Friday, June 11, 2010

Vacation and new recipes!

Where have we been?!!!? Answer: Paradise! It has been a while since blogging but it is with good reason... For memorial day we headed down to Long Boat Key in Florida with my family. It was a great time, went off-shore fishing (first time for Ryan) and caught lots of baracuda, kingfish, spanish makarel, cobia and shark hits. Then did some surf fishing and I caught TWO pompanos! It was such a great time and of course I loved being with my family and especially JOHN PIERCE! He is the most precious 2 year old and he loves his aunt and uncle!

Me reeling in a HUGE Kingfish!

Ryan getting one of his MANY fish!

John Pierce and me on the beach at night

Our FUTURE home in the upper left of the picture! The houses here are INSANE! Oh, and me and my bro are fishing in the water, where I caught the pompano
He is such a handsome boy!

It was a great weekend! We got back to Bham and then left for Destin with Mandi and Jared. It was a great time! We saw our friends Destin and Chris and went to celebrate Billy Bowlegs! Great times and lots of sun!

Ryan and I enjoying the vacation!
At Billy Bowlegs with Destin and Julie
Me and Mandi!!!
Jared and Mandi and KJ's

So, as you can see, we have been having a great time. Needless to say this week was devoted to getting everything at home back in order! I have cooked a lot this week (in hopes to DETOX!)
This recipe that I made is delicious. We grilled some chicken and made delicious grilled chicken sandwiches with a goat cheese pesto spread. And the salad that you see... yes, that is the best homemade ranch I have had in a LONG time! I think that I dipped about everything I could in this ranch! Probably not good for the whole ''detox'' thing if you will, but it made me eat my veggies to say the least! Make it soon!

Homemade Ranch - Recipe from Our Best Bites
*note that all spices/herbs listed below are dried. If substituting fresh, use the rules 1 part dry = 3 parts fresh.

1 cup mayo

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 t white vinegar

1 t parsley

1/8 t dill

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t onion powder

1 1/2 t dried chives

1/8 t black pepper (or more to taste)

1/4 t seasoned salt (i.e. Lawry's)

1/8 t dry mustard (a must)

Directions: Combine mayo and buttermilk, whisk together until it's lump-free. Add in vinegar and all spices. Then keep stirring until it is all smooth and well blended. I made this before hand so that it could blend all the flavors together. Then refrigerate if there is any left after you do your "taste" test! Serve over salad and top the salad with all of your favorites!

For the Grilled Chicken Sandwiches:

Marinate 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts in Newman's Family Style Italian Dressing. I did this about 4 hours. Then, get your grill hot and throw the chicken on. I immediately turned down the heat once I put the chicken breasts on, but this allows for great grill marks! Flip chicken every 5 minutes, pour remaining marinade on breasts when you do your first flip. Cook until done (mine were VERY thick chicken breasts and it took 20 minutes).

Goat Cheese Pesto - (found at, originally adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

4 oz Goat Cheese (I used Belle Chevre - our absolute favorite)

2 oz softened cream cheese (I used the lower fat cream cheese for this)

1/2 cup pesto

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions: Combine Goat Cheese, Cream Cheese, and Pesto into food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I actually didn't add any at all, but it is up to you)!

To assemble sandwiches, I put mine on a regular bun because we had 2 leftover. It would be amazing on ciabatta buns though if you want to make it more gourmet! I toasted the buns, added the goat cheese spread (add ALOT or you will have to get up from the table to add more, it is that good), put the chicken breast on it and VOILA! Of course, you could add lettuce, tomato, and I think that the best thing would be roasted red bell peppers... I am going to try that NEXT time which will be SOON!

Thanks for sticking thru this LONG POST! I enjoy blogging and keeping you all connected with delicious recipes!

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