A Regular Ol’ Southern Meal

Hey friends! I don’t know about you, but hot, summer weather just screams BBQ to me. Since I have yet to buy a grill, I thought of other ways I could achieve the feel of a summer BBQ meal. Enter: pulled chicken. After 7 summers working at Shaw’s Ridge Farm with some of my favorite people (Meredith, included!), I’ve developed a very soft spot in my heart for all things BBQ: pulled chicken, pulled pork, ribs, baked beans, coleslaw… you get the idea. On Sunday, since the weather was so hot, I decided to put my Shaw’s Ridge BBQ Barn skills to use and make myself a Southern Meal!

I found this recipe over at Eat Live Run and have made it a bunch of times. Every time, without fail, we all rave about about how GOOD it is. And, my favorite part about this recipe is that it is really easy. Although it is technically a crock pot meal, every time I’ve made it I do it on the stove and let it simmer for an hour or so and I think it’s probably just as good!

I copied Jenna’s recipe exactly, except I added 1/2 cup minced onions and I did not cook it in a crock pot.

BBQ Pulled Chicken- recipe from Eat, Live, Run

Serves 4-6

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (dark meat has the most flavor!)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt


1. Chop onions and cook until they are clear. Add in the remainder of the ingredients (ketchup through garlic salt) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the sauce simmer for an hour or two, depending on how much time you have!


2. While your sauce is simmering, cook your chicken. Normally, I would boil it or bake it, but the pot was dirty and it was REALLY hot, so I cooked it in a pan. When it was cooked through I removed it from the pan, let it cool and then shredded it.

3. When the sauce had thickened and reduced, I added in the shredded chicken and stirred to combine everything.


I served my BBQ pulled chicken with baked beans, rice and corn on the cob; the only thing missing was coleslaw. Next time!


This meal totally hit the spot for a hot, summer night and I am already looking forward to leftovers! I bought some wraps so I may make a BBQ pulled chicken quesadilla or wrap later in the week.

Questions for you: Do you prefer pulled chicken or pulled pork? Do you make your own BBQ sauce or buy it?

Baked Brown Trout, Caprese Orzo Salad & Corn on the Cob

Hey hey! Happy Thursday; we are almost through the week- woohoo! I got a few requests for the recipe for the meal that I made on Monday night when I posted an Instagram photo on Facebook, so I thought it was only fair to share it with you today! My mom’s friend Jean (not to be confused with Jeanne, although we use “the Jeans” interchangeably because they are all one in the same to us!) gave me a filet of fish that her husband caught while fishing on Lake Ontario after I told her how jealous I was that she gave some to my dad a few months ago. Dennis, Jean’s husband, caught so much Brown Trout that they have been sharing with us fellow fish lovers! As this was only my second time cooking fish (remember the Lemon Chive Broiled Tilapia with a Greek Yogurt, Lemon & Chive Sauce I made recently? That was the first time I cooked fish on my own!), I was a little nervous! Luckily, dad was just a phone call away and he was able to walk me through the cooking process.

When I was thinking about what I should pair the fish with, I decided it was time to actually make some of the side dish recipes that I always drool over when I read different food magazines and cook books. Hannaford has an amazing little magazine that you can get for free if you spend $25 or more. Clearly, I never spend less than that, so it’s always a nice little treat when I grocery shop at home with my mom! The magazine is filled with lots of interesting recipes and nutrition facts and when I went through it over the weekend, I saw a recipe for Caprese Orzo salad and decided that was a perfect side dish for hot weather!

Baked Brown Trout

The filet that the Brennan’s gave me was MUCH bigger than anything I would buy on my own, but I certainly was not complaining! All I did was rub a little EVOO on it, squeezed the juice of 1/2 a lemon, sprinkled sea salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash and garlic powder and then cut up some scallions that I grabbed from my garden. I baked it at 350* for about 30 minutes and it was perfect!

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Voila! Easy as that!

Caprese Orzo Salad

This recipe is exactly as it is in the Hannaford “Fresh” magazine. I cut the recipe down by A LOT, since I didn’t want to cook a whole box of Orzo, but it’s listed as the full recipe below.

  • 1 lb. Orzo
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. finely ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 pickling cucumbers
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


1. Cook orzo according to the directions on the back of the box. While orzo is cooking, combine the ingredients from the lemon juice to the olive oil and mix well.

2. Cut up the tomatoes, cucumbers and mozzarella and add to the “sauce”.


3. Once the orzo is cooked and cooled, combine it with the “sauce” mixture. I put mine in the fridge for the afternoon so it would be nice and chilled when I served it!


Finally, steam up some corn on the cob and serve everything together!


This was such a light and healthy meal- perfect for a hot summer night! The fish was absolutely delicious… there is nothing like eating fish and knowing where it came from and who caught it! Thanks again, Jean and Dennis! And, Danielle agreed that the Caprese Orzo Salad is going to be a staple summer salad this year. For lunch yesterday, I took the orzo salad, added grilled chicken to it and served it atop a salad- such a great way to change up the traditional salad!

Questions for you: What is your favorite cooking or food magazine? Favorite “salad” that you always make? Favorite light, summer meal?

Ok, I really need a grill…

Yeah, I mean, this meal came out SO good, but I think it would have totally topped the charts had I been able to cook it on a grill. Next gym paychecks go to: buying a grill! I don’t know how we survived all of last spring/summer/fall sans a grill, but I know that I won’t be able to do that this year. Maybe I can get my dad to go shopping with me for one (hint, hint).

Anyway, before I get into the details of the meal I made on Tuesday night, let’s chat about how much I have learned to LOVE Tuesday’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching so much and love my current schedule of Monday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s (double) and every other Saturday, but there is really nothing like the feeling I have all day on Tuesday knowing that I can go home right after work.  I also like that I have the option of working out or taking a rest day, pending on what I have going on after work, what my week of workouts looks like, and how I am feeling physically. The nice weather makes me want to work out more (ie: go running, walking, anything outside), so on Tuesday I got home relatively early (6:15- that never happens) and decided that I could squeeze in a quick 30 minute workout, focusing mostly on strength and core. 32 minutes later, I was done, ready for a shower, glass of wine and a meal I had planned out in my head since Sunday, so let’s get to it, right?!


We New Englanders are finally experiencing the spring weather we have been waiting for since, oh, the past couple of months.  Along with the warmer, sunnier weather comes my craving for all things associated with grilling and BBQ’ing, so I decided to take one of my favorite grilling meals and make it in my oven.  And, you know what? It came out WAY better than I had hoped it would. I marinated the chicken overnight and I cannot describe in words how flavorful it was.  The shrimp was just OK, but the veggies, especially the mushrooms, more than made up for it. And, what’s not to love about corn on the cob and baked sweet potatoes?!

Chicken, Shrimp & Veggie Kabobs

For the chicken marinade:

  • 4 chicken breast tenders
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • ~1/4-1/3 cup white wine
  • ~1 tsp. ground pepper
  • ~1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Few heavy shakes of Mrs. Dash


I cut up peppers, onion, zucchini, summer squash and mushrooms.  I didn’t measure, but I eye-balled about how many I thought I would need to make the skewers figuring there was really no right or wrong with how many I used.


1. Create the lemon-pepper marinade the night before and let the chicken sit in it for about 24 hours to get that really delicious lemon-pepper taste.

0292. The next day, when you’re ready to make the meal, pour yourself a glass of vino, get your apron on, and get to work!


3. Pre-heat your oven to 375*, wrap your sweet potato in aluminum foil and place it in the oven right on the metal racks.

4. Cut up your veggies and chicken and arrange everything so you can easily skewer however you desire.


031I created my kabobs by alternating veggies and chicken on some, veggies and shrimp on some and then for the leftover chicken, I just put all of the pieces on one skewer. I sprinkled on a little more pepper, sea salt, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash once the skewers were created.

5. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes (watch closely because you could need more or less time depending on how you cut your veggies and chicken). While the kabobs are cooking, steam your corn.  I also had to finish off my baked potato in the microwave since I didn’t start it early enough.

032When everything is done, place on a plate, add some butter to your corn and sweet potato (yes, this is a must) and enjoy!

035Look at those colors!! My mouth was so happy as it tasted all of the different flavors in this dish, especially the chicken. Wow, was that good! I am so excited for leftovers and think I will probably put the kabobs on a salad for a work lunch this week.

Questions for you:Do you have a grill? Suggestions for a good, affordable, no-frills grill? What’s your favorite summer meal?