I have nothing of merit to blog today.
Well, that’s not exactly true. In fact, as a child of God in a state of grace, one could argue that everything I do has merit, at least potentially. In fact, I’m pretty sure that God hates it when I’m self-deprecating & self-pitying & full of despairing thoughts that I’m not “worth it”.
Except that…um…God can’t hate.
I’m digging myself into a deep theological hole here, aren’t I?
All I’m saying is that I don’t feel terrifically creative right now. However, I was feeling creative the other night at dinner, and YUM! was the result. And since we are all in the same creative or perhaps creatively challenged boat when it comes to making supper every evening, I thought I’d share with you my recipe.
It was no big deal, my recipe, but it was really, really good.
And as a disclaimer (because it’s hard for me to stay away entirely from all that self-deprecating stuff), I am not the only one who is whipping up delicious fare for all the family.
Barbara put together some sweet potato pancakes the other night that got rave reviews from her family. In her words, “I was a rock star.”
Elaine presented her own incredibly edible dish—yet another twist on the sweet potato theme, which is great because in the Fall we love love love our beta carotene—by serving a turkey/sweet potato shepherd’s pie that was gobbled up by all five daughters and a husband (presuming he got some).
And finally, one could argue that Danielle—our dear sweet rock-star-blogger momma—started it all, really, with her “Your Turn Tuesday” post on easy meals. I printed that one out—did you? It was a 38-page document and worth every drop of ink.
Enfin. Here’s what I did:
Basil-Balsamic Chicken and Cheese Ravioli (An 11th Hour Meal)
1. Look at the clock. Acknowledge the fact that it’s 6 p.m. and your husband will be home in a half an hour.
2. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Peer in the freezer.
3. Chuck several frozen chicken breast halves into a pan with an inch of water. (When in doubt, go with frozen chicken.) Cover and poach until tender.
4. Meanwhile, dump a can of diced tomatoes into a skillet. Sprinkle generously with basil. (I am partial to Penzey’s spices, by the way. Their boxed sets make great Christmas gifts! And no, I am not getting paid for this endorsement.)
5. Here’s where the wine kicked in and I started to really get creative. I added a tablespoonful or so of sugar to the tomatoes to cut down on the acidity. I added a tablespoonful or so of balsamic vinegar to add some flavor. I added a tablespoonful (or two) of the red wine I was drinking, to add even more flavor and because at that point I figured I’d had enough. What was I doing to my sauce?!! I guessed we’d see.
6. The chicken breasts were done by then. I chopped them into bite-sized bits while the tomato sauce was reducing and sprinkled all the chicken bits with Adobo seasoning. I also indulged the many little midget thieves who kept passing by the cutting board and I resisted the temptation to wave my 6-inch chef’s knife at them menacingly. (Frankly, I always plan on losing at least a tenth of my chicken to hungry snackers. I’ve made peace with this, because I did exactly the same thing when I was young. “Um, Maggie?” says the casual kitchen onlooker. “I’d say that you still do.”) Eventually I dumped the chicken into the tomato sauce.
7. Last of all, I boiled up a bunch of pasta. I went with cheese-filled ravioli—these great big frozen jobbies that I found at Sam’s club—but you can use anything you have on hand. I served the chicken on top of the pasta and oh my goodness, the flavor! Not even the little ones seemed to mind the diced tomatoes, which were pronounced “squishy but acceptable”.
The meal was gone before I knew it, and et puis voilà! I’ve got my blog post. : )
Ad Jesum per Mariam,
PS. How do you like that fancy gourmet title for my recipe? That was as improvised as the meal was.