Archive for March, 2011

March 31, 2011

Food: Lemon Garlic Chicken

Have I mentioned that I love roasted chicken? Well, I do. I think I could have it every night..well, maybe.

I joke with Mr. A when he asks me, ‘what’s for dinner?’

I always say ‘roasted chicken’.

Ha. I laugh. He isn’t too impressed. I usually have to follow that statement with, ‘seriously, we are having roasted chicken’. This isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke.

So, here is a twist on roast chicken. Lemon Garlic Chicken. This is inspired from my friend, Katie. She sent me a ‘look what I made last night for dinner’ email. She of course sent me the link to Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken recipe. Let me just say, that this is delicious.

I, of course had to stray from the recipe and add a few of my own touches. Here is my version of Lemon Garlic Chicken.

Lemon Garlic Chicken


  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.

1. Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1-2 minutes but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 X 12-inch baking dish.

2. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan liquid. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Place remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in pan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.


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March 30, 2011

Life Lesson: Intelligence.

Kindness and hard work will take you further than intelligence.

March 29, 2011

Food: Sundried Tomato stuffed chicken breast.

Remember when I posted the Almond Pesto recipe? Yep, it was posted way back last week.

This is what I used it with. Spring on a plate.

It was a winner. Mr. A approved with a helping of seconds.

This was super quick since the pesto was already made and the ‘filling’ takes 30 seconds to make. But I don’t tell anyone that. Well, wait I just did. Oh well. Go make this!


  • 2 medium-sized bone in chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs*
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. On a roasted pan with drizzled olive oil, place chicken breasts. Make a pocket in between the skin and the breast meat – using two fingers separate the skin from the meat. Place half the sundried tomatoes under the skin. Move around so that the tomatoes are flattened and not bunched together and cover most of the breast under the skin. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of breasts and liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on top of oil and breasts. Place in oven and cook for 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, I cooked some pasta and thawed some almond pesto. Mixed together with a little pasta water and serve alongside the chicken! Enjoy!

*optional: since we were having garlic bread and Mr. A had requested Chicken Parmesan, I decided to mix together 1/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs, garlic and melted butter together. When there was 10 minutes of cooking left, I put this mixture on top of each chicken breast – more bread crumbs for Mr. A. That’s my dish in the picture.

March 28, 2011

Life Lesson: Sun and screen.

Wear sunscreen. Your youthful skin is so precious. Being tan is over-rated. I am finally realizing this.

March 28, 2011

Thought/Food: Seeds + Dirt + Sun + Water.

With Spring springing around these parts, I planted some seeds.

And look what is already growing. Not even 4 days past and look what is already popping up. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to see something so little and so green come out of dirt.

I planted tomatoes, onions, rosemary, thyme, basil (tons of basil), jalapeños, arugula and carrots. More veggies will be added..I have a tendency to go overboard.

We are building a raised bed this year- in an area of our yard where the grass just wouldn’t grow. So fingers crossed that my little city garden will thrive. We have had our ‘garden’ in 35 pots – time for a grown up garden!

March 25, 2011

Love: Spring time at SL.

Spring has sprung at Sensible Lessons.

See, spring has started to spring.

Brown is turning green.

Life is now showing that it has survived our winter.

I can’t wait to have my sunroof open. To open our window’s in our house. To eat on our patio without a down jacket. Ah, the wonders of warmer weather.

Has spring sprung at your house?

March 25, 2011

Friday Thought: Motivate.

Motivation comes in short bursts.  Act while it’s hot.


March 24, 2011

Food: Homemade Basil Pesto with Almonds.

So this pesto was made last year. Doesn’t it look so fresh? I have a few secrets, that I’ll share with you.

First, use tons of fresh basil. If it’s from your garden, even better.

Second, line an ice tray with plastic wrap. Put spoon-fulls of pesto in each ice-cube spot. Cover with plastic wrap. When they are frozen, put all the cute little pockets of pesto in a zip lock bag. Grab the ‘ice’ when you need them.

Lastly, don’t mix in the cheese until you are ready to use it. Cheese and fresh pesto = not so good pesto.

So the ice tray trick is great. Now you don’t have to thaw a whole batch of pesto and only use a tablespoon and then throw it back into the freezer. Genius, I know.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian cookbook is great for the basics. I use her pesto recipe but change it a bit.


  • 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup raw or roasted almonds – no salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • About 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

*note, there isn’t a lot of salt added, because the Parmesan that you will add later is salty to the max.

1. In a blender or Cuisinart, pulse the basil, almonds, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped.

2. With the blender/Cuisinart on, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth thick consistency.

3. And you are done. Add to plastic lined ice trays or put into a bowl for 2 days, covered in the refrigerator.

*Remember to add 1/2 freshly grate Parmesan cheese when you are ready to use.

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March 23, 2011

Life Lesson: Giving.

Give blood. Even if you think you will faint. It is important.

March 22, 2011

Food: Mint Milano Cookies

First of all, I have to give a shout out to Jenna from Eat, Live, Run for this recipe. These are awesome.

The second (or maybe a few seconds) after I saw them on her blog, I knew I had to get baking.

I really love Milano cookies. And the mint ones are just over the top. I used semisweet chocolate for half the cookies and white chocolate for the other half – both with mint flavoring.

*I don’t think I put enough chocolate on mine – next time I’ll be sure to coat them real well!


  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup good quality semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup good quality white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (x2)

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Cream together the softened butter and sugar either using an electric mixer (about 2-3 minutes). Add the flour, salt and vanilla and mix until a soft dough comes together into a ball.

2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

3. After chilling, roll dough into a log and gently slice 1/2-inch cookies. Place cookies on a lined cookie tray and bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.

4. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

5. Melt the chocolates separately in a glass dish in the microwave during 25 second intervals, stirring well after each. When chocolate is smooth, add mint extract and mix well.

6. Slather melted chocolate on one cookie and then sandwich another cookie on top. Repeat until all cookies are sandwiched together. Let cool for a few minutes until chocolate hardens. Store in a sealed Tupperware container – if you don’t eat them all first! Enjoy!!!

Thanks again Jenna!

March 21, 2011

Life Lesson: Parks.

Visit National Parks. Explore what they have to offer. All the untouched ground waiting to be explored.

March 18, 2011

Thoughts: Friday Funny.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

Have a great weekend!

And don’t forget to ‘like’ Sensible Lessons on Facebook!

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