Favorite Dinner – Chicken Piccata

I decided to treat myself to one of my favorite foods in the entire world tonight – Chicken Piccata. There aren’t too many recipes that combine as many of my favorite things (lemon, capers, and butter in this case), and it’s actually a fairly quick and simple process.

- 1 lb thin-sliced chicken breasts
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan or romano cheese
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons butter

1. Heat olive oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Beat egg in a small bowl, then mix flour and cheese in a separate bowl. Coat chicken in egg then flour and saute in the hot oil until golden and crisp, a few minutes on each side. Be careful not to crowd the pan, cooking the chicken 2-3 pieces at a time. As they are done, move chicken breasts to a platter and cover with foil.

2. Once all of the chicken is cooked and removed from the pan, add white wine and deglaze, scraping the bottom of the skillet to get the brown bits (that’s the tasty part). Cook the wine on medium high heat for about 3 minutes, then add the chicken stock and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes, until the liquid reduces a bit.

3. Finally, add the lemon juice, capers and butter and stir until the butter melts. Pour the liquid over the chicken and serve immediately.

Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

I am posting this recipe for Breakfast Cookies with the very strong belief that all cookies are absolutely appropriate for breakfast. Cake, cupcakes, candy and pizza are also wonderful breakfast foods as well. I have also been know to live for days on just a giant bag of salt & pepper potato chips, so I don’t judge.

However, the healthy eater in my house (Anthony), decided that we should eat better this week after several big parties this week. I have been thinking about variations on the granola bars that I made a few months ago – something simple and easy to grab in the morning, but filled with healthy and delicious ingredients.These cookies are sweet, but not crazy sugary, and the oats and whole wheat flour make them taste and feel a little healthier for the morning. They also smell AMAZING while in the oven, so they are a great treat to bake first thing in the morning.

Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Time – 20 minutes prep, 15 minutes baking

- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any nut butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 large apple, peeled and diced

1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.

2. In a stand mixer or bowl with a hand mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and continue mixing until well blended. Add flour and baking powder, continue mixing. Finally, add in oats and apples and mix until just blended.

3. Scoop dough onto the lined baking sheet in small balls, then press down into flat discs (this is important, as the cookie will not spread while baking). Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and cool cookies on a wire rack.

Baby Bok Choy with Rice Noodles

We are in serious detox mode in our house after a few weeks of eating lots of sweets, pizza, and other bad foods. Because of that, I have been trying to pick up some new kinds of vegetables every week at the store. Last week, I gave baby bok choy a try.My go-to method for cooking new vegetables is sauteing them in olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.

Since greens like these usually shrink down during cooking, I used 6 small bunches for the 2 of us. I cooked them over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, drizzled them with about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and served them tossed with rice noodles.It was delicious, light and made me feel a lot better about all of the sugar cookies I’ve been eating lately.

Roasted Broccoli and Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar

I love roasted asparagus. Seriously, it is in my top ten favorite foods, definitely near the top. I love the way it changes the flavor and texture of the asparagus, and now I won’t eat it any other way.

I need to add some new vegetable recipes to our rotation, and I have read about how fantastic roasted broccoli is, so I decided to give it a try with tomatoes, balsamic, garlic and some cheese on top. It worked out really well and we ate it over some pasta, but it would work perfectly as a side dish to some yummy chicken or fish.

Here’s what you need:
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 large bunch broccoli, crowns only
- 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- parmesan or romano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine tomatoes and garlic in a small glass baking dish and coat with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. While tomatoes are roasting, place the broccoli on a large baking sheet line with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. After the tomatoes have been in the oven for 20 minutes, increase the temperature to 425 degrees and place the broccoli in the oven for 1- to 12 minutes.
3. Once the broccoli is in the oven, remove the tomatoes, add the balsamic vinegar, and stir. Place back in the oven for the remainder of the time that the broccoli roasts.

4. Remove both the tomatoes and broccoli from the oven, and combine. Top with grated cheese and serve over pasta or alone.

The best part of the whole thing was the crispy bit on the broccoli, which look a little burnt, but taste delicious.

Quick Potato & Leek Soup

Phew. Last week was crazy. I spent a lot of long days getting ready for a craft show and baking for 2 parties, and didn’t have time to cook real food, clean the house, or sit down for a minute.

Things are getting back to normal this week, and I was craving something homemade and healthy for dinner. I love potatoes and I adore leeks, so the answer was obvious.

Potato & Leek Soup
Time – 30 minutes
Serves 4

- 4-5 medium white potatoes, cut into small cubes. (I leave the skin on but you can remove it if you prefer)
- 4 leeks (just the light green and white parts), cleaned and sliced into rings.
- 9 cups vegetable stock.
- 2 tablespoons butter

1. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes.
2. Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft.
3. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the pot until it is nice an smooth.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, the soup is just as tasty unblended. Serve with multigrain toast, salt and pepper.

Roasted Potatoes with Shallots and Fresh Herbs

I LOVE potatoes. I could seriously eat them for every meal. I bought some Rainbow Potatoes from Whole Foods tonight and roasted them with shallots and fresh herbs. This is my favorite way to cook potatoes and it goes with just about anything.

  • 1 lb small potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces (I used a mixture of red new potatoes, small white potatoes and small purple fingerling potatoes, but any small ones work)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (you can also use garlic)
  • A handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon or rosemary, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Mix potatoes, shallots and herbs in a medium baking dish. Add just enough olive oil to coat the potatoes and toss with salt and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning once so both sides get crispy.
I served them with a pan-seared steak topped with goat cheese and roasted asparagus. Yum!

Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta

This is a delicious, easy hors d’oeuvre that my sister makes. I have made it a few times and I always end up eating a ton of it before it gets out of the kitchen. You just need 4 things, plus a loaf of french bread to serve it on:

12 oz jar of roasted red peppers, diced
6 oz provolone cheese, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil

Mix the cheese, peppers and garlic together in a bowl and toss with olive oil.

That’s it – you’re done.

We like to eat it on grilled chicken (if there is any leftover).

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