Monthly Archives: June 2012

So the other night on my way home from work I was doing my normal blog reading on my Google Reader and I found some delicious summer recipes that I just had to try. These were the inspiration:

Spicy Curry Shrimp // Mango Salsa // Agua Fresca

I stopped at my now favorite grocery store, Cermak, and attempted to ride my bike home with grocery bags and all. Now tell me what in the world I was thinking. Guys, I bought a large, and I mean LARGE, watermelon and thought I could ride my bike with it in hand. I mean really. The thing weighed about 20 pounds. Here’s me pausing to think how on earth I would transport this baby home.

So what did I do? I tucked one of the grocery bags in my commuter bag, took the other and looped it around my handlebars and then wobbled onto my bike with the watermelon tucked under my arm, as if it were a football, but 15 pounds heavier. I made it about 10 feet until I fell over and the watermelon slipped out of my grasp and crash landed on my tortilla chips. It was a sad site to see. I gave it one more try before I decided I was going to kill myself with this balancing act. Note: I am no trapeze artist. So I ended up walking my bike all the way home, groceries in hand. It was a long 4 blocks.

By the time I got home I was exhausted. But I was determined to get curry shrimp with mango salsa in my belly. Here’s what I made…

Here are your ingredients:
Recipe adapted from Dinner: A Love Story

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 bag frozen shrimp (I used precooked already deveined and peeled)
Top with chopped cilantro and lime wedges

Mix all the spices in a small bowl. I didn’t make enough spice for the amount of shrimp I had. So I used it sparingly. Use less than 1 full bag for better seasoned shrimp. Rinse shrimp. Dethaw them in a colander under cold water for 30 minutes. Skewer shrimp on to kabob sticks and place on platter. Instead of rolling individual shrimp in the spice mixture, I sprinkled it over the top of my skewers. Turned the shrimp over on the other side and sprinkled remaining mixture.

Justin preheated the grill to medium heat and sprayed Pam to prevent stickage. Since our shrimp were precooked they just needed a few minutes on each side to warm up. Really up to you how you like them done. After the grilling is finished. Serve with fresh cut limes and squeeze juice over top. Add cilantro leaves as your garnish. And now this is a must… Make sure you get a piece of cilantro in every bite.

For my mango salsa I used some of what I had in the fridge plus a a few extra goodies. I know my measurements aren’t exact but that’s how I cook sometimes. Plus you really can’t mess this up.

1 mango, diced
1/2 of a cucumber, diced
1/2 of a red onion, diced
1/2 of a red pepper, diced
1/2 of a jalapeño, finely chopped
1/2 of a lime, squeezed juice
Handful of cilantro
Salt and pepper

Dice and chop all your veggies and place in medium bowl. Cut like lime in half and squeeze juice over veggies. Add cilantro leaves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now mix it all up and Voila, serve with tortilla chips, preferably crushed 🙂

We totally enjoyed this meal and the two dishes pair great together! It was darn near perfect until the part where Justin dumped too much salt in the salsa because I left it on the pour setting instead of dash. Whoops. Still tasted good. And they were great leftovers too.

We didn’t end up doing the watermelon drink that night but it’s next on the list. Hence the reason why I went to all the trouble to buy the 20 pounder!

Hope you enjoy!


So sometimes, things don’t always go quite as planned. And most of the time, it’s really okay. You figure it out, let it go, and move on.  Sometimes that can be difficult though with channels such as Pinterest, Instagram, and the blog world depicting DIYers, crafters, cookers, bakers, photogs, and fashionistas as stunningly perfect.  The photos you find can often leave you feeling totally inadequate and hopeless.  Your flaws scream black when everything around you is white.  It can make you want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over your head, or better yet shove your face in a pillow and scream for your momma.   You know you will never be that master crafter/baking goddess/stylish photog.  Doesn’t mean you can’t try.   But it’s probably better that you don’t.  Honestly, who wants to be that perfect anyway?  What happened to learning from our mistakes? Owning our flaws? Being vulnerable about where we are lacking?  I say no more dusting under the rug, no more playing dress-up, mistakes are a part of life. It’s what makes life exciting. And mistakes almost always add some comedic relief to daily life and not to mention they always, and I mean always, provide growth that you won’t find anywhere else.

Take a look at this Blogger’s stance on Pinterest here. I couldn’t agree more, but also have to admit I don’t have that kind of self-control.  I love Pinterest and it definitely motivates me and flows those creative juices. But it’s one of those dangerous things that’s only good in moderation.

So, the balance then?  Don’t let Pinterest, blogs, or photos become your ideal.  Let it inspire you and let that be all. It’s not realistic. And it’s most definitely not worth it to kill yourself over being that perfect or being ‘just like her’.  Be you. Be messy.  I’m messy.  My husband tells me I’m a little too messy sometimes, so I work on it.  Do I think I will ever be a perfectly put-together, fancy, clean, housewife, uh no. But I will do my best, and I will be better each day with practice and with time.

And believe me all this is not easy for me to say.  I struggle with it everyday.  I think especially being a newlywed it’s difficult to shake that desire to be the best wife, the best cook, the best gardener, the best decorater, the best laundry folder, and on and on.  Let me tell you… your husband does not need gourmet meals every night.  Leftovers are perfectly acceptable.  Whoever says they aren’t worthy of a dinner plate is wasting time and food! And trust me, I learned this the hard way.  Week 3 of marriage I was 5 pounds heavier and probably 10 hairs grayer.  Also if you really think about it, if your perfect by age 25, what are you going to do with the rest of your life?  There’s so much joy to be had with the time it takes to practice, grow, and nourish your skills and hobbies.

I can’t help to be reminded of my grandma.  She is a great cook, and I mean great.  But she didn’t learn everything she knows in one year.  She had to make all her recipes dozens and dozens of times to get it just right.  And her growth didn’t stop at ‘just right’ either, you pick up something else and work that next.  Heck, she learned to drive at age 50! Yahoo, keep the learning coming.

Remember, (and I have to tell myself this everyday) perfection is not worth the stress. Preserve your energy and strength and put it back into your relationships.

And to prove I am not perfect, check out the cookies I made last night with my best friend, Danielle.

Yes, those were supposed to be individual cookies.  Whoops.  You’re laughing right?  See comedic relief, just like I said.

Look for Part 2 on a spiritual look at what God says about perfection.


So earlier this week we were talking with a friend from our small group about potentially doing some camping this summer.  This got me so excited!  I absolutely love camping.  My mom used to take me a lot when I was a kid.  I used to ride in one of those kid packs.  Pretty awesome right?  I will have to dig out one of those oldie pictures sometime.

So I thought I would do a Friday post on five things Justin and I are in need of before we become expert campers. We literally have no gear.  So that means we better start saving up now, gear is pricey!  Or better yet we should do a gift registry for Christmas. Why we didn’t do a wedding registry at REI is beyond me.  We totally should have!

Begin REI wish list to myself…

1. Marmot Limelight 3-person Tent

2. For Her: Marmot Angel Fire Sleeping Bag in Abstract Green, 26° F temp rating, For Him: REI Radiant Down Sleeping Bag in Indigo/Ocean Blue, 17° F temp rating

3. For Him: Gregory Baltoro 75 Litre Pack in Cone Red, For Her: Osprey Aura 65 Litre Pack in Eggplant Purple

4. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

5. Eno Doublenest Hammock in Orange

If only… For now we are stuck with what we got, which is pretty much just a mish mash of household items like blankets, handheld flashlights, and fold up lawn chairs.  I’m sure over time and as we do more camping we will accumulate more gear.

Hoping some day we can camp at Red River Gorge in Kentucky.  All I hear are fabulous things about it, plus they have some killer rock climbing.  Would love to dig back into indoor climbing and possibly take an outdoor trip next summer.

Photo Credit: JSH

Photo Credit: BSProductions

Justin and I have only been camping once together with our friends Carl and Danielle.  We had an absolute blast. We are hoping to go again with them soon.  Here’s a picture from our trip in southern Indiana.

And this is just a great shot.  I love him! And his outfit.


So I thought for today’s post I would tell you about Do-Rite Donuts. It’s one of the newer donut shops downtown in the loop. I rode to work with the hubs early one morning last week. He was meeting a friend at the shop and I was headed next door to the dreaded DMV (boo) to get a new license with my new married name on it (yay!).

Do-Rite is on Randolph just west of Dearborn. It’s one block north of Daley Plaza and sees a ton of foot traffic. The shop is open during weekdays and mainly serves the commuting crowd who pass by on their way to work. They are open at 6:30 and close when they run out. Interesting business concept huh? Creating your own demand essentially. (and just found out they are open Saturdays now too!) Anyways it’s a little tiny shop with a red awning. It’s got this cute vintage logo that I think really enhances the idea that donuts are the true all-American treat.

A big plus is that the line is not nearly as long as The Doughnut Vault (which sometimes is up to an hour, haven’t brought myself to do that yet). And what little line there is at Do-Rite, moves really quickly. They have a large array of donuts behind he counter that literally will leave you standing there with mouth open and drooling. There are wide variety of flavors and specials will leave you speechless. Let me inspire you…

Strawberry Rhubarb Bullseye
Pistachio Lemon
Chai Spice
S’more
Orange Rosemary
Coffee and Cream
Carrot Cake
Carmelized Pineapple Rum
Coconut Custard
PB&J
Candied Maple Bacon

They also have your standard old fashioned (my hubby’s favorite, he claims Do-Rite has the best old fashioned he’s ever encountered), jelly (my favorite), glazed, and fritter. But wait it doesn’t end there… they have gluten free too! Which I think is genius. There are so many people I know who recently found out they are allergic to gluten. There is a definite market for more gluten free food options. They don’t come in as many sassy flavors but they have strawberry banana and blueberry almond… Hmm sounds healthier, maybe I should go for one of those instead something like candied bacon or coconut custard! 

On their homepage they mention that they make donuts fresh every hour to ensure you get the best tasting donut!  They also mention they only make 36 per batch which I assume is to make sure they are made to perfection.

They also offer $1 coffee with any donut purchase. I myself am not a coffee drinker, but for those who are, what a great deal!

Clockwise from top left: Maple Bacon, Lemon Poppyseed, Boston Creme with Toasted Almond, Cinnamon Crunch, Jelly, Carrot Cake

For my first donut at Do-Rite I chose the carrot cake. I absolutely love carrot cake.

Looks delicious huh?  The frosting was AHHH-mazing.  Like the real cream cheese frosting they put on actual carrot cake.  Then sprinkled with carrot shavings and walnuts.  I wasn’t all that impressed with the donut itself… at first.  Seemed like a regular cakey, tasty donut. I inspected further into the donut and noticed that there were actual carrots baked inside.  Blew my mind.  This is was probably one of the best donuts I have ever had! Yum!

I also got to taste the old fashioned.  And I agree with Just, best old fashioned ever.  I like it much better than the one I tried at Glazed and Infused (another new Chicago donut shop) because it’s not as sweet. You don’t want sugar overload because then you can’t enjoy all the other flavors it has.

I took a small bite of one of the donuts with a huge chunk of chocolate glaze on top. I don’t know the official name of it but I wanted to call it chocolate ganache. Gosh that chocolate was just ridiculous. Drooling all over again.

 

All in all, my review is MUST GO!  You have to check this place out.  It’s our #1 donut place right now.  And if you can’t justify eating a donut that early.  Jog to the shop.  That should cancel the calories out.

Here is hubs standing in front of the shop with Do-Rite’s large Donut statue.  So cute. So him.

I am hoping to review some more shops on the blog soon. Look for more to come!

Image source: 1/2/3/4/5/6


So I lied.  The Bloomington weekend wrap up did not come last Monday as I promised in my last post.  SO sorry. The week just got away from me.  And then our internet went out over the weekend.  So, no blogging action happened.  Anyhow, here’s the scoop from our weekend in Btown, the town of our alma mater, Indiana University.

We took off Friday night after the work day and enjoyed the 4-hour drive talking about our week, chatting about our plans for the weekend, and soaking in the setting sun over the Indiana farmland.

One of the only good things about the drive on 65-S is the windmill farm, I feel like I am in space or something

We also stopped at Chik-fil-a on the way and ate it curbside. Yum, oh how we’ve missed you Indiana!

We were so blessed to be able to stay at our friend’s house, Brandon and Megan.  They are gone for the summer on a mission project so they let us make ourselves at home.  I can’t tell you how amazingly relaxing and vacation-like their home was for us.  They live south of campus in a cute neighborhood that has a yard, couldn’t believe it, a yard!  I feel like I haven’t seen one of those in ages.  Being in the city you’re lucky if you get a 4’x4′ piece of grass, thankfully we have just that so I can have a small garden and few flowering plants. But it was crazy as soon as we laid down to go to sleep, I could hear crickets, CRICKETS! I love Crickets! … okay maybe not love them, I don’t really like bugs (ask Justin, I scream and holler at him to kill them when they get in the house).  But honestly what a change to be able to hear nature before bedtime.  Here’s a cute picture of their neighborhood/subdivision.  I took a walk one morning and really enjoyed it!

Saturday Morning Justin and I woke up early and headed for a bike ride.  This was my first time riding around the south side of Bloomington, and oh, it was beautiful. And OH MY, it was hilly.  Hillier than the Bloomington I remembered.  At about mile 12, I felt like I had gone 40, heck felt like I had ran a marathon already.  I was disappointed.  I felt a) out of shape and b) sad because there’s no hills in Chicago to even practice on. We’re thinking about doing the Hilly Hundred in the fall, but literally I have no idea how I am supposed to get proper training in! We did eventually make it to 20 or 25 miles, but that is nothing compared to what we used to ride last fall when we were training for Little 500.

After our short but very winded ride (well I was winded at least, Justin probably could have gone 20 more) we headed to Village Deli, it’s the popular breakfast joint right near campus.  We met our friends Nate and Kelsie there.  Afterwards we took a walk around campus.

The Union

Kelley Business School Bridge

Then we headed to Yogi’s and the boys grabbed a beer.

Kelsie and Nate left to get ready for a wedding in Indy while Justin and I went back to the house to get some rest.  We ended up not really resting at all and having a very long, but needed conversation about us and our relationship.  Those conversations are normally not fun and require a lot of emotional and spiritual effort. But at the end of them they are so worth it.  I love him even more after hard conversations.  God’s grace and work is so evident in just that.

After our conversation we headed to our friend’s Dave and Courtnee’s house, who are both on staff with Cru, formally Campus Crusade for Christ.  Dave was Justin’s discipler when he was in college.  Dave really helped Justin grasp the foundation of the Gospel after he first came to Christ.  We both spent time our senior year at their house for dinner, tea, catching up, and encouragement.  It was great to be back in a familiar place.  The only difference is that now they have a little person, who is no longer an infant but an almost toddler.  As stated by Justin, Luelle might be the cutest little girl we’ve ever seen.  Dave let us play with her while he and Courtnee got dinner ready.  She had these little squeaky shoes that helped you know wherever she was (they are actually called Sneak A Roos). Luelle found a new friend while we played.  Mr. Turtle the sandbox, with no sand. She loved it.  She was just basking in the sun and drumming her little hands on the outside of the bin. She’s so precious.

She’s concentrating. So cute.

We ate dinner outside on their back porch and talked about their gardening endevors for the summer.  Courtnee is spending her sabbatical working on her backyard.  I think it’s a great idea!  She’s done so much already and it looks lovely.  You can check out her adventure here, she has tons of great ideas and tips for gardening too.

After dinner we had some excellent peach cobbler that I helped Courtnee make.  After dessert little Luelle went to bed and we played a great game of Settlers of Catan.  And if you don’t know what it is.  You should stop reading this and go buy the game right now.  It’s one of the best strategy games out there and is so much fun! And the night didn’t end there.  We spent another couple hours afterwards talking with Dave and Courtnee. Dave jokingly but upfrontly asked us when we would be moving back to Bloomington to join staff with Cru at IU. I think someone else could find this similar to a recruiting antic, but actually I felt very encouraged by his question.  Joining full-time staff with the Cru ministry has been a desire of mine for a while, but since starting work and living in Chicago, it has really slipped my mind.  During my senior year I seriously considered joining the IU staff as an intern.  But God called me back home to Chicago, the last place I wanted to go at the time.  After graduating I had a lot of student loans and God was calling me to take care of that first. These are the verses that God brought to my attention.

“Pay to all what is owed to them taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fufilled the law” – Romans 13:7-8

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7

And although it may not sound fun, paying off our loans has been one the most rewarding experiences.  We can reduce our total debt amount significantly by simply paying a few extra payments a month.  It’s incredible.  It’s so freeing.  And it challenges us to grow because it means that by being a bit more frugal (turning down vacations, avoiding expensive dinners, and shopping at the cheaper supermarket) we are letting God have control of our money and ultimately are experiencing more contentment in Him.  It’s so worth it.  And we also know that there is an end in sight and once we get there, Justin and I will be able to embark on adventures and take more opportunities and risks.

And where we land someday is still up in the air. There are endless possibilities.  Cru staff is still an option for us.  We’ve also tossed around the idea of a owning a small business, working for a university, or continuing in the corporate environment. We would love to be back in Bloomington for any of those options.  It feels like our real home.  Not just because we went to school there and lived there for 4 years, but because it’s the place where we both met Jesus and started our Christian journeys. It’s the place that has so much deep meaning and deep memories for us.  It’s the place where we get fired up and passionate about life.  It’s the place where feel completely relaxed and completely ourselves.  Maybe someday we’ll be back.  We’ll see.  For now, we are here, in Chicago, working in the corporate environment, having a small yard, and a basement apartment.  Although those things don’t get us excited or passionate and although we don’t see Chicago as our long term home, it’s where we are at now.  And we must continue to ask, how do find joy in where we are at now? And how life unfolds afterwards is the whole mystery that God asks us to be a part of.  How awesome is that?  Forget the 5 or 10 year plans, hop on God’s plan!  Corny, I know, but seriously.

Anyways, to continue on… Sunday we spent the whole day with Nate and Kelsie. We headed to church with them and afterwards snapped some pictures at Sample Gates, one of the best photography scenes on campus (although my shots don’t do it justice)!

Then we headed across the street to Buffa-louies (that I always mispronounce as Buffalo Louie’s, whatever). Justin claims he hasn’t found better wings anywhere else yet!  Afterwards we went to the pool, and even rode the slides.  Then Justin got a haircut.

Natedawg, the ultimate barber

Later we took a ride on the B-line trail, which is now finished.  Yahoo!  It’s a fun way to see downtown Bloomington and the wooded scenery too. We ended our ride at Upland Brewery.  It was delish!  Their Wheat Ale is my favorite.  Justin and Nate really enjoy the Amber Ale.

Gorgeous sunflowers in front of the brewery

The patio area where we sat, and good shot of our bikes

Justin and Nate

Upland Wheat Ale

Later we played Scattegories and Bananagrams with them.  Kelsie and I obviously dominated the boys in the word games. Maybe it’s because we talk so much so our vocabulary is quite vast.

Monday we prepared to get back on the road. But we had one final stop we couldn’t forget.  Cresent Donuts.  Justin’s spot.  When we were in college he used to sneak out to get donuts late at night and would later confess to me how much he had eaten.  Sometimes we would go there later in the day, only to find out he had already been earlier that morning!  My man loves his donuts.

Looks like a hole-in-the-wall place

But you can’t resist the deliciousness waiting on the inside

Justin refers to Cresent as “The Bar”

The popular chocolate creme filled (these were the donuts we had at our wedding)

I went for the sprinkle

Last stop on our mini-vacay weekend was Fishers, Indiana.  It’s where our good friends Carl and Danielle live.  They are currently raising support to be on staff with Cru in Boston.  We are so excited for their journey and praying hard that the Lord will continue to provide so they can report to Harvard’s campus in the Fall (check out their blog here). We had lunch with them and did some catching up.  It was just a quick visit because they are coming to Chicago in 2 weeks.  We can’t wait to see them again.  I didn’t take a picture while we were there, but here’s one of all of us from our wedding.

Hope you enjoyed learning some fun things about Bloomington, we cant wait to go back! Until next time…


So this Friday I am linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk (my first link up ever!).   High Five for Friday is a post dedicated to your 5 favorite things from the week.  Here I go…

1. I could not be more excited for tonight after work.  Justin and I are traveling to Bloomington this weekend to visit our alma mater, Indiana University.  We will be visiting with some close friends while there, Nate and Kelsie.  We are also bringing our road bikes to do some cycling on the hilly roads!  High on our priority list is grabbing some donuts from Cresent Donuts in Bloomington.  It’s Justin’s all-time favorite donut shop.  We even had their donuts as our wedding favors.  They were a big hit.  We cannot wait to indulge in their deliciousness!  Stay tuned for more details in the weekend wrap up on Monday 🙂

Image source: Photo by puffclinty on Flickr

2. My lilies in the front yard are beyond gorgeous! The orange ones just bloomed last night.  I can’t get enough of them.  Every morning they greet me hello and every evening they welcome me home.  It’s just a delight.

The pink ones are my favorite.

3. I’ve been loving this new OPI nail polish.  I think I love it even more because of the name, Hot & Spicy.  Perfect summer orange-y color. Love!

Image source: Welcome to Crazy Town Blog

4. I mentioned in my weekend wrap-up that I was sick and tired of the chain grocery store Jewel.  Wednesday I checked out the local Hispanic grocery store called Cermak’s.  And man, was I impressed.  The produce aisle was full of beautiful color and healthy looking fruits and veggies. Did I mention it’s only 3 blocks from my house?!  This is where it’s at.

Fresh produce 🙂

Fresh aloe vera plant. You can use it to make medicine for sun burn and upset stomachs.

5. Yesterday while I was riding the train I saw the cutest, and I mean THE cutest old man. He was talking on his cellphone, actually his iPhone, and was speaking very loudly.  I could tell he had hearing aids and he was trying to write down an address on a piece of paper.  I was so impressed by his ability to multi-task at his age.  I think sometimes a lot of seniors assume they are too old and then they get stubborn and refuse to try and do what they used to do.  But man, if he can take public transportation, work an iPhone, and write all at the same time, he’s doing pretty well.  And as a fun fact about me, I would say I definitely have an affinity for old people.  My mom sells and services hearing aids and works everyday with the elderly.  I have spent a lot of time working for her and interacting with her clients.  I think that opportunity really opened my eyes to how important they are and how crucial it is for our generation to understand them.  I find that they have so much wisdom to offer and honestly love hearing from a young, fresh heart.  They love to share their favorite stories, recipes, and shower you with love and food.  So if you get the opportunity remember to spend some time with a grandparent or help an elder with their groceries.  You won’t believe how much they will appreciate you.

Image source: Rosie O’Beirne on Flickr

Hope you enjoyed my first High Five for Friday Post!

Check out Lauren’s Blog @ From My Grey Desk

What are your top 5?

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!


So the other night I decided to be pretty resourceful and make dinner with whatever I had in the fridge and in the cupboards. I rarely do this.  Normally I pick out a recipe and then go shopping for whatever ingredients I need.  This sometimes can be hassle and counterproductive.  Hopefully as my cooking skills improve I will become more of a natural rather than a strict-recipe-follower.

First I went to the backyard to check out how our basil was looking.  When I first planted it, I nearly killed it.  I’m not much of a green thumb and often forget the basics aka WATER YOUR PLANTS.  In college I was given one request by my roommate who was going to be gone on a trip: take care of Rosie, her rosemary plant. Bad babysitter choice.  I completely neglected Rosie.  Whoops. Don’t worry, my roommate revived her when she came back.  My mother-in-law and stepmom hopefully will instill some better gardening skills soon.  Anyways here’s Mr. Basil…

I thought he was looking pretty good (minus the fact that someone has been snacking on him).  So I picked a bunch of the leaves off.  I had to tell myself I was only pruning him, not killing him.  My mother-in-law taught me that its good to snip off all the dead stems so then plants can grow new ones.  But I get really afraid that they won’t grow back.  She’s pretty trustworthy, so here’s to pruning!  Afterwards I gave the leaves a good cold bath.

As soon as I started washing them, the scent from the herb was incredible.  It’s amazing how different herbs smell when they are home grown vs buying them at the store.  It was like a little snippet of heaven for my nostrils.  Next, time to scour the cabinets and fridge for all the ingredients: olive oil, garlic cloves, pine nuts, parmasean cheese, lemon juice.

I then stuffed all the ingredients into my handy Ninja chopper.

And boom, pesto sauce.  So incredibly easy. Here was my outcome after some taste testing and mastering.

Next I took my 3 chicken breasts and cut them into strips.

I greased an 8×8 cassarole dish.  I took my basting brush and brushed half the pesto mixture on the bottom of the dish.  I then laid in my chicken cutlets.  I brushed the rest of the pesto mixture on top of the chicken, making sure I got every bit of the poultry covered.

I dashed a bit of salt and pepper on top and covered with foil. I cooked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees and Voila!, dinner is served for me and my Mr. Good Lookin.

And you thought it ended there… My husband and I can’t have dinner with out dessert hardly ever.  So I went back to my cupboards and fridge and realized I had all the ingredients I needed to make my wonderful friend KT’s easy fruit cobbler (P.S. She’s a master chef in another life, highly suggest following every mouth-drooling blogpost).  It was delicious and seriously the easiest thing ever, just like she said.  We used blueberries and here’s how ours turned out… (I think I may have over done it on the sprinkle of cinnamon, whoops, still tasted good though!)

And here’s how it ended…

We are masters of the Clean Plate Club!  Yum. So good, so stuffed, so ready for bed after all that.

 

Pesto Chicken

Adapted from: Kalyn’s Kitchen

(Beware: I threw a bunch of stuff in the chopper for the sauce and added things here and there until it tasted the way I wanted, here’s a rough estimate)

  • big handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup parmasean cheese, fresh or store-bought
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • dash of sugar
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry basil leaves.  Cut stems off leaves. Set aside.  Mince garlic. Put basil, pine nuts, parmasean cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in your chopper (maybe it’s called a food processor, whatever, I call it a chopper or Mr. Ninja). Blend. Add dash of sugar. Blend again. Tweak sauce as you like. Grease 8×8 glass casserole dish. Cut chicken breasts into thick strips (I got 3 strips out of each breast). Use basting brush or spoon to cover bottom of dish with half the pesto sauce.  Place the chicken strips on top of the sauce.  Cover the chicken breasts with rest of pesto sauce, making sure all parts are covered. Dash with salt and pepper. Cover dish with tin foil.  Bake 27-30 minutes.  Cut into chicken to ensure cooked through.

Serve over noodles or rice or whatever you like. Top with additional cheeses if you desire.

Enjoy!