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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gardening leads to a basil abundance... Which leads to Creamy Lemon-pesto Chicken & Linguine

We are having a wonderful year for gardening. Well, at least I think we are :) this is our first year having a garden since we have been married so we don't have anything to compare it to.  This is what we started with - just a small chunk of the fenced in area of our yard. 

Eli had a fun time planting seeds 

We are definitely rookies with the whole process and we have learned a lot.  We say a lot of "next year we will do this.. Or plant this and not this..." But overall it's has been a fun journey. Peas, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, corn, zucchini, squash, watermelon, carrots, potatoes, and even strawberries (nothing this year, but they're going to be ther next year! 

Oh yeah, and HERBS!  

We started with an entire row of herbs. Most if which I'm not sure I would've used.  I think I went a little packet crazy when we first went to Home Depot. I bought dill, thyme, oregano, parsley, basil and a few others. After a good month and a half nothing was coming up so shawn tore them out and re-tilled.  That's when he found this massive boulder:

Well no wonder! So, at this point we figured we buy herbs already started and go from there.  We well brought home three SMALL 3-4" pots - one each of Greek basil, oregano and parsley.  The basil had a few plants in this pot, so we divided them up... What a crazy idea haha.  Now look at the abundance of basil we have!! 

They look like shrubs!!  So I figured it's time I use this! We've made some bruschetta a few times now, but I wanted to try some pesto.  I didn't have pine nuts either but this tasted fine to me :)

 So, in addition to salt and pepper, you will need....

Add the basic leaves, garlic and Parmesan cheese to your food processor. Mix well and then add the oil.  Start with 1/4 c and add the rest as needed. (I used the 1/2 c).  Add s&p and lemon juice to taste.

I was pretty satisfied. This made between 1/2 and 3/4 cup. I will probably double next time and freeze the extra. 

So now the actually dinner. This is a recipe specific for the deep covered baker from pampered chef. Total time from start to finish is about 18 minutes. Perfect for a busy family that wants something quick to make that's still yummy! I imagine you could cook you chicken separately and top it with the sauce.

For this recipe you will need:

You will also need 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (thawed) and 12oz linguine (or spaghetti in my case).

1. Combine butter and flour in a microwaveable dish and wisk until smooth.  Add milk, lemon zest and garlic.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 60 seconds.

2. Add pesto and stir until well incorporated.  

3. Place chicken breast in the bottom of the deep covered baker (layering if needed) and cover with pesto sauce. 

4. (The amazing part) microwave 12-15 minutes (chicken should be 165*).  Meanwhile, cook your pasta.  Then serve and enjoy!

And while I'm at this reeeeally long post, I'll just go ahead and throw a plug in for my sister :) if you don't have a local pampered chef consultant, feel free to place an order with my sister.  She's a mom of three, a high school math teacher and an always helpful Pampered Chef girl!

Thanks for stopping by! I'll post cards next time! :) enjoy!


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