10 February, 2014  |   2 Comments

80′s Stuffed Chicken Recipe

Sun dried tomato and feta stuffed chicken breasts

One of the perks of being a dissatisfied child of the 1980′s was the development of a rich fantasy life.

My fantasy life included dreaming of my life as a Baby Boom Keaton, a thirtysomething striver.

The oldest 10 year old in the universe, I dreamed of a career in advertising, of arguments with my handsome, of my bearded husband and dinner parties where everyone told the truth.
(P.S. Go me!)

Thirtysomething cast photo. I never saw the show but I was obsessed with the lifestyle.

Some of the most exciting parts of all that dreaming included the introduction of sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese as mainstream ingredients. Add them to bagels! Add them to your mixed green salads! They’re exotic! They’re for yuppies!

As always, eager to jump on culinary trends, this was one of the first dishes I made on my own.

80′s Stuffed Chicken Recipe

Ingredients
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Stuffing
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cups bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes, chopped small
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Directions
Pound the chicken breasts to a uniform 1/2 inch thickness. Salt and pepper them on the inside with 1/2 the pepper and 1/2 the salt (1/2 tsp, 1/2 tsp). Fold in half and put on a cookie sheet, set in the fridge while you make the stuffing.

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and the olive oil over medium high heat until they start to bubble, add the chopped onion and stir through – keep stirring for about 3 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent.

Add bread crumbs, stir through.
Add the garlic, stir through.
Add the sun dried tomatoes, stir through.
Add the salt, oregano and red pepper flakes and stir those through too.

When the bread crumbs are a nice toasty brown color (about 5 minutes), turn off the heat and let mixture cool for about 15 minutes. Then stir through the shredded Parmesan cheese and the crumbled Feta cheese.

Take the chicken breasts out of the fridge. Unfold each breast, put about 3/4 cup of the stuffing mixture into the middle, and then fold the rest of the breast over the top of the stuffing. Put back in the fridge.

Wash out the pan you made the stuffing in (any extra stuffing is yours, by the way)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Over medium-high heat, melt the other 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil in the large, clean sauté pan.

Remove as many chicken breasts from the baking sheet that fit comfortably in the saute pan and put them in the sauté pan.

Closeup view of 80's Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Brown the stuffed chicken on each side, being careful not to spill too much stuffing out of the folded breast. It’s a little bit of a messy process, but it’s worth it.

Clean off the baking sheet and cover it with foil.

When the chicken breasts are browned, put them on the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes.

After I put the chicken breasts in the oven, I heat up water to cook the angel hair pasta I serve alongside. (And now I have The Angel Song in my head. Thanks Great White.)

We served 80s Stuffed Chicken Breasts with this Girard Sauvignon Blanc. But I bet a light red would have also done the trick.
2012 Girard Sauvignon Blanc

My handsome bearded husband put on the Diana Krall Pandora Station, because there’s something about lady jazz that screams sophisticated eighties dinner party.

Truly, a testimony to knowing what you want out of life.

Pinot, no, you can’t have any.
Pinot wants to get some food. Nope. Nuh uh.

Happy 80′s Stuffed Chicken Day!
80's Stuffed Chicken Recipe

9 February, 2014  |   Comment

What we’re eating this week

What we're eating this week.

This week, I’m embarrassed that I wasn’t able to post every day.
(It was more of a personal challenge than anything, but, damn.)

And like so often,
when the plans scoff at plans,
I’ll put my head down and
just
keep
keeping
on.

Hope your week is filled with perseverance.
(And love.)

7 February, 2014  |   6 Comments

Say an X-word in the bathtub

Personality Party

Man, I have a lot of theories about humans and what we do. These theories totally come from a completely uninformed-informed place of self-reflection with a dose of internet browsing.

One of these theories about humans is that lots of our behavior acts like pipes, with each pipe devoted to keeping a certain emotion or reaction running smoothly. But just like pipes in our house, sometimes these pipes get backed up, or they build up too much pressure, or they run too slowly. We can deal with it for a time, but then we need to clean it out, call Roto Rooter and take care of the buildup.

You might have different labels, but some of my pipes have labels like:
Anger
Caring
Sadness
Confusion
Goodness

It’s that last pipe, my Goodness pipe, that causes me a lot of problems.

Raised in a hearty Midwestern Christianity, I internalized lots of Goodness rules that I assumed would keep the contents of that pipe running smoothly. Goodness rules include: don’t sleep with people before you’re married, give to charity and don’t swear.

But over time, this Goodness pipe built up pressure, I started to reject Goodness. I became obsessed with the idea with sleeping with people, being selfish, and most of all, swearing.

Man, did I start swearing.
All the time, in a way that made me seem pretty base.
F-bombs, A-holes and G-d its all over town.

And swearing provided a kind of release valve, that in a weird way, made it easier to give to charity and take care of people. Eventually I had to “clean” that pipe by taking a closer look at what Goodness meant to me (instead of rules enforced by other humans). After defining Goodness for myself, I could also define what I needed to do to keep it healthy. And I started swearing a lot less.

Now, we don’t have much of a language policy in our house, since we entertain a lot. With lots of grownups around, we make it clear to our children that there are grownup words and kid words and it’s all about context. The kids are privy to the occasional cussword, but we try not to make a big deal of it.

Personality Party

That said, our family has our own swears that roll up to our definition of Goodness.
These two words simply cannot be said, or there are swift penalties.

We don’t say Shut Up and we don’t say Stupid.
If we say either of these, we have to put a dollar in the bunk bed jar.

We call these words X-words – which came from Dottie’s adorable misinterpretation of “S” words.

Our kids are the biggest X-word cops. Unsuspecting friends come over and tell stories about how stupid someone was during their commute – Ha! there’s a dollar for the bunk bed jar. People expressing their disbelief as, “SHUT UP!” yup, they put a dollar in the bunk bed jar.

Like I said above, I don’t mind releasing vice from our pipes in small doses to keep them running smoothly, I think by doing this, we can stay away from bigger, more troubling habits.

So once a week, in the bathtub, the girls get to say an X-word as much as they want. They look forward to it all week, the night they say an X-word in the bath tub.

So what’s blocking up your pipes? Is your anger pipe backed up? Would it benefit from a little healthy release of stuffed animal punching? Is your confusion pipe running too hot? Could it benefit from a week of clear judgement? Do you just need to get off of the Twitter?

Or do you just need to say an X-word in the bath?

Personality Party

6 February, 2014  |   Comment

Thinkylinking

O. Luxury!   (Meeting grandparents at the park.)Why it’s Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
The title and first part seemed a little iffy to me, but as I read, I found myself nodding.

“In our society, there is no safe place for a mother to vent her rage. And so often it comes out unconsciously to one’s children. A daughter is a very potent target for a mother’s rage because the daughter has not yet had to give up her personhood for motherhood. The young daughter may remind the mother of her un-lived potential. And if the daughter feels worthy enough to reject some of the patriarchal mandates that the mother has had to swallow, then she can easily trigger that underground rage for the mother.”

Some Years
I try to look for the light.
And when I see it, in these small, simple moments, I try to stop, to appreciate.

King Kendrick and the Ivory Tower
What hip-hop can teach academia. Seriously.

TV Hand Job Hall of Fame
This NSFW article has everything I love about the internet.

“Sometimes a hand job is a gift, and sometimes it is a way to punish a dying man who just confessed his love for you after being your bodyguard for eight years.”

2 February, 2014  |   3 Comments

What we’re eating

What we're eating the week of Feb 2

You guys could make fun of anything I do and I’d totally agree with you.

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