Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad Recipe, Messy House Pics, and Moods

Healthy Taco Salad aka “Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad”

Oh ya’ll. I was looking for a taco salad – you know the traditional kind. And I said aloud “oh cilantro lime chicken” and both Mom and George said “yeah yeah yeah”. So I saved the recipe to Pinterest. (Mental note to go back and look at all those recipes I saved so long ago!). Well I fixed this last night. And let me tell ya. It was so good.

I had forgotten how good the George Foreman grill worked. Six minutes ya’ll to get the chicken done. I had marinated it and let it sit out for a few minutes NOT to room temp but just to let it warm and let the COLD COLD get off of it. Note: I would NOT make a good recipe writer. lol

It looks simple and well it kinda is, but it takes longer than it looks. The chicken was easy marinated for a bit but only 6 minutes as it cooks both sides at once. I washed and cut up a head of lettuce (you could use spring mix to save time), and I made the homemade vinaigrette that went with it (Fresh cilantro, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and lime – maybe a spice or two, but I’ll share link here in a sec). So yeah – that had fresh cilantro which meant using a food processor – which I had to find as we’d moved it into the sun room when we did the flooring. Everything is an Easter egg hunt these days! I also had to chop tomatoes, and well – that avocado that was supposed to go with it? Yeah it was too hard. George fought with it – no one – I repeat no one eats white avocado. Mom was in the background going “a white avocado? What’s wrong with it?” lol Oh well. Walmart was out of the “just right” and either had “gone too far past it’s prime” avocados or “not ripe enough yet”. So we wasted the money on that one. In the trash it went. The rest was just popping tops of cans. The yellow corn was great with it as it added a sweet flavor. We sat down and George said “where’s the tortilla chips”. I said “oh I don’t remember the recipe calling for it – go get ’em if you want ’em”. But we ate with out it. It was awesome!

So, it was really good and the link to this fine wonderful recipe is here. I hope to visit this site some more:

Cilantro Lime Chicken

It’s “The Stay at Home Chef” and looks like you can subscribe to have recipes to sent to your email. I will refrain for NOW though until I can get my email in order. I already have to many emails and not enough time to enjoy the fun ones. But I’ve pinned her site to Pinterest and I’ll be back.

Morning hazy sunrise on the way to work

Long Day at Work

I need a car wash. Not even on the “to do list” but I guess it oughta be at some point. This morning the sunrise was bright orange. Of course this did NOT do it justice. It was a BIG orange ball when I left my neighborhood. I had to do a triple take.

Today was one of those days where I really needed to sleep longer. But it was “go in early day” (Tuesday) to kind of make up for time that I’m having to spend taking Mom to appointments. And I just felt kinda off all day. I was sleeping so good when my alarm went off. And of course I didn’t get to do my blog nor work on the video and I always feel mistreated (lol) when I don’t get that time. I “lol” but it’s true. At least I also got in a bunch of extra hours due to quarter end when I got the reports late and had to rush to get things done. But it’ll all work out in the wash and I’ll have to use some of that time – we even out usually. I don’t keep close track but I try to make sure I get my hours in and my job finished. If I do that I know I’m heads above water.

Finally when I was near the end of my 10th hour today I said “enough”. My “to do” list is so long and we had to finish moving things out of the bedrooms tonight. Here I sit blogging getting my blog time back. Mom has fixed spaghetti for us and we’ll eat soon.

Reality Blog at its Finest (or not)

Often people say that blogs are not real. They only show you how perfect things are. Well here ya go. You can see this REALITY blog for what it is. I also did some video shots (finally) for an upcoming video segment.

I still don’t have everything back in place from the luxury vinyl flooring that looks like the barn wood below. But we had to move the bedroom stuff out from atop furniture and clothes that hung down in the closets and such. So here is how messy my house is right now!

I’m considering a day off, but I have so many things “begging” for my PTO days but in the end we will have seen who/what gets it. Trips, putting my house in order, moving Mom again, my doc appts, Mom’s doc appts, those three or four or five trips we have been wanting to take the last 2 to 3 years but keep having to put off, the holidays, long weekends, what? Who knows. It makes my head spin to think about it so I keep saying “no PTO now, hold off”.

I’ve cried, stomped, and plotted over how to use the PTO this year and I finally just kinda gave up and prayed and hung on for dear life. It’s like this year is three times on steroids. But God has not given us more than we can handle. We only have so much time and we get the most important things done and then when we are totally exhausted we end up some how getting a few minutes of down time just enough to keep us spinning and hoping.

So then when the spare time comes do you read, watch a show, do something non-essential on the To Do list, work on a video. It’s up for grabs. Usually it depends on how much brain power is left.

How Our Moods Work

It’s noticeable that how much I sleep and what all I eat – can give me a good outlook or a bad one. Yesterday I was content and happy and on top of the world. Today I was just trying to get through the day and had to try and force a good mood. I really think it was sleep and I am considering that when I drink my greens my outlook improves. ha. So maybe I need to drink those daily.

I was born a serious person and take everything to heart. And when you add all of the “other circumstances” up which I won’t go into – I end up being a kindof melancholy sort with bursts of energy here and there. I am just an introvert with extrovert tendencies. But I usually have to force the extrovert side. I can talk if I’m genuinely into something – then get me to be quiet is hard. But a realist is what I am and I have robotic tendencies if you have noticed to push through my to do lists. I guess somewhere along the way I was taught we were good people and not lazy if we did our list. So I keep trying. I keep hoping.

But the best thing lately about each day is that feeling when I lay flat in my bed with lights out and the bedroom fan (side fan -not ceiling) and sometimes the ocean sound machine on too – it’s the best reward. I fall asleep in gratitude for the day, for what God allowed me to accomplish, and to watch over us as we slumber. It’s a grand and glorious feeling to fall asleep in such peace. So no matter what kind of day I had – it ends the same way – peaceful and restful.

But yeah – the carpet people coming tomorrow! ;-). Soon I can begin the process of putting it all together.

My Recreation Recipe of Legend’s Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad

I recreated Legend’s Strawberry Walnut Salad with my own twist. And you know what? I think I beat it in taste! lol. Here is a side to side comparison.

Legend’s Salad on the left, Mine on the right

So I’m sharing with you my recipe in my recreation of this flavor explosive delish salad that I had recently at Legend’s Restaurant in Columbia, TN. And for the most part, it’s pretty healthy too. The prep time is very simple and minimal. And you can take short cuts, but if you want the best possible flavors, do it this way below. I’m not a professional recipe writer, but I think I can lead you in the right direction here! This will serve three people a good size dinner salad (for us two it’s dinner one night and a mini salad for each of us for lunch next day), but it would also be a wonderful side or salad course for a dinner party of six. It makes for a great spring salad as the strawberries start to come in early and our tastebuds are just awakened by their ripeness! The flavors of the marinated chicken, the blue cheese against against a crunchy bacon bites, and the strength of the balsamic vinaigrette along with the teriyaki taste of the chicken – just absolutely sends you to the moon over each bite. As said, you can vary this to your liking. But here is how I did it for the flavor enhancing experience. I wanted to post not only to share it, but so I can come back and do it again and remember what I did! Sorry I do not have exact ounces or sizes here.

I also cut up my chicken into more bite size instead of the thin finger slices so we don’t have to cut the chicken and send strawberries and walnuts flying across the room while watching TV . The chicken will need to be marinated ahead of time for best flavor and I’ve provided both the marinade and the dressings that I used here. And you may as well go ahead and crisp up the entire package of bacon when you cook it because you know if you don’t eat it on the salad, you or someone will later! Anytime you can cook extra at once, do it and add it to the next meal!

Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad Ingredients:

  • Small Container of Spring Mix Salad
  • Chicken Tenders or Chicken Breast cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
  • Package of Thick Cut Bacon
  • Package of Walnuts (I used big walnuts and broke them in half instead of chopped walnut fragments.)
  • Package of Dried Cranberries
  • Package of Blue Cheese crumbles
  • Package of Fresh Strawberries
  • Homemade Balsamic Vinegar Dressing*
  • Homemade Chicken Marinade**

A day ahead or 12 hours ahead. Marinate the chicken. You can do several steps ahead of time, if you want, which works great if you are having company. I just did the marinade and then did the rest an hour before we ate. It only takes about an hour to fix the salad in total time. About what it is for any meal at home.

So you don’t cross contaminate, I found it’s good to go ahead and put lettuce in the bowls first, wash and slice the strawberries and place them around the outsides of the salad for presentation appeal, break up the walnuts and add them, toss on the blue cheese, cranberries, and set the salads in the fridge while you make the dressing, and cook the bacon and the chicken.

So I used the best thick cut country style bacon I could find. Full on flavor and makes for hefty good chunks of bacon crunch in the salad. I cooked it in a black skillet. You can do your own variation but I’ve found this is my favorite way to cook the bacon! Make sure it’s good and crispy! Set aside on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the grease! This is probably the fattest part of the recipe – but aren’t they saying now we need our fats to help us absorb nutrients? So there’s that!

I then poured off some of the bacon grease and left only a little in the skillet, enough to cook the chicken in. Sorry, you don’t have to do this – you can use a different way to cook your chicken but this is what I did. The skillet was still hot and I poured in the chicken and its marinade and basically just “stir fried” it till it was done (no longer pink in the middle). There was a little bit of extra liquid left, but I used tongs to pick up the chicken and place onto the salads. I crumbled the bacon onto the salad. It’s ok to put hot chicken on a cold salad. George said “mmm the hot chicken on a cold salad is really good”.

Then I poured the dressing on the salad and used a “squirtable” balsamic glaze over the whole dish going back and forth in Z motions!

*Sonya’s Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

  • Olive Oil (2 – 3 Tablespoons)
  • Balsamic Vinegar (2-3 Tablespoons)
  • “Couple of Squirts” of Lemon Juice
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A shake or two of red pepper flakes (I used “jalapeño dust” that George had in the cabinet)

Self explanatory here – just mix it all together. Most of this is a shake or two of each! The best cooks don’t measure right? This above was good for George and I to have a big dinner salad and a side salad for lunch the next day. It would also serve 6 people if having a small salad with your meal. Hope that helps.

**Sonya’s Sassy Honey and Soy Sauce Chicken Marinade:

  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Honey
  • 1 Tbs Minced Garlic (I keep a jar in the fridge since we use it so much)
  • Couple of shakes of onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I put in enough olive oil and soy and honey to cover the chicken. I placed it in a storage baggie, massaging it good to mix the ingredients. And don’t be shy on the honey either. Note: I plan to use this marinade for making a chicken dinner one night! The flavor was incredible of the chicken itself. Use the marinade for 12 hours or overnight. The flavors soaked in wonderfully in that amount of time. Hmmm, I bet this marinade will go with shrimp, beef, or pork too?

Well, there ya have it. I hope you enjoy it! Better get dressed and ready and head to work! It’s only Thursday but looking forward to the weekend. Have not been able to work on ANY of my TO DO LIST this week. Too many appointments and not enough free time. Then I cooked last night. And our dryer went down! George has ordered parts. I’m so proud of him! The parts come in today and hopefully he will be able to fix and we’ll be in business for the weekend. Clean and soft dry clothes are always nice! 😉

Winnebago Minnie, Hair Cuts, Hair Styles, and Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad

Here’s a phone screen shot of the Micro Minnie! This is what I’ve been calling the Minnie Winnie, although if you google Minnie Winnie you get a different pic entirely. So I figure I could probably drive and haul something like this. I’m not sure though about the hitches. Is this something a woman can do? lol I need to be able to do all this stuff myself and to learn to be able to fix things. I’m not sure George is on board so I have to be able to do it on my own. I also would most likely buy used, but who knows. By the time I want to buy one maybe this “pandemic RV boom” will be over and there will be some on the market as people come off the road and begin to live their lives again. To me, living my life, would be traveling and on the road seeing places. But I want a home base as there is too much stuff I would not want to part with. I’m ok with smaller trips and weekend jaunts for George’s sake. But I do want to do some long hauls out west and the Florida keys, and places like Jackson Hole, and Lake Tahoe, and – wherever we can think of we want to go that interests us. But I’m posting this because yesterday I signed up for the Winnebago website for emails and information. I figure I should learn about them and their packaging and know what the options are and styles and such so I know what I want. ;-). I can start planning ahead.

My Hair Cut and Let’s Talk about Hair Styles

BEFORE!

Yesterday’s “appointment” was getting my hair cut. It had been so long. It felt so good to have someone play with my hair. She did a wet cut first, then washed it, and dried and styled it. As most hairstylists do, she laughed at my attempt to cut my own during the pandemic but she was rescuing me from myself and fixing it. lol I reminded her I did get some compliments and got the closest to the hairstyle I wanted more than any stylist could but that no, it was not a scientific cut by any means and both sides of the head was different, lol. I told her I was also tired of my own cut, lol. I could not cut the back so I had to let it just grow. But she cut and carved and cut and carved. She was very nice and we talked the first half and was quiet the second half. I debated whether to set another appointment or not b/c if you set it you feel committed to a stylist and it’s hard “to break it off” later. But I was very happy with the experience and my hair grows pretty fast, so I set an 8 week appointment. At some point I may go 12 because some times it is good to let it grow out some and then go back for a good fresh cut and style, whereas every 6 to 8 weeks it gets too feathery and choppy for my liking.

I told you yesterday I believe or certainly a recent entry – I always come out with feathers, lol. And yesterday was no exception, but at least it’s long feathers here, lol. It is quite nice the way she styled it. I liked it very much. I know that I will not spend the time to make it that nice. I’ll dry/style quickly and go. Please excuse my no make up pandemic face below.

AFTER
AFTER
AFTER Looks the Same in Front

They way she cut it is more versatile than I imagined, because this morning I noticed that when it dried it was wavy and curly and I could put moose in it and just go. But I can style and make it straight or curly or choppy or not choppy. The front was a little longer than I wanted but it works with this style. I can always chop it off later if wanted, lol. And I can make it look more like a Meg Ryan cut at that point if I do. Mine right now is shorter in the back and longer in the front, which is something I have not really liked as a style, but it seemed to work on me the way she did it. Phone screen shots below:

This is the pic I showed her I really liked. But I don’t think we made it there yet. lol

So I may be able to get close to this look if I don’t feather it back. But we’ll try again next time.

She did however, cut it very similar to this.

And this but she put a few more layers and texturizing because my hair is so thick. That’s the reason I end up with more feathers lol and way more layers than I intended. She did cut the bottom more like this below.

So yes, I may sound picky, but it’s just a goal or a target. And they all get really close! I am happy with it though! She did a great job! And it’s always fun to keep trying til we hit the bulls eye. I’m going to enjoy playing with it the next few days. All in all, it doesn’t matter what cut you get. Within a couple of weeks it goes back to the shape it always does, LOL.

Here’s a pic of my hair in in college. This was a charcoal drawing my Mom had done and it’s in her Gone With the Wind room, which is fitting. I am a free spirit for sure. I guess this was the Farah Faucet days. I always liked having flipped up curls going down the back of my head. This is the look my hair was growing out into but I do NOT like it long anymore. It’s just not for me.

Anyway! I’m out of here. I have a dental appointment and need to dress and get ready and leave in an hour.

Getting all my appointments in before quarter end hits. Can’t do much of anything in April as far as appointments as I need all the time I can on both ends of the work day.

Strawberry Walnut Chicken Salad

I’m fixing my own version of this salad tonight as I want George to experience this Strawberry Walnut salad: I have chicken marinating in garlic, soy, honey, pepper flakes, and olive oil. I will add the strawberries, blue cheese, bacon, walnuts, and cranberries and balsamic glaze on top. I’m looking forward to cooking this up and sharing this with him tonight. It was so good. I guess I need to remember to make up a little balsamic dressing. Can’t forget that part. But I’ll pour the balsamic glaze over the chicken though. The glaze is a little thicker and lingers moreso than the vinegar itself.

Better go! Ya’ll have a good day! I have just enough time to get going. Boy these days sure go by fast. So much to do and I don’t get to work on my to do list much. It’s just been busy! Thinking about taking a vacation day just to give me some wiggle room to catch up. But I’m afraid I’ll need the days later. Then there could be some surprise days Mom might need me for so it’s hard to plan. Or I can plan them and just work a Saturday in it’s place or something, I guess it will all work out but planning PTO is on the to do list too! I can’t ever get there! lol.