Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Bonus

I realize it has been more than 2 weeks since my last post.  I have thought about the blog frequently since then but apparently life took priority over blog.  Since I have an extra day this year, I will use it to write for you.  Bonus post for Leap Day!

Eating: There was a whole lot of eating out this past weekend, for my birthday which apparently I now celebrate for at least 4 days (a day for each decade?) but I have done a little cooking otherwise.  I made a recipe on Friday night which I had forgotten about.  Very yummy.  I served it with brown rice and a little (very little) sauteed spinach (I forgot how much it shrinks when you cook it).  I don't remember where I got the recipe, maybe off the Boursin label?

Almond-Stuffed Chicken
1/4 C slivered almonds, divided
1/3 C light garlic and herbs spreadable cheese (Alouette, Boursin, etc.  I actually used regular cream cheese on Friday and it was still super yummy)
3 T chopped fresh parsley (or 1 T dried)
4 (6 oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt, pepper
1 1/2 t butter

Toast almonds in a dry large non-stick skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally.  Cook a few minutes until fragrant and lightly browned.  Cool and chop coarsely.
Combine cheese, 3 T of the almonds and 2 T parsley in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut a horizontal slit through thickest part of each breast to form a pocket.  Stuff 1 1/2 T almond/cheese mixture into each pocket; secure with toothpicks.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat butter in same skillet over medium.  Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove from pan.  Cover and let stand 2 minutes.
Top chicken evenly with remaining parsley and almonds.
Don't forget the toothpicks are in there...they are fairly inedible.  :o)

Reading:  I finished False Mermaid in plenty of time for Friday night book club.  I liked it pretty well right up to the end, which I disliked.  I won't tell you what happened but just that I was disappointed.  I hate when I read a whole book and enjoy it but then the end is dumb or lame.  Almost ruins the whole thing for me.  Other people liked it though, so maybe don't take my word for it.  Next up for Friday night book club is The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry.  It involves cooking, ghosts and a main character who has Asperger's.  I have read the first 2 chapters and so far, so good.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly was the Sunday book club selection.  I loved this book!  The main character, Callie V. Tate, is an 11 year old girl at the end of the 19th century, the middle child of 7, and the only girl.  One of her brother's gives her a notebook and she starts record her observations of nature and to spend time with her grandfather, a cantankerous old man who is also a naturalist.  He gives her a copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species to read and they explore together.  Calpurnia is such a great female character, curious and thoughtful.  I would highly recommend this book for children and adults alike.

Creating:  I spent part of the weekend with my mom and sister scrap booking.  I worked on E's calendar, mom started her first ever scrap booking project, and my sister made the cutest frog page.  It also gave me a chance to get all my scrapbook stuff out and organize it a bit before the retreat coming up the end of March.  Fun times and lots of laughter! 

Off to make dinner (Pork Chop Bake - watch for recipe later) - I promise not to make you wait so long for the next post.

Until we eat again,
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