Monday, July 23, 2012

Alive, just not cooking much

For anyone who may have noticed, there hasn't been a whole lot of action around here. Sorry if you've missed things. There's been a serious illness in the family, my kids have been a wreck, computer troubles, I've been feeling the need to stay on the same wavelength with my husband and we're expecting a baby girl any day now. I've not had a whole lot of motivation in the cooking department and recording anything that has been turned out is a feat I just haven't managed over the last several months. :( I wish I was one of those bloggers who can just keep things going and work ahead on posts for when the baby comes but I guess I just require too much sleep. On the bright side, we just had a brand new grocery store open just a mile down the street (after a wait of almost seven years!) and it's really fun and fancy. They have an olive bar and a specialty cheese station. Hooray! Hopefully, I'll get back in the saddle here after things calm down a bit more but I'm going to aim at checking in more frequently than I have been and maybe sharing some of the things we do eat when life gets so crazy. A quick idea I'll share with you from picking up easy things at the new grocery store was Fake-out Pasta Puttanesca and Quick Chicken Parmesan For the Pasta: 1 jar favorite pasta sauce (I just used a marinara) 1/2 cup assorted olives pitted and sliced (I just grabbed some from the olive bar) 2 tablespoons capers, drained 1-2 anchovy fillets (or about 1 tablespoon anchovy paste) optional Red pepper flakes to taste (I use about 1 teaspoon or a packet that comes with take out pizza : ) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 pound favorite pasta, cooked (I used angel hair because is cooks fast) Shredded or grated Parmesan cheese to taste Directions: in a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium. Add olives, capers, anchovy fillets or paste (if using)and red pepper flakes and stir frequently until fragrant and anchovies have melted into the oil. Add pasta sauce and heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve over hot cooked pasta and top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Quick Chicken Parmesan 1 pound breaded chicken tenders from the deli 1/2-1 cup pasta sauce (can use some of sauce above or plain jarred sauce) 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese Directions: heat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken tenders on baking sheet (for faster clean up, line baking sheet with tin foil first). If chicken is cold, heat in oven until warmed through turning over half way through. Once chicken is hot, top each tender with a spoonful of sauce and sprinkle shredded cheeses over top. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with hot cooked pasta and remaining sauce (warmed first, of course). Thanks for bearing with me. Xoxo, Lauren