Monday, July 29, 2013

Chicken and Tomato Skewers with Watermelon Feta Salad

Until I was about 22, I was a horrific cook. Not just not good, but certifiably bad. My mother and sister are still traumatized from the Garlic Scrambled Eggs Incident of 1999.

Happily, I can now hold my own in the kitchen -- quite nicely, if I do say so myself. I can saute, bake, pan fry, broil, simmer, roast with the best of them. I think that my love of eating food (all food) inspired me to just keep on cookin' it until eventually it started to suck a tiny bit less and every small victory inspired just enough confidence that I'd slowly became less and less freaked out by the whole production. Confidence is key! (Deep thoughts by Laura.) I'm no chef, but I've come a long way from those eggs.

But put me out on the patio with a grill, and all bets are off. I do not have enough practice under my belt (fire-proof apron?) to keep my cool when faced with a raging fire that's hellbent on eating my flank steak before I do or the patience to help along a little flame that refuses to help a chicken breast up and out of the salmonella  range.

I seriously considered chucking a drumette off the balcony the other day. #grillingproblems

So all in all, I'd say my current grilling ratio is about 50/50.

I'm pleased to report that this little dinner was solidly in the good 50%, and you can rest assured that means that it's not just good, but really, really easy. Light, summery, flavorful, and all done in about 25 minutes. Cheers!

Grilled Chicken and Tomato Skewers

  1. Cut chicken into 1" cubes and marinate at least an hour in olive oil, lemon juice, herbs (I used garlic and oregano), salt and pepper
  2. Prepare grill - light, clean, and use a grill spray or lightly oil the grates
  3. Skewer chicken and tomatoes, alternating until each skewer is full with about an inch or two of space at the end
  4. Grill until chicken is cooked through and tomatoes are slightly blistered, rotating once to ensure even char
  5. Tent the chicken on a plate to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving

Watermelon and Feta Salad

  1. Cube watermelon and feta and place atop arugula. 
  2. Drizzle with balsamic glaze (plain balsamic would work just fine!), sprinkle with salt and pepper

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Home + Decor: Coffee Tables

I am having a little too much fun decorating our new home. We have the bones (sectional, dining table, bed) and now comes the equally expensive  fun part -- the details! We've been playing God the last few weeks and precariously balancing wine glasses, pizza plates, coffee mugs, etc. on the couch. While our luck has held out and we haven't done any real damage yet, I am the world's biggest klutz. When I kicked over yet another water glass on the floor tonight it was apparent: it is time to make a decision.

We've looked at juuust shy of a zillion options and my endless browsing has helped me to decide the following: it needs to be round to break up all of the angles and lines in here, it needs a glass top to take up as little visual space as possible, and it needs to be a chrome or metal finish instead of wood.

While I'm head over heels for that gorgeous little Neiman Marcus Starburst table, a $2K+ table is not in my stars. I've found some great alternatives, and while any would fit the bill (and save me from red-wine-spill-induced tears) I'd love your opinion...

Any favorites?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fireworks Over Lake Michigan

I took roughly seven thousand pictures of fireworks this weekend. This one was my favorite because it captures all of the things that I remember most: the sparks from the fireworks trailing into the water, the smoky sky, the insanity and the lights of Navy Pier against the inky calm lake dotted with hundreds and hundreds of boats. 

Too beautiful!