Chicken Piccata

When I lived in downtown Des Moines after college, I loved stopping in all the little shops near my apartment in the East Village. One of my favorites was Kitchen Collage, a little store chockfull of colorful kitchen gadgets, dinnerware, and all of those gleaming big-ticket cookware and kitchen electronics that someone with my budget can only dream about.

I still get the store's email newsletter, and it's one of the best food-related newsletters I get. I actually save all of the back issues in my Recipe folder in my email and browse through them when I'm looking for cooking inspiration. Each issue focuses on a theme and includes tons of really useful information, plus terrific recipes from some of the cookbooks they sell in the store.

The most recent newsletter, for instance, is all about lemons. It includes information on how to choose lemons, the parts of a lemon, different kinds of lemons, the pH of a lemon, the proper way to zest and juice a lemon, and more. Then it goes into the recipes ... a lemony chevre appetizer, preserved lemons and greens with lemon-honey vinaigrette, the perfect lemon tart, shortbread and lemon curd bars, and chicken piccata.

I made that last one for dinner the other night. And despite the fact I was out of white wine (the horror!) and forgot the capers (silly me), it was darn good. I'd make it again. Here's the recipe, in case you're in the mood for something lemony yourself.


Play Time

Now that I've started back to work (though not full-time ... yet), the weekend mornings have become incredibly important. They're the only time all week when our whole family is together and not incredibly worn out. (Let's just say that 6 p.m. most days is not always the happiest time around our house.)

Weekend mornings are the best time to play.

Last Sunday, all my boys sprawled out on the floor together. Butter has been a bit timid around our new little guy, but with Conservative Hubby next to him he was ready to join in on the fun.

I'm looking forward to more playtime like this tomorrow.


Sweet Apple Triangles

I made these sweet apple triangles one day last week while little man snoozed away in his swing.

As usual, this distracted momma didn't quite get things right. In this instance, I made three key mistakes:

1. I used unsweetened applesauce, so my apple triangles weren't all that sweet. They weren't bad with the unsweetened version, but they didn't have quite enough sugar.

2. I didn't keep the phyllo pastry damp enough, so it got a little difficult to work with at the end.

3. I didn't eat all of the sweet apple triangles the same day I made them.

That last one might seem like a typo. You're probably thinking, "Um, Julie? Isn't it a good thing that you didn't eat the entire batch in one day?"

I guess. If you're into healthy eating and moderation and all. But these little guys got awfully soggy by the next day, which is why I've come to the conclusion they're best eaten the day they're made. And so by not eating all of the sweet apple triangles the day I made them, I made mistake number three.

If you want a fun little sweet treat, though. I'd recommend making these babies. Just make sure you take note of my mistakes.

Interested in the recipe? You can find it over at Oh Joy! by clicking here.


Eggplant and Sausage Lasagna

Eating has become a bit of a challenge for me as of late. It appears that the little guy has a sensitivity to some of the foods I eat. Although I don't think he'll ultimately end up being sensitive to everything current on my no-eat list (odds are, dairy is the main culprit), right now I'm trying as hard as I can to avoid dairy (no cheese! no butter! noooooo!), spicy foods, beans, peanut butter, eggs, and chocolate. I'm sure I forgot something, but as you can see it's quite a list to keep track of. (Not to mention the fact it includes pretty much all my favorite foods ...)

Needless to say, eating is more of a challenge now. 

Since most Italian dishes, particularly lasagna, are loaded with dairy, I was excited when one of my dear friends scrounged up a recipe for Rustic Bread & Eggplant Lasagna, which is sans dairy. 

We made it when she came into town to meet Collin, and it turned out to be quite delicious. (We improvised and added sausage, too, so Conservative Hubby would be willing to eat the leftovers—it was a good choice, as it added some great flavor.)

In case you're interested, here's the recipe.