First Meals on Back on American Soil

November 22, 2011
{welcome home from a sweet Design*Sponge sneak peek}

A few nights ago, my brother arrived home from Australia after spending the semester abroad there. His request for dinner the first night he was home? Lemon Chicken, a recipe (see below!) my mom has made for years, that includes heaps of marinated mushrooms, zucchini and chicken. He said living on his own in Sydney made him miss vegetables!

Just a week ago, when I arrived home from Dublin, my request for dinner was spaghetti squash. We always have it with roasted vegetables, pesto and parmesan. And I always request it because I can’t find spaghetti sqush in Dublin. I’m not even sure I really like spaghetti squash so much, but it drives me nuts that I can’t find it where I live! Plus, it’s a vehicle for all that other yummy stuff, which I always like.

{Editor’s update for my Irish readers: This is spaghetti squash – you whack it in half, roast it, then scoop out the insides. They’re just like spaghetti! A little bland, and perfect for topping with roasted veggies and cheese! Or you could top it with spaghetti sauce, just like regular spaghetti. Healthier and yum!}

These requests struck me as so unique and personal – and quirky! – so last night I got to wondering what other people might request. I know Michael always asks for my mom’s slow cooker barbecue pulled pork.

So what would you request if you’d been living away for a stretch? Or if you’d been cooking noodles and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like my brother in Australia for the last four months?!

Tell me, what’s the first thing you’d ask for?

Lemon Chicken

(serves 4, generously)

4 small zucchinis
2 packs button mushrooms (seems like a lot, but they cook down!)
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 garlic cloves

Slice and chop the zucchini, mushrooms and chicken breasts into
bite size pieces. Mix the remaining ingredients together and whisk
until most of the sugar is dissolved. Pour the lemon mixture over
the chopped vegetables and chicken, and let sit for a couple hours.

After marinating, pour the whole mixture into a baking pan or tray
and cook at 350 F/180 C for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is
cooked through and the zucchini softens. 

Serve hot over rice. Enjoy!


  • Reply SJ November 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    That lemon chicken is going to go down a treat in my place!

    Spaghetti Squash .. .explain please? For an Irish person πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Kristin November 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I always ask my mom to make spinach dip, even though I can make it myself here in Ireland. It just seems like such an American thing. And I ask her to stock up on bagels and Krispy Kreme doughnuts too, my biggest weakness!

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