Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring and asparagus lemon chicken!

Hey, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and spring has finally, truly sprung here. We've had a few 75F days and we're all loving the sunshine! The tulips and iris are out, which makes the yard look so much prettier than just a big patch of grass! 
We have lots of different tulips but I love these monster red variety. They're about five inches wide and frilled at the edges. My husband planted a hundred down one side of the property and a hundred down the other. With the hundreds of daffodils and hyacinth, it's like walking into a bouquet.

 A big patch of miniature iris. I think these are so cute! Only about 8 inches tall.
 We went on a hike recently and found this tiny nest. I think it's a goldfinch nest, but we never saw any occupants so we're not sure!
 Anyway, since spring has sprung, I'm SOOO excited to start finding fresh food around here. The first item on the menu is always leafy greens and asparagus. Some of the household don't like them steam so we just grill with a little olive oil and salt.
 Like so.
 For the rest of the dish, a teaspoon of minced garlic and 2 Tbs of butter.
 Add chopped chicken. This was actually frozen stuff from a bag and it was pretty tasty! I was wondering how much flavoring it would have added to it, but it seemed pretty normal. Just grilled chicken. Super easy for salad toppings and quick meals.
After the chicken is cooked, add one cup whole milk, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan and heat thoroughly to make a creamy white sauce. I added pepper and salt to taste. . 
Boil the bow tie pasta according the box directions and mix together. I added a little bit of chopped tomato for zing, and then squeezed a little lemon over the whole thing, including the asparagus. 
 Overall, a delicious summer meal that was fun to make before it gets too hot to run the oven and boil things on the stove! Soon, we'll all want chilled salads and cold dishes...
Until next time! Be sure to check out my author page at Mary Jane Hathaway, or my blog at The Things That Last


  1. #flowers




    I love those flowers, but I love the cute kid and the bird's nest even more! My finches nest high in trees here, or in shutters, wreaths, any old thing for the young, new nesters. They tempt fate every year!!!! I lecture them.

    Do they listen?

    Oh, no!

    They just go right along their merry, little finch-singing way and build in the oddest nooks and crannies. Which would be fine if it wasn't for Farm Cats.


    But, that aside, I love bird nests!!! They're such hopeful places in the universe, aren't they? And the chicken dish sounds easy and good and I love asparagus season around here. We grow it, so for us it's a 2X/day harvest (and by "us" I mean Dave or Seth or Jon) and then we sort, weigh and sell it by the roadside, but we eat it daily because it's such a short season.... Grilled.... Oh my stars, I cannot wait.

    And thank you for such a pretty presentation. What a gorgeous plate, Mary Jane. It just shouts spring... and good food!

    Enjoy your weekend in the beautiful northwest!

    1. Isn't it amazing how delightful spring is after FEBRUARY and MARCH. My goodness, I've had about enough of gray skies. We don't get snow. We don't get rain. It's just... gray.
      And then almost overnight, everything changes. Birds are singing, flowers blooming, cats having delicious dinners of obstinate finches. LOL

      I avoided asparagus my whole life until I became a "local food" person... and then realized than like a kid denied dessert before dinner, asparagus was the only thing available at this time of year! So, here I am, noshing on those earthy-flavored green stalks.

  2. Envious sigh. I'd settle for a patch of grass. It's so cold (and snowy) here that Bear (grandpuppy) came in his winter fleece-lined coat. I'm puppy sitting for the day which means I get to bundle up in hat and mitts and scarf and down coat to walk him. Just the thought of spring flowers makes me slump into a swoon! So enjoy your warm temps and pretty flowers and...sob...fresh produce!!!!!!!

    1. Oh, that's awful! I don't mind a spring storm, or even a little wind, or a week of rain... but snow in April?? Not okay!

  3. Beautiful flowers and beautiful pasta dish!! And I'm serious about the latter. I adore pasta! Thanks for sharing this great idea!

    1. I do, too! And I'm a fool for white sauces. And chicken. Mmmmm.

  4. That looks so tasty!! I love lemon chicken.

    1. I love lemon anything. Chicken, cake, curd. Honestly, is there anything that lemon doesn't brighten up?

  5. I don't know. All this talk about spring - we had warmer weather in November and December. Remember 70 degrees on Christmas Day.

    It's so sad to see the flowers poking their heads out one day and wilting under frost the next.

    But Spring shall visit eventually - or we'll go straight to summer.

    YAY for asparagus. We've been eating so much of it. I agree with the ones who don't like it steamed. Too chewy. I love to roast it with just a sprinkle of parmesan.