I love a nice, hearty Sunday Dinner in the winter, but in the summer I just have such a hard time pulling myself away from the beach! By the time we make our way off the sand and back home the sun has gone down and we’re super hungry! A quick and easy dinner is what I look for in the summer so I can get something tasty on the table in a flash. Earlier on Sunday morning I headed over to the Newburyport Farmer’s Market to pick up a few items, hoping to have everything ready to go for that night. Here’s what I picked up:
Fresh wild garlic scapes linguini
1 carton of cherry tomatoes
2 chicken breasts
A bunch of kale
Small ball of fresh mozzarella
I left everything in the fridge and headed to the beach! When I got home I threw on a pot of water and hopped into the shower quickly. When I got out I threw in the pasta — only 1.5 – 2 minutes cook time if its fresh! When it was finished I drizzled it with olive oil (so it wouldn’t stick) and left it to cool. I sent Doug outside to grill the two chicken breasts, and since the rest of the dish was so full of flavor we just seasoned them with a little S+P.
Inside I prepared the kale. I have a cheat method in the oven to making “sautéed kale” when I don’t want to splatter my stove top with oil. Just tossed in a little olive oil and salt and placed on a cookie sheet inside the oven for a few minutes at 350* until they are wilted. Keep a close eye on it, because you don’t want them to turn into kale chips! I tossed the kale and pasta and set it aside while I sliced up my cherry tomatoes. Just tossed them in after adding some nice color to the dish!
Just as the chicken was finishing up on the grill I chopped up my mozzarella. (This I actually picked up at the Joppa Fine Foods store right next to where the Farmer’s Market is — they have a super legit cheese section that looks like it was right out of France!) I always add them right before we eat because if you add them in too soon the warmth from the pasta or chicken might heat them up and make them a little rubbery.
Don’t forget to pour yourself a little glass of wine to enjoy while you’re cooking! Hope you have a great week!
PS – If you don’t finish it, this pasta dish tastes fantastic cold the next day for lunch! xx
I have been traveling quite a bit for work these days, which inevitably leads to eating many meals alone. Eating by myself is not something I have ever really enjoyed — and I realized during a values exercise I took in my coach training program that sharing a meal with my family is an important part of my life. I ate at the dinner table with my family every night of the week growing up, so I feel a natural pull to want to eat at the table with my family as an adult.
But when you’re stuck in a hotel or airport alone, you just have to make do with what you have. Here are some of my tips for making solo meals enjoyable:
Order something nice. You’ll be much more likely to have a great meal if you’re eating something delicious. Don’t skimp just because you’re alone, all meals are meant to be enjoyed! Don’t forget to order yourself a nice glass of wine!
Take advantage of the opportunity to people watch. By far my favorite part about dining alone is the time I have to take in my surroundings. If I’m eating with someone else my focus would be on them. But if I’m alone I can people watch to my heart’s content without ignoring my date.
Catch up on your reading. If I’m in a quite cafe or restaurant, sometimes I will bring along the newspaper and catch up on the world news. Or, if I’m in the middle of a really great book I might pull out my Kindle. Right now I’m reading The Red Notebook and I have about 10 other books on my must-read list (see below!).
Our grill has been buried outside for months, so Doug and I needed to switch up some of our cooking methods this winter. We’re still waiting for the rest of the snow to melt, so last week when we had fish for dinner I cooked it inside using an aluminum foil packet method. This is how we cooked our fish when we took the French cooking class on my birthday at La Cuisine Paris, but Doug also tells me that this method is also very popular when camping. I’m more of a “glamper” than camper, so I stick to making this while indoors! Pressed for time before my coaching school telesclass last week, I decided to just use a simple lemon pepper recipe for our mahi-mahi filets.
Lemon pepper seasoning (McCormick makes a great one)
Fresh lemon slices
Non-stick spray, or olive oil in a mister
Spray a tiny bit of your non-stick spray or olive oil (we have this oil mister, and its great!) on the middle of each aluminum foil sheet. Place a filet on each sheet and mist with a tiny bit of oil. Add your lemon pepper seasoning on top of each filet. Place a few slices of lemon on top of each filet, leaving a few on the side for a garnish later.
Wrapping up the aluminum foil packets is the most important part — you want to make sure you seal them up properly so that the moisture stays inside the packet and your fish doesn’t dry out. Pull up both sides of the aluminum foil and make a small fold on the top, like you were folding closed a paper lunch bag. Carefully keep folding the foil (tightly!) over until you’re a 1/2 inch or so away from the filet.
Next, move to one of the sides and pinch it closed, like you did to the top, and start folding it tightly towards the filet. Do the same to the other side. Now you should have a little foil packet, tightly sealed and ready to be cooked!
Place in the oven at 375* for 13-15 minutes. If your filets are the same size, you can always take one out after 13 minutes, unwrap the foil, and double check if its cooked or not. If it doesn’t look opaque then pop it back into the oven for a few more minutes!
Hopefully the rest of our snow melts soon so we can get back to grilling our fish, but in the meantime this foil packet method works great!
Papiamento is probably one of Aruba’s most famous restaurants. Not necessarily because of the food (although I did enjoy my meal!), but for the restaurant’s unique and beautiful grounds.
Most of the tables are situated around the pool in the center of the property. Other tables sit amongst the trees with twinkly lights hanging from all the palms. Inside of the 126-year old house you’ll find dinner tables surrounded by 1800’s antiques from Europe and personal mementos of the family, including copper pots, old photographs, and delicate floral tablecloths.
If you make reservations ahead of time, you can enjoy cocktails and appetizers in the restaurant’s wine cellar! Would be great for a hot summer day, as the cellar is kept pretty cool to protect the wine.
The sommelier gave us a quick tour of the cellar, letting us poke around their inventory and peek at all the bottles. We also made friends with the restaurant’s resident cat, Princess.
I had a lovely, yet rainy weekend on the Cape last week to celebrate Father’s Day and my 2nd wedding anniversary. I wore this outfit to dinner one night — just a simple black dress with some metallic accessories to kick it up a bit! This clutch by K.Slademade is a staple in my wardrobe. I bring it everywhere!