Tuesday, February 28, 2012

{Simple Supper} Pasta Piccata

With all of the energy I spend trying to figure out "What's for Dinner?" I often find myself beat down. I don't want to think about it, I don't want to stand in the kitchen for an hour, I don't want to clean up afterwards. Which is probably why we eat out more than we should. Some times I get busy with my day and realize it's time for dinner and I don't have anything in the works. That's when these little gems have come in handy... A Simple Supper.

This one is my own {lazy} adaptation of a Rachael Ray recipe and these are all things I have on hand regularly. I don't have to think to much about it or spend lots of time chopping or measuring. And my taste buds and tummy love me for it.

Pasta Piccata

What you need:
  • a box (approx. 16 oz depending on your crowd) of any pasta. I like penne.
  • some olive oil or butter
  • a lemon - or 2 depending on your taste
  • some capers
  • chicken stock or white wine if you like (optional)
What you do:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Now you can either do one of two things, 

  1. Toss the pasta in olive oil, squeeze the lemon juice over pasta, spoon in some capers, & toss, OR 
  2.  in a small sauce pan melt a little butter or olive oil, squeeze in lemon juice and add a little chicken stock or white wine and let it heat through. You don't want the pasta to be soupy so it doesn't take much liquid. When it's hot stir in a spoonful or two (we like capers so we use at least half a jar) of capers and then pour over the pasta. Toss.
 If you have some leftover grilled chicken, throw that in. If you like parmesan cheese, put some of that on it. Whatever you like. Then enjoy a big bowlful... or 2.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Christmas dinner - I know.... I'm a little behind

We love family gatherings. If there is a birthday, graduation, hair cut to be celebrated we'll do it. Well, maybe not the hair cuts but you get the point. My mom almost always hosts these and having to constantly plan and prepare can get overwhelming. So we decided that in order to lighten the load we would simplify and get together once a month and celebrate all the birthdays/holidays for that month. We would also take turns planning/hosting. My sister Cathy asked to host our Adult Christmas dinner at her house.

She went above and beyond to host a very memorable meal. Every detail was well thought out and executed to a T. I wish I would have taken more pictures to share. Her house was decorated beautifully with another Pinterest project around every corner. It was gorgeous. The meal, even though we were celebrating her birthday, was filled with dishes she knew would be favorites for the rest of us. A cheese tray with like 6 different types of cheese, yummy salad & sides, and a steak that my brother-in-law seasoned and cooked to perfection, so many special touches.

But my favorite part was in the dining room...

At first it looked simple. A photo tree on the wall. But upon closer inspection we saw photos of cherished memories...


My Wedding, My Dad's promotion, our beloved dog Berkley, the group at the Coney Island hot dog joint after my Grandfather's funeral, past Christmas gatherings, my Grandma, and so many more.

The photo tree included this photo, one of my absolute favorites, that my Dad recently took of a chair in my grandparents kitchen where my Grandfather would set his jacket and hat. It's been left untouched just as he placed them the very last time he wore them. And he was magnificent :)

Cathy spent hours gathering and printing photos and then sharing them in this special way with the rest of us. Her desire was for us to enjoy and celebrate the things most precious to her.... the family. I was blessed and she did an amazing job. 

Thank you Cathy for making another cherished memory!!