Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pineapple Grilled Chicken Thighs

This beautiful warm, spring (summer) like day makes me crave something fresh and light on the grill. Chicken thighs are generally a good buy and easy to grill. I prefer the boneless skinless ones because they cook faster and are easier to eat. Double this recipe and serve leftovers cold the next day. Great picnic food!

There's nothing like the taste of grilled fresh pineapple. Amazing that I grew up eating canned pineapple and tought it was WONDERFUL! Mama and I ate canned pineapple slices with a dab of mayonnaise and shredded Cheddar cheese on a lettuce leaf as salads, cottage cheese with crushed pineapple and pineapple upside down cake! Never knew what I was missing! OK, I'll go look for mama's pineapple upside down cake recipe.  Meanwhile, try this chicken recipe; it's YUMMMY!

Pineapple Grilled Chicken Thighs
1 c. (6-oz. can) pineapple juice
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large fresh pineapple, cored and sliced 1-in. thick

Combine pineapple juice, lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over chicken thighs in a large zip-loc bag. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium heat for 20 minutes. Place pineapple slices on the grill during last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Random Thoughts....

There are some things "bothering" me lately. Maybe it's age. I'm sure when I tell you what they are some of you will shake your head and think I sound like your mother or grandmother. But, here goes...

Why don't families sit down together around a dinner table anymore? That is/was/should be where families share philosophy, dreams, plans, their day, their needs, find solace, comfort, argue and make up. What happened to family dinner tables? And with the loss of the family dinner table, goes communication within a family.

Why doesn't anyone cook? And why are young people seemingly proud of the fact that they don't? And older people (my age), too. I makes me sad as a former Home Ec teacher that this is a lost art. Homemade brownies are now from a box. Seriously? I can taste the preservatives with the first bite. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, do we realize how many additives/preservatives prepared food contains? I find myself apologizing for cooking and liking it! Attitude adjustment time.

Why don't we have time for each other? Time to visit, time to just sit and talk, time to hear dreams, plans, what makes us laugh, what makes us sad, what scares us. Send an e-mail, share it on Facebook, text the person sitting beside you - Seriously? Are we losing the value of social contact? Friends and family. What else is important in life?

What happened to manners? Surely manners are not just an old fashion "Southern thing". I appreciate hearing  'yes ma'am', 'please and thank-you',  having a door held open, having help carrying heavy things, being greeted at the door with a smile and a handshake or hug, getting a handwritten thank-you note. How sad that we are losing genteelness.

What happened to going to church on Sunday as a family? What happened to appreciating the ritual and traditions of the church? What happened to Sunday School for kids and adults, Vaction Bible School and church summer camp? Where are the young families? Where are the school age children?

If you have any words of wisdom (or reassurance) please send me a comment. 

Mojo Marinade for Chicken

I'm all about sharing. This recipe is "shared" from one of my favorite blogs, Barefeet in the Kitchen. Following in the same thought of spring, grilled, fresh, etc foods, this sounded really good to me. Grilling time is almost here... although it looks like our grill is going to have to be replaced. This has been THE year for replacing things around the house! Guess that means we're good for another 10 years? I'll try it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot until we make a grill decision.
If you use it for grilling, let me know how it turns out! I'm betting on YUMMMM!

Mojo Marinaderecipe slightly adapted from Tyler Florence by Barefeet in the Kitchen blog

5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, very finely minced
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, about 3 tablespoons finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust as desired
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, adjust as desired
2 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the very finely minced garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper. Using a mortar and pestle or your hands, mash together and crush to make a paste. Scrape into a jar and then add the orange and lime juices, vinegar and oil. Shake really well to combine thoroughly. Use as a marinade for beef or chicken. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Berry Salads

Are you as ready as I am for the weather to settle into one season? Goodness! We've had spring, summer, back to late winter and today rain, rain, rain! It's hard to get into a mood to cook when each day brings a new "season"! I'm very much in the mood for salads (and warm weather to enjoy them in!). Here are a couple of berries and greens combos that I clipped out of magazines with good intentions of making. Maybe between all of us we'll get around to trying them. They look and sound yummmy and springlike and a little different. You KNOW I like different. Now, if the pollen will just go away, we'll be ready to grill out!

Romaine, Strawberry and Orange Salad
6 cups torn Romaine
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup drained Mandarin oranges
3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (or Vidalia)

Combine ingredients in a large bowl.

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Combine in a small bowl and stir with a wire whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese.

This one requires a few more special ingredients, but also sounds yummy!

Berry Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (3-oz.) pkg soft goat cheese
6 cups torn Romaine
2 cups trimmed arugula
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup fresh strawberries

Combine vinegar, buttermilk, honey, mustard, salt, pepper and goat cheese in food processor or blender; process until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients in a large serving bowl. Drizzle dressing over lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.