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    Entries in leafs are food (3)

    Tuesday
    Jun042013

    Picatta Pasta Salad

    I'm not fond of eating leftovers, so I remade chicken picatta into a brand new dinner!

    This is another one of those 20 minutes or less super fast dinners. Granted you need leftover chicken picatta, but that was yesterday's dinner, and we won't worry about that right now. Live in the moment! Super fast dinner!

    Picatta Pasta Salad

    • 2-4 pieces of leftover chicken picatta
    • picatta sauce
    • 2-3 cups cooked pasta
    • 1-2 tbsp fresh basil
    • 1-2 tbsp green onion (or red if you prefer)
    • 1-2 tbsp capers
    • 1-2 tbsp artichoke hearts
    • 1-2 tbsp sundried tomatoes
    • 1-2 tbsp olives
    • 1-2 tbsp pine nuts
    • 1-2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
    • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice or wine
    • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

    Okay, yes, the measurements are more approximations than anything, but adjust as you need/like/have in the fridge.

    If you have leftover pasta, this dish is even faster than 20 minutes. I didn't have any so I needed a few extra minutes.

    While the water is coming to a boil, collect all the ingredients, and change out of work clothes.

    I like to toast my pinenuts, so I did that in a small dry pan over medium heat. Give the pan a shake from time to time, between ingredient choppings works, and when they're nice and golden, turn the heat off.

    As the pasta boils, chop anything you want chopped.

    If your pasta is freshly boiled, cool it by running it under cold water.

    If you have enough picatta sauce to just use it as the dressing, perfect. Me, I didn't (frankly, I'm not sure there's any such thing as enough picatta sauce) so I extended the dressing with wine and olive oil.

    Combine everything in a nice big bowl and stir it gently.

    If I had any lemon, I probably would have added a bit of lemon zest as well.

    And what do you know, dinner!

    How do you get creative with leftovers?

    Friday
    May312013

    Basil Lemonade - Summer has Arrived!

    Now that Memorial Day has passed, it’s time to pull out the white pants, bright colors, and sandals.  Not that I’m a fashionista.  If I manage to make it out the door with my apron off and shoes on the right feet, I consider it a success.  Fortunately, I can find my way around a kitchen better than I can a closet.  This fresh squeezed lemonade with a hint of basil in the background is the perfect way to escape the heat.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 1 ½ cups lemon juice
    • 1 ½ cups sugar
    • 8 cups water
    • Fresh Basil

    Be sure to give your basil a good rinse before you start… unless you like bugs in your lemonade. 

    Put the sugar and 2 cups of the water in a saucepan over medium heat. 

    Continue to stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and bubbles are forming on the sides and bottom of the pan. 

    Turn off the heat and throw in the basil. 

    While that’s steeping, juice your lemons.  (If you don’t have a press juicer you can use a reamer, but you might want to strain out some of the pulp.)

    When you’ve finished with that, your basil should be nice and wilted and the syrup will have the gorgeous aroma of basil.  It has served its purpose now, so go ahead and remove it from the pan and discard it. 

    First into the pitcher goes the lemon juice. 

    Next is the remaining 6 cups of water.

    And last but not least, the basil syrup. 

    And there you have it, beautiful, refreshing lemonade.  Now into the fridge to get nice and cold. 

    Serve over ice and garnish with a couple of lemon slices and basil leaves. 

    What’s your favorite thing about summer?