I’ve been on vacation. No, not an actual one (though don’t I wish!) but more like a writing vacation. Not because I necessarily want to be but because my brain one day just went, “Hey, you know how much you overwork me…yeah well I’m taking a little R&R. See ya later!”. Basically, yes, that’s how it happened. So, since then I’ve been cooking and baking away but with nothing to talk about. It feels a little haphazard for me to be wordless, emotionless or thoughtless. I feel a little out of sorts, to be quite honest. Usually I’m so full of things to talk and write about I’m busting at the seams.
Yet, here we are…
I’m starting to realize though that maybe it’s okay. Maybe it’s okay to not have all of the answers all of the time. Maybe it’s okay to not have much to say. Maybe it’s okay to just step away from what’s expected. That’s the key phrase right there, “what’s expected”. We all tend to set certain expectations for ourselves that when the time comes and we can’t meet them we often become bitter, angry and frustrated at ourselves. We suddenly feel like we aren’t enough and that’s so far from the truth. These mountain tops we expect to reach by way of little to no obstacles just isn’t realistic. You aren’t supposed to always climb to that peak without struggle or without moments of doubt along the way. We are only human. Being able to take it all in stride, placing one foot in front of the other up the rocky terrain and coming to a point along the way where you find yourself at a road block, unsure of how to cross, is all part of the process…and that is okay too.
Sometimes it’s when we set aside those expectations that’s when we really open our eyes to our own potential. We may then see things from a different perspective and not have to feel discouraged in our moment of defeat. As in that moment when I can’t write and am at a loss for inspiration. Rather than asking myself what kind of blogger am I if I can’t write about anything, I take a step back, remind myself that I don’t HAVE to write at this very moment, that when the thoughts come they will.
And they always do.
It’s all about trusting in yourself and your abilities no matter what struggles you come up against. It’s a matter of reminding ourselves that we are not only powerful but also powerless. We are all able to fail but also able to succeed at anything we do. We have the ability to set expectations just as much as life has the ability to be uncertain, just remember that.
Citrus and Fennel Baked Chicken
Serves: 4/ Prep time: 2 hours or up to overnight /Bake time: 25-30 minutes
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1/2 c fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 4 tbsp brown mustard
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into wedges
- 1 small grapefruit sliced thin into quarters
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- fennel fronds to garnish
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, olive oil, grapefruit juice, mustard and sugar to create a marinade.
- Place chicken breasts in a deep rimmed baking dish and using a fork poke a few holes in each piece.
- Pour marinade over chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover pan with foil and let marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350F.
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator and place the fennel wedges around the chicken. Top each piece of chicken with the grapefruit slices and sprinkle with fennel seeds. Recover pan.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for about another 5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 165F in the center.
- Allow the chicken to cool slightly and garnish with fennel fronds before serving.