Sunday, June 29, 2008

Love Birds: Chicken in a Puff Pastry

Chicken is such an easy and versatile meat to work with and experiment with.  I love coming accros new and different recipes that include chicken; to me it's like working with a blank canvas and it's waiting to be created into whatever you have in mind.   Whether it's my own creation or something from someone else I always look forward to trying new dishes and flavor combinations.

I found this particular recipe on Food Network and it's by Rachael Ray.  The flavors of this dish are amazing and so savory.  I love the flavor combinations, they flow together so nicely; there is the sharpness of the cheese followed by the sweetness of the preserves.  These were so good, they would make a great "date night" meal or they could even be scaled down to make the perfect appetizer at your next party!  It's a simple way to dress up chicken and impress your guests!

 Love Birds:

Ingredients:

 4 pieces skinless chicken breast, boned (about 8 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 sprigs fresh finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 sheet puff pastry
(11 by 17-inch), (recommended: Dufour)
8 slices Italian fontina cheese
, slices should be 2 to 3-inches square and 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup fig preserves
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


 Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cut each piece of chicken in half across the breast.

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the chicken on both sides, 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut pastry into 8 pieces. Place a piece of cheese on each pastry square and top with fig preserves.

  Cheese and Fig


Then add chicken pieces.

with chicken


 

 Pinch and seal the dough over the meat and cheese.  Seal with egg wash, flip the pastry and brush the tops with remaining egg wash. Bake 12 to15 minutes, until golden.

Finished             Cut open  


 

Recipe Source: Rachael Ray, Food Network 

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is one of my all time favorites and an ultimate classic.  I remember having it at all types of gatherings growing up and making it quite a bit for get togethers as well.  I love the classic recipe but I'm always up for a new twist on an old classice and this is exactly what I got when I searched for banana pudding on Food Network's website.  This recipe was so great, easy to follow and tasted fabulous.  It is more rich than the traditional banana pudding but it's still good for a twist!   


 


 

  

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding:

Ingredients:

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups
milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream
cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream


Directions: 

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. (I used a circular casserole dish and I halfed the recipe)

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.

Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Recipe Source: Paula Deen, Food Network

Green Beans with Stewed Tomatoes

Green beans are a common side dish for us.  They are so easy, quick, and very versatile.  I'm always trying new things to change up the taste of our green bean sides.  So in an attempt to try to change things up I decided to combine two flavors I love to make this dish; green beans and tomatoes.  The flavors of the two vegetables complimented each other well and the sweetness of the sauteed onion paired with it nicely.   Although there is not a lot to this recipe it was really good and different that what we've had before. 

 

Green Beans with Stewed Tomatoes:

Ingredients:

1 Can green beans, whichever style you prefer (I used french style)

1 Can stewed tomatoes

1 Slice onion

1 Clove garlic, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

 Heat small skillet over medium heat.  Separate rings of onion slice, place in skillet.  Once onions start becoming translucent add garlic and saute for 1-2 more minutes.  Once finished cooking remove from heat.

In microwave safe dish add green beans (drained), stewed tomatoes, onions and garlice from skillet and mix together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Place in microwave for 5-7 minutes (until heated entirely) and then serve!

 

 


A Lynsey Original

Sweet Potato Fries with Basil Salt and Garlic Mayonnaise

I love sweet potatoes but it seems like the only time I have them is Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Lately I've been wanting to spice up my side dishes and have some stuff that  is out of the ordinary for us.  The last time I went to the grocery store I bought some sweet potatoes and figured I could try out some new recipes.

I searched sweet potato fries on the food network website and found these by Giada.  Although the fries are nothing out of the ordinary the mayonnaise is fabulous. 

Sweet Potato Fries:

Ingredients:

5 sweeet potatoes, cut into about 1 by 5-inch fries
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the fries on baking sheet lined with foil and toss with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.

While fries are baking combine the basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. In another small bowl combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.

When the sweet potato fries come out of the oven, sprinkle with the basil salt. Serve with the garlic mayonnaise for dipping.

 

               

Recipe Source: Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

I abolutely LOVE Paula Deen, she is one of my "go to's" for a no fail recipe.  I was wanting something we hadn't had in a while for supper so I got some Tilapia out to prepare, how I was going to prepare it was still up in the air.  I started looking on Food Network's website and searched Tilapia  when I came across this recipe; after reading I thought "this sounds great and unlike any combination of flavors we've ever had". 

Spencer loves blackened fish, that is one of his favorite things but as far as experimenting with different flavors...that's another story.  He'll try anything once; and when I told him about this recipe he just kind of sat there and then agreed he would try it.  Well; I cooked it and needless to say it's now one of his favorite meals.  We actually had it twice in one week:). 

 Blackened Tilapia:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter,
melted
4 (10-ounce) tilapia fillets
4 Kaiser buns, split, buttered and toasted
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise, recipe follows
Store-bought mango salsa


Directions:

In a shallow dish, combine first 6 ingredients.

 Pour melted butter into another shallow dish. Dip fish fillets in the butter and coat with seasoning.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook prepared fish, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

 

Cooking in pan                   Finished Cooking

 

 

Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise:

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


Directions:

In a bowl combine all ingredients, cover and chill.

 Spread the mayonnaise mixture over toasted buns.  Place the blackened fish on bun, top with mango salso and then cover with top with the other slice of the bun. 

 


 ***I couldn't find sala with chunks of mango in it, which I thought would be good.  So I got a fresh mango and sliced it up and added it to the mango salsa.  It was absolutely fantastic. 

 Recipe Source: Paula Deen, Food Network

Baked Asparagus

Asparagus is one of our favorite vegetables, it seems to make a regular appearance during meal time at our house.  Although I am always looking for new ways to cook it sometimes you just can't go wrong with preparing it simply.  One of my favorite recipes is so simple and a definite go to for something quick, it is baked asparagus paired with onions and seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Sometimes the best dishes are so easy and the flavor are brought to life by the simplest of seasonings.  I know I always get caught up in trying new and exciting dishes so if you're like me remind yourself that sometimes the best dishes are simple and lightly seasoned, don't forget to go back to the basics from time to time! 

 

Baked Asparagus: (for 2)

Ingredients:

12-14 Asparagus spears, prepared

1 slice of onion

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Olive Oil

Directions:

 Preheat oven to 300 F.  Place foil on baking sheet. 

Take slice of onion and separate rings, then place on foil.  After arranging onion place asparagus spears on top, salt and pepper to taste then drizzle with olive oil (to liking). 

Bring foil together and seal.  Place in oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until asparagus is to texture of liking.   

Recipe Source: Lynsey

Pretzel Encrusted Chicken

One night I wasn't really sure what we were going to have for supper.  I tried to think of something to cook for the longest time but nothing really jumped out.  I finally just went in the kitchen and started looking around and pulling items out of the pantry until I came up with a combination of items that sounded tasty.  That is how I came up with this recipe of "Pretzel Encrusted Chicken". 

  

Pretzel Encrusted Chicken:

 

Ingredients:

 

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 Cups pretzels

1 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder/garlic salt (whichever you have on hand)

1 1/2 Teaspoon onion powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

Herb of your choice ( I used parsley)-to taste

2 Eggs

 

Directions:

  

Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray.

 

Place pretzels in food processor and blend until a bread crumb consistency.  Once blended add garlic powder/salt, onion powder, salt, pepper and herb.  Pulse until ingredients are blended well. 

 

In a bowl beat/whisk eggs well.  Coat chicken in eggs, roll in pretzel mixture and then place on baking sheet. 

 

Once all chicken is ready put in oven to bake.  Let it back 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through entirely.   

 

   

 

A Lynsey Original

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hello all!

Hi everyone!  This is my first blogging experience ever, so please be patient with me. 

I love family, friends, my wonderful husband, outdoors, animals and of course I love cooking.  I am definitely at home in the kitchen.  I am always up for trying a new recipe but I do love the classics that I grew up on too. 

Looking back during my childhood I have so many memories and some of the fondest are in the kitchen.  I never passed up the opportunity to help out in the kitchen; I was always a "lil' helper" to my MaMaw, Grandma and my parents.  I learned so much from them and I probably would not have this passion of cooking and food if it weren't for them.   

I look forward to cooking, sharing pictures and recipes and hearing what everyone has to say.  I hope you enjoy!!!
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