So, CoVid happened.

I know, that sounds pretty obvious. But, from my perspective, I just experienced the longest March Break on record. My kids started school this week, and I find myself for the first time since March 12 sitting at home alone on a day off.

Alone.

The Days Off thing were already pretty rare. Mid-week days off, where I didn’t spend any time at the store or doing store errands, and don’t have to run any of my kids somewhere for something, just haven’t happened as we dealt with all the “CoVid Realities” that affected Schinkels. And I’m not complaining – I’ve totally loved all the excitement and challenges and opportunities these past couple months have brought. Loved the extra time spent at the store, serving our community and making things run smoothly and all that. I joke about a long March Break, but it was a long stretch of busy.

But things are settling, and we are getting used to our new normals at the store. Our fantastic staff are managing the increased everything with style and composure, and I’m able to book more time off.

Time.

Which means that I’m finding more of that elusive “Time” that I love so much. Which means that I’m playing in my kitchen more again, trying new recipes and tricks to make my life more tasty, delicious and easy.

This afternoon, I decided to try two new recipes tonight for dinner.

The first was suggested by Lou Borrelli when he came by to sample his gnocchi a couple weeks ago at the store. He inspired me to try some other products from Borrelli – their pasta sauces, minced garlic, and pasta.

 

But, of course, I have to through a twist into the mix to pull out even more flavour and pizazz. I added some Anna’s Garden Basil Starter and Schinkels’ Legacy Bacon to the process. Just for fun.

Tasty.

So, I started by cooking the bowtie pasta according to directions, and sautéing some minced garlic to golden brown and cooking up some bacon tidbits in the meantime. Yes, three pots going on the stove at the same time. I’m that talented.

Anyway, when everything was sufficiently cooked, I added a good dollop of Anna’s Garden Basil Started to the garlic, and then tossed the bacon and noodles alongwith some grated Parmesan all in the same pan and cooked it all together for a few minutes to get the flavours blended. Looked and smelled simply fabulous.

I wish the internet had a smell feature so I could share.

The second was much simpler and suggested to me by my good friend Buddy of Bubi’s Awesome Eats. He had told me ages ago that Bubi’s garlic sauce makes the best marinade for chicken. So, I marinated some chicken breasts in some Bubi’s Garlic Sauce all afternoon, and then grilled them on our Trager for about 35 minutes. The beauty of the Traeger is that there is a thermometer with an alarm, so as soon as my chicken breasts were 165F, my phone dinged, and I was able to set the Traeger on “Keep Warm” until Greg and the boys come home. No guessing, no cutting into the meat and losing precious juice. I like easy.

Oh, my goodness, the smells off my deck were just amazing. Between the smoke and the garlic, I knew this would be a winner with Greg.

Totally love this “Time’ thing.

 

Anna’s Basil Bowties