Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting back to the cooking way of life

Now that school is in session, I actually have time to do some cooking while the boys are in school. And let me tell you this, I have missed it.

Yesterday I decided that I was gonna take a trip to Publix, if you haven't figured it out yet, I love that store. And, yes, I know it is a 50 mile round trip. But the selection is great, some of the savings are so worth it, and they carry Boar's Head lunch meat. How much better can life get?

When I was wondering about the store, I noticed the Apron's area. Now, for those of you out there that don't have a Publix anywhere near you, you don't know what this is. For people like Lisa, you know where I am going with this. Apron's is basically Publix featured recipe for the day. There is someone there making the recipe of the day and then when they are done, you get to sample it. I didn't have time for this particular one, but I did hear that you can go on their website and get any recipe that they feature for the day. It is awesome.

So, upon checking out and getting home, here comes my dad. "Oh I just got back from Publix." "Why didn't you tell me, I would have gone with you." "I didn't think you wanted to go, so I just hopped in the car and went." "Man, I was planning on going next week. You going with me?" Of course I will go with him again. I love that store and as long as he is willing to go, I will go with him. I think yesterday I wanted time to shop alone.

The lady at the deli is a sweetheart. My first time there I gave her a worship CD, well, someone stole it. Ok, that is fine, someone else got blessed with it. Well, I had another one in the car and one from Dr Mc. And I thought that she would like it. One other lady was there, and I mentioned that I am blessed and highly favored, and that made her day. I gave the lovely lady the CD and she was so grateful, and she couldn't wait to burn them for her friend that was blessed and highly favored. People like that at the store are few and far between. And then there is Billy, the cart man. He helps you take your buggy out to the car. He is about 78, lives here in Cleveland, drives to Brainerd to work, and most likely the sweetest man I have ever met in my life. Married for 49 years, and going strong.

Anyway, the recipe yesterday was for pan fried fish, cabbage and radish slaw. Now no one in my house, but me would eat that. And the one on the video tape was Chicken Piccata, and that sounded great. But when I checked out the recipe, it was ground chicken. Not in this house, oh well.

Ok, so I have chicken out, and I don't want it fried, grilled, baked our anything like that. So, I found something that I had everything for. Tuscan Style Chicken with Sauteed Italian Beans. Yes, this was it, I found something different. www.publix.com. I love their recipes because they have things that you have at home, things that you have heard of, things you don't have to go to specialty stores for.

Tuscan-Style Chicken

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 bag fresh baby spinach leaves (5–6 oz)
1 cup fresh pre-sliced mushrooms (rinsed)
1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes (undrained)
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese


Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper (wash hands).
Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Arrange chicken in pan (wash hands); cook 3–4 minutes on one side or until lightly browned.
Turn chicken and add remaining ingredients to pan (except cheese). Cover and cook 4–5 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness. Meanwhile, slice mozzarella thinly.
Remove pan from heat. Top chicken with cheese slices; cover and let stand 2–3 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve.
My suggestion is, put the tomatoes and spinach on the bottom or around the pan, and put the cheese on the top to let it melt.

Italian Sautéed Beans

1/2 cup roasted red peppers
5 fresh garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 fresh basil leaves (rinsed)


Cut peppers into 1/4-inch slices. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Chop garlic coarsely.
Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic, peppers, and remaining ingredients (except basil); cook 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans are thoroughly heated. While beans cook, stack basil leaves and roll tightly; slice thinly into fine ribbons.
Stir in basil; cook 1–2 more minutes or until fragrant. Serve. (Makes 6 servings.)
Now, I was not gonna spend the $5 on the peppers, plus the boys won't eat it anyway, so I made this without it. These are so worth making.

And guess what the boys had for lunch today??? Leftovers again! Gone are the days of spam, liverwurst, deviled ham (eww), and whatever else Chuck and I had growing up. And welcome to gourmet lunches! Mom of the year is around the corner.