(L)Oven Monday – Grilled Chicken With Strawberry Salsa

Grilled chicken 2a

Everything about the recipe I’m going to share with you today is just right.  Grilled chicken with crispy, charred edges and flavorful strawberry salsa on top – it’s just perfect!  This was one of the new recipes I found while culling through magazines for inspiration for my menu last week.  This one did not disappoint!  This is from Kraft foods.  The only tweak I made was that I didn’t purchase a vinaigrette; I made my own, and the recipe will follow.

Now on to that gorgeous chicken!

Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Vinaigrette 

1/2 cup KRAFT Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb.)
2 cups small strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Pour 1/4 cup dressing over chicken in shallow dish; turn to evenly coat both sides of each breast with dressing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate. Meanwhile, combine strawberries and remaining dressing. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat grill to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chicken 6 to 8 min. on each side or until done (165ºF).
Transfer chicken to platter; sprinkle with cheese and basil. Serve with strawberry salsa.
Grilled chicken 3
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
  2. 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional* (See Cook’s Note)
  3. 1 tablespoon chopped garlic.
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  6. 3/4 cup olive oil.

Mix well in jar.  Refrigerate leftover dressing.

Get a good meat thermometer to check the chicken to see that it’s cooked properly.  If the breasts are thick, butterflying them will help reduce the cooking time.

I love grilling!  Everything just tastes better with the added flavor and the charred ridges! Mmm! Any other grill fans out there?

Enjoy!

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Fajita/Burrito Bowls

burrito bowls 2a

If you love Mexican foods the way we love Mexican foods, the title of this recipe alone will draw you in!  I mean what could be wrong with combining a fajita and a burrito?  You have the sauteed vegetables, the rice, the fresh veggies and sour cream and cheese…yeah, you know what I mean!  This past year I was introduced to the Burrito bowl.  You take all the stuffings of a burrito and eat it out of a bowl rather than a tortilla.  What a great lunch idea!  I usually always have all the ingredients for this recipe on hand, so it’s a perfect addition to my menu!

Not only is this recipe DELICIOUS, it’s also super fast and super inexpensive!  There is no meat in this fajita – instead there are black beans.  Beans are a great source of protein and much cheaper than meat, so if you’re looking to reduce your grocery bill, adding a meal or two a week like this will really help you save!  Here’s how you make it:

Fajita/Burrito Bowls
Ingredients:
1 {16 oz} can black beans rinsed and drained
1 sweet pepper sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/2 Cup Corn – Fresh or frozen
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Heat a medium sized skillet with vegetable oil and onion and peppers until cooked through. Add the beans, corn and all the spices and sauté for few minutes more.
burrito bowls
Remove from heat and add a little chopped cilantro (I forgot to add that!). Serve over a bed of rice.  Serve with your choice of other burrito ingredients such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa

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The bowl below might look like a bowl of mush, but it’s soooo good!

Burrito bowls 3

Have you ever had a burrito bowl?  What did you think?

I hope you’ll give this meat-free recipe a try!  Enjoy!

From my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

(L)Oven Monday – “Grilled” Chicken Tenders that Taste Like Cracker Barrel’s

Chicken Tenderloin 1a

I love it when a restaurant has healthy food that’s so good you don’t feel like you’re missing out when you choose to order wisely!  That’s how I feel about Cracker Barrel’s Grilled Chicken Tenders!  They’re so juicy and flavorful that every bite is like an indulgence.  Recently I found This Copycat recipe on Southern Plate that reminds me so much of that delicious entree!  They’re not really grilled, but they have the taste of it!  Let me show you how simple this recipe is!

“Grilled” Chicken Tenderloins

Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips.
  • 1 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons honey
Instructions:
  1. Place chicken in gallon ziplock bag. Combine all other ingredients and pour over. Seal and marinate for at least an hour. Doing this step the night before would make supper a breeze!
  2. Pour all ingredients into a large skillet and cook over medium heat until liquid evaporates and remaining marinade becomes thick and caramelized. This can take from 30-40 minutes.
  3. Coat each piece of chicken in marinade by rubbing it around on the bottom of the pan before removing it.

Here’s what it looked like about half way through the cooking process:

Chicken Tenderloin 3

I cooked my chicken in my electric skillet and it took about 30 minutes, so just keep an eye on the your pan to tell when it’s done.  This is so delicious!  I used the leftovers later in the week for wraps for our lunch and it was delicious cold!  This would be a great staple to keep in the freezer!

Chicken Tenderloin 1

 

If you need a super-simple and fast side to go with a meal, here’s something we love:

Canned Potatoes with Rosemary and Tomatoes

Canned potatoes, drained
1 Tbl. Butter
Grape Tomatoes, halved
Rosemary
Salt
Pepper

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Melt butter in small skillet.  Cube the potatoes and add them to the skillet.  Let them get brown and a little “crispy.”  Add herbs and Grape tomatoes. Let cook until tomatoes are warm.

potatoes.jpg

This is a super-easy and yummy meal!  I hope you’ll put it on your menu and then let me know how you like it!

Chicken Tenderloin 2

Do you have a favorite Copycat recipe you make?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Summer Menu Family Favorites

Hello friends!  I trust you had a great weekend.  We sure did!  On top of the wonderful church service on Sunday (I’m so thankful for my church!), getting to go hear Chonda Pierce Friday night (hilarious!), and a fun day on Saturday, my cup was just running over!

We had a delicious Sunday dinner at home. I know, it was Mother’s Day, and mom’s aren’t supposed to cook, but I was glad to help. My husband did steaks on the grill for us and I happily contributed all the other parts of the menu.  Everything on the menu is literally a family favorite for summertime cuisine!  This menu is perfect in every way in our house!  I’ve shared them all in times past, but let me tell you about it –

mother's day 1

I usually always make a Teriyaki Marinade for our steaks because it makes them THE BEST EVER!  Spinach Salad has a crunchy element of Water Chestnuts, some boiled eggs, bacon pieces and is then topped with a dressing that is a cross between Catalina and French dressing.  Yum. Every now and then we step into the unhealthy realm and make our family’s favorite Golden Onion Rings.  Again, they’re just the most delicious recipe ever, yet very easy to make.  Lastly, dessert consisted of another family favorite – Fresh Strawberry Pie.  In case you haven’t made any of these, or if you haven’t made these recipes in a while, let me share the links so you can put them on your menu soon!!

Teriyaki Marinated Steaks
Golden Onion Rings
Spinach Salad
Fresh Strawberry Pie

I was too involved with the guests to get good pictures of the food,
but here’s a little peek…

mother's day 1a

Dessert’s grand appearance was the Pie!

mother's day 2

My “centerpiece” may seem a little odd to you, but let me explain – I wanted all three of my girls represented on the table.  The Yankee Candle has a label on it with my oldest and youngest daughters pictures on it!  A sweet friend gave that to me for a Mother’s Day gift and it touched my heart so much!  Not only did it represent the girls, it gave a pretty ambiance to the table and it smells wonderful!  Then the little pink rose in the bud vase and the porcelain baby shoes were to represent our second daughter, Ashley.  She’s rejoicing in heaven, and we’ll join her before long!!

mother's day 3

Our youngest daughter and her husband were here with us for supper, and I got to talk to my oldest daughter and my mom on the phone, so that was wonderful!  Even though we had some of our favorite foods, the people we got to be with were the best part of the meal!

What was the best part of your weekend?

With love,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Easter Dinner 2017 Recap

Easter dinner 2017 a

If you’ve been reading my blog more than a week, you know how I treasure Sunday dinner.  It makes my heart sooo happy! But how does Sunday dinner get even better?  It’s when Sunday dinner is Easter Sunday dinner.  On top of good food, there’s the blessing of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and celebrating that truth that He lives!

So, yesterday, we did indeed have a big Sunday meal, but we started with a wonderful church service where Christ was exalted! We sang of His resurrection and heard God’s truth about how to be sure you can have eternal life!  Then we came home for dinner and included our daughter and son-in-law and a couple of other special people.  We also incorporated a few family traditions, which brings memories and makes memories.  It was a great day!

Here’s the menu:

 Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole
Tarragon Asparagus – New recipe
Deviled Eggs
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Bowls
Bunny-Shaped Breadsticks – New recipe
Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling

Let me roll the pictures so you can have a peek into our day and see that I also incorporated all the principles I’ve recently shared about Sunday dinner!

I worked early in the week and got the Coconut Cake baked and layers put in the freezer.  Then at the end of the week, I made the lemon curd and the icing.  It simplifies the process so much!  By Saturday night here’s what was already prepped:

The cake, the rolls, the Sweet potato Casserole, Deviled eggs, and the salad ingredients were totally ready. The table was all set, too.  I also had the roasting pan for the ham set out and ready to bake the main entree.

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When I got home from church it only required to put the finishing touches on everything and bake the casserole.

Here’s how things turned out on Sunday~

Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cups –

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Sweet Potato Casserole – The best in my book!

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Terragon Asparagus – This was new, and it was pretty good.  My asparagus wasn’t as fresh as I’ve ever gotten, so I’m going to try this again before giving it a final verdict!

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Bunny Breadsticks – Another new recipe.  These were fantastic on Saturday when I made them, but they don’t really do well the next day.  Sooo, I won’t make these for Sunday any more, but I sure will use this recipe for other days when I have time to make them for that day.  They were delicious right out of the oven!!  And how cute are they???? They can be baked into regular bread sticks if you want to make them other times of the year!

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Coconut Cake

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One tradition that we’ve had for years is Easter sunrise service outside at home.  That was a challenge (and very cold) when we lived in Indiana, but we would don our coats and head to the tree house where we would have our own Sunrise service!  Then we would come inside and have Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs.  Now that it’s just my husband and me, we simply eat breakfast on the patio and read Scripture together.  It’s usually warm enough that we don’t shiver, thank the Lord!  Here’s what we had yesterday:

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We had Fresh farm eggs, Prosciutto, Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Fresh fruit and Coffee.
It was a great way to start Easter Sunday!  This is a reminder that traditions aren’t just for when your kids are at home.  Keep those traditions going even when they’re gone.  It will continue to build strong home ties, and will also give your grown kids the security of knowing that you’re still making the most of your marriage!

So, another Easter dinner is in the (memory) books, and I’ll have to say, it’s a memorable chapter!  I thank the Lord for the blessing of celebrating our Savior’s life and getting to do it at church AND at home around the Sunday dinner table.

Did you have Easter dinner?  Did you cook?  What made it special for your family?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

(L)Oven Monday – Chicken Dinner in Under 15 Minutes!

I’ve had the recent loss of a properly working fridge.  Sadness!!!  Because I had to load my milk, eggs, coffee cream, butter and yogurt into the cooler while we wait (and wait and wait) for the repairmen to get the parts and get them installed, I’ve had to be kind of “off-the-cuff” with my meals.  Not having room for fresh vegetables, condiments, etc., I’ve pretty much just been pulling from the freezer and pantry.  “Necessity is the mother on invention” they say, and it’s true!  I had to pull a meal together completely out of necessity and it was  a really happy discovery!

I needed supper to consist of chicken breasts, canned tomatoes and feta cheese because that’s what I had. I found a recipe that sounded good, but I didn’t have the exact ingredients, so I substituted with what I did have, and the results were fabulous!!

chicken with feta 2

This chicken is cooked in under 15 minutes!!! Broiling the chicken gives it a little crispiness that makes it taste like it’s been grilled.  Yum!! If you need  a fabulous meal in a flash, here’s what this recipe calls for:

Chicken breasts filet
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Italian Seasoning
Canned Tomatoes
Feta Cheese

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven broiler on high.

Mix equal parts of olive oil and vinegar.  For one LARGE chicken breast, I used about 2 tbl of each.  Brush vinegar mixture on both sides of chicken breast.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, on both sides.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Place baking sheet 4-6 inches from broiler.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Turn and cook until juices run clear.  I had a thick chicken breast, so I cut it in half so it was thinner.  It cooked in the 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and place a spoonful of diced canned tomatoes (drained), on chicken.  Sprinkle with Feta Cheese.  Broil one more minute.  Serve immediately.

My menu for a completely 15 minute meal:

Chicken with Feta and Tomatoes
Steamed Green Beans
Couscous

chicken with feta 3

Seriously, this was so delicious!  My husband said, “This recipe needs to be on the ‘Do-over’ list!”  I agree.  We will be having this again and again even after the fridge gets fixed!  I’m thinking this recipe is the “Silver lining” in this refrigerator trouble!  Thank you, Lord, for these little blessings!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

(L)Oven Monday – Comfort Food Classic

meat loaf meal

I recently needed to fix a meal for a couple who had spent many days and nights in the hospital.  They needed a nourishing, comforting meal.  That’s when I jumped on my blog’s recipe index to look for my long-time favorite recipe for Meatloaf. I mean you can’t get more comforting than meatloaf and the trimmings for a great home cooked meal, right? It was then that I was shocked to find that I have never shared that recipe here on my blog!  What?  I’ve been making it for YEARS!

I will fix that need today and share this incredibly easy and yummy meatloaf!It’s from Taste of Home and it’s called “Mom’s Best Meatloaf” for a reason!  It’s not over-seasoned; it’s just right!

To accompany the meatloaf, I made the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.  A sweet friend at church brought this cheesy heaven to my husband and me when we were caring for my mother-in-law in several years ago.  I asked my friend for the recipe, and also if she minded if I shared it with you!  She happily passed it on.  Thank you, Bethany!

Here was my menu for the Comfort Food Meal:

Mom’s Best Meatloaf
Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Green Beans
Fried Apples
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits

meat loaf

Mom’s Best Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • Additional ketchup

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press into an ungreased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Drizzle top of loaf with ketchup; bake 15 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 6-8 servings.

mac and cheese

My Favorite Ever Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook until done; drain.
  2. In 9×13 inch baking dish, stir together macaroni, shredded Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle topping over macaroni mixture.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

This meal is comfort heaven!  Make it for someone who needs some love – or make it for your own family to show your love!

What’s your best comfort food meal?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px