When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Grilled Chicken, Veggie, and Pineapple Skewers with Orange Maple Sauce

Matt and the boys and I enjoyed the first long weekend of the summer by staying close to home and hanging out all together. There was lots of swimming and laughing, puttering and playing in the gardens and yard, a trip to the local farmers' market on Saturday morning, and tasty meals made easily and pleasantly with fresh ingredients and plenty of free time to enjoy the process. The start of summer holidays always comes with such an exhilarating feeling of lightness and spontaneity; we're all open to discovering new things in the wide open spaces (both the physical and the mental ones) that this relaxed, happy season often provides.

Saturday afternoon sun halo

One of our favourite meals from the weekend involved skewers threaded with chicken, peppers, zucchini, red onion, and pineapple, brushed with an orange maple sauce, and grilled nicely on the barbecue. I didn't plan for this meal to be part of a food post here, but the skewers looked and tasted so good when they came off the grill that I thought I'd share the recipe. (Luckily I have a patient family who was willing to wait to eat their dinner until I had snapped a few impromptu photos of it!)

Chicken, Veggie, and Pineapple Skewers with Orange Maple Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sweet bell peppers, any colour
2 small zucchini
1 small red onion
half of a peeled and cored pineapple
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
a pinch of sea salt

Preheat the barbecue to medium heat. Cut the chicken, vegetables, and pineapple into similarly sized pieces, about 1 1/2 inches each. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, olive oil, cumin, and sea salt.

Thread the chicken, vegetables, and pineapple onto skewers. (If you're using wooden ones, be sure to soak them in water for 20 minutes first.)

Place the skewers on the preheated grill and brush them with the orange maple sauce. Grill them for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, brushing the chicken, vegetables, and pineapple frequently with the remaining sauce, and turning the skewers 5 or 6 times during the cooking process.

Serve grilled skewers with a side of whole grain rice and enjoy a simple but delicious summer meal!

Oh, one more thing before I go: If you enjoy following my stories and recipes here, you can now also find me on Instagram. Noah recently convinced me to actually try doing something with the account I had created there a long time ago, and I'm really enjoying its format for sharing photos and little snippets of life. I'm also still active on my Facebook page -- stop by and say hello if you haven't yet visited! :)

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