Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Reading Note, Recipe & Gallery


Some of the drinks served at The Capital Room Bar

Though I don't see my favorite - Conservative Lady - blue with a butterfly perched on top.

Busy night at The Capital Room Bar, Sanford, FL

Update on Grace's Recent Reading:

Last week's hurricane (Idalia), though it spared my part of Florida, seemed to usher in a really bad week—perhaps it was the increased humidity adding new aches and pains on top of my eyes plunging into a periodic cycle of going wonky on me. In any event, I turned to the comfort of old favorites on my Kindle, and the need for a Special Note cropped up. 

One of my all-time favorite series of any genre is Lindsay Buroker's SciFi Fantasy, "The Emperor's Edge." Not only is it highly imaginative, full of action, with remarkable characters, but it goes through something like ten books before the hero (anti-hero) even kisses the heroine! But my Special Note is this:  if you are thinking of reading, or re-reading, this series, you will enjoy it more if you read Book 1 of the "Encrypted" series first. Because Book 1 introduces the seventeen-year-old version of the Emperor's assassin, Sicarius, the anti-hero of all eleven volumes of "The Emperor's Edge" series, as well as two VIP characters who reappear in the last volume of the series." 

Warning:  to the best of my recollection, we never get a peek inside Sicarius's head. He is always seen through other people's eyes. (I have always wondered if, when Ms Buroker created him, she intended to use him in his own series, or if she simply found the character she created for Encrypted too intriguing to let him go. ( I. e., a decade or so later, who and what has he become?)


 As I have mentioned, I am a recipe freak. I could recall making a tasty chicken recipe which included thin lemon slices, but it became lost among my mountains of recipe magazines and not re-discovered until I culled the piles, determinedly packing most of them off to Goodwill (but only after photocopying my favorite recipes, of course). But when I took a second look at the re-discovered recipe, I found a number of oddities, which I am going to list before typing up the original. Here's a look at the photo in One-Pan Recipes (

Keep in mind, however, that the sauce in this recipe is so tasty that it is well worth a bit of hassle to try to figure out what the recipe's author really meant.



1.  Photo shows broccoli, but there's no broccoli in the recipe.

2. Recipe calls for 3 chicken breasts, but every package of 3 I saw in the store weighed considerably more than the specified "about 1 lb." I bought a package of two.

3.  Recipe states:  chicken breasts cut into half-inch cutlets, which implies cutting the chicken before cooking, except the photo implies the chicken is not cut until after cooking. (Both times I've made it, I cut the chicken up ahead of time. Will experiment with cooking breasts whole next time.)

3. Recipe states to keep chicken warm in oven while making sauce. It seems to me the chicken could also be put in microwave and gently reheated before pouring the sauce over. (I experimented with keeping chicken warm on Power Level 1; that also worked.)

Warning:  Like so many truly delicious recipes, Chicken Piccata has quite a few steps. Here's a list of what can be done ahead of time.

1.  Slice chicken (if you plan to cut strips before cooking).
2.  Prepare a plastic baggie with flour, salt & pepper. (This is the way my mother taught me to coat chicken, more than half a century ago - except we had to use a brown paper bag.)
3.  Mince garlic.
4.  Slice half a lemon into thin slices. 
5.  Squeeze enough lemons to make 3 tablespoons juice. (Two lemons should be enough for both slices & juice, as long as they're not mere dry excuses for lemons.) 
6.  Mince parsley.
Here is the recipe, as printed in One Dish in November 2021: 


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb.), cut horizontally into ½" cutlets
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed*
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ lemon, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed & drained
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1.  Preheat oven to 200°F. Put a serving platter in oven to warm.
2.  Season chicken with salt & pepper, then dredge in flour. Shake off excess. Heat oil in large skillet; pan-fry each breast until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter in oven. Drain oil from skillet, leaving a thin coating.
3.  Add garlic to skillet & cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in broth. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in lemon slices and bring to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces to about 2/3 cup, 3-5 minutes.
4.  Add lemon juice and capers; simmer until sauce is further reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Drop butter into sauce; stir in. Add parsley; stir in. Remove sauce from heat.
5.  Arrange chicken on serving plate(s); top with sauce.

*I experimented with Pam, which is not a good substitute in this recipe; had to add olive oil before adding garlic. Therefore, use vegetable oil or olive oil; no spray-on.

Repeat:  This is a great sauce, well worth the effort and the confusion about what the instructions mean. I'm guessing the original intent was to cut the chicken into cutlets only after cooking. Enjoy!

~ * ~

This week's featured book:

The background on this one is highly authentic. I ran a costume shop in one of the Gulf Coast's most delightful towns for several years (making c. 85% of the costumes myself).



Costume designers are not detectives. But when a customer ends up dead in Gwyn Halliday's best Santa suit and a senior friend is threatened, what's a girl to do? And besides, a bit of investigation might promote a better acquaintance with the hunky new police chief, not to mention reestablish an old acquaintance with a friend suffering from PTSD, who now needs her as much as she needs him.

Author's Note:
Golden Beach is an actual Florida Gulf Coast town, whose residents would prefer to keep its real name secret. Only a few of my Golden Beach books have cross-over characters, but all share the same idyllic setting. (Or at least it was before I made bad things happen there.)
~ * ~
For a link to Blair's website, click here. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)


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