There are lots of upsides to this stay (namely, the fact that my children are occupied by their five cousins basically from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed), but I'd be lying if I didn't mention that Heather's cooking is way way way at the top of the list.
If I had five children (and was expecting another), I probably would be serving cold cereal for dinner every night.
Instead, Heather is whipping up gourmet meals every night (and then going to Crossfit in the morning - I went along with her yesterday and . . . I might not be able to get out of bed ever again).
On Monday night, she and her husband grilled up these chicken caesars salads for us, and all the grown-ups and the two smallest children sat around the patio table while the rest of the children ate on the grass.
It was a perfect summer dinner.
And then we topped it off by having these never-fail brownies with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. But, obviously, we waited until the children were in bed for that part.
Also, I was totally dubious about grilled lettuce. I was wrong - it's delicious.
Chicken Caesars Salad with Grilled Lettuce
4 chicken breasts or thighs (we did thighs)
1 bottle of caesars dressing (we used Newman's and I say "we" but basically I just watched)
4 baby romaine lettuces
Juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Grilling onions (optional)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Turn grill to medium-high and let heat.
Place the chicken in a baking dish and cover with half a bottle of the caesars dressing. Let sit while you prep the other items.
Rinse the lettuce carefully and then slice in half, leaving the stems in-tact. Lay them, cut side up, on a baking sheet and drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil and then generously salt and pepper.
(If you're going to do onions too, drizzle them with just a tiny bit of olive oil).
Cook the chicken on the grill until cooked through (if it's done before everything else, put it on a plate and cover with tinfoil to keep warm until everything's ready).
Cook the onions about 7-10 minutes, until browned in spots. Add the lettuce to the grill and cook about 1 minute on each side.
Plate the lettuce, chicken, and onions. Add croutons, top with Parmesan cheese, and, if desired, top with additional dressing (I obviously had more dressing, but other more adult-ish adults refrained).