Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken

Austin Countdown: T-17 days. That’s right, in just two weeks the hubby and I will be packing the wagons and heading to the big land of Texas where Jack will work hard on his PhD and I will lounge lazily by the pool, work on my tan and eat Fro-Yo. Have I mentioned I am still unemployed? Hopefully that will change soon after we get settled and then off to work for me as well. Now, on to more tasty topics…With most of our home packed into boxes, there have been few projects for me to share with you, that is, until this week.

Jack and I have been on a constant scouting mission for avocados. Avocados are my all time favorite summer food. Unfortunately, finding these delicious fruits is easier said than done. Produce options are ridiculously limited in our small town and when we do find a decent batch, they typically sell for around $2/fruit. Yikes! Lately, our local produce stand down the street has had a fairly good showing of avocado however and we have been taking full advantage.

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken

This week, we had avocado every night. Since the weather here is hot and sticky, we wanted our meal to highlight the avocado flavor and also remain light and fresh tasting. Here’s what we came up with:

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken over Spinach and a Toasted Tortilla

That sounds long and complicated as I write it out but it is pretty simple and incredibly delicious.

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken

Chili-Coke Chicken

2 chicken breasts 1 tbsp red pepper flakes 1 tbsp Adobo seasoning 2 tbsp Brown sugar pepper to taste coke to taste –start at 1 tsp rum to taste –start at 1 tsp 2 tsp lemon juice

Boil 2 chicken breasts until cooked. Run cold water over chicken and shred. Mix above ingredients, adjust according to taste. All our sauces are done by taste so these are rough measurements. Toss chicken with seasoning and let sit.

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken

Mango Avocado Salsa

1 Mango 1 Avocado 1/4 cup chopped red onion 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 cup yellow tomato chopped 1/4 Feta Cheese 1 tsp lemon juice salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients by tossing gently. Set Aside.

Next, pour 1-2 tsp of olive oil into a pan. Allow the oil to warm up and then toss your tortilla into the oil. Cook on each side until slightly crisp.

Pile spinach on top of the tortillas, followed by the chicken and topped off with the mango avocado salsa. Enjoy!

Summer Refreshments: Mojitos

Nothing quite compares to the thrill of that first refreshing splash of summer. The anticipation as you drive toward the lake, the squeal of delight as your toes dip playfully at the water’s edge and the rush of adrenaline as you hold your breath and dive on in. The humid summers of East Tennessee have made me appreciate more fully the therapeutic refreshment that water brings. Whether it be by poolside, lake, river, or ocean, water gives us a chance to beat the heat, both literally or figuratively. Although for many the mayhem of work continues into the summer, the endless heat eventually beckons people out of their cubicles, into their cars, and toward the water.

While we can’t spend every moment of summer lakeside with a drink in hand, we can find some satisfaction in the refreshments of summer. I’m talking Mojitos, people!

Virgin Mojitos

The hubby and I have been experimenting with different refreshing cocktails this summer, and while I’m always game for the traditional Mojito, I wanted to try an alcohol-free version that would taste light, refreshing and full of summer. Today I attempted a Mojito spritzer. There is no fancy trick to this little number, just simple minty deliciousness.

Recipe: 1 oz simple syrup/1oz lime juice (Cheat: 2 oz Mojito Mix) 10 Mint Leaves 3 oz Club Soda 1 tsp. brown sugar Ice

To Mix: Grind fresh mint leaves with brown sugar in separate bowl and place in shaker. Place ice in cocktail shaker. Add Mojito Mix or simple syrup and lime juice. Shake. Pour into glass. Add club soda. If you prefer less minty flavor, simply add more club soda or you can always add rum.

Virgin Mojitos

Bold Beautiful Bridal Bouquet

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  • Flowers
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  • Brides Bouquet b For some individuals, creativity seems to pour out with ease, turning everything they touch into creativity gold. For others, coming up with something creative is a more labored, time consuming process requiring hours of research scouring blogs and reading articles, testing recipes, practicing new techniques, ruining much anticipated projects, writing and rewriting, taking photo after photo after photo… Can you guess which one of these categories I fall into?

That’s right. I’m a “creativity is a painstaking process” personality and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Because I have tried and failed at so many projects, I have branched out and discovered the world of creativity is ginormous! From childhood to now I’ve dabbled in drawing, beading, photography, scrapbooking, painting, cooking, sewing, baking, woodworking, furniture restoration, interior design, blogging, violin, photography again, flowers, flowers and more flowers. With so many different avenues to explore, how could I possibly settle on just one? If I could choose just one creative venture, perhaps I would find myself excelling, but until that day, the randomness of my projects will continue.

Bold Bridal Bouquet

Now to what you all are wanting to see, flowers! Unfortunately, as Jack and I prepare for our big move to Austin, my time on the farm has slowed significantly. However, Kristin and I recently arranged a wedding for a Tennessee bride. The table arrangements were fairly simple–three wine bottles with three different arrangements in each. The showstopper was the bride’s bouquet (thank you Kristin). Kristin’s finished design was exquisite. We decided to wrap the stems in simple burlap with three pearl pins so nothing took away from the beautiful colors. The finished product: a bold and beautiful bridal bouquet.

Bold Bridal Bouquet

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