I didn’t know I had that …

I spent 20 minutes organizing my spice cupboard last night. I plan on sorting my pots and pans tonight, and maybe even the pantry, if I have time.

This urge to clean and organize is always with me, but every now and then it gets overwhelming and I go on a cleaning/tossing/sorting binge. It usually happens after the holidays, at the start of summer vacation and before a new school year begins.

Maybe, on a subconscious level, I know life is going to get busy and I feel I’ll be able to cope better with everything in its proper place.

Or maybe I just like to clean.

Either way, I’m coming across food items I didn’t know I had (and several still boxed appliances I forgot about, too). I used the jar of sun-dried tomatoes in last night’s dinner: Mediterranean Smothered Chicken from Iowa Girl Eats. Yum, yum, yum!


  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Angel hair pasta, 8 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup marinated roasted tomatoes, chopped (I substituted sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

Pound chicken to even thickness then brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season with garlic salt and pepper. Saute in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then set aside.

Add pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water then cook until al dente. Drain then set aside.

Let skillet cool off the heat for a few minutes, then return to burner and reduce heat to medium. Add extra virgin olive oil and shallots then season with salt and pepper and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.

Add roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, capers, and lemon zest then saute until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, half & half, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and basil then reduce sauce slightly, about 2 minutes.

Divide pasta among plates then top with a chicken breast. Smother with tomato and artichoke mixture.

Source: iowagirleats.com