At this very moment (+3 hours), the hubs and I are driving our favorite little person to spend the night at Nana's house.
This is the first time that Octavian has ever spent the night away from both me and the husband. The only time I have ever been away from him for longer than a few hours was nearly one year ago when I had my stroke and spent some time in the hospital.
You guys, letting go of him and letting go of control is hard for me. I know it will be hard and probably pretty confusing for him, but Octavian and his Nana are best friends. He is the center of her universe (yep, he's the only grandchild). I've never experienced or witnessed a bond so close between a child and grandparent, and feel very lucky to witness it between the two of them.
I also need a break.
Like a serious BREAK. I am exhausted and feel my patience being tested.
Octavian is a wonderfully curious little boy. He needs to know about everything. He's also extremely active and equally strong-willed and very VERY smart. I try to encourage these characteristics whenever possible, but sometimes, it's just not possible and I have to say "no". Well, Octavian, like most toddlers, doesn't like to listen. And, if you're Octavian, you just don't. I don't spank, raising my voice doesn't change anything and timeouts are more torturous for me than him. I've taken away favorite toys, tried rewards, etc. etc. nothing works.
And then I have the brilliant idea to get a puppy.
Having the puppy hasn't been ALL bad, however, it's one more thing to add to my list. And since I have such a type "A" personality, all day I find myself thinking, has she been exercised enough? (she's chased pinecones in the yard for an hour, been taken on a walk, gone to the dog park AND gone on a 2 mile jog).
Yes, she's had enough exercise, crazy person (talking to myself, here).
Plus, Octavian and I are home most of the day except for the two hours we spend at the gym each morning or a quick trip to the market. Our puppy is not deprived of attention.
However, like Octavian, Juniper doesn't like to listen, either. We have been working hard on training, so it is getting better, but she's still a puppy, soooo it's going to take time. And the puppy nipping? the WORST part. Especially when your puppy loves to nip at your toddlers baggy clothes and use him to play human tug-of-war.
Yep. Like I said, we're working on it.
But, ugghhhh, the constant refusal to listen. You guys, the WHINING. Toddler, puppy, husband, work, ENOUGH.
So, what's my plan while Octavian's at Nana's for the night? Ahhhh, good question! I have actually thought long and hard about this. A few of my requirements are-
- No cooking
- No dishes or cleaning (except for the 6 loads of laundry that HAVE to be folded)
- No doing anything I don't want to do...
So, for me that means the biggest burrito I can find, a store-bought chocolate cake and ice cream, wine and binge watching House of Cards on Netflix.
I will not be moving from the couch until I feel like it.
The last time this happened was more than 2 years and 4 months ago. It will be glorious.
Anyway, that's enough crying about my first world problems for one day.
Today, I also have for you guys classic chicken piccata. I LOVE chicken picata. It reminds me of my mom. I have no idea why.
Lemon, butter, capers, butter, lemon and fresh Parmesan cheese. I can't think of anything better. Oh wait, unless you put all those things with chicken and noodles. Yes! That is definitely better. (and maybe a little more cheese for good measure)
Chicken piccata is is not only delicious, it's also easy! Which makes is a great anytime dinner.
Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 25 minutes / Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Servings
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds total)
salt + pepper (approx. 1/2 teaspoon each)
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more to taste)
1 large lemon, sliced thin
1/4 cup brined capers
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Slice chicken breast halves horizontally, butterflying them open. If they are still too thick, place each half between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat hammer until they are approximately 1/4 inch thick. This can be annoying, but it makes cooking faster and ensures that chicken will cook evenly. Set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, grated parmesan cheese, and salt + pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, lower heat to medium. One-by-one dredge each piece of chicken in the flour-cheese mixture and add to the skillet. Fry for a few minutes, flip, and fry for a few minutes more on the other side. Both sides should be golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Add olive oil to the pan along with the shallots and garlic, mix well, scraping any burnt bits from the bottom of the pan. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine to the skillet, making sure to scrape any remaining brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Reduce by approximately half. Add the sliced lemon and capers (and maybe 1-2 more tablespoons of butter if you're really feelin' it) and cook one minute more.
- Arrange the chicken pieces back in the pan and sprinkle with fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese.