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April 2010

Citrus Chicken

This was a spur of the moment-ish dinner we threw together for an evening with Chris' parents.  It was absolutely delicious - the citrus flavors infused in the chicken were a fantastic change from the "normal" marinades we usually use (as great as those are!).  We served this over white sticky rice (Janene had a risotto recipe she was dying to try, but we didn't have all the ingredients on hand like we thought we did...), with a side dish of steamed broccoli, and it was great!

Janene's Citrus Chicken from The Weed Patch

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 or so pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, or chicken cutlets
  • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons  paprika
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 12  thin orange slices
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Cornstarch (optional)


Preparation

Grate rind from lime, then grate rind from oranges to equal a total of 2 tablespoons rind (orange and lime together).  Squeeze juice from limes, lemons, and oranges to equal about 1 cup.

Combine the juice, garlic, ginger, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Janene's Citrus Chicken from The Weed Patch

Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add half chicken breast (or whatever your pan will fit – the idea is to have an even, uncrowded layer of chicken so it browns nicely, so do it in batches); cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place chicken in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and chicken.

Janene's Citrus Chicken from The Weed Patch

Combine the reserved rind and brown sugar; sprinkle over chicken. Combine 2 tablespoons reserved marinade and the broth; drizzle around chicken. Top each chicken breast half with 2 orange slices. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done.  Place chicken on a serving platter, keep warm.


Janene's Citrus Chicken from The Weed Patch

Strain any remaining liquid in dish through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard solids. Bring liquid, remaining reserved marinade, a 1 teaspoon honey to a boil in a small saucepan.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Boil for a few minutes to reduce, or mix a small amount of water in a teaspoon of cornstarch and stir in – the idea is to thicken the sauce a bit and concentrate the flavors. 

Janene's Citrus Chicken from The Weed Patch

Serve chicken, and pass around the sauce!


A Day Away (at Whidbey Island)

Days off are few and far between when you own your own business. While we absolutely LOVE the store, and our work, it's still nice to be able to take the sporadic day to enjoy the sunshine together as a family, and Saturday was our most recent adventure. And was it ever an adventure!

We left at the crack of dawn (1pm...) and headed from Everett up to Whidbey Island. Whidbey is one of our all time favorite places to go and get a little salve for our souls. It is boasts a fantastic mix of ocean beachfront, open country, and wooded retreats. I grew up going to Whidbey - Camp Casey (owned by Seattle Pacific University) and Coupeville, to be precise, and so we often find ourselves back and relaxing in these haunts.



Saturday was supposed to be near 60 and sunny - and it was definitely sunny, but with the wind right off the water it certainly didn't feel like near 60. We didn't let that stop us, however, and Ben had a wonderful time throwing rocks in the water and looking at all the things that mommy found for him to be amazed at. Because it was so windy, the waves were wonderful to watch, and Ben was definitely enthralled.











Upon leaving the beach the wind really became fun, as we walked the 10 feet to the "gi-normous" field - and pulled out a kite we borrowed from my parents. Ben LOVES kites - he's watched them, but never flown them himself - until Saturday. After about 30 seconds of watching me, Ben wanted to try - and he took it right up and did perfect. He was so excited we thought he was going to blow a gasket - "YEA KITE!" became the only phrase that left his lips for a good 15 minutes flat. It was a truly perfect parenting moment, watching Ben try something new and exciting, excelling at it, and loving every moment. That silly kite pulled him all over that field for a good 45+ minutes - it's not very often that we can simply sit down on the grass and let him be hundreds of feet away with not a care in the world....











Of course, chasing the kite all over the field left him both tired and hungry, so we "retired" to the car to have some snacks, where we decided - since it was like 5pm and Ben hadn't had his nap for the day, to drive towards the ferry to head back towards the house. We made a small detour in to Coupeville, where we saw our friend Cindy who owns Aqua, a fantastic gift shop right in town. That turned into a beach walk for Ben and me while Janene chatted for 45 minutes - further tiring but exciting Ben (of course.)

We "finally" (not that anybody was worried) made it back into the car, and headed towards the ferry in Clinton. Along the way the truck in front of us slammed on its breaks and we're thinking "whoa, what the heck!" - only to see a Bald Eagle emerge from right in front of the truck. It had been on the ground on the side of the road and randomly decided to take off - and then fly right next to the car for a bit. We're looking out the window and saying "wow - you don't see that every day!"

Well, you might not see that every day but it was only leading up to the next exciting moment, when we reached Double Bluff Beach. Double Bluff is an absolutely amazing beach. It's all sand, and when the tide is out you can walk literally a half a mile out into the bay and the water only comes up to your waist, if that. Janene especially loves Double Bluff, and requested a quick stop so that she could go wade in her brand new rubber boots (she was so incredibly, ridiculously excited about those boots... But she looked hot in them, so I'm fine with that...) Upon arriving, I got out of the car and started prepping things to change Ben when Janene said "Chris, look at that Bald Eagle on the beach! It's eating something - grab the camera and see how close you can get!" Note: had I KNOWN how close I could get I would have taken ALL the cameras...

So...I hop down the rock wall and start moving towards the eagle, stopping every few feet to take some pictures because I don't know how close I'll be able to get. A few moments go by and I find myself within about 20 feet and taking pictures like crazy (nice thing about digital....). After a couple more minutes I decided to see if I could get any closer, so I very slowly moved forward, bit by bit. Of course the eagle is keeping an eye on me - I don't know if he was concerned about me stealing the fish he was eating, or if he was sizing me up for the next course - that bird is HUGE. About 10(ish) feet away it's obvious that the eagle is pretty concerned about this new development, so I stopped moving and waited for him to calm down. I was - duh - shooting as fast as I could without even looking to see what was going on. I mean, it's free, and how the heck often do you get to stand within 10 feet of a Bald Eagle? Eventually the eagle had enough of me and flew another 15 or 20 feet away. I kept taking pictures, wishing I had the video camera - it was so quiet out there I could hear every bite he was taking, every movement he made - it was me and the eagle, and it was amazing.







Eventually he flew away to another spot to finish his meal and I headed back towards the car. And lo and behold, there were two more eagles - one young (less than 5 years old, as it didn't have any white on its body yet) flying all over the place. The people who were out walking their little dogs were a little nervous, I think.... :)

While I stood there talking to a few people, Janene went out and got her wading time in. Ben just chilled in the car - he was exhausted - watching whichever of us was standing outside talking to people. When he got fussy we all piled back in and headed for the ferry - it was a wonderful end to an amazing day.

Seriously, if you live in Washington, you should check out Whidbey Island. Every time we're there we leave with a refreshed soul and amazing memories...

PS - keep an eye on our Flickr Gallery for MANY more pics of the day, and of the Bald Eagle


The Greatest Gift of All!

E

aster is the recognition of the Resurrection of Christ from the dead.  As Christians, we recognize this as the fulfillment of God’s promise to conquer death and offer humanity redemption for our sins.  All we must do is accept Christ as our Savior, and our sins are washed clean.  The following passage is from Mark 16, and speaks of The Resurrection.  If you are unfamiliar with the story of Christ’s crucifixion, we encourage you to read Mark 15 for those specifics.  We have chosen to focus here on Christ’s Resurrection for two reasons:  the practical space constraints of this page, and the realization that it was not until Christ arose from the dead that our sins were forgiven and we were given the opportunity to accept God’s love and start a personal relationship with Him.

Mark 16, The Bible
New International Version

The Resurrection
    1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

    4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

    6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ “

    8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

    9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

    12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

    14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

    15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

    19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.