4.16 / 5 Stars | 81 Reviews
“Toothsome kale and golden orzo pasta are dressed with Parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice in this delicious pasta side dish.”
Updated, from the recipe archive, my dad’s favorite chicken salad. It’s great! First posted 2006. ~Elise
My mother and father make the best chicken salad. It’s a joint effort; my dad assembles the ingredients, while my mom makes the dressing. It’s not exactly your standard chicken salad. They like to include chopped apple, for a sweet note, and also chopped green olives, for their tangy saltiness. They’ll use leftover chicken from a roast chicken, or their favorite baked chicken dish, and even include some of the crispy skin. You could also just poach some boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs in salted water for this salad.
I’m sorry, guys, but I get really boring in the summer. Like, hey-isn’t-it-nice-when-the-sun-shines boring. Or, let-me-tell-you-about-that-time-I-got-the-apartment-painted boring.
Okay fine, I’ll tell you anyway. Remember when I told you that on our Vacation From Parenting I had an ambitious to-do list but my husband was quite certain we’d be better off doing as little as possible? Well, Alex: 1, Deb: 0 and here it is encrypted on the permanent record of the internet. As it turns out, having to take your entire apartment apart to allow for painters is totally not fun at all. Sometimes there’s a communication breakdown that leads to you coming home right as they’re finishing up to find that your apartment had been painted the wrong color. Sometimes, in the same week, your bathtub is suspiciously filled with plaster, your door handle breaks and leaves you locked out of your apartment for an eternity, your air conditioning dies, and 48 hours after the painters had left, not a single piece of furniture got ambitious enough to move itself back into position, which means that you’ll probably be doing that for the remainder of your so-called vacation. Really, Deb [insert slow clap here] next time your husband suggest you do nothing but sleep, socialize and relax for a week, perhaps you might just not argue.
One of the things I love about shrimp is that it cooks up so quickly on the stovetop, perfect when you have hot weather and you don’t want to use the oven, or have the stove going too long. Case in point, this cilantro lime shrimp. If you have shrimp fresh and ready to go, it takes 10 or 15 minutes to cook, tops. If you are starting with frozen shrimp, maybe you have to add another 10 minutes to defrost it. Cilantro and lime are one of those master combinations, which works well with steak, chicken, fish, and especially shrimp. Start with few slices of serrano chiles and garlic in a little oil in a hot pan. Toss in the shrimp, stir a little, cook a little, and when the shrimp are pink, turn off the heat and add the cilantro and lime. That’s it! Couldn’t be easier, and now you have a perfect little light meal. I like to wrap mine in a heated tortilla. So good!
Our toddler left us. Or, at least until Friday. Over the last 2 3/4 years, we’ve occasionally been blessed with the chance to go away for a few days sans bébé. We return well-rested and smiling, sandy grit in the bottom of our suitcases, traces of whatever had vexxed us before we left deliciously eviscerated from memory, and almost giddy with excitement to start scraping spaghetti from the underside of the high chair again. But this is the first time — with barely a “Sayonara!” as he ran out the door or a single “Wish you were here!” postcard from the road — that Jacob has headed out for lazier climes without us. He’s spending a week at the mountain retreat of Camp Grandparents, where he’s forced to endure petting zoos, baby pools, wide expanses of fresh air, nonstop adoration, and, no doubt, all of the ice cream he can talk them into.
Meanwhile, Alex and I have been left behind to attend to our assigned daily grinds and realize how totally dull this place is in the morning without a toddler buzzing from room to room at the crack of dawn, pulling on our earlobes to announce, “I’m awake! Wake UP!” and serenading us with ABCs on his guitar. We’ve also learned that we share differing interpretations of a week’s Vacation From Parenting. For example, I was thinking that, freed from the daily whirlwind of tight schedules, tantrums, irregular sleep patterns and spontaneous song-and-dance-and-marching! parties that life with a toddler demands, we could finally get caught up on things that have been neglected for the last 2 3/4 years. My to-do list for this week involves such enticing tasks as “Get the apartment painted!” “Rearrange furniture and pictures!” “Clean out closets!” “Meet at gym every day after work,” and “Back-up and replace laptops.” I was also thinking we could read and discuss “War and Peace” every night before we hit the pillow, but didn’t want to be overly ambitious. Alex’s comparatively modest list includes such audacious suggestions as “Get lots of sleep, get drinks with friends, watch TV with the sound on and the Closed Captioning off, and very little else.” Yeah, so who would you rather party with? It’s okay, I won’t take it personally.