I love top [insert # here] lists. They’re quick, easy to read, and often filled with fun reasons for going here or there, doing such-and-such and whathaveyou. I’ve wanted to do one of my own for a while, so here it is:
Top 8 things I’m seriously digging right now
Aptly described on their website as follows:
“Stirring from the haze of winter, this refreshing unfiltered White Ale awakens its smooth wheat with the bright snap of spring spices. From the subtle sweetness of orange peel and plum to the peppery bite of fresh ground coriander, the blend of spices creates just the right refreshing kick to signal that spring is on its way.”
Need I say more? That is me: stirring from the haze of (what some would call) winter. It may not have snowed much (or almost at all), but here lately it’s been cold, cloudy and rainy more days than not and it’s seriously cramping my style. If drinking this delicious beer will bring on spring sunshine and blossoms, count me in.
2. Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table by Shauna Niequist
My friend, Ashley, sent this to me after visiting us recently (due to my love for bread, wine and cooking). It’s essentially a recipe blog in book form. I love it! Favorite quote quoted in the book so far:
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s the same thing,” he said.
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Well-said, Pooh. Breakfast is most definitely the first thing on my mind when I wake up. And it’s always exciting.
The author tells stories of her life, family and friends, and ends each chapter with a recipe. It’s strangely addicting and very well-written. I highly recommend!
3. Borden sliced gouda
I’ve never seen gouda in pre-sliced form before, and it is very. delicious. Much easier than messing with a whole dang round with its rind and all. I eat it with sliced turkey, or just by itself, or on these delicious crackers:
I’ve seen this show many times over the years and have always been amused. Lately, Dr. Matthews and I have been binge-ing out on it now that we have Amazon Prime. Let me warn those of you who do not know – it is not for the faint of heart… or stomach…
7. Game of Thrones books
- Prep Time:10 MinutesCook Time: 15 Minutes Servings: 6
- 1 pound Penne Or Rigatoni (this was more than enough – you could probably get away with 1/2 lb)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Plus More For Drizzling
- 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Small Bite-sized Pieces
- Salt And Pepper
- 1 whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, Minced (or more…)
- 1 jar (25 Ounce) Good Quality Marinara Sauce (good quality, to me, means not too much sugar. I found one at a good price at Harris Teeter)
- 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
- 8 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella, Cut Into Medium Cubes
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Shavings
- Extra Parmesan, For Serving
- 12 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade) (I had to look this up, but, chiffonade means cutting into long strips – if you go to her website, she has beautifully photographed step-by-step instructions which demonstrate how to do everything, including chiffonading)
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir chicken around to brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and garlic and stir immediately to start cooking. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.
Reduce the heat to low and pour in the marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, and the water. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back into the pan. Add the parsley, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes.
Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft.
Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings (or grated Parmesan.) Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the chiffonade of Basil, and serve immediately!
* NOTE: The mozzarella should be very soft but should still be in visible chunks rather than distributed throughout the sauce. It’s better for the chunks to be on the firm side than the falling-apart side! You can always heat it a little more to get the cheese to the consistency you want.
I pretty much did this recipe exactly as instructed (which is somewhat unusual for me) and it turned out DE-licious! Loved the chunks of mozzarella and just added a bit of salt to taste. I didn’t even serve a salad or a side with this, as I wanted my whole entire meal to be just this dish.
Was this meal worth fasting for? Yes. Were the left-overs, plus almost an entire loaf of bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, plus my favorite Rodney Strong cabernet sauvignon (thanks to Ash’s parents!) worth fasting for? Abso-fruitly.
Hope you enjoyed the top 8 and will try this wonderful recipe. Happy weekend, ya’ll!