Grilled honey-soy chicken.

With the temperatures as high as they have been lately, it’s been an ideal time for getting your grill on. It’s just not as satisfying to stand around a grill with a heavy jacket and skullcap, as it is to hang around in a tank top and shorts. At least, it’s not as satisfying to me. The other night, chicken was on the menu, but the seasoning decision was a little up in the air. We were cooking for the family, and while some of us like it spicy, others can’t eat anything much more than some barely-applied black pepper. Cullen had to step out for a while, so everything got left up to me. I decided I’d halve the seasonings between blackened and… something else. A few minutes of searching Epicurious yielded Grilled Lemon-Honey Chicken Breasts, and it sounded just like what I was looking for. Even better, I had everything in the kitchen to make the marinade!

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Spectacular, astounding, delightful peanut butter cookies.

On Monday, I had a serious craving for chocolate and peanut butter. I’m talking life-altering, here – if I didn’t fulfill the craving before the end of the day, my son would surely kick his way out of my abdomen and go find some on his own. As ever, I turned to the Internet, and it didn’t fail me. A one-bowl recipe with less than 10 ingredients, less than 10 minutes hands-on time, and less than 15 minutes to cookie heaven? Yes, please. Even better, the recipe has no flour included, though it does have quite a bit of sugar. (You can, in fact, substitute natural sweeteners if you so desire; one commenter used honey with no ill effects other than a shiny cookie.) Depending on your peanut butter’s sugar content, you may want to decrease the sugar just a touch, though it may affect your final product if you go too low. And be sure to mix the “dough” thoroughly – you won’t overmix it, but mixing until “just combined” may not incorporate all of the egg and vanilla.

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Quick and Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup

Seriously, the title doesn’t lie. This soup takes only slightly less time than opening a can o’ soup and heating it up; even better, it tastes a thousand times better and doesn’t have the host of ingredients that stuff with the red and white label does, in addition to doing away with the allergens in that soup in a can. Did you know Campbell’s isn’t gluten-free? It contains wheat flour, in addition to 14 other ingredients. You can make your own in minutes, and do it to suit your preferences or needs. Need a dairy-free / gluten-free / vegan / soy-free / MSG-free soup? This is the recipe for you. Just substitute the cream for coconut or almond milk if you’re dairy-free or vegan, and the rest of those allergies are already taken care of. No gluten, no whey, no MSG in this pretty green meal.

Better yet, you can save on dishwashing if you do like I did, and drink it from a mug.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
yields 4 servings

ingredients:

1 ½ lb broccoli florets, frozen
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, separated
pinch of nutmeg

directions:

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan and sauté onions until golden and softened. Add 1 cup of stock, deglaze if necessary, and broccoli. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until broccoli is tender. Remove from heat. If using a standard blender or food processor, allow to cool for a few minutes and puree in batches to desired consistency. Return the puree to the pan and add the remaining 2 cups of stock, as well as the nutmeg, remaining tablespoon of butter, and cream. Stir gently over medium heat until soup is heated through. Serve plain, or with shredded cheese, sour cream and chives, or whatever your heart desires.

*Note: I’ve found that a couple of tablespoons (roughly) of white wine added to the soup after pureeing gives it a nice bit of extra body. (I keep leftover wine in the freezer in Ziploc bags for adding to soups and stews; it usually ends up as less of an ice-pack and more of a wine slushy.) However, if you’re not interested in the alcohol, leaving it out won’t hurt a bit.