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strawberry and balsamic chicken summer salad

Good morning, friends!

I made this recipe last week, just sort of opened the fridge and it all came together.

We liked it SO much,that I made it again this week!

And you should too!

Start by making your marinade

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1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce ( use GF soy suave to make the dish GF)
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/8 c olive or canola oil
1 handful fresh parsley
1 small onion roughly chopped
Dash sea salt

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Dig out your trusty smoothie maker. And blend

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Reserve about 1/4 cup of marinade for dressing base , being careful not to contaminate.

Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken and let sit for 3-4 hours

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When ready to cook, discard marinade that chicken was hanging out , and preheat girl to 375 ish

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Grill chicken breasts for about 7-8 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to make sure internal temp gets up to 165.

You’ll get some color on these, don’t worry! It’s the sugars in the balsamic and brown sugar carmalizing. And, it’s delicious!

When chicken has reached 165 in the thickest part, remove from heat and let rest.

Make your dressing…

To the reserved marinade mix, add 1/4 cup of extra virgin oil oil, and black pepper. Re-whirl the dressing in your smoothie maker ( it should look a bit creamy due to the oil emulsifying )

Next, assemble your salad

Place greens of your choice in a serving bowl. Chop up about 1/2 pound ( or more) of fresh strawberries. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts ( toast them first for a deeper flavor) then add about 1/3 cup of soft cheese sprinkled all over the top.

( first time I made this I used goat cheese, second time, I used a soft feta.. Both were amazing! … Use what you have )

Next, slice your chicken ( it should still be warm) and top on top of the cheese and let sit for a minute ( your cheese layer is getting very happy )

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Drizzle the dressing atop chicken and toss when ready to serve

Yeah. You should totally make this.

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weekend snapshot part 2

So I left you at Saturday night. I forgot to mention that we did a little furniture window shopping saturday afternoon, We currently have 2 sectionals, one in our living room and one in our finished basement .

Our new house is considerably smaller than our current house so we need to do major downsizing ( which is perfectly ok by me ) neither of our sofas will fit in our new living room so we will be selling one, and buying a smaller sofa.

I found one that I really liked. The floor model had it in off white ( which I loved) but with a black haired dog, I new it wasn’t practical. ( isn’t it protocol for empty – nesters to run out and buy a white sofa 😉 ). Just kidding….actually, I’m not.. I loved the white but It also comes in a granite color, so I think that’s what we will go with.

At first Scott liked it, then he said he didn’t ( I think he was just razzing me) but in the end he sent me the dimensions of the living room to make sure it will fit.

He had to go into the office on Sunday, so I was on my own. Which was ok, because I had developed either a

Head cold
Allergies
Sinus infection or
Altitude issues.
Or maybe a little bit of each …

either way, it really knocked me down. I’m sure the fact that I’ve been going a mile a minute for 6 weeks then just stopped didn’t help

I spent the day cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, dishes and going through magazines for decorating ideas and checking out websites for ideas.
All while watching 80’s movies in the background.

It was actually fun to clean the small space! Almost like playing house 😉

I have 2 Queen Anne chairs that I love, but the slipcovers are worn. Like beyond saving- worn.
But the slipcovers themselves are soo expensive! I did a little research and I think I’m going to attempt making my own slipcovers. Ill make a prototype using inexpensive fabric to start and if all goes well, then ill splurge on a fabric that I like. * wish me luck!!*

I’ve been looking at fabric collections and found a few that I really like!

 

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I love co-ordinating fabrics and how they can feel so cozy.

The other thing that I’m going to do Is attempt roman shades ( also in coordinating fabric) for my kitchen. I did a lot of reading on how to make them and again, I think I can…. I think I can… I think I can……..

We also need to do some re arranging of our bedroom sets. Ali’s set won’t fit in her room. My current thought is to keep the dresser and nightstand and desk ( all white) but put her full headboard away and get her a twin white headboard instead.

Scott’s armoire won’t fit in our room so my thought is to put it in Ryan’s room and find a full wooden headboard that coordinates and use Ali’s full mattress in there.

I’m going to start hitting up yard sales and furniture consignment shops this weekend.

Monday I went back to super target to buy groceries for Scott since he doesn’t have a car there once I leave ( something else we are trying to figure out)

I went back to the apartment and made home a big batch of kale soup for a few dinners,

 

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and stocked his freezer and cabinets with food for the next 3 weeks.

Our open house went well .. Our real estate agent said there was lots of positive feedback, which is nice considering how hard I worked to get the house to where it is now.

By the time you read this I will be home and ready to hit the ground running again. I have. Furniture to bring to a consignment store, as well as sports equipment, clothes, etc…..

In the next 6 weeks I will have

Bought a house in Colorado
* hopefully* sold a house in Massachusetts ( updated… We are under contract!!!!)
Shipped my beloved Zola to Colorado
Have Ali’s senior prom
Cheer Ali and lex on as they walk 40 miles for breast cancer
Have all of my kids home for 1 week ( graduation week)
Watch my daughter graduate high school
Celebrate Scott and my 24 th wedding anniversary
* hopefully* find a place for Ali and I to live for June and July
Remember to breathe 😉

I’m starting right now with that last one. The only way I’m getting through all of this is one day at a time.

As I leave I just wanted to share this pic. The events at the finish line of the Boston marathon hit too close to home. I had friends sitting in the stands where one of the bombs that did not go off were found. Too scary. And the crazy manhunt and additional death and injury of the policemen.. There are no words…

Even though I’m ready to make a new life in the Rocky Mountains, my heart will always be in Boston …

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weekend snapshot part 1

Hiya friends and family! Here I am from 30,000 feet in the air again ( I think I’m getting used to this 😉 )

 

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Since I told you all I was going to use this blog as a way to share in this life-changing experience I thought I’d take these 2,000 miles to chat with you

* breathe, Sista, breathe * it’s less than 4 hours from Denver to Boston 🙂

Smooch!

I arrived Thursday night to a very hungry Scott waiting for me. I barely had time to put down my luggage and we were off to eat dinner at the restaurant that is attached to his corporate apartment, Earl’s. If you are friends with me on Facebook then you saw the picture that I posted. Although I that he is getting tired of eating at Earl’s, I just love it!

 

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On the second floor the windows come out, making it almost a balcony to the outside. Earls overlooks 16th mall which is an entire cobblestone street where no cars are allowed, just a motorized shuttle that goes up and down the street all day long. In the center of the street are little food carts, chess tables, and in the summer colorful pianos everywhere encouraging anyone to play at any time. There are stores and restaurants lining the entire length of the street . It’s got a super- fun vibe!

This was the first time that I ate there with the windows open.. And even though there was a blizzard the day before, it was still comfortable because they have heating lamps that shine down on the tables, so you have that fresh,crisp air with the warmth of the lamps.

I had the chicken tacos. In fact I’ve been there 3 times and always order the chicken tacos. Thy are made with soft corn tortillas, shredded chicken, corn, Mexican cheese and pico de gallo. Served with a side salad that has basil shreds mixed in as well as fresh mozzarella! Yum !

The other thing that I like about eating there is that they have Dreaming Tree wines by the glass or bottle. Dreaming Tree wines are wines made at a vineyard owned by Dave Matthews! The labels of the wines are drawn by Dave and the names of the wines are titles of his songs. ( Scott is a huge DMB fan). But here’s the thing… The wines are really really good!!

It was a wonderful welcome to my new city.. And let me tell you, I was exhausted. It was so much work getting our house not only listed, but spotless and I left for a week one way, the girls left another direction, and having it be perfect for an open house that was this weekend.

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On Friday Scott had to work, so once I slept in I went to the gym, then ventured out to drive by my new HOME!

It looked all purty sitting there 😉

Then I went to whole foods to get some healthy food ( I’ve been very bad with my eating habits lately and it shows… I’ve vowed to change this)

So I walked Into the store, and the funniest thing happened, I got . Nervous. Really nervous.. Like this is where I will be shopping a lot ( for the sales,produce and lentils). I actually had a little panic attack! Weird, eh?

I bought some tea, veggies, apples, lentils, kombucha ( they had a local hibiscus and elderberry flavor) eggs and milk for tea.

I went back to the apartment and enjoyed a ( well- deserved ) quiet afternoon.

On Saturday, Scott and I once again ventured to our new neighborhood, parked the car ( were from Boston. So we paaaakkked the caaaa) and walked to a cute little coffee shop called Wash Perk. Then we walked. And walked and walked. 6.5 miles actually. Just trying to get the lay of the land, time out distance to places that we will be going to. The fact that it was 66 degrees didn’t hurt. It was such a beautiful day in the park. I found myself really missing Fenway 😦

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can you beat this view????

 

We walked to a pizza place for lunch. They have wood- fired pizza and calzones and amazing salads! It was fun to eat alfresco and watch all of the people walking by!

 

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We then went to super-target to buy wine ( YES , our new Targeee the French store sells wine!) and a few odds and ends for the apartment ( laundry detergent, tt, paper towels, etc….)

Am I boring you yet? I know none of this sounds all that exciting but since its all new to me, I’m just tickled 🙂

Saturday night we walked down to LoDo, which is short for lower downtown. There are white lights strung above the streets from telephone pole to telephone pole.

 

 

IMG_0841So pretty!! We had a
fabulous Mediterranean meal at Rioja and enjoyed the walk to and from. He bought me the cookbook from the restaurant and the chef/ owner. Chef Jen signed it for me! We had a Spanish white wine and I had the artichoke and goat cheese ravioli . They were like little pillows that melted in your mouth… And now, I have the recipe!!!! Who wants to try some???

It may seem like we are eating out a lot, and we are, but Scott has a dining budget and he has not been using it so that he could wait until I was there and we could enjoy together.. We took advantage of it while we could, but once we close on our new house ( 2 weeks from tonight) that will be no more.

More about the weekend soon !

boo!

did I a-scare you? sorry about that…

I know its been awhile… I’m not proud of my behavior…

that’s not true. I am proud. I was able to make the * very difficult * switch from one server to another. Greek to some of you? good… let it stay that way…. it really wasn’t fun.. buuuut it’s done 🙂

I will have many more fun things on this server… like the ziplist feature. Don’t know what that is? no worries…. I’ll ‘splaine.

click on save this recipe and it will bring you to a create and account page . ( if you don’t have a zip list account, trust me, you want one)

think of it as your cyber recipe box. You can save any recipe to you box ( once your account is opened ) and create and print shopping lists.

it’s awesome.

soooo to try out this new feature I will share one of my oldest recipes.. Creamy Cheesy Chicken.
This recipe goes back to our camping days. I used to make meals ahead of time & freeze them so that I could just pop them in the oven in our camper. Over the years I have continued to make this, using many variations… it is always a hit!

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I do not remember where I first saw this recipe… I just know that it is a family favorite. its great because you can have all of the ingredients on hand and whip it up in no time!

since I am on a new server.. anyone who had followed the blog by email will need to re follow. on the bottom right side of the screen is a ‘follow’ button.. just click that and enter your email and you are good to go!

happy halloween, friends…. I leave you with a picture of Ali’s costume this year.. along with her friends. They are the Rugrats.. form the popular 90’s cartoon… Ali made the costumes last night. I am so proud of her.. not only for wanting to be a cartoon character , but for being as creative as she was….

and lastly…. my most fav Halloween ever…..I remember it like it was yesterday…. Ryan and I painted his costume in the fornt yard and making Ali’s costume was so much fun. I’ve never been one for a pre bought costume… making them was almost as fun as the actual trick or treating 🙂

this is my last Halloween that I will be sending trick or treaters out into the world to fetch some good candy for their dad 😉 It’s quite bittersweet.

so happy halloween, my friends… be careful out there… those little witches and munchkins are very excited 🙂

xooxoxox

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