Friday, September 20, 2013

Pass the Pasta

I could definitely describe this week as swingin'...mercurial...flexible. Ups and downs-drastic ups and downs. I think God is gently teaching me the idea of flexibility. Adaption. Accepting of change and difference. 
this is already the theme of a couple of my posts next week...
-We went to the zoo on Saturday and saw our local version of lions and tigers and bears. Except the tigers are no longer there. But they are hoping to bring them back. Someday. When the price of tigers goes down or the amount of donations goes up.
one of the exhibits at the zoo...

-Art Prize opened on Wednesday, and we have already made a foray downtown. I will have a post full of pictures next week.

-Meres had a head injury this week. It was a gusher, but is more of a shallow puncture that a stitch-worthy gash. It did slow her down for about 3 hours. That's all.
that is her pbj around her mouth-not blood. Obviously she still wanted to eat...
-Meres has pretty much conquered stage 2 of potty training. PTL! I thought I was going to be swishing and flushing panties forever... 

-I have been doing a lot of reading. I am reading Dr. Doolittle and 1776 with the kids. Dr. Doolittle is fun. 1776 is for school. I have read it before, but it is speaking to me in a somewhat different way this time. I am sure I will write about it soon. I abandoned This One is Mine. There is too much explicit content. I like how Semple develops her characters. They are all complicated and deeper than you'd expect. But, the other junk was not worth my time. Lean In has been my challenge my thinking book. It is definitely a sifting book. I take her thoughts with a grain of salt. But this book is about women succeeding in the work place and holding powerful positions and the inner and outer challenges they face to get/stay there. While I am not a work outside the home woman, a lot of the underlying thoughts resonate with me. There are stats, and I love stats. And there are examples that I'm like..."I've experienced that." is worth a read. I have yet to crack the binding of A Teaspoon of Sea and Earth. Sheila highly recommended it, and I have eyed it at my library ever since. 

-It feels like fall here-for the most part. And with it has come a renewed excitement for trying new recipes. I tried a crockpot Spicy Chicken, which my family loved. We used it in tacos and quesadillas both. Amazing, easy and delicious. I also have the ingredients for a new chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake recipe. Plus I am going to try a pesto chicken recipe that I saw on Pinterest. I will share the links later if they turn out well. 

-Tomorrow we are doing something certifiably crazy...a 30 mile bicycle ride/race. That you eat donuts every 10 miles to take minutes from your overall time. Obviously, I am treating more as a ride than a race, and I am looking forward to the time with Mr. Hippie. And, honestly, what's not to love about a bike race that you have to eat donuts?

-Speaking of the devil...I mean, Mr. Hippie...he hung us some new blinds this week. In the living room and upstairs bathroom. So that all things won't be naked and open to the neighbors with whom we have to do. (that is a paraphrase of a Scripture verse-believe it or not. Though the verse is talking about us and God. Not us and our neighbors.)

-My living room is coming together, one project at a time. I added buffed bronze switch plates, which look awesome on the dark green. I still  am considering pictures and wall hangings and the proper placement of each. They are going to be fairly permanent once they go up. Which is why I am doing my thinking before hand.

-So, today I have a recipe for you that is perfect for my day. It is pasta, which is a great pre-race meal. Plus it uses cherry tomatoes, of which I still have a plethora since it hasn't frosted yet. It takes 8 ingredients and only 2 pots and less than 30 minutes. That's a winning combination right there...

Mediterranean Pasta with Chicken
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
2 T olive oil
1 pound rotini
2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 T of salt and the pasta to the water. Cook until done. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, pat chicken dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over med-high, until just smoking. Cook chicken until well browned and cooked through. Slice thin cross-wise and reserve. Stir chicken, tomatoes, parsley, feta, and olives into the pasta with 1/2 a cup of the reserved cooking water (adding additional water as needed). Season with salt and pepper.

Round out your meal by serving with a crispy lettuce salad and rolls.

Guten Appetite!