26 August 2011

Back in Action!

Sorry for the delay in posts...it's been a little crazy in our baking and crafting world (work, sickness, traveling, etc!)...and, unfortunately, we haven't been doing very much baking and crafting together!

We do have a couple of really fun posts in the works, so stay tuned!

09 August 2011

"Dinner at the Cunningham's" Recipe

Another Kelly original! This one is to die for!!! Try it....TONIGHT!

Just the other week, friends and I were invited over to my dear friend Danielle's house for dinner. Her wonderful husband Doss was to cook us a magnificent meal of grilled chicken goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and a yummy butter-wine sauce to top it all off...and that was where all the inspiration began: dinner at the Cunningham’s.

I have decided to call this dish "Dinner at the Cunningham’s." I know, it is totally original, and you are probably jealous of my creativity.

Now, let us get down to business. There are three elements to this dish: (1) the chicken, (2) the beurre blanc sauce and (3) the arugala salad. Here is what you will need:

Makes 4 servings

2 Bunches of Arugala, cleaned and stemmed

3 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

4 Chicken Breast, pounded out to an even thickness of a 1/2 inch

8 ounces of Crumbled Goat Cheese

2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

1 Tbsp Fresh Sage, minced

1/2 Cup of All-Purpose Flour

1 Cup of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

1 Tbsp of White Wine Vinegar

1 Small Yellow Onion, diced

1 Cup of Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

16-20 Sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped and hydrated

2 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar

First things first, clean your Arugula. Arugala is a very very VERY dirty green. To ensure you have removed all the dirt hiding inside that spicy little piece of vegetation I suggest you give a triple dip...at least. Fill a large mixing bowl with water and submerge your Arugula within it. Repeat this step, fill and dunk, until the water is clear of any dirt. Take your Arugala and lay it over a dry dish towl. Roll the Arugala inside and set it aside to dry.

Now for the chicken. Move an oven rack about 6 inches underneath the top heating element, and turn on the broiler. Put your flour on a large dish. Place a large pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Be careful not to add the olive oil until you are just about ready to go with your chicken. Olive oil tends to smoke quickly over higher heat. Take a paper towel and blot your chicken to make sure it is nice and dry. This will enable you to get a good sear on that sucker. Next sprinkle the breasts with salt, pepper, thyme and sage, and press firmly into the chicken. Lightly dredge the breasts in the flour and gently place it onto your pan. Let the chicken cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of the breast, until it is golden brown and cooked through; about 8 minutes total. Sprinkle your chicken with about 1 ounce of the goat cheese, place it on a broiler pan and set aside. Reserve the remaining goat cheese for the arugala salad.

And then came the time for the fancy-smancy beurre blanc. Sounds way harder than it is folks. Don't you worry about a thing. Add your wine, white wine vinegar and onion to a small sauce pan over high heat, and let it boil away until reduced to about 2-3 Tbsp. Once reduced, turn your heat setting down to low. Add your COLD unsalted butter cubes, about 4 at a time, and whisk away. As soon as the butter is dissolved, add more. Repeat until all the butter has blended in, and is just barely thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. Stir in the sundried tomatoes, remove from heat, and set aside.

*TIP: Don't add a stick at a time...don't even add a Tbsp at a time...I repeat, add about 4 butter CUBES at a time. The sauce will not come together otherwise.

Pop the chicken in the oven for 2-3 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, begin to assemble your arugala salad. Mix together the red wine vinegar and the remaining olive oil, and pour over the greens. Sprinkle in the rest of the goat cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad, making sure the goat cheese and the dressing is evenly distributed. Divy it up into four portions and plate.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and place it on the bed of the arugala salad. Smother it with your beurre blanc, and serve.


There it is my friends! Something to eat, something to enjoy, and, as always, something to entertain the taste buds.

We're linked up:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

07 August 2011

Homemade Fruit Leather

As many of my friends know, I recently watched the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and have since become obsessed (well, not really!) with making our own green juice (and any other kind of juice). It's nutritious and delicious. We don't follow the juicing diet to a "T" but do try to replace some meals with the juice.

If any of you have ever made your own juices, you know that you have lots of leftover pulp. We don't have a compost, and I feel bad for just throwing it away (especially the fruit pulp!). So, I searched around for ideas of what to do with the fruit pulp (wow, people do a lot of things with pulp) and finally decided to try to make fruit leather (aka fruit roll ups).

I got the idea from Lullaby Lubbock and followed this recipe.

A few of the modifications I made include:
  • instead of cutting up fruit, I used the juicing pulp (included in this batch is strawberries, pineapples, mangos, green apples, carrots, and watermelons)
  • replaced the sugar with tubanado sugar and agave nectar. I had enough pulp to make two separate batches, so we'll see which one ends up tasting best.
Here are some pics from this first little experiment!

Some of the fruit pulp from juicing

Looks yummy (???)

I was too lazy to pull out the Cuisinart so I just used my blender.

Placing them in the oven.

Not near enough time!

Then there were two! This was after the little fire. They had already baked for 10 hours at this point and definitely not done.

A couple of additional pointers:
  • make sure the leather is spread thinly. Mine cooked for over 15 hours and still isn't quite right.
  • BE SURE to cut back the edges of the parchment paper....I had a little fire this morning! Fortunately, I heard and smelled it before any damage was done (damage to my oven...I definitely had damage to that tray of fruit leather!)

On a side note, Kelly has made some EXCELLENT treats over the past week. Stay tuned for recipes and ideas!

We're linked up!

Chocolate Drool and Kisses

02 August 2011

Birthday Cake Surprises!

I apologize in advance for the short post....longer posts to come soon I promise!

My dear friends Kelly (yes, Kelly the baker!) and Danielle threw a surprise dinner for me last night! It was amazing...the food, wine, and of course the company! Kelly agreed to post the dinner recipes, but I just couldn't resist sharing pics of my fabulous (understatement) blueberry almond roll cake! Words cannot describe how de-lish this sweet treat was!

my sweet husband switched the numbers...he said I still look 23....so sweet!

Thanks for making my birthday so special!