Quick Roasted Tomato and Artichoke Spaghetti

Here’s a quick pasta dish that’s as delicious as it is healthy.  It’s all done in a single skillet, aside from boiling the pasta, and you can vary the recipe in several ways.  Serves four.

One 8 oz. box spaghetti, linguine or fettucine

One 16 oz package frozen artichoke quarters

Juice of one lemon and zest.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped, or to taste

1/2 c. slivered almonds, or to taste

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

3/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese

2 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper as desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large skillet that is heat-proof enough for broiling (cast iron is best), combine artichoke quarters, tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Add olive oil and lemon juice and toss.  Add thyme and any desired salt/pepper, and toss again.

Place skillet in preheated oven and set timer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, start large kettle to boil for pasta.  Be sure to add enough salt to water.  It should be as salty as the ocean.

Toast your almonds at 375 degrees, preferably in a toaster oven, so you can keep an eye on them. Look away and you’ll burn them. They should be golden, which only takes about 5 minutes. When done, take out and set aside.

When 15 minutes has elapsed on your oven timer, take out artichoke mix, zest lemon over it, toss, and return to oven.

When your oven timer has gone off, your pasta water should be boiling.  Add pasta to water and follow package directions for cook time.  Meanwhile, turn oven to broil in order to caramelize artichoke mix.  Set timer for 8-10 minutes, but check to make sure you don’t burn veggies.

When pasta is almost done– about a minute short — remove skillet from oven, and set on stovetop over lowest heat. Add two ladles of pasta water, then drain pasta in colander over sink.  While pasta is still dripping, throw it into skillet, add almonds, and toss thoroughly until veggies are evenly distributed.

Distribute pasta mix on four plates and top with parmesan cheese.

Some variations:  add a couple of tablespoons of capers.  Use pistachios instead of almonds.  Use oregano instead of thyme.  Use romano cheese instead of parmesan.  Crumble bacon over mix.

 

Why Blogs Fail

A savvy blogger published on the Amazon FB page an article called WHY BLOGS FAIL. Those of you — and when I say “you”, I also mean me — trying to attract blog readers should follow this advice.  I’m not saying I will. but I SHOULD!

http://howtoblogabook.com/7-ways-to-prevent-your-blog-from-failing/

IF YOU ENJOYED “LOVE BOOT CAMP”…

Thank you for all your kind comments about this blog.  For those of you who would like to read more, the Kindle version of one of my novels, REGRET NOT A MOMENT, is on sale this week — November 4-10, 2014, for 99 cents/99£.  The usual price is $3.99.

This novel has received reader raves with an average 4.4 star Amazon rating.

Regret - Kindle Format Like A Book[1]The book opens in Virginia horse country. The year is 1930. Beautiful, witty Devon is the daughter of a prominent Virginia family. Many men have fallen under her spell, but none has captured her heart, until she meets New York tycoon John Alexander. Their future seems assured: they will marry, raise a family, turn their country estate into the best Thoroughbred farm in the nation. But what Devon cannot foresee are the conflicts that will drive away her husband or the tragedy that will devastate their marriage.

Be transported from lush Virginia hunt country to sophisticated New York and the embassies of Paris. Travel from the Hollywood glamour of Hearst castle in its heyday to the turmoil of war-torn Cairo, and the enclaves of aristocratic England. Devon’s tale takes you through the decades from peaceful pre-war America to the danger of World War II, and the racial unrest of the South of the 1950s and’60s.

Enjoy the thrill of Thoroughbred racing with one of the first women to break into the male-dominated sport and one of the first African-American men to become renowned as a world-class trainer.

Buy the book here: REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

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99¢ SALE THIS WEEK ON NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS

Romance novel No More Lonely Nights will be on sale for 99 cents, from 10/6/14 through 10/12/14.  The latest stellar review is from Book Viral, “The frustrations and expectations of yesteryear make a memorable backdrop in No More Lonely Nights, from author Nicole McGehee. Wonderfully introspective, it’s certainly an engaging narrative. Not one that suffers from trite prosaicisms, but reflects the less prescriptive and wholly unpredicted choices life often presents as the years pass by. With gentle momentum, McGehee’s plot is driven by a flair for dialogue and vibrant stock characters, with none more alluring than her protagonist Dominique Avallon. She’s strong and well rendered with McGehee wisely allowing room for her to grow. Bringing her frustrations and anguish to the fore as she suffers through the transitions with which she is faced, but what makes No More Lonely Nights such a memorable read is that McGehee allows her readers a generous margin for interpretation. Yes, the underlying theme is the evolution of women’s roles in society, but it’s the unscripted complexity of life that prevails and remains ever prevalent.

 “A truly mesmerising read from beginning to end, No More Lonely Nights proves an intelligent and heartfelt read that will linger long after the last page is turned.  A fine example of its genre and undeniably deserving of a place on your bookshelf, it is recommended without reservation!”

To read the first chapter of this book, which starts in the Mad Men -era and spans 20 years, please  click on cover photo at right, which takes you to the book’s Amazon Kindle page.

Direct link is http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CJYQB5S/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

 

Recipe: Delish, Lo-Cal Chicken w/Artichokes

In bed is where I dream up recipes. I’ll be laying there in a groggy state, hungry, and I’ll think about what I have in the house that might constitute a yummy dish.  Here’s one I dreamed up the other morning.  It dresses up chicken breasts, which are too often dry and dull.  There are 4 steps to this dish, but it is very easy and fool proof:

1. Marinate 2. Grill 3. Bake 4. Slice, sauce and serve.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

6 to 8 oz. frozen artichoke quarters

juice of 2 lemons

2 cloves garlic, crushed or very finely minced

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter or butter substitute

One sprig fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp. dried

1 tbsp. capers

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1. Marinate

For the marinade:  2 tbsp. olive oil, juice of one lemon, one clove of crushed garlic, one sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped off stem or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in an oven-safe glass container/casserole with a lid, such as Corning Ware. Add 2 chicken breasts, turn to coat with liquid, cover with lid and refrigerate, ideally for at least an hour.

Step 2. Grill

GRILL chicken breasts on high heat, 6 minutes a side, using all the marinade in the process. You should see grill marks. Meanwhile rinse and dry your marinade dish for re-use in next step. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

When chicken is finished grilling, remove it from grill and put into your oven-safe dish for baking.

Step 3. Bake

Top chicken with:

6 to 8 oz. frozen artichoke quarters, 1 tbsp. capers, juice of 1/2 lemon, drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tbsp.), salt and pepper. Bake for 17-20 minutes until no pink remains or meat thermometer reaches proper poultry temperature.

While chicken is baking combine in microwave-safe bowl or ramekin, 2 tbsp. butter or butter substitute, juice of 1/2 lemon, one clove crushed garlic, salt to taste.

Step 4. Slice, sauce and serve

When chicken is done, remove from oven, slice, and top with artichoke mixture, melt butter mix in microwave for about 30 seconds, then top chicken with it.

Serves two.

 

 

 

LAST DAY! 99 cent for REGRET NOT A MOMENT

“Kept me wanting more.”
“A beautiful step back in time.”
“Attention keeper.”

THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE 18 STELLAR REVIEWS FOR #kindle #romance REGRET NOT A MOMENT! Read all the reviews, then one-click at http://amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

This book is on sale for 99 cents this week.  Usual price is $3.99. To purchase, either click on link above or on book’s cover photo at right.

This is first and foremost a love story, but much more than that, too. One reader review says it best.

“Not only is the story romantic, fast-paced and historical, but it deals with matters of racism, feminism and misogyny” all in the elite, glamorous world of Thoroughbred racing.”

Iris Rainer Dart, author of Beaches (made into a classic movie starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey) called Regret not a Moment, “A bewitching book! You will never forget the captivating Devon Richmond…”