In my family, it’s customary to tell embarrassing stories about your friends and loved ones when celebrating a big life moment. Weddings, graduations, birthdays–whatever the case may be, nothing shows you care like a little rib jabbin. Given this, I feel obligated to tell an embarrassing story about my fellow Charlotte Food Blogger, Brooke, who is expecting TWINS!
When I first met Brooke, the brains of Baking with Basil, she was just a few months pregnant (and nowhere near the size she is in this photo). We crammed into a car with Vanessa and Jamie and headed west for the Food Blog Forum in Nashville.
On the trip we shared some close sleeping quarters, so I was sure to warn the gals about my peculiar sleeping habits. You know, the sleep talking, sporadic sleep walking, and the occasional mid-night fisticuffs I engage in. I shared a bed with Brooke, so I had purposeful intentions of being on my best sleep behavior so as not to disturb the wee ones. In the middle of the night I went in for one of my trademark flip-and-rolls and accidentally booty bumped Brooke right in the belly. I remember the instant horror that washed over me as I bolted upright in the bed trying to determine if I had in any way injured the mama or the cargo. I held my breath waiting for a sign, or a sound, or a grunt of some sort, but Brooke didn’t budge. After a few terrifying minutes, I laid back down as straight and stiff as possible all the while clinging to the edge of the bed so as not to stray back into baby territory. I don’t think I slept the rest of the night.
Crap… wasn’t I supposed to be embarrassing Brooke here?!
The process of planning out a dinner for the BF and I usually involves 1-3 hours of research, googling, cookbook flipping, blog reading and a substantial amount of quality time spent on allrecipes.com. This will result in a list of 3-6 options with corresponding website links and/or attached photos, which I will then email to the BF for his consideration. If I’m lucky he’ll rule out 1-2 items on the list that aren’t striking his fancy and then leave the final decision up to me. More often than not, he’ll respond that all the items on the list in question look fabulous and that “everything you cook turns out delicious” (LIES!!!!!) and then leave the final decision up to… you guessed it. Moi. This is a little game I like to call For the Love of God Will You Make a Decision, Man, or FTLOGWYMADM, as we say.
I wouldn’t say I’m indecisive. The problem is my decision making abilities are clouded by my gluttonous desire to eat the world once over. When I do finally reach a decision I stick to it with a supernatural stubbornness, but getting to that point can be a wee bit exhausting. Decision making on an empty stomach is horrid after all, and I’ve mentioned a time or five before that bad things happen when I don’t eat.
All I want is a plate full of deliciousness.
A mound of this, perhaps:
After playing our normal round of FTLOGWYMADM and going through the subsequent mental debate, I decided to go with this recipe for Bruschetta Chicken pasta I saw on Iowa Girl Eats. It’s really not much of a recipe, and that makes me love it all the more.
This pièce de résistance of this dish is the balsamic drizzle. Simply simmer a cup of balsamic vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes. The vinegar will reduce by about half, and once removed from the heat it will continue to thicken as it cools.
While I waited for the balsamic vinegar to reduce, I got to prepping my veggies.
The asparagus was for the pasta and the sprouts were our side dish. Love me some veg.
Jarred bruschetta sauce is the secret behind the simplicity of this pasta dish. Thank you Trader Giotto
This pasta was so simple, in fact, that I decided to squeeze in a little nap.
Before I fell asleep at the pan, I cut the chicken into big chunks, seasoned with S&P, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder and tossed into a saute pan with 2 tsp olive oil. Then I dropped 6 ounces of penne pasta into boiling water.
Once the chicken was cooked through, I sautéed the veggies with garlic salt, black pepper, and 1 tsp olive oil.
When the pasta reached al dente, I combined the chicken, asparagus, jar of bruschetta, and penne in the skillet and sautéed until everything was heated through.
Last but not least, I topped the pasta with a little balsamic drizzzzzzle:
This pasta was DELICIOUS, filling, and balanced, and the tangy balsamic drizzle wowed my tastebuds. I will definitely be adding this recipe to the playbook.
Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Ingredients List (serves 4)
Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 ounces penne pasta
- bunch of asparagus, trimmed
- 1 jar of tomato bruschetta
- 12 ounces chicken breast
- 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
- Seasonings of your choice (S&P, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder)
Step One: Simply simmer a cup of balsamic vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes. The vinegar will reduce by about half, and once removed from the heat it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Step Two: Cook pasta to al dente as per pasta box instructions. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into chunks, season with S&P, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder and saute with 2 tsp olive oil until no longer pink. Remove from pan. In the same pan, saute asparagus until crisp tender.
Step three: Combine cooked pasta, chicken, asparagus, and bruschetta mix in the pan and saute until heated through. Serve with balsamic reduction drizzled over top!