It's been a very busy weekend at Casa Bramasole. I don't normally post on Sunday nights, but it looks like another crazy week, so I figured I'd get one in while I could.
On Friday, a good friend and I decided to check out what has turned into a local attaraction here in Chapel Hill- known to all as The Sisters' Garden. 94 year old twin sisters Barbara Stiles and Bernice Wade open their lovely garden to the public for 3 weeks in April. Their adorable home and lovingly tended gardens have become a much-loved local landmark. My grandma Josie LOVED her garden and people used to stroll by her house on summer evenings just to see her gorgeous roses and gladioli. She was so proud every year to give me a few huge roses with the stems wrapped in foil to bring the nuns at church and my teachers at school.
You can read more about the sisters here
Isn't this cottage adorable??
They had peonies the size of a soccer ball! Just stunning!
This one was HUGE! Unfortunately hard to get a good picture as I had to face the sun
Many of you know that I am the mother of 6- 5 of them are boys. Probably why I was so close to my Grandma Josie. She had 3 sons- she UNDERSTOOD me.
Anyway, this week my youngest has been on a mission.
Try to convince Mom to take him up to the Fairgrounds in Raleigh for the Exotic Animal and Reptile Exhibition
Now, I should mention that the word reptile is enough to set Mom's skin to crawling and eyes to tearing and legs to shaking.
I am NOT a reptile person
Or a rodent person
What I AM is a person who could spend hours, days, and weeks browsing a good Flea Market and Antique mart.
Sooooo, the plan became (in my mind only, apparently) that Dad would take Tim to the reptile show (with strict orders NOT to buy anything!) and Mom and Allie would spend some girly time shopping and browsing the Flea Market stalls.
They didn't get the memo
Mom browsed. This was Allie
Yes, that's a snake. I was NOT there for this. I would have cried
I was here
Grandma would have been with me. I know she would.
She had boys. She understood.
We got home and I was really tired (not to mention pouting because nobody wanted to listen to MY plan)
I needed a fairly quick, fairly easy dinner that was still good enough for a Sunday.
It's an Italian thing- Sunday dinner has to be "special". And it has to have pasta and it has to have tomatoes somewhere
It's a law
This is what we had with buttered orecchiette pasta, salad and garlic bread to sop up all the juices
Pattie's Mediteranean Chicken
(I didn't really measure, so I'm giving a ballpark on the ingredients)
1 cut up chicken ( I added an extra breast I had in the fridge)
wash pieces, dry well.
Season well with salt and pepper, let come to room temperature. Heat a thin film of olive oil in a large saute pan and brown chicken (about 5-6 minutes each side) and remove to large oven-proof casserole.
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
2-4 zucchini or yellow squash. I quartered them lengthwise then cut crosswise into chunks
about 1/2 cup wine (red or white)
2 tablespoons each parsley, tarragon, thyme, and a few sage leaves, roughly chopped and mixed
Roma plum tomatoes- you can use 5-6 fresh ones, peeled, seeded and cut in large chunks or drain a small can of whole tomatoes and quarter them
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
about 1 cup chicken stock
1/2 jar (about 1/4 cup?) pitted Kalamata olives, drained
OPTIONAL- I have used cubed roasted eggplant in this when I had some leftover. Just stir in during the last 10 minutes of oven time
After you remove chicken to casserole, drain all but about 2 or 3 tablespoons of fat from saute pan. Saute onions till soft and starting to brown. Add garlic and cook another minute or so. Add wine, zucchini and about 2/3 of the chopped herbs. Deglaze, stir and saute about 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, pepper, chicken stock and olives to pan. Bring to simmer, pour over chicken, cover and put in oven for about 40 minutes. Add eggplant or any other leftover roasted veggis after 30 minutes, if desired. Sprinkle with remaining chopped herbs and serve with buttered pasta and garlic bread. Buon Appetito!
Have a wonderful week!
don't forget to enter our Giveaway HERE . Be sure to enter parts 1 AND 2. You have to comment on those posts separately!
Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie