It’s once again that magical time of day when it’s not quite dinner time (dinner, which I have yet to prep) and not quite bedtime. Oh, how I wish it were bedtime. For them, not for me.
I don’t have many thoughts of my own. You see, my children talk throughout the day. Non. Stop. Silence is but a blurry, drift-away dream that once was. Highlights from today included…
- Mom, I don’t like you.
- Do seahorses burp?
- But how is my shadow attached?
- Do I have to go to my room?
- Can I take my shoes off?
- My outfit is prettier than yours.
- I’m hungry.
- I have pudding on my tutu!
- Mama, mama, mama, mommy, mommy, mama, mommy, mama, mama…Mom, you’re not talking to me!
- I just saw a puppy!
- Get Madeleine out of my room!
- I’m hungry.
- I have chocolate in my hair.
- I pledge allegiance to the flag….
- Tell Madeleine to be quiet!
- My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty….
- She’s so annoying!!!
- You are the worst mother I have ever met.
If my husband comes home early I may get up from this chair and leap toward him for joy. I’ll capture it on video so you can see.
By the way, what are you making for dinner?
I have boneless chicken breasts, asparagus, a couple of sweet potatoes and frozen french fries at my disposal.
Here’s a tasty-sounding recipe from Dash and Bella for a vinaigrette that I can drizzle over the chicken after it’s grilled. I don’t have any fennel but I may have an odd-shaped block of parmesan in the fridge somewhere. The chicken will be laid over a bed of simply roasted asparagus and if I hurry I can make this recipe for Sweet Potato Gratin. The kids can have french fries.
ASPARAGUS, FENNEL, AND PIAVE CHEESE SALAD WITH MEYER LEMON CAPER VINAIGRETTE:
Slice the fennel at the last minute or it will turn brown.
Feeds 1-2 with some dressing left over.
– 1 shallot, diced
– 1/2 anchovy plus a little of the oil, finely chopped (optional)
– 1/2 meyer lemon (or regular lemon), juice plus zest
– 1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar
– 1 tablespoon capers with some of the juice
– 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (I always use creamy Grey Poupon)
– about 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a strong olive oil works well)
– 10-12 stalks of asparagus, ends trimmed, peeled up to the base of the tips, and thinly sliced on an angle
– 1 medium-sized head of fennel, very thinly sliced (paper thin with mandoline if possible)
– a few sprigs of fennel fronds, coarsely chopped or torn
– 20 or so strips of piave cheese (or parmesan), very thinly sliced (works well with a vegetable peeler)
– crunchy salt
Place shallot and anchovy (if using) in a bowl. Add lemon juice + zest, vinegar, capers + juice, and set aside for 10 minutes. Add mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Taste. Add a bit more of whatever flavor is lacking. Maybe more lemon, or anchovy or olive oil. Set aside. It will keep for a week in the fridge.
Combine asparagus, fennel, and fennel fronds. Add salt and pepper. Toss with some of the vinaigrette. Taste. This salad absorbs a lot of dressing so be prepared to add more. Sprinkle cheese over the top and gently toss once more. Serve immediately.