Monday, October 31, 2011


Sundays. Some might say the worst day of the week. I definitely don’t fair very well with them. Especially after I’ve just had a spectacular weekend of fun and all that’s coming my way is a tired, groggy, Monday morning. This past Sunday (...yesterday) I was seriously craving some comfort food. Some MAJOR comfort food that would make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. All day, while I was cozying up on my couch watching TV, thoughts of mushrooms and cream were floating around in my head. A lot of the time when I think of mushrooms and cream (which I guess is a lot of the time…) I think of a particular friend who makes the most deee-licious Creamy Mushroom Bruchetta and one hell of a good Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup chicken rice bake. On this particular Sunday I decided to get up off the couch for a few hours of productivity and added a new addition to the mushroom and cream family:  Creamy Mushroom and Tarragon Chicken with Bacon. I know, right? What flavor combination would make you feel better on a Sunday night? Riddle me that.

I highly recommended trying it for yourself. Warm and fuzzy feelings guaranteed. 

Creamy Mushroom and Tarragon Chicken with Bacon

3 slices of bacon, cut into little squares
Salt and Pepper
4 bonesless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 kinds of mushrooms (about 5-10 each), sliced
1 tablespoon of butter
½ cup of white wine
½ cup of cream (or more if you want more sauce!)
1 tablespoon of tarragon, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Fry up the bacon pieces until they are cooked, put them on a paper towel lined plate
Pat the chicken breasts with paper towel and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper
Remove some of the excess bacon grease from the pan
Bring the pan to a high heat and brown the chicken breasts on both sides (yes, in the bacon fat! Yumm)
Transfer chicken breasts to a tin-foil lined pan and stick in the oven at 325 for 15-20 minutes (or until they are cooked through)
Reduce heat of the pan and add onion and garlic, cook until onion is translucent
Add mushrooms to the pan and if needed add some butter
Once the mushrooms are soft add white wine and deglaze the pan
Bring the wine to a boil then simmer until the liquid has reduced to half
Add the cream, tarragon, lemon juice and bacon bits to the pan and allow the sauce to thicken, season with salt and pepper
Place the chicken breasts back in the pan, cover with the sauce and allow the chicken to heat up
Serve and Enjoy!
Brown the Chicken in the leftover Bacon fat (yessss), transfer to a 325 oven for 15-20 minutes

Once the sauce is ready, transfer Chicken back to pan and smother it with the sauce

Serve with some greens and be prepared for warm and fuzzy!

Jack-O-Lantern Seeds

My beautiful pumpkin

Happy Halloweeeeen! There’s nothing like the ritual of carving a pumpkin the night before Halloween. The smell, the slimy guts, the funny faces and the seeds…..ohhh the seeds. That would be my favorite part about carving a pumpkin- getting to toast up those hidden little seeds with some melted butter and salt. Anything roasted in melted butter is going to be good, but there really is something about fresh out-of-the-oven pumpkin seeds that get me going. And going. And going back for another handful.  They are salty, they are crunchy they are a perfect snack! Okay I’ll stop about the seeds (since I may be the only one that has a weird thing for them).  

Go get into the mindset of the evil spirits (or whatever the origin of Halloween is all about), carve a pumpkin, eat the seeds, eat some candy and yell ‘SPooooooky’ out the window at some tricker treaters. Well at least you know that’s what I’ll be doing.

Wash the seeds in a strainer to get all the GOOP off

Spread them on a baking sheet and toss with melted butter, salt and pepper

Roast in the oven at 325 or 350 until slightly golden brown, moving them around every once and awhile
YUMMM....eating time

The finished product, Mr. Pumpkin next to his delicious seeds

Monday, October 24, 2011

Caprese Salad Grilled Cheese

One of my favorite blogs to read is Grilled Cheese Social. It’s a blog completely dedicated to making grilled cheese. And let me tell you, it’s amazing.  Although you may be skeptical (because really HOW many variations of grilled cheese could there be?!?), the blog didn’t just end after a few posts. Mackenzie Smith of the Grilled Cheese Social has been going for almost two years now and she comes up with extremely crafty ideas for delicious grilled cheese, all while remaining really funny.

Sometimes after a night of drinking all I want to do is eat. Then eat some more. Then have a snack. Then eat again. It’s a bottomless pit of hunger that even the greasiest of the greasy just won’t cure. Saturday was one of those days. So as my between lunch and dinner “snack” I decided to get inspired from the Grilled Cheese Social and I came up with my own new grilled cheese creation with whatever I could find in my fridge. So here we have it, the “Caprese Salad Grilled Cheese”. This really filled that void that the time between lunch and dinner leaves you….even though this really could have just been lunch on its own. Again, it was just one of those days.  So try this out! Or grab whatever you can from your fridge and make your own grilled cheese, but don’t forget the bread and some cheese. That’s really the most important part. The End.

Caprese Salad Grilled Cheese

2 Slices of Pumpernickel Bread
3 Thick Slices of Tomato
Fresh Basil Leaves, torn into smaller pieces
Kraft 3 Cheese Blend (Asiago, Parmesan & Romano)

Butter the outside of two pieces of pumpernickel bread.
Sprinkle cheese (lots!) on a piece of bread, top with tomato slices, torn up basil leaves and more cheese.
Top with second piece of bread.
Heat pan to medium low and place sandwich butter side down, cook until it’s nice and gooey on the first side then flip! (Note: I put a lid on the pan at points to get the cheese all nice and melted).
Cut into two and enjoy!

The ingredients: Tomato, Basil, Shredded Cheese and Bread

Put them all on top of eachother

Now don't forget to put more cheese on top! Need it as the glue for the bread

Smear with butter and start grillin!

Mmmmm, Look at how gooey and stringy it is