A war has been raging and I’m on the losing end.
The battle wages on a daily basis and so far, yours truly is at the point of waving a white flag – ready to surrender.
The battleground – my backyard.
The squirrels taunt me. The chipmunks wreak havoc. And those ungrateful birds!
There are numerous times I’ll look out of my window and see a squirrel sitting on my chaise or patio table eating walnuts and leaving the shells behind in a little pile for me to clean up. And then there are times I’ll see them just lounging on the patio sunning themselves or sitting on a chair — I know they can see me as I stand inside the house glaring at them.
The chipmunks are no better. They’re either digging up my herbs in the pots or snatching up cherry tomatoes before I can get to them for harvest. I’ll see half eaten tomatoes or red blotches on the patio pavers. The nerve!
And those birds constantly dropping little reminders left and right for me to clean up after they have the nerve to enjoy all that free food they’re getting each week. Ingrates! They could at least do their business in areas of the yard where my patio furniture isn’t located! It’s a big yard!
Ok, I’m a bit over dramatic. What should I expect when I put out patio furniture, plant herbs and veggies and put up a bird feeder?
Fortunately, I was able to snatch away a few cherry tomatoes (not from the chipmunks) but harvested them from the tomato plant for a wonderful summer dinner.
I can’t take credit for this wonderful and super easy pasta dish. I saw this recipe several years ago while watching the Barefoot Contessa — it’s perfect for using up tomatoes and fresh basil. And if you’re a garlic lover, you’ll be in heaven!
- About 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
- Handful of fresh Basil leaves – chiffonade
- 5-6 large Garlic Cloves – crushed
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 12 ounces Pasta of your choice such as rotini or bow tie
- Toss tomatoes, basil and garlic together — generously drizzle olive oil and mix again. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with plastic wrap or airtight lid and allow flavors to blend for at least 1 hour at room temperature (the longer the better).
- Boil pasta until aldente, strain and toss everything together in a large bowl.
- Note: for the dinner I prepared, I cut everything in half to serve 2
3-4 stems fresh rosemary
Juice from 1 Lemon
2-3 Chicken Breasts cut into strips
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Strip rosemary leaves from stem and finely chop.
- Combine rosemary, chicken, lemon juice and enough olive oil to coat all chicken pieces in a large baggie.
- Lightly season with salt and pepper and then shake all ingredients in bag.
- Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry chicken on each side until a light, golden brown.
- Serve with pasta and enjoy while dining alfresco!