Perfect days

Made a batch of this for tonight's dinner...

Shelly's Chicken & Chickpea Salad

About 1 1/4 cups of so of leftover Rotisserie Chicken Breast, chopped (tuna, canned or smoked or leftover salmon works well too)
1 can Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans or ceci) drained and rinsed
1/4 Red Onion, diced fine
1/2 Cucumber, chopped
20 Grape Tomatoes, halved
the contents of one head of Roasted Garlic*
2 Tablespoons Store bought Pesto Sauce
2 Tablespoons Store bought Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Feta Cheese, diced
1/4 cup Olives, chopped
a handful of Pine Nuts
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher salt
a few twists of Black Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine everything (except parsley & lemon juice) in a bowl, and chill for at least two hours before eating. Just before serving toss in parsley and lemon juice. Can be served as is like a salad, in a lettuce, tortilla or lavash wrap, or in a half of an avocado or tomato.

My favorite way to eat this salad is out of a Tupperware container while sitting on the beach watching the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. That's a perfect day to me. Well... add a cool person to share it with and a Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte then it's PERFECT.

*How to Roast Garlic: Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the garlic heads in a muffin pan or garlic roaster. I love my garlic roaster. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

If you aren't using a garlic roaster: cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or so (take the lid off for the last 15 minutes), it's done when the cloves feel soft when a knife is inserted.

Highlights of the Day:

* Second favorite way to eat this salad is on a picnic bench at the lake near my house. So that is the plan for dinner tonight and then walk around it a few times. I have a few new tunes loaded on the iPod that should get me going. It's gonna be chilly tonight (lows in the 30's) so I'll need to get the blood pumping.

The gazebo at the lake after dark...

* Little finches have invaded my yard and are quite comical to watch. Especially enjoying watching them take dirt baths in my herb garden when I wash dishes.

* Had a blast last night at coffee. It was nice to catch up on everyone's lives. It's always fun when people haven't seen you in awhile too... the OMG's and all. Those kind of WOW moments get fewer and fewer as you get this far out.

Listening to: "The Tracks Of My Tears" Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Gotta love Smokey.