit! [Read more…]

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Strawberry Freezer Jam

If you’ve never made strawberry freezer jam before, I would highly recommend that you give it a whirl.  There’s just nothing like jam made from scratch!  And, it’s pretty easy to do.  To be honest, the “recipe” is included in the pectin you’ll need to buy, so you can pretty much get it from there.  But, hey, as long as you are here, you might as well keep reading and look at all the pretty pictures…. [Read more…]

Chicken Under a Brick

Chicken Under a Brick

We eat A LOT of chicken at our house.  My go to recipe is to drizzle bone-in breasts with a flavored olive oil, salt and pepper and then bake for about 45 minutes.  Super easy and tastes delicious.  Sometimes though one needs to step outside of the comfort zone and shake it up.  That’s why I was so excited to get this recipe from

One thing I’ve learned as I’ve been amping up my cooking this year is that there are different ways to infuse your food with flavor.  Cooking chicken in coconut milk when making Thai food is one trick I’ve learned.  Another trick I’ve just learned is to put something heavy on top of chicken.  Forcing the meat down while surrounding with fresh herbs allows the flavors to infuse all the way through the meat.  Who knew?!

The recipe calls for an oven proof skillet (which I don’t have) so while I was browning the chicken in the skillet I heated up the baking dish I was going to use so that it would be hot when I added the chicken.  Since my baking dish was pretty small, I used an actual brick wrapped in tin foil to press down my food.  Worked like a charm :)

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine did!

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Chicken Under a Brick - our dinner last night

Chicken Under a Brick – our dinner last night


At the bottom of this post I share how to win 6 free plates from

Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to start eating a bit healthier.  You know, take that one baby step into better eating habits.  We also needed to get out of the food rut we were in.  Mike and I were either eating the same recipes over and over or else we were eating out every night.

Historically the issue has been that while I have good intentions, my carry through hasn’t always been the best.  I find these great recipes and never make them because I’m missing a key ingredient or they seem really difficult.  If I was going to attain my goal I needed to change my approach.

While watching TV one evening, I saw a commercial for a company that delivers all the ingredients you need to make a meal directly to your home.  Thinking that may be a solution for us, I hit up their website only to find that the recipes weren’t my cup of tea.  After looking around a bit more I came across a website called

The recipes were definitely more up my alley so I bit and decided to order a box.  Here’s how it works.  Every week I go online and choose three meals (you can choose more if you desire, that’s just what works for Mike and I) to be delivered to the house.  If I’m feeling a little adventurous I let them choose them for me.  I do have to say, some of the best meals we’ve had were ones I didn’t choose for myself.

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Creamy Garlic Spaghetti

Creamy garlic spaghetti looked like a sure winner to me when I saw the recipe and pictures the first time.  I do love my tomato spaghetti sauce, but i just had to try the garlic pasta from the pictures and descriptions.    Mixing the right cheese and flavors in a recipe like this will have you competing with the top chef’s of the world.
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