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May 2014

summery chicken salad wraps

mom and i love cooking in the kitchen together. except for one thing that really bothers me: she never follows the recipe. ever. love you mom ;)


but guess what? this time she sucked me in. we experimented! i do like to experiment but i’m also a big fan of stickin’ to the recipe :)


we made (really she made and shared the recipe with me ) a chicken salad that is perfect for summer! my favorite things about it are that mom’s chicken is homemade and so juicy, and the mango in it adds such a yummy bright flavor! i also love the avocado dressing that i made to go on top. it’s tangy but still light and really makes the wraps come together.

Chicken Salad Wraps b

i served them on fresh butter crunch lettuce as little wraps. momma did hers on little gluten-free bread puffs.

Chicken Salad Wraps a

beach picnic fort de soto b


summery chicken salad wraps


    For the Chicken Salad
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1/4 cup organic mayonnaise
  • 1 heaping tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • For the Dressing
  • 2 whole avocados, peeled and mashed
  • 1 orange, squeezed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp orange or cider vinegar
  • 2 tomatillos, quartered
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


    For Salad:
  1. Place chicken and mango in a mixing bowl.
  2. Fold until just combined.
  3. Add in rest of ingredients and stir until mayonnaise is fully incorporated.
  4. For dressing:
  5. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds.
  6. Drizzle dressing over chicken and lightly toss to combine.
  7. Then spoon chicken salad into individual lettuce 'cups'.
  8. optional
  9. Top each one with remaining dressing and coarse ground salt.
  10. Serve and Enjoy!

they are so good both ways. you’ll have to try both and tell me which you like better!


~a-girl with a camera

little lemon custard cups

i love lemon. especially in desserts! when we did our family dinner night on the beach, i knew it would be perfect to make something lemon-y and refreshing… so i picked lemon custard!

beach picnic lemon custard cups d

  i think it was a favorite of everyones!

beach picnic fort de soto i

it was so fun and easy to make!

beach picnic lemon custard cups a

beach picnic lemon custard cups e

the fresh whipped cream which you fold in makes it light and almost airy.

besides eating it of course, my favorite part was making it! so, here’s the recipe. :)

Lemon Custard Cups
Serves: about 8½ cup servings
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup pure honey or maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, cold
  • 2 cups fresh whipped cream
  • lemon wedges for garnish
  1. First, make the lemon curd. (If desired, you can do this part up to a day in advance. Keep in mind it will need to chill for about 2-3 hours before serving)
  2. Whisk together in a double boiler: egg yolks, honey (Or maple syrup if you like), lemon juice and zest, water and vanilla extract until it is well blended.
  3. While whisking, slowly start to add the butter, about two pieces at a time. Keep adding as they melt into your mixture.
  4. When the butter is melted and combined, continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken and start to look like pudding.
  5. Once this happens, put the custard into the fridge to chill and set.
  6. Once the lemon curd has chilled for about 2-3 hours, gentle fold in fresh whipped cream. If you want, save a quarter cup of whipped cream for garnishing at the end.
  7. Depending on the amount of people you are serving, dollop into your favorite dish and top with a little lemon or even lime wedge! Note: because of our big families and other yummy desserts to try, I served mine in mini ramekins with little spoons which made the perfect serving size for each person!

try it out and tell me how you like it below!

family sunset beach dinner


i love spending time with family and friends. i love spending time on the beach. And i love food. put them together and i’m practically in heaven! ;)

my mom and i have done several styled photo shoots with wedding vendors, but for a while we’ve wanted to do one that shows off our love for cooking good food, spending time with the family, and working together to make things happen!

beach picnic fort de soto c

we searched and put together a bunch of yummy recipes we’d been wanting to make for a while, invited some friends, and started cookin’! we also invited a gluten-free chef, Lauren Marie, whom we met at a charity event. her food is amazing too, so we made a great combination! :)


This is a  delicious fresh watermelon salad that Lauren made. it was so refreshing!

beach picnic fort de soto k

and her yummy chicken salad sandwiches on Udi’s gluten-free bread…


beach picnic fort de soto d

we had three different kinds of deviled eggs. i made Smoked Mullet Deviled eggs which had amazing flakes of smoked mullet from Ted Peters’ on top of each one. yum. to see mom’s recipe, Avocado Sriracha deviled eggs, visit here. also check out Gluten Free Chef Lauren Marie’s Classic  Deviled eggs here!

Smoked Fish Deviled Eggs c 

for this shoot we were so excited that we were provided with Jamberry Nails to compliment our night! they looked so great that day!

Smoked Fish Deviled Eggs b

we also had yummy chicken salad “sandwiches” on lettuce wraps, as well as my mom’s version on gluten-free paleo quick bread.


Chicken Salad Wraps b

beach picnic fort de soto b

to drink, we had a yummy Red Fruity ‘Sangria’ that i made. recipe soon to come! of course the adults had a special drink for them too which you can find on my moms blog by clicking here ;)

beach picnic lemon custard cups c

for dessert, i made delicious little lemon custard cups… i think everyone loved them!

beach picnic fort de soto h

beach picnic lemon custard cups d

i have to be real here, it’s a lot of work behind-the-scenes to make this happen ;) , but i’m so thankful for all the teamwork that went into that day! we had such a good time together as families and all the amazing delicious food made for some well filled stomachs!

beach picnic fort de soto f

beach picnic fort de soto

beach picnic fort de soto e

beach picnic fort de soto j

the night ended with  a beautiful sunset and happy people!

be sure to check back over the next few weeks- i’ll be posting a bunch of amazing recipes from our night!

~a-girl with a camera

big thoughts from a little mind

Oh the things that go on in the head of a 6 year old… well, at least my 6 year old. :)

I walked into the bedroom, ready to tuck them in and hear my third youngest brother talking quietly trying to comfort my youngest little brother, who I see is snuggled down in the crack of his bunk bed, crying, with all of his little stuffed animal friends in a heaping pile around him.

“Anna, I need you to tell Isaac everything’s O.K.”

I (for a good reason I should add) got super nervous. “What’s wrong?” I said as I snuggled up next to him. “i- i- i just need him to – to – tell you”

I waited as E said nothing; he clearly wanted him to say what he was feeling. ;)

“Well, E told me I wouldn’t love my puppy in heaven! And – and – I asked if he would bury my puppy with me when I die and he said I probably wouldn’t even remember my puppy!” He looked at me for an answer as tears still streamed down his little red puffy face.

After lots of snuggling and listening to the big brothers thoughts and telling me his own

~a-girl with a camera

reading His Word

God is so amazing and works in so many ways in our lives. If you just allow yourself to devote some time to Him, he will open your eyes to see His glory! The Lord has been challenging me to be in His word more often and just constantly been laying on my heart that I really do need to be way more aware of the ways that I am spending my time.

Often I walk into a room thinking I have a purpose, and once I’m in there, I completely forget what I was supposed to be doing! In the midst of being frustrated, I stop to see if I can remember what I was supposed to be doing. My eyes catch the brown leather book titled Jesus Calling lying on the table begging me to open it. As I flip through the pages, trying to find today’s date, I think about how the Lord laid it on someone’s heart to write all these messages to encourage so many people and help bring them through trials in their life. I find my page, and start reading. I am so amazed at how the words I am reading perfectly address the specific thing(s) that I am struggling with in my life and bring me peace and comfort! I just can’t understand how in the world this author managed to put her writings in perfect order to reflect how I need encouragement in my life, every time I open her book! And then, I realize that it is Jesus who allowed her to put it in that order and perfectly directs our lives. He allows us to go through trials only that He may be able to direct us out of it in a way that we can honor him. Now I know the reason I went into that room. To slow me down and remind myself that my life doesn’t have to be in a crazy stressful rush all the time. I need to be able to stop and be comforted by the Holy Spirit.

So, next time you’re feeling stressed, rushed, confused, overwhelmed- stop and let the Lord bring you peace and comfort. And, He will help you to focus and understand why you walked into that room after all. :)

~a-girl with a camera