Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Simple, Delicious, and Impressive

Howdy friends!  I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start.  I’m excited about today.  Even though I have to go to have my yearly “girly” doctor appointment, we have some fun stuff planned.  Playgroup is this afternoon, then Scott and I are taking salsa lessons at our club with our good friends as well.  The lessons start out with an hour of “happy hour” first.  I love that they know that most men, including my husband, need a cocktail (or two), to loosen up a little for dancing.  I LOVE to dance, so I’m in my element here. 

But, enough about that…on to the food.   This is an elegant, and simple dinner we had with friends this past weekend.  It is so basic that it seems almost silly to post, but sometimes getting back to the basics is a good thing. 

It all started with this…


A very nice syrah that our friends shared with us. Luscious and smooth, with hints of vanilla, it was everything I’d want in a syrah.  Look at how cute it is labeled.  From their wedding in Napa.  I think I may steal that idea to remember special wines. 

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Dinner was a lovely bowtie pasta with grilled eggplant, green and red bell peppers, and zucchini.  Simply dressed with fresh lemon juice, freshly grated parmesan, olive oil and salt and crushed red pepper.  Fresh, light, and flavorful was what kept going through my head as I was savoring it. 


And let’s not forget these perfectly grilled organic chicken breasts.  Sarah had marinated these bad boys in some lemon, crushed red pepper, cilantro and worcestershire sauce.  I’m usually not a big fan of grilled chicken breasts, but the key is a good long marinade and not overcooking.  This prevents the dry, “diet food” taste that I remember chicken tasting like.  These were moist, a little spicy, and just the right amount of savory unami taste. 

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What is your favorite recipe or preparation for chicken breasts? 

Do you like to dance?  Have you ever taken salsa or ballroom dancing lessons? 


  1. THe secret to perfectly cooked chicken breasts is to pound then so they are the same thickness all around. They cook faster and more evenly that way. :) Those chicken breasts look delicious!

  2. I am soo jealous your husband is taking salsa lessons with you. My boyfriends says absolutely not. Any ideas on how I can get him to commit? I used to dance when I was little and really want to get back into, especially with a partner!
    Your dinner party looks like alot of fun! Love how they labeled the wine.

  3. I meant boyfriend! I only have one hehe

  4. Everything looks so delish!!! :)

  5. I can't wait to hear about your salsa lessons, that sounds like such a blast!

  6. A friend just took some dancing lessons and it is something I'd like to do!
    That pasta and chicken sound great - I love it when simple foods are SO delicious!

  7. The older I get, the simpler the meals get when we have guests. I have found that simple is often the best. The pasta and chicken look really good. I usually marinate chicken breast in lemon juice and herbs and then grill it. And you are right, the secret is to not overcook it...

    Have fun dancing tonight! I haven't danced in years. But maybe that's something hubby and I should look into... Would be fun...

  8. can you believe i've never cooked chicken in my life? i was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for years, now i'm a pescetarian. as you see, my culinary knowledge is limited :)

    dance class? don't wanna know. i took one hip-hop class (just for fun) and i was like a deer in headlights :p

  9. Well hello:)

    That pasta dish looks AMAZING! Lemon simple and yet I don't know why I haven't thought of it!!!! I just squeezed some on my veggies i'm having for luch today...thanks:):)

    I haven't taken dance lessons...but would love to! I think it would be a blast:):)

  10. Oh YUM!! WOW. Yum.

    And I have taken dance lessons (before our wedding) and I loved 'em! So much fun :)

  11. yummy, I'm liking syrahs more and more these days. Favorite chicken dish....I like basalmic glazed chicken and mushrooms. ;)
    I took salsa once, it was so fun!