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A Chip Off the Old Block of Cheese + A Recipe

March 9, 2011

One of the best parts of being a parent is watching your children grow and learn. We are trying to teach our girls to be kind, thoughtful and all-around good citizens. I am thankful (though it presents equal frustration) that Lilly is a confident, strong-willed child at almost three years of age. She is also very visual and notices the small details in everyday things.

The other evening I was making dinner – chicken and veggie skewers with mediterranean rice – and Lilly was helping me prepare the rice. We opened a package of feta, smelled it, tasted it and discussed other things we could make with it. She studied the container lid and asked me what the words said. I asked her what she thought it said.

After thinking for a moment, she loudly declaired, “It says PEE-EWW!”

I smelled the cheese again. Feta can have a sharp smell, but this was a commercially produced feta with a mild flavor and aroma. Then it hit me. Her dad is lactose intolerant and sometimes cheese makes him toot. Maybe that was it?

I asked her why she thought it said ‘pee-eww’.

She pointed at the label seriously and responded, “Because that’s what it says in Bertie. It’s just like Bertie.” She was very matter-of-fact.

I washed my hands, dried them and went to her room to look for something. I scanned her bookshelf and found it. I grabbed the book and took it back to the kitchen. Pee-ew! Is That You, Bertie? is a book by David Roberts and it has become a recent favorite with Lilly. This book is irreverant. It’s full of toots, farts and poots … well, you get the idea. The story is about a little boy named Bertie and his family who all have problems with flatulence. That’s it – no real story or moral – it’s just for fun. It was purchased many years before I knew Craig or thought about having children. I liked it for its illustrative style and because I harbor a secret desire be a children’s book author (really). Truthfully, it’s kind of a gross book but we all laugh together anyway.

As I looked at the book I noticed the distressed font used for the word ‘Feta’ on the cheese package was similar to the font used throughout the book.

Oh my goodness. I’ve helped create a little Typophile and I couldn’t be prouder.

Athenian-Style Chicken Kabobs
Adapted from a Near East recipe
Serves 4

1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
12 oz. chicken breast halves (about 3), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
4 small red potatoes, halved and boiled until fork tender
1 package (10 ounces) plain couscous (or 2 cups cooked orzo or brown rice)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, 1 tablespoon dill and oregano. Add chicken, cover and marinate in refrigerator, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Thread chicken, red pepper, zucchini, red onion and potatoes alternately onto 4 – 8 skewers* (depending on size of skewers). Baste once with yogurt mixture. Discard yogurt mixture.

Grill or broil kabobs 4 to 5 inches from heat 3 to 5 minutes. Turn kabobs and grill an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous (or orzo/rice) according to package directions. Stir in feta, parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, lemon zest and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve kabobs over bed of couscous (or orzo/rice).

*If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in warm water for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

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