Hate to Love Fall, Y’all!

Its fall, y’all! Well, not officially until Sunday but close enough. Living in Charleston we get ONE day of fall. It’s a holiday like Thanksgiving or Presidents Day; not a season. One random day in November we all wake up and yell “Happy Fall,” and then the next day we are back to our actual season, which we refer to as the “second summer.” We go from hot as hell to just plain hot. And it lasts – some Christmas mornings we wake up to 80 degree temps. Don’t get me wrong, I love the warm weather but an actual fall would be nice to experience every now and again. And don’t we warm weathered friends deserve a winter, spring, summer and FALL? Ugh,  I feel totally let down by this pumpkin scented season. I repeatedly make the mistake of switching out my closet in October. All it takes is one non 80 degree day and I’m reaching for my leggings, long sleeves and vest only to open the front door and all but faint. Hello humidity – you still here?? And don’t get me started on Halloween. Why are all the costumes made to withstand bloody blizzards? Every year my kids gravitate to the furriest head to toe costume they can find (last year my youngest wanted to be a polar bear), and then one trick-or-treat in, they are begging to change. From here on out my girls get two costume choices: hula girl or Flinstone character. The lack of cooler air totally affects my meal planning too. I’m so ready to pull out the crockpot and cook my favorite soups and stews, but it’s just not happening until those nighttime temps dip into the 60’s. I just can’t. So for those of you following along all snug in your Patagonia’s, sitting at your kitchen table, watching leaves fall, I apologize as you may be disappointed with this week’s recipes; You are ready for a warm,  comforting tortilla soup, while those of us in Charleston are still eating gazpacho.

Side Note – One of my best friends lives out in California and sent me the below text message. I had to share – cracks me up because it’s SO true:
“This grocery pick up thing is such a game changer! We are spending like a third of what we used to on groceries! I mean what the (expletive) was I buying at the grocery store before??!!”
See – I told you it would rock your world!!
Happy, Healthy Eating Friends – SUPER excited about this week’s choices!!
XO ~ Kelly

Rustic Chicken with Garlic Gravy – No, this isn’t low calorie.  Remember, our Sundays are family days and calories don’t count on family days.  This is a dish you dream about.  It’s the kind of meal that makes you want to crawl in bed, after licking the plate, and sleep for twelve hours good. The perfect Sunday dish.  I will most definitely be adding to the calorie count by serving these with mashed potatoes.  If I could choose one food to zap the calories out of and still hold it’s flavor it would be a potato.  God I love a potato.  Do what the recipe recommends and buy the pre-peeled garlic for this one – no one has time to peel 20 cloves of garlic.

Quick and Easy Clean Eating Mediterranean Shrimp Skillet -Feta, tomatoes and shrimp. What more do you want in a dish?  Oh, I forgot. It also requires you to open a bottle of white wine – you are welcome.  It will take you longer to open the can of tomatoes than it will to actually cook this dish.  Perfect for a Monday night.

One Pan Cod with Chorizo and Chickpeas  – This is one of my husbands favorites. Lots of flavor going on in this recipe.  It cooks on a sheet pan so clean-up is a breeze.  You can absolutely sub a different white fish here if cod isn’t available or if another variety of white fish is on sale. Tip – don’t feel like you need to “pulse” the garlic and chorizo together – I just chop it. Pulling out the food processor is an unnecessary step.

Crock Pot Chicken Thighs with Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes – I know, I said I wasn’t going to pull out the crockpot until temps dipped into the 60’s but I thought I’d throw our lucky neighbors to the north a bone.  Y’all this one is melt in your mouth scrumptious.  I do use thighs, but if you are thigh averse, just sub in chicken breasts.  And don’t balk at this one if you aren’t an artichoke fan – they add an incredible tanginess to this dish and cook down enough to take on a different texture you might just find you actually enjoy! You can serve this over anything and it will be delicious.

Shawarma – Spiced Grilled Chicken with Garlic Yogurt Sauce – This recipe does require you to marinate the chicken prior to cooking,  but do not fret – you can make the marinade the night before while your chicken of choice cooks in the crockpot.  Whip this up Wednesday and let the chicken marinate for 24 hours.  Go ahead and make the yogurt sauce too so all you will need to do come Thursday is grill the chicken.  I will add red onion and cucumbers and serve over brown rice or couscous.

Chipotle Chicken Wraps with Cilantro Lime Sauce – Sorry, but you will need your blender or food processor here, and time to marinate the chicken. But remember,  all you had to do last night was grill chicken so you should have time to make the marinade for this dish on Thursday. See, there is a method to my madness.   It will be worth it – this cilantro lime sauce is so damn good.  You can make extra and simply pour it over a protein on Saturday for lunch or dinner.  Now, y’all know how I feel about lettuce wraps – kudos to those of you who have mastered eating food out of a leaf, but I will just top my leaves with the chipotle chicken and additional toppings – much easier with the same result if you ask me.  Regardless of the technique, these are yum!!

There you go – meals for the week of 9/23. Keep posting comments and pictures on Instagram and make sure to tag me @dinnerwiththeduffys.  I LOVE hearing from everyone!!!



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