dinner, lunch, Salad/Salad Dressing

Lemon Chicken Spring Salad

Lemon Chicken Spring Salad: Grilled lemon and garlic-marinated chicken on a bed of leafy greens, with spring radishes and asparagus, goat cheese, roasted peppers and avocado, drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze.Some days are just a freakin’ struggle. Take today. I had big, big plans. I was gonna get so much stuff done. Blog cooking days are looonnnggg days, but I was ready. Up early, in the kitchen prepping, all organized, ingredients out, ready for Sarah to arrive. I was actually ahead of the game. Wow…we might be done by noon, I thought naively. (Insert big, big laugh right here.) That was really funny.

Enter our first recipe of the day. That’s this Lemon Chicken Spring Salad. Looks good, right? It IS really good, actually.  But it didn’t start out as a salad. It started as a lemon chicken orzo pasta bowl with snap peas and asparagus. Does that tell you how this day was going? This salad looks NOTHING like a lemon chicken orzo pasta bowl. Nope.

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Recipes, soup/stew

Adobo Chicken Tortilla Soup (with Instant Pot Version)

Adobo Chicken Tortilla Soup - this recipe uses fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro and chipotle peppers to create a flavorful chicken tortilla soup with a kick!

I’m a recovering perfectionist…

First step is acceptance — which I’ve totally got down. I’ve known for years that I hold myself to a ridiculous standard.

Next step is to actually do something about it. That part isn’t quite checked off, probably won’t be for awhile. But I’m working on it.

A few weeks ago, I nannied for a family in my neighborhood. I was supposed to run the carpools and make dinner for 5 kids and a husband (all total strangers to me). I was supposed to just look in the fridge, see what they had, and make it work. The perfectionism in me instantly started bubbling to the surface…that feeling of dread…what if my dinner failed? What if it didn’t taste good? What would they think? Then I remembered I was supposed to be recovering from this perfectionism thing, so I took a deep breath, opened the fridge, and started pulling ingredients out.

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cookies, dessert, Recipes

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies - a soft, lemony cookie full of poppy seeds and drizzled with a sweet powder-sugar glaze. The perfect party treat!
Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies…the perfect party treat.

My youngest brother is getting married next month, and his reception is in my parent’s backyard, so naturally, my mom has been full-steam ahead planning the event. Ordering flowers, addressing invites, doing yard work, etc. etc. She’s a whirlwind of to-do lists and has been for months, but I think she’s secretly thrilled about it, because she’s doing what she loves to do: planning parties.

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Portuguese Chicken and Rice

Portuguese Chicken and Rice: Chicken pieces sautéed with onions, mushrooms, peppers and sun-dried tomatoes make the perfect dinner in a pan! Add some green olives and lemon zest for authentic Portuguese flavor.Portuguese Chicken and Rice served by a lovely South African woman in the middle of the Caribbean Sea to a bunch of Americans…it really is a small world after all.

I first had this dish 15 years ago on a sailboat in the Caribbean. This amazing chef had us salivating over every meal, but this one was so memorable that here I am, re-creating it this many years later. Isn’t it cool that your brain can remember something so small as one meal after so long? Or maybe I just have an unnatural fixation on food. Oh dear. Do YOU remember stuff you ate years ago, or is it just me?

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bread, breakfast, sandwich/loaf bread

Grain-Free Everything Bagels

Grain-Free Everything Bagels - you can still get the savory taste of "everything bagels" but without the grains! Paleo and gluten free, but you'd never know it!Let me guess…most of you are totally turned off by the term “grain free.” You’ve tried grain-free bread before and decided you actually don’t like eating cardboard. I get it. But we have a little secret. And it comes in the form of Grain-Free Everything Bagels that are possibly a gift sent from heaven.

Not even kidding.

I found out a month ago that I have parasites. YUCK. So I’ve been following a strict Paleo diet to reduce inflammation and heal my gut as I get rid of those nasty little buggers. As a foodie enthusiast, this hasn’t been the easiest thing to do…until I found Grain-Free Everything Bagels.

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Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Instant Pot Butter Chicken - you're just a handful of spices and a can of coconut milk away from tender, flavor-packed Butter Chicken. Serve over a bed of warm rice and top with fresh cilantro!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken…you can’t lose with this one.

Indian food has a special place in my heart.

When I was going to college in Logan, Utah, I discovered this restaurant called Tandoori Oven. I think we’ve mentioned it on here before — it’s obviously a meaningful spot for us to bring it up time and time again…

This restaurant is attached to a gas station on a little corner beneath the university. You pull up to get gas, then walk right in and order some butter chicken and sweet cashew na’an bread. It’s kind of an iconic Logan experience, really.

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Salad/Salad Dressing

Spring Cobb Salad

This Spring Cobb Salad recipe is a twist on the traditional cobb - butter lettuce piled high with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, blue cheese, asparagus, radish, grilled chicken, avocado and micro greens. Drizzled with a lemon basil vinaigrette for a bright and zesty flavor.
Spring Cobb Salad…

Cobb Salad reminds me of my dad. When we’re out to eat, he’ll often order a big salad…and it’s usually a cobb. And I get it…cobbs are the bomb.com!

All those yummy toppings piled high on a bed of crunchy greens? Creamy eggs, savory bacon, tart blue cheese…yaaaass please!

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German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad: No mayo here! Just an authentic German recipe of warm potatoes in a simple bacon and vinegar dressing.
Grandma Beautiful. That’s what my kids have called my mom since they were little. It’s her “grandma name.” In fact, several of our friends’ kids call her that, too. She’s Grandma Beautiful to pretty much the whole neighborhood! And since it’s her birthday, we thought we better pay tribute to this beautiful woman with one of her faves: German food!

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dinner, lunch

Classic BBQ Chicken Pizza

Classic BBQ Chicken Pizza: An easy-to-make crust topped with all the traditional toppings: bbq sauce, roasted chicken, mushrooms, cheeses and fresh cilantro. It's a classic!
Classic BBQ Chicken Pizza…

You know how you can just always expect certain things to be the same in your life forevermore? There are just some classics that will remain unchanged and a part of your life…

My mom has her dining table set for the current season regardless of if she’s having a party or not.

My neighbor has had giant jars of candy all over her house for as long as I’ve known her. (How in the world does she stay so thin with all that sugar and chocolate lying around!)

I have a heaping bowl of fresh fruit on the counter 365 days a year.

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Simple Green Curry

Simple Green Curry - tender chicken and sautéed veggies swimming in a creamy coconut curry sauce. Served over rice and garnished with fresh cilantro and crushed nuts.
This Simple Green Curry reminds me of two things:

Thailand and Ambien. (Yup, the gnarly sleeping pill Ambien…)

Anytime I eat curry, I think about the two months I spent in Southeast Asia with my husband, brother and sister-in-law. While we were there, we spent two weeks exploring Thailand…riding elephants, playing with tigers and feeding monkeys. Oh, and let’s not forget about the eating part.

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