Peach, Nectarine & Blackberry Croustade, Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken and More…!

Normally, I can be very precise about my recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely experiment. But, usually (and especially with the first time trying a recipe), I measure everything specially out to a “T” and then some.

However, yesterday, I decided to go rogue (for me, at least) which consisted of not measuring exact amounts (gasp!) as well as taking just one look at a recipe and trying to replicate it (Although in hindsight, I should have done just a wee bit of research).

First, I knew I wanted to make a dessert involving fruits. Initially, my quest for a fruit filled dessert resulted in only one fruit in mind; however, all of the fruit at the grocery store started to beckon at me to be taken. So, one fruit quickly turned into two different fruits… and, at that point, I figured I’d just add one more! So, the end result? A jubilee of peaches, nectarines and blackberries in the form of a fruit-filled Croustade.

Peach, Nectarine and Blackberry Croustade

1. Make the dough from this Croustade recipe.

2. Cut fruit and combine with sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg in a bowl.

3. Flatten dough into a circle. Arrange fruit onto the top. Fold crust over so that it touches the edges of the fruit.

4. Brush edges with whipping cream and sprinkle sugar on top.

5. Bake at 400 degrees until crust browns and filling starts to bubble (eyeball between half hour to one hour).

6. Serve with ice cream!

Secondly, I saw a recipe for Chicken Thighs Wrapped in Prosciutto and Rosemary from the blog Stacey’s Snacks Online on Pinterest (by the way, side note – this is an amazing blog with plenty of very tasty recipes!). I took one look and knew instantly that I wanted to make it. But, my exuberance exceeded my judgement and I didn’t even check how to make it (As mentioned previously, I’m not sure that I’d quite recommend this tactic; however, I’m lucky that this recipe turned out well despite the odds!).

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken With Rosemary

1. Marinate chicken breasts in sauteed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

2. Place sprigs of rosemary onto the top of each chicken breast. Wrap in prosciutto over the rosemary.

3. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. During the last three minutes of baking, drizzle balsalmic vinegar onto the chicken. Check to make sure that chicken is done.

4. Eat!

The original recipe from Sarah’s Snacks Online calls for chicken thighs and to grill the chicken. Although this chicken tasted delicious baked and the rosemary added a nice touch, I’d like to try Sarah’s method or perhaps try sauteing for a minute or two on each side in a pan before baking to make sure the prosciutto morphs into its most delicious crispified (yes, this is a made-up word) state.

Both these recipes are fairly simple and broad enough that they can be modified to add many ingredients (croustade) or be prepared in varying ways (baked versus grilled chicken).

In conclusion, I’m glad that I tried something new, picked versatile recipes and fulfilled my stomach (and others) at the same time!


And… one last thing!

I am very appreciative that Posh Little Designs and Leslie the Foodie nominated my blog for the Versatile Blogger Award and the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you to both – I am honored. I follow both of these blogs and love seeing the content that they produce! If you haven’t checked out their blogs already, I highly recommend that you do 🙂

Cheers!

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Chicken and Prosciutto Salad With Arugula and Manchego


I have a huge crush… on arugula. All of a sudden, I’ve developed a penchant for the peppery-garlic-earthy flavor of this salad green whether it’s on pizza, on it’s own or combined into a sauce. In my opinion, it makes eating a healthy salad just that much easier because I love the flavor (as opposed to eating a bland iceberg lettuce that needs calorie-laden dressings to make it bearable). As a result, I’ve been on the hunt for more and more recipes that utilize arugula to add to the usual rotation for dinner.

I was instantly drawn to this recipe after seeing it in one of the latest issues of Cooking Light. This recipe calls for Asiago cheese; however, I substituted Manchego instead. What I particularly liked about this salad is the fact that it uses arugula (obviously) and combines that with a mix of salty, sweet and tangy/citrus flavors through the prosciutto, tomatoes and lemon flavored dressing. Super simple, healthy, filling and a balanced meal!

Cheers and have a great Sunday evening!

Favorite Recipes of 2011

Bye bye 2011 – the year filled with various fruit-filled desserts, homemade pizzas and plenty of roasted chicken recipes. Throughout this past year, I definitely learned many new tricks including how to make pie pastry dough from scratch (and cut and assemble lattices for pies), how to properly clean and prepare a whole chicken for roasting and how to properly make quinoa, just to name a few!

In order to celebrate 2011, I just wanted to list a few of my favorites:

Strawberry Shortcakes

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread


Homemade Oreos


Roast Chicken With Chickpeas,
Tomatoes, Olives and Thyme


Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust


Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With
Lemon Curd and Raspberries


Chicken Piccata


Blackberry Peach Crumble


Baked Macaroni & Cheese
With Garlic Bread Crumbs

Pumpkin Cake With
Cream Cheese Frosting

I am already excited for 2012: hoping to experiment more with pomegranates, mustard (yes, Epicurious predicted it to be a Top Food Trend for 2012), avocados and I would like to make homemade Pho. Join me in my adventure!

Cheers!

Bacon Mashed Potatoes With Dill

I absolutely LOVE mashed potatoes. Yet, I usually stray away from making them as a result of the copious amounts of fattening substances that are used in its making. But, since Christmas only comes once a year, I figured I could use that as my excuse to make unhealthy foods.

This recipe for Bacon Mashed Potatoes With Dill adds to the unhealthiness factor with the addition of bacon; however, the bacon adds a nice twist, especially when paired with dill (a spice I would have previously never thought to use!).

Step 1: Peel Potatoes and Slice Into
Two Inch Chunks

Step 2: Cook Bacon; Reserve Liquid

Step 3: Add Salt, Sugar, Pepper
and Cider Vinegar to Liquid

Step 4: Cook Potatoes; Mash Them and
Add Fat Mixture, Cooked Bacon and Dill

This was definitely an indulgent mashed potato recipe. Although I felt exceptionally full after, I would consider making this recipe again and perhaps adding garlic and a few other spices for additional flavor (in another 365 days of course!).

Cheers!

Saley

I love crepes – especially because of the versatility to make them either savory or sweet. I have made crepes only one time in my life; however, my crepes did not turn out in as of a tasty concoction as I wanted them to. As a result, I figured I would leave any type of crepe making to the experts.

Through Yelp, I was able to find Saley, a crepe restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle and happened to visit it this past Sunday with a few girlfriends. Although the space inside was tiny, the vibe, atmosphere and most importantly, the crepes, more than completed the experience. The server suggested to order the #6 – “The Queen”. As my mind contemplated between savory and sweet, I finally decided to follow the servers suggestion of “The Queen” crepe which was filled with chicken, tomatoes, spinach, cheese and Saley’s secret sauce.

In addition to this delicious crepe, I figured I would complete the meal with a cup of joe for a daily boost of caffeine. Well, the only thing that would have made it truly complete is if we could have been transported to Paris…

Someday!

Cheers!

Salvador Molly’s


Salvador Molly’s
is hands-down one of my favorite restaurants. I will never forget my first venture to this fine establishment in Portland. I was absolutely stunned by the bright and vibrant colors mixed with the colorful artwork on the wall. However, I was a bit confused  by the many different types of cuisine offered on the menu. The server clarified to me that he would classify the menu options as mix of Jamaican, Ethiopian, Hawaiian, Cuban and Creole foods.

In addition to a mix of plenty of both spice-filled and spicy offerings, Salvador Molly’s offers a great food challenge known as the Great Balls of Fire which consists of a serving of habanero cheese fritters.I once tried a few of these cheesy poofs of spice infernos; however, I failed at consuming the whole dish and instead resulted in a complete burning of my stomach lining.  However, those that eat a plateful of these get crowned with their presence on the “Great Wall of Flame”. Although I did not make it onto this infamous wall, I still love this restaurant greatly and enjoy coming back each time to try something different.

This past time, I visited with a friend simply for the $5 lunch specials. I chose the jambalaya and she chose a Cuban sandwich. Luckily for us, my friend was part of their rewards program so we received a free dessert as well. It’s always nice when that happens!

Cheers!

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

Cooking with limes always reminds me of Summer barbecues and Mint Mojitos.  I love the light and fruity flavors that result out of summer dishes because the Fall and Winter seasons definitely encompass more heavy and comfort-filled items. Despite the fact that the season of Summer has come and passed, I still enjoy cooking with limes year-round. So, I was ecstatic (and very thankful) when I found this recipe for Honey Lime Chicken from The Enchanted Cook. I had also recently been in the mood to grill so this recipe was absolutely perfect.

In addition to my penchant for limes, I love the fact that grilling (for the most part) can be quite easy and takes little time and effort. For this recipe, I just measured the dry ingredients, zested and juiced a lime and then combined all the ingredients into a Ziploc bag with the chicken to marinate. All this recipe took was less than five minutes of prep time before work and then it was ready to throw on the grill after coming home. All in all, this was a very flavorful recipe that tasted very light – exactly what I needed amidst all the heavy and calorie-laden options for Fall foods.

Cheers!