pan-fried chicken Milanese, a family-friendly recipe from “The Fresh 20” by Melissa Lanz

Chicken Milanese

THE THING ABOUT COOKING DINNER IS, the whole process can get complicated. Even daunting. What to make, when to get to the store, what to do with the rest of that huge bag of kale… One of the things that I’m enjoying about Melissa Lanz’s book, “The Fresh 20” (which you have an opportunity to… 

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roasted sweet potatoes and chicken with quinoa in mustard sauce

roasted sweet potatoes with chicken and quinoa

WE’RE PASTA PEOPLE, and I’ll bet any family with small kids will say the same. But when it comes to other fluffy fillers, rice is always an easy sell around here. Barley is not. Millet has a so-so track record (good in muffins, not great as a dish). And that pretty much exhausts the options that were available to… 

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Sausage & spinach with raisins, pine nuts & rice

sausage, spinach and rice

THIS ONE STARTED WITH BUDDY. Do you know the Cake Boss? I’m sure you do but I didn’t. In Rome, we have a bit of American TV but it’s a small selection and always a bit behind. Anyway, it appears that in the time I’ve been away from the States, one Buddy Valastro has become… 

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Sausage & sour cream pasta with peas…a Stroganoff-ish dinner idea

Stroganoff pasta in the pan

We’re on “vacation” this week, on the southern coast of Italy. It’s our first trip with all three rascals so I’m out of the kitchen. So far, I’d say everything is gorgeous and exhausting, sometimes both at once. Meanwhile, I saved up a couple of fresh ideas to post while we’re gone. Be back soon…trust… 

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Grilled lemon chicken with buttered green beans

grilled lemon chicken

THIS WAS A CHILDHOOD FAVORITE OF MINE. Sort of. The 1980s version involved a bottle of lemon juice and a skillet, and I loved it. Now I use the grill pan and a real lemon, but the idea is the same. Marinated chicken is juicy and flavorful, just as perfect for a fresh summer dinner… 

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Pork & pineapple skewers with fresh green beans

pork and pineapple kebabs

IF YOU’RE FROM THE WEST COAST, YOU EAT HAWAIIAN PIZZA. If you’re not, you think it’s weird. Happily, I fall into the former category. In the small town where I grew up in Washington state, we had one pizza place, Rome Pizza. And the only pie my family ever ordered was Canadian bacon and pineapple…. 

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Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tex-Mex

Slow cooker chicken tex-mex

WHEN IT’S HOT, HOT, HOT outside, the last thing I want is to be inside cooking dinner beside an even hotter stove. Enter the slow cooker. I used to hate this thing, mostly because I could never find a recipe that worked without a package of onion soup mix. But this chicken recipe turned out to… 

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no-cook dinner: antipasto with ham, cheese, breadsticks, melon and more…

proscutto e melone

IT’S BEEN OVER 90 DEGREES EVERY DAY in Rome for weeks. This is a normal summer in Italy but that doesn’t mean we’re not melting! Particularly those of us from the Pacific Northwest where it simply doesn’t do this. Ever. My Floridian husband, however, is soaking up the sun, humidity and all the heat for… 

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Sausage rolls…pigs in a blanket all grown up

sausage rolls how-to

I MAKE THESE EVERY TIME I HAVE A PARTY. Everyone loves them. So, when I saw Jamie Oliver make something similar for his family, I broke out one of my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes. Trying to make it a little healthier, this is sausage with puff pastry after all, I added protein-rich white beans that… 

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Chicken Mirabella: chicken with olives & prunes

Chicken mirabella

I HAVE NEVER ACTUALLY MADE THIS RECIPE CORRECTLY, UNTIL NOW. Not that the recipe is complicated; I’ve simply had a hard time following directions. Sleep deprivation? (And what will I blame in the future when I actually do get to sleep again? I am going to sleep again, right?)  


Mini turkey burgers with rosemary plus the secret to great roasted veggies

Mini turkey burgers

I WAS ON MY OWN for dinner the other night with the kids, so I knew it had to be good. Wary of my two-highchairs-to-one-adult ratio, this wasn’t the time to experiment with exotic flavors. In times like these (or when I’m so tired that I might tip over, not unlike a giant Weeble Wobble… 

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Turkey sausage meatballs and easy pasta with peas

Turkey sausage meatballs with easy pasta and peas

WE’VE JUST RETURNED FROM A THREE-WEEK TRIP to the US where we plan to relocate at the end of 2012. North Carolina looks like our future destination but first all things related to jobs, houses, schools and the other million details that make a life must align. (Wish us luck!) In the meantime, I’ve stocked… 

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mini chicken pot pies with flowers & star crusts

mini chicken pot pies, foodlets

I MADE THESE POT PIES TWICE RECENTLY, once big (for the family) and once small (for each person). The second time I used leftovers from Gwyneth Paltrow’s delicious Rotisserie Style Roast Chicken. Estelle LOVED it. Phoebe was sick. Paul liked them both though he did say that more crust on the bigger version was better…. 

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