Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad

Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad | recipe on

This recipe for Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad is brought to you by Kraft.

Balsamic Chicken and Pear Salad | recipe on

Main dish salad…it’s what’s for dinner.  Does that go over well at your house?  For my husband, a main dish salad has to include protein, fruits/veggies and be full of flavor or else it may not be considered ‘dinner’.    This is an ideal meal for busy nights because all you’re doing is a little chopping, tossing together and before you know it a nutritious meal is ready…. 

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Greek Potato Salad

Greek Potato Salad | Crumbs and Chaos

We’re talking a side dish full of flavor today!  This recipe for Greek Potato Salad is brought to you as part of an ongoing partnership with Kraft.

Summer is well underway and I love the chance to fire up the grill and make a no fuss meal. You know the kind where you actually get to sit down for a minute between the time you put the food on the grill and when you take it off while watching your children play peacefully in the backyard. Wait, is there such a thing? Well, I can definitely point you towards easy main dishes and offer you a simple side dish. You’re on your own for the peaceful children part.

Greek Potato Salad | Crumbs and Chaos … 

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Bacon Basil Tomato Salad

Bacon Basil Tomato Salad | Crumbs and Chaos #WalmartProduce #Tomatoes

This fresh summer salad was created using Walmart Produce as part of a sponsored post for Social Stars.  Bacon Basil Tomato Salad is sure to become a crowd favorite!

Bacon Basil Tomato Salad | Crumbs and Chaos

My house is divided on a few things…favorite TV shows, including chocolate anything on the breakfast menu and the love of fresh tomatoes.  That’s right, my husband watched Breaking Bad from start to finish by himself, won’t eat chocolate chip muffins and doesn’t like fresh tomatoes unless they’re made into salsa.  I, on the other hand, have enjoyed all 3 seasons of Once Upon a Time, consider including chocolate for breakfast at least twice a week and could eat cherry tomatoes all day long.  … 

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Lemon Coconut Fluff

Lemon Coconut Fluff | Crumbs and Chaos

A more tropical version of a potluck favorite – Lemon Coconut Fluff makes a delicious side dish or dessert!

Trying to get back to the daily grind after a 4 day weekend is anything but easy.  We enjoyed a glorious weekend of beautiful sunny days and several late nights.  The last week or two of lovely weather has pushed bedtime for the kids a little later, which means less time in the evening for me to work on the blog or catch up on my TV watching (you know, the important things in life ;) ).  I’m personally looking forward to an early bedtime for them tonight, so I can watch 24 and Masterchef (yay!!).

One thing that is a relief lately is simple summer time recipes.  This one I found in a church cookbook, fluff salads are notorious for showing up at occasions like church potlucks and picnics.  I love the lemony, coconutty goodness of this one. 5 ingredients and your side dish is done, you don’t even have to drain the pineapple.  Easy does it!

Lemon Coconut Fluff | Crumbs and Chaos

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Lemon Coconut Fluff
  • 16 oz. CRUSHED PINEAPPLE, undrained
  • 2 cups SOUR CREAM
  1. Stir together dry pudding mix and pineapple. Mix in sour cream.
  2. Fold in marshmallows and coconut. Chill until serving.

 More potluck favorites…

 Candy Bar & Grape Salad

Cilantro Ranch Pasta Salad

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Asian Inspired Chopped Salad #mealstogether

Asian Inspired Chopped Salad  | Crumbs and Chaos  Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken makes it easy to throw together a quick, healthy meal that can be enjoyed at home or on the go. #mealstogether #salad #asianinspired

Three things you may know about me…I have 4 children (under the age of 7), I enjoy cooking for my family and I love the sunshine

Three things you may not know about me…I homeschool my children, I help my husband run his exterior maintenance business (which is starting to get busy this time of year) and some days I don’t even feel like washing the lunch dishes, let alone cook dinner.  It’s those kind of nights that I’m thankful for leftovers or meals from the freezer.  As the weather gets nicer, we long to spend more time outside and going to fun places like parks, hiking trails and the beach.  So the dinner dilemma becomes even more of a challenge because we want to be out and about more, but still be able to eat a delicious meal.

Last week was one of those weeks, where I could hardly seem to get out from under the pile of dirty dishes that it was so darn easy to create.  By the time Saturday came around I was ready for a break from the daily grind.  I wanted to pack up the kids and head to the park for some downtime.

Asian Inspired Chopped Salad  | Crumbs and Chaos  Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken makes it easy to throw together a quick, healthy meal that can be enjoyed at home or on the go. #mealstogether #salad #asianinspired

I took my youngest two and headed out to Walmart to pick up a few things so that we could pack a lunch to enjoy outside.  You can see our shopping trip on Google +.  The crowds were still slim since it was early in the day and I wanted to get in and out as soon as possible.  I was planning on making a healthy Asian Inspired Chopped Salad and was looking forward to trying out Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken.  By the time that we got done shopping, the sky was overcast and the winds had picked up quite a bit.  We had to move on to plan B – indoor picnic time!

Meals Together | Image property of Crumbs and Chaos It took just a few minutes to put lunch together and while I did that, my 4 year old happily set up her favorite Hello Kitty blanket on the floor for us to dine on.  Please excuse the mess, we really live here ;).  The chopped salad came together quickly and the Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken was versatile enough to please us all.  The girls had mini bow tie pasta – Zoe wanted hers with chicken and garlic sprinkles and Shiloh wanted her chicken and noodles with ‘spicy sauce’ (bottled Thai peanut sauce – she loves that stuff!).

Meals Together | Image property of Crumbs and Chaos Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken is fully cooked and cubed or sliced, it’s found in the refrigerated section and it made packing an on-the-go picnic style meal super easy.  It comes in several flavor options – honey BBQ, ready for fajitas, grilled and cubed, as well as oven roasted, grilled or southwestern strips.  I really love a good chopped salad – everything the perfect size for drizzling lightly with dressing and eating with a fork.  Tyson Grilled & Ready Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast fit the bill for a chopped salad, already cooked and cubed, it went right in the bowl and got tossed together with everything else.

Asian Inspired Chopped Salad  | Crumbs and Chaos  Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken makes it easy to throw together a quick, healthy meal that can be enjoyed at home or on the go. #mealstogether #salad #asianinspired

I took the same salad that I wanted to eat with a fork and stuffed it into a tortilla for my husband, to him that’s more of a meal than just a ‘salad’.  Both he and I love Asian flavors and this salad really brought them together.  Starting with Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken, I loved all of the textures of this salad from the slaw, peppers and cucumbers, the dressing brought enough tang and a little sriracha sealed the deal with a little heat.  It was such a great flavorful way to enjoy a meal that I’m sure we’ll be making many more times as we pack a meal to go this summer.

Asian Inspired Chopped Salad  | Crumbs and Chaos  Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken makes it easy to throw together a quick, healthy meal that can be enjoyed at home or on the go. #mealstogether #salad #asianinspired

Asian Inspired Chopped Salad

Serving Size: 2 adult servings


  • 1 pkg. Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken (Oven Roasted or Grilled)
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. COLE SLAW MIX
  • 1/2 RED BELL PEPPER, diced small
  • 1/2 CUCUMBER, diced small
  • 2 GREEN ONIONS, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons UNSALTED PEANUTS, chopped
  • 3-4 Tablespoons ASIAN TOASTED SESAME DRESSING (or to taste), a Zesty Lime Vinagrette would work well too
  • SRIRACHA HOT SAUCE, to taste
  • 1 LIME, sliced into wedges for serving


  1. If using the Grilled Chicken Chunks, you may want to chop them into bite sized pieces.
  2. Place chicken, slaw, red pepper, cucumber, cilantro, green onion and peanuts into a bowl. Drizzle with dressing and sriracha. Toss together using tongs.
  3. Put into containers to take on the go or inside a large tortilla to make a wrap. Serve with lime wedges.


“I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Tyson. #cbias #SocialFabric #MealsTogether   As always, I’ve told you exactly what I think of it.



Chipotle Crusted Tilapia Tostadas with Raspberry Salsa and Avocado Confetti Salad

Chipotle Crusted Tilapia Tostadas with Raspberry Salsa | Crumbs and Chaos #KRAFTFreshTake #maindish #mexican

I have completed my second Kraft Fresh Take meal challenge and I’m excited to share the results with you today.  Before we get into that, let’s review my first challenge where I took the Spicy Chipotle variety of Fresh Take and made Spicy Chicken & Bacon Sandwiches with Buttermilk Cilantro Slaw.  I was challenged to use my Fresh Take variety in a sandwich with BBQ side sauce flair and serve one of my favorite veggies as a side.

For my second challenge I took you to shop along with me as I went to Kroger and got what I needed to make a fresh and flavorful meal using Kraft Fresh Take.  Here are the details of today’s challenge:

1) Must include one protein other than chicken

2) Incorporate your favorite fruit into the meal

3) Create a side salad that can be prepared in under 10 minutes

I knew right away that I wanted to use tilapia, it’s a family favorite around here and I’m always looking for new ways to add it to the menu.  I’m head over heels in love with raspberries, so that was my fruit of choice for this challenge.  The side salad part took a little longer to figure out, but what it turned into was amazingly fresh and delicious.

Chipotle Crusted Tilapia Tostadas with Raspberry Salsa | Crumbs and Chaos #KRAFTFreshTake #maindish #mexican


May I introduce the Chipotle Crusted Tilapia Tostada  with Raspberry Salsa?  A fresh, new take on your average tostada, taken to another level by Kraft Fresh Take Spicy Chipotle Cheddar variety.  For real, this is a meal you really can’t miss…a crisp tostada shell, spread with a layer of refried beans and sprinkled with shredded cheese, topped with Chipotle Crusted Tilapia, garnished with lettuce and drizzled with Raspberry Salsa.  Seriously, if you aren’t drooling by now, you must not like fish (you could easily use chicken) or Mexican food (can’t really help you there).

The side dish that I prepared with this main dish was so easy and it really hit the spot.  An Avocado Confetti Salad was the perfect complement to these tostadas.  By confetti salad, I mean a bunch of fresh veggies chopped and tossed with cilantro and lime juice – told you it was easy.

Below is the step by step for preparing the star of the show – the tilapia – using Kraft Fresh Take.  It’s convenient and takes the guess work out of spicing things up, which by the way isn’t too spicy at all, my kids love it.

Fresh Take Prep Collage | Crumbs and Chaos

 1. Make sure your fish is thawed and your Kraft Fresh Take Spicy Chipotle Cheddar Cheese & Breadcrumb Mix is ready and waiting.

2. Cut each piece of fish into equal size strips.

3. Open the Fresh Take, there will be spices and breadcrumbs on one side and cheese on the other.

Fresh Take Prep Collage | Crumbs and Chaos

4. Pull apart the center seal to make one big bag.

5. Mix well to combine both sides.

6. Beat two eggs in a shallow dish.  Dip each fish strip in the egg and then in the Fresh Take mixture.

7. Place on baking sheet, repeat with remaining fish.  You can press any remaining breadcrumb mixture onto the tops of the fish strips.

Bake 13-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the Avocado Confetti Salad.  When fish is baked, assemble tostadas.

chipotle crusted tilapia tostadas

Chipotle Crusted Tilapia Tostadas with Raspberry Salsa

Serving Size: 4


    Raspberry Salsa:
  • 2 GREEN ONIONS, sliced
  • 2 cloves of GARLIC, minced or crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons JARRED JALAPENOS, chopped (more or less to your liking)
  • 2 teaspoons SUGAR
  • Juice of 1/2 LIME
  • Tostadas:
  • 1 lb. FROZEN TILAPIA, thawed
  • 2 EGGS
  • 1 cup REFRIED BEANS, regular or black, warmed
  • Your choice of SHREDDED CHEESE


    Make the salsa:
  1. In a food processor, pulse together all salsa ingredients 4 or 5 times. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.
  2. Make the fish:
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with foil, use wire rack if desired, spray foil and rack with non-stick spray.
  4. Cut tilapia into strips. Beat eggs together in a shallow dish. Open Fresh Take and combine according to the package instructions.
  5. Dip each piece of fish into egg and then into Fresh Take mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining fish.
  6. Bake 13-15 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  7. Assemble tostadas:
  8. Spread a tostada shell with 2 Tablespoons of refried beans. Sprinkle with cheese and top with 2 strips of fish. Layer on lettuce and drizzle with salsa. Serve immediately.


*If you can't find tostada shells at the store, you can make your own by lightly frying corn tortillas in oil. Then place in 350° oven to crisp up a little more before topping.

*If you're short on time, you can leave the fish whole when breading and baking.

Avocado Confetti Salad | Crumbs and Chaos  #sidedish #vegetables #avocados

Avocado Confetti Salad

Yield: 4-6 as a side dish


  • 1 AVOCADO, diced
  • 1 cup FROZEN CORN
  • 1 cup CHOPPED BELL PEPPERS, any color
  • 2 GREEN ONIONS, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 LIME


  1. Combine all veggies in a bowl. Stir in cilantro and lime juice, season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.




Fine Print:  I have partnered with Kraft Foods to create recipes using Fresh Take and have been compensated for my time.  As always, I have told you what I really think of it!


This post may be linked to Show Me Your Plaid MondaysMealtime MondaySugar and Slice SundaySweet Sharing MondayMop It Up MondayTwo Cup TuesdayTime to SparkleTuesday Talent ShowTotally Tasty TuesdayWhat’s In Your Kitchen WednesdayWhat’s Cookin’ WednesdayShow & Share Wednesday,Taste and Tell ThursdaysYour Creative TimeoutThursdays TreasuresArtsy CornerChic & Crafty PartyWhat’s Shakin’Weekend PotluckI’m Lovin’ It 


Cilantro Ranch Pasta Salad #ranchremix

I promise that spring is on its way and it will bring the urgent need to run outside and fire up your grill.  With the incredible taste of freshly grilled meat, you will need a quick and easy side dish.  This cilantro ranch pasta salad fits that bill.  Cooking the pasta takes no time at all and while it’s cooking, mixing up a fresh dressing just takes a couple of minutes.  Toss it all together and you’re good to go.I love the versatility of pasta salad – add what you like, leave out what you don’t.  I took the classic creamy dressing and gave it a ranch remix with Hidden Valley ® Original Ranch ® Salad Dressing and Dip Mix.  You know the kind you find in the handy little packet in the salad dressing aisle?  Yep, that’s the one in the blue and green packet.  Grab it along with your favorite small pasta and a few things from the produce section and you’ll be enjoying an easy side dish with your dinner any night of the week.

The recipe below serves 6-8 as a side dish and is easily halved if you need to serve less or can be doubled it if you are serving a crowd.  You could even throw in some chicken and have a complete meal.


  • 8 oz. SMALL SHAPED PASTA, (such as gemelli, mini penne, etc.)
  • 4 Tablespoons PLAIN GREEK YOGURT
  • 2 Tablespoons MILK
  • 1/2 teaspoon CRUSHED or MINCED GARLIC
  • 1/2 LIME, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon CHOPPED PICKLED JALAPENO (optional, but this doesn’t make it spicy at all)
  • 1/2 cup FROZEN CORN, thawed
  • 1/2 cup BLACK BEANS, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup CHERRY TOMATOES, halved
  • 1/2 AVOCADO, diced


Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together HIDDEN VALLEY ® ORIGINAL RANCH ® SALAD DRESSING MIX, Greek yogurt, milk, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and jalapeno, if using.

In a serving bowl, place cooled pasta, corn, black beans and tomatoes.  Pour dressing over and toss to combine.  You can cover and refrigerate at this point.  Right before serving add avocado and toss again.

Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix is a simple way to add a flavorful kick to a classic recipe.Click here to find more classic recipes remixed with Hidden Valley Ranch.  Also check out the Ranch Remix contest for your chance to win great prizes!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch Remix. The opinions and text are all mine.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

If you are looking for a refreshing summer salad, this is it.  Combined quinoa with your favorite fresh fruit and enjoy!  This makes a great side dish or you could eat it for a meal for 2-3 people.  I loved the fruit combination in the recipe but you can use whatever fruit you have on hand or that you enjoy this time of year.  Enjoy this simple and delightful dish for your next barbecue or summer get together.

Quinoa Fruit Salad


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups mango
  • Extra mint for garnish, optional


  1. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Cool to room temperature.
  2. To make honey lime dressing, combine lime juice, honey and mint. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa and fruit. Pour dressing over mixture until well combined.
  4. Garnish with additional mint, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
This post may also be shared over at Show Me Your Plaid MondaysMealtime MondaySugar and Slice SundaySweet Sharing MondayMop It Up MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondaysRecipe Sharing MondayMarvelous Mondays,  Monday FundayTwo Cup TuesdayTime to SparkleTuesday Talent ShowTotally Tasty TuesdayBack For Seconds SocialWhat’s In Your Kitchen WednesdayLil’ Luna Link PartyWhat’s Cookin’ WednesdayShow & Share WednesdayCast Party WednesdayWicked Good WednesdaysWhimsy WednesdayPin It ThursdayYour Creative TimeoutThursdays TreasuresArtsy CornerAll Things ThursdayWeekly Creative,  Chic & Crafty PartyWhat’s Shakin’Weekend PotluckI’m Lovin’ It, Shine on FridaysCreate & InspireSaturday Show & TellStrut Your Stuff Saturdays

Candy Bar & Grape Salad

I’m here today in the name of butterfinger candy bars mixed up with juicy grapes in a blanket of sweet creamy goodness.  Yes, it’s one of those dishes that you aren’t sure which category it belongs in…is it dessert?  or maybe a salad?  how about a side dish?  Who knows?  And actually, who cares?
I had a grape salad at a potluck last summer, it had cream cheese, sour cream, brown sugar and nuts in it.  I really wanted to make it again, but never did.  Over Easter, my mother-in-law was visiting and telling me of this grape salad that I just had to try.  Her version had Butterfinger candy bars…didn’t have to twist my arm to get me to make this one.
If you have friends that are weary of different sounding dishes, this will honestly make a believer out of them. I have such a friend who enjoyed at least 2 servings of this a recent birthday party and couldn’t believe how amazing it is.
I cut back on the sugar and the amount of candy bars that were in the original recipe.  I would say the amounts below are a good starting place, if you like things sweeter add a little more sugar.  This really ought to make an appearance at your next cook out!

Candy Bar & Grape Salad

by Becca {Crumbs and Chaos}

  • 3 cups RED GRAPES
  • 3 cups GREEN GRAPES
  • 8 oz. block of CREAM CHEESE, softened
  • 1 6 oz. container VANILLA GREEK YOGURT
  • 1/4 cup SUGAR
Rinse grapes and place in a large bowl.
Beat together cream cheese, yogurt and sugar until well combined. Add to grapes, gently stir together.
Coarsely chop butterfingers. Add half of the candy bars to the salad and stir together. Sprinkle the remaining butterfingers on top.
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Quick & Easy Thai Chicken Salad

*This post was previously shared with the readers at Bakeaholic Mama.

I’m totally head over heels in love with the flavors of Asian food.  I’m also smitten with making dishes that are easy and made with accessible ingredients.  And now that Easter is over, we’re staring long and hard at spring and I, for one, don’t want to be inside making a time consuming meal.  I’d rather be outside playing referee of the sandbox.

This is the perfect thing for this time of year – it comes together quickly and is light and refreshing.  I mean, really, you’re cutting a couple of veggies and tossing everything together.  The flavors are a really lovely reminder of all of the things I love about Asian food.  
This salad makes a quick lunch or could easily be multiplied for a larger function. I can see myself toting this to picnics or BBQs this year, just setting the dressing aside to add right before serving.  It would be a welcome change from the usual BBQ side dishes.
However you decide to enjoy it, don’t wait…do it soon.  This one’s a keeper for sure!
Quick & Easy Thai Chicken Salad
by Becca {Crumbs and Chaos}

  • 1 (16 oz.) package COLESLAW MIX
  • 2 cups COOKED CHICKEN, cubed or shredded
  • 1 RED BELL PEPPER, cut into thin strips
  • 2 GREEN ONIONS, chopped
  • 1/4 cup FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered
In a large bowl, toss together coleslaw mix and salad dressing.
In a separate bowl, combine chicken and peanut sauce. Place on top of coleslaw, layer on red pepper, green onions and cilantro.
Serve immediately. Enjoy each serving with a fresh squeeze of lime juice.
* Alternatively, this could all be tossed together instead of layering and would travel well, just add the dressing right before serving.
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Recipe Source:  Adapted from the Taste of Home Magazine June/July 2010 issue

Proof that we can’t get enough asian food around here: