today’s post is a special one: not only are we going to talk about my favorite grilled chicken recipe for summer, grilled mojito chicken, but also it’s part of a virtual midsummer potluck for peace. the idea here is that a bunch of fellow food bloggers are all sharing recipes today that would be good to bring to a picnic and also opening up some space for dialogue about what’s happening in the world.
technically we were each supposed to bring a dish from our heritage, buuuuut i decide to bend the rules a little on that one (ok, a lot: i have zero cuban heritage) and instead choose a recipe that tastes delicious and was our entrée to making friends in a new city.
five (five?!?) years ago, my husband and i moved from new england to houston, texas for his job. living in houston turned out to be a challenge in ALL the ways, including making friends. we were supposed to be there for at least two years but ended up leaving after just one year for a bunch of reasons, including feeling like we just weren’t finding “our people”.
perhaps unsurprisingly then, i did a lot of cooking and baking and experimenting in the kitchen the year we lived there, partly because i like it and it’s a stress reliever for me and partly because it’s something i can do by myself (aka it didn’t require having any local friends).
shortly before we left houston, i decided to try this grilled mojito chicken recipe. i headed to the store to grab the ingredients, including the mint syrup the recipe calls for. the only kind of mint syrup the store i went to had was dyed bright green. for some reason – we’ll call it laziness + impatience + blissful ignorance – i decided that this bright green syrup would be fine, that it wouldn’t dye the chicken bright, leprechaun green (we know where this is going, right? spoiler alert: my husband and i refer to this recipe not as “grilled mojito chicken” but as “leprechaun chicken”…).
flash forward to me sending my husband (fiancé at the time and he still married me!) out to the communal grills at our apartment complex to grill this bright, bright green chicken. of course there was someone else out there grilling his dinner at the same time and obviously the screaming green chicken did not go unnoticed.
well, my husband and this other guy got to talking and it turned out that he and his wife were also recent transplants to houston, struggling to fit in and find their people too. the husbands exchanged contact information and the four of us got together soon afterwards for dinner. and just like that, we had found some people.
we had dinner with them a few times in those final weeks before we moved back to new england and the night before we left, they came over to our place to say goodbye and give us some gifts to remember them/houston by. there was a wistful sense among all four of us ‘if only we’d met sooner…’.
all of this is a long-winded way to say the following: 1) don’t buy green mint syrup unless you are willing to eat bright green chicken and 2) you never know when you might be about to meet someone interesting, someone you could be friends with, if only you are willing to give them/the place/bright green chicken a chance. so maybe on second thought, buy the green syrup after all – it could be a conversation starter with a stranger/new friend.
so tell me, what the most unusual circumstance in which you’ve met a friend?
and speaking of new friends, keep scrolling after the recipe below to check out all of the mouth-watering recipes my blogger friends have brought to this virtual picnic! special thanks to saghar of lab noon for organizing this lovely event!
ps – this grilled mojito chicken is delicious with a black bean and mango quinoa salad that i’m sharing later this week. sign up for the email newsletter to be alerted once the recipe is posted!
Adventures in Cooking: Strawberry rhubarb pie ice cream sandwiches
An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Spiced Green Beans with Olive Oil and Tomato
Brewing Happiness: Healthy Southern Baked Beans
Cloudy Kitchen: Earl Grey blueberry pie
Cook Til Delicious: Cold Sesame Peanut Noodles
Delicious Not Gorgeous: No Mai Fan
DisplacedHousewife: Strawberry Scone-Cakes With Fresh Orange Blossom Whipped Cream
Donuts, dresses and dirt: Tahini Pavlovas
Floating Kitchen: Blistered Green Beans with Apricots and Chive Blossoms
Ginger & Toasted Sesame: Walnut Bread with Boursin and Prosciutto
Harvest and Honey: Chasing Summer (drink)
Hortus Cuisine: Panino with Roasted Peppers, Pesto & Arugula
On The Plate: Sriracha Scotch Eggs
Ruby Josephine: Halwa d’Tmar (Moroccan Date-Stuffed Cookies)
Tasty Seasons: Grilled Mojito Chicken
Tending the Table: Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Parsley and Currants
TermiNatetor Kitchen: Strawberry Shortcakes with Gluten-Free Yogurt Biscuits & Mint Whipped Cream
The Little Epicurean: Halo-Halo (Filipino Shave Ice Dessert)
This Mess Is Ours: Simple Tomato & Avocado Salad
Twigg studios: roasted beet leek and feta quiche
Vermilion Roots: Tofu Salad with Spiced Peanut Sauce
Wood and Spoon: Strawberry Almond Skillet Cake
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