The newest addition to my growing plant collection is a clump of three Aspen trees--well, four if you count the tiniest little sucker already branching out on it's own, just 6 inches from the base of the original clump.
I've never been so excited about a tree in my life: we removed the white cloth wrapped around it's branches for transport, and I said (out loud), "Hi, Tree." (I was laughed at, but not by the tree.)
Into the ground it went! With any luck, they will grow fast and tall and with in a year or so we'll have even a few more suckers growing up from the ground. An Aspen forest in the making.
When we were shopping for a home last year, we found a literal dream house in the mountains. It was a "pinch me" experience to even tour it. The real "pinch" was a fact of reality: it's lack of internet would've made it impossible to work our jobs when we were snowed in. Still, I'm not over it. On the outside, it was surrounded by Aspen trees. Wispy and green in the spring, golden and bold in the fall.
One day, perhaps. One day.
For now, I'm searching for a name for my clump of Aspen trees. Not because I typically name my plants (I call them all "little guy" and "plantie" usually 😳), but because when Oliver asked me his name I couldn't answer. What do you guys think? Ansel? Addison? Adel? We've been calling it Albert, after Mt. Elbert (but with an A, because it's an Aspen. Yea, cheesy).
Among other plants, this year I planted two tomato plants and a row of basil. Bruschetta, here I come!
Serves: 4 | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 5 chicken breast cutlets
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil for cooking For topping:
- 3 vine-ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 cup basil, sliced chiffonade
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan (or other hard cheese)
- Salt & pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic gel or balsamic reduction
- Place chicken in a ziplock bag with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning. Place in fridge and allow to marinate for 6-8 hours.
- When ready to cook: heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in skillet over medium heat until it glistens. Discard of excess marinade, and place chicken into skillet. Cover, and allow to cook on first side for 5-7 minutes, or until the bottom begins to brown. Flip chicken to second side, and cook 5 more minute, until browned.
- In a small mixing bowl, toss diced tomatoes with basil, parmesan, 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use a spoon to scoop the tomato mixture over each chicken cutlet.
- Drizzle balsamic gel over each cutlet, and serve hot.