Friday, August 7, 2015

A Good "Cousins" Week & Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken

This is Meres and Mr. Hippie on their inaugural bicycle ride. Obviously they both enjoyed it...

Good for them. And, better him than me...

When Meres saw me wriggling (literally) into my tri suit last week, she told me that she likes my trying suit. I thought that was kind of funny.

In between swapping babysitting, two DVBS, and Coast Guard Festival, our kids have gotten to spend quite a chunk of time everyday with their cousins. This makes for happy cousins.

This is the first time we have been to the Coast Guard festival in about 10 years. I was pregnant with Freckles the last time we went. My dad lectured me that time, because I was pregnant and drinking a Diet Sprite. It was hot. I was thirsty. And it was that or beer. Diet Sprite is not going to negatively affect my baby.

He obviously looks quite thriving in this picture. 

So, I took almost 10 pictures of the kids sitting on the curb. This is the only one that they are all at least facing the same direction. Good luck with simultaneous smiles, open eyes, and all the rest...

We did have a magnificent time! My cousins put on a huge shindig every year. It's a multiple day event. We arrived in time to beat the traffic, and eat breakfast. We enjoyed the almost 2 hour long parade, and my kids came home with a lifetime supply of candy. I'm hardly kidding. The kids cheered the floats, and then enjoyed the dunk tank and pool. It was a great day. I enjoyed catching up with some of my cousins and aunts that I haven't seen in a couple years.

LC is actually still not taller than R. She was just up a step. 

And these two...They get along magnificently-when they aren't fighting. They both are chiefs and they both are sassy, which makes for a somewhat tumultuous relationship. But, they get it sorted out, and re-sorted out.

Well, our second triathlon of the season is tomorrow. It is a short one. 300 meter swim, 9.25 mile bike, and 5k run. It's good training. Especially having the opportunity to put it all together-complete with transitions. I am looking to beat last year's time. What I would LOVE is to get this to one hour. But, that is shaving 5 minutes off last year. Which is quite substantial. We'll see.

Tonight I am whipping up a batch of our favorite pre-race food, Champagne Chicken. It's one of our race traditions. Along with bagels for breakfast....

Well, I have another recipe for you today. I made this pasta this week, and I was quite thrilled with how it turned out. It was easy and fast. Basically it took the time that it takes to cook a box of pasta.

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken.

Yes, gorgonzola. Gorgonzola is a very strong blue cheese. The first time I had it was with pasta and steak on our honeymoon. I thought it was awful. But, my taste buds have changed. Matured. They are nearing 40, after all. They also have grown to enjoy red wines this past year...


So, this is a powerful pasta, and maybe not for everyone. My girls did not like it. The boys did. I actually modified the recipe. It called for 8 ounces of gorgonzola. The package I found was 6 ounces. I didn't want to fork out another $6 for the needed extra ounces, so I swapped 2 ounces of feta for the remaining gorgonzola.

This recipe actually reminds me of something you'd order at a fancy Italian restaurant. 

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken
Prep/total time: 30 minutes
16 ounces penne pasta
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
8 fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

-Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
-Meanwhile, heat grill to medium high. Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts, and then grill, for 8-10 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Thinly slice.
-Mince garlic. In a large skillet, over medium, heat oil. Add the garlic, and cook one minute, until golden and fragrant.
-Add the wine, cream, and broth. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened. Thinly slice the sage leaves. Add to the sauce with the gorgonzola, feta, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir, just until the cheese is melted. 
-Toss the pasta with the chicken and the sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Enjoy! And have a great weekend!