and she's off

>> Tuesday, May 11, 2010

approximately 13 days ago one of my best friends informed me that she would be leaving virginia to move to california and wanted me to drive with her out to the golden state. i have always wanted to drive cross country and always regretted i didn't do it after college. i assumed i would have to wait until i was retired to get the opportunity again. but here i am, leaving saturday, to start our 2,642 mile trek cross country to fullerton, california.

stina is my free spirit friend and has left it in my hands to plan our entire route. i'm not sure this was the best idea, considering we leave in 5 days and i only have 3 stops planned - memphis, tennessee (to see the neelys for some bbq), tucson, arizona (to see her dad) and san diego (to see the ocean and rooney).

however, i do have some things figured out:

  1. snacks for the car ride (come on, you knew that was the first thing i was going to plan)
  2. mandatory photo ops at every state sign
  3. my attire (gonna go for cotton dresses and knit sweaters)
  4. cheesy songs i must download to sing along - windows down (think tom petty, free falling)
looking at that list, i might need you to pray for us. or maybe just give us suggestions on must-see cities or attractions along the way?

(photo credit -


salt, schmalt. who needs sodium: lemon, caper and rosemary chicken

>> Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the other night one of my good friends, kim, was coming over to cotton top for dinner. she's on a low sodium diet so i had to plan my meal accordingly.  in lieu of salt, i used lots of fresh flavors like rosemary, garlic and lemon to brighten up the dish. i got the original recipe from giada, but ended up substituting salmon for chicken because it's what we had in the freezer already.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup evoo
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
garlic powder (didn't really measure this - just sprinkled on top of chicken lightly)
8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 teaspoons capers
4 pieces of aluminum foil

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

brush top and bottom of chicken breasts with evoo and season with pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. place each piece of seasoned chicken on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. top each piece of chicken with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. wrap up chicken tightly in the foil packets. place the foil packets on small cookie sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how thick the chicken is. serve in the foil packets.

i served this chicken along side my favorite garlic green beans (i actually added lemon zest/juice as well) and some grilled pita bread. we used the pita to soak up the leftover juices in the foil packets. for the pita - all you need to do is brush one side with evoo, minced fresh rosemary and pepper. i grilled for about 2-3 minutes per side and served hot!


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