Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Hey guys!  Long time no blog, eh?  Yeah... unfortunately I fell out of it for a while, but I'm back now and hope to be back at it for a long time to come.  :-)

So I thought I'd return with a nice comfort food dish to share with you all today.  I made this last night, Sunday night, which was the day after a very long and busy Saturday.  It consisted of Mark and a portion of his family/friends working together to make 400 lbs of homemade sausage and of me feeding them all.  Needless to say we were both very tired and worn out the following day.  I tend to respond to days like this in one of two ways: lay around all day like a lazy lump or putz around the kitchen all day.  I definitely thought the former was going to happen, but the latter is what actually transpired.  I was just in the mood to cook and take my time doing it.  But, since I was pretty tired from the day before, I felt like making something comforting.  Something we both hadn't had in a while.  Something that I had all the ingredients for already in the pantry/freezer/fridge because I was in no way planning on leaving the house for ingredients.  No way.

So Chicken Parmesan it was!  I decided to go out to FoodNetwork.com and grab a Tyler Florence recipe because he has never steered me wrong.  I really love his recipes and this one was no different.  I love the addition of Kalamata olives in the marinara sauce and the shredded Parmesan cheese in the bread crumbs to create a more flavorful breading.

See how I made this after the jump.


Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Loaf (and an amazing giveaway!!)

Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Bread...  cooled and sliced.

Hello all!  How have you all been?  I've been on a bit of a hiatus...  more than 7 months actually...  but I'm back!  I found myself missing getting on here and chronicling my adventures in the kitchen and sharing my creations with you.  For the better part of this year, anytime I found some time to get on my computer, it always turned into catching up on work email.  While I'm sure the late night email catch-ups will continue to happen, I've made a promise to myself to make time for my blogging as well.  Because you guys... I really do love it and I've missed it!

You'd think I'd just wait until the new year to get back on the blogging scene since the holidays can be so busy, but an amazing opportunity presented itself a little while ago and I'm so excited to share it with all of you!  You may remember that I used to be a part of a super cool group of food bloggers called Virtual Potluck.  Whelp, consider this our reunion tour.  One of the members of our group, Donna Currie, just had a cookbook published!  How amazing is that??!!  She asked us all to get back together to help her shout to the world that she is now a published cookbook author and every single one of us couldn't say yes fast enough.  Yay Donna!

Donna's cookbook - order your copy today!

Donna's book, Make Ahead Bread, is available for sale on Amazon. If you'd like an autographed copy, you can order one from Barbed Wire Books.

You can find Donna on her blog, Cookistry, or on 
Facebook and Twitter.

Check out what everyone else in the Virtual Potluck group made from this awesome book!  
The participating bloggers (besides me) are:

Since this is a party in honor of our newly published friend, there MUST be gifts, don't ya think?  Well, here is where it gets good for YOU.  Several sponsors have donated some pretty amazing products for all of us to give away to you over the next three weeks.  Wait until you see what you can win...  it's awesome!  Here's a tease: one of the prizes in the grand prize pack is a food processor!!

See how I made the delicious bread you see pictured above AND all the details of what you can win and HOW you can win it after the jump!


Italian Easter Sweet Bread

Italian Easter Sweet Bread

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and enjoyed the nice weather that I think most of us had. I think it's finally really Spring outside! As I type this, I'm sitting at my kitchen counter with my windows open. It's so nice to air the house out! I'm knee deep in laundry and housework today on my day off, but that's ok. I'll get that all done and then my reward will be a nice long walk outside in this beautiful weather.

So yesterday I decided to make Easter bread for the first time. I had been wanting to make this bread for years and just never got around to it. Also for some reason I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult than it was... I have no idea why. But, thanks to Laura Vitale over at Laura in the Kitchen, I saw that it really wasn't all that difficult to make and according to Laura, it tastes so so good!  So, I decided to make it myself on Easter morning to share with Mark's family for Easter dinner and thankfully it was a success!  I think the finished product is really pretty and fun and I plan to make it every year from now on!  The taste and texture is amazing.  It's got a sweetness to it and a hint of an orange flavor from the orange zest.  The outside is a little crusty and the inside is so light and pillowy.  The sprinkles add a little more sweetness on the outside as well.

So thank you so much, Laura Vitale, for showing us all how to make this bread as well as hundreds of other recipes on your YouTube channel!  Be sure to check Laura's channel out here and check her blog out here.

To see now to make this bread, check out Laura's video below. I decided to color my eggs, but that was pretty much the only thing I changed. Good luck making your own Easter bread and if you do decide to make it, email me a pic of how yours turned out!

  • Yield: 2.00 loafs of bread
Recipe courtesy of Laura Vitale of “Laura in the Kitchen” on YouTube


A Week of Cooking Light: Friday: Chicken Picatta

Welcome to Friday's meal from Cooking Light's Sunday Strategist meal plan for this week!  Sorry it's a day late...  it was another late night dinner and I was feeling way too lazy to blog last night.

So after getting through this whole menu this week, I can safely say that I liked every dinner I made this week!  Friday's meal was a classic: Chicken Picatta.  I hadn't made this in a really long time, so it was nice to have it.  As you can see I didn't use orzo and I didn't make the broccoli rabe (even though I LOVE broccoli rabe) since I didn't have orzo on hand and we had a bunch of asparagus, so I really needed to use that instead.  It turned out great!  The only thing I would say to do that the recipe doesn't mention is after you pan cook the chicken, put it on a cookie sheet and stick it in a 350 degree oven to finish cooking.  Since chicken breasts can be thick, it's kinda hard to cook them completely through in a pan without making the outside too done and tough.  So just get the chicken nice and browned on both sides, then stow it away in the oven and move on with the recipe.

I asked Mark what he favorite meal was from this week and he said he really did like them all.  He really enjoyed the fish stew and the grilled cheese.  I loved knowing what I was going to make each night.  I really like the idea of planning the week's meals the weekend before.  I'm pretty busy at work a lot of the time, so it's nice not to have to dream up what to make on some nights.

It was also really nice to eat lighter.  Not that we eat badly, really, but we could probably do a better job at eating lighter.  We always get in our veggies and we always eat a variety of foods and really don't stuff ourselves.  Anyway, I think I'll try and keep this going and look for more meal plans and lighter recipes to prepare through the week.  I'm kind of excited to see what the Sunday Strategist will post for next week's plan!  They post it every Sunday morning, so be sure to look for yourself tomorrow and try making a week's worth of Cooking Light meals, too!  If you do, let me know how you liked it!  Send me pics and I'll be sure to post them here on the blog.

If you'd like to create your own meal plan using Cooking Light recipes rather than following the Sunday Strategist's plan, you can use their WAY COOL Weeknight Meal Planner and create your own plan.  Click on the link to go to the meal planner page where you can search for recipes and then drag and drop your favorite recipes into your plan.  How fun! 

Ok, so to see how to make the Chicken Picatta, check out my video below.  Thanks for going on this journey with me and stay tuned to see what my next project will be.  Hmmmm, what should I do next?  Suggestions?  Leave them in the comments below.