Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
If you are looking for a refreshing summer meal, this pasta salad will be a favorite all season long. It is colorful, filling, and easy to put together. Perfect for taking to a summer cookout or for lounging around the pool. Happy summer!!
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, divided
- 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 8 oz. pasta (any shape)
- 1 bell pepper (any color)
- 4 oz. grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cucumber (1.5 cups diced)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1/4 bunch parsley
- 2 oz. feta
- Use a zester, microplane, or small-holed cheese grater to remove the zest from the lemon. Set the zest aside. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a separate bowl. You’ll need at least 1/4 cup juice.
- Prepare the dressing and marinade by mincing two of the three cloves of garlic and combining them with 1/4 cup lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, some freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of the lemon zest. Whisk these ingredients until well combined.
- Place the chicken thighs in a small zip lock bag and add half of the dressing, saving the rest to add to the salad later. Mince one more clove of garlic and add it to the bag with the chicken and marinade. Squeeze the air out and massage the bag to make sure the thighs are well coated in the marinade. Refrigerate the thighs for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain in a colander, and let cool.
- Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Once hot, add the marinated chicken thighs and cook on each side until they are well browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes each side). There should be enough oil in the marinade to keep the meat from sticking. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and let it rest for about five minutes. Once slightly cooled, chop the chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Dice the cucumber and bell pepper. Slice the tomatoes in half (or dice if using Roma or regular tomatoes). Pull the parsley leaves from the stems and give them a rough chop.
- Finally, build the salad. Add the cooked and cooled pasta to a large bowl. Top the pasta with the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, olives, parsley, dill, and chopped chicken. Crumble the feta over top and add a pinch or two of the lemon zest. Pour the remaining dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Maybe all your kids have moved out of the house, you’re coming up on retirement, or you simply have too much space. The home that once accommodated so perfectly to your busy lifestyle might feel overwhelming to you now. But take a deep breath, letting go and downsizing your home can be considered an emotionally freeing process.
The average age that most Americans choose to downsize is around 50 to 60 years old. According to statistics, the US population aged 65 and over is projected to soar to 73 million by 2030. So don’t hesitate to consider downsizing, the wave will continue to be rolling for the next few years. Making the decision to move into a smaller home could help you save money, time, and ultimately…stress. If you’ve thought about where to start, we have some logical tips to help wrap your head around the idea!
Make a detailed inventory of your belongings. Many of us have junk drawers and closets full of unknowns. Start here by writing down the items you have a use for and trash the rest! Keep your priorities in order, but never skip an opportunity to pick up an old keepsake and cherish it’s memory. (Remember, the process is supposed to be cleansing!) Try to include the condition and cost of an item in your inventory that you might want to sell. To save time in the future, take pictures of your items in case you choose to sell them online! Having a master list of all of your belongings is the first step in seeing your wants and needs towards downsizing.
Declutter your current house! Give yourself plenty of time, don’t hesitate to make it an enjoyable experience by putting on a TV series for background noise or opening a bottle of wine to keep it fun! Get rid of the boxes that have been stashed out of sight, organize the things you want to keep for your new home, and decide if you want to trash/recycle, sell, donate, or give away the rest of your items. Renting a dumpster wouldn’t hurt, you can easily get rid of the things you want to trash. Freeing up the cluttered space makes for an easier vision of your transition.
For the type A personality of the house! When you’re changing up your space, consider the logistics. Will your new home have a high maintenance backyard or a lawn service that takes care of the property? Are you going from a three car garage to a two car garage? Are you losing a game room and gaining an office space? Take into account the actual square footage that you are moving in to, so that you can properly arrange your items without being overwhelmed by where to store everything in your new home.
What are the dimensions of every room in your new home? Your three piece sectional in the living room might not fit in your new space, check your measurements before you do some unnecessary heavy lifting. Often times the master bedroom will be larger in a smaller home, so maybe you can treat yourself and upgrade to a bigger bed! Make this process an excuse to do some shopping and get excited for the new look. Rule out the items ahead of time that won’t fit, and sell or donate them to keep the cleanse going!
Downsizing can be overwhelming, exciting, and emotional all tied up in to one. As you are starting a new chapter in your life, you are also moving to a new community where you will be making new friends and memories. Lakes at Creekside offers a wonderful community full of beautiful homes, luxury amenities, a safe neighborhood, and a prime location near a wide variety of dining and shopping choices.
Lakes at Creekside has available homes by the top builders, working alongside an extremely helpful team of realtors to get you set up in your future home. Contact us today at 281-376-1500 to get any of your questions answered!
Memorial Day is May 27th, are you planning a party or attending a get together? If so, we have the perfect appetizer, that everyone will love. Pinwheels add a creative twist to the spread, and this taco version will be a hit at any gathering!
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup seasoned taco meat
¼ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup salsa
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
5 flour tortillas (8 inch) room temp
½ cup shredded lettuce
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in taco meat, cheese, salsa, mayonnaise, olives and onions, spread over tortillas. Sprinkle with lettuce, and roll up tightly. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Unwrap and cut into pieces, Serve with additional salsa.
Give the gift of relaxation this Mother’s Day by taking her on a weekend getaway. Letting her escape for the weekend to enjoy family time might be just what she is looking for. So, pack your bags and take her on a weekend she will never forget! We have some great ideas of wonderful spots that she will love that the whole family can enjoy.
The Woodlands Resort, The Woodlands, Texas
Wanting to stay close to home? Then the Woodlands Resort will be the perfect getaway to spoil and pamper the mom in your life. They have a wonderful Mother’s Day brunch, and something for the whole family to enjoy. The resort offers paddleboarding on the lake, golf, and a relaxing spa. Also enjoy the many jogging trails that wind through the resort’s woods. Then when the weekend is over, you only have a short drive home! www.woodlandsresort.com
The Gaylord Texan, Grapevine, Texas
At the Gaylord you can treat your mom to their annual Mother’s Day Brunch at the Riverwalk Cantina. There is no better place to make mom feel special then at the Gaylord. You can relax all weekend by the beautiful pools, or dine at their many wonderful restaurants. Or, take her on the Mother’s Day Excursion on the Grapevine Historic Railway train to the Fort Worth Stockyards and enjoy shopping in downtown Grapevine. https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dalgt-gaylord-texan-resort-and-convention-cente
San Luis Resort, Galveston, Texas
Does the mom in your life love the beach? If so then let her put her toes in the sand, and treat her to a weekend getaway at the beautiful San Luis Resort. The whole family will enjoy playing on the island at Pleasure Pier! On Mother’s Day, attend their Mother’s Day brunch and then let her enjoy the spa, and end the day with a relaxing walk on the beach. Don’t forget to take her shopping on the strand! https://www.sanluisresort.com
Lakeway Resort, Austin, Texas
The Lakeway Resort in Austin is nestled on the picturesque Lake Travis. The views are breathtaking! You can enjoy a special Mother’s Day Brunch, and the whole family can enjoy the amenities. The kids will love the Spa Kids Pool and Kids Zone. Your mom will love to be pampered at the spa and then you can all enjoy the many activities around Lake Travis. https://www.lakewayresortandspa.com
Cinnamon Shores, Port Aransas, Texas
Here is another getaway for the beach lover in your life! Start the weekend off with live music on Friday, and then on Saturday do yoga on the beach followed by an in home massage. Sunday, have another morning of yoga on the beach and enjoy a Mother’s Day Brunch at Lisabella’s. Your family can also get into the available activities such as bike rental, bay fishing, horseback riding on the beach, and smores at night!
Whether you decide to honor your mom with a whole weekend getaway, meal at her favorite restaurant, or a day by the pool and cooking out- start planning now and make those reservations! We hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day filled with love and memories!