Hey everyone! I hope life has been treating you well. I’m loving all of the fall weather changes and am excited to cook lots of tasty, hearty meals – however sometimes I still crave a delicious salad! Salads are great because they are truly quick meals to make, which is perfect on busy school nights. Pair it with some toast or even a bowl of soup and voila! Dinner is served. I also enjoy eating them for lunch too. I’ve recently been cooking with Mazola® Corn Oil more frequently and created a honey vinaigrette with it that I’m going to share with you today. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.
Summer is here! The kids have been out of school for a couple of weeks, and we’ve been enjoying transitioning into a slightly slower paced week. It’s still pretty structured in the evenings because Emma and Noah will play softball and baseball for several more weeks. With Anika in high school she always keeps busy with soccer practices and games (the high school team is playing in a summer 4H league). She is also raising a lamb to show at the county fair again, which will take up all of our time the first week of August.
The weather has been absolutely perfect these last few days and I’m currently working outside in the shade at a park while the kids are playing in water and exploring the area. It’s warm, but there’s a slight breeze.
When the weather gets warmer I find myself leaning towards fresh and simple dinners that don’t take long to prepare. I’m also a sucker for making things that are pretty. After all, we all want to eat something that’s pleasing on the eyes, right?
So the other night I made chef salad for dinner. Not just any chef salad though, I decided to deconstruct it.
Deconstructed food: taking food that is normally combined, separating it, and then plating it in a unique way that can still be placed back together.
Did you make any resolutions this year? I don’t necessarily do resolutions, however I have a list of goals that I want to accomplish, and of course one of those is to get into better shape this year. Over the last year and a half I definitely let my body go downhill! I quit working out regularly and haven’t eaten as many vegetables as I should – so I’m on a quest to create more salad recipes.
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Have you ever made a Hawaiian salad before? It’s kind of like a simpler version of a cobb salad – it’s perfect for any celebration!
I love hanging out in the summer and preparing fresh, simple meals for the family. Whether we are just hanging out in the backyard, or Glamping on the Oregon coast, I enjoy making simple things slightly fancy.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I get a little bored with salads, so I find myself coming up with ideas to make them more fun, not just for me, but for the entire family. I recently came up with this Hawaiian salad, inspired by one of my favorite pizza flavors. It’s shredded leafy greens mixed with chopped Canadian bacon, diced pineapples, olives, shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and served inside of a “cabbage bowl”.
Happy Leap Day everyone! We had a good low key couple of days this past weekend. We spent Saturday wine tasting with new friends and binge-watched the new Fuller House series with the kids. Noah has officially started spring soccer and I am still trying to grasp the fact that we are already entering into the month of March.
Yesterday afternoon was a blustery day, but we had some nice breaks of sunshine in between the showers. The flowers on our plum trees are beginning to bloom and it excites me; I’m ready for spring.
With everything that has happened this last week, between my friend’s accident and many other ‘bumps’ in the road I haven’t had much time nor energy to cook many meals. Even with a scheduled monthly meal plan in place I just haven’t been able to follow it or frankly, even care about it.
I stayed at the hospital Monday night and my family came in and brought some take out so we could still have our family meal together. I left the hospital yesterday afternoon and stopped by Fred Meyer on the way home to grab a few things for dinner that the kids could help prepare. They always want to help out in the kitchen and I thought now would be the perfect time to let them.
Italian food has always been my favorite cuisine to eat, so I picked up a couple of Bertolli meals in the freezer section for some quick dinner options as well as some fresh produce for a salad, and artisan garlic bread that I found in the bakery section.
Lunch; it’s a necessity, but it used to very rarely be a luxury. Lunchtime used to consist of getting three little ones to decide on what we were going to eat, get them all sitting in one spot for more than 5 minutes (all at once) and try to coax them into eating the veggies on their plates. Half of the time back then I would be standing so long going back and forth between the three of them that at some point I just gave up making myself a plate and either just picked and nibbled, or caved in and ate whatever was left from their plates.
Lunch was hard work.
Now they are getting older, and this year they are all in school, and I’ve suddenly found myself with time to actually sit down and enjoy lunch. On nice days I can even sit outside and eat while I’m working – without any interruptions.
It’s quite an experience I’ll tell ya.
Most of the time I don’t’ really like to make anything too much when it’s just myself, so I’ll make a wrap or a salad using leftovers from the night before. I have been using the new Reynolds ™ heat & eat disposable containers to put dinner in when we are through, and I can then easily re-warm it in the microwave the next day and add it to my lunch. The Reynolds ™ heat & eat containers come with a BPA free, recyclable plastic lid that snaps shut to help prevent messy leaks, and are also awesome to for guests to take food home with them after a dinner party.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
What you need:
- 4 or 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- A 20-ounce bottle of your favorite brand of teriyaki sauce
- 1 cup of diced pineapple (fresh or canned)
- 1 cup of onion, diced
1. Place all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and cook covered; on high heat (my setting is for 4 hours.)
2. Pull apart the chicken and serve on a bed of rice noodles. Add sautéed vegetables if desired.
Yesterday, I used the Teriyaki Chicken and turned it into a teriyaki chicken salad which was delicious!
I placed my Reynolds ™ heat & eat container in the microwave, but only for about 30 seconds -Just enough to warm the chicken slightly so I could build a salad around it.
I added shredded lettuce, julienned carrots, diced pineapple, and a drizzle of sweet onion sauce and tossed it in the Reynolds ™ heat & eat container for lunch. It’s a great lunch to take out somewhere to work or to have at home too.
The Reynolds ™ heat & eat containers can be found at Target in the same aisle you find Reynolds ™ Aluminum foil.
Do you normally eat leftovers the next day? Do you transform them into something else really quickly or just heat and eat them?
I love the beautiful weather that we’ve been having here in Oregon lately! It seems that it’s been such a long time since we’ve seen the warm sun and it’s one of those things that you don’t realize just how much you’ve missed it until it’s came back to visit again.
Looking for a simple and scrumptious salad recipe? Scroll below to make this feta bruschetta salad!
Happy New Year! Last night we did end up staying at home, and all three of the kids actually made it to midnight. We played a couple of board games, snacked on lots of treats, watched some Food Network (the kids are addicted to it lately), looked through photos from the year, and then we all cheered in 2015 with champagne and sparkling cider. We lit a couple of sparklers outside and then tucked Emma and Noah into bed. I let Anika stay up for a little while longer (like 2 am!) and we watched the rest of the celebrations and songs on TV.
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This week our weather is kicking it in to high gear again. We were in the 50’s this last week, and this week it may even hit 90 degrees. It’s crazy – I’m not quite ready yet for summer weather! It seems as if every year I vow to be in better shape before the season begins, and every year I am not quite where I’d like to be, but I continue to make little changes to keep me moving in the right direction.
I’ve mentioned before that when the weather warms up we eat a lot more salads. They are easy and so versatile that I could pretty much eat one for lunch any day and not complain.