(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.
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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 – 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 –

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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…

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Dessert’s grand appearance was the Pie!

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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!!

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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

Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Last week I encouraged you to make your home a haven for your husband.  It needs to be your haven, too.  It could be a one for anyone that would enter your door.  Each day this week I’m going to be sharing  ways that you can do just that.  Maybe you’re a pro at it and these will just be reminders.  Perhaps you’ve gotten so preoccupied with other things that you need a refresher.  Or maybe you’re new at creating an atmosphere of a refuge and you don’t know where to begin.  I pray this will encourage each of you!

Food is a gift from God and is a huge element in home life. Cooking creates delicious aromas.  The dishes the meals are served on can create family traditions and carry precious memories, and time around the table creates conversation, care and intimacy.

I believe the meals we prepare need to be thought through so we’re prepared, organized, and allow our families to anticipate what’s coming!  I challenge you to plan at least four dinners for this week and post it somewhere.  It could be on your planner, a marker board, or a chalkboard.  Put it out where your family will see it and know what’s coming for supper this week.  You may need to switch the night you chose to make that entree, but that’s okay.  You’ll still have a plan.

I often scroll through my blog menu items and make up my whole week of dinners from it. That’s one great reason to blog about my food; I have an on-line record of our favorites!  If you keep a list of your family’s favorite things, it will be easier to make a weekly plan.

After you make your plan and post it, then make a grocery list and secure the ingredients needed.  Prep ahead and get things started early so dinner will be anticipated by everyone – even you!

Recently I made a recipe I’ve shared here –  the Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple Salsa again and was smitten by the fantastic taste the grill gives the whole meal!

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Hawaiian Chicken with Pinapple Salsa
Ingredients:

1/4 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

1. Combine first 5 ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Chill 4 hours. (I did mine overnight)

2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade in bag. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Note:  I microwaved the chicken for about 10 minutes to pre-cook it a little.  Then we put it on the grill. Add chicken to pan; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes. Turn chicken over; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes.

3. Combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cilantro.

Pineapple Salsa

Mix:

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (I used canned)

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup pineapple preserves

1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

I heated up the salsa and served it over the chicken.  This was so delicious!  The grilled chicken and the flavors of the marinade and the salsa are perfect!

Grilling makes all the difference!  I hope you’ll try this soon.  I know I won’t be waiting long before I make this again!

So who’s with me on making a menu for this week?  Will you strive to make the haven for your husband and your family with the food you create?   Can you plan four dinners you want to make and serve to your family this week?  Let me know in the comments below!

With love from my country kitchen,

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Grilled Coconut Oil Tortillas

Our favorite ethnic food is Mexican!  Lunchtime is often just a tortilla shell stuffed with tomatoes, fresh veggies and a little sour cream.  If I have roasted chicken I’ll add that, too.  It’s simple.  It’s delicious and it’s fast and we LOVE it!

I’ve posted a video here where I showed the technique for making whole wheat tortillas, and they are really good, but I recently tried a new recipe for tortillas and a new technique.  The recipe uses coconut oil.  It made them very soft and added a little sweetness.  I also grilled them on the gas grill, since I don’t have a gas stove.  I loved how the grill charred them a little and gave them that little smokey flavor!

 

 

The most time-consuming part is grilling/cooking them, but I had a helper; Alli came over and we made them together.  It made it go quicker, and we had fun working together!

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coconut-oil-tortilla

Soft Homemade Coconut Oil Tortillas

2 Cups Flour

1 tsp Sea salt

4 T. Coconut oil

3/4 Cup warm milk (or even water)

Instructions

  1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Use fork or hands to mash coconut oil balls into the flour, keeping lumps small.
  3. Slowly add milk until mixture begins to form a ball.
  4. Knead 2 minutes
  5. Cover dough and allow to rest 20 minutes
  6. Divide into 8 balls, and press on tortilla press. Then roll each one as thin as possible in a circular shape using a rolling pin.
  7. Cook tortillas in pre-heated, medium-hot skillet ( or on a gas grill!) about 30 seconds per side-golden brown spots indicate when it’s ready to flip.
  8. Tortillas are best served immediately, but can be stored in fridge and reheated for a few seconds in skillet.

These made our Mexican lunch a fiesta!  They were so good!  I will be firing up the grill again to make another batch soon!

Whether you make these on the grill or the stove top, you need to try this recipe and have your own Mexican celebration!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

 

The Grill’s Not just for Hot Dogs!

We’re in the middle of another session of Apples of Gold – the cooking/teaching mentoring ministry for ladies that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the last three years.  Each week we learn cooking techniques, study Titus 2, and fellowship together around a home-cooked meal.  It’s a wonderful, encouraging and fun time!

Last Saturday the meal was all about the grill.  Here was our menu:flatbreads.jpg

 

Grilled Prosciutto, fig and Gouda Flatbread
Rosemary and Sea Salt Flatbread
Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken Salad
Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Whipped Cream

For Flatbreads:
Ingredients
  • For the flatbread:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup warm water, plus more if needed
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 6 ounces Gouda cheese, grated
  • A handful of arugula
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • 8 fresh figs, cut into quarters – I used dried figs and they were just as delicious!

For the balsamic glaze:

  • 1 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey

Instructions:

For the flatbread:
To a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder, mix well.
Add the olive oil and mix.
Add the water and mix until the dough comes together, either using your hands or a wooden spoon.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before using to allow to come to room temperature.

Preheat your outdoor grill.
Divide the dough in fourths and roll out onto a floured cutting board into your desired shape.
Brush with the olive oil on both sides.
Grill on each side for about 2-3 minutes until you have good grill marks and the dough is crispy.
Remove from the grill and add your toppings.
Return the flatbread to the grill and grill only long enough until the cheese is melted.

For the balsamic glaze: – Make this while the dough is in the fridge

In a medium saucepan, add the balsamic and stir in the honey.
Bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium heat.
Simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the vinegar has reduced by ½, keep an eye it and check until it has the consistency of molasses.
Drizzle over the finished flatbread.

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For Rosemary/Sea Salt Flatbread – 

Combine 1 tbl. finely chopped fresh rosemary and about 2 tsp sea salt.

Brush flatbread with olive oil and grill until browned.  Remove and brush with more olive oil.  Rub Rosemary and salt mixture over oil.  Serve warm.

Griled chicken salad

Honey-lime Grilled Chicken Salad

Ingredients

For Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken
  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • zest from a lime
  • juice from a lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

instructions

  1. In a bowl add the Honey lime chicken ingredients; olive oil, honey, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Place each chicken breast between plastic wrap and gently pound using a meat mallet until chicken is about ½ inch in thickness. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Marinate overnight.
  3. Grill chicken over medium high heat until cooked through.

For Salad:

Ingredients:

Spring Mix
Sliced Strawberries
Blue Cheese

Place salad ingredients on plate, top with grilled chicken.

Honey-Lime Dressing – 

1/4 Cup olive oil
Juice and zest of a lime
2 tsp Honey

 In a small bowl, whisk the juice of the remaining lime, the honey and 1/4 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Now for dessert:

Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

  1. Slice fresh pineapple in one-inch slices.
  2. Sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mixture
  3. Grill on medium high heat 2-3 minutes or until soft and pineapple has grill marks.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream, and fresh mint.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients

Full Fat Coconut milk
Vanilla
Sugar

Place coconut milk in fridge overnight. The next morning, put mixing bowl and beaters into freezer for ten minutes.  Turn milk can upside down, open and pour off liquid.  Pour rest of milk into chilled mixing bowl.  Beat until whipped up.  Add 2 tbl sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.

This meal is so delicious!  Fire up the grill and get some restaurant worthy foods cooking on your back porch!  

With love from my country kitchen,

 

BBQ, Butter and Bargains

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We’ve been on vacation – maybe you’ve guessed.  (A week alone with my preacher husband has me spitting out alliterated blog post titles! Ha!)

While we’re away, we usually stay in a condo with cooking facilities.  We enjoy eating out, but after a while, we really prefer to fix our own meals so we can keep cost and calories to a minimum.

One huge blessing on this vacation was the discovery of two gas grills that have been added to the property where we stay!  We made a trip to Kroger and purchased some boneless pork chops.  Then I surveyed the ingredients I’d brought with me from home and I landed on a great recipe, mocking one we’ve enjoyed at The Chop House.  It has an herbed butter that takes the simply grilled chop to another level!  Here’s how I did it:

Grilled Pork Chops with Herbed Buttr

4 Boneless pork chops
Salt/Pepper
Cooking Spray

Herbed Butter
1/2 stick softened butter
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Combine ingredients for butter in a small bowl.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.

Prepare grill by placing foil on grill and spraying with cooking spray. Heat grill.  Season chops with salt and pepper.  Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side. Check for doneness.  Remove from grill  Serve with a small ball of herbed butter on top of pork chops.

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My Menu:

Grilled Pork Chops with Herbed Butter
Sweet Potato Fries
Asian Chop Salad
Toasted Sour Dough Bread

When I figured up our meal, it cost us right at $6 for BOTH of our dinners!  I got the chops on sale, we got about 3 meals out of the bag of salad, and 3 meals from the Ore-Ida Potatoes!  The best part was how delicious the chops were!  They were every bit as good as what we’ve enjoyed at the restaurant!  We cooked all four on one night, but ate two the first evening and the other two the next night!  This meal was a scrumptious barbequed dinner, dripping with that herbed butter!

If you’re home, make this dinner and you might feel like you’re on vacation! Here was our view while we ate…

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God is so good to us!  It was a blessing that we don’t deserve, but that He graciously allowed.

Fire up your grill, and make these chops! Now, alliterate your recent meal  and leave it as a comment!

Reminiscing about the salt air,

A Peek from My Porch – What I’ve Been Up to this Week

Here’s a look at my week:

What I’m growing…
wpid-wp-1437508732852 - CopyWe have 7 cantaloupe growing in our raised beds! I’m so excited and am praying they keep growing until they’re ready to eat!

What I’m crafting…

wpid-wp-1437508898443 - CopyI got the green basket for $5 when we were on vacation in May and tucked it away, waiting until after the July 4th wreath was taken down to hang it. I purchased flowers when they were 50% off at Hobby Lobby and put the arrangement inside. I should have shut the inside door so you could see it better, but trust me, the coral door really makes the green pop!

What we celebrated…

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National Ice Cream Day was Sunday! We came home after church and dished up Vanilla Bean and topped it with fresh fruit and a cinnamon Crisp. It was so refreshing! I’m all for celebrating ice cream every day. Wish I could! It’s my favorite dessert!

What I’m grilling…wpid-wp-1437508742292

Among other things, we grilled my recipe for Herb and Cheese Stuffed Burgers; they’re my favorite hamburger recipe! I also cut a couple sweet potatoes into fries and roasted them in the oven with salt and a little brown sugar.

What made me smile and cry all at the same time…

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Hearing my son-in-law share about his call to the ministry. He was in the sixth grade and was at junior camp at The Wilds when he knew God wanted him to be a preacher. He never questioned God’s call on his life and began from that day on to prepare to serve the Lord full-time. As I sat and listened to him share that Sunday night, I thought about all the times I had prayed for my girls’ mates as they were growing up. God has answered that prayer and given them both godly men who love the Lord. My heart is full.

You moms of young ones, pray, pray, pray for the one your child will marry! Pray for their salvation, for their purity, for their protection and their submission to God’s will. There’s nothing better than seeing your children walking in Truth, is there?!

How’s your week been? Anyone else celebrate National Ice Cream Day? Whose gardens are growing and giving good things? Tell me all about it!

With love from my country porch,