Chicken With Creamy Bruschetta Pasta and Classic Spinach Salad

pasta 3

We’ve been busy, but we still have time to cook around here, and this is one of our new favorites.

Tim found this recipe. How, you might wonder? He was in Publix {our local grocery store} trying one of the many samples. He always stops to see what they’re cooking {so often that I’m sure they recognize him by now}, and most of the time it’s alright, but this one was fantastic. So, we grabbed the recipe and bought everything we needed.

First, we started with the salad…

salad for tasty tuesday

Classic Spinach Salad

  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (4-6 oz.)
  • 2 or 3 plum tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons cooked bacon pieces
  • 1 cup garlic croutons

Chop one egg finely, place in salad bowl; stir in salad dressing and pepper. Add spinach: toss until evenly coated. Chop remaining two eggs coarsely. Slice tomatoes thinly. Top salad with eggs, tomatoes, bacon, and croutons.

tasty tuesday 1

Chicken With Creamy Bruschetta Pasta


  • 2-3 sprigs of basil
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 {8oz} package garlic/herb flavored spreadable cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 oz tomato trinity mix {fresh diced tomatoes, onions, bell peppers}
  • 3 chicken fillets {about 1 1/2 lb}
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 oz dry linguini pasta
  1. Fill a large saucepan half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil on high for pasta.
  2. Chop basil leaves coarsely. Cut tomatoes in small pieces. Place cheese in medium bowl; whisk in milk until smooth. Stir in tomatoes, basil, and tomato trinity mix; set aside.
  3. Preheat large saute pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Season both sides of chicken with salt. Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden. Meanwhile, stir pasta into boiling water. Boil 10 minutes, cook until tender.
  4. Reduce heat on chicken to medium; cover and cook 5 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  5. Drain pasta. Remove chicken from heat; cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange chicken over pasta and top with cheese mixture.

I don’t think you can skip the spreadable cheese. It gave it the extra zing, and I just cut up my own peppers and onion. Then we had some fresh basil from our garden for the top. It’s not as hard as the recipe makes it sound.

pasta 2

Even the kids liked it, so it’s a keeper! It’s the kind of recipe that makes you feel like you went out for a nice dinner. Can’t beat that! I’m so glad I took a photo of it before it was put on the plates. Once something is served around here, Tim says the prayer, and it is gone in a flash…there’s no time for photos then. :-)

I’ve been passing the recipe around, and now it’s your turn to try it. Let me know what you think!

Hop over to Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for Tasty Tuesday. You’ll find so many great recipes there every week.

Ordering Coffee Via Twitter

I’ve heard about coffee shops that take orders via Twitter, but I didn’t know that the technology would work at home too!

I’m mobility-challenged at the moment due to a freak accident.  So I’ve had plenty of time to try and get my sMAP in place.  You have an sMAP, right?  Don’t tell me you don’t know what that is!  It’s a Social Media Action Plan.  Or, in reverse, it refers to good cooking.

So, I’m on Twitter (@RemodelingGuy), soaking in the excitement, when I see my wife (@ForeverWherever) on the screen.  Once I caught my breath, I read her words… “Helloo my beloved…Iced Coffee” or something along those lines.

Iced coffee?  I don’t see no iced coffee.  So, as a result of modern technology, I yell out in a loud voice “I want an iced coffee”, and one appears in moments!  See, it pays to have a sMAP!

Technology at work!

Back To Blogging and a New Forever…Wherever!!!

It's Over!

Kim just brought me a water. An hour ago, she was done with me. Such is life. You win some, you lose some, hopefully it works out in the end!

It’s usually my mouth that gets me into trouble. If I would just hush, things might go better. Of course, it’s usually my mouth that gets me into good things too. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

It’s the same way with blogging. Sometimes you write things you’re proud of. Other times, well, not so much. In fact, it was the constant self-censorship that played a huge roll in my withdrawal from the sport a few months ago. I got tired of worrying…can I say that?

Here’s the thing… I’m complex. Lot’s of men take pride in these words…” I’m a simple man.” Not me, cupcake. If I’m simple, then I must be one seriously dim lightbulb because I sure can’t figure me out. So, rather than admit to a major lack of intelligence, I’m going to go with being complex. Deeeeeep.

So, complex…


  • I can be ultra-religious and Bible thumping at one moment, yet want to post pictures of the great time I had drinking beers at the Parrot Head party the next. Is that complex, honest, or doomed to eternal fire?
  • I can be a monster of money-hungry, power-driven, egotistic selfishness on Monday, yet by mid-week be settled into a nice easy routine of super-homeschool dad and family man. Maybe that’s only when it’s a full-moon. I’ll look next time.
  • And let’s not even talk about my career. Whoa! (pronounced WO-uh!) It makes me think of a song… what is that song… “There’s something happenin’ here, what it is, ain’t exactly clear…(now I got it)…STOP children what’s that sound…” oh yeah it’s the Vietnam song. Well, my career isn’t THAT BAD… but I’ve bounced around a little lately. Way complex if you ask me.
  • I can be nice, mean, smart, dumb, generous, selfish, funny, funny, happy, sad, ugly, not really, occassionally humble… you get the picture.

Blogging the Real You

So, knowing this, is it best to blog more of the big picture? Or is it better to keep your posts universally acceptable? Will those pictures of me and the Jimmy Buffet impersonator come back to haunt me one day? Will I try for a big job and lose it because of some off-handed comment I made on the blog? It could happen.

But what is the point of a blog if not an expression of who we really are? Isn’t it supposed to be a Weblog, as-in a log of our experience? An account of how we see the world as we pass by? What’s more important, getting that big job, or getting a chance to really be an individual…forgetting what the world says about it?

One of my favorite lines from the movies, and one that has oft got me into a mess, is “Damn the Torpedos, full steam ahead!” All things considered, it’s still one of my favorite lines.

Speaking of the real us…

How do you like the new look of the blog? We LOVE it! We were getting tired of the old look and I wanted to show off my abilities as a blog designer so I pulled out all the stops. The result is totally us and we totally love it. Did you see how the little file tabs up-top change color when you roll over them? Cool, huh?

If it comes up in your day-to-day, please let people know that I can design an awesome blog for them (or you) too! I could use a little stability!

So we’re back, and since it looks like we’re still good for the “forever” part, Kim and I will be posting away! Fair warning…

Down By the Sea

Down by the sea where the Sea Grapes grow…

sea grape bunches

The grapes are turning purple! Is that a sign that fall is here…or at least, near?

I’ve been reading about cooler nights and changing leaves on everyone’s blogs. Well, thing are a little different in Florida, we don’t have changing leaves, just changing grapes. We are dying for some cooler weather. It’s been so hot and humid that we haven’t spent as much time outside because of it. I love seeing everyone’s decorations for fall. I’ve put up a few, but I’m sure once we get a cool night or two I’ll be going all out with the pumpkins and leaves all over the house.

At least we have Sea Grapes to enjoy right now. Sea Grape trees are all over our yard and some must be 20 feet tall! The view of these hanging grapes from the windows gives a nice tropical feel to everything…love that!

We’ve heard of southern folks making jelly out of these grapes, but we’ve always been too lazy to give it a try. They have a slightly bitter taste with a seed in the middle. I used to eat them when I was a kid, but they aren’t really that good right off the tree. Even though they aren’t the sweetest grapes around, it does kinda feel like we’re wasting food by not using them for something.

sea grapes 2

My parents were here and as we were sweeping fallen grapes off the deck {yuck}, my mom decided to take some home and whip up some jelly…from the tree, not the ground. She found a recipe and made tons of it! Lots of Sea Grape Jelly for me, without a mess in my kitchen! That makes it taste even better, doesn’t it?

sea grape jelly 1

The Sea Grape Jelly gets two thumbs up from my family, and the color of it is just so pretty! For my southern friends, here’s the recipe:

Sea Grape Jelly


  • 1 quart sea grape juice
  • 1 package of powdered pectin
  • 5 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 5 cups of sugar

Preparing the juice: Wash sea grapes and measure. Put in fairly large, wide pot with half as much water (1 cup water to 2 cups sea grapes). Bring to a boil. Mash often with a potato masher and continue boiling until fruit is reduced to a soft pulp (about 25 to 30 minutes). Drain through a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth. Do not squeeze.

Place one quart juice in a wide kettle. Turn heat high and add lemon juice and pectin. Bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in sugar and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Pour hot into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust caps. Process 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

There you go! And if you don’t have Sea Grapes growing in your yard, come and get them! We’ve got plenty to go around.

I’m joining Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for Tasty Tuesday today…go check out her dirt cake!!!