Monthly Archives: August 2012

Balsamic Chicken & Bell Pepper Sandwiches

I don’t know what neck of the woods you’re in, but it’s raining here y’all!  Which means it’s the perfect time to introduce this sandwich to you…

I made them for our company two weekends ago, they had been driving all night, and I thought a warm, filling lunch was what I would want if I had just done that.  So I did.

Balsamic-Glazed Chicken and Bell Pepper Sandwiches

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon salt, divided

1¼ pounds chicken breast tenders

½ cup balsamic vinegar, divided

2 cups red bell pepper strips (About 2 – 3 medium; it is sometimes cheaper to purchase them canned, but I shop at Aldi and they carry theirs fresh in a package of one yellow pepper, one red, and one green.  That’s what I used and it didn’t harm us one bit.)

2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 large)

4 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

 

1. / Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute on each side until lightly browned.  Add ¼ cup vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is done and vinegar is syrupy. Remove chicken mixture from the pan; cover and keep warm. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

 2. / Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add bell pepper and onion; sautè 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and remaining ¼ cup vinegar; cook 1 minute or until vinegar is syrupy.

 3. / Arrange chicken mixture evenly over bottom halves of bread (chiabatta bread’s the way to go!), top with bell pepper mixture. Arrange cheese over pepper mixture, and sprinkle with black pepper. Top with top halves of bread.

Place a heavy skillet on top of sandwiches, let stand 5 minutes. Cut each sandwich into 6 wedges.  Or use sandwich rolls, and don’t cut.

** Susanna suggests toasting the bread slightly under the broiler and melting the cheese on the slices before topping with the veggies and chicken, but whatever you have time for.  I made time for that one and I am a better human being for it.  I swear.

Enjoy!

And background’s behind pictures are always so telling…

I think all blogs could use a little more of that.

Happy weekend to you ALL.

Rainy Days…

Maybe it was because I grew up near the coast.   Maybe it was all the classics I read, set in rainy England and Wales.  Maybe it’s because I’m a melancholy at heart.  Or maybe I just love rainy days…

It’s true.  It could rain %80 of the time and I would be perfectly content.  Elated, actually.

And I live in Oklahoma.  Funny how life works.  We’ve had burn bans, devastating fires and lots and lots of prayers for rain this summer.

And then God sent some.

I’ve thought a lot about that.  How God controls the weather and could change it with His fingertips.  How even a whisper from Him could change our weather patterns.  How much we are not in control and He is.

I’ve thought about how God could control the world and give it the same boring weather every day of the year.  How He could’ve left seasons out of it.  How He could’ve kept all the states, all the countries, and even the continents, exactly the same….

But He didn’t.

He chose to make it all different.  Beautiful.  In its’ own way.

And I thought about how people are like that too.  How He could’ve made us all the same.

But He didn’t.  He made stormy ones and peaceful ones.  He made bright tones and muted tones.  He made sun risers and sun setters.  Colorful ones and black-and-white ones.  Whirlwinds and slow winds.

And how sometimes we miss it.  The beauty in that.  We get caught up in ourselves.  Everybody should be like us.  Think like us.  Like the same things as us.  Work like us.  Appreciate the same stuff as us.  Look like us.  Dress like us.  Be us. 

At least, that’s what I catch myself doing.

And I wonder how different things would be if I could see people.  Really see them.  I wouldn’t see how I could change them to be like me and I wouldn’t try to make a sunny day a rainy one.  Just for me.

I wouldn’t try to change myself to be just like other people.  I wouldn’t try to mold myself into something that I’m not.  To be liked.  To fit in.  To make a good impression.

I would see the differences, the colors, the storm patterns…and appreciate them.  I would see a beautiful day that the Lord hath made.  And I would be glad.  Just because He made it.

And maybe every day would be like a rainy one for me, whether there was water or not.  :)

“This is the day that the Lord hath made.  I will rejoice for He has made me glad.” 

{linking up to denise in bloom.}

our weekend.

1./ two.  as much as i miss my emma claire during school hours, i will say, running errands is much easier with just two.  and it’s forcing those two grumpies to get along.   it’s going to be a loooong school year, but we’ll get it, won’t we keller and shiloh?

2./ date.  i went out with that man…and it was nice.  we picked up chick-fil-a and went to the movies.  just like old times…we should do that more.  thank you, leanne and ryan, for keeping the schooners!

3./ running club.  we’ve started our very own redeemer running club.  wanna join? email leanne.  did y’all say a prayer for my hip?  it hasn’t bothered me hardly at all since last weekend recap, so maybe i’m finally healing after 3 solid years of being pregnant.  if you’re my silent prayer warrior, thank you!

4./ jbf.  have you heard? it’s the next best thing to yard saling out here. HUGE consignment sale with lots and lots of kid stuff.  i went on half price day this season and feel like i got a much better run for my money than my usual pre-sale visit.  i got tons of gap, janie and jack, old navy, gymboree, mini boden, and even a zara sweater for emma claire for an average of $2 a piece.  we are pretty much set for the fall and winter…if it ever gets here.

5./ model.  the girls loved that winter hat i picked up for them at the sale.  so much so that through fighting over it they ripped one of the pom poms off…all within a few hours of having bought it.  i have found new meaning through the verse, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal…”  it’s a good thing i can thread a needle. :)

6./ upholstery.  speaking of threading needles, i’ve broken out the sewing machine and i’m giving reupholstery a go again.  every time i try it, it gets a little easier and i get a little faster.  this is good news.  perhaps by the time i’m 82 i can reupholster a chair in a week, instead of a year.

7./ photography shoot.  i’ve been so grateful for some freelance work that has allowed me to pursue one of my many passions, on my own time, and with flexible hours.  i’m super excited about these projects…and can’t wait to see where this all heads!

8./ good daddy.  i am greeted after a shoot with some happy schooners and their daddy-o.  can i brag about the secret weapon behind “annapolis & company”.  steven has not only encouraged me to pursue some dreams here lately, but has been a real sport about pitching in with the kids when i need to “go work”.  he bravely took all three of those kids into starbucks and got sick emma claire some chamomile tea and honey.  even i do not brave starbucks by myself with all three.  nice work, babe!  you’re my hero.

9./ skype.  i can’t think of a better way to end the weekend than a late night chat with these buds of ours.  kinsley is getting SO big and is cuter than ever.  landon is too.  and troy and jenny are still the best crack-ups in this world.  ah…we miss you guys!

how was your weekend?  seriously.  i wanna know.  do you like to pack yours full or take it easy?  are you a sleep in on saturday kind of person, or a wake up early and go sip some coffee while the sun rises kind of person?