Southern Gal is learning to appreciate the messiness life

It’s mid-July and the cotton and peanuts look awesome! But my family believes that magical fairies live in our home and my house is in complete disarray. True story!

When I head out most mornings, everyone is still sleeping. Hope and Harmony operates from 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Family is important to our company and the hours allow our employees to enjoy their children’s extracurricular pursuits. However, this also means I often leave the office at 6:30 in the evening.

It is not always easy to balance trying to keep up with the demands of Hope and Harmony, cutting the grass (which takes 4 ½ hours), cleaning the house, and doing the laundry. I know most mothers and wives can agree: mothering and wife-ing is difficult!

Let’s take today as an example! I really needed to use the restroom. No problem; it’s right by the door as soon as you enter our home. Wrong. There was no toilet paper, so I ran down the hall through the kitchen to the next restroom where there is always a constant flurry of activity. You guessed it: No toilet paper and to top it off the light was burned out! Seriously! Next, I run upstairs to the forbidden zone (the second floor where my girls reside) as my bladder is about to explode at any moment and again there is no toilet paper! You cannot make this stuff up. What is wrong with these people? Will their arms or legs fall off if they replace the toilet paper? I know…there are fairies that exist to complete those tasks. But this fairy worked her butt off cooking, labeling, and shipping peanuts all day.

You may be a manager, a teacher, a nurse, a doctor, a waitress, an accountant, or a graduate student pursuing your dreams, and every single one of you, my fellow mothers and wives, know exactly the type of day like today. So when you walk into your kitchen to find the dishwasher is empty but the sink is full of dishes, and obviously, the fairies called in sick today, allow this simple Grilled Chicken with Virginia Peanut Pesto recipe to regenerate some sense of normalcy.

This dish consisting of wholesome ingredients and Hope and Harmony salted Virginia peanuts can join your clutter-filled table in 30 minutes!


4 -5 chicken breasts


Black Pepper

Onion Powder to taste

1 lb. Linguine

sun dried tomatoes-optional

4 cups loosely packed fresh basil

1 cup Hope & Harmony Farms Salted Peanuts

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup grated Romano cheese

2 cloves garlic, peeled

¾ cup green peanut oil


1. On a separate plate, season to taste chicken breast with salt, black pepper and onion powder.

2. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

3. Heat a heavy-duty grill pan to high heat for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium high and add a little peanut oil or olive oil to the pan and make sure the entire pan is coated with oil.

4. Add the chicken breast to pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side without moving. Flip the chicken breast and cook the alternate side for another 5-6 minutes.

5. In a food processor or blender, place the basil and process until finely minced.

6. Add all the other ingredients except oil, and process until peanuts are finely chopped.

7. Pour in green peanut oil and process until mixture is creamy-smooth.

8. Once the pasta is done transfer to grill pan and add peanut pesto. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and sun dried tomatoes.

After dinner I decided it is a beautiful night for front porch sitting and a glass of wine, or two. The e-mails, laundry and the demands of Google will have to wait. Now, I am sitting and enjoying the view and the smell of honeysuckle while writing this post. As I sit and think about our crazy schedule, I feel a little sad. Mason will be leaving for college in August and we will be down to just one kid at home. Before long they will both be out of the house and I will miss their messes, although I’ll still have Jeffrey’s! The messy house, laundry and e-mails will still be waiting for me tomorrow, but today only happens once. Cheers to a life lived and a house LIVED in!

P.S. If you see the fairies, please send them to my house while you enjoy the Grilled Chicken with Virginia Peanut Pesto.