Monthly Archive: July 2013

Jul 27

Balsamic Asparagus Pasta

Balsamic Asparagus PastaThis another Pinterest recipe, imagine that! This one came from foodandwine.com, and like the Tuscan Garlic Chicken, is a perfect weeknight meal. To me, cooking after work is therapy. It’s the best way for me to decompress after a long day. And then to be able to have a nice meal at the end of my “therapy”, is so rewarding!

This dish tasted like something from a fancy restaurant, and the leftovers were equally delicious. Win, win!

You can find the original recipe here. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out beautifully!

 Balsamic Asparagus Pasta Recipe

  1. 1 pound asparagus
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 2 teaspoons salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  5. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  7. 1 pound penne
  8. 1/4 pound butter, cut into pieces
  9. 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  1. Heat the oven to 400°. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.

Enjoy!!

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Jul 24

Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Tuscan Garlic ChickenLet me just say that when I pinned this recipe, I wanted to try it immediately! It was everything I love in a weeknight meal…pasta, cream sauce, and veggies. Perfection.

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I made this one night after work, so I needed it to be quick and easy. I’m sure the original recipe, with the breaded chicken and heavy cream, is divine but didn’t want to invest the time to bake it or buy extra ingredients. I opted to make the chicken on the skillet, which fit my dining timing (that rhymes!) perfectly.

Click here for the original recipe. My own rendition is below!

 

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 container mushrooms
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  •  2 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  •  2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fettucini noodles
    1.  In a large skillet, heat 3 Tablespoons oil until hot.  Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
    Place the chicken in the oil until each side is golden brown and cooked all the way through.
     
    2.  While the chicken is cooking, in a large pot cook the fettucini noodles according to package directions.  Wipe the skillet with some paper towels and add the remaining 2 T olive oil.  Cook the chopped red pepper and garlic for about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in 1 T of flour and stir constantly for one minute.
    3.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a light simmer while whisking constantly until it is starting to thicken.  This takes about 3-4 minutes.
    4.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and milk.  Add the spinach, mushrooms, and milk to the skillet.  Bring this to a simmer and continue to cook until spinach starts to wilt.  Stir in the parmesan cheese.
    5.  Add half of the sauce to the coating the cooked and drained fettucini noodles.  Top with chicken and spoon more of the sauce on top. 

P.S. If you enjoy reading our latest happenings, its simple to get the most recent post delivered automatically to your email inbox. To do so, follow these instructions. We also update our Facebook on a regular basis, so “like us” and see our latest project or delicious recipe we are thinking up.

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Jul 19

Fireside Five for Friday

It’s Friday people!! Shout it at the rooftops! That’s what I’m doing. Ya know how on some Mondays it feels like Friday will never get here? It was one of those weeks for me. So I’m pretty excited that it did indeed get here, despite my questioning mid-week. I’m ready to enjoy not one, but two baby showers this weekend (one for me, one for my friend!). I see lots of pink in my future…

 

You should probably click on the logo below to link up with lots of others for 5 on Friday! It’s fun, do it!

Fireside Five for Friday

So, here we go! My week wrapped up starts NOW.

 

ONE- I’m going to start with the CUTEST thing first! I bought Charlotte her first pair of jeans today! No, they’re not GAP, but I couldn’t justify spending more than $8 on a pair of pants that will get spit up..and Lord knows what else on them. There’s something about baby jeans that make me melt. I’m so in love with them and I can’t wait to put them on her chubby little legs one day! Speaking of cuteness and girl clothes…anyone know where I can get some baby cowgirl boots? I want some for our maternity photo shoot!

Fireside Five for Friday

TWO- Eric and his friend, Thayne, got to work Monday (while his wife and I enjoyed “Romantic Monday”…AKA Bachelorette night). They cut and laid all of the tiles. Hip hip hurray for getting one step closer to having a finished guest bathroom! Once again, love having myself a handy hubby!

Fireside Five for Friday

THREE- We hung these fab drapes in the dining room last night. What do you think? This is a phone photo, so it doesn’t quite do them justice. I think it really warms up the dining room and makes it more of a “room”. Since the door opens from the center, the drapes never actually get in the way, which is great.

Fireside Five for Friday

FOUR- OK, I just had to include this little snippet at least once this season. I get it, the Bachelor and Bachelorette are ridiculous. It’s trashy TV with no substance. But I’m such a sucker for it! That and anything on BRAVO.  I can’t let a season go without watching. But I have to say, this is by far my least favorite season. Is this just me? I’m so bored with it! I can’t tell if it’s because I’m older than some of the contestants or if it really is just boring. Regardless, I watch every week, religiously. It’s a problem.

Fireside Five for Friday

FIVE- I went to a friend from work’s pool party this past Saturday and was totally inspired by her backyard. It was immaculate and just pure heaven. It got me thinking about all the amazing things we could do with our backyard. So, I started a pin frenzy and got lots of inspiration. I’m thinking something like this picture would be doable and pretty heavenly for our backyard space. I do realize that this is a project we won’t be able to tackle until next year, but a girl can start dreaming now, right?!

Fireside Five for Friday

Have a good weekend all!

Jul 16

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

I found this recipe on pinterest (from the Recipe Critic) and thought I’d give it a try! Sweet and Sour Chicken is my go-to dish at Chinese restaurants, so I thought if I could make this at home and have the same taste, it’d be amazing. And sure enough, it was!Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Here’s how the counter looked as I was making the meal. Pleas ignore the giant watermelon….it has nothing to do with this recipe 🙂Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
I used my cast iron grill skillet for the chicken and it worked well! You can use any type of skillet.Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Served over rice, and boom, you’ve got Chinese take-out for a fraction of the price and you know what went into it! Win-win indeed. Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

This delicious recipe came from The Recipe Critic! I modified it a bit to make it easier on myself (AKA I used store-bought sweet and sour sauce) since I made it on a weeknight and needed the process sped up.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1½ cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • (I used store-bought sweet and sour sauce instead of the above 6 ingredients. I did add some soy sauce and garlic powder to the sauce for a little extra kick!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic salt. (I omitted this step and just used the store-bought sauce). Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour. (I only baked it for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to coat).
  5. I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.

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