Friday, August 26, 2011

Why Does the World Need Silk Flowers?

Yes, I was nervous and anxious about the 7 hour drive from Portland to Boise. I had these visions of the trek going from 7 hours to 15. I worried our U-haul would be stranded somewhere along the interstate, and I imagined Cole screaming non-stop for the entire endeavor.  But low and behold we made it in about 8 hours including several breaks to let the munchkin eat and crawl around.  Cole was a trooper, he slept exactly when I would normally put him down for a nap.  The only time he made any sort of a whine was when he was either getting hungry or needed some mama entertainment.  Something that usually consisted of me making super flattering faces and noises that I'm sure made my hubby super proud.

We are getting settled in to our new home. It's a beautiful place with much much more room than we know what to do with.  God was so generous when He gave us this rental mostly furnished which made the move quite a bit easier. However, I was a bit surprised to be welcomed with a cloud of potpourri and glade air-freshener extravaganza. Apparently they have a love of all things smelly.....and I don't. You can thank my last pregnancy for that.  No sooner had the owners handed us the keys and left the driveway then did I have a pile of glade plug-ins ready to be sealed and stowed far far away from my super sensitive smeller.  After feeling somewhat productive in my glade round up I realized I had another task at bay.  Two words: Silk. Flowers. Everywhere. (ok, so 3 words).   There were bouquets, overflowing vases, wall mountings, window was a jungle of a lot of pink, purple and leafy things.  Thankfully my mother-in-law picked up on my subtle distaste and found a great big storage closet that will be the silks new home for now.  Besides I have a curious little boy who would love to get his chubby mitts all over the overflowing flowers...and probably stuff them in his mouth by the handfuls.....yep, they needed to go.

Whew. Now I could truly start settling in. Although the decor is not my style it is nice and will be more than sufficient for our year here.  The master bath and walk-in closet will also help ease my way into Boise living. The walk-in itself could house a horse....and we even debated whether or not to let that be Cole's room. No, seriously....we actually tossed around the idea.  Something tells me, I will lose grasp of what a "normal" sized closet should look like when our time is up here. But we have a beautiful backyard with lots of trees and 2 patios....I foresee some coffee breaks in the future while I soak in the glorious outdoors and Cole splashes in his kiddy  pool.  That's the if only I could uproot my whole family and have them close by....then it would be about perfect.

I promise to take pictures, but I want to wait until everything has found its place and is a bit more settled.  Besides loving the house I have also been loving the weather! So far we have been in the upper 90's with several triple digit days.  I think I was born with some weird gene that is drawn to the heat like a fly to a zapper.  I just love it.  Do you know what else I love about the heat? It makes me eat extra healthy...something about eating a big heavy pasta dinner just doesn't sound appetizing when it's nice a toasty outside.  I crave things such as cool and refreshing, quirky-combo salads that leave your taste buds tantalized and begging for more.  Such as my Nectarine Raspberry Chicken Salad.

This recipe was inspired after a trip to the mall left me tired and slightly cranky....I say slightly, because the mall is therapeutic for me and it is very hard to be cranky when surrounded by oodles of shoes. But I have realized that while I am breastfeeding I cannot go longer than a few hours without eating energy plummets hardcore. So my wonderful hubby noticed my feet dragging a bit and threw out the idea of stopping by the Nordstroms Cafe for a quick bite ( He is a keeper!) as I walked in I knew immediately what I was going to get. They had this awesome special Apricot Chicken Salad.  It was so good I was craving it for the following week.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and come up with my own rendition...and this is what I had on hand.

Nectarine Raspberry Chicken Salad:

  • 2 ripe nectarines
  • 1/2 C raspberries
  • 3-4 C torn romaine (or your choice of greens)
  • 1/4 C goat cheese
  • 1/4 C sliced almonds (or candied pecans)
  • 1/2 C sliced celery
  • 6 chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 Honey Mustard marinade

For the chicken, place in dish and pour enough of the honey mustard marinade over the chicken to cover and let marinate for at least an hour. Then put in pan and cook until no longer pink; I added more of the marinade in the last couple of minutes to keep the chicken nice and moist while infusing it with more flavor. Once done, remove from heat and save for topping the salad.

For the nectarines, peel and slice.  Spray medium frying pan with non stick spray and place sliced nectarines in pad.  Let cook over medium heat until warmed through and they become slightly caramelized in texture. Remove from heat.

For the Salad mix romaine, almonds, goat cheese, celery and raspberries in a bowl.  Place on plates and then top with the warm chicken and nectarines.  Top with your choice of dressing.

This is the perfect dish to keep you cool on a hot summer day! Hope you enjoy!

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