Sometimes you just need a little comfort food.  Before this last heat wave hit, I made this with the feeling that Fall was in the air…. sadly, it didn’t last.  Hopefully we’ll see cool weather from here on out so we can start enjoying all this upcoming season’s harvest.  Thank you, Jamie Oliver, for another easy meal and the reminder that warm, rich food is just a few weeks away.

For the recipe, click here.


Making life (or at least dinner) super easy…

1 Jar Pesto
1 Jar Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 Chicken Breast (cooked, e.g. on a skillet for say 20 min)
1/2 cup Feta Cheese
1/2 cup Fresh Mozzarella
1 recipe Pizza Dough (or just get some from Trader Joe’s)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Roll out your pizza dough, spread with the pesto, sprinkle with the remaining ingredients and throw it in the oven (preferably on a pizza stone if you have one) until brown and bubbly (about 20 min).   Oh, and try to serve it with a salad to appease your conscience.

The walking cast is off!!!!!!!!  My foot is healing well and I am back in commission.  I can’t tell you how liberated I feel!  Needless to say, having the cast on seemed to slow down my ability to be in the kitchen as much as I’d like.  Now that I’m back, I hope to have many more recipes and tidbits to share with you.  Here’s one to start:

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil

Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

For the Tomatoes: Chop the tomatoes, basil, and garlic and combine.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic until well coated.  Top the chicken with this mixture and serve immediately.  Deliiiiiiiiiiicous.

(Parmesan Chicken recipe courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa)

Grilling in the back yard on a warm day in late spring seems like the perfect end to a long day at work. You sit out on the patio, open up a cold beer (or cold water for pregnant me), and enjoy watching the sun go down.  Now all you need is a chicken marinade recipe that will produce tangy, spicy, moist chicken.  Typically I don’t care much for chicken skin (the slimy fat layer grosses my out), but when it’s lathered in this sauce and charred to perfection, I can’t help but be won over.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

1/3 C. Dijon or Spicy Brown Mustard
1/3 C. fresh Lemon Juice (about 3 lemons)
1/3 C. Olive Oil
1 1/2 T. Red Pepper Flakes
3 1/2 lb. Chicken Pieces (e.g. legs, wings, bone-in breast)

Whisk together all ingredients except the chicken.  Put the chicken in a glass baking dish and pour the marinade on top, turning the pieces to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hrs.

Preheat your grill to high, make sure you have an area of indirect grilling (i.e. only heat one side of the grill or stack your charcoal more to one side).  Arrange the chicken over the indirect heat and cook about 10-15 min per side, or until the chicken juices run clear when pierced.  Let rest on a plater for 5 minutes before serving.

This is one of my hands-down all time favorite comfort foods.  It’s a stick to your ribs kind of meal.  The savory flavors of the leeks and mushrooms provide the perfect background for the hearty, spicy sausage; all lightened by the zing of the white wine garlic sauce.  It’s often something that I serve for company, as everyone seems to like it and it’s an easy make-ahead meal (the stew portion can be made the night before and topped with the pastry the day off).  You haven’t had pot-pie, until you’ve had pot-pie like this.  It’s a MUST try.

Olive Oil
2 T. Butter
1 1/2 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into small pieces
9 oz. Hot Italian Sausage
2 Med. size Leeks, cleaned and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
5-6 Mushrooms, chopped
2 Celery Ribs, chopped
4 T. Flour
1 wineglass of White Wine
1 1/4 C. Milk
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
1 lb Puff Pastry Dough
1 Egg

Preheat oven to 425F.  Take a large pot and add a lug of olive oil and your butter.  Add the chicken, sausage, leeks, carrots, celery, and thyme and cook slowly on the stove for 15 min.  Turn the heat up and add the flour, stirring for a couple of minutes before adding the wine, a half-wineglass of water, and the milk.  Season with a little salt and pepper and garlic.  Then cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 30-40 min.  Stir it every so often to make sure it doesn’t stick on the bottom.  The sauce should be loose, but very thick.  If it’s too thin, simmer with the lid off for a few minutes to thicken.

Pour the mixture into a deep pie dish or small casserole dish.  Roll out your pastry to be 1/4 in. thick.  Take the egg and beat it with a fork.  Brush the rim of the dish with the egg and drape the pastry over.  Egg wash the top of the pastry and score the pastry back and forth with a knife (criss-cross).  Cook in the center of the oven for about 30-40 min, or until golden and bubbly.

Sigh, the crock pot.  Now I’m sure that many of you have made peace with, and may even love, your crock pot.  I, however, seem to have very few good memories associated with anything coming out of one.  With the little one on the way, though, it’s become apparent that I might need to look into this a bit more to help out with the time constraints to come.  I’ll keep you updated with what I find.  In the meantime, this was a killer first attempt:

1 medium vidalia onion, sliced
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 bay leaves
1 (3 lb)  roasting chickens, cut into pieces

The joy of the crockpot? Throw everything in, place on low heat (or 8-10 hr. cook time), go to work or about your day, and come home to a heavenly smell and some pretty tasty food.  Serve with steamed rice.

(Adapted from

This is my very first Nigella Lawson recipe.  I had some excess buttermilk in the fridge from the weekend’s pancake extravaganza, and was searching to find something savory to do with it.  I have to say, if this is what buttermilk does to chicken, maybe I should keep it around more often.  It tenderizes the meat and leaves it with a subtle tang that you just have to taste for yourself.  I marinated before I went to work in the morning, so I can’t imagine how it would have been had I remembered to make it up the night before.

12 chicken drumsticks (approximately 3 pounds total weight)
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, bruised and skins removed
1 tablespoon crushed peppercorns
1 tablespoon Maldon salt, sea salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Place the chicken drumsticks in a large freezer bag, and add the buttermilk and 1/4 cup of oil.

Add the bruised garlic cloves to the bag with the crushed peppercorns and salt.

Sprinkle in the ground cumin and finally add the maple syrup, and then squish everything in the freezer bag around to mix the marinade and coat the chicken.

Leave the buttermilk marinated chicken in the fridge ideally overnight or out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take the chicken pieces out of the bag shaking off the excess marinade, and then arrange them in a roasting tin lined with foil.

Drizzle over the 2 remaining tablespoons of oil, and then roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until brown, even scorched in parts, and juicily cooked through.

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