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Chicken Piccata

chicken piccata

We planted a lemon tree last spring and are just now harvesting our first lemons!

Every time I walk by this tree in the back yard, I hear the old “Lemon Tree” song in my head.

Remember that one?

“Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat…”

Lemon Tree - very pretty

Well, with apologies to whoever wrote that song, these lemons are DELICIOUS to eat!

Since we only have a few lemons, I wanted to make something special with them. Chicken Piccata seemed to be just the thing!

Thin slices of chicken are lightly breaded a bathed in luscious lemony, buttery goodness.

Even though Chicken Piccata seems like a fancy restaurant entrée, it’s surprisingly quick and easy to make at home.

Here’s what you need:

Chicken Piccata Ingredients

Chicken Breasts, Lemons, Butter, Olive Oil, Capers, Flour, Chicken Broth, Parsley, Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Chicken Piccata Shopping List

You can buy prepared chicken cutlets at the store but they are pretty expensive for what are basically flattened chicken pieces.

Instead, I would buy either boneless skinless chicken breasts OR for even less money, regular old bone in, skin on chicken breasts and make your own cutlets.

I started with 2 chicken breast halves that I took off the bone myself so they are now boneless and skinless.

Then you take a sharp knife and run it horizontally and evenly through your chicken to make 2 thinner cutlets.

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I find that it’s easiest to place your hand flat and right on top of the chicken to hold it in place.

I’ve honestly never even come close to cutting myself doing this. Be careful, but it’s really not a big deal.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Tropical Green Smoothie

If you had told me even a year ago that I would now love green smoothies, I would have thought you were crazy.

But it’s true. I do!

While juicing and “cleansing” seems to be all the rage these days, we have 4+ years of recipes here to confirm that there is pretty much no way I would ever spend money on little bottles of juice in place of regular meals.

However, I will happily drink all kinds of good fruits and veggies crammed into my own blender.

It’s sort of like hitting the reset button on my stomach. I have one of these for breakfast (sometimes with yogurt too) and I’m feeling pretty darn good.

It’s not just about feeling good, healthy, or even virtuous. Drinking these smoothies is not work or some sort of chore…they’re GOOD!

I currently have 2 green varieties in my smoothie making repertoire, the Kalicious Smoothie which is banana & apple based and this Tropical Green Smoothie that features pineapple & ginger.

Here’s what you need:

Tropical Green Smoothie Ingredients

Kale, Spinach, Ginger, Banana, Lemon, Pineapple, and Pineapple Juice.

Add Ice to that list if you want your smoothie to be cold.

Click here for a Tropical Green Smoothie Shopping List

If I have it in my potted herb garden, fresh mint is a GREAT addition.

Smoothies are a great way to use up those gnarly looking bananas that you have lying around the kitchen. Break up a banana into the bottom of your blender.

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Add ¾-1 cup of pineapple juice. I usually have these little 6 oz. cans (¾ cup) of pineapple juice in the pantry for making Tropical Pork Tacos.

(Psst…if you haven’t tried the pork tacos, you’re missing one of the best recipes on this site.)

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Linguine with Shrimp & Little Tomatoes

Linguine with Shrimp & Little Tomatoes is a recipe that my dad and I created back when I had a big garden and by this time of the summer was over run with little tomatoes.

Whether they are traditional red cherry tomatoes, pear shaped yellow tomatoes, plum shaped red, those awesome little gold sun sweet tomatoes, or the new fancy tiny mulitcolored heirlooms, any little tomatoes will do. You’ll get the best flavor and pop of extra color if you can use 2 varieties.

As with most of my shrimp dishes, I use wild caught shrimp. I always try to have a few pounds in the freezer for last minute meals since you can thaw the shrimp out in a bowl of cool water in several minutes.

And because shrimp cook extremely quickly, this makes a great weeknight meal. You can easily have this on the table in 20-30 minutes.

Here’s what you need:

Linguine with Shrimp & Little Tomatoes Ingredients

Linguine (or other long pasta), Shrimp, Little Tomatoes (red & yellow), Mushrooms, Shallot, Fresh Basil, White Wine, Olive Oil, Parmesan/Romano Cheese, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Linguine with Shrimp & Little Tomatoes Shopping List

Because this cooks very quickly, be sure to start your pot of water boiling for the pasta at the same time, if not before, you start your sauce.

Finely chop 1 large shallot and slice 8 ounces of mushrooms.

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I’m using baby bella mushrooms but regular white button mushrooms are fine too.

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buttermilk roast chicken

Buttermilk Roast Chicken might have changed the way I make chicken forever.

Knowing how to simply roast a chicken is one of the great delights of being able to cook. Julia Child always said you should judge a cook not on their soufflés and other fancy dishes, but on whether or not they could produce a quality roast chicken.

In fact, last year the website buzzfeed had a Roast Chicken Tournament and crowned Thomas Keller’s recipe the winner.

I’ve tried Mr. Keller’s method and it makes a good chicken. It also smokes up your house if your oven is not perfectly clean. I mean pristine.

Of course, I learned to roast chickens from our beloved Julia, adapting her tried and true method (minus the trussing) for my favorite Roast Chicken with Herbs. But that was all before I found Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Buttermilk Roast Chicken.

Game over.

This was, hands down, the best roast chicken I’ve ever had.

Here’s what you need:

Buttermilk Roast Chicken Ingredients

Whole Chicken, Buttermilk, Vegetable Oil, Olive Oil (not pictured), Honey, Garlic, Fresh Rosemary, Salt & Pepper.

You also need an extra large ziplock bag and foil to line the roasting pan.

Click here for a Buttermilk Roast Chicken Shopping List

Note:  This chicken needs to marinate OVERNIGHT so plan ahead!

You might notice in the top picture that our bird is sort of all splayed out in the pan. This is not by accident but rather because for this recipe you remove the backbone and butterfly or Spatchcock the chicken.

Spatchcock! How’s that for a great new cooking term. Best said with the crazy faux-European accent of your choice.

By removing the backbone, the chicken lies flat in the pan spreading the meat out to roast more evenly and in less time. Less time means juicier chicken. No more dried out white meat.

Choose your weapon of choice. I have (in order of preference) kitchen shears, a boning knife, and a small cleaver-type knife.

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And if you think my kitchen scissors look suspiciously like garden clippers it’s because they ARE garden clippers.

I’ve broken at least 3 sets of fancy kitchen shears so I bought these at the hardware store and keep them dedicated for kitchen only use. They’re strong and tough (since they’re made to cut sticks and branches) and I even put them in the dishwasher. These have lasted at least 9 years and are still going strong.

Okay, let’s spatchcock this baby.

(Vegans, look away.)

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Peach Blueberry Crumble – Now with Gluten Free Options!

I’m confused by this one a bit…

Crumble or Crisp? What would YOU call this delectable concoction of butter, oats, and sugar?

It’s a little like the argument Soda or Pop? (Psst…the answer, if you are from Missouri/Kansas is “Coke.” Everything is a coke. Rootbeer is a coke. Sprite is a coke. You ask someone, “Do you want a coke?” and the next question is always, “Sure, what kind?” We’re weirdos that way.)

Anyway, be it Crisp or Crumble, this combination of peaches & blueberries is a real winner and crumbles/crisps are one of the easier and quicker desserts to put together since there is no pesky crust to roll out.

Here’s what you need:

Peach Blueberry Crumble Ingredients

Peaches, Blueberries, Lemon, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Flour*, Oats, Cinnamon, Salt, Vanilla, and Cold Butter.

Click here for a Peach Blueberry Crumble Shopping List

*For the Gluten Free variety – you need your favorite GF All-Purpose Flour (I have Trader Joe’s) and Xanthan Gum. More on this later in the recipe.

*If you’re not Gluten Free, regular old all-purpose flour is all you need. 

If you are worried that Henry looks a little disgruntled in the ingredient photo above, fear not. He is just verrrrrry sleepy.

You are getting verrrry sleepy!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse 1 pint of fresh blueberries and blot them dry with paper towels. Pick through the berries to remove any stems or funky shriveled berries.

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poachedsalmon

Seafood is one of my favorite things to make on weeknights and when I am busy because it takes so little time to cook.

Poached Salmon with Scalloped Tomatoes is proof positive that just because you are busy, you don’t have to resort to eating icky food.

If you have really fresh ingredients like ripe tomatoes and wild caught sockeye salmon, you don’t have to go much further or add too many extras to have a healthy dinner in fairly short order.

The fish only needs about 10 minutes to cook; once you do a little chopping, slicing, and layering, you’re good to go.

Here’s what you need:

Poached Salmon with Scalloped Tomatoes Ingredients

Salmon, Onion, Garlic (not pictured), Tomato, Fresh Thyme, Lemon, Olive Oil, Panko Breadcrumbs* (see note in recipe),  Wine, Dried Oregano, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Poached Salmon with Scalloped Tomatoes Shopping List

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Choose a baking dish just big enough to comfortably hold your portions of fish. Pour ½ cup of nice, dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio into the bottom of the pan.

The wine will provide the liquid to cook or poach the fish.

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Click HERE, there’s more!

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Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork

Let’s have a Labor Day where we don’t have to labor over dinner!

Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork to the rescue. It cooks in the slow cooker (Crock Pot) so the day is YOURS to do other things.

Pull a few ingredients together, do a little chopping and mixing, and you’ve got dinner ready to go.

You can feed a few and have awesome leftovers or a feed a crowd for the exact same effort.

No need to heat up your oven, no need to feel left out of the BBQ scene if you don’t have an outdoor grill.

It’s all good with this one. Oh, and there’s bourbon!

Here’s what you need:

Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork Ingredients

Boston Butt Pork Roast, Onion, Garlic, Olive Oil, Chicken Broth, Molasses, Peach Preserves, Soy Sauce/Tamari (GF), Balsamic Vinegar, Bourbon, Cornstarch (not pictured), Smoked Paprika, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork Shopping List

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients but by now you probably have most of them on hand. If you don’t already have peach preserves, buy a big jar and you can make Yummy Oven Glazed Chicken the next night. See how easy that was? I’ve got almost your whole weekend covered!

I have a 3½-4 pound Boston Butt Pork Roast. Mine is boneless and tied by the butcher but if your store only has bone in, that will work just as well.

And since I am not the first person to think of having pulled pork on a summer holiday weekend, chances are very good that Boston Butt Roasts are on sale at your store right now.

Season your roast on both sides with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. I used about 1 teaspoon each per side.

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Use your hands to massage the spices into the meat.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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svpotatoes

Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes!

We haven’t spent much time on side dishes around here but they are a great place to experiment or to spruce up a dinner that you make regularly.

For example, take your favorite good old Oven Roasted Chicken recipe and add some new sides like Glazed CarrotsGreen Beans, or these Salt & Vinegar Potatoes.

I’ve made these a couple of times and they are equally at home with beef, pork, chicken, or even fish.

Honestly, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a good, crispy potato anytime. These boil in a vinegar and water combo that give them extra zip and flavor.

Think of salt & vinegar chips and you’ll quickly understand why this is a great idea.

Here’s what you need:

Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes Ingredients

Baby Potatoes, Vinegar, Butter, Green Onion, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes Shopping List

I have 2 pounds of baby Yukon Gold potatoes but any small potatoes will do.

Cut the potatoes in half and place them in a large pot with 1 cup of white vinegar. Fill the pan up with water to cover the top of the potatoes by about 1 inch.

Bring the pot to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes.

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Click HERE, there’s more!

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generaltso

My two guilty pleasures from Chinese carry out places are sadly things that I can no longer order now that I am eating a gluten free diet.

It’s probably better for me in the long run not to be noshing on deep fried crab wontons and deep friend General Tso’s Chicken but what’s a girl to do when she has the hankering for that sticky sweet savory sauce?

You know the answer…make something even BETTER at home.

This recipe was also semi-inspired by the Yummy Oven Glazed Chicken that I made earlier this summer. Since then, I’ve been on a roll trying to find easy recipes for chicken thighs (either bone-in or bone-less) that can come together quickly and without much fuss.

While there are quite a few ingredients for the sauce, the preparation is simple and easy. This starts on the stove but finishes in the oven so you aren’t chained to your kitchen the entire time.

Here’s what you need:

General Tso's Chicken Thighs Ingredients

Chicken Thighs, Olive Oil, Soy Sauce (or Tamari for GF), Rice Wine Vinegar, Honey, Sesame Oil, Chili Garlic Sauce, Dry Sherry, Corn Starch, Orange Zest, Ginger, Black Pepper, Green Onions, & Sesame Seeds

Click here for a General Tso’s Chicken (Thighs) Shopping List

I looked around the internet for various General Tso’s recipes and sort of combined them into the sauce you see here. Being gluten free, I had to find some way around the hoisin sauce used in most recipes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix ½ cup soy sauce with ¼ cup honey. I always use the low sodium soy sauce my recipes don’t get overly salty.

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Click HERE, there’s more!

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Caramelized Peaches

 

Caramelized Peaches!!!!

These were a happy accident and so good that even though there is no formal recipe, I had to share them with you right away.

I was thinking of making this pork with grilled peaches recipe from the NY Times last night but I didn’t have the right cut of pork. So I made one of my favorite pork tenderloin recipes which is basically the rosemary-mustard topping from this Pork Roast recipe slathered onto a pork tenderloin and grilled. I had 4 peaches so I decided to put them out there as well.

Rather than putting the peaches directly on the grate, I heated up my trusty cast iron skillet on the grill (you could also obviously do this on the stove top but get the pan really hot), added about 2 Tablespoons of butter to the pan, and put in the peach halves cut side down. Keep the heat at about medium and don’t move the peaches until they have a nice caramelized crust to them, about 5-7 minutes. Turn them over in the buttery pan for just 1-2 minutes more. You want the peaches to be tender but still hold their shape. 

Sorry there are no pictures but this is so easy, I’m sure you get the gist of it.

Bring your peaches in and serve them with the pork. One bite of peach with one bite of pork. SO GOOD!

But wait, there’s more! 

You’d better believe I went out today and bought vanilla bean ice cream for the leftover peaches from last night.

And I bought more peaches.

Try this while they are in season! You won’t be sorry!!!!

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