It’s been a fun little weekend ’round these parts! Knowing I’ve been dying to get out of the house lately, Ben suggested we do a couple of fun activities like catching a movie on Friday night. I chose Identity Thief with high hopes, but gave the popcorn we bought to crunch on one more buttery thumb up than the movie. The first 1/3 was kind of slow but eventually picked up a bit.
That said, I’d watch Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in anything. They crack me UP! (Almost as much as this guy…) ; )
Saturday morning Ben came in from shoveling snow mid-morning and proclaimed - I’m takin’ you to Hickory Park for lunch! WHEE!
Hickory Park is one of our favorite restaurants to visit whenever we feel like doing something out of the ordinary. It’s a BBQ joint in Ames, IA, about 40 minutes north, also home to Iowa State University where Ben went to college.
We started dating our senior year in college, and whenever I’d drive in from Cedar Falls, where I went to school at the University of Northern Iowa, we’d always try and squeeze in a trip to the massive restaurant that serves up the best BBQ and homestyle food in the area.
The atmosphere is so much fun – part smokehouse, part 1875 General Store!
Our hunger levels reached thier peak as we drove in, so we each ordered a cup of soup promptly after sitting down. Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup for her, and a cup o’ Chili for him. Mine was extra thick. Just the way I like my tortilla soup!
Whenever we go to HP I tell myself I’m going to try something new, but I always go back to my staple – the Saucy Southerner. Chopped hickory-smoked pork, turkey, and beef smothered in BBQ sauce served with your choice of side.
You can never go wrong with this baby. My mouth is totally watering at the memory…
Ben also fell victim to routine and ordered his favorite, Smoked Turkey with Mashed Potatoes. Served on a serious platter.
Afterwards we cruised around town a bit, past Ben’s old dorm, apartments, and some of our old haunts. Its crazy how quickly bars go in and out of college towns. We only recognized a few places!
It was a beautiful day so we took the scenic, back-roads home. Gosh the sunlight felt good.
Today we got up then hit the gym and grocery store before stopping at Panera for a quick lunch. Chicken & Wild Rice Soup with an apple for me, per usual!
My Mom came over for a bit this afternoon to chat, then I whipped up a super-easy dinner of Parmesan-Garlic Chicken with Roasted Potato Wedges for dinner.
This dish takes just 10 minutes to prep then bakes for 35 minutes total – both the chicken and potatoes at the same temperature. Goes from the fridge to the table in a snap.
You can dress it up a ton of different ways too. I served my chicken sliced and on a bed of baby spinach, but you could top the baked parmesan-garlic chicken with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese then broil for a few minutes for easy Chicken Parmesan. Switch up the spices on the potato wedges to have anything from tex-mex to ranch potatoes!
Start with the Roasted Potato Wedges. First slice 2 russet potatoes in quarters, then each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges. You’ll want them to be about 1″ thick.
Place the wedges into a bowl then toss with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, lots of salt and pepper, and then place the wedges on a nonstick-sprayed baking sheet and bake at 400 degree for 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, brush 2 chicken breasts on both sides with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then place onto a nonstick-sprayed baking sheet.
Mix up a yummy, flavorful concoction of 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, then smear it over the top.
Take the potato wedges out and then flip, then place both the potatoes and chicken back into the oven for 20 minutes. Top the hot potato wedges with a sprinkle of more parmesan cheese, and then dinner’s done!
Parmesan-Garlic Chicken with Roasted Potato Wedges
Potato Wedges adapted from Jenna Weber
For the Roasted Potato Wedges:
2 small russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
For the Parmesan-Garlic Chicken:
2 chicken breasts
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry potatoes then cut into quarters. Cut each quarter into two or three 1″ wedges then place into a bowl. Add oil, salt, and pepper, toss to coat, then place onto a foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes, flipping half way through.
- Brush chicken breasts on both sides with oil then season with salt and pepper. Place onto a nonstick-sprayed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, and oil then spread evenly on top of both chicken breasts. Roast for 20 minutes with potatoes.
- Remove chicken and potatoes then sprinkle 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese on top of hot potatoes and then serve.
I seriously need to bake my chicken more often. It comes out so tender, moist, and juicy. The golden, parmesan-garlic crust was perfection on top too. Bursting with flavor!
My favorite was definitely the roasted potato wedges – Ben went nuts for ‘em! So easy, too.
Well I hope you had a wonderful weekend too, friends! Off to wind down with some Oscar fashions before the start of a crazy week. See ya’!