I have to tell you that being the oldest out of four can sometimes be weird. Especially when you are so much OLDER, and I mean O-L-D-E-R. A couple of my siblings could be my children. Yes, I am that much older. I love it though, they keep me young and definitely broke me in before my own monkeys came along. Man, I had diaper changing down to a science by the time I became a mom. I was faster than Superman and more agile than Spider-man. You need both in order to never have any mishaps, okay as few as possible.

This year is what I call my “Full Circle Year”. All three of my siblings are exactly the same age as I was when they were born. As my lil’ brother said “Yo, that’s just like mad caaarraazzzy sissy!” ( he is so going to tease me after this ๐Ÿ™‚ )That sure made him sit up and think.ย  Don’t you just love perspective. They are now starting to get why Sissy is such a pain at times.

With two of my siblings being teenagers, hanging out with their older sister can of course at times be a chore, a bore, an adventure into the weird and quirky.ย  They are reluctant to go on any adventures with me sometimes because they know me so well. Hah! They absolutely understand what it means to have a red head for an older sister and that I am prone to various red headed tendencies. They love me though and I love them!

Bless their hearts for tolerating me even when I unabashedly fly my artistic freak flag with pride. Also for looking past my short temper that escapes me on those rare occasions, no comment you three, and my over protective mothering that I have completely stopped doing. Yeah right!. You guys know that you are mine and I am yours… always. Even my Michigan snow bunny sis, freezing her toes off right about now.

My lil’ brother Blaine is 18. Oh yeah!! So nailing him down for some one on one time is like trying to catch a gray hound that has the rabbit in it’s sight. You try it sometime, you’ll run out of breathe just as quickly as we do trying to keep up with him. He is a busy, busy guy with swim team, lacrosse, sending out applications for college, his buds and his lady love.ย  He was so sweet to come and have lunch with me today. I love hanging out with him when I can.

Last night I made Cavetelli with chicken and broccoli. Well sort of. I was out of cavetelli and had to use radiatore pasta instead. This was a recipe that Blaine’s swim coach passed on to us and we love it. Especially the monkeys’ since it is not to spicy. They like it so much they look past the fact that they are eating broccoli.ย  It is yummy, light, healthy and the best part, quick.ย  Perfect to make after those late soccer practices. Blaine enjoyed finishing up the leftovers for lunch as he filled me in on what’s new with him and taught me some new words such as qual. Do you know what that one means? I will give you a hint.

Sissy, this is definitely some qual food. Can I have some more?

I like qual. I think that I will use it from now on.

My surfer is qual, the monkeys are qual, my life is qual, my sisters are qual, my lil’ bro is qual…you get the idea.

That’s right, I be keepin’ it real with my bro. Ummm…NO, definitely not me. I promise not to say that again. Well maybe ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the recipe for…

Qual Cavetelli Chicken and Broccoli.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 lb. pasta preferably cavetelli but any medium sized will work.

3 heads of broccoli cut into florets

2 cups Parmesan cheese

4 cloves of garlic ( or more if you really love garlic)

1/2 of a lemon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt (to season)

black pepper (to season)

dried oregano (to season)

dried basil (to season) fresh if you have it

red pepper (to season) fresh if you have it

1 Roma tomato (to garnish)


Pre-heat your oven to 425

Coat an oven safe LARGE skillet with the extra virgin olive oil.

Cut the 3 heads of broccoli into florets, set aside.

Peel the cloves of garlic and flatten with the broad side of a knife.

Season the chicken breasts with salt, black pepper, oregano and basil. Place the chicken and garlic in the skillet. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon over the chicken and bake for approx. 25 min. or until done. Cut into bite size pieces.

While your chicken is baking, make the pasta al dente. Reserve 1/2 of the pasta water to use later.

In the same skillet (save the drippings) on medium high heat,

Add the broccoli along with the reserved water from the pasta. Loosen the drippings and saute the broccoli for a couple of minutes.

Now add the chicken, pasta, Parmesan cheese and red pepper. Let everything cook until all of the liquid has evaporated or until the broccoli is just done. No mushy overcooked broccoli. Add a little oil if you feel the need.

Serve and enjoy. Preferably with a teenager ๐Ÿ™‚

Or as I do with diced Roma tomato on top. You could also add toasted pine nuts, olives, mushrooms or even cook with heavy cream to make an Alfredo sauce. Be creative.

Other than my surfer and the monkeys no one TICKLES me more than my sisters and brother. I so enjoy our times together. Hey Blaine, we still need to make Mozza’ Balls ya big goof ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy all the memories that you make with your siblings.

Tickled Red