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A Little Food for Thought

I spent most of last week scrambling from store to store engaging in my own version of “Say Yes to the Dress” hoping to find the perfect dress for my son’s upcoming wedding. Little did I know that I was successfully exposing myself (and my family) to God knows what and hoping this invisible enemy would just disappear. The good news….I found the dress…The bad news….The wedding is off, or postponed for now.

My husband, Steve is happy because all of the ‘say no to the dresses’ have been successfully returned and the credit card is tucked away….for now.

What is the take away? Stay positive, worry about what we can control, and turn off the tv after the Today Show.

For me, self quarantining is a great time to search out recipes to share! Technically, I should be offering immune boosting recipes, but today, since our restaurant choices are limited, I found some great ‘restaurant quality’ recipes to share. Check this twist on chicken Parm from Cuisine Magazine!

Chicken Parmesan Roulades 

with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Caesar Salad

For the roulades—

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves pounded thin (6 oz. each)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Mozzarella sticks cut into eight, 2″ long pieces

For the coating—

  • 1 C. panic bread crumbs (I use Italian blend)
  • 1 C. Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 T. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 C. all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C. olive oil

For the sauce—

  • 1 C. chopped onions
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 3 C. cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt to taste

serve WiTh:

Caesar Salad, 
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400* & coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Halve the chicken for the roulades.
  • Season & roll each with a piece of mozzarella.
  • Combine panko, Parmesan cheese & parsley
  • Dredge roulades in flour, dip in egg and coat in panko mixture.
  • Roast in the oven 10 min.
  • SautĂ©s in skillet with 2T olive oil

FOR THE SAUCE:

Saute onions and pepper flakes in a sauce pan 2-3 min.

Stir in tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened 8-10 min.

Season with basal and salt.

TO SERVE:

Place roulade on top of Caesar salad, spoon tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

CAESAR SALAD

Makes 10 cups; Total time: 15 minutes

Mash TogeTher:

11/2 t. garlic, minced
1/4 t. kosher salt

Whisk in:
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated 2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 T. mayonnaise
1 t. anchovy paste
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Toss WiTh:
10 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

Mash garlic and salt together with the flat side of a knife blade until it forms a paste,  Whisk remaining ingredients together with the garlic paste until combined. Toss the romaine with the dressing just before serving.

Dear Friends,

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe. Shortcuts work….use jar sauce and store bought dressing…it’s all good.

Every day my daughter FaceTimes me with our 18 month old grandson doing everything from dying spaghetti noodles to finger-painting cards and mailing them to family members. Working full time from home and being so resourceful, I marvel at her positive outlook and commitment.

It’s a lesson. Without being preachy and trite….cheers to health and watching out for each other while doing the right thing…..Stay home….Stay healthy.

🍷Laura

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Heirloom or Clutter…+ A New Twist on an Old Favorite…Chicken Parmesan as a muffin!

Happy New Year, everyone!! I have a new dilemma to share!

I know it’s really great that there are things so special to you that you want to pass them along to your children and grandchildren….but seriously…..you have to think, “Will they want this shit?”

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Take, for example, the Lenox bird collection, that I know was an expensive bite out of the budget that my husband provided for his mom….I just spent an entire afternoon, matching each bird to the corresponding certificate of authenticity, photographing, and listing them on Ebay. I sold one, but by the time I packed it and shipped it, I lost money.

Kathy, a very close friend of mine offered me $25.00 for all of them so that her husband can use them as target practice for a gun he purchased recently. Tempting. I can’t help but thinking that someone out there appreciates these dust collecting birdies.

Moving Steve’s mom into an assisted living facility was quite the undertaking, especially as her daughter-in-law….I was given the dubious job of sorting through countless pairs of stockings, some still in the original package, hair ties and bows, denture boxes, and an assortment of long forgotten treasures packed away for safe keeping. Year after year, I would go to the dollar store for holiday bags and have Salina pack up these treasures as gifts, but she didn’t want to part with anything. You really have no idea….So for now, I’m stuck with these birds…lots of them.

My parents, at 89 and 91, have kept those special to them in a super organized way. When I visit, I love how my mom is always trying to give me her things. Although they take great pleasure in sharing, I want my mom and dad to keep and enjoy the memories they bring, rather than taking them away. I also know that the beautiful and valuable belongings of my parents are far from junk and someday will value and cherish the sentiment and memories.

On a return flight from Cancun, I vividly recall the pilot saying, “I hope you enjoyed your vacation and have carefully packed all of your souvenirs that will be at your garage sale someday.” So….note to self….Only buy and keep what gives you pleasure and let it go when it no longer has meaning.

Speaking of giving pleasure, I found this twist on an old favorite. Get ready for this delicious and EASY twist on your favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe!

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ lbs raw ground chicken breast or turkey.processor and run until ground)
  • 2 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons panko or breadcrumbs
  • Âľ teaspoon dried basil
  • Âľ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Âľ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ a small finely chopped onion
  • Âľ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • Âľ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Âľ cup pasta sauce
  • Âľ cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: dried parsley, oregano or basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, egg whites, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and lightly mix together. Do not over handle.
  3. Form the meat mixture evenly into the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish if desired.

Dear Friends,

Thanks for swinging by! Whether you are stuck indoors watching the snow, or reading this poolside, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and these great finds!

Until next time…

Cheers to cherished memories, both old and new!

🥂Laura

CELEBRATION + SUNSETS SHOPPING

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