Easy Ensalada

Hello my friends!  We are SO SO close to Christmas!  I’ve been listening to the holiday station on Pandora to get me in the mood, and it’s finally starting to feel like it’s around the corner!  Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it’s hard to have that warm and fuzzy holiday feeling when you’re at work doing your normal day-to-day and nothings changed besides maybe white lights on the trees outside of your office.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE this time of year, but it’s just something I have noticed post-college (and one month-long holiday breaks…ahh those were the days).

Anyway, in an effort to keep the holiday feeling alive, the bf and I rented Home Alone the other night and I promised to make us dinner (something that is honestly pretty rare).  So, because cooking is not my expertise and when it comes to creativity in the kitchen, I have the imagination of a rock (that doesn’t make any sense but just go with it), I made the first thing that came to mind….a salad.  (How exciting!?)  While I usually don’t think of salad for dinner, the holiday parties have been reeking havoc on the body and we were both feeling something healthy.  As I walked the aisles of Whole Foods aimlessly I finally had an AHA moment when I saw the goat cheese.  Looking at goat cheese doesn’t typically ignite AHA moments for me, but it happened and here is what I came up with…

Arugula salad

with goat cheese, candied pecans, grilled chicken, tomatoes and roasted asparagus

salad

Ingredients:

8 oz chicken breasts

1 bottle Teriyaki sauce (I used Soy Vay: Teriyaki Sauce Veri Veri Teriyaki)

1 bag/box of Arugula

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or you can crumble it yourself)

1 cup cherry tomato medley

1 bunch asparagus

1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt & Pepper

 

Chicken:
Marinate chicken with teriyaki sauce for 10 minutes (while cooking candied pecans and asparagus).  Place chicken in medium saucepan and saute on medium heat until cooked through.
Candied Pecans:
Combine water, sugar and pecans in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes or until sugar and water thicken to coat pecans.  Remove from oven and cool until sugar-coating has hardened.
Roasted Asparagus:
Wash asparagus and snap bottoms off at natural breaking point (about 1/3 piece).  Align asparagus on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven.  Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Salad:
Combine arugula, chicken, tomatoes, goat cheese, candied pecans, roasted asparagus and toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Delish!

I must say this took all of 30 minutes and it was really good!  It even kept my very tall hungry boyfriend satisfied!  We followed dinner with cookies and milk, a holiday candle lit and white lights twinkling on my little topiary trees… by the time we finished Home Alone I was feeling very festive (and proud of myself for making dinner – a true Christmas miracle!).

Get your salad on and whip up one of these babies before Holiday festivities take over whatever self-control you have left!

XOXO

South of Main’s Holiday Gift Guide

I know this may be a little late in the game for all you overachievers out there but here is a Holiday gift guide from yours truly…

The man in your life

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L.L. Bean Slippers, Patagonia Vest, iPod amplifier, JamBox, Jack Black products, Beer & food calendar, Man candles, iPhone portable charger, J.Crew sweater

The woman in your life

For her

Dana Rebecca necklace, Illesteva sunglasses, La Mer lotion, iPod shuffle (with engraved message), LOVE paperweight, fur vest, earrings, Club Monaco clutch

Yo mamma

For mom

Monogrammed J.Crew PJs, Candle, Philosophy skin care, shopping list, coffee table book, Nora Fleming tray

Yo daddy

For Dad

Monogrammed golf balls, Leather coasters, beer-making kit, beef jerky of the month, Patagonia jacket, Monogrammed grill kit

Your bestie

For BFFs

InStyle subscription, Hair ties, BFF hats, earrings, monogrammed necklace, Gone Girl book, nautical makeup bag

Your I want to trump everyone else Yankee Swap gift

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Snood, Soul-Cycle gift card, survival kit, Brooklyn Slate board, Damn Good Advice book

Your in-laws

For in-laws

NY Food Basket, Cutting board, Monogrammed Bocce set, Engraved silver frames, Personalized sign

And there you have it folks!  Many of these gems you can buy online, which is music to the ears if you ask me!  I’ve about had it with crowds and long lines these days!  A few things to note here… the JamBox is probably the best gift you could give to anyone with an iPhone (aka everyone); I recently purchased Illesteva sunglasses and am absolutely obsessed, mostly because they make me look way cooler than I actually am; magazine subscriptions are a surprisingly cheap and thoughtful gift…that keeps on giving every month; I love the personalized city signs for anyone who wants to buy me a Christmas present.  Andddd…well, that’s it.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and productive weekend, for those of us finishing up last-minute holiday shopping!  Next year I promise to post my shopping guide earlier in the season – New Years resolution #1!

Keep it real.

XOXO

Monogram Mania

With the holidays just around the corner, I thought I would start posting about gift ideas, which is a topic I love!  While I thoroughly enjoy buying for other people, I find it difficult at times to make the gift seem thoughtful, which is part of the reason I try not to buy gift cards (as much as I love receiving them).  What better way to personalize a gift than a monogram?  While there is always the cliché monogrammed canvas tote or button down shirt, here are a few more options with a bit of a unique twist!

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Image of Large Day Planner

Image of Icon Stationery

Custom Embroidered Pillow With Your Monogram

Custom Embroidered Pillow With Your Monogram - Chic Black Monogram on White Tweel Fabric

Would you want to receive something monogrammed?  Or do you find it to be too preppy?  Personally, I think it’s a trend that will never go “out” and always creates a special detail.  When not overdone, it can be very tasteful.  Check out the monogrammed pillow from this post – doesn’t it add the perfect touch?

XOXO