Tag Archives: chicken

Wanna Be CPK ~ BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Always trying to duplicate the Original BBQ Chicken Salad from California Pizza Kitchen…

This will just have to do ~

1 bag romaine, chopped into smaller pieces

1/2 of a rotisserie chicken {or leftover chicken}, cooled and chopped

1/4-1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup {or so} sweet white corn {I use frozen, thawed}

1/4 cup shredded cheese {I used Mexican blend, light}

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped

Chopped cilantro {however much you like ~ we like A LOT}

1/2 of an avocado, sliced or chopped

red onion, finely chopped {optional}

Squeeze of lime {optional}


I just mix a little store bought light ranch and some bbq sauce and toss!

{You can also get fancy and drizzle bbq sauce over the salad like CPK does, but the brand I bought wasn’t a squeeze bottle and I didn’t want to over-do the sauce/dressing}

They have a new Caramelized Peach Salad that I will try to recreate soon!


Nighty Night!

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders With Roasted Crookneck Squash

How’s that for an original title?

I am so tired I can’t even think of a somewhat catchy name for this post….

I pinned these {surprise!} and knew that I would serve them in slider form because let’s face it, everything is cuter on a small bun.

For the sliders I used about 1.5 pounds of chicken tenderloins {still frozen}, about 3/4 bottle {the small one} of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and about half a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch mix. I cooked on low for about 6 hours ~ after 5 hours, I shredded the chicken with two forks, added 2 tbsp butter and kept it on low for another hour. Lightly toast up some little rolls and then load ’em up! These would make PERFECT Superbowl grub.

I added a little reduced fat bleu cheese topper {helllllooo, what is buffalo chicken without some bleu?} and served them with roasted yellow squash that I just cut into half moons, drizzed with a bit of olive oil, dusted with salt & pepper, tossed and roasted at 425* for about 15-20 minutes.

Dinner is done.

And so am I.

The Christmas cards are 90% done, our adopt-a-family gift is ready to go, my goodie ingredients have been purchased and I just need to get bakin’.

How’s your holiday agenda coming along?


Nighty night.


Wingin’ It

My Mom tore out and passed along an article titled, “Help Your Kid Find Her Passion” from the November 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping.

I don’t know about you, but I am always worried if we, as parents, are enrolling our little ones in enough activities or are we doing too much? Are we making enough time for school work or do we need to spend an extra 15 minutes each day? Do my kids actually like the activities that they are in or did I force it on them? Both kids started religious education this Fall and even though they did not have a say in it, I feel that it’s something they must do. Fortunately they love it, but I am considering it an extracurricular activity since Elliott’s takes place during the week. Holden goes on Sunday mornings while we’re in mass, so I don’t really regard his as such.

I don’t want to overbook my children, but I also don’t want to overlook a spark or a passion that they may be exhibiting.

Most of the time as parents, we are totally winging it. I don’t think all the parenting books in the world can answer all the questions or challenges of raising a child. I know I/we will always wonder “are we doing enough for our children?”. On the same note, I don’t want to make myself mad running around town {and beyond!} more than I need to. The day in and day out activities are enough, but when you add in everything else {extracurriculars for one or multiple kids, homework/school projects, appointments, the occasional weekday play date}, it can quickly get out of control and I can get overwhelmed. I want to enjoy taking them to activities, not look at it as a burden. We just have to figure out what is best for US and not worry about what everyone else is doing. {I am guilty of that, but getting better}

This article really helped me. I hope that if you’re feeling the same or trying to pinpoint your child’s interests you’ll peruse it, too.

I think the bottom line is that we all want our children to be happy, healthy and well-rounded no matter how many activities they may be doing.


And speaking of wingin’ it, I am always looking for buffalo chicken recipes without the bones! Now that I’ve discovered the boneless buffalo wings, I’m never going back.

I spotted this Buffalo Chicken Salad on Pinterest from babble.com and it’s what was for dinner Monday night. We had a make-up {make-up as in because we missed one, not make-up as in Toddlers & Tiaras} dance class and would be home later than normal on a Monday, so I grilled up the chicken early in the afternoon, chopped all the veggies, layered it in a big bowl and it was ready to toss up when we got home close to 7pm.

It was super yummy and I will certainly make it again {Jay was not a fan of the celery, so next time I will only put it in mine ~ how can you have buffalo chicken without celery? You simply can’t!}

I added cucumber and red onion and used store bought Ranch.

Not the best picture, but don’t let that deter you from making this salad.

Happy {busy} Wednesday!

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

So it could jump into the Crock Pot and become a fabulous dinner for you!

I most recently saw this Mexican Crock Pot Chicken and thought it’d be perfect to feed a crowd ~ my in-laws are visiting and I needed somethin’ for the crock pot yesterday as we were out and about and weren’t home until right before din din.

I found some gorgeous thin-sliced organic chicken breasts on sale so that is what I used this time {I usually use the frozen tenderloins from Trader Joe’s for something like this}. Cooked on LOW for about 6 hours and the chicken literally almost shredded itself into long thin shreds. I also used Weight Watchers cream cheese {in the little tub} since that is what I had on hand.

Loved the addition of fresh chopped tomatoes and cilantro straight from our garden. We had a not-ripe-enough avocado that we will put on top tomorrow night when we have leftovers!

This chicken would also be great in tacos or burritos instead of on a bed of white rice. It was a treat to have the Jasmine rice because I have been buying nothing but brown rice and quinoa lately. Jay said this meal reminded him of the bowls at Chipotle ~ that’s a compliment in my book!

{I also made Banh Mi while my in-laws were visiting…in case you missed that post, here it is again. They were just as amazing as the first time…you really need to try BOTH of these recipes!}

Back to healthier eating {and Jillian!} mañana.

Happy Tuesday to you!

Rotisserie Chicken Two Ways

One rotisserie chicken.

Two completely different meals.

I’m on it.

Last Friday afternoon I picked up a fresh rotisserie chicken, brought it home and immediately took it off the bone. Hint: it’s MUCH easier to get off the bone when it’s warm than when it’s cold.

I took half the chicken, chopped it up and added it to this crock pot lasagna recipe ~ lasagna with mushrooms, spinach and a bechamel sauce. I also chopped up one red pepper and added that in with the onion, mushroom and spinach mixture.

{Since Leah’s recipe didn’t include the chicken, I just went ahead and followed her directions and scattered the chopped chicken on top of each veggie layer}

Started the crock pot at 3:00pm and when we got home at 7:00pm from dance, dinner was ready!


Recipe numero dos….

I had the other half of the chicken ready for another meal and decided to make this curried chicken salad with almonds and raisins from Tyler Florence.

Two words ~ DEEEE-LISH!

I had all ingredients on-hand. LOVE when that happens.

I served it with some leftover quinoa.



I don’t know about you, but Mr. Rotisserie and I are good friends. I can always count on him.

Please DO share some of your rotisserie chix secrets!

Happy Tuesday!


Linking up again with Lady Behind The Curtain ~ Cast Party Wednesdays

Recipe Box

One of my Pinterest girlies recently pinned these potatoes…

{Baked Hasselback Potatoes}

Since my Dad/Popsi is visiting from Seattle, I figured it was a good excuse to try them. We ate them alongside Ina Garten’s Turkey Meatloaf and garlicky green beans.

These taters were full of flavor in every little nook and cranny!

I also prepared one of our other family favorites ~ Chicken Marsala.

Just thought I’d go back into the recipe box and {re}share these in case you missed them the first time around. They really are good ‘ol stand-by comfort foods.

Perfect for Fall ~ coming in just about 3 days!

Hope your Monday was a happy one.



This afternoon I bribed the kids with Blow Pops to go up and watch Mars Needs Moms {lamest movie on the planet [no pun intended]} so I could hang out with my girl, Jill, and get my shred on BEFORE I made this scrumptious dinner.


Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos.

This one has been on the radar for some time now…

I served it with this quinoa.

YUM to the millionth degree.

I used half corn {on left} and half flour {on right} tortillas. I prefer the flour, which are a little more pliable and turned out prettier, but the corn were almost equally delish. You really need to follow the directions and warm in the micro between two damp paper towels to get them limbered up or they will crack and crumble and turn out not so pretty. Delicioso, si. Muy bonito, no.

I used a rotisserie chicken which made the filling even more flavorful. Served with light sour cream, salsa and jalapeños.

15 minutes in my oven was just perfect.

When our Mexican food cravings call and we don’t want to eat out, we will most definitely be making these again.

Gracias, {Our Best Bites & Peas and Crayons}!

Home Run

This morning Holden had his last t-ball game.

Last night while I was tucking him in, I told him to get a good night’s sleep so he’d be well rested for his game in the morning…

He said, “I’m going to catch the ball for you, Mama!”

Bless his heart.

He tried and tried to catch the ball {for me} to no avail which resulted in him exiting the field on the verge of tears and come to me and say, “I can’t catch the ball for you!”

Broke my heart.

Of course I assured him that it was an awesome game and that he had a great couple hits.

Gonna miss those cute little munchkins in orange shirts…..


This evening’s dinner was definitely a home run, though.

Coconut Chicken and Curried Quinoa with Cilantro & Pineapple

If you’ve been flopping along with me for awhile now, you’ll know that I love all things coconut so this was a must try.

Absolutely delish.

We’re trying to eat more quinoa and less rice and pasta. I’m always trying to find new mix-ins to doctor it up. Tonight I sauteed some onion and garlic along with some curry powder for a bit before adding in 1 cup rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water. {normally I use chicken stock}. Once the quinoa was done cooking, I stirred in chopped cilantro and about half a small can of crushed pineapple.

I was afraid the quinoa would be too bland without the stock, but it was perfect with the chicken.

{you could certainly make rice and stir in the cilantro and pineapple before serving, too!}

A festive summertime meal for backyard al fresco dining.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Meat & Potatoes ~ Must Be Father’s Day!

Jay wanted meat and potatoes for lunch and dinner yesterday, so that is what Jay got.

We had a little hiccup along the way and discovered his first lunch choice, Irv’s Burgers, is closed on Sundays. So we decided on runner up, Umami Burger in Los Feliz.

Fortunately we were seated immediately and got to ordering…

Tempura Onion Rings with Jalapeño Ranch & Sweet Potato Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli

Jay had the Manly Burger {of course} ~ beer-cheddar cheese, smoke salt onion strings & bacon lardons

I had the SoCal Burger ~ butter lettuce, slow-roasted tomato, house spread, house-made american cheese & caramelized onions

For dessert we all shared a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff moon pie {OMG!} and a peanut butter chip ice cream sandwich. Gone in a flash!


In between our two meat and potato meals, we visited The Grove where I made a little dent in the niiiice Crate & Barrel gift card Jay won in a raffle at work and he and the kids went to the  Apple store and fiddled with the iPod Touches and spotted Stevie Wonder!

{sorry Stevie, this is probably the worst ever picture of you…I mean not YOU, but the picture quality!}


For din din, his choice was chicken fried steak and garlic roasted mashed potatoes with blue cheese. I made Sonoma salad for a little something green!

Thanks, P-Dub for helpin’ me out with this one. I had NO idea how to even begin to make this….

And there you have it…meat n taters with a little speck o green peeking out in the background ~ a MANLY meal!

{for the mashed potatoes I just boiled up three large taters that were peeled and cubed until fork tender. then i melted half a stick of butter and about 3/4 cup milk and added it to the potatoes. i roasted a whole head of garlic [cut about 1/4″ off the top, drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper, put cut side down on a large piece of foil and wrap the garlic in the foil. roast at 350* for about an hour. the garlic will be soft and spreadable! squeeze out the cloves and add to the potatoes and butter/milk mixture]. use hand mixer to blend until smooth. also added a little blue cheese.}

I was a little nervous about this meal since it’s something I’ve never made and wouldn’t ever order at a restaurant…but it was quite good. The cube steaks were very lean and I used just a little canola oil to pan fry them. The pan gravy turned out very well, too, since gravy is not one of my strengths.

{side note: Pioneer Woman mentions that her favorite way to eat chicken fried steak is between two slices of soft white bread with mayo. In the recipe she mentions Miracle Whip and I had to laugh because, I too, can not stand the stuff! When I was about 6 years old, I vividly remember being at our neighbor’s house and the mom serving me some kind of sandwich with M.W. ….. I must have said I {didn’t care for} it because I recall her saying, “Oh, no honey, it’s not Miracle Whip!” UM, YES IT WAS! Remember that commercial where the guy goes to the store in the middle of the night because he ran out of it? Yeh. NO thanks! I’m not a picky eater at all, but if you really DON’T want me to come over for lunch, just serve sammies with [the whip] AND alfalfa sprouts. Blech!}


I am addicted to making these gift caddies! This was the one for our hero…..

{a couple Seattle’s Best iced mochas, Peanut Toffee Buzz CLIF Bar [with caffeine!], Carmex 3-pack and some shower gel}

{a nice big Hefeweizen and an orange to float in it}


It was the perfect day even though {we} forgot the camera, Irv’s was closed and it took 15 minutes to park at The Grove.

Here’s proof of the perfection…..

Have a great week!

{Clean Out Your Fridge} Frittata Friday

We did another backyard clambake last weekend.

Apparently we thought we were feeding an army because we had TONS leftover.

{note to self: next time only buy ONE package of andouille sausage}

I was in a pinch for dinner one night this week so I threw together a quick frittata using stuff that needed to be eaten up….

4 eggs that didn’t make the cut to be boiled and dyed for Easter

Several pieces of TJ’s chicken andouille leftover from the clambake

1/3 container of crumbled goat cheese

Enter andouille sausage and goat cheese baked frittata…

Jay even raved about it.

I love quiches, but can certainly do without the crust. This would make a great quiche, too though.

The addition of caramelized onions would be nice, as well.

The great thing about frittatas is that you can literally add just about any combination of meat, veggie and cheese. They are easy to make for two people or twenty people. You can make them vegetarian or super manly with lots of meat. {Note: the meat needs to be fully cooked and the veggies sauteed, grilled or at least blanched before adding them to the egg mixture}

I just whisked together the 4 eggs with 2/3 cup milk {I literally used a combination of half & half, whole and skim ~ again, we’re cleaning out the fridge} and some salt & pepper. To make it lower in fat and cholesterol, simply use 8 egg whites {not sure how it would turn out with all skim or lowfat milk, but I’m sure it would be fine}.

Pour the egg mixture into your lightly greased, oven safe pan and bake at 350* for about 25-30 minutes or until eggs have set.

Cut into wedges and serve with a green salad or fruit.

{Or with leftover red potatoes from your clam bake!}


Happy Friday!

The weekend is here.