Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend in the kitchen - that's what it felt like.

Wow, just getting to write, and realized that I was going through a little withdraw from missing a couple of days of writing. Lots to say - lots of cooking happened this weekend. 

The weekend started off really good - we had Dana and Maegan over on Friday night. Maegan wanted to come over and so we could cook together - we had a great time. I got Megs an apron for an early birthday prezzie, so she got lots of use that night. 
On the menu:
Baked brie with a Cranberry Port Compote
Caesar Salad
Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto served with White wine sauce

My Bruschetta recipe is probably one of the easiest appetizers ever - and always is a huge hit at any dinner. I got this recipe from a lady that Chris and I used to work with. Chris loved it so much he brought the recipe home with him so that I could make it for him. He's spoiled.

8 roma tomatoes - cut lengthwise, remove the inside flesh and then chop into tiny pieces
6 sundried tomatoes - chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2-3 cloves of garlic - minced
1/4 chopped basil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper 

Once you have all the ingredients prepared, add them all to a large bowl, mix well, and it's all ready. I like to try and make it so that it has a couple of hours for it to sit and have all the flavours mesh together. Serve with sliced baguette - and for added flavour, serve also with softened cream cheese.  So deelish. It's a 5 every time!

Maegan made the Caesar Salad - and it was awesome!!! I need to get her recipe. 

Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto served with White wine sauce
This picture doesn't make it look too good - I need a course on how to take pics of food. Sigh.
For the chicken - so easy. I cut a small pocket into the thickest side of the boneless/skinless breast - added 1 tbsp of pesto and then 1 tbsp of softened goat cheese. Then wrapped each breast in the very, very thin slice of prosciutto (ensuring the pocket was covered). Then browned in a hot pan - both sides. Once both sides were browned (I did 2 breasts at a time), I placed them on a pan covered with parchment paper and baked in a 400 oven for about 20 minutes.

While the chicken was cooking, in the same pan that the chicken was browned, I heated the pan and added about 1/4 cup white wine - trying to deglaze the pan. I then added a bit of chicken stock, a little bit of flour to thicken and some kosh and dried herbs. It turned out really well. 

I served the chicken on a platter and the sauce in a separate side bowl. I find that when I hear 'stuffed chicken breasts' that it seems too hard - but this was really easy! Seriously. A little messy, but easy.  

Maegan showing off the brie with her 'West side' gang sign.

Saturday morning was lazy. No, I mean LAAAAYYYYYZZZZEEEEEE. The kind of lazy where you don't get out of bed until almost 11. What??? Whatever. When was the last time that happened?? There were a couple of factors that allowed a late start to the day: 1. Chris took Magnum out; 2. It was dark and rainy outside; 3. I had 2 caesars and 2 beers on Friday night - that is far too much for me. I wasn't hunga, but a little tired. Oh and also I have felt like I have been fighting something for a couple of days now. Anyways, it was a nice treat. I got my butt out of bed, ran to Rona to get new knobs for our dresser in the spare room, picked up a few groceries and then home to clean the kitchen from the night before and start preparing dinns for night 2.

Saturday night, David aka Jozie and Magnum's new nanny while we're away - he doesn't know that I am calling him that - not sure if he'd mind. He loves the pups - and they heart him. He came with his new gf, Jenny, she's lovely. They spoiled us with lovely flowers, homemade cookies and more. It was really neat, because as they got there, Chris was 'spazzing' b/c something was happening with his new pc, and as I was taking their coats and goodies, I noticed that Magnum had pooped in the living room. What? Oh man, not happy. When Chris was done spazzing (I was so not impressed), he noticed that there was another one. Whatever Magnum. It's been MONTHS since he has done that. Anyways, when that crisis was over, we had a nice visit. 

On the menu:
Baked Camembert with Cranberry Port Compote
Toasted Walnut, Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Tomato Salad
Stuffed Cannelloni with fresh Spinach, Chicken and Ricotta Cheese
Angel Food Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Baked Brie
Yes, I made the same appetizer two nights in a row. It's easy! My Auntie Joanne gave Chris and I a jar of the Cranberry Port Compote for Christmas - and this stuff is amazing. It's kind of like jam - but not. Anyways, I literally just topped the top of the cheese with the compote, and baked in a dish that I could also serve the appetizer in, and baked it in a 350 oven for 20 mins. Served it with sliced baguette. So deelish. 

Toasted Walnut, Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Tomato Salad
I love making salads, I rarely make them the same way twice. I like to throw in different things that you may not typically have in a salad. 
1 cup of chopped walnuts - I toasted them in my cast iron pan on med heat for about 5 mins
1/2 cup softened goat cheese - crumbled
Asparagus - 10 stalks
10-12 cherry tomatoes
Romaine lettuce

I blanched the asparagus. Boiled it for about 5 minutes then took them out of the water and placed them in an ice bath and just let them sit for about another 5 minutes. Added all the ingredients together in a nice large salad bowl and topped it with a refreshing dressing. 

I don't have measurements - I will try to remember for next time. In a jar, I add olive oil and balsamic vinegar - probably 3:1. Then added raspberry vinegar, fresh lemon juice, kosher salt and pepper and that's it. Homemade vinaigrettes are the best. 

Cannelloni recipe will be posted soon

I am running out of precious time right now, so I will post the rest of the recipes this week - I promise. I also have to add what we had for dinner tonight - Chris' all time fave - Chicken Pot Pie - low fat version. 

I hope that you all had a fantastic weekend. Thanks to cuz Margo for letting me know how she takes care of herself - so good - I won't post though. 

Ok, I have two sleeping pups beside me - and I need to get some zee's soon too. 

Monday - is here. Poor Monday gets a bad wrap - Friday doesn't, we all like 'him'.

Loves to all.


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