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Officially, I’m back.  I’m proud to say that even though my husband and I were on vacation-we kept up with our walking, stretching and added caring for our grandkids (I was on my own with them for 4 days).  We had a blast and besides exercising-we kept our indulgences to a minimum.

I was a bit leery of stepping on the scale when I came home on Monday night-so I waited until the morning.  

What do you know-I didn’t gain a pound.  Boy am I happy about this finding!

Life is much easier when you stick to a schedule.  I went to bed and woke up as if I were at home.  

No, the boys and I didn’t make it until mid-night.  Honestly, I was enjoying our time, but by then I missed my husband, home and pets and was feeling a might blue.

This was the only time in 31 years that we weren’t together for New Year’s and my husband’s birthday.

We are making up for it this weekend.  My husband’s bosses gave him a lovely gift certificate to a great restaurant on the water and they have live music every evening.  We‘re pretending that it’s both events and dressing up and having a date night.

Back to cooking-I did cook most nights for my daughter, but was anxious to get to my own kitchen.  My first night home, I made oven-fried Margarita chicken and jeweled barley with roasted root veggies.

Sounds fancy?  Nope pretty easy.  

The barley is just made with some veggie or chicken stock and I add some dried fruit during the last 20 or so minutes of simmering.

The root veggies are simply tossed with some EVOO, minced garlic, salt and pepper and put in the oven during the chicken’s last 30 minutes.

The chicken?  Yes a bit of messy prep, but my better half has been requesting some oven-fried chicken for a while.  I ususally grill or bake it.

Here’s the recipe:

1 fryer, cut and skinned
1 C plain yogurt (I used soy)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice and it’s zest
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Mix all of the above well and marinate in the fridge for about 2-3 hours.

In a pan big enough for coating the chicken pieces OR a large ziploc bag, combine:

1-2 C of crushed pretzels (they should be fine enough so that you recognize them as pretzels, but small enough not to be more than flakes, I used my processor)

2 tbsp ap flour

1 tsp each  garlic powder and salt

Remove excess marinade from chicken and coat with crumb mixture.  Place in a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and add 1 tbsp of veg oil.  

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Let chicken set while oven is coming up to temp.  I like to give the chicken a light spray of the Pam at this point.  

Bake 40 minutes.  Now I like to start the chicken off on what would be the skin side down and turn it half way through, but that part is up to you.


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