snow, lemons, & pignoli … yum!

i know…i know…i’ve been m.i.a. for quite some time, but i’m still “taking care of my nest.” working through things in life sometimes takes time away from other, less important things. unfortunately, blogging has fallen onto the “less important” list lately.

but…i’m always writing to you in my head as i go about my day. i wish i had a scribe, or, as i’ve mentioned before, a little machine that recorded all of my thoughts – well, just the post-worthy ones anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

last night’s meal inspired me, so i’m going to share two of my favorite things with you. i don’t have pictures; forgive me. next time i make these dishes though, i’ll take some.

last night’s dish consisted of “snow.” SNOW?! yes, snow. ava’s “snow” that is…

sprinkle cheese!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ she loves it so much that i’m fairly certain that there was more romano cheese on her plate than chicken, lettuce, or croutons.

guessed it yet?

yep. caesar salad. chicken caesar salad.

ava gets her’s sans dressing, & her plate smelled like a stinky foot thanks to all of that cheese, but she was happy.

she adores cheese. her diet was dairy-free from birth to just less than a year ago, so apparently, she’s more than making up for lost time. my husband won’t agree, but i’m certain that her sudden & expansive dairy intake is to blame for the middle-of-the-night waking & complaining we’ve got going on around here…but what do i know? i’m just a crazy mom…

anyway – back to the salad!

don’t mess with perfection. see this link here. it will take you to the caesar salad instructions on p-dub’s site. yes, it is perfection. confession: i often don’t have the worsteshire sauce, so i just omit it, & it is still perfection. oh yeah, we had romano cheese instead of parmesan too. um, also store-bought croutons…ok, so yes, yes, i did mess with perfection, & it was still perfect! moving on…

here is what i like to do for the chicken, & it is delicious. i set a few breasts out in the morning to thaw. about an hour prior to the mister’s arrival – i preheat the oven to 400 degrees. after placing the trimmed & portioned breasts in a greased baking dish, (i like to cut them with my kitchen shears into more even pieces for baking purposes), season each piece generously with salt & pepper. since this salad dressing consists of the juice from one lemon, i zest that entire lemon over the chicken breast & finish each off with a lemon slice from a second, juicy lemon. i douse the whole thing with a little white cooking wine & a light coat of cooking spray. place that in the oven uncovered for about 45 mins or so & voila! it’s so good! juicy, tender, flavorful…perfect. clear juices & browned lemon slices are a good indicator that the chicken is done…

the other meal i am thinking about today…one of my favorites…penne with pignoli, sage, & butter sauce. a link to the recipe can be found here, but i must confess, i never follow one in this case, b/c i like to taste it, adapt it, eyeball it, etc…but, it’s a great recipe. this is like my favorite pasta side dish. ever.

i do like to tear the sage leaves up into teeny weeny little pieces, unlike mr. batali, & leave them right in the dish. i like the flavor, texture, & color that sage offers. i have found that tearing the leaves up, as opposed to cutting them, does more for the flavor. i do not recommend the ground sage from a spice jar. it will not, absolutely will not, give you the same result in this recipe & you will think it is gross. trust me. go with the good stuff. some of the ingredients in this dish can be pricey, but there are so few that it still won’t hit your wallet too hard. add chicken to this one (same baking technique would be yummy), & you’ve got a meal. you could even have the caesar salad as your side in that case!

look at that! i’ve just written a “perfect pair” post & didn’t even mean to! ๐Ÿ™‚

well, back to my nest. enjoy your day & your dinners!

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