Market Fresh: Strawberries

I’m so excited that it’s strawberry season and grill season! I combined the two into a Balsamic Grilled Chicken Strawberry Salad. This was so delicious and so summery and the colors are stunning! This will definitely make a frequent appearance on our summer menu!

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1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. herbs de provence
1 tsp. salt
1 Tb. heavy cream
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders

Combine first five ingredients. Place chicken in a bag or container and pour marinade overall. Marinate for at least 1 hour. Grill until chicken is fully cooked – juices will run clear.

1/2 lb. baby spinach
1/2 lb. strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1/4 c. feta cheese (blue or gorgonzola would also be great!)
1/4 c. pecans, chopped

Arrange on a platter or in a salad bowl. Top with grilled chicken. Drizzle dressing over all.

3 Tb. olive oil
3 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. heavy cream

Combine all ingredients and shake or whisk well to combine.

Simple Supper: Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are an easy, delicious meal that can easily be adapted to serve a crowd! We recently had 20 people for dinner and these sandwiches were perfect. I like to serve them with veggies & dip, fruit, and chips. They are also wonderful leftover. Anyway, this is my take on the sloppy joe!

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1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. green pepper, diced
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes (petite diced would be really great!)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
3 Tb. quick oats
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Brown beef, onion, and green pepper together. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 20 -30 minutes. Serve on buns. Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Lunch

Some of my favorite childhood memories are in the kitchen. We learned to cook about as soon as we could count. I want my children to have wonderful memories of us cooking together so I’m always looking for creative ways to include them in meal preparation or in making snacks.

My older boys are 4 and they are always eager to help. And I find that if they have helped to make something, they are very likely to find it tasty. It’s a great way to help picky kids eat vegetables or different types of food. So my boys made lunch (with supervision, of course) and here is what they made.

3 english muffins, split*
1-8 oz. can of tomato sauce**
2 Tb. Italian Seasoning
1 – 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Mix the tomato sauce and the Italian seasoning together (or if your kiddos are older, they can do this themselves). Prepare any toppings you want. We used green pepper, cherry tomatoes, and chopped, fresh spinach but anything would be good – mushrooms, pepperoni, onion, pineapple, ham, sausage, whatever you have on hand.

Let the kids build their own pizza! Mine were very serious and very excited about this as they carefully created their masterpieces.



Put under the broiler (I set mine to low) for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden.



While the pizza where baking, I cleaned and cut some celery for the boys to make ants on a log.

Peanut Butter or Cream Cheese
Dried Fruit, Nuts, and/or Seeds***


I spread the peanut butter on the celery but again, if you have an older child, they could do that. We used a dried fruit mix and the boys went to work.


They loved making these and they gobbled them up!


*You could also use bagels, tortillas, or regular sliced bread. 
** There will be leftover sauce – you can save it for another day or put it in your pasta sauce or nearly any recipe that calls for tomato sauce.
***Raisins are the traditional topping for ants on a log but don’t let that stop you from trying something new! Even flavored cream cheese would be good! 

Enjoy cooking with your kids – yes, sometimes it takes longer and sometimes it messier but the memories you will make will more than make up for those small inconveniences!