Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Final Dinner in Minnesota

As hard as it is to leave the crisp fall mornings and return to temperatures in the triple digits, it feels good to be home.  I think 9 days away is a lot with a 14 month old.  Of course, now we need to restock the kitchen, do some laundry, and work on getting back into the normal nap schedule.  But first, here is the dinner we made our last night in Minnesota.

Scott grilled some fresh, local eggplant and the last of the zucchini from my mom’s garden.  Great job on the perfect grill marks Scott! 


While Scott was manning the grill, I was in the kitchen making a recipe my mom had picked out that morning.  This is also from the September issue of Cooking Light magazine.  (I had left it on the counter after making the scallop recipe and she flipped through it and found this one.)  I made a couple of substitutions and forgot to add the fresh thyme.


Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts (adapted from Cooking Light)

5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted  (we didn’t have, so I used capers)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Place spinach in a colander; press until barely moist. Wipe pan clean.

3. Combine spinach, cheese, nuts, thyme, juice, and garlic. Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 3 tablespoons filling into each pocket. Seal with wooden picks. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

4. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until brown. Add broth, and cover pan. Place pan in oven. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until done.

We also roasted some local butternut squash. 


And enjoyed with a lovely crisp Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio blend.  This was an excellent accompaniment to the meal and perfect for the unseasonable warm Minnesota evening. 


This meal was a success!  Normally not a big fan of chicken breasts, I found this moist and flavorful.  My parents loved it ~which is a score for me.  Usually we have very different tastes in foods, which has also been somewhat challenging with cooking this week.  Does anyone else have this problem when staying with family?  My parents eat very typical midwest “meat and potatoes.”  In fact, unless I was cooking or adding to the meal, there was very little colorful vegetables.  I take for granted that my friends and food bloggers are more adventurous in tastes and willingness to try new things. 

What do you do when you are with non adventurous eaters?  How does it effect your cooking and eating?


  1. I try to make a "safe" dish and one more adventurous so they will at least try it. My family is very meat and potatoes.

  2. That chicken sounds amazing!!!
    My parents will eat anything, but my BF's parents are coming to town this weekend and they also enjoy the meat & potatoes but are also on the atkins diet so it has been interesting finding restaurants :)

  3. I usually "know my crowd" before they come over so I cater to their likes but always have something a little different to try. I feel like I need to make someone try stuff at least once whether they like it or not. :)