What's for Dinner? Marinated and Grilled Chicken Recipe

Chicken is a staple around our house! I'm always looking for new and delicious ways to fix it. A requirement is that the recipe is simple!
I don't have time to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen working on a meal that takes 10 minutes to eat, 20 minutes to clean up, and which nobody may like after it's made!
My family really likes to grill our chicken. To keep it moist, I usually marinade it. Here is a summer marinade I created that we all love.
It is delicious as a chicken and 2 sides of vegetable meal. I usually grill extra and dice the chicken up and layer it on top of a salad. That's getting 2 meals out of the 5 minutes it takes me to whip up this marinade.


1/2 cup olive oil
1 TBL minced garlic
2 TBL mustard
2 TBL honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground rosemary
Mix together in a bowl with a wisk. Lay your chicken breast out in a baking pan. Pour 1/2 of marinade over chicken. Flip chicken and cover with the rest of the marinade.
I was able to sparingly marinade 14 chicken breast with this recipe.

If you prefer to bake your chicken, just stick the baking pans of chicken in the oven after it has marinaded at least 30 minutes.

Comment below, please. Let me know what your
favorite quick dinner. 

5 Simple Ideas for Baby Gifts

After having 5 babies myself, I can tell you that the baby ALWAYS ends up with way more than he needs!
I thought that maybe Baby #5 would get short changed in the gift department because, after all, he's Baby #5, and we ought to have all the baby items we need by now!
But no, his closet is over flowing, even though I tried really hard to not buy any more than necessary. Everyone loves to buy baby gifts!
When you are invited to a Baby Shower, it's a great idea to take something that Baby or Mom or Dad can use for a long time or an item that can be reused for the next Baby in the family.
Stay away from gifts that have a size or age range unless it is really wide. Mom only needs so many 6-12 month onesies!

5 Simple Ideas for Baby Gifts

Baby Blanket - heirloom quality, something that will be kept for the next child and even passed on to Baby's babies! Don't buy a blanket that everyone else is going to show up with. Buy a handmade blanket. Think Etsy or another handmade hotspot. If you crochet, knit, or sew consider making a Baby blanket yourself.  You can't get any more unique than that!
Classic Toys  - even though the child comes into the world as a mere baby, he won't stay little long! A great baby gift is something he can grow into. Consider giving a Red Flyer Wagon, Tinkertoys, wooden blocks, stacking rings, a wooden doll stroller. These toys will be enjoyed for years, not just months.
Books - babies love books. Little ones just months old can enjoy cloth books. Soon they are ready for board books and then regular children's books. A visit to your local bookstore will give you lots of ideas for books to buy as a gift for the next baby shower. The plus here is that they can be enjoyed over and over again!

Gift Cardsthis gift idea may seen lazy to you, but as a mom of many, I guarantee you that it will be received with a smile! Now Mom is free to buy what Baby needs when he/she needs it - whether it's clothes, shoes, diapers or anything else. You can buy a Target gift card or get more creative and give a gift card for a photography studio or a furniture store. Those too are items that will be appreciated long after the purchase.

Meals - After our third child was born, the neighborhood organized a few weeks of dinners. Every other night someone brought us dinner, which was usually large enough for lunch the next day too! If you live out of town, this is still an option. You can give a gift card to a local restaurant or even to a grocery store that has prepared meals. Who wouldn't like a gift card for dinner from Whole Foods?

What's your favorite Baby Gift to give?  Please comment below.
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Book Review: The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

"Every experience God gives us . . . is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see."--Corrie ten Boom
I've had this book on my reading list for a long time. Every now and then I would hear a recommendation for it from various sources. Once, I almost bought the book at the book store, then  remembering the tall stack of books on my night stand, I put the book back on the shelf.
Maybe if I had read the book then, it wouldn't have meant as much to me as it did when I recently took the time to read it.
This book is often viewed as a book of faith. From the publisher -
"Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ's message and the courageous woman who listened and lived to pass it along -- with joy and triumph!"
And while this is true, I saw the book more as a book of Dutch history and as a story of love in action - a book that challenges and inspires you.

The Hiding Place is set in Holland in the 1930-40s during WWII. (My favorite genre is historical ficition!) It is an autobiographical story of Corrie Ten Boom. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps.
One reviewer put his feeling about the book this way, "I felt like I had the opportunity to look through a window into something quite wonderful that left in me a feeling of awe."
Here are two quotes from the book that really inspired me:
"And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness anymore than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."
"There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still."
I highly suggest you put this book on the top of your reading list. Though the subject of WWII Nazi era can be horrific, the book will leave you with a feeling of increased faith, love, and inspiration!

If you've read the book - comment on your favorite part of the book.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe

Have you ever noticed how many salad dressings there are for sale in the grocery store? Some stores have almost an entire aisle dedicated to salad dressings.

If you were to look at the list of ingredients on most of those bottles of salad dressings, you would discover that most of them contain ingredients you never heard of or would rather not consume.
The easy answer is just to make your own salad dressings.
No, it's not hard. Actually it's really easy and you probably already have all the ingredients you need to make a super healthy and delicious salad dressing. A simple salad dressing starts with olive oil as the base.
My current favorite:
Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
In a pint size jar:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBL honey
dash of salt and pepper
Put lid on and give it a good shake to mix.

The Joys of Spring Gardening

Now that the snow is gone, we are ready to get gardening! Besides providing us with healthy fruits and vegetables to eat, gardening is a great sources of exercise. It's a great family project too!

After several years of battling Bermuda grass, we went to raised bed gardening. We have 17 raised beds, enough space to grow all we can eat.

This is my spinach bed. I planted this bed in the fall and it over-wintered well even though I forgot to cover it up before the snow storms we had in February. The metal ribs you see help hold the row cover off the spinach to prevent frost bite scars.

My strawberry bed needs a little attention! I weeded it and cut it back drastically in the fall. It has sent out runners to almost entirely fill the bed. Ideally, the bed needs more dirt in mounds to raise the plants up so that the berries don't sit on the soil.

Right before our two big snow storms, I planted peas. I followed the Ag Extension's Office Spring Planting Guide as to timing. Guess they didn't confer with Mother Nature! I planted the peas on either side of metal row cover supports with the hopes that the peas would use them as a trellis. I'll let you know how it works!

The peas are slowly coming up with all the warm weather we're having this week.

Several years ago we started two asparagus beds. They are expensive to get started, but produce for years without a lot of additional work once they are established. This is an "after weeding" picture! The asparagus looks like dead sticks. Give it a week of warm weather and rain and this bed will be teaming with little green stalks of asparagus!

I have 3 beds of onions right now. Want some starts? I thinned some onions out and put them in a separate bed (middle picture). We use a lot of onions in cooking, so we grow a lot! The nice thing about onions is that you can grow them all year long here in west Tennessee.

What's next? I need to get my lettuce, kale, and carrots planted and any other cool spring crops I want to enjoy in early summer.

Please comment - what are you growing in your garden this spring?