Thursday, July 9, 2015


One of my favorite dinners in the Summer is simple but colorful and full of flavor.  Grilled chicken breast smothered in roasted grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and drizzled with an old world Greek with a side of long grain white rice. 

While the chicken is grilling (I grilled this indoors, but it is just as well on the outdoor grill,) I sliced the tomatoes and olives.  About 10 minutes before the chicken is done I cover it with the tomatoes and olives and allow them to lightly roast.  I top the chicken, tomatoes and olives with feta and add the cooked rice then drizzle the chicken with the dressing.  I mentioned before, I know homemade dressing is easy, but since I have some favorite store bought, I choose this as my "corner cutter."

It is such a wonderful meal and it takes minutes to make.  So easy for lunch or dinner and since I usually have all the ingredients in the house on a regular basis, it is perfect for the last minute.

Recently we have noticed many of our local restaurants have added Southern fried pickles; and each restaurant creates their own unique recipe.  My favorite is at the American Glory in Hudson.  I wanted to try it for myself, but I am not a big fan of hot oil frying.  Since I am not comfortable with working with the hot oil, I try and find ideas for making similar recipes in the oven. 
I start with spraying a lined baking sheet with Pam (I laid it on kind of heavy.)  Then beat two eggs and add 1/3 cup of all purpose flour.
In my favorite kitchen gadget, my mini Cuisinart processor, I grind cornflakes.  I use the grind mode to create a nice fine crumb.
I add in Parmesan/Romano grated cheese blend and I found a McCormick spice mix made for salads.  (Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme Seasoning.)  It adds a nice spice.  I taste test it to check the flavor, it really is a personal preference.
I use Mt. Olive dill pickles.  I lightly pat dry the pickles with a paper towel on a paper plate.
Then I dredge each pickle in the egg and flour mixture and then the cornflake mixture.
I place them on the sprayed baking sheet and then lightly spray the pickles with Pam.  And I baked them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  I checked them while they were baking and didn't feel they needed to be flipped.  They cooked evenly.
I let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring them.  Not quite like frying, but they came pretty good for the first time out.  And, the spice blend added a spicy red color to the crumb coating.
Another favorite is a watermelon and feta salad with Balsamic dressing.  I love that sweet and zesty combination.
Another quick and easy Summer salad, three bean salad.  It is as simple as opening a can of Kidney beans, green beans and wax beans.  I dress it with a Balsamic dressing.  After it was done, I did choose to add a can of sliced black olives and a little onion, not just for taste but also to add a little more color.
My regular market, Market Bistro by Price Chopper, our local supermarket chain, makes a killer rotisserie chicken.  From that chicken they make a chicken salad and it is delicious.  When I was shopping last week I picked up a pound,  I sliced up some fresh strawberries and toasted a bread wrap.  I don't know about you, but I always come home from grocery shopping starving and this hit the spot.
Price Chopper had an amazing bakery, they create the most incredible deserts.  And the Market Bistro store has a 5 star bakery, which is good, because my baking skills end at cookies and brownies.  I definitely do not have cake decorating skills.  I wanted something patriotic for the 4th of July, but there was not one in site.  But I found this pretty Summertime cake and I thought, "good enough."  Delicious as usual.
Preparing and eating in the Summer should be as easy and breezy as Summer.


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