Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Showers

"Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel...things are gonna work out fine if you only will"...--oh, the soothing voice of James Taylor!  How true these lyrics are!!!  Especially the "things are gonna work out fine" part, as we just come off the heels of "TAX DAY"!

I stop at a stand-still at times when I hear Sophia laughing at something she finds very funny -- her laughter is infectious, and my first thought is that "she is going to be a great friend."  I know the belly-aching laughs that my friends and I share and have shared over the years, and these are true moments of happiness.  As I watch Sophia grow, I know that I will often be reflecting back to the times my friends and I rolled on the floor with giggles that lasted for minutes on end..."Hello, Ms. Prata, can I just say "Wash and Wear haircut?"; or Heid, "The blue boat and radiator fluid?"; or Lor, a certain Ms. Holls with squinty eyes and padlocks on the fridge?"; or Goona, "The famous drive-thru at McDonalds?"; or Madi, "Why don't you put on your Nikes and get on your bike..." Oh, the inside jokes and memories that never lose their luster...

Three of my dear girlfriends have birthdays in the month of April, and one of them is actually on tax day, so April is a special and heart-warming month for me. I love my friends, and I hope to always shower them with love. So, here is a wonderful recipe to share with you all in honor of the girls who keep me laughing, who authored so many hilarious memories, and who know more about me than I do myself at times.

From "Cooking Light" magazine:

"Balsamic Chicken Breasts with Roasted Tomatoes"

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
Balsamic vinaigrette salad spritzer (such as Wish-Bone)

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; place tomato mixture on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until tomato skins burst and begin to wrinkle, stirring once. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl, scraping juices into bowl. Stir 1/4 teaspoon salt into tomato mixture.

3. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Place chicken on individual plates; coat each breast half with 2 to 3 sprays of balsamic spritzer. Spoon tomatoes evenly over chicken.

--I served this with orzo pasta tossed with sauteed zucchini as the magazine suggested.


There is nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends." -- Hillaire Belloc

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