Our Favorite Grilled Chicken

Last week I promised you some recipes for marinated, grilled chicken. This is probably one of the most frequent items on our dinner menu. Chicken is so versatile! I think that if I had to, I could come up with 365 ways to cook it!

I’m not offering 365 chicken recipes (hmmm, maybe I should write a cookbook?), but here are three of our favorites. If I ever feed you dinner, there’s a good chance you’ll be eating one of these!

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Hot Days, Cool Cook

For the past week, daytime highs had hovered around 100. While that may be a normal summer temperature for some parts of the country, here in Colorado, at an elevation of 7,100 feet, it’s anything but. (I’m glad we don’t live lower and hotter!) Even with our cool nights and ample insulation, the house was getting pretty warm by late afternoon. At that point, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner.

I managed to avoid turning on the stove or oven for several days in a row. However, by the end of the week, salads were getting a bit redundant. What else could I do? Sure, there are other uncooked dishes, such as sandwiches and cold cereal, but I wanted ideas for more traditional dinner fare.

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Guests, Not Stress

The phone caller went right to the point: “Hi, can you help me? We’ve got five college students arriving to help in our ministry for a week. They’ll be here in two days, and the family that was going to host them had an emergency and had to leave town. Do you have room? And we were going to have a dinner and games night for them—can you host that too?”

Um, sure?

Actually, having the guys stay here would be no trouble at all. We have a guest room plenty of floor space. College students can sleep on the floor, right? The dinner and games night would be a bit more work, but I figured that feeding five extra mouths was doable.

Five students, two of us. No problem.

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Menu Planning for Saving & Sanity

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It’s late afternoon and you still have no idea what you’re making for dinner. Everything that comes to mind requires either time you don’t have or ingredients that would require a trip to the market. Sure, you have food in the fridge, and more food in the freezer, but frozen broccoli, mustard and a jar of green olives doesn’t sound like a meal. Our daughter once described the situation like this: “Mom, there’s no food in the fridge, only ingredients!”

This same daughter is also the one who suggested I explain how I do my meal planning. If this scenario sounds too familiar, maybe today’s post will help.

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Strawberries for Dinner

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If there was ever a Holzmann family signature dessert, this would be it: buttery whole wheat biscuit, mounds of sweetened whipped cream, and far more luscious, red strawberries than strictly necessary. It’s filling enough to make an entire meal, and at times (usually on Father’s Day) we’ve considered it one.

The story behind this amazing feast is from the 1970s. Teenaged Pete decided to ride his bike the 30+ miles to his aunt and uncle’s home in upstate New York. When he finally arrived, hot and hungry, a plate-sized strawberry shortcake was waiting to reward his efforts. I could tell from the way his eyes lit up every time this landmark event was mentioned, that creating a repeat performance would be enthusiastically welcomed. So I did. And it was.

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Organic: Some Conclusions

Should we spend more to buy organic? It’s a tough decision. We want to be good stewards of our the environment, our bodies, and our finances. For some of us, the added cost is prohibitive. We simply can’t afford it. But others have some discretionary income. Is this a good place to spend it?

Back in January, I pointed out that we tend to consider buying organic for a number of reasons:

  • We expect these products to have been grown in an earth-friendly manner.
  • We assume they are free of dangerous chemicals.
  • We expect the food to be healthier and more nutritious.
  • We might assume it tastes better.
  • We hope that meat and dairy animals were treated humanely.

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Does Organic Food Taste Better?

While flavor isn’t directly related to nutrition or environmentally friendly methods of growing, it is important. After all, no matter how healthy the food is, if it tastes bad no one will eat it! So, how does organic food taste? How does it compare to conventionally grown food? Does organic taste better?

big mac.jpgFirst, we should remember that not everyone likes the same thing. McDonald’s manages to sell an incredible number of burgers, and I think they’re awful. I happen to enjoy Brussels sprouts and lima beans, which probably puts me in the minority. Still, most people like chocolate, strawberries, and fried chicken, so there are some flavors we can agree on. The question is, do most people prefer organic food?

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