All posts filed under: Creative

Triple Berry Salad by Briana Lassiter

This is, hands down, one of my favorite salads EVER! Its colors make it the perfect patriotic side dish, and I’m obsessed with the taste of spicy arugula blended with earthy spinach, and the sweetness of the berries and a dressing balanced by the tanginess of the cheese. With the chicken, it’s enough to make a full meal! I hope you enjoy making and eating this salad as much as I do! • A 5oz of fresh spinach, with a handful or 2 of arugula mixed in • 5 sliced strawberries • A small handful (or 1/4 cup) each of blueberries and blackberries • 2-3 tablespoons of gorgonzola cheese • 1 tbsp of chopped red onions • A small handful (or 1/4 cup) of walnut pieces • Any type of sweet and tangy dressing like Tessamaes poppyseed honey, or Primal Kitchen honey mustard vinaigrette etc. • 1 chicken breast cut into bite size pieces (I like to use an herb rotisserie chicken) Assemble all ingredients, top with dressing, and enjoy! By Briana Lassiter I’m married …

Chilled Tomato & Basil Salad: by Briana Lassiter

I (Briana) can’t really remember where this recipe came from, I just remember my mom and I would make this salad together every Summer using fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and basil from our garden, and sometimes in the heat of the day, this would be all we would want to eat! Try serving it as a side for bbq chicken, a steak, grilled fish or devouring it by itself as I usually do! Chilled Tomato Basil salad • 1 1/2 medium sliced and quartered tomatoes • 1 1/2 peeled and thin sliced cucumber • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion • 3 sliced sweet peppers • Small handful of finely chopped fresh basil • Dash of salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and garlic powder to taste • Any Mediterranean type dressing for drizzling • Feta crumbles, or herbed goat cheese crumbles Layer all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle each layer with dressing, season with the salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs, and top with cheese. Serves 4. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours before serving for the flavors to come …

Olive Garden Inspired Summer Salad by Briana Lassiter

I don’t know about you, but every summer I become obsessed with salad and the endless ways to make it. It can be the perfect cooling addition to any meal, or it can BE the meal depending on what you create. This summer we, here at ICFTS, will be sharing our absolute favorite salad ideas, and encourage you to use our recipes loosely as inspiration to build your own salad creation that suits your palate! I hope you enjoy our very first recipe, created by me (Briana) and my 6-year-old, and inspired by our favorite things as well as Olive Garden’s famous salad! Olive Garden inspired salad • 3 cups Baby spring mix • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion • 1/2 cup herbed croutons • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes • 1, 1/2 tablepsoons deli sliced pepperoncini peppers • Crumble feta cheese, as much as your heart desires • Top with a sprinkle of raw sunflower seeds • Any Mediterranean type dressing drizzled to your liking (we love Primal Kitchen Green Goddess dressing or their Greek …

Simply Beautiful: Micro-Fiction by Candice Coates

It was a simple room, done up in a simple state and yet it was nothing short of simply beautiful. The wood floors were well worn and just as well loved. The darkness of the grain showed signs of wear but also echoed with the song of yesteryear that tickled her ears and made her heart dance with each click of her low heeled shoes. This was a blessing. She had prayed for a place of her own, no matter how grand or small and God had answered her. Her prayer, much like King David’s, “Not too much Lord, lest I forget You. And not too little that my hands itch to steal.” Those were her words and He had answered ever plea of her heart. “Thank You,” she whispered with a sigh as the lacey sheer drapes blew into the room on the gentle spring breeze as if the hand of God was hidden within their folds welcoming her to her new abode. “I’m glad you are pleased,” the older woman, Ms. Mcnaughten, answered …

On the Mend: A Short story by Candice Coates

Written April 14, 2014 I got something for you.” Milly smiled at the threshold before entering the room and walking toward Garnet’s bedside box in hand. Garnet studied her curiously, mouth slightly agape. Milly’s smile only brightened. “May I?” she asked, pointing at the bed. “Certainly! Have a seat, Milly.” Garnet tried to offer her a smile in return but he just couldn’t get his face to work that way. He was still too astonished by her being there…on his bed…in his room. Technically it was their room but he had used it alone for so long that he had forgotten how to let her in. He had forgotten how to let her into his heart as well. Milly had been guilty of that as well. The box made a hollow sound as Milly moved it about in her hands. She wanted to be comfortable but not so much that she bumped Garnet’s leg. He had broken it and broken it good. His femur bone was split right in two! It was going to take …

He Bought the Farm by Candice Coates

He wasn’t hiding. He wasn’t the type to do so, but he was the kind to slip away to think. He needed to think. Milo, his four-legged shadow followed him, nestling close by, gazing back at the house as if he too was weighing his options. Blake scratched behind Milo’s warm fuzzy ears earning himself a grateful dog-grin. “What do you think, buddy? What should we do?” As usual, Milo had no answer. He only licked his chops, gave a contend yawn, before bedding down deeper into the grass. Blake smiled. Maybe that was Milo’s answer. He was happy right where he was. Truth be told, so was Blake. They’d, Blake his wife Paisley and Milo, had happily moved out to the quiet country nearly five years ago. Happy may have been an overstatement. They not so simply needed a change of pace, a change in their reality. Past decisions had caught up with Blake leaving an unrelenting stain on Paisley’s career. Her employers had said as much, she was guilty by association. She needed to distance …

Like a Sapling through Soil: Flash Fiction & Musing

You’ve gone quiet,” their words weren’t condemning, still, it drew her attention with enough force to make her spine go rigid. Forcing her nerves into a sense of calm, she shook her head. “I haven’t really gone quiet.” “No?” “No. I’ve been in the dark, much like a seed.” Without looking at them she could almost feel their interest peek and a smile bloom with interest. “Explain if you can. I like seeds, so much potential there.” This made her smile. “Like a seed I’ve been in the dark. I have a lot of things pressing on me from every side, but the pressure is only promoting change. I have much to say. The words are on the tip of my tongue but I need to allow the right moment to arrive.” “Like a sapling through the soil,” “Precisely! Like a sapling through the soil. Seeds planted in Fall burst forth in the Spring.” “Spring is right around the corner you know?” Another smile. “Yes, it is. I can feel it in my bones.” THE …

Coin Toss: A Short Story by Candice Coates

Heads or tails?” “What? You can’t be seri-” “Heads? Or tales?” Quarter sat at the ready, balanced atop the smoothness of his thumbnail, Josiah cut off her words. It wasn’t so much his words that eased her into silence, but the glint in his eyes and the smile that curved his lips. He was serious, deadly serious. Severin pressed her eyes closed and pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling nervousness roll up and around her belly. Had she actually eaten the lunch he had packed for them instead of anxiously pushing it around with her fork, nibbling it here and there, she would have had no room inside for anxiety to fill her guts in the first place. At least the plate was neatly stashed away in the cooler for later if she survived to eat it later. Of course, the coin was two-sided so there was the other option that didn’t involve leaping to her death, but it did have a “leap” all its own. As it were, Severin Hastings, true to her name, had …

A Golden Confession: A Short Story by Candice Coates

He sat his cup down and pressed his lips together in a hard line. She didn’t know if his expression was due to the bitterness of the brew or what she’d just said. “I’m sorry!” she spat out. “I shouldn’t have said anything,” she tried to press the burn of embarrassment from her cheeks with her trembling hands that had grown surprisingly cold despite the heat of the cup she’d been gripping as if it were a lifeline. She’d clearly not gripped tight enough. She felt as if she were on the verge of death, dying of utter humiliation. Worse, it was her own doing. Why had she never learned to keep her mouth shut? At least she had already put in her resignation. Hazel eyes, that normally shown with flecks of gold, green, and brown simmered like deep emeralds. He stared at her, seeming to not blink, his lips slowly drawing from stiffness to softness, but his eyes continued to blaze. “I’m sorry, Mr. Gold,” she apologized again. “You see? This is why … …

In the Silence: A Story of Friendship

Written July 22, 2015 by Candice Coates Well, I am going to go then,” I thumb toward the front door from the back deck and look down at him, waiting for him to respond. We have been sitting out here for the last couple of hours. The perfect buffet line for every mosquito in the neighborhood. He stares forward still unmoving before finally tilting his head around to look at me. He can’t see my face, which is a good thing. The sun behind my head has created the perfect backdrop, veiling my features in darkness. Like I said, it is a good thing. I have never been good at poker, and I can’t mask my expressions so well anymore. When this began I was good at it, but it hass been almost a year now. I began to wear down six months ago. His eyes glance down at my toes and he grins. I must be balling them and releasing them again, a telltale sign that I am irritated. He is very astute that …