Friday, November 12, 2010

Pineapple Chicken "Salad"

So happy it's Friday!  This is kind of a late Friday post, but it's been a hectic week!

I'm going to post the recipe first, and do a little bit of talking towards the end.  I must warn you... the end is a personal story.  Something that I've kept to myself for far too long.  And I really hope you read past the recipe, because it's me being vulnerable.  It's me being emotional.  And it's not something I do very often.



2  chicken breasts
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups lettuce, chopped


1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, cayenne, and baking powder.  Rub mixture on chicken breasts.  
Heat large skillet under medium high heat and add olive oil.  Add breasts to pan, cooking for about 5-7 minutes per side.  Finish in oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until white throughout.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan under medium high heat, add pineapple and apple cider.  Bring to a boil and add brown sugar and soy sauce.

Combine the corn starch and water and mix into a slurry.  Add to saucepan and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 2 minutes and set aside.

Divide lettuce among 2 plates.  Top lettuce with chicken and spoon sauce over.  

This was simplicity at it's finest.  At first, I didn't think it was "complicated" enough.  I pretty much call this a "salad" because I didn't really have anything to make an actual side salad with.  And I didn't have any side dishes I could whip up very quickly, so I just decided to serve the chicken on a bed of lettuce.  But then Andy reminded me that things don't need to be complicated all the time.  Sometimes simple is just enough.  And he's right... this was a great simple meal!  Enjoy!

And now comes the part of this post where I really open up to you.  If you don't like emotional stories, or even sad ones... I don't suggest you read on.  But I hope that most of you do, because I don't open up like this very often, but I think this is something that I need to get off my chest.

First and foremost... I'd really like to thank you guys for letting me be a little "sappy" and sentimental this week on Tuesday's and Thursday's posts.  If you know me, I'm not one to be like that... at all.  I'm not a very outwardly "emotional" person.  But this week in November is always different.  I didn't think I'd be ready, or willing for that matter, to talk about this, but just allow me to be vulnerable, just once more.

6 years ago, on November 13, 2004... I lost one of my best friends.  Josh.  Josh was my boyfriend at the time.  We'd met eachother during our freshman year at college.  He was a musician, and I was a girl who had a fancy for musicians.  We fell in love and moved to Florida together, on a random whim after our first year of college.  It was the craziest thing I had ever done.  Leaving home, leaving all I knew, to be with someone and let him follow his dreams.  We were happy.  

Josh loved the ocean.  We would go to the beach almost every day.  To have the sun hit our faces and to let the waves crash into us.  It was our "paradise".  That November, my best friend Nick, came to visit us.  It had been 4 months since I'd seen any of my friends from back home, and it was awesome that Nick came  down to hang out.  

I had to work on November 13th, and so while I was working, Nick and Josh decided to go to a different beach, one farther down the strip and popular for it's "larger" waves.  I was about halfway through my shift, and I remember calling our apartment and no one answering.  At first, I thought nothing of it, but after 4 or 5 calls, and still no answer, I didn't know what to think.  I remember distantly hearing sirens while I was at work, and didn't think anything of them either, because we had a hospital that was nearby and sirens were normal.  But shortly after these, my friend Nick came frantically through the store where I worked with bloodshot eyes, just saying "Peggy, I'm sorry."  My heart immediately sank, and I didn't know what was going on.  He just kept saying we needed to go to the hospital.  That we needed to go.  I rushed out of work and sped to the hospital.  I prayed to God that Josh would be okay.  That this was just some freak accident that ended happily.  

Nick explained to me on our car ride that they were at the beach, in the ocean.  They had gone farther out than planned, and not knowing that the waves were especially strong that day, Josh had been taken under by a rip current.  It was too strong for him to get out of.  

Fortunately, a surfer named John Lane, had heard Nick's yelling for help and came to bring Josh's body back to shore.  After calling 911 and trying to perform CPR, they did all they could do to save him, but it was just too late.  They had rushed him to the hospital, but the doctors said that he'd already been gone.  

This was truly the worst day of my life.  I was 19 years old and I lost the one person that meant the most to me.  I was angry.  I had never lost someone... not even a grandparent.  This was something I believed I would never have to go through, and I did.  

It's been 6 years, and I don't think I've ever expressed this much emotion about this traumatic event.  It's hard for me to talk about it, but I feel it's easier to write.  It's a weight lifted off my shoulders, but I know it's something I will never forget.  I'm a person that believes that "things happen for a reason" and I believe that if Josh had not made an impact in my life, I wouldn't have ever stepped foot into the music store that Andy works at, and would never have met him.  I don't know.  It's a hard thing to deal with, but I know Josh would have wanted me to be happy.  And I believe I truly am.  

So today, I remember Joshua Allen Scurlock, and I'm glad you've let me open up to you.  That you've listened to my words.  Thank you.


  1. drool drool.. scrumptious glazed chicken salad. i love it:)

  2. Hey,

    That looks beautiful...Feel like having it rite now...:)


  3. Wow...Don;t know what to say. It is good to be emotional and get it out of your system, once in a while. All the people we love, I believe, are here for a reason. And they make us stronger one way or the other. So brave of you to share all those roller-coaster emotions with the rest of the world.

  4. Wjat a touching and emotional post.
    Your chicken dish looks good.
    Life has a way of reminding us how fragile our world is.
    Sending you Hug.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I lost a friend when I was in middle school, to cancer. It's still hard to think about it. I'm sorry for your loss.

  6. In Greece we say that sharing your happiness becomes double the joy of it and sharing the sorrow decreases it to half. It is great that you came to a point where you are able to share this tragic event with people. That means that you moved on. Whenever something hurt us very much we do not want to share it. Saying your story means that you still hurt but you somehow managed to cure the strong pain. Life is very unexpected, belive me I know that too, ugly things can happen. It is important to come out of these stronger and wiser. I know you are both of these now and I am happy for you. Your recipe is very sweet just like you.

  7. What a nice thing for you to trust us, your readers, enough to open up like that. I am sorry you had to go through such a painful experience. I am glad that you are able to see some good that came from it and that you are in a good place right now.

  8. I am floored by your expression with words..very touching poured your heart out in this write up.My best wishes with you.
    The chicken looks soo yum..I love pineapple chicken pizza..I can see same topping flavors here too :)
    Love & Hugs!

  9. What a beautiful post. It takes a lot of courage to be honest about your feelings and even more to express them at all in the first place. You are a very strong and brave person! I'm sure Josh is happy that you were able to see through to the positive side...I'm sure he helped you with that himself.

  10. Wow. I know how hard it is to open up about something like that, so close to your heart and your history. Very courageous and honest of you --

    I hope you have a peaceful day thinking of and remembering Josh very fondly. That is the best gift you can give him.

  11. Sorry to hear about Josh. It is always good to share both happiness and sorrow. It is part of life. I was touched by your writeup. chicken pineapple salad looks so colorful and yumm.

  12. Thks for sharing your touching story with us, Peggy! I've dropped by after reading your comments at my blog. I'm sorry for your lost & glad u've the strength to get over it. Stay strong!

    You've a colourful dish here. Hope your life will be filled with colours of the rainbow from now :)

    I'm following u now & hope u'll do the same. Looking fwd to sharing & your comments, not just on our food!

  13. Peggy thank you so much for sharing this with us. It's really hard to talk or think about things like these but I think it helps us get through them if we do so.

  14. This brought tears to my eyes. I know the immense pain that comes when life is suddenly lost (we lost Ryan's dad 9 months ago). Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable place of your heart. You are an amazing, strong woman, and I wish I could wrap my arms around you right now.

  15. The recipe looks good and all, but... thank you for opening up to your readers. It was a touching story and I definitely felt emotional reading it. I agree with you, Josh would have wanted you to be happy, and I am sure he is smiling down on you from the afterlife (whatever you may believe, I believe in Heaven). I, too, believe that things do happen for a reason... even if it's hard to accept at the time.

    Again, thanks for sharing your story. I am glad I read it, and I am glad I am slowly getting to know you here in the blogging world.

  16. I must say I have a bit of a lump in my throat, and feel sadness...also happiness for you. We never know why things happen the way they do. Just cherish the beautiful memories of Josh, and as you have done the right moved forward!
    The chicken sald with the pineapple looks so amazing. It's a must try.
    Thank you for sharing your story, your beautiful recipe...and thank you for your kind comment on my blog!

  17. My sweet Peggy, thank you. I've not heard in six years your thoughts and words. YOU made my son happy and for that I thank you. Your right in thinking that he would want you to be happy, as do I. You will always be like a daughter to me and I love you.

  18. i am so sorry for your loss. how lucky you are to have had great memories with josh. i am sure it was difficult to write that post, but i appreciate you sharing your story.

  19. Wow I nearly cried with this post, I never knew that a post can be so emotional as this one, sorry for your loss.
    Anyways regarding the dish, yes it might be simple but I think this will rock I love the flavours you had mixed together.


  20. what a great blog!
    here is so many inspirations,

    have a nice time,

  21. What a touching and sad story. I'm so sorry for you loss. That must have been a very difficult thing to go through, and still is, I'm sure.
    Mentioning your dish seems weird now, but it does look great. The glaze sounds perfect.
    Thanks for sharing both...

  22. Peggy, I feel sad reading your story but the good thing is you remember Josh and he will be happy to know that. I've lost my mum 6 yr ago and I'm sad to say that my dad has chosen not to remember her...

  23. Peggy, I'm glad you did shout out and I'm proud of you. I know it's never been easy but life goes on. I hope you're feeling much better now.
    Blessings, Kristy

  24. What an amazing tribute. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us all. It's nice to be able to let it all out it's a great relief. I hope you had a wonderful day and weekend.

    And Andy is right, simple is best most of the time! Me and my daughter would devour that chicken.

  25. I am so sorry for your loss! I too recently blogged about a sad and emotional time in my life... the 16th was the anniversary of losing my mom. As difficult as it can be sometimes, I have definitely made the best I possibly can out of a bad situation and have changed myself for the better as a result.



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