Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chicken Piccata

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, school and work have got me extremely busy! But today sounded like a great day to relax and finally make this post that I've had planned for a while!

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 large lemons
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded until 1/4 inch thick
a pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons capers, drained
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
angel hair pasta, about a pound

Cut one lemon in half. Take one half, trim ends off, and cut length wise. Juice the remaining half and the other whole lemon.

Generously season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place in a shallow dish with flour and coat both sides.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, keep on medium high heat. Cook half the batch for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side, or until it is golden brown. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the second batch then transfer to a large plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the shallot to the same pan you cooked the chicken in and sauté until the shallots are translucent.

Add the lemons and chicken broth and cook until lemons are softened.

 Swirl in butter until melted and then add in the parsley.
Serve over a bed of pasta by adding a chicken breast then pouring some of the sauce over it!



Monday, September 28, 2015

One-Pot Cajun Pasta

This is a fun recipe that I picked up off of Facebook! It's delicious with many different flavors, and a tad bit of spice! Bring on the heat!!

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 diced chicken breasts
Cajun seasoning; equal parts of cayenne pepper, onion powder, paprika, garlic salt, pepper, salt
8 oz Andoullie sausage
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 sliced onion
3 sliced small yellow peppers
2 cups fresh mushrooms
1 lb pasta
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup parmesan, plus more for garnish
chives for garnish

Start by adding the oil and chicken to a large pot.

Add the Cajun seasoning and start cooking over medium high heat.

Slice the sausage and add to the pot.

Start cutting up your vegetables! Here's a cool tool a worker at Cooks of Crocus Hill in Stillwater, MN suggested to me! It's a garlic peeler. You put in a few cloves of garlic and roll with the palm of your hand against a flat hard surface. Tip it over and your peeled garlic comes right out! Very handy, and I would highly recommend it!

Put all the vegetables in the pot and cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Add all of the pasta, break it in half before putting it in the pot.

Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil and cover. Then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes and stir every two minutes.

Add heavy cream and stir.

Stir in parmesan.

Garnish with parmesan and chives!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Lunch: final product

This meal, to make for the first time, took about two hours! With practice and knowing the order I should make it in, I could probably make it in about an hour. I would start by making the syrup for the lemonade and letting it set while I'm making everything else. Then I would make the pesto and the sauce for the pasta. Then I would put the sandwiches together and cook them while the pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is done you'll place the sandwiches and mix in the sauce to the pasta and place that. Quick add the water to the syrup for the lemonade and you're ready to impress your family and friends with a beautiful lunch!

Spring Lunch: part 3

This is the last post for this meal! We're going to top everything off with a twist on an original recipe. This vanilla-thyme lemonade is so refreshing and can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth, and I think the best part is that you can decide how strong you want it. And carbonated or not!

SERVES 3-4

Ingredients
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 cup water
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 small bunch thyme, plus some for garnish (optional)
-1 cup fresh lemon juice
-1 cup sparkling or still water, divided

In a medium pot, over medium high heat, cook sugar, water, vanilla, honey, and thyme until honey and sugar are dissolved.

Start juicing! To hand squeeze these lemons it took 6-7 lemons, and quite a long time! I couldn't find my old fashioned juicer, but if you zap the half lemon in the microwave for 5-10 seconds it will help a lot!

Once the syrup is done cooking, strain to remove the thyme and add to the lemon juice. Set in the fridge until cooled.

Fill glasses with ice first.

Pour in the syrup half-ish way up the glass. Then add you sparkling or still water for the rest of the way. Stick in a straw and you're ready to go!

Spring Lunch: part 2

This time we're making the pasta! This is a really fast/light recipe that can satisfy almost anyone!

FEEDS 4

Ingredients
-1 bunch of fresh basil
-3 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan
-6 tablespoons of whole milk
-1/4 cup sliced almonds
-1 pinch salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-3 tablespoons of fresh ricotta cheese
-2 tablespoons butter, melted
-1 pound of fresh or dried pasta
-2 cloves garlic


Start by boiling water and salting it, add your pasta and cook till al dente.

In a food processor, or bullet blender, add the rest of the ingredients except for the ricotta and butter. Pulse until smooth.

In a separate container, mix the melted butter and ricotta.

Mix together the basil mixture and ricotta and butter.

Strain pasta once cooked, and put back into its pan to add the sauce. Fully mix until sauce is evenly distributed.

Spring Lunch: part 1

So this is going to be a three post recipe/meal. I will be showing you how to make Grilled Brie Sandwiches with Honey, Almond, and Kale pesto, paired with Pasta with creamy basil-almond-ricotta sauce, and to drink, Vanilla-Thyme lemonade! Let's get started!

We'll start with the sandwiches.

MAKES 4 SANDWICHES

Ingredients

for the pesto
-1 cup torn and packed kale
-1/4 cup honey
-1/3 cup roasted almonds
-1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil

for the sandwich
-pesto
-8 slices of high quality bread
-4 ounces brie
-about 4 tablespoons butter
Put all of the ingredients for your pesto in a food processor, or if you don't have one like me, use something like a bullet blender or a nutribullet.
Pulse until ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the mixture is smooth.

Place in a separate container and let sit in the fridge until it's time to use it.

Get two pieces of your bread, or if you have a longer bread like I did, cut in half and you might not have to use as much.

On one side put about 2 tablespoons of the pesto, and on the other cover with brie.

In a small pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.

Once the butter is melted, lay the sandwich in and cover. Let cook for 3-4 minutes.

Flip and cook on the other side for the same amount of time. Remove from pan and enjoy! (or start preparing your pasta)

Monday, May 11, 2015

A German Delight: Sausage, Sauerkraut, and Dumplings.

This recipe is a family tradition. I certainly never liked it as a kid, but as I tried it more and more I began to really enjoy it, and especially the sauerkraut!

You'll Need:

about a pound and a half of venison sausage (or polishes from a local meat shop)
about 2 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
sauerkraut
water

Get your ingredients together!

Add water to a pot, put it the sausage, and begin to boil. You should let it boil for 30ish minutes if it's frozen, and about 20 if thawed.

In a medium bowl, add flour and salt, and mix together. Keep adding water, about 1/4 a cup at a time. Mix and add water until the dough is a sticky texture, but is firm enough that you could form a ball in your hands with it only sticking moderately.

In a deep pan add about a cup of water or more and as much sauerkraut as you want, start boiling and a medium heat.

Start adding the dumplings. With two spoons, fill one half way and use the other to gently slide it into the water and sauerkraut.

Keep adding until pan is full (you can keep the extra dough to make more dumplings later) and let cook for 3-4 minutes.

Take sausage out of warm water after boiling, and serve with dumplings. After letting the dumplings sit for a while drain some of the water and add more sauerkraut, if you want!
 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cindy's Toffee Bars

This recipe is one I've been eating since I was a child, and it's definitely one of my favorites! So here's a little back story to it. Every Thanksgiving we have a combined dinner with my aunt's husband's side of the family, and as usual everyone brings something  to contribute to the feast. My uncle's mom ALWAYS brings toffee bars, and it's always a fight to the death for who gets the last one. So finally I asked for the recipe and I realized how simple/easy but also extremely delicious!

You'll Need:

2 cups butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3 cups flour
about 6 full sized Hershey bars

Get your ingredients together and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream together the first four ingredients.

Add the flour, you can do this in fourths to make it easier to mix, or all at once like I did.

Spread the mixture in an any sized pan and put in the oven for 15 minutes. While it's in the oven unwrap all the Hershey bars and put them on a plate to the side.

Lay out the Hershey bars evenly and stick it back in the oven for a minute to melt the chocolate faster.

Once melted, spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Put it in the freezer until chocolate is set. Cut with a knife in squares to serve!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Recipe Gone Wrong.

Sometimes things in the kitchen go (extremely) wrong. Like today's post was supposed to be Black Bean Burritos with a Creamy Cilantro-Jalepeno sauce. Last night I went to start the grill to grill the chicken that had to be in them. Well a few things went wrong and the gril may or may not have blew up in my face. My eyelashes, eyebrows, and the front of my hair got singed pretty good. I was so upset I just finished making the recipe but didn't take any pictures or feel like making the post. So today's post is just mostly going to be on kitchen safety.

Kitchen safety is something that you learn in middle school life skills class. Back then it was simple stuff like; make sure you wear oven mitts when grabbing stuff out of the oven, washing your hands, cover cuts, and put your hair up. Easy right? Well while those are very important to keep you and the people eating your food safe, there are more skills you should learn to make sure you don't get your eyebrows burnt off.

1.) Know your appliances.

I'm going to start with this one first, for my incident last night. Make sure you know how to use your ovens and stoves, and especially your grill. Make sure you're super careful with stoves that are open flame, and know how to light your grill; don't just guess.

2.) Don't cross contaminate.

This rule is very relevant for people with allergies, or when working with raw meat. When working with raw meat and when you have to use cutting boards, knives or any other mixing/cutting utensil, bowls, or plates to bring raw meat out to grill, switch objects out for new ones or make sure you thoroughly clean them with soap. Same thing applies with your guest when they have allergies you have to watch out for, clean or get new utensils. If you cross contaminate you can get people very sick or even threaten their lives.

3.) Sanitation is key.

Keep your space clean and tidy. Not only does it look bad when your guests come over for dinner but it can also be dangerous. Wash your hands continuously, cover open cuts with bandaids, wipe off counters, clean your stove, microwave, and oven often, and keep up with your dirty dishes.

Thanks for checking in, 
Don't burn your face off!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers

Feeds: 3-4

Prep time: 30min  Total time: 50min

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken tenders
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I just used all-purpose)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked or regular paprika
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
Nonstick spray

Get all your ingredients together, it makes things go much faster!

Pour in your favorite BBQ sauce and add honey (optional) to the chicken tenders.

Stick your (clean) hands in there! Get the gooey honey and BBQ sauce all mixed together, and make sure it covers all the chicken. Put it in the fridge and let sit for (minimum) a half an hour. For more flavor, and if you have more time, let sit for 6 hours or so. The longer it marinates, the more flavor!

In a bowl, add flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix together so all the seasonings are even within the flour and set to the side. Also get your pan ready by spraying it with a non-stick spray.

In another bowl, add your eggs and beat well.


Put the Panko crumbs on a plate, and set up your assembly line. Make sure your baking sheet is nearby. Start by taking a chicken tender out a covering it with flour, flipping it a few times for full coverage.

Transfer the chicken tender to the egg wash and flip a few times to completely cover it.

And lastly transfer it to the Panko crumbs. Flip 2-3 times and pat on crumbs. We want a crumbs to be thick on the chicken tender.

Put the complete chicken tender on the baking sheet and rinse off your fingers for the next round!

Repeat the process to all of the Chicken tenders. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees F. After 10ish minutes, take out and flip. Bake for about 10 more minutes or until chicken is golden brown.

Serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce!