Somewhat Simple for St. Patrick’s Day

We survived the Ides of March, yesterday, and look forward to St. Patrick’s Day, tomorrow. Between the two, today, I celebrated my birthday by taking the day off from work.


Benjamin Franklin Parkway

My husband and I were planning to drive up to NYC to walk around the Upper West Side, but we reconsidered when the weather forecast changed to lower temperatures.  Instead, we drove down to Philadelphia. It was somewhat strange to drive past the Philadelphia Museum of Art and not see anyone in line to have their picture taken with the Rocky statue. The colors of the country flags that line Benjamin Franklin Parkway seemed especially bold against the clear blue sky; the sycamore trees were no competition without their green leaves. We found a parking space in Chinatown and walked a few blocks to Reading Terminal Market.


At Reading Terminal Market

City Kitchen had advertised that a cooking demo of a traditional Irish dish would begin at 11:30 a.m. We arrived in time to secure seats in the back row. After forty-five minutes we had sampled “Irish potatoes” (a Philadelphia sweet confection of cinnamon and coconut flavors), soda bread with honey butter, shepherd’s pie, and a platter of bangers and mash laid out with the colors of the Irish flag.  The instruction wasn’t too complex; it seemed more of a sampling, though he did explain the preparation as he put the ingredients together. Overall, the experience was comfortable and inviting.


Joking About Showing Off

If you’re looking for something simple to serve at your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I recommend the bangers and mash flag:

Green beans in garlic butter, mashed potatoes with seasoned salt and sour cream, Irish sausages, and sliced carrots in honey butter and whiskey.


Bangers & Mash Flag

Categories: Food and drink, Potato, Tasting, Travel, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asparagus NOT With Ham

We like ham. We like asparagus. We even like ham and asparagus together. However, we’d already eaten a lot of ham with crackers and cheese over the weekend, ham with scrambled eggs for breakfast, and ham in the bean soup I packed for lunch. The asparagus I purchased on Saturday wasn’t getting any younger, although the spears were still standing pretty tall in the mug in the refrigerator, so Monday night was the right time to make use of the fresh, green vegetable.

Did you know that chicken is more pleasant to eat if you only cook it until it is just no longer pink? Until I watched an old Julia Child video about chicken, I hadn’t really considered that chicken might get tough if you cooked it too long or over too high of heat.

Usually, we like to broil the asparagus sprinkled with Parmesean and olive oil, but I decided to try a stove-top recipe with a balsamic-honey-dijon vinaigrette this time.

I thought that I might be able to guage the texture of the chicken better if I could watch it, rather than have to guess what was happening in the oven or under the broiler.

The chicken and the sauce did turn out nicely, and it paired well with the noodles that my husband prepared. However, we probably prefer broiled Parmesean and asparagus.


noodles chicken asparagus tomatoes balsamicIngredients

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • about 6 chicken breast tenders (You may want to cut them into smaller chunks.)
  •  salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off, remainder cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tomato, cut into about 8 pieces


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue whisking until the mixture is well combined. Set it aside.
  2. Over medium heat, heat remaining oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the chicken, season it with salt and pepper, and sear until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove it from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add  just enough hot water to the pan that you can simmer the asparagus. Cook it until the asparagus is bright green. Add the tomatoes, season with more salt and pepper, and  continue to cook the vegetables until the tomatoes are slightly wilted.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and pour in the vinaigrette. Toss the vegetables and chicken together and continue to cook the mixture until the chicken is heated through and the vinaigrette thickens.
Categories: Chicken, Food and drink, pasta, sauces & condiments, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Week

Categories: bacon, beef, Bread, Breakfast, Cheese, Chicken, Dessert, Food and drink, German food, Potato, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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