February 25, 2011


For those of you keeping track, Steve had another surveillance checkup this week.

I am happy to report that the results came back clean!

We are so thankful.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Sent from my iPhone

February 23, 2011

Snowshoeing in Park Point

During our blessed warm spell, Steve and I grabbed our snowshoes and headed out to Park Point...the spot that we spent most of our summer months grilling, walking the beach, swimming (when Lake Superior permitted it) and sitting around a fire.

The winter looked a little different on The Point...

 Hi handsome.

With all of Kempton's surgeries and the restrictions on his exercise, plus the physical therapy 3+ times per day we haven't had a chance to get away much this winter. It was nice to get outside in the fresh air (even if it was only for a couple of hours) on a gorgeous day.

February 20, 2011

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and Kempton Update

Kempton had his second surgery last Wednesday.

I picked him up from the vet on Friday at noon.

Much like his 1st surgery, he was really whiny and obviously in pain.

This time seems to be worse than the first time though.

The whining has lasted a lot longer (or at least it seems that way), his incision looks scarier, has more bruising around it, and seems more swollen.

The surgeon said that we need to take things even slower this time around because he will take longer to heal.

The good news is that I have managed to keep his cone on this time, so hopefully his incision will heal a lot faster, with less scarring.

Hopefully he will start feeling better soon - I will keep you posted!

I mentioned in my last post that last week we were blessed with some warm, sunny, spring-like days.

One of the nights we had a fire on the deck and ate BBQ chicken and coleslaw.

It was wonderful and made me anxious for spring.

Today it is freezing cold, with 40 mile per hour winds and snow.

Mother nature is such a tease.


I had one leftover chicken breast, and a little bit of coleslaw, so I made this sandwich.

It is modeled after my Pulled Pork sandwiches, with the addition of pepperjack cheese.

Holy delicious, Batman.

Here's the food porn:

If you don't already have a grilled BBQ chicken breast, you could substitute rotisserie chicken or just regular chicken breast instead.

As usual - check out the printable recipe at the very bottom of the post for a photo-and-rant-free version.

Yeah, baby.

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (makes 2 sandwiches)
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled
  • 2 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 2/3 cup of creamy coleslaw
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ Sauce
  • 2 ounces pepperjack cheese, sliced
  • 2 medium sized dill pickles, sliced thinly
Cut each bun in half, place cut side up on piece of aluminum foil on rack in oven. Turn the broiler on low and leave the oven door cracked. Check frequently (don't walk away). When buns start to get crispy, add pepper jack cheese to the bottom halves of the buns. Continue to broil with the door cracked until the cheese is starting to melt and the buns are getting slightly brown.

Slice the chicken breast thinly (warm it up if it's not warm already). Divide the chicken in half between the 2 buns.

Top each with 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce, 1 pickle and 1/3 cup of coleslaw.


Printable Recipe

Recipe Revamp: Pasta with Lemon, Basil and Grilled Chicken

Last week, we were given a gift in the middle of a long, cold, snowy winter - 5 days of warm, spring-like temperatures.

It was even sunny a couple of the days.

We just had to break out the grill.

I had a craving for this light, lemony pasta with grilled chicken. I hadn't made it since last summer.

There were three of us.

I made enough for 6.

There were no leftovers.

Enough said.

Here is the link to the original recipe post from last August:

Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon, Basil and Grilled Chicken

I added cherry tomatoes that I had on hand that needed to get used.

I also noticed that this time the lemons made a lot more juice...they must have been perfectly ripe. This just means that I had more sauce this time and was able to use just over a half of a package of pasta.

I added some salt and pepper, and a little more basil and white wine to the dish as well.

It was so good and absolutely perfect to break up the winter blahs.

Take a look:


Pasta with Lemon, Basil and Grilled Chicken (serves 6)

For the chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a zip top bag and let marinade for at least one hour.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

Cook chicken indirectly until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Once cool, cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

For the pasta:

  • 1/2 package of angel hair pasta (about .5 pounds)
  • 4 lemons, juiced (remove any seeds that fall into the juice)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed, then cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup of basil, julienned
  • 2/3 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
Cook pasta according to package directions.

Melt butter in the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat, saute garlic and asparagus until asparagus is crisp-tender.

Add wine and tomatoes, cook for another minute.

Stir in  lemon juice, olive oil and basil.

Add cooked pasta (half at a time, to make sure you have enough sauce...I had more than enough), cooked chicken, and Parm cheese. Toss to combine.

Garnish with extra basil leaves and Parm cheese.


Printable Recipe

February 15, 2011

Pasta with Italian Sausage, Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Roasted Red Pepper

For superbowl this year, I made these appetizers:

Antipasto Sausage Skewers

One of the parties we went to had a theme of "Food on a Stick", and I immediately thought of these delightful little skewers that I saw a while back.

I made a double batch because we had two parties to go to, and well, obviously.

Fortunately, I had over a dozen skewers left over (no room for antipasto skewers when there is Buffalo Chicken Dip at the party!!!), and my friend Gina recommended that I use them to make pasta.


The pasta turned out delightful, and the flavors were amazing.

Steve bought the Italian sausage links from the meat counter at my favorite grocery store, and we grilled them before cutting them into bite sized pieces. It gave the meat a wonderful smokey flavor and I would highly recommend grilling them, although you could get away with cooking them in a pan as well.

I used red wine because that's what I had open, but you could use white instead.

This was super easy because I already had everything cut up and prepped, but I wrote the recipe as if you were starting from the beginning - it is a lot of prep work, but would totally be worth it.

Try this, soon.

That's an order.

Please excuse the pictures...it's very dark in Northern Minnesota in February...

Pasta with Italian Sausage, Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Roasted Red Peppers (serves 6)

  • 8 oz Italian Sausage links, grilled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups of artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 2 cups of sun-dried tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups of roasted red peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 1 cup of dry wine (white or red)
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 12 ounces of your favorite pasta (I would recommend short pasta like penne)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

In a large pan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic until tender.

Deglaze the pan with wine, cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add sausage, artichokes, tomatoes with all the juices, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers and basil. Heat through.

Toss in the pasta, top with the Parmesan cheese.


Printable Recipe

February 11, 2011

Holy Crap

I'm sorry!

I have been an absent, neglectful, terrible blog parent.

I started a new job last week (which I don't have to wear business suits to everyday, by the way...I originally thought I would have to, but thankfully I don't).

It is going really well, but my brain feels like it could possibly leak out of my ears.


I am working 5 days a week now (as opposed to 4), and even though working Fridays is highly overrated, they do bring us donuts and make us popcorn every Friday, so that is some consolation.

And another reason that my ass is growing wider. But that is a story for another time!

I haven't been cooking a ton, but I do have a few recipes to post as soon as I can get the pics uploaded and string together a coherent thought.

In the meantime, I am drinking a beer and pleading with you to forgive my absence.

I promise I will do better.

Forgive me?

Not yet?

Well, then in other news...

Kempton has to have another surgery.

Our vet (the surgeon that did his first surgery) thinks that he tore some of the filament that she put in his knee.

This sucks for several reasons:

1. He has been in pain for a very long time, and it was suppose to be fixed by now, but it is not.

2. It is expensive.

3. I will have to start over with his physical therapy. This means icing the knee and doing massage and range-of-motion exercises up to 5 times a day.

4. It is expensive.

5. This winter has already been a total bust because Kempton has been so limited that we haven't been able to do the outdoor activities that we like to do. And he hasn't been able to have any of his doggy friends over. And now it looks like it will be another 2 - 3 months before we can do anything fun with him.

6. Steve doesn't think we should do it. He won't say the words "put him to sleep", but I know that is what he is thinking. He has only had kennel dogs (aka - dogs that don't get their own stocking at Christmas, get to sleep on the furniture, have their run of the house or have thousands of dollars worth of vet bills), so  he doesn't quite understand. I mostly just cry every time we talk about it, and he just tells me that it is my decision and he will support me regardless.

7. It is expensive.

Now do you forgive me for not posting in almost 2 weeks?

Thank you.