Does anyone else have a catch-all for mail, kids drawings, recipes, birthday cards, etc? Maybe yours is a drawer, a bag or just a corner on the countertop. Mine is a big basket.  I was digging through it this morning for a copy of a recipe for Spicy Southwestern Tabbouleh and found a recipe that use to hang on the side of the refrigerator in our old apartment. I loved that apartment. In the basket with the recipe I found an envelope from a card our downstairs neighbor, Ms. Dolly, sent when we moved to our new home. Ms. Dolly passed away last December. She was a kind and generous woman and she treated my daughter like one of her own grandkids. Sadly, I only saw her twice after we moved.  I wish it would have been more. Finding the recipe and the envelope made the basket less of a catch-all mess that must be dealt with and more of a time capsule. There are cards from my sons first birthday – he’ll be three next month – and old notebooks from the when my daughter was born – she’ll be in Kindergarten this fall.  I found the recipe I was looking for and some great memories of a wonderful neighbor in that big messy basket.  My intent was to separate the basket and file things in their proper place but I’m putting it back exactly as I found it in hopes that the next time I’m looking for a “lost recipe” I’ll stumble upon something that reminds me that time is short and precious.

Southwestern Chicken Salad – serves two as a main, four as a side.

I cut this recipe out of Real Simple magazine. It’s a great way to use up a rotisserie chicken and is good with whatever salad veggies you like.  You can also easily double the dressing and use any leftovers on a sandwich or wrap!

  • 6 cups sliced romain lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 TBSP lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Toss lettuce, chicken, pepper and beans together.  In small bowl, whisk together sour cream, lime or lemon juice, chili powder and kosher salt.  Serve salad with dressing and tortilla chips.