I am finding that Pinterest is such a fun source of finding good recipes for food and cleaning supplies. (I will post more about cleaning supplies soon.) This Creamy Chicken Piccata was a Pioneer Woman recipe that was posted and my friend, Rachel, recommended it. So last week I fixed it for my family and it was an instant hit. It really tastes gourmet; like something you would buy at a restaurant.


Picture used from Pinterest

Chicken:
Juice of 1 lemon (3 Tbs)
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp basil or oregano
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Pasta:
2 cups dried penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter
Juice of 2 lemons (6 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 Cup half and half or heavy cream
2 tsp dried basil
2 Tbsp capers
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese

Chicken: Combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over chicken. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. When ready, grill until done. Allow chicken to rest for a few minutes and then slice into strips to serve over pasta.

Pasta: Which chicken is grilling. Cook pasta according to directions (10-12) minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain. In same saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in garlic and lemon juice. Pour in half and half and whisk until hot. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add the parmesan cheese, basil and capers, and heat until cheese is melted. Check the consistency of the sauce and add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Toss in pasta.

Serve in bowls with grilled chicken on top. Sprinkle with more parmesan if desired.

Here are a few tweaks that I did when I fixed it:
****I used 5 breasts because of the size of my family and I only had 1/2 a breast leftover. So adjust your chicken according to how many people you are serving. I did not marinate my chicken overnight but started it in the morning. I will try to plan ahead the next time I make it, but the chicken was really good.

I also didn’t have capers so left them out. I used the heavy cream and it was delicious. The only thing my family said was that I could cut down on the lemon juice. I think the lemon juice was fine in the marinade on the chicken but it was pretty strong in the pasta. I liked the lemony flavor but the kids found it a little tangy so I would adjust that according to your preference.

This is so easy to fix! It is also very filling. This is one of those recipes that you could serve to guests and they would think you spent a lot of time on it. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

I have had to add another spot for “Places I Find Myself”. I am continually hanging out on a website called Pinterest. It’s an amazing maze of creativity to lose yourself in for hours. It has anything and everything that you can think of: from crafts to style to great recipes to quotes and inspiration; photography, beauty and much more. It’s a pin board idea so that you can login and actually set up your “Pin board”/bulletin board of all the things you find interesting. For example, I was looking on there for party ideas for Evely’s 7th birthday. As I perused through different ideas, the ones I liked I re-pinned to my board that I named “birthday ideas”. You can do this with anything you run across. You do have to ask for an invitation to set up your own pin board. However, you can go on the site and look at anything you want to. It took about a week for me to receive my invitation and I’m glad I signed up for it.

Is my two front teeth!

Halloween 2011

November 2, 2011 — 2 Comments

Julian went as a football player, Jaden as a Ninja and Evely was a cat (2nd year in a row – hey, I’m all about recycling!)

Each year that flies by brings the kids to a new stage of self-service! I love it. I used to dread the pumpkin carving because it would start out “let’s carve pumpkins” and end up “Mom has now carved three pumpkins”. Not meaning to complain about it, I am just amazed when my kids can now almost single-handedly carve their own! They do a great job too. It’s fun to watch their creativity and hard work on something.

For some reason Evely has been infatuated with money lately. Not that she wants to go spend it at the store necessarily. Just the actual paper and ink of it. She spent one whole evening in her room cutting up paper into money and then coloring each one green and putting the different values on them. She then took them to school and handed them out. I’m sure everyone was ecstatic to get her pretend money. :)

So last night she came in with this….

She said she had found so much money outside that she didn’t know what to do with it all. She figured she would have to start giving it away. Kids are funny. I love hearing what they come up with.

Fall = Football!

October 15, 2011 — 1 Comment

Here’s one thing we have been busy with on the weekends. Julian decided at the last minute to go out for Football. Literally, last minute as he decided to join two days before the first game. However, he has jumped right in and learned the plays. It’s been fun to watch the team learn and improve each week. This is the first time we have had a football team for this age group with the athletic association here in our little town and I’m excited that it has begun.


This was him before his very first game.


A shot of today’s game.


Buddies.

Happy Birthday, Jaden!

October 13, 2011 — 2 Comments

I just got on my blog and realized I haven’t posted a single thing since the first day of school. Wow! It really only seems like a couple weeks since then but time is so fleeting.

This year Jaden turns EIGHT! Something’s just not right about that. He is such a great kid. He is creative, smart, funny and wears everything he is thinking right on his sleeve. I just love this guy!!

Here’s a few pics of him at his little party we had at home. He had just spent the entire day with his Daddy at World’s of Fun and is proud of his “Prowler” shirt he is wearing.

This really has been the shortest Summer I can remember. Of course I’m sure that next Summer will go by even faster. The kids were ready and here are some pics of the first day.

Jaden - 2nd Grade

Julian - 6th Grade

Evely - 1st Grade

Poor Louie is completely depressed. Hasn't moved yet.

My Hero!

August 15, 2011 — 4 Comments

Friday afternoon Julian and I had run home for a minute to pick up something we had forgotten and run it back to my Dad’s house. I pulled up in the driveway and sent Julian in to get the items. We live in a raised ranch style house so when you go in the front door you can either go up the stairs to the main part of the house, or go downstairs to the basement or garage. So Julian went in through the garage and then about 30 seconds later he came flying out of the front door. The look of horror and astonishment on his face was intensified as he screamed at the top of his lungs “Mom, there’s a freakin’ snake in the house!!”

I’m trying to figure out where it is and he keeps telling me that it’s downstairs in the entryway from the garage. So I then ask him how he came out of the front door to tell me. That would mean that he jumped over the snake and ran upstairs. He said “I guess I was so in shock and my adrenaline just kicked in so I just jumped over it!”

We head back into the house. I go in the front door so I can look down on the snake but Julian grabs a broom and heads right back into the basement door where the evil thing is located. Sure enough, there is a snake in the house and it’s not happy.

Julian takes the broom and after several tries brushes it out into the garage and starts yelling that he needs something to kill it. We grab a snow shovel and he hacks the snake into pieces.


Dead snake. I realize it’s not poisonous and it’s not large. But any snake in my house should not be alive!

The really interesting thing about this event is the exchange of roles that took place with my 11 year old son. Normally if I am at home with the kids and something happens, it’s up to good ‘ol Mom to put on the brave face and take care of whatever is disrupting our lives. My first thought was how I did NOT want to take care of this snake. I can’t stand snakes! I didn’t want to get within 100 feet of it. So I was totally shocked when Julian took over and handled the entire event like a man. After it was all said and done we were rehashing the story and I kept telling him I was so proud of him and he really was the hero of the day. I couldn’t believe how he took care of the snake like a man. He looked at me said “Mom, you realize I learned all of that off of T.V.!” I had to laugh on that one. Thanks Animal Planet for all the snake shows.

(By the way….my kids are not allowed to say the word “freakin'”. However, I probably would have said the same thing if it were me.)

I have to share this hilarious story with you. Now if you are a male, you may not understand this at all. However, if you are a woman especially around the 40 something years and above, I think you will identify with it.

Last night we found ourselves stopping in a large department store. It was about 8:40 p.m., the sun had set and it was dark out. The parking lot was full and Jaden and I had to go back to the car for something. We were walking back inside when I saw this lady exit the store. She was tall and thin, nicely dressed like she had been at work all day, sporting nice dress slacks and a cute blouse. She even had a hat on her head. What I noticed was her really trendy square purse she had because it was hanging around her neck. Not slung across her shoulder but literally hanging around her neck and sitting on her chest like a big headlight. The strap was pretty short so I realized that it took some doing for her to get that around her neck; the hat definitely had to come off. I thought to myself that she must have just come out of the bathroom. There must not have been a hook on the door to hang her purse on, and instead of setting it on the filthy floor by the toilet, she hung it around her neck.

She then stopped right outside the door and started scanning the sea of cars in the parking lot. It was clear she had forgotten where she parked. She then holds her keys in her hands, raises her arm straight out about eye level and waves her arm slowly back and forth across the mass of cars. About the time I realize this lady might just be crazy, I hear the raucous sound of a car alarm going off. A look of “Aha, there it is!” passes over her face and she purposefully strode toward the squawking vehicle.

After taking all this in I am about to die of laughter. I hold it together until I get inside and then lose it. Tom is wondering what is so funny and I’m trying to explain to him the whole picture I just saw. He is only slightly amused and I can tell he just isn’t getting it. So as I try to explain the extreme humor in the situation I blurt out. “It’s funny because I can totally relate to that lady! That could be me in about a year.”

I know some of you are already nodding and understanding; probably feeling a kinship with this dear lady. There is definitely something that happens somewhere around the 40’s when our brain changes. They say it’s peri- or pre- or the beginnings of menopause that does this to us. I’m not entirely sure that that’s the case. I’m just wondering if our virtual memory begins to run low in our brains. I think maybe every night while I sleep the brain fairy goes through all the new memory that I have used during the day and out of necessity must delete some old files to make room for the new ones. The hard part about that is you never know what is going to be dumped. It may be something that you need to use the very next morning. I now have to live and die by the calendar. If it ain’t on the calendar, it ain’t happenin’! And heaven forbid you forget to check the calendar; we know where that leads. Tom has joked that I am becoming sharp as a bowling ball. Yeah, I can laugh because, dogonnit, it’s sort of true.

So needless to say, when I saw Miss Purse-Around-The-Neck standing there, it was like watching a real live example of what happens in my head sometimes. We try as women to keep it all together, to look like we have our ducks lined up, dressed and behaving. Our schedules and kids are where they need to be and success is written all over us; all the while still looking hip and trendy. Yet there are those moments when the RAM fills up momentarily, we have to throw all pretense and presentation to the wind and just focus on how to get from Point A to Point B. We find ourselves at a simple crossroads that is suddenly feeling monumental: we could wander the dark parking lot, in the heat and humidity, and try to find that car….or just press the panic button. Like a lighthouse on a hill, oh look, it’s Point B! All I can say is – GENIUS!

So if you see me outside of a department store with a lost look on my face don’t be surprised if you experience this one for yourself.