Life with a Food Mom


Do you know how annoying it is every night to have to wait another five hours for Mom to finish taking pictures of her food? If you are wondering why she has to take pictures of food, well, you’re looking at it. Take for instance a black bean burrito! Shrimp rolls! And this chicken with artichokes that you are looking at right now. I think that all of you — well most of you — are sitting at the table and having your parents sit right down and eating a delicious dinner. It’s different in my house. I have to wait, as I told you, for fiiiive hours for ONE picture to be tooken of SHRIMP SALAD!!! That seems psychotic to me. I’m an innocent child! All I want to do is sit down at the table and enjoy my dinner. Imagine if you were me, sitting at the table with a warm ficelle right in front of you without EATING IT! It’s TORTURE! All of you out there are LUCKY. You sit at the table with your family, pick up your fork, and eat. My life would change if my mom wasn’t a blogger! I do have one positive reason why being a food blogger’s daughter is fun. It is fun because every night we get to have a different dinner that some families might never have. We have interesting dinners and basically I have not had one dinner that was made by Mom or Dad that was not fantabulous. Except the egg dinners that are all mushy and slimy and D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G in my opinion. – ABBY, 8   :evil: :roll: :mrgreen:


Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce

1 1/3 pounds chicken thighs, salted and peppered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes, or to taste
8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) thawed frozen artichokes canned artichokes (drained) or to taste
zest from 1 lemon (about 1/2 teaspoon)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 – 1/3 cup cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
chopped parsley or thyme

In a large skillet, brown chicken pieces in olive oil over medium-high heat, in batches if necessary, about 2-3 minutes a side. (They do not have to cook through.) Remove, decrease heat to medium, and add onion. Cook a minute or two, scraping brown bits leftover from chicken. Add tomatoes, artichokes, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Nestle chicken thighs in the vegetables then add wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook another 8 to 10 minutes.

While it’s simmering, whisk together cream and mustard. Remove skillet from heat and stir in creamy mustard mixture.

Garnish with parsley or thyme. Serve with rice. Or ficelle — the par-baked loaf from Trader Joe’s. The kids will sit through any food photography nonsense if they have one of these waiting for them at the other end.


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This entry is adorable. :) Yes, it must be hard to wait for the parents to arrange the food and take the perfect photos before you get to eat.


I”m going to go pull the chicken out of the freezer right now. That could be a contender to dethrone “Vanessa Chicken” as a family fave. YUM!
(PS – Abby can come over and eat with us that night. Tho pics might be taken of her just ‘cuz she cute.)


Does anyone have any advice for mustard substitutes? I have a husband who refuses to eat it (even thought I love it), so I’m always looking for ways to replace it in delicious-looking recipes like this one.

Abby – great post! I hope they give you snacks while you wait.

Melissa@Julia's Bookbag

Abby, I tell my daughter all the time about this awesome food blog I read and how there are 2 little girls named Abby and Phoebe! She LOVES hearing about you guys! (I blog too and she gets mad that I have to take pictures of our storybooks before reading them..) :)


This is the best post I’ve read all day– thanks for the laugh! :)

Also, Abby… You are so lucky. Seriously.


Exellent post, Abby! You should know that I often torture my family by taking photos of our food before we eat too. And I, unlike your mother, am not even a professional blogger! It’s only a hobby. Imagine that.


I love hearing from you Abby. And thanks for sharing your mom and dad with us!

paige :: approaching joy

Thinking about making this tonight (’cause it looks scrumptious).
Any thoughts about how using chicken breasts, which I have on hand, would change it up from thighs, which I would have to go to the store to get?


Paige — It will definitely work w/ chicken breasts — don’t run out to get thighs. I would halve the breasts if they are too huge and thick. Easier to brown and cook through that way.


This was delicious! I used seasoned boneless chicken breast pieces and floured them first, then sauteed them in the pan with the olive oil…they were soooo tender!! Thanks for posting!! :0)

Jenny Rappaport

I’ll second the request for mustard substitutes. I really dislike it myself, so I’m always looking for ways to not use it, like Katherine above.


lol–Abby, my husband would sympathize with you. Thankfully, I’ve gotten faster a little faster (although my pictures never end up as pretty as your mom’s!).


To the mustard-haters: Leave it out. It will be fine — different, but fine. Maybe add a minced garlic clove with the artichokes & tomatoes. And a bay leaf with the liquid? And up the lemon zest a bit for brightness? Or do none of those things. It’s not going to be bad.

Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista

Abby, I totally understand. I think I might be blogging too much about what we are eating in our house, since the other day when my four year old daughter (she can’t wait to read some of your favorite books!) was making a peanut butter-coconut sauce all by herself, she paused to take a picture of it!

Pat Thomson

Abby, your mom takes beautiful food photos…which is really hard, trust me. (Look around at other blogs, and you’ll see what I mean.)

Mom, can you share a secret about your pix? I’m in awe that you manage these with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5. But my question is about the lighting, which is so natural. What do you use? Natural light from a window? A kinoflo or HMI? When I shoot food or wine, I just screw a color-corrected bulb into a floor lamp, but it’s not ideal, by any stretch. Would your reveal your trick of the trade?

paige :: approaching joy

We did make this last night, with the thighs, and it was delicious! (See comment above- I was questioning the necessity of thighs but the boyfriend insisted.)
For all of you mustard haters out there- please know- I am one as well. I choose the stone ground dijon, because…well… it looked less like mustard to me (to psych myself out) and it was absolutely amazing. The cream takes away most of the scary mustard bite but you still get the flavor.
Thanks DALS!


I made this dish for dinner tonight. My 6 year old daughter is meat-averse but loves tomatoes so I gave it a whirl. I added some raw cherry tomatoes on her plate to entice her. Her review: “This tastes pretty good for chicken!” The TJ bread was a hit, as well. My husband and I thought the dish was delicious too!


Pat T: I can only manage with natural light. Everything else confuses me too much. For instance, I have no idea what kinoflo or HMI is.


I cooked the chicken today and ate it with quinoa (I think quiona goes really well with creamy sauces). It is delicious! I am sure my husband and my toddler will like it as well. Thank you for sharing. :)


One word: Yum. I made it last night and everyone, even the 4 year old, loved it. For those who don’t like mustard you could leave out the tomatoes as well and simmer with sun dried tomatoes. Kind of a different dish but it’s tasty.


Thank you for this recipe! I made it for dinner tonight-the flavor was amazing and my husband loved it even though he doesn’t like artichokes or tomatoes. So good!


I made this tonight mostly because it sounded like something I would love. I was pretty sure my kids would have issues with it (they don’t like artichokes and my youngest has a love affair with mac n’ cheese and complains about all other foods), but I had my 6yo and 4yo sons help with prep and they kept saying how good it was. (And it really was very good!) My oldest even ate all the artichokes and my youngest ate half his chicken (which is pretty huge for him). Thanks for the recipe!


I made this dish for last night dinner with my girlfriends and it was so so yummy (they loved it) – I had to have more for lunch today. I am from France and we have so many different mustards here that I used a mustard called “Moutarde à l’ancienne” miam miam !!!! Great recipe and I will keep it for another time …..


This looks so good! What if I made it today and served for dinner tomorrow? Would it do well overnight in the fridge?


For the chicken thighs (or breasts) are you using skinless/boneless ones or ones with skin/bones still intact?


I just made this dinner for myself, substituted a head of roasted garlic for the dijon (I have a mustard thing) and I added some kale and pine nuts, so took it in a more Italian direction. In any event, I just want to say it’s a crime against humanity NOT to serve this with some crusty bread to sop up all that good sauce. Love that it all comes together in about a half hour and the flavors are fantastic. Thanks for such a great recipe!!


Jenny, I finally got around to making this dish for my husband and myself – whoa, so good! I don’t remember the last time that he went on and on and on about a chicken dish. “This is just so flavorful…” “So comforting…” “Wait, did you say it was healthy? It doesn’t taste like most of your ‘healthy’ dishes…” We gave it 5 stars, and I got a request to put this on heavy rotation :) Thank you!!


I made this tonight with white beans instead of chicken, and served it on farro. (I’m easing my way back into vegetarianism.) It had a very different texture and flavor than when made with chicken (I’ve made it as written before) but it was still delicious.


Jenny –

1) The whole blog is totally fantastic. It’s the only blog I follow. Thank you for teaching me how to cook.

2) THIS CHICKEN ROCKS. I mixed it up a bit by doubling the recipe and braising in the wine and broth for an hour before adding the veg… very tender, fall-off-the-bone results. The dish super impressed my guest (who is himself a great cook) and now I am adding it to the already-long list of DALS recipes going into our regular rotation.

So grateful!