Thursday, August 19, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
The result of one of my husband’s culinary experiments, this chicken dish has all the familiar comfort of Chicken Parmesan, with some lemony, peppery intrigue. One night when it was my beloved’s turn to cook dinner, he scraped this together with things we had in the kitchen, and now it is one of my favorite meals! We made this last night for John’s parents and all devoured it happily.
One small to medium onion, cut in thin strips or minced
Minced garlic, four or five cloves or 2 ½ tsp. of minced from the little jar
Extra virgin olive oil
Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts (not too fat) or cutlets (not too thin) (you know, just right)
Juice from one lemon
One package of orzo pasta
Approx. 2 cups (or more if you like) of spaghetti sauce from a jar, made with red peppers like Bertolli’s Arrabbiata or Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic and Peppers.
Shredded parmesan or mozzarella (or both) to taste
Salt and pepper
Bring water to boil in medium-sized pot for pasta. When water boils add pasta (usually about ½ to ¾ of the package). Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or electric skillet (with high side walls). Sauté onions and most of the garlic in the oil, until the onions turn golden and translucent. Remove from the pan, set aside.
Note: I added the onions to this recipe, because I love onions!
Add some more olive oil to the pan. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces, and add them to the pan or skillet. Squirt with lemon juice (make sure to save a little for the pasta) and sauté until golden brown on each side (about 4 minutes each depending on thickness). Add the onions back to the pan just before the chicken is done cooking.
Note: Do not cover the pan while the chicken is cooking, you don’t want to steam the chicken.
When chicken is done cooking, pour spaghetti sauce generously over each chicken breast or cutlet. Sprinkle as much cheese as you like over each piece of chicken. Cover the pan or skillet until the cheese has melted to form a nice snowcap to your chicken and tomato sauce mountain.
When the orzo is done, drain and return to the pot or pour into a serving bowl. Stir a generous slice of butter into the pasta (or ½ tablespoon of olive oil) along with some lemon juice, and season with the lemon pepper seasoning to taste (probably about a teaspoon or so).
Serve how you like. John likes his chicken and sauce right on top of the orzo and I like min sort of just overlapping my orzo. Peas or a green salad are a wonderful compliment to this entree.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I recently lost my point-n-shoot digital camera in a local downtown park. My brother, sister-in-law, and niece were visiting for a day and John and I were giving them a whirlwind tour of Kansas City. Granted, this was not the digital SLR camera of my dreams. It wasn't super expensive, the little flap door that holds in the battery and memory card was broken, and it took too long to load each photo, so that I had to pause between each shot. I never got rid of my old point-n-shoot digital, so I'm at least not without means of taking digital photos. So, I'm sure you can see why I was more upset about losing the photos I had taken of us all that day than about losing the camera itself. Luckily, right before they came, I made the decision to start shooting with my film camera again. I have a Canon Rebel 2000 EOS. My dad gave it to me for Christmas when I was in 10th grade and I took it with me everywhere I went. On my honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies, we took photos with this camera and our little digital one, and the most beautiful photos are from the film camera. The difference is in the lens. I can't wait to buy a digital SLR, but in the mean time, I am going to use what I have. Using film is less cost effective because you have to buy the film and pay for the processing each time. I can't, however, afford a digital SLR at the moment, so using my film camera is a more cost effective way of getting great photos.
Here are some of my favorite film shots from my family's recent visit with us in Kansas City...
Friday, June 18, 2010
Sigh. So we moved to Kansas City. We drove in about two and a half weeks ago. Right now we are living in Liberty, just north-east of the city. Liberty is good ole' small town America, and John's parents live out in the country. After our long drive from Gainesville, we rounded those familiar country roads in the orange light of a summer evening, and the long leaning prairie grasses greeted us with a cheerful wave. There was family to welcome us, and fireflies to adorn the dewy darkness of the cool summer night. We have been getting unpacked and settled in to our little bedroom and bathroom suite downstairs. We have very much made it our own space, thanks to the graciousness of John's parents (will share pictures in another post). Right away, John went to work applying at ad agencies and design firms, and devising the most creative "cover letter" I've ever seen (which we will be putting together by hand, once the pieces are printed). I followed up on my paperwork to enroll as a "Special Instructor/Developmental Specialist" for Missouri's early intervention agency, First Steps (google it if you want to know more). I had a slight heart attack when they changed their credentialing requirements for my provider type. For a few days I thought I may not be able to do this job right away, and then with the help of the enrollment supervisor, I figured out that I will be able to meet the new requirements. Inhale. Exhale. Relax. The sunset skies, the rolling seas of golden grass, the stately trees, the singing birds, and the floating fireflies are really a balm for my soul. The most magnificent rainbow appeared two nights ago after an early evening downpour, and I felt a promise flutter in my heart. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He refreshes my soul. My cup overflows.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Beginning a few days ago, my husband and I, along with the help of the most wonderful friends and family, packed up the contents of our first home, held a rousing farewell fete, made many tearful goodbyes, and drove across seven states to our new home in Kansas City, Missouri. Saying goodbye to our loving, giving, creative, and inspiring friends, as well as my beloved family was difficult. To me, life is relationships. Life is people. My life in Gainesville was beautiful because of the people in it. I realized that saying goodbye to my friends and family is like forgiveness, in that it has to be worked out over time, even after you have said "goodbye." You have to work it out and live it out in your heart and in the things you do each day. To me, saying goodbye is not a finite thing, but a shifting and molding of relationships. This goodbye did not signal the end of these friendships and relationships. I do acknowledge that they will change in form, appearance, and frequency. I have no doubts, however, that I will be able to commune with my kindred spirits whether we talk and see each other regularly or rarely. Each relationship becomes part of your being, and I am a different, and a better person because of the people I lived my life with in Florida. My heart is aching in the background. But it is because I love and am loved so well. I believe, as Anne Shirley does, that there are ever so many kindred spirits in this world, even individuals who you wouldn't think so just by looking at them, and I am ready to find them in this new place I now call home.