Our Cooking Challenge

About a week before Preston and I closed on our house, we agreed that with a new house and a new kitchen, we wanted to try out new recipes.  We’ve both always enjoyed cooking, and when we were first married and money wasn’t as tight we often took cooking classes together at our local Sur La Table.

Showing off my gyoza at a Japanese cooking glass at Sur La Table

Showing off my gyoza at a Japanese cooking class at Sur La Table back in 2012

With purchasing a new grill, we knew that would immediately open up new cooking possibilities.  But we didn’t want to fall into the routine of cooking the same recipes over and over again, which is a habit that we’ve fallen into over the past year or so.  With a new house, we wanted to challenge ourselves to try at least one new recipe per week.

We kicked off our challenge last week.  Our inspiration for last week’s recipe was our local grocery store ad.  I say inspiration because one of my best friends Linda, who went to culinary school, shared with me awhile back that a recipe never needs to be followed word for word.  The measurements of ingredients and ingredients themselves can be altered and/or substituted altogether to accommodate specific dietary needs and/or preferences.  Recipes should serve as guidelines, allowing each person to alter them and make them their own.

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know what last week’s recipe was: Lime Fiesta Chicken Salad.  Preston and I have always enjoyed making salads and topping them off with various proteins.  We also spent last week trying to get back on track with our regular diet after almost two weeks of take out and frozen pizza (gotta love moving!).  So when I came across this salad recipe in the grocery store ad, I thought it would the perfect recipe to kick off our cooking challenge with.


1 lb chicken breast
1 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup canned corn kernels
2 cups chopped tomato
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice and zest of 1 lime
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
Salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Slice into bite-sized pieces.
2.  Combine chicken, avocado, corn, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle with lime juice and toss gently.
3.  Arrange vegetables and chicken over lettuce.

Yes, its that simple!  Two notes: first, we opted to grill the chicken instead of cooking it in the oven.  Also, Preston didn’t think that the lime juice was enough of a dressing, so he added ranch dressing to his salad.  I thought the lime juice was sufficient, but again, its a matter of personal preference and taste.

With this new challenge, I’ll be sure to share some of our newly discovered recipes with all of you!  Yesterday Preston and I made another new recipe.  Stay tuned to the blog next week, and I’ll be sure to share the recipe with all of you then!

QOTD: What new recipe have you recently tried out?

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24 Responses to Our Cooking Challenge

  1. jillconyers says:

    I would love to take a cooking class at Sur La Table or almost anywhere for that matter. I love creating new recipes. It relaxes me 🙂 I set a goal to create 14 new recipe this year and it’s one of my favorite goals!

  2. Chaitali says:

    I love trying out new recipes but it’s so easy to fall into the trap of sticking with the same ones over and over, especially for weekday meals. That’s great that you guys are making a concerted effort to avoid it! I just tried a new recipe over the weekend and it was a chickpea, kale and coconut milk curry. It ended up being delicious 🙂

  3. I love that you two cook together! I am a horrible cook and MUST follow the recipe word for word or it will come out awful lol! The salad looks delicious!!!

  4. Kristen says:

    Hey, Kathryn! Congrats on the new house!!! Today I’m starting one month as a lacto-ovo-pescatarian, so I’ll be trying out a few new fish recipes. (I figure since I only like the taste of four vegetables, 30 days as a full-on vegetarian will kill me.) If any of my recipes turn out well, I’ll pass them along!

  5. I love that you guys took cooking classes together. How fun!

  6. Jessie says:

    Sadly, I’ve been stuck in a rut and not really trying any new recipes lately, but I’ll have to try out yours! Sounds good!! I love reading your blog so I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Here’s the link: http://www.itsamessylife.com/blog/2014/7/22/very-inspiring-blogger-award

  7. Farrah says:

    I really want to take cooking classes! That looks delicious! :]!

  8. Jennifer says:

    This looks so good – I am going to make it when I get back I’ve taken one class at Sur la Table and it was fun. I’ve also taken a class by Just Simply Cuisine close to Tenleytown http://www.justsimplycuisine.com. The chef was really nice and she hosts it in her house. Def recommend it for a date night bucket list item 🙂

  9. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Yumm, that salad looks delicious! My hubby and I love to make salads for dinner too!

  10. Just pinned your recipe, it looks SO good!

  11. What a fun idea! I should do this…I have a giant binder with recipes and I rarely flip through it. And that salad looks awesome!

  12. Pingback: Grilled Zucchini and Tomato Salad | From Dancing to Running

  13. Pingback: Friday Five – August 22nd – Five Things I Love About Cooking | From Dancing to Running

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