Talk about an insane week. It all started when I received a phone call telling me that my house fell victim to a crazy leaking toilet. I'm referring to the house in Hanska, our favorite house, the one we really love. So, Claud told me he needed to get up there quickly to assess the damage. I would hold down the fort here in Vegas. The next day, my mom tells me, "Don't worry. You send the kids to me in California and go with him."
Before I could catch my breath, it was the night before our flight. My cousin Alex was in town visiting. I cooked us a meal and we all stayed up late talking and drinking wine. Claud and I had to be up and ready at 7 a.m. for our taxi to the airport. I woke up and had a mini-nervous break down. My first problem was my wine headache. Then, I started worrying about the kids. I thought they would really miss me. I knew I would really miss them. Finally, I did not want to get onto that plane. I was really nervous. I don't like to fly at the best of times. Usually, I have loads of time to prepare. I work myself up to the courage to board the plane.
Claud was rushing around getting the last few things ready and I didn't get out of bed. I pulled the covers up to just below my eyes and peered out like a frightened child. Claud finally called around the house looking for me.
Chicken breasts stuffed with mozzarella and roasted red peppers, roasted squash and potatoes and salad with homemade dressing
Layering the ingredients onto the pounded chicken breast
Poaching the rolled, stuffed chicken breasts
"I'm here," I whimpered just loud enough for him to barely hear me.
"What are you doing?" he said with just a bit too much disgust for my liking.
"I don't think I'm going." Well, to make a long story short, he bullied me into it.
Stuffed chicken breast with roasted red peppers and mozzarella
Time: 35 minutes
6 chicken breasts
1 jar roasted red peppers
3 ounces mozzarella cheese
6 leaves fresh basil
3 teaspoons Emerill's Essence
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Boil water in a large pot. Cut six 12-inch pieces of plastic wrap. Cut another piece twice as long. In the longer piece, place one chicken breast. Cover the chicken breast with the other half of the wrap. Pound the chicken breast until it is thin (about 1/2 inch thick). Take it out of the wrap and place it into another piece of plastic wrap. Top it with the peppers, mozzarella, basil and seasoning. Roll it up and tightly cover it in the plastic wrap. Repeat with the other five pieces of chicken. Gently place these into the boiling water. Cook for about 10-15 minutes. Take one out and check that it is cooked thoroughly. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut the tube shape into slices. They will look like a pinwheel. Cover with sauce (recipe to follow).
White wine and caper sauce
2 tablespoons butter
(or non-butter substitute)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons capers
Melt the butter over medium high heat. Add onions. Saut onions for ten minutes. Add the wine and capers. Cook for another ten minutes.
I have been thanking Claud every day since. We arrived and went straight to the Grothem's for an amazing grill out. The following night, we ate a fabulous dinner at the Sarkar's house. We ate impeccable food at George's in New Ulm. We had a magnificent dinner at Neighbor's in Mankato. On another night, we ate a pretty good pizza at The Muni in Hanska. We visited with so many friends. Oh, the house? The house is doing OK. We stopped the leaking, cleaned out the water and stopped the damage from getting worse. It's a short-term fix for now. The important thing here is that a somewhat bad situation (the house leaking and my having to fly), lead to great circumstances involving many friends and tons of delicious food.
Oh, by the way, the kids did not miss me one bit. They barely even called. I am happy they had fun. Claud and I drove back to Las Vegas. I know what you are thinkingit's not because I'm a wimp. We drove back so we could bring a few things with us. Our trip back was like a second honeymoon. We know this trip like the back of our hand. I don't even know how many times we have driven it. It's a lot. By now, we know where to stay and what to eat. I am going to put up a post on my blog and on my Facebook fan page with the food pictures from the road trip. We ate crab in North Platte, Neb. We went to a rodeo and Claud flew in a helicopter. In Glenwood Springs, Colo., we spent time in the natural vapor caves, bathed in the hot springs and had massages. Then, we dined on oysters, goat cheese salad, and a lobster roll.
Boy, am I glad I went with Claud that morning. It was all so totally worth it. I know I would have been kicking myself if I hadn't done it. Well, the dinner party that got the whole thing kicked off was pretty tasty. I like to cook something special when my cousin Alex comes over.
This time, I stuffed chicken breasts with roasted red peppers, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. I made a sauce with capers, white wine and onions. I also made a salad with jicama and a homemade balsamic and olive oil dressing. I served all of this with a side of roasted potatoes and squash. I'll skip opening that last bottle of wine next time if I have to get up early for a flight. I'll always do my best to conquer my fears no matter what the circumstances. Thank goodness I have an amazing husband who helps me to do this.