Saturday, July 7, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane

In my previous life, prior to entering the fast-paced and highly profitable world of food blogging (pause for laughter), I did in-home parties selling baskets and pottery. I loved doing the shows but dreaded making phone calls to book the shows. I hate rejection (who loves it?) and any kind of a "no" felt like rejection. Even the "I'd love to but my house just burnt to the ground and we're living in a tent on the beach so there's no room to have a show" excuse felt like rejection.

Some people, trying to be nice, would go for the delay. "Oh, gosh, I really want to, but the kids are so busy with school and sports and lessons that I just don't have time. For sure call me when school gets out." After years of hearing this, I've learned. Life never gets less busy. It stays as busy as we choose. Those same people when I call them 5 minutes after the closing school bell has rung already have their kids in day camp, soccer camp, and art camp, have out of town visitors scheduled and their two vacations already scheduled. And they say, "Oh, gosh, I really want to, but we're so busy. Life will calm down when the kids are in school. Call me then."

Life is hectic but one constant is that people need to eat. And if you have teenagers, you know they need to eat constantly. Having a good, quick supper in your repertoire can save you time, money (no nasty grab-a-burger-at-the-drive-through-on-the-way-to-the-swim-meet), and your sanity.

This salad is beautiful, delicious, quick, and easy. The lemon gives a bright contrast to the pasta, the broccoli makes you feel healthy, and the chicken says it's a meal. Of course, a vegetarian can omit the chicken and it's still delicious.

Broccoli, Chicken, & Bow Ties
(modified from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)

8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 lb farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1 whole chicken breast, or 1 large 1/2 breast
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. good olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

To toast the pignollis, place them in a dry saute pan over meium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5 minutes, until light brown.

Cut the chicken into strips on the diagonal. Place the chicken in a skillet and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover, turn down the heat, and let simmer till chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Don't overcook, or your chicken will be rubbbery.

Cook the broccoli for 3 minuts in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. satl, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss Well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese and serve.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sounds good, looks good. I might cook my pasta and add the broccoli for the last 3 minutes of it's cooking. Eliminate a step, think it would work?

Cookie baker Lynn said...

My Kitchen in Half Cups - I think that would work splendidly! Way to streamline!

Anonymous said...

Reporting back regarding your banana bread recipe I made earlier this week. It was delicious! Can't say that my higher fat recipes are better tasting so think I will switch to using yours. So thank you for sharing on your blog!
Like this recipe featured here too. I love broccoli with lemon in anything... well almost, probably not liver!

ayseyaman said...

Hi Lynn,
your post is totally right for me. "Life never gets less busy" :)
Also your meal looks nice and fresh with broccoli. I like chicken and pasta, too.
Thanks for sharing!

BugnLVoe said...

So that explains all the Longaberger in your pictures... :-)

Do you still buy them?

thecoffeesnob said...

Wow, this looks and sounds great. I'll definitely be giving this a go soon. Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

This looks so yummy and pretty at the same time. I would like to try your dish but I have to find something to replace broccoli since Mr doesn't like it at all.

Lady Di said...

Chortle, snort, guffaw, giggle. Oh, you are so right! Rejection sucks and people are always as busy as they choose.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Melinda - So glad the recipe worked out for you. I'm with you on liver. Ugh!

Ayseyaman - Thanks for stopping by!

Jackie- I usually only buy to replace something that broke. My house is full!

The Coffee Snob - You're welcome!

The Cooking Ninja - Snow peas?

Diane - Yes, I thought you'd understand. :-)

WokandSpoon said...

Yum! That really looks like a healthy hearty meal! I'm a recovering fussy-eater and don't eat chicken yet (I'm working my way up to it!) so I'd probably use tuna instead of chicken! One day...I will use chicken ;-)

Anonymous said...

Simple and delicious!! A great summer night dish.

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this post... in more ways than one.
My background is recruiting which required a lot of cold calling. I hated even listening to messages back from people because of the risk of rejection.

This looks like a fantastic meal!

Erica said...

I made this tonight and it was incredible! I posted your recipe on my blog with a link to your post (hope you don't mind!!) thank you for your AMAZING blog!