I hope you’re having a great August so far. (Today’s my mom’s birthday actually – Happy Birthday, Mom!!) I’ve enjoyed a little vacation in Maine so far this month and I’m happy to report that it’s starting to cool down a little here in the Boston area. We’ve had a hot and humid summer and I’m excited for a little relief from the heat. Although, I’d take it over snow anyday. ūüôā

The one nice thing about the summer is I’m able to catch up on reading books and magazines. I¬†had a growing stack of cooking magazines that I was able to begin to tackle in Maine. It’s such a great way to relax – on the beach flipping through magazines.

I have been subscribing to Bon Appetit magazine for about a year now. While most of the recipes look delicious, I’m often intimidated by the number of ingredients or amount of preparation for some of the recipes. I’m always afraid that if I try a recipe, I won’t be eating dinner until 10 pm! That being¬†said, I have a pile of Bon Appetit clippings¬†of recipes I want to try…when I have the time.

In the June issue,¬†a recipe caught my eye and I recently made it for dinner at my parents’ house. I’m a sucker¬†for Asian-inspired dishes, including this one – Grilled Asian Chicken with Bok Choy, Shitake Mushrooms and Peppers. (Please note, the original recipe calls for radishes but I¬†left them out. I also roasted the vegetables instead of grilling them).¬†I especially like¬†this dish¬†because making the main dish prepares you to make a¬†noodle dish with the leftovers…only if you don’t use up all the sauce like we did!¬†¬†

This meal is pretty easy to prepare and takes three main steps – making the sauce, roasting the veggies and baking the chicken. When you’re done, you have a unique but delicious chicken and vegetable stirfry. This sauce was really tasty – lightly sweet with a lot of citrus and Asian¬†flavors. The mix of vegetables added addiitonal flavor and textures and the chicken was moist. We used brown rice for this dish, instead of the recommended Asian rice.

I will definitely be making this one again and I suggest you try it too! It’s a light but filling dinner, great for a summer night.

I was in Maine over the weekend again and visited the Stonewall Kitchen company store on my way back to Boston. I’ve mentioned Stonewall Kitchen before, when I made blueberry sour cream coffee cake a few months ago. They are based in York, Maine and offer a wide variety of jams, sauces, marinades, baking mixes, dips and other kitchen supplies. The company store is fun to check out because they offer samples of many of their products plus there is a cafe on site.

While I was there on Saturday, they were giving out samples of their Sesame Garlic Chicken Salad. Made with their Sesame Garlic Dressing, the cool chicken salad was very tasty and a perfect dish for a hot summer day. I was sold on the spot! I bought a bottle of the dressing, grabbed the recipe and recreated the dish last night to bring to work for lunch this week. It was very simple to prepare as the recipe only calls for a handful of ingredients (chicken, cucumber, scallions, mandarin oranges, dressing) and about a half an hour of your time.

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I followed the recipe as it was written and just added sliced almonds to the salad (instead of cashews or sesame seeds as noted). The chicken dish is very flavorful and could work for lunch, a dinner salad or even a BBQ side dish. I decided to leave the lettuce out of the mix this time but that’s the beauty of this recipe – being able to create it to your liking and serving it a few different ways.

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Hope you’re having a great Monday!

Last night I made Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs With Edamame and Snow Peas – a recipe I saw in Real Simple. It was pretty simple and very tasty! My only problem was I made a full six servings and ended up with a lot of leftover meatballs. I guess I know what I’ll be eating for a while…

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This recipe has a great Asian-inspired flavor and it’s something I wouldn’t thought of¬†myself (meatballs in an Asian dish!). I made a few minor changes – I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken. I can’t always find ground chicken at the store…does anyone else have that problem? Ground turkey is much easier to find. And, I added broccoli to the dish which was a nice healthy and crunchy addition! Yum!

Please note, these are mini meatballs (about 1.5″ in diameter).

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Speaking of Real Simple magazine, I subscribe to it and would totally suggest you do to. I’m always find interesting tips and great ideas in every issue. In my opinion, it’s a good magazine if you want to¬†save every issue. That’s Real Simple for me. I sound like an ad for the magazine, don’t I?

What magazine do you find the most useful?

Is this weekend really almost over already? Time flies. I’m gearing up for the Desperate Housewives finale tonight then it’s back to the grind. Ok, onto the food…

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For dinner yesterday, I made an easy chicken dish from Emeril along with a Berry Goat Cheese Salad, a recipe I found on the Whole Foods website a while ago. The chicken dish was simple but flavorful (I marinated the chicken for almost four hours, as the recipe suggests). I also used chicken breasts instead of thighs and baked the chicken instead of grilling it. Very tasty and moist!

For a side dish, I made the berry salad which was excellent. I love berries, not only are they¬†tasty but also a sign of summer!¬†All¬†berries were on sale at Stop & Shop yesterday so blueberries, blackberries and raspberries all made it into the¬†salad. I wouldn’t normally think to mix berries, roasted onions and tomatoes together but it was great. The dressing was also simple to make and¬†very complementary to the¬†dish.¬†I didn’t use quite as much goat cheese as the recipe suggested but it was still plenty.¬†I do love¬†cheese! ūüôā¬†

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Because most of my recipes make leftovers (like this one), it’s always¬†great to have a quick meal for the next day. Today for dinner I made a dinner salad consisting of the leftover salad topped with chilled chicken. Yum! I will definitely make both dishes again, you just can’t go wrong, especially with the salad. Ok, no salad rant today, although I do seem to be on a salad kick these days!

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Have a good Monday!