Monday, January 30, 2012

Balsamic Chicken with Cannellini Beans and Wilted Spinach

On Saturday I was looking for an easy and healthy dinner. I was going through my Rachael Ray cookbooks (she's been on my mind since we've been watching Rachael vs. Guy) and came across this recipe. I love beans and spinach for their great nutritional value. And any meat marinated in balsamic will definitely be good! Even though Adam wasn't crazy about the wilted spinach, I loved it. This is so easy and has bold flavor. And we ate some sweet potato fries with it!

From Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals.

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon grill seasoning (McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut or pounded to the same size
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans, drained (you can use great northern beans in a pinch)
1 (12 oz) bag baby spinach
handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
juice of 1 lemon

In a shallow dish, combine the balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the grill seasoning. Coat the chicken breasts in the mixture and set aside to marinate while you start the white beans and spinach.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are a little brown, 3-4 minutes. Add the white wine and chicken stock, bring up to a bubble and cook for 10 minutes.

Heat another large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the chicken breast and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil.

Add the beans to the skillet with the onions and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the beans are heated through. Turn off the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the spinach, parsley, and lemon juice. Toss and stir until the spinach wilts.

To serve, place a portion of the beans and spinach on each serving place. Thickly slice each chicken breast on an angle and arrange over the beans and spinach.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mache Salad


So delicate and delicious. And exotic. My host mom in Paris served this green almost weekly and I fell in love with it. She served it as a simple salad - mache, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. That's it! It was so lovely and I think about it a lot.

I rarely come across mache but of course I stumbled upon it at Wegman's.

We ate it the other night with this dressing:

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 pinches kosher salt
5 turns fresh ground pepper
3 pressed garlic cloves, optional

Whisk all ingredients well until combined or put in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously.

You only need a very little bit of this dressing for your mache. Save the rest for another salad.

Adam said it was too acidy but I enjoyed it. Start off with less lemon juice if you wish.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage & Bolognese

Going back to the post I did a few days ago, here are the photos from Skinny Taste recipes.

Ravioli with Crock Pot Bolognese:

I know I make a lot of things from Skinny Taste so I am going to try to go on a break. Yes, she has lots of great recipes but I too have tons of cookbooks that I need and want to be using. I am just usually planning our meals in front of the computer, away from my cookbooks, so it is just easier to find recipes online. I have meals planned from now until Tuesday but after that I plan on making some recipes from my favorite cookbooks. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Broccoli & Chicken Sausage

It is a technological miracle! I just had to download Google Chrome and now I'm back in business!
So for dinner last night I made a delicious pasta dish. Adam even said "it's been a long time since I've gone back for seconds". ha! That's what happens when I am experimenting with meals all the time.

This pasta dish was inspired by Gimme Some Oven's Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Instead of the sprouts, I used blanched broccoli. I had some Roasted Garlic and Herb Chicken Sausage from Wegmans with a very delicate casing that would not allow me to slice the sausage into coins as recommended in the original recipe. Instead, I just removed the casing which doesn't look as pretty but I'm sure tastes just the same.

1 pound of broccoli, rinsed and chopped into bite size pieces
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. (16 oz.) pasta
4 links or 1 pound chicken sausage, removed from casing
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/3 cup pesto (jarred Wegman's brand is great)
Parmesan cheese for serving

Fill a large pot with cold water, add a few pinches of salt and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add broccoli and stir. Cook for 3 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up as you stir. After 6-8 minutes, add the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and save 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. In the large pot the pasta was cooked in, add the pasta, broccoli, sausage, pesto and pasta water. Stir until combined.

Serve with grated Parmesan.

Oh and can you tell I had a lovely day last Friday at Wegman's?! It was heaven, I tell you! I can't wait so long to go back again.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I am having some trouble with my computer these days. I can open my blog but I cannot manage it so now I am here attempting to use my husband\'s iPad. I am still not in love with this contraption. I was not able to manage the blog on the iPad either until we figured out that I needed to find a blogging app. With that done, here I am, typing but not sure how to add photos or links.

I recently made two back-to-back recipes from Skinny Taste - Kalyn\'s Stuffed Cabbage Casserole and Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce.

Both were tasty! Adam said he would not ask for the cabbage dish again and I agree but the bolognese sauce was lovely! We ate it over cheese ravioli and it made enough to freeze for our next pasta meal.

Visit and scroll down to find the recipes.

I am now going back to figure out this iPad. Wish me luck - I need it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Eve Party

Sometime in early December, Adam suggested having a New Years Eve party at our house. I said, sure, why not?! We had a party to ring in 2010 and it was fun so we thought it was time for another. We invited people over around 8:00 but I still wanted to make a lot of goodies to snack on. Adam and I teamed up and made a pinecone cheese ball, cheese biscuits with ham, Adam's famous cheese, bologna & mustard plate, veggies & ranch, seasoned pretzels, dill pickle, cream cheese and dried beef bites and rice krispy treats.

Note: Check out that wine cork wreath my mom got us for Christmas - it was empty and we filled it with our cork stash.

In addition, Adam made his famous boilo and I made a punch that turned out to be a hit! I was thinking about getting ingredients to make all kinds of cocktails but then I thought it would be easier to make a pitcher of punch, that way it's ready to go when someone's glass is empty.

1 bottle sweet sparkling wine (spumante, asti, etc.)
1 bottle vodka
1 1/2 to 2 bottles cranberry juice cocktail
Lime slices

Mix all in a pitcher and drop in lime slices. Serve over ice.

Our friend James and Lauren brought some orange jell-o shots! They hollowed out orange halves, pour the jell-o into the orange shells, let them set and then cut them into wedges. So very clever!! I was so amazed by them and took lots of pictures but when I was ready to sample one, they were gone. It's ok though because we will definitely try to make them.

It was a great evening but it flew by way too fast! One minute it was 10:30 and we were watching Dick Clark, the next minute I was chatting in the kitchen and someone yelled "one minute"! We hardly had time to get on our hats and pop the bubbly! We look forward to having a party again soon - before and including NYE

Another thing I wanted to share with you is that I started a mini journal for 2012. And by mini, I mean super mini - just because I could never write in an empty paged journal - it's too daunting to me! I got the idea from a blogger I adore - Ashley at Under the Sycamore. I am keeping a "Best of My Days" journal. Every day I write a few words about the best part of my day. If you want to do this too, you can download the template from Ashley's blog.

Happy New Year!