Ben and I have been busy making the most of our sunny Sunday. We’ll be snowed in before we know it – there’s no time to waste! ;)

An early morning grocery shopping run was followed by a quick trip to the mall for new work kicks for Ben, and a mad dash to the onsite Panera for lunch. We were shopping away just fine, then all of the sudden both of us were ravenous!

(Totally repping for my fallen Hawkeyes…)


I was going to be adventurous and try the Thai Chicken Salad, but panicked from my aforementioned hunger level, and went with my standard order – You Pick 2 with Cream of Chicken Wild Rice & Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich.

You can’t go wrong with this combo! Creamy soup with chewy wild rice,

and the zestiest sandwich ever. The combo of cilantro hummus, feta cheese, cucumber, red onion, lettuce and spicy peppadew peppers is so delish.

I HATE peppers, but I just love those peppadew ones. They’re like a cross between pickles and banana peppers- which, ok I guess I love too. :)

A sweet apple served as dessert.

We were both to the point of stomach-shrinking hunger when we walked in, and were stoooofed by the time we walked out.

We decided to push through it though, and drive 20 minutes west to Adel, IA for a stroll on the local bike trail afterwards. It is gorgeous out today – no time to stay indoors!

Adel is home to the free sweet corn festival every summer (which I tragically missed this year!) and sits in a great spot right on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.

Normally we park and head east on the trail, but today we decided to switch it up and head west!

Ummm, it was kind of creepy!

The first 1/2 mile was normal enough, but then the trail emerged from a thick canopy of trees and started running right next to this eerie looking brickyard.

The whole vibe was totally horror movie-esque, and the abandoned warehouse-like structures randomly running along the other side of the trail didn’t help matters.

Ben, on the other hand, thought it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen.

Babe, let’s LIVE HERE! he pitched, regarding one of the most-busted looking buildings we encountered.

Seriously, we’ll buy the place, turn it into a bar for the bikers, and live upstairs!

Uh-huh! I semi encouraged.

Sorry, I just love old, decrepit things…

Teeheehee. ;)

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. Once we finally got past the 1/2 mile long brickyard, the trail led us back into the trees and sweet, sweet nature!

That’s better. :)

I had big plans for dinner once we got back – Bruschetta Chicken with Grilled Veggies!


After a healthy and active day, this light, delicious and nutritious dinner was just what we were craving.


I used the new Mr. Bar-B-Q Grill Skillet reader Karen sent me to try for the grilled veggies!


I have a grill basket, but I’ve been dying to try a grill skillet. It’s the same size as a large skillet you’d use on the stove, but you use it right on the grill grates. The handle also folds up for compact storage, unlike my grill basket. LOVE that.

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The holes are big enough to let the flames of the grill get through for great taste and color,


but small enough that thin items like asparagus won’t fall through while cooking.


I put the skillet on the grill to heat up while I chopped up zucchini, eggplant (prepped the same way as last time) onion and asparagus, and seasoned them with some Bisignano’s Italian Dressing for flavor.


After the skillet was hot, I added them right in.


Within minutes, they started getting that char-grilled look & flavah!


The non-stick feature on this thing is redick, and I easily tossed the veggies every couple of minutes until they were soft and delicious looking (that’s a technical term, right there.)


The result was AMAZING. Every morsel was perfectly tender and flavorful!


I wish I would’ve had this thing at the beginning of the summer. I will be using it every chance I get before we put the grill away for good this year. :)


To nestle on top of my grilled veggies, I whipped up super-easy Bruschetta Chicken. All I did was marinate two chicken breasts in the same Italian dressing, grill them for 3-4 minutes a side, then lay a couple slices of fresh mozzarella on top when the chicken had about 1 minute left.

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After placing on top of the veggies, I piled on fresh bruschetta topping!


You could certainly make your own bruschetta topping, but Trader Joe’s sells the juiciest, freshest tasting pre-made bruschetta around.


It’s really good!

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I heart this meal – AND that grill skillet!


You know what? I think you would too so Mr. Bar-B-Q is giving one away to an IGE reader – whee!!!

Enter up to 2 ways by tomorrow, Monday September 12 @ 5pm. Here’s how:

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to grill.

2. “Like” Mr. Bar-B-Q’s Facebook Page then leave a second comment here telling me you’ve done so.

Good luck, and have a great start to your week everyone! :D