Thursday, April 12, 2007

The last drop

I love finishing things. I'm not talking about a 100 page paper (that would just be a relief). I delight in using the last drop of shampoo, eating the last chocolate in a box, or crossing off the last of the tasks on my "things to do list." When is shampoo and soap finished at our house? Not until water has been added, and the bottle shook (at least two times). Yes, S. finds it pretty annoying and sometimes just gets a new bottle with the other still sitting on the bathtub ledge for me to finish. It's not even that I love opening a new shampoo bottle or that I want my money's worth (though I am pretty cheap). It's just that I love the end of things. Well, not the end of the milk jug, or the end of an Orangina that I have shared with my kids.

Ahhh, a clean refrigerator. I have memories of cleaning out our family fridge and finding fungi that should only be in a science fair. With a family of eight you never knew when food was put in the fridge. You'd leave it there for the next person to figure out. The fridge would get so full and somehow my sister, Mary and I always ended up with the duty of purging. I have seen a tupperware lid fly off as if a poltergeist was leaving it (10 feet across the room), a potato in five shades of pink, and a whole salsa jar filled with colorful mold. I try to make sure that my fridge doesn't get to that point (no offense, Mom). Tonight, I used up two jars in my fridge. Now they are washed and ready to be recycled. What a great sense of accomplishment! (Hey, I've got to take what I can since I'm not going to see the result of my mothering until my children have kids of their own!)

Here is the result of using the last drop:

Artichoke, Sun-dried Tomato, Red Pepper and Chicken Pasta

2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz canned artichokes
2 T sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 T chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup skim milk
2 T fresh basil
Freshly shaved parmesan cheese

1/2 lb whole wheat pasta

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. After pounding the chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Add the chicken breasts to the olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove from pan and slice diagonally.

Combine artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and red peppers in skillet used for the chicken. Saute about 2 minutes. Add cream and milk. Add sliced chicken and basil. Stir until combined (add more milk if needed). Serve over cooked pasta with fresh parmesan.


Amanda said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean! Just this morning I added water to my face wash so that it'll last me just a wee bit longer. That, and I added some to my shampoo yesterday.
I'm always a fan of the on-hand ingredients for a great pasta dish!

Sam said...

Call me Jack Sprat, because I am the exact opposite. I love starting new things and can't stand waiting for the last drips of salad dressing, or whatever, to come out of the bottle.

henryteachers said...

Wow! You made that using the last drop of something? It looks so delicious. You are such a great gourmet cook!
I'm totally with you on using up products, but I never make time to clean out the whole fridge. It is always the last thing on my mind. My mom was over babysitting the kids and I come home to her cleaning mine out. It was such a nice surprise! I have to tell you I tried your parmesan chicken and the whole family loved it! Thanks!