Sunday, August 26, 2018

Avocado Chicken Salad

Emma and I played the most hilariously brilliant prank on Paul the other day. As you might know, Paul is deathly afraid of snakes and spiders. While he has made great strides in his arachnophobia, even killing one now and then without hyperventilating, his fear of snakes is as strong as ever. He can't even watch them at the zoo without shivering in terror and wishing he had a large machete or M-16 to use in self defense. So, when we moved out west, the only thing that made Paul doubt the decision was the fact that our area is known for its rattlesnake population. They are sighted all the time on trails, in backyards, or in the many open spaces. While Paul has been very fortunate to not spot one, I have seen multiple while out and about with the kids. As long as you keep your eyes open and don't try to poke, prod, or bother them, you shouldn't really fear them.

One day, while walking with my daughters and my sister, we came across some very large snake skins that had been shed by some rattlers in the park near our home. One was nicely intact and nearly five feet long. I carefully picked it up and took it home to show to Matthew, who is quite the budding naturalist and would find that snake skin fascinating!

At dinner that night, I mentioned to Paul that I had found a snake skin to show Matthew and he was immediately grossed out. He told me he didn't want to see it, touch it, or have it anywhere near the interior of the house. It was just too creepy. That's when a brilliant idea suddenly came to the devious little mind of Emma. After dinner, she pulled me aside and whispered, "Mom! We should hide the snake skin in the drawer of Daddy's desk!"

Seeing the brilliance of this plan, I agreed. We carefully placed the skin in the top drawer of Paul's desk - the one containing his pens, pencils, rulers, and calculator. It's a drawer that he is almost guaranteed to open if he sits to do any work at his desk. Then, all we had to do was wait.

Well, we waited quite a while. Paul didn't seem to have much work to do because nearly two days went by and nothing happened. I had just about forgotten about the prank when one night, shortly after we had put all the kids to bed, I suddenly heard a cry of terror followed shortly by: "You JERK!"

Out of the office came Paul, beet red and recovering from the shock of discovering the snake skin. I had a pretty good laugh about that. He was so nervous about the skin that he wouldn't even touch it to remove it from his desk. I told him it was Emma's idea and he immediately went upstairs to chastise her (in a joking manner) but she was already asleep. She had to wait until morning to gleefully relish the fruits of her evil plan. She's a funny kiddo.

Speaking of Emma, her and Matthew are currently off in Montana spending some quality time with the Nistler side of the family while I'm back in Colorado caring for the baby and watching Lucy prance around sans pants most of the day. It's potty training time and so far Lucy is actually doing remarkably well. This is probably my least favorite part about parenting, but it needed to be done because Lucy's diaper-wearing is starting to get embarrassing and a bit pricey. When your toddler's butt is getting too large for the biggest diapers out there, it's probably time to bite the bullet and force the potty training. So, I'm here typing this out while watching Lucy ride around the kitchen on her scooter wearing only a Wonder Woman cape and a pair of undies sporting a smiling panda bear face on the back.

Here's a great recipe for warm summer days that is super easy, super tasty, and very filling! This salad is a protein powerhouse - chicken, bacon, eggs, and avocado combine with corn, green onions, and a tangy lemon dressing to create a meal that is light yet will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours. I found the recipe on the blog Natasha's Kitchen and it is one of her most popular for a reason. I could eat this every day. I like to throw in extra avocado because you can never have too much and serve this alongside toasted bread. Delicious!

Avocado Chicken Salad
adapted slightly from Natasha's Kitchen

For the Salad:
2 large cooked chicken breasts shredded or chopped
2 large avocados
1 cup corn from 1 cooked cob
6 oz bacon cooked and chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp Dill chopped, or to taste (optional - I've never thrown it in)

For the Lemon Dressing:
3 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper

Dice or shred the 2 large cooked chicken breasts and place into a large mixing bowl.

Peel and pit 2 large avocados, slice into bite-sized pieces and add to the mixing bowl.

Add 1 cup of cooked corn (freshly cooked corn is best), the hard boiled eggs, the green onion, chopped bacon, and the fresh dill (if using).

Add dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until slightly thick and emulsified. Drizzle over your salad and toss to combine. Serve with freshly toasted bread.

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