Holy cow, we dominated the 60s today! Tapped out at 68 – can you believe it?! IT’S FEBRUARY!

Remember when it was popular to blame every weather phenomenon on El Nino? Who do we blame thank now? ;)

My co-workers and I took advantage the picture-perfect weather and warm sunshine this afternoon, and had ourselves a nice picnic-lunch outdoors. The ground was muddy but the breeze was warm, and nothing was going to keep us inside. I hit the ground running as soon as I got home from work for a quick run around the ‘hood too!

3 miles of dodging puddles and others – the sidewalks were packed with runners, strollers and kids eager to ditch the indoors. Just like me! The 1.5 mile loop I usually take around my house is super hilly and my hamis were wretchedly tight from my run yesterday, but I couldn’t in good conscience stay indoors on a day like today. It was fabu! :D

I was absolutely famished by the time I got home and couldn’t get dinner on the table fast enough. Luckily it was a quick one – 30 Minute Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken – MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.


Last week when Ben and I hit up Hy-Vee for dinner, I opted for the All You Can Eat Salad Bar, while Ben opted for what I really wanted – greasy Chinese.


It’s a fact that Hy-vee (a Midwest grocery store chain) has THE best Sesame Chicken I’ve ever tasted. Yep. Grocery store Chinese. Behind that counter where the food seems to sit untouched for hours. It’s true.


The breading is thin & crispy, the chicken chunks are big and all white-meat, and THAT SAUCE. Thick, sweet and totally worth a couple extra miles on the treadmill!


Ben, being the kind soul that he is, knows how much I adore that Sesame Chicken, so he saved me a couple of his best pieces for “dessert”. I’m telling you, I was drooling before the piece even touched my lips. PERFECTION.


Now unfortunately, fried, heavily-sugared Chinese food tastes unbelievably delicious, but it doesn’t do a body so good. Fortunately, I have this recipe that, ok doesn’t do a body super good, but it does it a lot better than the alternative! Jenna’s Sesame Chicken fakeout aka Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken!


Chicken breasts that have been seasoned with flour, paprika and salt are sautéed in vegetable oil before being removed to an oven-safe dish.


Fresh lemon juice deglazes the pan and makes a yummy sauce to drizzle over the browned chicken.




Finally, the piece de resistance is piled on top…


Brown sugar babyyyyyyyy!!!


A quick sesh in the oven renders the chicken tender, juicy…


and dripping with golden, flavor-packed sauce.


SO FREAKING DELICIOUS and tastes JUST like Hy-Vee’s fried Sesame Chicken!!!There’s something about the lemon and sugar that mixes into one, absolutely luscious sauce. I’m so in love with this dish.


Instead of the quintessential fried rice that usually accompanies most Chinese take-out entrees, I placed my sweet & lemony chicken over a serving of fluffy Lemon Israeli CousCous.


It’s actually the recipe I use in my Chili, Lemon & Basil Shrimp with Israeli CousCous, and the flavors went perfect with the chicken!


First you toast some couscous pearls in a drizzle of olive oil, then you add in the juice of half a lemon.


Add in chicken broth and cook while the chicken’s in the oven. Easy!


The sweet flavor from the chicken’s sauce melted down into the couscous and I nearly died.


In between mouthfuls, Ben thoughtfully whispered “I DO love this preparation of chicken, baby.” and then we both nearly died of laughter. He said it so seriously. As if he were 100 years old, too.


Ohhh that boy. Love him so much. :)

Thursday night means it’s television done right – at least in this household! Office, 30 Rock and Outsourced, here we come (can’t get into Community or Parks & Rec no matter how hard I try! As if I need another show to become addicted to anyways… ;) )

Tomorrow’s FRIDAY! See ya’!


Do you watch a lot of tv? What are your must-sees every week?

I wouldn’t say I watch a TON of tv, but I have my NEED TO SEE shows, for sure! Let’s see here… The Bachelor, Teen Mom, Top Chef, 30 Rock, The Office, Jersey Shore (I know) and Real Housewives of WHEREVER – except NYC. No.