I have no words for how bad the commuting is in Boston these days, so I’m not even going to address it — just share a great recipe for cold, snowbound days.
We made this two weeks ago and I added the leftovers to some yellow rice a couple days later, with the chicken shredded, for a respectable second-round meal. I also wondered if it would be good on pizza with some salty cheese on top, which I might try next time I make this. Or I might toss with some cheese tortellini. If I try any of those combos, I’ll let you know and update this post!
Lemon Chicken with Capers & Artichokes
1 – 1.5 pound package boneless chicken cutlets
1 jar capers
1 jar marinated artichokes
1 lemon, halved
splash of chicken stock
seasonings of your preference for the chicken
FYI, the sauce should take about the same amount of time to prep and cook as the chicken, between 10 and 15 minutes.
Cover a roasting pan in aluminum foil. Cut the chicken cutlets to desired size and place in the pan, then drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper or other blend, such as Trader Joe’s 21-seasoning salute. Just be careful not to over-salt because the capers and artichokes are already pretty briny from being marinated/preserved.
Preheat the oven to 350, put the chicken in the oven, and start the sauce on the stovetop.
In a stainless steel sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the entire can of marinated artichokes. Add in the capers (drained). Cut one lemon in half and juice both halves into the sauté pan with the capers and artichokes. Cook and keep reducing liquid.
Transfer the chicken to under the broiler, placing the lemon rinds in the pan for flavor before you do so. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn while you finish the sauce.
Continue cooking the sauce on the stovetop, adding in a splash of chicken stock until it reduces and turns almost syrup-like. Turn off the heat.
When the chicken is browned, take it out from under from under the broiler and remove the lemon rinds; reserve. Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken and squeeze any remaining juice from lemon rinds before serving. Voila!
I didn’t try these flavors on Georgia, but Mark was a big fan and scooped up a huge portion. It was filling and delicious!
Oh, and in case you didn’t hear, the long list of James Beard semi-finalists was announced today. Boston was pretty well represented ~ especially Alden & Harlow in Cambridge, in the running for best new restaurant.
Have a safe commute & stay warm, wherever you are. XOXO
Do you ever feel like you need a vacation from your vacation? Ever since having a baby, I sure do. I think it’s frowned upon to say that, but traveling with a child is down-to-the-bone exhausting!
I’m so glad we got away from this snow. And it never feels like we spend enough time with our family by just seeing them every six months, especially since they used to live up north full time. But I always come back feeling that we should have stayed longer, and like I need to still take a few days off before going back to work so that I can get my life back together and recover from flying with a toddler. Our return flight was delayed, and Georgia did NOT cope well — she threw a water bottle and poured milk on our seat mate, who turned out to be a very understanding grandpa, and kicked the guy in front of us for three hours straight. She head-butted me so hard at one point that I thought she’d broken my nose. Oh, and did I mention that Mark got food poisoning and spent the entire day with a barf bag? Not fun. We actually talked about driving next time even though it takes three full days.
On the plus side, I think we might be only house in the entire Greater Boston area that doesn’t have horrific ice dams right now. We didn’t have a single leak when we got home, and our next-door neighbors snow-blowed us out so we could get in the driveway upon returning from the airport. We really are so lucky.
On our last day in Florida, Mark and I took Georgia to Nokomis Groves for her first citrus swirl. Well, technically she had the lime-vanilla cone in utero, but she very rudely made me throw up the entire thing an hour later, so we had to go back! It only took her one attempt at biting the ice cream before she figured out to lick it and protect her front teeth.
P.S., can we talk about the fact that mom has never owned a pair of Topsiders, and this kid already has a hot pink pair?? Someone’s daddy sure spoils her.
She’s in a major daddy phase right now, which is kind of a relief after 18 months of mom-clinging!
Georgia also tried her first smoothie while in Florida. My aunt just got a Vitamix (jealous!!) so we made Georgia a smoothie with blueberries, plain Greek yogurt and banana. She loved it! She only just started using sippy cups with a straw a couple weeks ago, so I’m hoping this is the start of her finally giving up her bottle for good. She is SO attached to it.
If I had a Vitamix, the main thing I’d use it for would be green smoothies, followed by soups. Why green smoothies? Because the Vitamix can puree vegetables, even rough ones like kale, in a way that standard blenders just cannot. If you like to add greens into your fruit smoothies, the only way to make them drinkable instead of gritty is to go with a high-end blender like the Vitamix. Plus, it’s self-cleaning, and has an automatic off sensor when purees are done.
I have a great Cuisinart that we received for our wedding, and it’s still going strong after 7 years — maybe when it dies, I’ll think about investing in a Vitamix! My favorite green smoothie is Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie, the original classic:
I leave out the herbs and substitute some ice for the water because I prefer green smoothies very cold.
My aunt made a great soup with her Vitamix this trip, and she showed me how. It’s a Sweet Potato Soup that you start on the stovetop and finish in the Vitamix, adding a dash of cream if you want to make it more rich. It has all kinds of spices and some peanut butter in it — yum! We ate it topped with salted cashews.
Sweet Potato Soup
Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven or heavy-duty pot with oil and heat over medium. Add in one large diced onion, 3-4 minced garlic cloves, and 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger, and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add in two good-sized peeled and chopped sweet potatoes. Cover with 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth (the contents of one cardboard box). Pour in 1 cup of water and add in 4 -5 cups of unsalted or low-sodium diced tomatoes (she uses fire roasted). Add in a 1/2 cup of unsalted peanut butter (smooth), then the following spice mixture: cinnamon (1/4 tsp) cumin (2 tsp) coriander (2 tsp) sea salt (1/4 tsp) and cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp). Bring to a boil. Let cook for about 12 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add in 4 cups of fresh Swiss Chard; she uses the entire bunch from the store, stems and leaves chopped. Cover the pot and let the chard wilt about 2 minutes.
It’s ready to eat as-is at this point, but she let it cool and then blended in the Vitamix until pureed. If desired, add in some half & half or veggie stock. Serve with some nice crusty bread or croutons, and salted peanuts, cashews or asiago cheese on top.
Well, tomorrow it’s back to braving the snow and the MBTA commute again for me. Don’t I wish I was still eating well and enjoying nice weather down south! Alas, reality comes crashing back down eventually. I hope you all stay safe and warm if you’re in this snow vortex gripping the northeast! And if you use your Vitamix for something really creative that I didn’t mention, or you have great smoothie recipes to share, call ’em out in the comments.
I am writing this to you from — now don’t be jealous — my aunt’s kitchen table in Florida, where I’m enjoying a view overlooking the pool while eating a smoothie bowl that I made myself for breakfast. Mark and Georgia both slept late today (!) and the weather has been in the low 70s all week, so I am in a pretty good mood!
We had a rough ride in last week because the post-Blizzard traffic in Boston is still in utter gridlock, so even though we live four miles from the airport it took us over an hour to get there. Then our flight was delayed and plagued by turbulence the whole four hours, which resulted in Georgia throwing up all over me just a little while before we landed. We were not a pretty sight upon arrival in Fort Myers!!
Luckily we’ve really made up for that one bad travel day, which isn’t to say I haven’t spent the entire week dreading our return trip. And secretly hoping this next storm will force us to stay south even longer. Though we’ve been here countless times since my family moved to Sarasota ten years ago, it’s wonderful seeing Georgia encounter all these special places for the first time as a toddler! She came here at 7 weeks, 6 months and now 18 months, and she’s able to enjoy it a little more each time because she’s so much more mobile and aware of her surroundings.
Yesterday, we took Georgia to Nokomis Beach, and the day before we met friends of Mark’s from college for lunch at the Daiquiri Deck on Siesta Key. They just had a baby and they live in Chicago, and we haven’t seen them since their wedding a few years ago. It was so awesome that we were all on vacation in the same place at the same time!
I’ve been reading a really good book while I’m here: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Appealing for anyone who likes science and narrative journalism, it is fascinating but also slightly depressing because it tells the story of a poor black tobacco farmer whose cancerous cells were taken without her knowledge just before her death in 1951 and used to develop the polio vaccine, gene mapping, cloning and more; meanwhile, her descendants live without health insurance. Despite the dark topic, I definitely recommend it.
We’ve also had some awesome meals so far. Brunch yesterday was at The Breakfast House in Venice, where we had French toast, sausage and biscuits, and a blackberry-and-Brie omelet. Later today we are going for my favorite ice cream at Nokomis Groves, where the only flavors are orange, lime, pineapple and soft serve chocolate or vanilla. I always get a citrus-vanilla swirl. Try not to be jealous, and I’ll write more later this week!
Did you procrastinate, run out of time, or just generally flake on what you’re making to snack on while you watch the Super Bowl until now? Are you going to be one of those idiots in the grocery store on Super Bowl Sunday? As the sleep-deprived, frazzled mother of a hyperactive toddler, I can’t relate to that AT ALL! 🙂
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you will have just seen Mark’s favorite Game Day snack, Pillsbury Sausage Crescent Rolls. They are sweet/savory, just like my super easy Brown Sugar Kielbasa in the Slow Cooker.
Of course, no Super Bowl party would be complete without Chips and Salsa, Dip, Wings, Beer, and some Classic Chili. But there are so many other options!
I also like to pick up a container of Trader Joe’s vegetarian chili and place it in the bottom of a glass baking dish then pour corn bread batter on top and bake together. It’s like cornbread-chili upside down cake, and it’s delicious!! Add some heat by throwing in some chopped jalapenos before baking, or mix in some cheese before baking … slather on some butter …. and mmmmm.
Got any good recipes I should know for next year? Share ’em!
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