Sunday, March 22, 2009

Southwest chicken salad with cilantro-lime dressing

We keep getting asked for the recipe for the Southwest chicken salad we make and the yummy cilantro-lime dressing.

First off, I have to give my Dad the credit for "inventing" this salad. When he was on a business trip last year he ordered this salad at the hotel restaurant and he really liked it. So, being my Dad, he went back the next 3 nights and ordered the exact same thing and took notes on what was in it. With that being said there is no EXACT recipe, I have just played with it until the amounts seemed right for our taste. You can't mess it up! When my Dad makes it, he makes it different each time, so it is always an adventure. (If you know my Dad you know this to be true with everything he does).

OK, so this is to make a large salad. Think enough to feed 8 if it was the main dish. You should cut it in 1/2 if it is just for a small family dinner.

1 1/2 -2 large heads of green leaf or romaine lettuce. (I put this in last, enough to fill up a large bowl almost to the top)
3 cans black beans rinsed.
3 cobs of raw white corn - just cut the kernels off the cob with a knife.
1 small red onion chopped
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
4 grilled chicken breasts
1 tub of shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tomatoes diced
Tortilla Chips

Chop the lettuce, chicken, cilantro, onions and tomatoes, and put everything (except chips) together in a large bowl and toss. You can crunch the chips and add them just before serving, or even better you can have people add their own chips. We have also added avocado, but with that I would toss it in at the very end so things don't get mushy. We've also added 1 can of red kidney beans and that is good. (Sometimes I will use the frozen grilled chicken strips from Costco, or you could just shred pieces off of a rotisserie chicken - this makes it one step easier).

Now for the dressing: (This is a double batch, which I make for the salad above, again you can/should 1/2 it)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Place the jalapeno pepper, garlic clove, and ginger into a food processor or blender; pulse until the jalapeno and garlic are finely chopped. Pour in the lime juice, honey, balsamic vinegar, and salt, add the cilantro leaves; pulse a few times to blend. Turn the food processor or blender on, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated into the dressing. Season to taste with salt before serving. I leave the dressing on the side so people can add their own.

If you want it to have more of a vinaigrette taste you can just add more vinegar. (Found that out on accident)

If you have any questions please feel free to ask - and please let me know how yours turns out!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Bible in the morning

I had a very Godly and wonderful mom friend share with me that she likes to keep her Bible at the kitchen table so she can sneak in little times of reading the Word here and there with her family though out the day.

I have been doing this the last couple of months and really enjoying it. I have made it a habit to always read it at least during breakfast, and I make it a point to read it BEFORE I turn on my computer and check email, or anything like that. It has been really good. I will just read a section out loud and then discuss it with Noah while Abigail listens in. (Of course Doug does it with us if he is home at that time).

The last week or two, I have brought one of Noah's "Bibles" to the table, and we will read a couple of stories out of there. It has 100 different stories, which are basically just a verse and the story of 100 different Bible characters. He will always ask for "just one more please?" So precious!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

At the park

Tried to catch Noah on an "up-swing". He is starting to like to go HIGH!!!

She is starting to really like the swings!

Trying to get a picture of us.

Abigail wasn't cooperating!

Happy Birthday with Sarah!!

Birthday lunch with my dear friend Sarah - we went to Cheesecake Factory.

Abigail LOVED the bread!!

Getting Noah a toy or something.


At the water fountain.


Noah took this picture himself!!!

Why we homeschool

I came across this blog post that expresses 8 reasons why one mom decided to homeschool. She writes in a clear, compelling and beautiful way. Please check it out if you are considering homeschooling, would like some encouragement in your journey, or just want to know why we do what we do! :-)

Click Here

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Birthday dinner at Sakura Chaya's

My mother-in-law Marcie and I have the same birthday - March 4th. How fun!! So, this weekend we went out for a little birthday dinner at one of our favorite places - Sakura Chaya (Japanese food). We were wanting to do the Teppenyaki (where they cook in front of you), but they weren't going to be able to get us in until 8 o clock, so we had a very nice dinner in the regular dinning. Here are a few pictures.

Happy Birthday!!

Checking out the fish tank.

Noah is sucha good eater, both kids loved the miso soup.

Abigail was clapping the whole evening. She was also chowing down (shoveling in) all of that yummy food.

Our lovely parking lot shot! :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2009