I am in Maryland today visiting Jessica, my niece, and her husband, Josh, who just moved here from Philadelphia last month and it is very fun.

Today we knocked around to thrift stores with 8 month old Liam in tow; we came home with a solid wood pine 5 shelf bookcase, a perfectly proportioned wine cabinet for the right side of the fireplace and charming lamp for under 100 bucks. It only took a few hours to make sure that all of the old pieces are perfectly content with the new.

Then I made chicken piccata. In itself, not such a special thing. Dust a chicken breast with flour and saute it in olive oil over a fairly hot burner. Make a sauce with lemon, capers and chicken broth finishing with a good size tablespoon of butter. Since the pan was still hot, throw in some more oil, chopped garlic and spinach and make it wilt. Barely fifteen minutes later, dinner is on the table.

But what was really amazing, is Jessica is not a chicken eater. She is actually a vegetarian though she admits to having a really unnatural attachment to a good bratwurst. But she figured she should give it a try– it’s cheap, low cal and you can cook it all kinds of ways.

The verdict? She liked it. Who knew parenthood would open the door to the chicken coop?

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