Monday, October 04, 2010

Finally fall ...

We spent the first real weekend of fall in the North Carolina mountains visiting family. It was our first road trip and vacation with three kids.

It went much, much better than expected. It was nearly serendipitous.

We actually went hiking. With three kids. Really. There was a babbling brook and a bridge and a pine forest and trees that Danny could actually climb and an apple tree. An apple tree!! We all picked and ate ugly, green apples right from the tree. Without even washing them. We went to a really cool general store with "penny" candy and a bluegrass band playing on the back porch. Fiona clapped and danced. We went to a huge park surrounded by mountains with a playground and a babbling brook and kid-size playhouses and a large grassy field that Owen just loved rolling around in (yeah, that's right, I let my baby roll around in actual grass) and a flower bush buzzing with honey bees.

The kids were just delighted. So were the adults. I wish that I'd brought my camera, but, alas, this weekend will exist only in the mind's eye. In fact, the only memento from the weekend is an ugly, beautiful green apple we brought home. I've been reluctant to eat it, so I took a picture of it to help me remember our weekend.

And it was fall. Actually fall. Cool weather, not a cloud in the sky. Today was the same, except we were home, just taking it easy, ambling through the day.

Today was a jeans and jacket day (the title of a favorite Elmo book around here), as Danny called it. It was also a day for comfort food. I get even more domesticy than usual when fall finally arrives. I relish pulling out my favorite recipes along with the winter clothes. This morning, I decided to make a favorite, easy, comforting dinner. I thought I'd share it because everyone needs easy comfort food, don't you think?
Tuscan Chicken With White Beans

2 t. olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (yes, I know, thighs are fatty. i never bought into the whole low fat diet thing. sue me.)
2 can white beans (great northern, cannellini ... i think they're the same thing, maybe)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 small onion, diced (I usually just use whatever bit of onion I have. Onions aren't my favorite.)
1 T chopped fresh garlic
1 t. salt
1 t. sage
1 t. thyme
a handful of baby carrots, cut into bite-size chunks

Heat oil in large skillet or dutch oven and saute garlic and onion for 3 to 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients and lay the thighs on top. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn thighs over and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

And that's it. Done. We eat it with crusty bread to sop up the broth. No, I don't make the bread. We buy a dozen wheat sub rolls from Sam's Club (for less than $4).

It occurred to me as I left the kids playing in the backyard to go "stir occasionally" that this recipe could probably be done in the crockpot. Next time I'll try that and let you know what, if any, changes need to be made. I'm guessing more broth so it doesn't dry out.

I've been making this for years. It's from the Women's Day Cookbook that Jim swears did not belong to him (but it wasn't mine). This dish truly makes me feel warm all over and the leftovers make a fantastic soup base (just reheat with extra broth) for a Saturday lunch with a grilled cheese.


1 comment:

Erin C. said...

That sounds really good. Thanks for the recipe, and I'm so glad you all had fun! :)