Balsamic Asparagus Chicken

28 02 2011

Warning, if you do not like the taste of Balsamic Vinegar this may not be the dish for you.  I however love Balsamic Vinegar and loved this dish.  The melted cheese and asparagus on top with the Balsamic Vinegar just made my day.

 

Combine chicken and all marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

_DSC0790

Before the chicken is done marinating heat oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and saute for a couple minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and reduces to about ¼ of its original volume. When it is done, the sauce should be dark brown in color.

While the sauce is simmering, place chicken in a lightly greased glass dish and bake at 400o F for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. _DSC0792

While chicken is baking prepare the asparagus. Bring a saucepan, filled about half-way with salted water, to a boil. Toss in the asparagus and boil for about 4 minutes.

_DSC0795

Quickly remove the asparagus and drop in an ice-water bath.

_DSC0796

Remove chicken from the oven and layer on one slice of provolone cheese, a few asparagus spears, then one slice mozzarella cheese on each piece of chicken. Set the oven to broil and broil for about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to brown a little.

balsamic chicken

I forgot to take a picture of my finished project but lets just imagine mine looked like the one above.  A way better picture than I would have been able to take.  Hope you enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Balsamic Asparagus Chicken

 

~ 4 chicken breasts

Marinade

~ ¾ cup balsamic vinegar

~ ½ cup olive oil

~ 2 tsp. brown sugar

~ pepper to taste

Sauce

~ 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

~ 2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

~ 1 cup balsamic vinegar

~ 1 can (about 2 cups) beef broth

~ 1 Tbsp. butter

~ pepper to taste

Topping

~ 12 asparagus spears

~ 4 slices provolone cheese

~ 4 slices mozzarella cheese

(go the deli section to get just 4 slices of each)

1. Place chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound until it is about ¼” thick. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag, place bag in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken. Combine marinade ingredients and pour in the bag. Squeeze all the air out of the bag and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

2. About 20 minutes before chicken is done marinating, heat oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and sauté for a couple minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and reduces to about ¼ of its original volume. When it is done, the sauce should be dark brown in color.

3. While the sauce is simmering, place chicken in a lightly greased glass dish and bake at 400o F for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

4. While chicken is baking prepare the asparagus. Bring a saucepan, filled about half-way with salted water, to a boil. Toss in the asparagus and boil for about 4 minutes. Quickly remove the asparagus and drop in an ice-water bath.

5. Remove chicken from the oven and layer on one slice of provolone cheese, a few asparagus spears, then one slice mozzarella cheese on each piece of chicken. Set the oven to broil and broil for about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to brown a little. Right before serving, spoon some of the sauce over each piece of chicken.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Balsamic Asparagus Chicken





BBQ Chicken Salad

27 02 2011

There are a few food blogs that I follow and when I see something that looks great I give it a try.  If my family likes it we add it to our favorite recipes.  Once of these blogs is Two Peas and Their Pod. I have enjoyed several recipes from this blog and they are amazing.  The other day I came across their BBQ Chicken Salad and the picture was so amazing that I knew I had to try it.  I was a bit worried about the warm potatoes on the side but I gave them a try and let me tell you, you must not omit this from the recipe.  It was very simple to make and delicious.  The dressing is amazing and it made enough for me to have another salad for the next week.

bbq-chicken-salad

I can’t take credit for this amazing picture of the salad.  It is from Two Peas and Their Pod and it made me drool just looking at that amazing salad.  It also includes French fried onions, which just makes it even more amazing. A great salad, enjoy!

 

BBQ Chicken Salad

For the Avocado Vinaigrette:

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 medium shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons peach jam
1 medium ripe avocado
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Blue Cheese Vinaigrette:

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 medium shallot, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, dry pan roasted and chopped
2 tablespoons peach jam
1 cup sour cream
1 cup blue cheese or Gorgonzola
Salt and pepper to taste

For the potatoes:

2-3 pounds red potatoes, washed
1 stick butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped

For the chicken:

Chicken breasts
BBQ sauce-use your favorite brand

For the salad:

Mixed greens
Tomatoes, chopped
Black beans, rinsed and drained
Corn
French fried onions

1. To make the avocado vinaigrette-put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth.

2. To make the blue cheese vinaigrette-put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth. If the dressing is too thick, add a drizzle of extra olive oil and mix again.

3. To make the potatoes-boil a large pot of water and salt well. Boil potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain the water and return potatoes to the pot. Stir in butter, shallot, and parsley. Stir well. Set aside and keep warm until serving.

4. Grill the chicken and brush each piece liberally with bbq sauce. Cut into strips and set aside.

5. To plate the salads-place mixed greens on a plate. Lay the sliced chicken on top of the greens. Top with tomatoes, black beans, corn, and fried onions. Place a few warm potatoes on the side. Drizzle entire salad with avocado vinaigrette and blue cheese vinaigrette.

Click Below to Print

BBQ Chicken Salad





What was in those baskets this week?

26 02 2011

It was a great basket full of fresh produce. We got 1 basket of strawberries, 1 bag of little potatoes, 1 head of lettuce, 1 bundle of asparagus, 1 bunch of broccoli, 1 cantaloupe, 2 coconuts, 4 tomatoes, 6 pears, and 3 mango’s.

_DSC0788

A great variety and it all looked amazing.  I have quite a few great meals planned this week to use our produce. I love asparagus and the bundles we got this week were the little spears which are not as woody as the bigger spears.  You can make oven roasted asparagus with them or I am planning on making prosciutto wrapped asparagus and I will post the recipe later in the week. For the broccoli I am planning on making broccoli cheese soup which will also use up some of my potatoes but check out the broccoli casserole or the broccoli and tortellini salad. Both are great recipes for broccoli. Tonight we made a great BBQ Chicken Salad with our lettuce and tomatoes, recipe coming soon!

I hope you enjoy cooking with your produce as much as I do! Enjoy!





Bountiful Baskets

26 02 2011

A great big thanks to all the volunteers that came out this week in the rain to help make Bountiful Baskets possible.  It was wet and cold but we got things done.  I will post pictures of the basket and ideas for the things in the basket later tonight.  Enjoy your wonderful produce and thanks again!!





Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

25 02 2011

I love blue cheese and mushrooms so this recipe sounded right up my ally.  It would be a  great appetizer as well. My husband and I also thought that you could make the stuffing to add to the top of a hamburger or even to top a steak.  A very easy and yet very fancy looking appetizer.

_DSC0775

Start by removing the stems and chopping them.  Then cook the stems and green onions in butter in a small skillet until tender.

_DSC0777

Mix the green onion mixture with the blue cheese and cream cheese.  Then spoon evenly into the mushroom caps.

_DSC0779

Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!

_DSC0784

Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

~ 1 lb. fresh mushrooms

~ 1/4 cup sliced green onions

~ 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine

~ 3 oz. crumbled blue cheese

~ 3 oz. cream cheese, softened

 

Preheat broiler. Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems. Cook and stir stems and green onions in butter in small skillet on medium heat until tender. Add blue cheese and cream cheese; mix well. Spoon evenly into mushroom caps; place on rack on broiler pan. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms





Oven Roasted Asparagus

24 02 2011

I grew up eating asparagus all the time and actually really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t until I got older and moved away from California that I realized not many people eat asparagus and many don’t even know what it is.  My favorite way to eat asparagus is to roast it in the oven and then sprinkle with a little bit of Parmesan cheese.  The tips get just a little charred and they are so tender.

The key to asparagus is making sure you get the enough of the tough end off.  If they have been in the store awhile and not kept in water the ends tend to dry out and become very tough.  When buying your asparagus make sure to pick out a bundle that has the smallest asparagus because it will not be tough like the bigger ones.

_DSC0888

To prep the asparagus take one out of the bundle and at the bottom bend the asparagus until it snaps in half.  Then cut the rest of the asparagus to match.  The bottom part can then be used to make soup if you want to.  Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet and coat with olive oil. Then sprinkle with some coarse ground salt and bake at 400o F for 10-15 minutes.

_DSC0893

Once out of the oven sprinkle with some shredded Parmesan cheese and enjoy right away.  A great addition to any meal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oven Roasted Asparagus

~ 1 bundle of Asparagus

~ olive oil

~ coarse ground salt

~ shredded Parmesan cheese

 

Pre-heat oven to 400o F. To prep the asparagus take one out of the bundle and at the bottom bend the asparagus until it snaps in half.  Then cut the rest of the asparagus to match.  Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet and coat with olive oil. Then sprinkle with some coarse ground salt and bake for 10-15 minutes. Once out of the oven sprinkle with some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Oven Roasted Asparagus





Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

23 02 2011

With a house full of sick children and a sick husband I thought it would be a great time to give homemade chicken noodle soup a try.  I had tried a recipe a few years back and wasn’t to thrilled with it.  This recipe however is amazing.  I especially like how you puree the onion and add that to the soup.  It gave it a great flavor without the bits of onion in the soup.  A great recipe for the sick or just to keep warm on a cold day.  Hope you enjoy!

_DSC0897

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

~ 6 cups water

~ 4 chicken breasts

~ 1 tsp. salt

~ 1 onion

~ 1 cup of thinly sliced carrots

~ 2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules

~ 1/2 cup finely diced celery (optional)

~ 2/3’s bag of Egg noodles

 

1. In a large stock pot combine water, chicken and salt. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.  Strain the reaming chicken broth and put back into the stock pot.

2. Peel onion and chop into chunks. Combine 1/2 cup of water and onion in a food processor or blender and puree.  Add to the chicken broth.

3. Add carrots, chicken granules and celery. Bring to a boil, then add egg noodles. Cook the noodles until done about 15-20 minutes. Once the noodles are done add the chicken and heat until warm. If you need more liquid add either chicken broth or water and season with more chicken bouillon granules, salt and pepper to taste.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup





Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwich’s

21 02 2011

_DSC0886

This is an easy and very yummy sandwich that is packed full of flavor.  The crock pot makes the meat so tender and juicy.  I hope that your family will enjoy it as much as mine.

_DSC0878

First thing you do is take your boneless pork shoulder or roast and rub it with brown sugar, cumin, Pappy’s seasoning (or Cajun seasoning), garlic powder, onion powder.

_DSC0879

Next in your crock pot add apple juice and cider vinegar.  Don’t forget those life saving crock pot bags so you don’t have as much to clean up.

_DSC0880

Then add your pork to the crock pot.

_DSC0882

Then add a little bit of liquid smoke to the crock pot.  This is the brand that we have but you can find it on the barbecue sauce isle of your grocery store.  It gives a great smoky flavor to the pulled pork that you wouldn’t other wise get since it is being cooked in the crock pot.  After every thing is in coo for 10 hours.

_DSC0883

Once it is done cooking drain off most of the liquid and shred up the pork with a fork.  Then add your favorite barbecue sauce and cook on low for about another 30 minutes.

_DSC0886

Our favorite way to eat it is to pile it on a great bun and top with some coleslaw. Nothing fancy just some cabbage tossed with some store bought coleslaw dressing.  You can add extra barbecue sauce or pickles if you like.  A great and super easy meal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

~ 2 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder or roast

~ 3 Tbsp. brown sugar

~ 2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning (or your favorite like Pappy’s)

~ 1 Tbsp. onion powder

~ 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

~ 1 Tbsp. cumin

~ 1/2 cup apple juice

~ 1/2 cup cider vinegar

~ A few drops of liquid smoke

 

1. Combine the rub spices and coat the pork.

2. Put apple juice and vinegar in crock pot and add the pork.

3. Turn on crock pot to high for an hour and then turn down to med and cook for about 10 hours.

4. Remove the liquid from the crock pot and shred the pork.  Add your favorite barbecue sauce and cook for another 30 minutes.

5. Place the pork on a bun and add your favorite barbecue sauce, coleslaw, or pickles.  Enjoy!

Click Below to Print Recipe

Crock Pot Pulled Pork





Broccoli Casserole

20 02 2011

After ending up with 3 bundles of broccoli this week we tried 3 very different recipes, Broccoli and Tortellini Salad, oven roasted broccoli, and the latest broccoli casserole.  All three were very different in their own ways.  I loved the creaminess that this casserole had.  I hope that your family enjoys this recipe like mine did!

_DSC0875

Broccoli Casserole

~ 4 heads fresh broccoli, chopped

~ 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

~ 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

~ 1/2 cup milk

~ a pinch of salt

~ a pinch of pepper

~ 3 Tbsp. butter

~ 2 cups crushed Ritz crackers

1. Preheat oven to 350o F.

2. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook broccoli in the boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, and set aside.

3. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the cheese, cream of mushroom soup, salt, and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. Add the broccoli, stirring to coat. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish.

4. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in the crackers and sprinkle over the broccoli mixture.

5. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the topping is browned and broccoli is tender.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Broccoli Casserole






Roasted Butternut Squash

19 02 2011

Butternut Squash is a very mild tasting squash and very easy to cook as well.  The hardest part is cutting through its very tough skin.  This is my favorite way to eat butternut squash and you can make it as sweet as you like by how much brown sugar you add.

_DSC0862

The first think that you need to do is make sure you have a very sharp knife and cut the squash in half length wise. Then scoop out the insides.

_DSC0868

Place the squash in a baking dish face up and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle it with either cinnamon or nutmeg.  I used cinnamon. Then add about an inch of water to the baking dish.  Bake at 350o F for about an hour or until fork tender.

_DSC0871

Once it is done baking scoop out the insides and place into a bowl.  Then mix with some butter and brown sugar until you have the desired sweetness.

_DSC0874

A very simple way to enjoy a great winter vegetable.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Roasted Butternut Squash

~ Butternut squash

~ olive oil

~ cinnamon or nutmeg

~ butter

~ brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350o F. Cut squash length wise and scoop out the insides. Place in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with either cinnamon or nutmeg.  Then add about an inch of water to the baking dish.  Bake for about an hour or until fork tender.  Once it is done cooking scoop out the insides and mix with butter and brown sugar.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash








%d bloggers like this: