Sunday, January 17, 2010
I received this recipe from my sister in law Anna (http://annaminzel.com/), and am so glad I tried it! One of my favorite dishes from Buca's when I worked there was their Lemon Chicken, but its one that I have never tried to make on my own. I loved the flavors of lemon, capers and chicken all mixed into a great dish.
•1 pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips (I used about 4 breasts)
•1 cup of cold chicken broth
•1 T cornstarch
•1 t yellow mustard (I like mustard so I use more like 1 T)
•1 t sugar
•juice of 2 lemons and their zest
•1/2 cup or small jar of capers
•salt to taste
1.Heat a pan with a little olive oil on medium heat. Fry chicken strips until golden brown, then remove.
2.Whisk cold chicken broth and cornstarch together, add it to the pan and whisk until slightly thickened. Add mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, salt to taste (I don’t add much cause the mustard tastes salty enough).
3.Add chicken back into the pan along with the capers, simmer for 20 minutes.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I felt inspired today to use up some of the whole wheat flour that was taking up valuable real estate space in my pantry for quite some time. I also have been craving some morning pastries lately, so I thought I would give this whole wheat chocolate chip muffin recipe a try. The recipe was great! It was a bit sweet though, so I think next time I may add half the amount of chocolate chips (especially since I plan on eating these for breakfast). I also really liked the fact that this recipe only yields 12 muffins (seems like any time I make muffins, it always makes 2 dozen, and I end up throwing away half of them). Any time I have an ingredient that I want to use up, but am not sure what to make, I turn to the What's Cooking board on the Nest (http://community.thenest.com/cs/ks/forums/4110129/ShowForum.aspx?MsdVisit=1). The girls on there always seem to have some great suggestions. I was pointed this recipe from a girl on the board.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon extra-strong flavor, optional*
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour*
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips
coarse sparkling sugar, for topping
*Add a little extra zing to your muffins with a complementary flavor: cinnamon and coconut extra-strong flavors are both good choices. Start with 1/8 teaspoon, adding more to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with muffin cups, and grease the muffin cups) a standard-size muffin pan.
Beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and flavor (if you're using it) until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the milk. Mix in the flour, then the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups; they’ll be quite full. Sprinkle each muffin with a little coarse sugar. Bake the muffins for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out without crumbs clinging to it (a little chocolate is OK!).
Yield: 12 muffins.
Recipe from: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/golden-chocolate-chip-muffins-recipe
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It has been WAY. TOO. LONG. since I have made a post here. I am making a commitment to continue this blog and be here more often!
I am always asking everyone what their go-to weeknight dinner meals are. I get sick of the same old things that we tend to be drawn to just to have a quick meal. This is why I am starting a list for myself of all the different quick weeknight meals we make and will continue to try out new recipes to be able to add to the list.
I came across a meal that I really wanted to try on a blog that I frequent on a regular basis. (http://annies-eats.com/). Annie says in her review of this recipe that its a super easy weeknight meal to make. I wouldn't go as far as saying that it was super easy, it in fact was a tad bit more time consuming that I thought, but it still was doable for a weeknight, and the next time around I am sure it will go faster for me now having made it once. I loved this meal (the leftovers the next day were even really good, maybe even better than the first night), and John really liked it as well. This will be one added to the list!
Chicken Tortilla Casserole
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 halves total) (I only used 3 halves since my halves were pretty big)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 shallot, minced (I used red onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used canned jalapeno peppers)
1¾ cups chicken broth
5 cups tortilla chips, broken into large pieces
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Pat the chicken breast halves dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides (chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point.) Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining oil, shallot, garlic, chipotle, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer.
Stir in half of the tortilla chips (I thought this would be a weird step thinking that the tortilla chips would just get all mushy and not taste good, but I followed the recipe, so in they went. Turns out they do mush up, but they make the "sauce" if you will. Definitely a needed step, trust me on this one). Nestle the chicken into the broth and cook over medium-low heat until cooked through (reading 160° F on an instant-read thermometer), about 10 minutes (took mine about 20 min-maybe I will cook them longer in the original pan). Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a cutting board and shred into bite-sized pieces when it is cool enough to handle (I threw my chicken into the food processor and cut shredded it in there-SUPER EASY to do it this way).
Return the shredded chicken to the skillet with the tomatoes, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Stir in the other half of the tortilla chips until they are incorporated and moistened.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browning, about 2-3 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro and serve, allowing the casserole to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
John and I are NOT at all secret keepers. A lot of people would probably never tell their friends and family before the 10 week mark (or so), but that is definitely not us. A couple of weeks ago, we headed over to our families house to share the good news with them. I was only able to snap photo's of what we gave my mom and Tommy to let them in on our news. When I was little I had a lamb-y that I would sleep with each and every night. I found it only appropriate when I came across a lamb at Janie and Jack to give it to my mom to tell her she was going to be a Nana. Here is what we gave them.
She opened it up, read the poem (you'll have to excuse my lack of poem skills here, but they worked) and knew right away what we were telling her. She was thrilled of course.
That same night we were having dinner with John's family, the perfect occasion to break the news. To dinner, I work a black shirt that said "Knocked Up" on it with a zipped-up hoodie over it. We waited for everyone to arrive (his mom, dad, sister Katie, her husband Todd, and mom's good friend Donna), and then I casually took off my hoodie. Todd noticed almost immediately and said "Niffy....do you have something to tell us." I was blank at what to say because I had expected John to chime in for some reason, so I didn't say anything and he just gave me a hug. Then everyone else figured out what was going on and of course they were all thrilled.
My dad's birthday was a couple of weeks back, so we told him we wanted to stop by that day and bring by a belated birthday gift. In his birthday bag was an "I love grandpa" bib and onesie. He and Judith were beyond shocked. I don't think they saw this one coming at all. It was pretty funny. They too were thrilled.
Stay tuned to read about our journey along the way...
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each chicken piece in the flour to coat completely, shaking off the excess. Then dip into the egg whites and finally coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they adhere. Place the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the chicken is no longer pink and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce over the top of each piece of chicken and top with 2 tablespoons of the shredded mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve as desired, with extra Parmesan and marinara sauce.
Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Cook’s Illustrated, October 2006
Apple Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce:
Sunday, August 30, 2009
- Willamette Valley Vineyards
- Trinity Cristom Vineyards
- Witness Tree
- Le Cadeau
- Solena Cellars
- 7 of Hearts
- Torii Mor
- Duck Pond
- Archery Summit
- Annie Amie
- Bethel Heights
- Sokol Blosser
- St. Innocent
- Vista Hills
- Winters Hill
- Wine Works/Zivo
- Barking Frog
- Yamhill Vineyards
- Van Duzer
Here is a link to a great map of the area that shows all the wineries: http://www.winesnw.com/will.html. We used this everywhere we went and found it extremely helpful. Most of the wineries have a hard copy of this map as well, so you can ask at your first winery for one (they are free). This is also a great site that will show you hours and location of wineries: http://www.willamettewines.com/ (Some are appointment only, but not very many). Most should be open on the weekends.
We went to Duck Pond on our anniversary, and John had made reservations for a tour with them before hand. They knew it was our anniversary, and they went above and beyond for us. For $20, we got a tour of the winery, barrel tastings, a private table out on their terrace where someone waited on us and brought us a huge appetizer spread, brought tastings of wine right to our table, dessert, and they even sent us home with a complimentary bottle of wine. Their wine is good too, so definitely worth it.
Carlton is a small town that has a bunch of restaurants and wine tasting rooms there in the town. It was great to go and park our car and just walk around to the tasting rooms.
Before we left John had found an article somewhere online that listed out some of Oregon's best Pino Noir's (our favorite). We used this as a guide to choose which wineries we went to. La Cadeau winery is owned by a couple who spends half their time in Minnesota, and half their time at their vineyard in OR. John had contacted the owner before we left and to our surprise he was going to be in town while we were there. We made an appointment and got directions. As we were following the directions to the winery, we thought we were getting lost. There were so many windy, gravel roads that we felt were going to lead us to no where. Finally, we pulled up to a private residence and winery, with a breathtaking view. When we got there, 2 other couples were sitting out on the owners private patio of his house sipping on wine, and snacking on cheese and crackers. It was very intimate, just the 8 of us sitting around on the patio, talking about wine, and tasting some excellent pino's. After we tasted, the other couples left and it was just John and I and the owners. They walked us around their vineyards and talked to us about how they ended up owning a winery. It was such a great experience to be doing all of that with the actual winery owners, we felt quite special. An experience we are grateful for. We will be saving this bottle of wine for a very special occasion.
Our wedding had been videotaped by a friend and we had never watched the footage. I decided for our anniversary to hire a videographer to edit the footage and put it to music as a surprise to John. On our anniversary, I gave John his gift and we watched the footage of our wedding for the very first time. He loved it!
John made me a shadow box with a small journal inside so that we can write a little about each year of marriage as we celebrate them. It was very sweet and very thoughtful.
We had a wonderful time, learned a lot about wine and tried different kinds of wines we had never tasted before (i.e. Barbera, Ports, etc). It was the perfect vacation to celebrate one year of being married!