Lemon Chicken Pasta alla Lucy

Not a day goes by where I don’t end it with a bowl of pasta of some sort. I can’t remember the last time I cooked a homemade dinner with out a pasta dish thrown into the meal somewhere. What can I say, I love me some carbohydrates!

The other day I had endured a particularly exhausting day and wanted nothing more than a big bowl of pasta to end the day. During my college days, one of my roommates, Lucy, would always make our apartment a delicious Lemon Chicken Pasta Dish after long days of studying for exams and hectic schedules. It was a way for us all to come together at the table, unwind, relax, and enjoy each other’s company and a hearty meal while we were at it.

The recipe to her dish is below. It can modified to serve for just one person, which is what I have been doing a lot of this summer to satisfy my weekly craving for it. It can be made in just under 30 minutes from start to finish and served with a glass of wine, is the perfect end to a long day!

IMG_3076The lemon juice adds  the perfect zest to make this an easy summer dish!

IMG_3078Serve with some freshly grated parmesan and bon a petit!

 Lemon Chicken Pasta

Serves: 6

What You’ll Need:

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1 large ziploc bag

1 lb. boneless chicken tenders

1/4 cup garlic butter

8 oz. mostaccioli or penne rigata pasta

2 tbsp. capers

2 tsp. chicken base

1 lemon (for juice)

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1.) Fill large saucepan 1/2 full of water. Cover and bring to a boil on high for pasta. Preheat large saucepan on medium high for 2-3 minutes.

2.) Place flour and seasoned salt in ziploc bag, shake to mix. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and add to bag (wash hands). Seal bag tightly and shake to coat.

3.) Place garlic butter in saucepan. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.

4.) Stir pasta in boiling water. Boil 6-8 minutes.

5.) Stir capers and chicken base into chicken. Cook 2 minutes, stirring often to blend flavors. Squeeze juice of lemon into chicken, stir in wine and cream, reduce heat to low; cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally or until thoroughly heated.

6.) Drain pasta and stir into chicken mixture. Serve & enjoy!

Breakfast Power Sandwich

It’s no secret that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your body (and my favorite!). So it’s important to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein and whole grains to get you energized and revved up for the day ahead of you.

Ever since my 6th grade home economics class, I’ve been making myself breakfast sandwiches when I’m on the go – whether it’s before prepping for a big exam, before a busy work day, or just because it’s simply delicious. My whole family has caught on to how I make my famous “Carly McMuffin” that they now make them for themselves.

It’s a really easy recipe that can be served up in just under 10 minutes (my record is 4 minutes after a cup of coffee). Here’s what you need to make your personalized egg McMuffin:

1 English Muffin

1 slice of cheese – I choose swiss cheese

1 tomato slice

1 egg

1 slice of honey-glazed ham or 1 breakfast sausage patty

Italian seasoning

Salt

Put the english muffin in the toaster for about 3 minutes, until its crisp around the edges. While the english muffin is toasting, mix the egg and a sprinkle of the Italian seasoning and salt together in a small bowl. Then heat a frying pan up to medium high and fry the egg omelet style, folding it in half after about a minute in the pan. By now the english muffin has most likely finished toasting, take it out and set it on a plate with the slice of cheese on top of the bottom half, letting it melt. When you’re done frying the egg place it on top of the cheese. Finish off the sandwich with your slice of ham or sausage patty (which you can heat up while frying your egg), the tomato slice, and the top half of the english muffin. There you have it, your own breakfast power sandwich!

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Be sure to check out my favorite links from the week:

1.) Apparently this kid is awesome at TV interviews.

2.) Vanity Fair just released their International Best Dressed List – see who made the cut!

3.) Emma Watson on her style inspiration.

4.) Love these polka dot TOMS for Fall.

5.) Post-run yoga sequence to alleviate pain and soreness.

Scrumptious Blueberry Muffins

Nothing beats dessert for breakfast, am I right? Pastries, muffins, and any breakfast food with the slightest bit of chocolate in it is one of my biggest weaknesses. I love waking up knowing I can have a warm croissant or fresh muffin to go with my daily cup of coffee.

This weekend my parents are in town visiting and I wanted to make something easy for us to take on the road for breakfast as I’m sure we’ll be doing lots of sightseeing and fun activities throughout Boston. I’ve made these blueberry muffins in the past, courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere and they were a huge hit so I thought, why not make them again!

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The recipe itself is from Ina Garten and makes plenty of batter for at least 16 scrumptious muffins. I like to add streusel on top of mine so I used a basic brown sugar streusel topping, which can be found here.

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Be sure to put the streusel on top of the batter before placing the muffins in the oven for a crisp topping.

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I alternated between using a regular sized muffin pan and a mini muffin pan for those who wanted a bite-size portion to go with their breakfast.

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Bon appétit!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Spiced Up Shrimp Tacos

Mexican food is something I crave on a regular basis – there’s no better way to end a long day than with a cup of queso shared with friends and an ice cold margarita, especially in the summer heat! This past weekend, I was definitely feeling the craving come on and knew I would have to find an easy way to satisfy it. Being from Florida, I’m also a huge seafood fanatic, therefore when I came across this recipe for shrimp tacos with cilantro-lime sour cream, I knew it was the best of both worlds.

It’s a super easy, no mess recipe that can be fixed up quickly on even the busiest of nights. It took me about 30 minutes maximum from start to finish.

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The blend of spices mixed in with the shrimp glaze made the dish turn out top notch!

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The sliced avocado and cilantro-lime sour cream made this dish refreshing for a summer meal.

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Serve with a margarita on the rocks and you have yourself a meal!

What’s your favorite go-to Mexican dish?

Manic Mondays

I find that the weekends are never long enough. It’s as though Mondays come out of no where, catching us by surprise and placing us back into our weekly routine, which to some of us (me at least) seems like we’re switched onto autopilot performing our daily tasks almost religiously.

Mondays

On Monday mornings, nothing is more tempting than pressing the snooze button to catch another 10 minutes os Zzz’s. I always think of the popular song, “Manic Monday” by the Bangles whenever the start of a new week rolls around and I’m running around the kitchen grabbing coffee and getting everything ready for the work day. I have to remind myself twice, to just take a deep breath and relax so I don’t look like such a frazzled, out of my mind mess.

To make my transition back into the work week a bit easier, I like to find simple recipes on Pinterest for weekday dinners that I can stock up on the ingredients for over the weekend. Usually, I make just enough for dinner and one serving of leftovers to take into work the next day for lunch. It’s a double doozie! This week I was craving Chinese food and found a super easy Sweet & Sour chicken recipe courtesy of the food blog, Damn Delicious (such a great name, because that’s exactly what this recipe turned out to be).

Disclaimer: I halved the recipe to make just enough for one dinner plus one serving of leftovers.

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Cook the chicken on medium-high until it’s golden brown.

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Usually it takes about 3-4 minutes to cook all the way through.

There’s two simple parts to this recipe: cooking the chicken in an egg and corn starch batter and preparing and pouring the sweet & sour sauce over the chicken before baking it in the oven.

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Make sure to evenly disperse the sauce throughout the pan.

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After about 55 minutes the chicken should be baked to perfection.

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Serve over rice or veggies and you’ve got yourself a delicious home-cooked meal!

Cookie Monster

Anytime I’m craving sweets, my go to treat is a chewy chocolate chip cookie. In the evening, by the time I’m home from work I’m ravenous and rather than wanting a meal I find my self scouring my pantry for some chocolate or baked goods to tide me over until dinner (I’m the kind of girl who has dessert before dinner). Last week I had one of those “cookie monster” episodes, but I didn’t have any cookies…so I decided why not make a fresh batch!

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I tried a new recipe courtesy of Williams & Sonoma, and the cookies turned out wonderfully. Rather than the thick and chewy texture I usually like, these were smaller and more crisp, a nice twist to the traditional Nestle recipe I grew up using.

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All the necessities you need for 2 1/2 dozen fresh cookies.

I find it much easier to set out all the ingredients I will need before I start baking so as to avoid running around my kitchen like a chicken with my head cut off. It also reduces the risk of running into an open drawer and getting the wind knocked out of you (been there, done that!).

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Be sure to really sift the flour mixture well to make it airier, giving more lift to the cookie batter.

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Now is the time you can take a quick taste of the batter – treat yourself!

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You can always let the dough sit in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to make it firmer and easier to shape with your hands if you don’t have a cookie dough scooper, like myself.

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And…bon apetit!

For any peanut butter lovers out there, I suggest adding in 1/3 cup of peanut butter chips into the batter for a tasty treat reminiscent of a Reese’s cup!

What’s your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?

Monday Musings

This past weekend was everything I needed – from a rainy night in spent catching up on this year’s hottest movies, to exploring Harvard Square with new friends, and still managing to try a new recipe in between it all. My body and mind still aren’t used to these 40 hour work weeks, therefore by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I’m feeling like a walking zombie in need of a serious espresso shot.

After a good night’s rest, on Saturday morning I ventured back into the city, or more particularily into Cambridge, to meet up with some new friends for a late morning full of the infamous, “brunching”. Last summer in NYC, I didn’t really get a chance to fully experience the whole “brunch scene” all the New Yorkers would rave about. But if it’s anything like the mouth-watering meal I experienced at Grafton Street in Harvard Square, I sure have been missing out all this time.

photo-5I am salivating just thinking about how good this meal was!

There’s no way to do brunch without a mimosa/bloody mary in hand, so when I saw they had a “Summer Mimosa” on the menu, that was my go-to (it really did taste like summer!). The cocktail itself was enough to keep me coming back, but the food, oh man the food, SO GOOD. I ordered the Avocado Benedict, which was your traditional eggs benedict dish, but instead of bacon (I know, I know, who in their right mind would pass up bacon?) they serve it with slices of fresh avocado. If you’re ever in the area, I urge you to brunch it here.

Before saying goodbye and parting from my friends, on our way to our T stop we just so happened to pass right by a J.P Lick’s, which is Boston’s famous ice cream parlor. So of course we decided to pop in and celebrate the sunshine coming back out to play with none other than ice cream. I opted for a scoop of the peanut butter cookies ‘n cream and a scoop of the chocolate chocolate chip (when I said I really liked chocolate, I wasn’t lying). It was worth every last lick!

imageThis hit the spot.

If only the weekend could last just a little bit longer. I’m sure we’re all experiencing a case of the oh-so-dreadful Monday’s, so to keep you going I wanted to share some of my favorite links with you:

1.) For all you Florida Crackers out there, this map is spot on!

2.) Every thing about this lip synch battle is great, from Emma’s mad skills to her posh outfit.

3.) The most delicious lemonade recipe for an afternoon porch session.

4.) This makes me miss my summer days spent roaming NYC.

5.) These photos will make you think twice about humanity – love this!

6.) I watched this video a couple of weeks ago and have been trying to live by it ever since.

7.) This is a great interview for all of my fellow recent grads out there kickstarting their careers.

8.) Loving this new Kate Spade bag.

Have a great week!