Today I am giving a major shout-out to my dear dear friend Caroline over at Trendy Trainer. Because of her, I was able to cook up an insanely delicious meal for Dana and myself on Saturday. The best part about the whole thing? It was SO darn easy! Not only that, it is totally clean! Yes yes yes!
So let’s get right to it.
Let me introduce you to Lemon Butter Chicken with Artichokes and Capers.
Chicken, lemon juice, butter, onions, capers, artichokes, and some seasoning. Simple ingredients making an exceptional dish.
I used butter (the recipe said either coconut oil or grass-fed butter) and I used onion (other options were shallots or leeks). The only changes I made to the recipe were I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder before baking it. Other than that, I followed the recipe and couldn’t have been happier with the results!
It’s slightly salty from the capers, the chicken is perfectly tender from the the lemon and butter, and the artichokes, oh the artichokes….need I say more?
Put this on the menu plan for the week. It is so easy and you and your family will love it!
Thanks Caroline for this simple, clean, and healthy dinner! Muah!!
So, I have pretty much weaned myself off coffee in the mornings and instead have been enjoying a cup of kombucha tea (which does also have a tiny bit of caffeine) but I was really wanting a cup of coffee this morning, so guess what? That’s what I had.
I’m going to cut right to the chase from yesterday. I don’t have much to share up until the afternoon. As you know, I am one of the lovey dovey people who celebrates Valentine’s Day. I do agree that “everyday should be Valentine’s Day,” and that we should share our love all of the time, and not just on one specific day, but I also like the idea of a super special day of love.
We don’t go super crazy celebrating but we usually cook up a nice dinner and have some sort of decadent dessert. Gifts are usually optional or something small.
I haven’t the slightest idea where I found this recipe, but it was tucked away in my recipe book and I was aching to try it. My guess is I had thought about making it last year for Vday?
Grilled Chicken with Artichoke Salsa.
We grilled two boneless skinless chicken breasts seasoned with lemon, salt, and pepper along with a bunch of asparagus stalks. Grilled asparagus is hands-down my favorite way to eat that veggie. It takes on a nice smoky flavor and is OH so good.
While the chicken was grilling I got to work on the artichoke salsa (recipe below). This dish was extremely simple to prepare and turned out so amazingly well.
And kind of fancy looking too. At least fancier than what we’re used to on a Thursday night.
1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped (I used jarred in olive oil)
1 Tbsp capers
2 Tbsp red onion, diced
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of dried oregano
dash of dried thyme
dash of italian seasoning
salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients and serve on top of grilled boneless chicken breast and asparagus. NUM!
I had some homemade gluten-free brownies leftover from Tuesday’s work meeting, so I warmed those up for dessert. They were almost paleo, but not quite, so it was a bit of a “treat.”
I was originally planning on making a paleo molten chocolate lava cake, but after dinner I was first of all stuffed, and second of all just simply tired. These brownies were the perfect substitute though. Plus now they are out of the house!
The evening was full of surprises. When I first got home from work, I had a few cards waiting for me. Yes, actually legit cards that came in the mail. It always excites me to get actual “mail!” I was feeling very loved. Mooser even gave me a card. 😉
I sent Dana on a mini scavenger hunt for a few gifts that I had got for him. I love going on those scavenger hunts, so I thought I’d let him have some fun. I think he enjoyed it!
Dana surprised me with my very first Lululemon workout top. Actually my very first anything from Lululemon. That store is so outrageously expensive but holding that shirt I could feel the difference! So soft. I can’t wait to wear it!
As if that wasn’t enough, Dana tells me that he has another surprise for me. He said that he changed a few things on my blog. To premise that, there is a huge list of details I want to change about the blog, but I haven’t figured out how to configure the changes yet, so this surprise actually sounded like something he would have done. I was still a little skeptical.
I sit down at my computer to look at the changes, and he tells me to use the pullout keyboard (which is just a little pull out sliding shelf attached to my desk which is meant for a keyboard for a desk top). I have no idea what he’s talking about but play along and pull out the shelf and guess what was sitting there…
An Apple MacBook Air.
I couldn’t believe what was in front of my eyes. My computer has been on the fritz for a while now, and we talked about how my next computer will be a Mac, but I was thinking we would practically wait for my computer to start on fire before we replaced it. But no, no, I am now an official owner of a Mac.
Needless to say I feel more than a little spoiled. I spent the rest of the evening with my honey trying to figure out the ins and outs with my new toy and watching Modern Family from Wednesday (LOVE that show).
It will definitely take some getting used to but I already feel less stress while working on the blog. Uploading photos is faster because pictures taken from my iPhone are automatically synced onto my computer, there is no lag time due to overheating, it’s wonderful.
Dana outdid himself. Although he said the computer “isn’t a Valentine’s gift, because it was something you needed.” Either way, he spoiled me rotten.
I had a wonderful day as you can see. I hope you did too!
February Fitness Challenge
Today we enter into our third week of the February Fitness Challenge. I am happy to say I once again met my goal of three strength training activities for the week. Check out my workout log page if you are interested in what I did!
Question: Did you make any February fitness goals? If so, what are they, and how are they going?
I am very thankful it’s Friday. I have a fairly low-key weekend planned and I’m hoping to get a good run in, do some vacation shopping, and RELAX.
Wait a minute. Did this weekend really happen? I feel like it came and went so fast. I know I always say that, but you know how certain weekends really really go by fast sometimes? Anyway. I have a lot to share so let the fun begin
We had a very nice leisurely Saturday morning. I ate a Chobani Pomegranate yogurt, headed to the gym for a nice workout (elliptical and core work primarily), and then came home to hang out with the boys.
Moose enjoyed some Animal Planet…
In the afternoon we headed over to a carnival/fair in our area to check out the action. There were games, rides, food, local companies promoting their products, fire trucks tours, pony rides, a huge inflatable jumper for the kids, helicopter rides….I was pretty impressed.
The fireman did a demonstration using the jaws of life to open up this smashed car. It was actually pretty neat to see the process.
After the carnival we headed out toDana’s parents for dinner. My mom and dad joined us as well. We set up croquet in the backyard. I can’t tell you the last time I played. It was a very relaxing game. I definitely didn’t win though; 2nd to last actually. All that matters is that I had fun.
Before dinner, Sue brought out a bunch of appetizers: veggies, crackers, cheese, hummus, a sweet peanut dip, and liver pate.
Mom says I ate liver when I was younger which I don’t remember (maybe I chose to forget ). Either way, I did try the liver pate just so I could make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything I loved. After one taste I decided I’m not. I am proud I tried it though! I know a lot of people do like liver plus it’s so good for you; I wish I did like it.
For dinner we had surf and turf kabobs, my mom’s Ramen salad, and I brought a Greek tomato salad (recipe at the end of post). Dinner was literally heaven on my plate with all of the veggies.
For dessert, gluten-free biscuit with strawberries and fat-free whipped cream.
We had such a great time on Saturday night. Can’t wait to do it again!
On Sunday morning I slept in until 9:00! That is unheard of for me. I must have really needed it. We did our usual Sunday morning brigade: newspaper, coupons, coffee, breakfast, grocery shopping. Our fridge is very well stocked again.
In the afternoon we got involved in some more community action. Part of the weekend fair included a parade which was right in our neighborhood. We took the pooch down and enjoyed a great parade which ended up being an hour and a half long! The weather was perfect and it was a really pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
Moose got 5 million compliments from the folks in the parade. “I love your dog,” “he’s so beautiful”…His head was the size of a hot air balloon by the time we left. Man, the more I think about it, Moose had a pretty great weekend!
For dinner we grilled up chicken breasts and topped them with turkey bacon, and cheddar cheese. I ate mine with BBQ sauce and a side of garlicky roasted broccoli.
A lot of Sunday was spent converting my blog from WordPress.com to self-hosted. It’s a good thing my husband is good with computers AND very patient, because there is no way I could have done that on my own. I would have pulled out half of my hair and eaten a 5 lb bag of M & M’s by the time I was done with it. The switch has been made, now I just need to figure it all out.
Greek Tomato Salad
Back to simplicity for a second. I wanted to share the salad recipe with you from Saturday night because I LOVED it and so did everyone else.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (heaping)
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 Tbsp. ground mustard
cracked black pepper
Add ingredients to a container, cover with a lid, give it a shake.