I realize that this blog post, being the first one I write since the wedding and honeymoon, should probably offer some sort of summary or transition to the next chapter of my life, in which I star as a housewife in the suburbs. So: wedding was the most perfect weekend of my life, and coming from a wedding cynic, that should give you some indication of how strongly I felt about the ceremony. My friends reminded me why they are so effing awesome (they came in from places like Seattle, DC, Clemson, Birmingham, Athens, and Lexington; they ran the Big Day 5K with me, they humored me when I decided to play the "name that state capital!" game, they drank a lot, they danced, they made new friends, they made me bedazzled wedding veils, and they've even uploaded their pics to Facebook already), my family was supportive and happy and joined in the fun, I had good hair and makeup, everyone cried when we said our self-written vows, and by the end of the night, I was eating my own wedding cake with little plastic spoons, taking big bites straight off what was left of the 12" base portion (thank you, Gabriel's Bakery!). Honeymoon was as amazing as 10 days in Hawaii can be. We saw where they film LOST. We ate shrimp off the back of a truck that Josh Holloway recommended. We swam with manta rays. We hiked up Diamondhead. We flew over Kilauea. We did not sunburn. We snorkeled. We drank fruity drinks. We literally drove around Oahu and the Big Island. And by the time Friday rolled around, we were ready to come home.
Life is good right now. An almost-there dissertation and a summer with no work have left me with "free time," something that will probably get old but for now I'm reveling in. My favorite hobby at the moment is going grocery shopping, and coming home and making a list of everything we could possibly eat that week based on the ingredients I got and our pantry staples. The list stays on our fridge, and it reminds me of what's for dinner. How domestic is that? I hesitate to use recipes; instead, I try my hardest to make up dishes that sound delicious, are semi-healthy, and able to be made based on what's in the pantry and fridge.
So last night, I took a cue from Good Things Catered and made:
Turk-ish Grilled Chicken
(-ish because I've never been to Turkey nor am I that familiar with Turkish food, but it sounded about right)
3 very large chicken breasts, butterflied (anyone else remember when they used to come 4 to a pack and were smaller? now, that they're only 3 per pack, I half them into appropriate portion sizes, and quicker cooking)
1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
juice of about half a lemon
about equal amounts of: ginger, minced garlic, chili powder, allspice, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, salt
Combine the marinade in a ziploc bag sitting in a bowl, Add chicken pieces, close bag, knead to marinate. Leave bag in bowl in refrigerator for 4 -24 hours. Preheat grill. Remove chicken from marinade, grill until cooked through. Be advised: this chicken liked to stick to the grill, so oil up the grill grates as best you can.
And as a side dish, I created:
1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 can artichoke hearts, diced, rinsed (if you're getting them out of a can)
handful of diced tomatoes (I used quartered cherry tomatoes)
handful of kalamata olives, diced
Toss vegetables in a bowl and coat with this dressing:
couple tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Marinate and serve cold.
I have been snacking on that salad since yesterday. It's great for summer, as it's totally refreshing and healthy. And, if you have a garden, it's a great way to make use of some of what you're growing.
And for lunch? Leftovers?
Mediterranean Chicken Wrap
Take a flour tortilla, heat up in the microwave. Top with shredded leftover chicken, leftover salad, and spinach leaves. Eat & enjoy.