Story last updated at 7/30/2014 - 11:14 pm
I'm headed out of town for a few days, attending my annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the mother of all conventions, Rollercon. This will be my fourth trek to Sin City to partake in the sweaty, exciting and extraordinary world of roller derby.
This is a sport by women and for women, but not exclusive to women. When I started competing in derby, I lived in Utah and skated for the Leave it to Cleavers, a team from the Salt City Derby Girls.
The sport was experiencing a resurgence and there were a few leagues in the southcentral part of the United States. Rules were guidelines, and fights were not only allowed, they were encouraged. We played to win and have fun. Audiences were growing, and anyone who had the passion for skating was welcomed.
I moved to Alaska and skated with (and coached) the Juneau Rollergirls, who won the 2014 state tournament. I'm so proud of these girls.
A lot has changed in the eight years since I started roller derby. There are official rules for play and conduct. Fighting can get a skater ejected for several games - if not seasons - and there are now national and world tournaments. I've even heard talk of a place in the Olympics some day.
Regardless of what happens with the rules and sport, its place in the overall empowerment of women, its players and all participants is still as strong as ever.
I look forward to my annual trek to meet fellow fans of the sports, friends and of course to eat. It's Vegas, Baby: There are literally thousands of places to eat. Can't wait!
Before I pack and head out, I still have to eat in beautiful Juneau. Grant still demands some sort of sustenance nightly. It always seems that when I am preparing to leave town, there are a thousand things I need to get done before I board the plane.
This includes laundry, preparing columns for while I'm gone, paperwork for Grant, and of course my day job requires some attention. I also need to eat so I have the energy to get everything done.
In my haste to get tasks completed and things washed and packed, I didn't want to skip something good and healthy. I stepped the four feet from my bedroom to the kitchen (boutique apartment, remember?) and started searching for ingredients.
Fortunately, I had a refrigerator full of food waiting to be prepared, including baby heirloom tomatoes. These little jewels are so delicious and perfect for a quick recipe. Delving further into the fridge, I discovered some basil just begging to be used.
I also happened to have some chicken thighs and fresh garlic. That settled it; chicken bruschetta was now on the menu. Within 35 minutes I had a delicious dinner that went perfectly with a nice salad and lemon orzo.
Pairing crispy chicken with a fresh topping of tomatoes, garlic and basil is a win in the kitchen. I particularly enjoyed the combination of warm and cold sensations; and found it to be quite refreshing.
This week I present a recipe that was made quickly with a few ingredients, yet very full in flavor: Chicken Bruschetta. I look forward to my excursion to Vegas and to sharing more recipes when I return. I invite you to follow my food adventures via Twitter @midgimoto or Facebook, Meals with Midgi.
Until next time...
Eat and enjoy,
4 chicken thighs, skin on
4 large cloves garlic, 2 whole 2 minced
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Italian seasonings
2 cups grape, cherry or baby heirloom tomatoes, diced
½ cup basil, julienned
Salt and pepper
Preheat olive oil in medium skillet to medium high heat. Add the two whole garlic cloves and cook until they are golden brown. Remove from oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and Italian seasonings. Place seasoned side down in oil. Season other side. Cook for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Turn and cook additional 10 minutes. Cover for 5 minutes to ensure cooked well through. You may need to reduce heat if your pan becomes too hot.
For bruschetta topping, combine tomatoes, minced garlic and basil in bowl and mix well. Drizzle with olive oil until evenly coated (about 1 - 2 teaspoons). Season with salt and pepper.
To plate, place chicken on dinner plate, top with bruschetta. For variation, add some mozzarella or provolone cheese to the chicken before topping with bruschetta.