The nip of fall is in the air here in the Mitten. This week. Next week it is supposed to be up to 90 degrees again.
The cooler temps had the kids hauling out sweatshirts, long-sleeve shirts and jeans. It was a tangible measure of how they've grown this summer and how their fashion sense has matured. Or not.
It's our last full week of summer break! I am in denial now! Where has this summer gone? I know we've been on break for almost 3-1/2 months and I am looking forward to what we are studying, but still...
Being the last week of summer break, it was time to whip the house into shape. No "licks and promises" this week. Bathrooms and floors have been scrubbed. The house has been vacuumed and dusted. The girl's room has been dealt with.
Which was a disaster! It looked like a bomb went off in there. I really don't understand it. They have a small room, but they also don't have tons of stuff. And yet, it all was all over. Not cool. Now it is organized, de-junked, and ready for fall.
The days have been noticeably shorter this week. It is hard for me to be motivated about getting up and training when it is still dark out at 6:30. I've been reminding myself that dedicated triathlon training is only for two more weeks. And then we will finish up September with fewer bike rides, but good, long runs, to finish training for our half marathon on the last Saturday of September. That will finish up my best training summer ever, and I will be into rest mode for a couple months. Which means that I will still swim and run, but not nearly as much. Though I am contemplating another 100 mile October.
The cooler weather has gotten me eager to cook again. I've contemplated baking both bread and cookies this week. I didn't say that I baked them...Let's not be too enthusiastic.
I was working on the SPD menus for September and October. (Oh, have you seen there is a sale on? Save 50% on any subscription!) There's a lot of stews, soups, and other things that require the oven being on. And it just made my mouth water. I like each season, and it's special cooking rhythms.
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Here is one of my favorite late summer/early fall recipes.
Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Tarragon. I love it because it is fast. It's healthy. It's gluten-free and dairy-free, and looks stunning for company. It uses tarragon and cherry tomatoes that are both browning like crazy in my garden at this time of year.
Farm to table at its best and most basic.
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 18 minutes, Total time: 25 minutes
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 3 pieces
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
12 ounces cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 shallots, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
-Season the chicken breast pieces with 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Working in two batches, cook the chicken until brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side; transfer to serving dish.
-Add tomatoes to the skillet and cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally until they begin to burst-about 2-3 minutes.
-Peel and slice shallots. Chop tarragon.
-Add the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the shallots and tarragon. Serve over chicken with rice.
Enjoy the last weekend of August 2015!