We’re slowly returning to normalcy at our house. Being away from home all weekend is a break from the routine, then the kids had Monday off from school making Tuesday more like a Monday. Now it’s Wednesday and I still feel like we’re all a little sluggish from this weekend’s excitement. I mentioned yesterday that our weekend included the graduation ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The unseasonably cold and rainy weather did not stop us from celebrating Lane’s nephew’s accomplishment or that of his classmates, even though it meant dressing in four layers of clothing. It was moving to see all of the graduates from the time they marched onto the field to the time they tossed their hats into the air. There is so much tradition present at this ceremony that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but if you asked the kiddos they’d tell you that going onto the field to catch the hats tossed by the graduates was their favorite part. We were unable to stay after the ceremony to see Lane’s nephew receive his commission into the United States Marine Corps because the kiddos really needed to get warm. After they quietly and respectfully sat through the ceremony, I was happy to oblige that request.
We visited the nearby Palisades mall to get warm and have some lunch and to pass a little time in the rainy weather before heading to a hotel for the night. I would rate the mini corn dogs and huge slice of cheesecake the kids devoured at The Cheesecake Factory as placing in their top five favorite things about this weekend. Our visit to the Lego store, where M insisted on getting her cousin and his bride a Lego bride and groom, “because they are building their love!” is up there as well. I’m amazed they got any sleep at all considering the high level of excitement they had about being in a wedding the next day. Saturday was proof of a few things. First, my mom was right when she always told us to dress in layers. Second, always have a plan B. We had initially planned to spend the afternoon visiting a nearby theme park or enjoying the hotel’s outdoor pool but that didn’t pan out due to the weather. The kiddos were none the wiser and thought we were the most brilliant parents ever for bringing them to the mall. Third, there is a crazy level of excitement when you tell two kids that dinner will be pizza in a hotel room with the Yankees game on the TV, so never overlook the little things.
Although we had a lot of fun this weekend, it’s nice to be home in our own beds and eating dinner at the kitchen table again. Easy dinners have still been key, because part of getting back into the swing of things is getting the homework done and planning for soccer or baseball practice (though luckily both were rained out yesterday so we were off the hook for the night). These sun-dried tomato chicken tenders were a dinner I enjoyed with Lane on a night when I was pet sitting last week, but they fit the bill for a quick weeknight dinner. Chicken tenders cook up in no time, and they can be seasoned just as easily as any other piece of chicken. Ten minutes to cook the chicken and a few minutes to toss together the sun-dried tomato sauce are all you need to have a quick and healthy meal.
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Tenders
- 12 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped or pureed (I pureed mine)
- 1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 C. chicken broth
- 1/4 C. white wine (optional, but recommended)
- 1/4 C. cream
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
Sprinkle the chicken tenders evenly with salt and pepper on both sides.
Add the chicken tenders to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes per side, until cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan, cover it to keep it warm, and set it aside while you make the sauce.
Put the butter into the skillet and heat until it melts.
Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and stir well.
Whisk in the flour, and continue to whisk for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and wine and whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth.
Add the cream and whisk for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken.
Stir in the basil, then add the chicken back into the pan.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes to warm everything, or longer if you want the sauce to become more of a coating (this is what I did here, but I’ve done it both ways and enjoyed it equally).
Makes 4 servings.
Source: adapted from Little B Cooks