Chicken Cacciatore

We’reeeeeee backkkk! Finally! Finally home! It was a long three days in the car with the Hubs while he listened to Barry Manilow (yes, my husband is 85 years old) and hockey games on satellite radio. Thankfully, we didn’t have any major problems on our cross-country drive. We had some crappy weather on the 2nd day through Texas, but that was it for bad weather! The only other mishaps were related to food. Let me just say that one of my least favorite things about driving for so long is food. I don’t want to eat fast food every day. I refuse to eat it. Subway and Chick-Fil-A are acceptable for me, maybe the occasional Wendy’s. Other than that, no thank you! But, of course, the only places that are always everywhere are McDonald’s and Taco Bell. And no, I do not want to eat a spicy bean burrito while driving across the country. Hubs and I also don’t like to stop and eat, we just wanted to get home so food was always on the go! I was thrilled on the second night when we found a Mimi’s Cafe and I had some salad and fresh fruit! We packed some snacks that weren’t too bad, but we had to use the GPS to find food options each day of the drive. Seems simple enough, except for the fact that I haven’t updated my GPS in like 3 years! Thus, Sally (my GPS lady) is nothing but a big liar. She led us to places that no longer existed! Stupid Sally…

Do you guys ever take long road trips? If so, what are your favorite foods for the road? How do you stay healthy while traveling?

Since I have been driving across the country, I am going to share another great recipe from my friend, Amanda. After eating one too many sandwiches over the last few days, this chicken cacciatore has me salivating! I hope you guys enjoy the recipe and I will be back to regular posting on Monday! Have a wonderful weekend!

Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
  •  3 tbs. olive oil
  • 8 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

Directions:

 

  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
  2. In large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add chicken pieces to pan and saute until brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan that the chicken was in and saute over medium heat until the onion is softened. Season with salt/pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, broth, and oregano.
  4. Return the chicken to pan. Turn and coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through (20-30 minutes).

 

  • I always use chicken on the bone, because it adds flavor. However, you can use boneless chicken.
  • You can use skinless chicken to reduce calories/fat.
  • Removing seeds of fresh tomatoes reduces bitterness.
  • You can use canned tomatoes if you want.
  • White meat(breast) depending on thickness will need less time than dark meat (thigh). You can stagger the times you place the chicken in the pan with the tomatoes, so that you put the white meat in about 5-10 minutes after the dark meat (dark meat needs about 30 minutes and white meat needs about 20 minutes of cook time).
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Easy Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Well folks, me and the Hubs are back in the car and on our way home to Florida. I had an excellent weekend back on the west coast celebrating my best friend’s wedding! The wedding and the bride were absolutely gorgeous! We spent Friday getting our nails done and then of course rehearsal. Saturday morning and afternoon just seemed to fly by while we were getting all dolled up and before we knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle! Although it was a blast, I am totally wiped out from all the traveling I have been doing for the last month! It will be so nice to get back home and not have to go anywhere for a while!

I made this soup before I left for Cali again. I still wasn’t feeling too hot and wanted something really easy. It was perfect because I had a hankering for some coconut curry soup and this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, totally my kind of weeknight meal!

Easy Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, chopped

– 1 cup carrots, chopped

– 1/2 green pepper, diced

– 1/2 red pepper, diced

– 4 cups chicken broth

– 1 can light coconut milk

– 1-2 tbs. Thai red curry paste (depending on how much curry flavor you would prefer)

– 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts

– salt and pepper to taste

– Optional garnishes: fresh lime juice and cilantro

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the carrots, red pepper, and green pepper and saute for about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste.

2. Add the chicken broth plus 1 cup of the coconut milk. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes or so to allow the veggies to soften and to let the flavors develop! Garnish with additional sliced red pepper and/or a splash of more coconut milk.

Mushroom Stuffed Brie


Hi Friends! I’m back in California for my best friend, Crystal’s, wedding this Saturday. I’m so excited for her and am so glad the big day is finally here!

Ok, so there is nothing attractive about this stuffed brie. Like seriously, it’s pretty hard to make a chunk of ooey gooey cheese stuffed with crap look attractive. But, let me tell you, this ooey gooey cheese stuffed with crap was AWESOME! I could not stop eating it. I don’t even want to know how much cheese I ate, it’s just too embarrassing. This is another recipe I made with my girlfriends last weekend. Although the night was low in carbs, it was obviously not low in fat, LOL! Mushrooms tossed in some white wine and garlic and then stuffed into brie cheese. Does it get any better than this?!! You could taste some of the white wine with almost every bite, which made it even more prefect!

We bought a larger round of brie this time around! I do recommend that if you plan to make this and have a piece of brie that is more than 7 ounces, you might want to consider almost doubling the mushroom recipe. We used a 13-inch round piece and I felt it could have used way more of the mushroom stuffing!

Mushroom Stuffed Brie

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

– 1 7-8 ounce round piece of brie cheese

– 1 cup mushrooms, sliced and cleaned

– 2 garlic cloves

– 1 tbs. finely chopped onion

– 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

– 1/4 cup white wine

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the piece of brie in half using a sharp knife and place on foil or in a 8X8 baking dish.

2. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and the wine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the wine is mostly absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Scoop the mixture on one half of the cheese round. Place the other half on top. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted to your desired consistency.

Low-Carb Creme Brulee

Happy Hump Day! It’s so nice to only go to work for one day and then already be half way though the week, isn’t it?! This past weekend, Amanda and Lisa came over for a day of low-carb cooking. We had lots of fun in the kitchen and the girls got to experience me squeezing around lights, a bed, and desk to take blog photos in my guest bedroom/office/studio. It was kind of nice to have two assistants to help this time around! Hubs used to help me, but it often ended in us wanting to strangle each other so I decided it was not good for our marriage, LOL!

Anyway, we wanted to have a nice little dessert and Amanda suggested we make this creme brulee. It was really easy to make and was pretty tasty considering it had no sugar. By sticking with heavy cream, it still had that smooth and creamy texture. I think next time, I might add some more vanilla for extra flavor or possibly try making this a chocolate creme brulee! Now, there was one problem. What were we going to do about the brulee topping?! I don’t know too much about this, but I have read that sugar substitutes like Splenda and Stevia won’t burn, so if any of you guys know more about this or know of a substitute that would work here, please let me know! We wanted to still have that crunch on top so we toasted some pecans in a little bit of butter. Although I love breaking that hard, sugary topping, the nuts were a great sub!

Low-Carb Creme Brulee

From The Low-Carbist

Serves 3-4*

Ingredients:

– 2 cups heavy cream

– 4 egg yolks

– 1/2 tsp. vanilla

– 2 tbs. Splenda granular or Stevia

– dash of salt

Pecan Topping:

– 1 tbs. butter, melted

– 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles start to form. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, salt, vanilla, and Splenda or Stevia. Gradually whisk in the cream. Strain the mixture.

3. Divide the mixture evenly amongst ramekins or creme brulee dishes. Fill a large baking dish with some water and then place the ramekins into the dish. The water bath should come up about 1/4-1/3 of the way over each ramekin. Carefully add more water if needed. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set, but slightly jiggly. Chill for 1 hour.

4. Melt the butter in a bowl and add the pecans. Toss to coat them evenly with the butter. Then, lightly toast the pecans in a pan on the stove or in the oven. Spread the pecan topping evenly over each ramekin. Chill for another 3-4 hours and then serve.

Notes:
– In regards to the serving size, I used creme brulee dishes and actually only got three servings out of this recipe. Since creme brulee dishes are not as tall, we filled them up most of the way. If you use smaller ramekins, you may be able to get four servings or of course, you can just put less of the custard in each dish.

Berry Citrus Bread

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m so excited because today you can find me posting over at A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis! I was ecstatic when I received an email from him and I am so honored that Chef Dennis asked me to do a guest post for him!

I decided to share my recipe for Berry Citrus Bread. It’s delicious and healthful and it’s packed with fruity goodness! So please hop on over and check out my recipe and say hi to Chef Dennis!

Whole Wheat Margherita Flatbread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Ok, I think I know one of the reasons I don’t like going to the grocery store. It’s the hoard of people. Perhaps it’s the small town that I live in, but seriously, my grocery store is always packed when I go. So packed that I can barely get down the aisles. WHY?! Is there nothing better to do here than go to the darn grocery store?! And let me just say that I don’t like crowds. I don’t like people being all up in my grill!! And why, oh why is that that whenever you get to where you want to be, someone is always in the freaking way of the food I want to grab. For example. I wanted to get some mozzarella cheese for this pizza. It took me at least 5 minutes to finally get to it because a couple just stood in front of all the cheese and were discussing what types of cheese they needed for the week. I stood there thinking, “DUDES, I know what cheese I want, get the heck out of my way! BLARGHHGHGHGHGHGHGH!”. I know, I have zero patience. I’m like the scrooge of the grocery store. And of course, it didn’t help that I was still pretty sick this weekend. Within 5 minutes of walking in, I was getting all sweaty. BLARGHGHGHGHGHGH! Ok, I’m done with my rant and my BLARGHGHGHing.

I hope you enjoy this pizza. It’s good…and stuff…

Whole Wheat Margherita Flatbread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Flatbread Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1 tsp. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1/4 tsp. black pepper

– 1/2 cup water

– 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing

– 3 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

– 2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced thin

– 2 tbs. fresh basil, chiffonade

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1 cup balsamic vinegar

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan, dissolve the brown sugar with the balsamic vinegar. Bring the balsamic vinegar to a light simmer. Simmer until the vinegar is reduced by half (about 15-20 mins). Let the vinegar cool and it should thicken. You can make this reduction sauce in advance if you would like.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, water, and olive oil with your hands until a dough forms. Then place the dough on a floured work surface. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. You do not have to worry about rolling the dough out into a perfect circle or square! I think the odd shape makes it look nice and rustic :). Place the dough on a baking mat or on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5-7 minutes just until the dough just slightly starts to crisp up. Remove from the oven.

3. Brush the top of the flatbread with extra olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Distribute the garlic, then the cheese, tomatoes, and the basil evenly over the flatbread. You can also sprinkle the top with another pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the balsamic reduction over the pizza. Bake for another 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining balsamic vinegar if desired.

Notes:
– You do not need to use all of the balsamic reduction if you don’t want to! Feel free to use as much or as little as you like!