Friday, June 21, 2013

That's Amore' .... well, that's dinner.

Okay, so maybe calling it love is a little bit of an exaggeration.  But I do have a couple of new recipes that are definitely going into the normal rotation.  All thanks to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.  I haven't read her blog too many times, yet.  I've only watched her show a couple of times - so far.  But, now that I've found her and tried one of her recipes, I want more! 

First, when you have fibro and you wake up and can stand even almost all the way up without stiffness and pain making you want to collapse back on the bed, you ... well, you don't know it's gonna be a great day, but you are pretty grateful and you appreciate the moment.  As it turned out, it was a pretty good day all around.  Yep, I will most definitely be giving thanks for that tonight!!! 

Next, attic update.  Not much further than yesterday.  My son woke up with all the lovely change of weather sinus pressure that is oh-so-common in the Ohio Valley region.  It's that lovely sludge we breathe.  Or, attempt to breathe.  Or, whatever.  Anyways.  Since he didn't feel up to climbing into the attic in already 80+ degree heat (and it was registering high 90's in the attic), we decided that we needed a day off.  Thankfully, though, he felt better after a bit and this evening, he and my husband did put several of the boxes I had decided to keep back up into the attic.  Thus, clearing the way for more to be brought down tomorrow. 

So, having established that I felt pretty good, we decided to go to the grocery store and a couple of local shops and such.  Didn't find a lot at the shops, some cargo shorts and a T-shirt for my son and some makeup and body spray and such for my daughter and myself.  Wheeee!  Are we livin' large or what??? 

The grocery store was another story.  I had come armed with a list of ingredients I needed to experiment with a new recipe from The Pioneer Woman's website (courtesy of a friend who shared it on facebook).  Of course, I can't walk in and only get a few items, I have to leave with a cart full, but that's just how we roll (am I with it or what?? Don't answer that, please).  But, I did roll, because even when having a great day, I can make it only about a third of the way through the store before my leg starts dragging, then I start stumbling and then the numbness starts ... well, you get the idea.  So, I leapt (hush) to my loyal grocery store scooter (!!!) and was off!  Well, after I stopped at the sanitizing station to use half a dozen wipes all over the surface and handles and controls of the thing so that I could psychologically make myself continue using it knowing that someone else had used it and not knowing who they were or where they had been.  Yes, I do have mild OCD and that's the most I'll admit to at this point.

But, I found what I needed, plus the extra stuff that I kinda-sorta needed and some lovely little eggplant that I realized I needed to buy to complete the evening meal.  Not really, but they looked great and were on sale, and so it goes. 

Back home, I realized I didn't know what I wanted to do with the eggplant, but they deserved better than just being diced up and sauteed with garlic and olive oil.  But what to do with them?  I found a great recipe for some Eggplant Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce and decided on that.  It's baked, not fried, and has fresh grated Romano cheese and panko bread crumbs.  Oh, here is the link:  Easy decision.  Easy recipe.  But, messy, messy, messy to make.  So, I only made half tonight and I'll do more tomorrow, LOL.

Back to the whole reason I had to go to the grocery today.  The recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  Chicken Florentine Pasta.  This one: 
OH, yes.  It is as good as she says it is.  However, I will tell you now, that I added a few of my own touches (really, who doesn't).  Here are most of the ingredients (plus chicken & pasta).
So, I changed a few things.  First, I don't drink wine, therefore I don't have it at home and had no desire to buy any.  So, I used extra chicken broth.  Next, I love bell peppers with pasta and chicken so I diced up a few of the small yellow, orange and red little bitty ones.  Actually, my daughter chopped them up and did a beautiful job.  She also chopped up some baby portabello mushrooms to add.  And, we added garlic paste and italian herb paste as it was cooking, as well as some fresh basil.  It wasn't exactly bland without it - good flavor profiles - but, I just had a preconceived idea of what *I* wanted it to taste like, so we went there.  Also, I like Rotini pasta better than Penne (it's a textural thing).  And, here's what I ended up with:
And (drum roll, please), everyone loved it.  Even my very picky son, who won't even eat chili because there is too much stuff mixed together.  Yes, I did mention the other day that he's 19.  He's just picky.  But, he loved it!  Which is a really good thing, cause I made a ton of it.  We have a huge serving bowl of it in the fridge, which is going to help tomorrow since we'll be back to working on the attic. 
Oh, and the eggplant?  Here's how that turned out:

But, they barely made it to dinner.  Here's one of the reasons:
So, dinner was a success.  Which is always a good thing.  There are altogether too many times that either my husband has to pick up dinner for us or my son has to cook (he makes killer chicken stir-fry) or even my sweet, eggplant-munching daughter will cook.  They never complain, and they are always helpful, but I always prefer to fix it for them.  Mama likes to nurture, ya know!
Well, enjoy the good days when you have 'em.  When they are limited, they become very precious, indeed.  G'night and God bless!

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