Tag Archives: Grilling

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle


Yum!  This one was fairly quick to throw together and each of my family members enjoyed it….ding! ding! ding!  Another winner!!!!

Now, it says “grilled chicken”.  Yes, you can actually turn on the grill and grill it OR you can dump it out of a freezer bag and warm it up in the microwave!  I love having a bag of Tyson’s grilled chicken in the freezer for quick quesadillas or even just as an entree for the girls on a night when I’m headed out for dinner.  So tonight as the storms rolled in once again near dinner time, I opted to not send anyone out to grill but to use the freezer bag of grilled goodness.

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

Cook pasta according to directions: (When finished drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid)

  • 16-20 ounces of farfalle (bow tie pasta)

In a large saute pan (or saucepan), heat over medium heat:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Add to the pan and stir occasionally:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Combine in a small bowl and stir with a whisk

  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 Tablespoons flour

Add milk mixture to the pan and stir constantly with a whisk

Stir into the pan:

  • 1/3 cup of a commercial pesto (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)

Gradually add and stir constantly:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half

Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, warm

  • 1 3/4 pounds of grilled chicken (You can grill you own if you want…but I used the Tyson frozen pieces)

Add to the pan:

  • 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid from the pasta
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded.

Stir until the cheese melts

Add to the pesto mixture:

  • Chicken (warmed and in bite-sized pieces)
  • 4 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 of the cooked pasta

Toss gently.

Pour over the rest of the pasta and toss gently

Add 1 more cup of Parmesan cheese if desired (I forgot to do this and everyone still enjoyed it!)


This would be a good one to do the day after grilling chicken for a meal.  Simply grill 2 pounds more and cut it up and set it aside for this dish to make the next night.


Grilling Goodness: Chicken-and-Fruit Salad


The absolute best thing about our house is the ability to have dinners on the deck on a gorgeous evening.  Tonight was one of those evenings.  The trees still aren’t green in our view but the evening was perfect nonetheless.  We fired up the grill too in order to make another new recipe from the “Southern Living Ultimate Quick and Easy Cookbook” that I checked out from our library (I’m going to have to purchase one of these as I’ve rechecked it now three times and I want to copy way too many of the recipes.)

The Back Deck

Not the best picture of our deck but this gives you a glimpse at why it is so wonderful. This was from the end of April last year. Our deck is up in the trees.


Chicken-and-Fruit Salad

Plan Ahead- Chicken and Pineapple need to marinade for 6-8 hours.

Place in a ziploc bag:

  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to prick my chicken with a fork to help the marinade ooze into the chicken a bit more)
  • 3/4 cup of Lawry’s Santa Fe Chili Marinade with Lime and Garlic (the recipe calls for a lime and garlic marinade….this was the closest I could find!)

Seal the chicken in the ziploc bag and chill for 6 to 8 hours, turning occasionally.

Cut into fourths:

  • one cored fresh pineapple

Place the pineapple into a ziploc bag and pour 1/4 cup of the marinade over the pineapple. Seal and chill for 6 to 8 hours.

Ready to Grill:

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Drain the pineapple.

Grill chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Grill pineapple 2 to 3 minutes on each side.


Wash and prepare:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups of strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup of raspberries

Once the grilled items are cooked as needed, cut chicken into strips and the pineapple into bite-sized pieces.

Arrange the lettuce, chicken, and fruit into bowls.

You could toss the fruit with some of the marinade before adding to to the salad or just let each person add extra marinade as desired.  We just added as desired as my girls don’t really care for dressing on their salad.

This was a great dinner and easy to prepare.  Everyone left the table happy….even the extra child that joined us for dinner!

Chicken Fajita Melts- Easy and Quick!


Need a fast and easy dinner?  This one will do the job then.  We usually have all of these ingredients minus the french bread on hand in our kitchen.  The recipe says to use 2 grilled chicken breasts.  I used Tyson’s frozen sliced chicken breasts- I actually had their fajita seasoned one’s in the freezer and used them.  It made the dish even easier!

Chicken Fajita Melts

Slice open lengthwise:

  • one loaf of French Bread

Prepare your chicken breasts

  • Either season them with a little fajita seasoning and grill OR
  • Use prepared, frozen chicken and put a plate to warm in the microwave 🙂 🙂


  • bell peppers- sliced (red and green)
  • Onions- sliced
  • season with fajita seasoning, to taste

Assemble together


  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of salsa over the bread (I didn’t measure; I just slathered it on until it looked right!)
  • Add the grilled chicken slices
  • sprinkle the sauteed peppers and onions
  • top with pepper jack or cheddar cheese

Place under the broiler to melt the cheese

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad- Great one for hot summer days!


I really enjoyed this salad last night.  We were going to have the leftover pizza from the birthday party but I wanted something else to go with pizza that fell more on the healthy side of the spectrum.  I loved the dressing on this!

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad

Grill your 2 ears of corn by:

  • Removing the husks from the corn and grill it over medium heat for 10 minutes.  The corn should have some brown spots and be tender and not mushy.  Let it cool slightly before cutting the corn off the cob.

True confessions—I don’t work the grill at our house, and I didn’t want to ask my handsome fella to fire it up just for a little bit of corn.  So I tried to find some roasted corn at the grocery store….no luck.  Trader Joe’s has some but it wasn’t on my route home, so I simply cooked some frozen corn in our cast-iron skillet on the stove top.  It worked just fine—-but roasted or grilled would be even better!

Add to the cut corn:

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Make the dressing by whisking together:

  • 2 Tablespoons of lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pour the dressing over the corn mixture and toss it gently to combine.

Refrigerated it for at least 15 minutes before serving.


Kitchen Tip
Cilantro can go limp in just a few days if you simply leave it in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator.  Somewhere I read that you should put it in a glass of water and wrap the plastic vegetable bag –you know the one you brought it home from the store in—well wrap that around the cilantro down over the glass.  My husband hates this but it does keep the bunch of cilantro fresh longer and available for more recipes.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs


It is going to be 70 degrees here on Thursday and we are planning to fire up the grill.  As Texan-transplants to Pennsylvania, we don’t fire up our grill until it warms up outside!  (I do know of natives to PA that stand outside in the snow and grill.)  In case you are looking for an easy recipe to grill, let me share this one with you that I got at our Moms4Moms group last fall.  The recipe says to broil the chicken but my friend Fredda says she grills them when she makes the recipe.  I made this on Monday night using the broiler and they were great so I know on the grill they would be even better.


Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Preheat grill (or broiler)

Combine in a large bowl:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper

Add to the bowl:

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Toss to coat (rather than tossing I dredged my chicken in the mixture making sure it got a good coating)

Place the chicken on the grill or on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.

Grill/Broil the chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine in a small bowl and stir well:

  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Brush the chicken with half of the honey mixture  (if broiling you will remove it from the oven to do this…or else you might burn your hands!!!) and grill/broil for another minute

Turn the chicken over and brush it with the remaining honey mixture.

Grill/Broil for another minute or until the chicken is done. (The temp for “done” chicken is 165° and no less than 160°)

Now you may be wondering…broil on low or on high?  I broiled on high…but my oven has issues!  So if you broil the chicken you might start it on low and see if it takes 5 minutes to cook it half-way through.  If it seems to be going to slow bump it up to high.

I can’t wait to try this again using the grill.  Let me know how it turns out for you!


Chili-rubbed Girlled Pork Tenderloin


This is an easy one that we did tonight.  It was quick and yummy, as you know- two of my favorite things in a recipe!  The recipe is from the May 13-15,2011 USA Weekend Magazine.

Chili-rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin

In a small bowl, combine:

  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • two pinches of cayenne pepper

Rub the spice mixture all over

  • 2 pork tenderloins (each about 1 pound, so around 2 pounds of meat)

Allow the pork tenderloins to come to room temperature

Place the pork on a preheated grill.

Turn the meat once or twice while cooking until a meat thermometer inserted in to the thickest part reads 155 degrees (probably around 15-20 minutes)

Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.



In a Rush Rub


Sitting by the pool can be a useful and helpful way to spend your time.  My time on Saturday earned me this delicious and easy rub for chicken.  My friend Fredda shared the recipe with me.  I followed her lead and grilled a few extra pieces of chicken so that we could have quesadillas for lunch today.  It was wonderful both times!

In a Rush Rub:

Mix together:

  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper

Rub that all over the chicken.

In a separate container prepare the glaze:

  • 6 T honey
  • 2 t cider vinegar

Grill your chicken as usual.  Brush the honey glaze on after you have flipped the chicken and it is almost cooked (otherwise the honey will burn).

I served this with grilled corn on the cob and fruit–grapes this time.  (We actually cut the corn off the cob and drizzled leftover honey glaze over it and I sprinkled some of the extra rub on my corn too—yum!)

This is a perfect recipe for a healthy and quick dinner.