Gallery

Heirloom or Clutter…+ A New Twist on an Old Favorite…Chicken Parmesan as a muffin!

Happy New Year, everyone!! I have a new dilemma to share!

I know it’s really great that there are things so special to you that you want to pass them along to your children and grandchildren‚Ķ.but seriously‚Ķ..you have to think, ‚ÄúWill they want this shit?‚ÄĚ

aUljwi7DQjmrqkMMvmS1fQ

Take, for example, the Lenox bird collection, that I know was an expensive bite out of the budget that my husband provided for his mom….I just spent an entire afternoon, matching each bird to the corresponding certificate of authenticity, photographing, and listing them on Ebay. I sold one, but by the time I packed it and shipped it, I lost money.

Kathy, a very close friend of mine offered me $25.00 for all of them so that her husband can use them as target practice for a gun he purchased recently. Tempting. I can’t help but thinking that someone out there appreciates these dust collecting birdies.

Moving Steve‚Äôs mom into an assisted living facility was quite the undertaking, especially as her daughter-in-law….I was given the dubious job of sorting through countless pairs of stockings, some still in the original package, hair ties and bows, denture boxes, and an assortment of long forgotten treasures packed away for safe keeping. Year after year, I would go to the dollar store for holiday bags and have Salina pack up these treasures as gifts, but she didn’t want to part with anything. You really have no idea‚Ķ.So for now, I’m stuck with these birds…lots of them.

My parents, at 89 and 91, have kept those special to them in a super organized way. When I visit, I love how my mom is always trying to give me her things. Although they take great pleasure in sharing, I want my mom and dad to keep and enjoy the memories they bring, rather than taking them away. I also know that the beautiful and valuable belongings of my parents are far from junk and someday will value and cherish the sentiment and memories.

On a return flight from Cancun,¬†I vividly recall the pilot saying, “I hope you enjoyed your vacation and have carefully packed all of your souvenirs that will be at your garage sale someday.” So….note to self….Only buy and keep what gives you pleasure and let it go when it no longer has meaning.

Speaking of giving pleasure, I found this twist on an old favorite. Get ready for this delicious and EASY twist on your favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe!

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ¬Ĺ lbs raw ground chicken breast or turkey.processor and run until ground)
  • 2 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons¬†panko or breadcrumbs
  • ¬ĺ teaspoon¬†dried basil
  • ¬ĺ teaspoon¬†dried thyme
  • ¬ĺ teaspoon¬†oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¬Ĺ a small finely chopped onion
  • ¬ĺ teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon¬†black pepper
  • ¬ĺ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¬ĺ cup pasta sauce
  • ¬ĺ cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: dried parsley, oregano or basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, egg whites, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and lightly mix together. Do not over handle.
  3. Form the meat mixture evenly into the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish if desired.

Dear Friends,

Thanks for swinging by! Whether you are stuck indoors watching the snow, or reading this poolside, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and these great finds!

Until next time…

Cheers to cherished memories, both old and new!

ūü•āLaura

CELEBRATION + SUNSETS SHOPPING

Those of you who know me know that I am OBSESSED with anything NINJA! Check out the latest!…

Ninja Foodi 1400-Watt Multi Cooker, Pressure Cooker, Steamer & Air Fryer w/ TenderCrisp Technology, Pressure & Crisping Lid, 6.5 Qt Pot (OP301), Black/Gray by Ninja $229.00 + FREE SHIPPING!

Ninja Foodi Complete Cookbook For Beginners: 150 Amazingly Easy and Delicious Recipes to Pressure Cook, Air Fry, Dehydrate, and More with Your Ninja Foodi. 2019 Paperback ‚Äď November 20, 2018 $13.49 or for your Kindle $4.99

ninja cookbook

4 PC Instant Pot Accessories Pressure Cooker Ninja Accessories with Egg Bite Mold, and Trivet $25.95 + FREE SHIPPING!

ninja instant pot accessories

Gallery

SUMMER SALAD OBSESSION!

IMG_5326Balmy summer nights and all of the wonderful fresh produce have made me hungry for a variety of savory dinner salads. This whole obsession began with Steve, my husband of ten years this month! Steve decided that WE¬†are getting a little chubby……(we???), so he would like to have salads for dinner. Most salads aren’t exactly low cal and diet friendly, however, loving fresh salads and vegetables (we could easily be vegetarians except for and occasional big ass burger:) I accepted the challenge!¬†

Last night, Steve and I were having a refreshing cocktail on the deck while I grilled the chicken to top our Greek Cobb Salad. So light and flavorful, it was a hit! I plated it on an oval serving dish and we each had our own side. I am not a big egg fan, and Steve isn’t a big cucumber fan, so we each had our own side of the dish! It was perfect! So perfect, in fact, that we ate to the middle and he took the middle for lunch today:)

IMG_5327

On Pinterest this morning, I went a little wild in the salad department. I counted 21 pins on my SALAD BOARD! I decided to hold off until I had time to try a few of the recipes. 

Here’s the favorites!

Greek Cobb Salad

Serves 6 servings 

 

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE, WHISK:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. each fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • FOR THE SALAD, TOSS:
  • 12 chicken tenders, seasoned with salt and black pepper (11/4 lb.)
  • 4 pitas (6-inch), brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper

Chop:

  • 5 cups chopped hearts of romaine (about 1 head)

ARRANGE:

  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush grill grate with oil.
    For the vinaigrette, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. oil, garlic, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. For the salad, toss tenders with 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette, then grill, covered, until cooked through, 3 minutes per side. Transfer tenders to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Chop tenders, then toss with any residual juices. 
  • grill heat to medium.
    Grill pitas until marks appear,
    1 minute per side. Cut pitas
    into 6 wedges.
    Arrange romaine in a large serving dish. Arrange eggs, tomatoes, feta, olives, red onion,  cucumber, chicken, and pitas on same dish; drizzle vinaigrette over the top.

I am ALL OVER this one for tomorrow night from  Pinterest!

BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE CILANTRO RANCH DRESSING (Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings)IMG_5334

ce484a8bae3633522fc776d82cb1a4f9

Does this look amazing?????

INGREDIENTS

Buffalo Chicken Salad
1 recipe Buffalo Chicken (see below), sliced or chopped
1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped (about 8 cups)
Fresh corn kernels from 1 ear of corn
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large avocado, chopped or sliced

Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch
1/2 cup real mayonnaise (I use lowfat)
1/2 cup sour cream (may sub Greek yogurt with a pinch of sugar)
3 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup cilantro, packed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dry parsley
1 teaspoons dry chives
1/2 teaspoons dry dill
milk (as needed)

An easy shortcut would be to use purchased ranch dressing, seasonings & blue cheese crumbles.

Garnish
Blue cheese crumbles
freshly squeezed lime juice
bacon crumbles (optional)

Easy Croutons
1/2 loaf garlic/herb French bread
olive oil

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Buffalo Chicken: Prepare Buffalo Chicken according to directions (see below)
Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch: While your chicken is marinating, add all of the dressing ingredients to your blender and chop then liquefy until smooth, adding milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Chill until ready to use.
Croutons: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cube bread into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread bread in an even layer onto baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden.
Assemble: If not expecting leftovers, add all of the Salad ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and croutons. If you are expecting leftovers, toss all of the salad ingredient together in a large bowl except avocados. Garnish individual servings with avocados, croutons and dressing.

 

BUFFALO CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS
2-3 chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound), pounded thin
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Buffalo Marinade
1/4 cup Frank’s Hot WINGS Sauce for more heat OR Frank’s ORIGINAL Hot Sauce for less heat
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Buffalo Glaze
Reserved marinade (in directions)
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together all of the Buffalo Marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Measure out 1/4 cup and add to a shallow dish or freezer bag, along with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chicken and toss evenly to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 hours up to overnight.
To the remaining marinade, make your Buffalo Glaze by whisking in 1 tablespoon honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
STOVETOP DIRECTIONS
Let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting).
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned (or blackened if you prefer) on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Brush chicken with desired amount of glaze – for more heat, more glaze; for less heat, less glaze.
GRILLING DIRECTIONS
Let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting).
Meanwhile, grease and preheat the grill to medium heat, 375-450¬įF.
Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 155 degrees F.)
Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Brush chicken with desired amount of glaze – for more heat, more glaze; for less heat, less glaze.
NOTES
*The chicken is flavorful but not very spicy without the glaze. You can completely customize the heat of the chicken by adding more or less glaze. The more glaze the spicier the chicken
*Try tossing the chicken with your favorite BBQ sauce – amazing!
*Chicken is incredible on sandwiches, in wraps, salads, tacos, etc.
*Total time does not include marinating chicken as this time will vary per individual.

I hope you enjoyed today’s read and have a chance to try these amazing main course salads. I always aim for little fuss, and great flavor, so these two have definitely nailed it!

Don’t forget to check out todays shopping!

Cheers! Laura

IT’S AMAZON PRIME DAY! CHECK IT OUT!

PD16_SlashPrimeDay_en_1500x375_day7

 

Gallery

EASY & FLAVORFUL MEALS…Winner, Winner #Chicken Dinner!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Have you ever wondered where this phrase comes? Amazing Siri seems to know all of the answers. Apparently, years ago in Las Vegas, the price of a bet at the roulette wheel was the same price as a chicken dinner. So, yep! Here’s a little known fact¬†from a lesser known person!

So,¬†today’s recipes are two winner, winner, chicken dinners! Easy, yummy and the way a Monday meal should be!

ROASTED CHICKEN & POTATOES with FENNEL

This one dish dinner takes about 10 minutes to prepare and fills your kitchen with a wonderful aroma! Serves 4

                                                                                                    TOSS TOGETHER:

  • 1 1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed & sliced
  • 1 C. shallots
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts tossed with olive oil & seasoned w/ salt & pepper

COMBINE:

  • 3/4 C. fresh bread crumbs or panko
  • 1/2 C. shredded Parmesan
  • 2 T. fresh thyme
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Toss potatoes, fennel & shallots with olive oil, salt & pepper
  3. Transfer to an oven proof skillet or baking pan.
  4. Roast 40 min.
  5. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, thyme, & olive oil.
  6. Season with salt & pepper.
  7. Roast 10 min. more.
  8. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

MOM’S CHICKEN

This flavorful chicken dish is sooo easy to prepare, and the savory, crispy parmesan crust  holds in the moistness of the chicken.
IMG_4853

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • milk
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • beer or wine (white, rose or red)
  1. Dip Chicken in milk.
  2. Roll in Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake 450* 30 min.
  4. Pour 1 T. wine or beer on each piece.
  5. Reduce heat to 375* & bake for 20 min.

 

SUNSETS SHOPPING

In a perfect world, I would have a complete set of All Clad pots & pans, and Le Creuset Casseroles. But, filling in here and there works too!

Here are some of my favorites for the kitchen! Click the link for more info.

Le Creuset 20-piece Cookware Set

Le Creuset coookwareOther colors available!

All-Clad 700508 MC2 Master Chef 2 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver

61qnvOuzxVL._SL1200_

 

 

Was: $498.99

Price: $479.00 Free Shipping for Prime Members
You Save: $19.99 (4%)

 

All-Clad 410810 NSR2 Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Nonstick 8-Inch and 10-Inch Fry Pan Set, 2-Piece, Black

All Clad PansPrice: $147.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members

AMAZON PRIME NOW HAS EXCLUSIVE COUPONS FOR PRIME MEMBERS

VXD340_PrimeCoupons_900x120._CB314077362_

To redeem a coupon, clip the coupon and then add the item to your cart. The discount will be automatically applied at check out. Some restrictions apply. Exclusive coupons have limited quantity, and last for a limited time. To enjoy exclusive coupons, join Amazon Prime.

 

Image

THE SALAD BOWL

Salads are no longer considered ‘rabbit food,’ so I love the creativity in preparing and serving. After the first bite, Steve & I decide if its a ‘keeper!’

Here are a couple of our “KEEPERS!”

shrimp cocktail salad martiniSHRIMP COCKTAIL SALAD

This entre salad is filled with bold flavors and is a switch on the traditional shrimp cocktail appetizer. Combining the tangy vinaigrette with the shrimp, lettuce and tomatoes, makes this a perfect summer meal!shrimp cocktail salad martini

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE, WHISK TOGETHER & SET ASIDE:

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 T. ketchup
1/2 C. prepared horseradish
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. Worcestershire saice
1/4 t. kosher salt and black pepper
FOR THE SHRIMP, HEAT:

3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. kosher salt
2 T. Old Bay seasoning
ADD: 2 lb. peeled & deveined large shrimp & cook until pink, 3 min.
Transfer shrimp to a bowl of ice water, drain & toss in vinaigrette.
Chill for at lest 1 hour.
TO SERVE: TOSS SHRIMP, TOMATOES & LETTUCE TOGETHER BEFORE SERVING & ENJOY!

TACO SALAD WITH CHIPOTLE CHICKEN (serves 4)

This is an easy and flavorful salad served up with a little heat!

TACO SALAD WITH CHICKENTACO SALAD WITH CHICKEN

First, layer the salad in a platter or individual bowls, and put in the fridge:

1 large head chopped romaine lettuce
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 sliced jalapeno
1 C. halved tri-color grape tomatoes
1 C. sliced scallions
1 avocado cut in thin wedges
1 C. corn kernels (frozen & thawed, or fresh and blanched)
1 lime cut into wedges.

FOR THE CHIPOTLE CHICKEN:

COMBINE & SIMMER OVER MEDIUM HEAT ABOUT 25 MIN.

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2/3 C. diced onion
2 T. chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
1 T. tomato paste
2 T. fresh garlic
1 C. fresh or jarred roasted red peppers
1/2 t. salt, cocoa powder, and cumin
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
Transfer the chicken to a plate, shred, and put back in sauce.
When ready to serve, remove platter or salad bowls from the fridge, top with warm chicken mixture, shredded cheddar cheese & garnish with lime wedges.

When I first started planning this blog,

I wanted to touch upon healthy living and healthy eating for many reasons. As we age, our metabolism slows down, and combined with less physical activity, the pounds creep on, and not in places where its attractive. Healthy eating tops my list; low fat, low carbs, and small portions seems to work. My next blog post: “DIET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD!”,¬†¬†we’ll grab some great ways to balance nutrition combined with exercise, for a healthy lifestyle. Today’s post focuses on the new main course: Salad!

The old adage: “Lettuce is rabbit food!” is just that: old. Looking at older cookbooks like “Cookin’ For a Cause,” (1995), ¬†which benefitted United Way, I found the salad section which I read with great amusement. Fruit salads, pasta salads, jello salads, and pretzel salads topped the list with ingredients sure to pack on the pounds. What caught my eye in reviewing these older cookbooks was the commonality of ‘plussing’ up the salads. It became evident to me that throughout the years, cooks, both home and professional, have been searching for ways to liven up this dish.

When Steve and I decided to eat a more healthful diet, he, 68 and me…60, we looked at salads as a main meal. The usual tossed, Caesar, Greek & wedge were great at first, but seemed boring day after day, so I went on a search to find & create salad menus that are fresh, colorful and bursting with flavor.¬†¬†We¬†taste with our eyes first, so it is important to serve salads that are ‘guest worthy.’ Thanks for swinging by today, and I hope you enjoy these delicious salad recipes. Also,¬†if you follow me, you will get regular updates!

Cheers!

Laura

PRODUCTS I LOVE…….

Click the link below the product for purchasing information.

Extra Large Aluminum Hammered Bowl with Stand $59.00 FROM AMAZON

SALAD SERVERS LARGE WOOD

Hand Made Large Olive Wood Salad Server Set – 2 Piece Wooden Salad Tongs Skillfully Designed & Crafted in South Africa $16.99

Elegance Hammered 6-Inch Stainless Steel Bowl $8.39 each from Amazon