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If you haven’t lived in Maryland, you probably don’t know how crazy the weather can be. We’ll have days or weeks of really warm weather, and then a day of really cold weather. Or vise versa. The whacky weather seems to be the worst in those months when fall transitions to winter – one day I’ll be bundled up in my winter coat but the next I’ll be outside in just a light sweater. I remember Christmas last year. We had house full of people and it was too warm inside. The heat was off, all of the windows were open, and we were hanging out on the back deck.

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We’re hosting Christmas again this year, and this time, I’m going to be prepared with some easy recipes in case we have unusually warm weather again. That means grilling as much as I can, instead of simmering, baking, and roasting. And since I know there will be a lot of sweets, regardless of the temperature, I plan to stash some light, healthy recipes for the holidays.

Enter: Grilled Balsamic Chicken & Strawberry Kabobs.

Pairing a lean protein with fresh fruit – what could get easier than that? Lucky for me, Florida Strawberries are available all winter (November through April) long. Strawberries are light and healthy. I’ve known that the low-calorie fruit was packed with Vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium, but I didn’t realize that strawberries are one of the healthiest food choices around. The fruit earned the top score (100) in the Overall Nutrition Quality Index, a system that ranks food based on its nutrient density (the greater the score, the greater the amount of vitamins and minerals with the least amount of calories).

With all that cancer and heart disease-fighting goodness, fresh Florida strawberries are the perfect addition to any course you’re planning for the holidays. Don’t just set them out as part of a fruit and cheese tray – let them shine as a part of a main dish, like these grilled chicken and strawberry kabobs (grilling the strawberries brings out a sweetness that is just incredible), take a starring role in a less traditional appetizer or side dish, or be the best dessert on your holiday table.

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Florida Strawberry is also hosting a giveaway this season. Take a photo with Florida strawberries and submit it via social media using #FLStrawberryCap or upload it directly to the website between tomorrow, December 12, and February 12, 2017. Everyone who enters will receive a free Florida Strawberries cap. Caps are limited to one per household, but you may enter to win the grand prize as many times as you’d like. Florida Strawberry will select their favorite photo (so be creative!) to win a grand prize of a trip to TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete’s Beach for up to 3 people. Airfare, accommodations, and a tour of a strawberry farm in Plant City will be generously provided.

Interested in learning more about Florida Strawberries? Follow Florida Strawberry Growers Association on social media:

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Grilled Balsamic Chicken & Strawberry Kabobs

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lb. chicken, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb. Florida strawberries, cored but left whole

Prep & Marinade:

Set 8 wooden skewers in a long dish. Fill with water, just to cover skewers. Allow to soak for at least an hour, so that skewers don’t burn while grilling.

Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning to a gallon-sized baggie. Shake to combine. Add chicken. Seal, removing the air from the bag and ensuring that chicken is covered by marinade. Refrigerate and allow to marinade for 1-2 hours.

Assemble & Cook:

Preheat grill, set to medium heat.

Remove soaked skewers from water. Assemble kabobs, alternating chicken and strawberries. There will be roughly 6 pieces per skewer. You may not use all of the skewers. Cook kabobs on preheated grill, 4-6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes, until chicken is cooked throughout.

Serve chicken-strawberry kabobs hot, drizzled with extra balsamic vinegar if desired.

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This post is sponsored by Florida Strawberry in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

Get inspired with more Florida Strawberries recipes from the #SundaySupper tastemakers.

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Desserts

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

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