Smoky Honey Habanero Chicken & Apple Cabbage Salad

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The evenings are getting shorter and I’m running out of photography light. I’m going to have to start getting creative. In the past I’ve researched lighting equipment and the “how-to’s” for making my own light boxes. But because I do this blog purely for fun and relaxation, I hate to get too serious about such things.

As we head into winter, you may have to endure some drab photography until I find my lighting sweet spot in this house.


I bought three types of Spiceologist rubs from our local farmer’s market this summer. Smoky Honey Habanero, Raspberry Chipotle, and Greek Freak.


I’ve used all but the Raspberry Chipotle, and although I think they are lacking in flavor just on their own, they’re quite good with a few simple additions.

Coat chicken pieces with olive oil, season well with sea salt and Bragg's Organic Sprinkle. Coat both sides of the chicken generously with the Smoky Honey Habanero rub. Wait for the olive oil to absorb it and repeat. Finish with another generous seasoning of sea salt.

Coat chicken pieces with olive oil, season both sides well with sea salt and Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle. Coat both sides of the chicken generously with the Smoky Honey Habanero rub. Wait for the olive oil to absorb it and repeat. Finish with another generous sprinkle of sea salt.

The sweet and tangy salad balanced out the hot and spicy flavors of the chicken very well.

Sliced red cabbage, chopped apple, diced onion, sunflower seeds, and raisins.

Sliced red cabbage, chopped apple, diced red onion, sunflower seeds, and raisins.

1/2 Cup of olive oil mayo, juice of 1 fresh lemon, 2 generous pinches of coconut sugar, several grinds of pepper.

1/2 Cup of olive oil mayo, juice of 1 fresh lemon, 2 generous pinches of coconut sugar, several grinds of pepper. Whisk until combined.

Thinly slice a half a head of red cabbage. Core and chop one small apple, and dice about 2 1/2 Tablespoons of red onion.

Thinly slice a half a head of red cabbage. Core and chop one small apple, and dice about 2 1/2 Tablespoons of red onion. Add it all to a large mixing bowl along with 2 Tablespoons of sunflower seeds, 2 Tablespoons of raisins, and toss well to coat with dressing. Spoon into a serving bowl and chill in refrigerator while chicken grills.

Heat grill to 300 degrees and grill chicken bone side down for 20 minutes.

Heat grill to 300 degrees and grill chicken bone side down for 20 minutes with lid closed.

Move chicken pieces to the middle of the grill skin side down, or wherever your grill is protected from the flame. Increase heat to 350 degrees. Grill for another 10-12 minutes or until skin is crisp.

Move chicken pieces to the middle of the grill skin side down, or wherever your grill is protected from the flame. Increase heat to 350 degrees. Grill for another 10-12 minutes or until skin is crisp. If you get too much flame up, grill with lid open and increase cooking time.

A very simple dinner with amazing flavors. We loved the balance of the hot and spicy chicken with the sweet and tangy salad.

Simple Chicken Dinner & A Fabulous Fallen Cake



Simple is my middle name these days. I used to just relish working on recipes that had a gazillion steps and were a labor of love to create.


Now, I still aim for fabulous and crave fantastic, but the first thought on my mind is “simple”.


Something simple that won’t take me hours to make, where the cleanup won’t exhaust me, that really anyone with basic cooking skills can make, and still have it be delicious and not taste or look simple.


Both the chicken dish and the spicy cauliflower and broccoli dish are extremely easy with very few ingredients.


The dinner had a prep time of 20 minutes and cook time of about 35 minutes.


Delicious, simple, fantastic.

The chicken has amazing layers of flavor. The onion, garlic, and sundried tomatoes work perfectly together. Distinct flavors, but not so much that they overpower the chicken. The spicy cauliflower and broccoli has just enough spice to contrast the sweetness of the cauliflower but not too much heat to take away from the flavors of the chicken.


The not so fantastic part? Enjoying it on the patio overlooking our dirt back yard. 



Landscaping was supposed to start Tuesday, now it’s Friday…they “think” they’ll be able to start the sprinkler system on Monday then it will take “about” 10 days to complete all the landscaping. At this point, I’m convinced that the majority of construction and landscape laborers live in an alternate universe where time is of no consequence.


As many of you already know I’m doing a grain free trial run. Baking grain free has been a challenge to say the least. So far I haven’t been impressed with even one bread recipe I’ve tried. But I’ll save that post for later.

For now we’ll discuss the flourless fallen cake.


I tweaked the recipe a bit like I said I would. Added more chocolate and a bit more coconut oil. Also baked it in a regular sized cake pan rather than two tart pans. Turned out much more moist and now has the perfect balance of chocolate. However, with the fear of over cooking it and having it be too dry, I believe I may have under cooked it just a touch. It looked wonderful coming out of the oven…and then.

You may be wondering why I’m calling it fabulous… Of course I didn’t know it was fabulous when I was taking pictures of it. So I took my shots and then set it aside and ignored it while it cooled.

I’ve seen tons of recipes on Pinterest for Paleo frosting made with avocado. So I found one that looked promising from Gourmet Innovations and tweaked it to suit my needs.

Behold, the Fabulous Fallen Cake.


Amazingly enough….FABULOUS in every way.

Even the avocado frosting. Not weird at all.


Both the cake and the frosting are very rich but in a light and airy way. The cake was perfectly moist and now I’m convinced that the fallen aspect is no big deal and just gives it rustic character.

I like rustic character.


Fabulous Fallen Cake

*Instructions in bold are what have been updated from my previous recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooling time: 1 hour

Cook time: 34 minutes (Maybe add another 5…)

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cakes)

4 Tablespoons of Raw Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil

8 ounces of 70%  Dark Belgian Chocolate, chopped (or Enjoy Life chips)

6 Large Organic Eggs, yolks and whites separated

1 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar Crystals

1 teaspoon of Instant Coffee or Espresso Powder (decaf is fine!)

2 Pinches of Iodized Sea Salt (1 for the chocolate mixture and 1 for the egg whites)

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (I use convection). Line the bottom of one 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and rub the paper and pans with coconut oil or spray with coconut oil. Place the 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil and chopped chocolate in a small glass bowl over a steaming pan of hot water. Stir until combined and fully melted. 

Remove bowl from steaming pan, wipe bottom of bowl with a towel to avoid any water dripping into the chocolate. Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of coconut sugar crystals on medium high until thick and fluffy and crystals have dissolved completely.  Add the instant coffee or espresso powder, salt, and beat until combined and coffee has dissolved. Add the vanilla and slowly drizzle the melted chocolate mixture in and beat for about 1 minute until combined.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until foamy. Increase beating to high and slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar crystals in small batches. Continue beating on high until stiff peak (close to 5 minutes). Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour batter evenly in one 9 inch pan. 

Bake for 34 minutes, remove and cool completely on baking rack.

Chocolate Avocado Frosting

Prep time: 3-5 minutes

Mix time: 5 minutes

(Adapted from Gourmet Innovations)

1 Organic Avocado, pitted & scooped out

1/4 Cup of Organic Cocoa Powder

2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Sugar Crystals

1 Tablespoon of Dairy Free Butter

Place all ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth and fluffy, scraping down sides several times. 

Frost cake when it is completely cooled. After serving, store lightly covered in fridge. 

Simple Chicken Dinner

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

5-6 Organic Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Thighs

1 Organic Medium Onion, peeled and sliced thinly

2 Organic Cloves of Garlic, peeled & pressed or shredded over chicken

About 1 teaspoon of Organic Dried Thyme

3 Sun Dried Tomatoes In Oil, chopped


Sea Salt

Organic Olive Oil

Place chicken thighs in an 8×8 baking dish. Layer sliced onion on top, in between, and under thighs. Shred garlic cloves over chicken (I used a zester). Sprinkle the thyme over the chicken, disperse the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little paprika and sea salt. Drizzle somewhat generously with olive oil.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Spicy Cauliflower & Broccoli

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

About 1 1/2 Cups of Organic Cauliflower, large stalks removed and heads broken into small bite size pieces

About 1 1/2 Cups of Organic Broccoli, large stalks removed and heads broken into small bite size pieces

1/4 of A WHOLE Jalapeno, membrane and seeds intact, diced

Organic Olive Oil

Sea Salt

In a medium saute pan add the cauliflower, broccoli, and jalapeno. Drizzle with olive oil. Saute on Medium Low for about 20-25 minutes until aldente. Season with sea salt. (I added another drizzle of olive oil toward the end of the cooking process).

Organic Breakfast Salad


Good Morning!


We are up to our ear lobes in boxes around the house and looking forward to the moving company’s arrival next week. We’re leaving a month before our house sale closes and praying that everything goes smoothly. 


I’ve been trying to adhere to an anti-inflammatory diet at least 5 days a week. Breakfast is a tough one. I’m lowering my intake of eggs, grains, and heavy animal protein as much as possible.  Easter threw me for a loop with turkey, stuffing with bacon, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, and berry crisp with coconut ice cream (all of my favorites!). Then of course, we had to have leftovers last night for dinner because it was just so delicious on Easter. Lots of salt, sugar, and other foods that inflame.


So this morning I’m back to healthier eating. Since the whole Lyme Disease thing started in October I’ve been having increasing issues with major joint pain and arthritis. The doctor prescribed the anti inflammatories Diclofenac and Celebrex for me to try. Although I hate taking any type of medication and prefer to go with natural remedies, the pain from this arthritis and the swelling of joints doesn’t always make that possible. I prefer the Diclofenac. The Celebrex made me feel weird and didn’t work at all for the pain. I try to only take the Diclofenac for 3-4 days and then go off for a week or as long as I can stand it because it can be very hard on your stomach. But the key is to not allow the arthritis pain to get too bad because then it takes more medication to get it under control.

Along with trying to stay away from foods that cause inflammation and lessening my intake of animal protein, I’m also doing other natural remedies that are known to be helpful for arthritis. In the mornings I drink Organic Lemon Verbena Tea with medicinal honey to boost my immune system and fight bad bacteria. I made a fresh batch of turkey bone broth yesterday, and I also take high quality supplements daily. A multi vitamin/mineral, 8,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3, a probiotic, and a supplement for adrenal support.


 I try my hardest to drink 90 ounces of filtered water every day, and every night I take two Tablespoons of Organic Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate before bed. Tart cherries also have the added benefit of natural melatonin which aids in sleep. And it tastes delicious, which is a nice change from most supplements.


That’s what’s going on in my neck of the woods. More packing to be done today. Hope you all have a wonderful day and if you have any arthritis remedies that work well for you, please share!

Organic Breakfast Salad

Organic Spinach

Organic Apple

Organic Strawberries

Organic Blueberries

Small Portion of Organic Turkey Breast

Organic Walnuts

Organic Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Cupid’s Breakfast Salad


~ Happy Valentine’s Day! ~ 


This Valentine’s Day we’re thinking outside the chocolate box. Cupid is no dummy when it comes to starting the day off right. He has plenty of opportunities to eat sweets and goodies, but knows he’ll need to stay healthy and full of energy for the task at hand.

After all, being the symbol of love and master of attraction and affection is no easy task.


Cupid’s Breakfast Salad is balanced beautifully with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.


There’s even a little bacon on top to add a bit of salty, smokey, goodness.

Cupid knows that bacon spells L-O-V-E.


His dressing is made with tart cherry juice, the deep and romantic color of the heart. Tart cherries reduce inflammation, lower the risk of stroke, fight that tummy jiggle, and are loaded with melatonin to give a peaceful start to the day.

Cupid wants only what’s best for you when it comes to matters of the heart and health.


“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ―Virginia Woolf

Cupid’s Breakfast Salad

2 Cups of Packed Organic Spinach, stems removed

1 Organic Red Chard Leaf, stem removed and sliced

1/2 of an Organic Avocado, cubed

1/2 of a Small Organic Apple, cubed

1 Organic Clementine, peeled with a knife, sectioned

4-5 Organic Strawberries, cubed, plus some for garnish

1 Slice of Organic Bacon Cooked Crisp, crumbled

4 Organic Pecans, sliced lengthwise

1 Medjool Date, seed removed and diced

Toss all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Cupid’s Tart Cherry Dressing

4 teaspoons of Organic Lemon Juice

3 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

1/2 Cup of Organic Tart Cherry Juice

2 1/2 Tablespoons of So Delicious Greek Style Raspberry Coconut Milk Yogurt

Grated Rind of 1/2 of a Lemon

Pinch of Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Rind of 1 Lemon

Place all ingredients in a jar and screw lid on tightly. Shake until emulsified.

Alysia Marie’s Famous Kale Salad


While we were in Washington State we were able to travel 3 hours from our home town to Walla Walla, WA to visit with Tony’s sister and her family for a night.

It was such a wonderful visit! We weren’t able to see them before we left for New Hampshire last year, so I believe it had been almost a year and a half since we’d visited with them. Far, far, too long.

These are our gorgeous nieces, Maggie and Olivia (Brandon is in the chair).


Such sweet things and so hilarious! Smart and beautiful, well-rounded, polite, pleasant, girls. I would steal them in a heart beat and bring them back to New Hampshire to live with us if I could! We had so much fun after the delicious dinner Alysia prepared just sitting together in the living room in our PJ’s, chatting, catching up, and listening to the girls tell funny stories. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!

While we were visiting, Maggie showed me how to make a knitted arm scarf. So crazy! Knitting, by just using your arms. You can go here for a tutorial I found on YouTube. You can make a scarf in 30 minutes or less! Here’s a picture of the one they made for me.

I’m thinking I may have to mail them some yarn and a little cash to make me more scarves!


The next day while the guys and all the kids went shooting at the range and wandering around town, the ladies, Alysia, Sandy my mother in law, and I, set off to do a little shopping and hit a Starbuck’s. Starbucks are few and far between on the east coast so I wanted to stop as often as possible on our trip through the West. We weren’t feeling like doing a lot of shopping so we headed home to Alysia’s where she served us home-made bean soup and her kale salad.


I’m going to call it her “famous” kale salad because she said she takes it to almost every gathering and although she worries that people will grow tired of it, it’s always eaten and raved about.


And I would have to agree, it is delicious. I’ve thought about it every day since we left her house and have just now had the opportunity to make it. Even my husband loves it and he doesn’t like any savory or vegetable dish with nuts and dried fruit.


Notice that Alysia is also wearing an arm knitted infinity scarf!

I believe I’ve gotten the recipe correct…I wrote it down while we were there and promptly lost it when I cleaned out my purse and thought it was an old shopping list. Then, I called her just the other day and wrote it on a piece of scrap paper on my desk…and sure enough, it has disappeared. So, rather than call her again and reveal that I’m a complete idiot, this recipe is from memory, I hope I do it justice.


I will give you the amounts I used for about 6-8 servings, you can adjust it as needed. This salad keeps very well overnight in the fridge for snacking the next day. In fact, I probably ate about 4 servings for breakfast!

Alysia Marie’s Famous Kale Salad

1 Large Head of Organic Red Kale (or any kale you like), stems removed leaves sliced thinly

1 Medium Organic Apple, diced (I poured a little apple cider vinegar in a bowl and tossed the apples in it so they wouldn’t brown)

1/2 of a Medium Organic Red Onion, diced

3 Tablespoons of Organic Dried Cranberries

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Raw Organic Sunflower Seeds

5 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup (hopefully one from New England!)

7 Tablespoons of  Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

4 Tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Place the sliced kale, chopped onion, diced apple, cranberries, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Pour over salad and toss until thoroughly coated.


The Race Is On


DSC_5006Remember when I told you I was going to have a huge organic vegetable garden this summer?

I even started some of the longer growing seeds indoors for the first time. I had visions of canning and freezing and having all kinds of wonderful veggies and herbs to use throughout the winter.


All was going well, they were beautiful, we bought the supplies to make three large raised gardens, I replanted the seedlings once they were strong enough into their secondary pots…


And then they all died.

It was quite disappointing.


The thought of going through that all over again and then possibly losing them all in a massive downpour (which are common in NH) was just too much. We’ve only lived in this house for 7 months and we have been busy. Seriously busy. There’s a lot that goes on when you move 3,000 miles across the country to a new area and new home. Plus we’re having visitors for summer and fall…so I decided to set the garden aside until next year, when I could really give it some special attention.


Unfortunately, now I’m kicking myself for not starting the organic garden. Not only is purchasing all of our organic vegetables a large expense every week,  for some reason the organic produce in the grocery stores here doesn’t last nearly as long as it did on the west coast. A lot of it comes from California so I’m guessing by the time it gets here, it’s already at least 5 to 6 days old.  Organic produce that’s already a week old! Certain things are also hard to find, like a simple red bell pepper. Very frustrating.

I’ve learned the hard way that we need to eat them up as quickly as possible. Throwing away organic vegetables is a pricey, awful, feeling.

So the race is on.


When I get home from the store I make a huge salad, put it in an airtight container, and I eat salad every day for lunch and sometimes dinner until it’s gone.

Have you tried Schar’s gluten-free table crackers?


I put the other vegetables in a zipper bag with a paper towel and that seems to hold them for a just a couple more days so we can have fresh vegetables with other meals.

Here’s the Trader Joe’s goat Gouda I’ve been telling you about.

Unbelievably fabulous.


I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be procrastinating on our organic garden next spring!

Organic Chopped Veggie Salad

Purple Cabbage

Romaine Hearts

Baby Spinach Leaves



Sweet Petite Peppers

Roma Tomatoes

Dice all veggies (shred the carrots) and place in an airtight container.


1 part Organic Olive Oil

2 Parts Organic Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Organic Oregano

Organic Raw Honey

Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste

Place all ingredients in a canning jar, tighten the lid, and shake to emulsify.

Pretending It’s Spring


There’s not much more we can do, really.

Well, besides maybe whine and complain. But I think we’ve already tried that and it didn’t work.

So all that’s left is…pretending.


We woke up this morning to eight inches of new snow. Yep.

And we’re supposed to get six to ten more inches before the day is over. It’s snowing heavily right now at 2:30 in the afternoon, so I’m going to assume the weather forecast was correct. Luckily snow is beautiful. Can you imagine if we had to endure months and months of something ugly falling out of the sky every year? See, it’s not hard to find something in this weather to be thankful for. I’ll hang on to that and keep pretending that this will all melt next week and it will warm up to at least the high 50’s so I can start working in the yard.

Today I made Tony and I a colorful lunch to help us get through the pretending of spring.

This whips up very quickly (maybe 10 minutes at the most) and serves two. We had about a cup leftover. Perfect for a bed for an egg “sunny” side up in the morning.

Warm Spring Salad

Organic Olive Oil

1 Chicken Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Sausage (I used Alfresco), sliced lengthwise then chopped

1 Small Organic Onion

About 1/2 Cup Organic Red & Orange Bell Pepper, sliced

About 1 Cup Organic Broccoli Florets, sliced

Large Handful Organic Baby Kale, chopped

Large Handful Organic Baby Spinach, chopped

1 Can Organic Black Beans, rinsed & drained

Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the sausage, onion, pepper, and broccoli until sausage is lightly browned and vegetables are al dente. Add the black beans, kale, spinach, and toss until kale and spinach wilt. Season with salt and pepper and a few splashes of your favorite vinaigrette.