Thursday, April 14, 2011


For the past few weeks, I have been making my first daily facebook and twitter posts about being grateful for something, or praising God.  Some days, I am not grateful for vast, spiritual things, but for tiny, everyday an unexpected text from a friend, or a much-needed item on sale at my favorite store.  Some days, I didn't feel grateful for a whole lot of things.  Some days, choosing something to share was a stretch.

Today, though, I am overwhelmingly and undoubtedly grateful for my husband.  He isn't perfect; he has little habits that drive me nuts (leaving jelly on the counter, for example).  But he also has little habits that let me know how much he cares about me, about the house, about our marriage, about our future (like cleaning the bathtub, bleaching the towels, rubbing my feet, taking on a valet job for more cash...the list goes on).  I woke up this morning to the first rays of sunshine in Pittsburgh in nearly a week and, when I looked over at him, it was suddenly so easy to see how valuable and wonderful he is.

In the bright light of day, I can see that I am blessed.  In the darkness of night, I can feel that I am blessed. 

I am truly overwhelmed by God's goodness and his grace.  I don't have much more to say than that, other than a prayer that I never forget it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back in the Kitchen

Feeding Ross is a demanding job.  Fortunately, the hours are pretty limited and complaints are extremely rare.  The perks (leftovers, and a happy hubby) aren't bad either.  Here's, quite possibly, the easiest soup I have ever made.  The most exciting part is that Ross actually requests it when I press him about what he wants for dinner.  Double win!  Additional bonus recipes follow.

Asian-Inspired Chicken Soup

Heat about 6 cups of reduced-sodium chicken stock. Add a healthy sprinkle of dried cilantro and several generous splashes of reduced-sodium soy sauce.  Simmer over medium heat.  Add 1 cup of cooked soybeans, 1/2 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms, 1 cup of cooked, cubed chicken.  Bring to a boil, then add about 2 cups of prepared frozen wontons or Asian dumplings (we love CJ Omni's Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons).  Cook another 1-2 minutes, and remove from heat.  Sprinkle with chopped green onion. Add a few chow mein noodles, if desired.  Serve with a salad for a light lunch.

Chicken Marsala 
(adapted from a Holland House Recipe)

Pound four skinless, boneless chicken breast halves to about 1/2 inch thick.  Dredge lightly in flour; set aside.  Heat about 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet.  Toss in 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup chopped onion and a sprinkle of pepper.  Saute until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from skillet.  Place chicken in skillet, cooking about four minutes on each side.  Set aside and keep warm.  Return the mushrooms an onions to the skillet, adding 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup Marsala wine, 1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley and a dash of garlic powder and rosemary.  Heat thoroughly, allowing sauce to reduce slightly, and pour over chicken.

Springtime Pasta

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add 2/3 cup of roughly chopped red or yellow bell peppers  and  2/3 cup fresh asparagus spears, cut 1-inch long.  Sprinkle lightly with lemon-pepper seasoning.  Saute briefly, about 4 minutes, then add 1 cup chopped cooked turkey or chicken, or 1 can drained tuna.  Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Stir and saute 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat.  Meanwhile, cook  2 cups of cheese tortellini according to package instructions.  Drain; add the pasta to the vegetables and meat.  In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk with 2 tablespoons fat-free ricotta cheese.  Sprinkle with additional lemon-pepper seasoning.  Mix well and drizzle over pasta mixture.  Toss lightly and serve.