Maple-Mustard Chicken

I normally would not think to combine maple syrup and mustard with chicken. In fact, this combination has never crossed my mind. But, in an attempt to be more adventurous, I decided to try this recipe from the latest issue of Cooking Light. In this situation, sweet + savory wins.

Step 1: Prepare Spices and Cut Garlic

Step 2: Saute Chicken for Two
Minutes on Each Side

Step 3: Combine Liquid Ingredients
to a Boil in Skillet; Add Chicken

Step 4: Bake and Serve

This chicken recipe was a good decision and in commitment to my New Year’s Resolutions. Even though this recipe is on the healthier side, it definitely packs plenty of noticeable flavor. I highly recommend you to try it!

Cheers!

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Salt & Straw

I’m such a sugar fiend. I know I have a problem when ice cream seems like it could take the place of a meal such as breakfast, lunch or dinner. But, on top of craving bouts of sugar all of the time, I also crave variety. And, by “variety”, I mean that I like to try things that might be considered simply atypical. For example, some of my friends might “mix it up” by ordering pumpkin pie ice cream instead of a standard vanilla or cookies ‘n cream flavor. For me, I need something a little bit zanier, something that just peaks my curiosity just a little bit more…

I first read about Salt & Straw through an article in Portland Monthly Magazine. All it took was just one glance at the menu on their website and I knew I would be instantly hooked. How did I know so quickly? I saw the words pear and blue cheese combined into an ice cream flavor. Now, although that might not have been my flavor of choice, I knew that ice cream similar to that flavor realm would be completely right up my alley.

So, this past weekend, my boyfriend and I ventured to Salt & Straw. Not only did I try delicious and unusual flavors of ice cream, but the people that worked at Salt & Straw were absolutely delightful, incredibly helpful and even let me try multiple samples. After sampling a few different flavors that included the likes of Honey Balsamic Strawberry With Cracked Black Pepper, Brown Bread Stuffing With Apricot and an ESB flavored ice cream, I finally settled upon Banana With Spicy Caramel and Walnuts while my boyfriend ordered a flavor that tasted exactly like blueberry pancakes with maple syrup (alas, I cannot remember the name!). Besides the most important fact that the ice cream encompasses a unique batch of flavor-intense ingredients, Salt & Straw is a farm-to-cone ice cream shop that uses local, sustainable and organic ingredients. As a result, this just makes me appreciate their establishment even more and elated for the chance to go back.

All in all, let’s just say, delicious ice cream + friendly service + a sunny afternoon= one happy camper.

Cheers!

Happy 2011! New Year’s Sunday Brunch

 This year my friends and I decided to host a New Year’s Sunday Brunch. We thought this would be a perfect time to get together, catch up on each other’s lives, and cheers to a Happy New Year.

Naturally, I awoke too early on a Sunday and had plenty of time to mosey around the house before everyone arrived. With the extra time, I conjured up a few items that I think no casual Sunday brunch should be without.

Sunday Morning Paper

Different Coffee Mugs

Vanilla Candles

Flowers 

Non-Traditional Holder for Utensils

New Year’s Sunday Brunch included a Spinach and Bacon Quiche and Belgian Buttermilk Waffles with Glazed Bananas.

I chose to make a quiche for several reasons:

1. Can easily alter/modify/add ingredients

2. Option to pre-buy the crust or make from scratch

3. Simple and I have never made one before!

That being said, for this quiche, I altered the ingredients to cater to certain food preferences and allergies of my friends (I substituted cheddar cheese for swiss cheese (on one-half of the quiche only), nixed the bacon, and added mushrooms and roasted red peppers). I also chose to make the dough/crust the day before in order to avoid waking up too early to make it the day of brunch. Despite the fact that I had to bake the quiche for 20 minutes longer than the recipe suggested, the quiche turned out well and next time I’d like to experiment with other ingredients such as chicken, asparagus, and gruyere!

Step 1: Use a Blender/Food Processor
to  Make Dough; Fill 9-inch Pan with Dough

Step 2: Chop Dry Ingredients; Place in Crust


Step 3: Blend Liquid Ingredients;
Pour Onto Crust

Step 4: Bake, Cut, Serve!

The waffles seemed like the easy, go-to choice to complement a savory dish for this brunch. Plus, I couldn’t remember the last time I actually ate waffles and almost had forgotten what they taste like. That fact by itself solidified this choice as a done deal. These were very crunchy and the bananas provided a great flavorful kick in combination with maple syrup!

Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients Together; Mix
Liquid Ingredients Together; Combine


Step 2: Preheat Waffle Iron and Pour
Batter (3 minutes each round)

Step 3: Heat Butter Until Foam Subsides;
Place Bananas on Pan for 1 Minute Each Side

Step 4: Add to Waffles, Drizzle Syrup, Enjoy!

I’m hoping that we can make New Year’s Sunday Brunch a tradition for next year too!
Cheers to a Happy 2011!