Saturday, October 22, 2011

A change in my perspective

There is so much about Fall that I love; the colors on the trees, the smells in my kitchen and crisp cool evenings just to name a few.
There is one aspect of Fall that I don't look forward to however - raking leaves.  Cleaning up the leaves in the yard seems like a neverending task and when we're busy with our jobs and sport schedules, the last thing we need is another task added to our "to do" list.  

Last week, my daughter and I were pulling out of the driveway on our way to soccer practice when she said "look mom the leaves are falling."  The excitement in her voice and the joy in her face took me back to when I was a kid and I could hardly wait until their were enough leaves on the ground to rake into a pile big enough to jump in.  Even at the age of 12 she still sees the falling leaves as an opportunity and not as an inconvenience. 

My daughters enthusiasm about the leaves was so contagious that I decided I needed to change my perspective about the leaves and appreciate them both on and off the trees.  I made a commitment to take advantage of the beautiful Georgia Fall days and spend some time outside in the leaves this year.  Who knows, maybe the trees will drop their leaves soon so we can start raking them into the perfect pile for jumping.

One of my favorite things about Fall are the wonderful flavors that the season brings to my kitchen.   I love to make Cider Glazed Chicken with Dried Cranberries at this time of year because it has all of the wonderful flavors of the season - apple cider, cranberries and allspice.  (I also had a 1/2 gallon of apple cider to use up from my Cider Glazed Pork Tenderloin.)  I love this recipe and it's super simple to make. 

Cider Glazed Chicken with Dried Cranberries

1 ½ Tablespoons flour            1 Tablespoon butter
¾ teaspoon salt                        1/3 cup dried cranberries
¼ teaspoon allspice                 ½ cup apple cider or juice
4 chicken breasts                      1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

Combine flour, salt and allspice in a shallow pan.

Add chicken and turn to coat.

Melt butter in skillet.  Add chicken and cook 15 minutes.

Turn.  Add cranberries, cider and vinegar.

 Cover and cook 15 minutes longer.

As I suspected, the kids scraped the cranberries off immediately.  They really liked the sauce and the chicken.  I eventually talked my daughter into tasting the cranberries - separately of course.  She admitted that they were pretty good and then went on to eat 4 or 5 more.  (Yea - we're making progress.)  With or without cranberries - Cranberry Cider Chicken is a great meal.

Bon Appetit!

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