Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tarragon Chicken with Wine Sauce




Chicken can be boring if you stick to the same old recipes. Even Mr. & Mrs. P get stumped every once in a while when it comes to reinventing the classic chicken dinner. We had tarragon growing in our garden and put it to good use with this recipe. We hope you will too! You can't go wrong when cooking with wine and cream! Cheers!

Ingredients:
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of butter
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1-1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast or tenderloin
Salt
Pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh tarragon
3/4 cup of white wine (we used Riesling)
1 tablespoon of heavy cream

Kitchen Essentials:
Measuring cups and spoons
Cutting board
Knife
Large pan
Thongs
Whisk
Paper towel
Serving tray
Aluminum foil

Prep:
Finely chop the garlic and tarragon and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with clean paper towels in order to get a nice sear on the chicken. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Directions:
Place the large pan on the stove and turn to medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter and allow to incorporate into each other. When the oil mixture is hot, arrange the chicken on the pan and cook for 5-9 minutes. Get one side of chicken nice and brown before flipping them. Cook the other side and immediately add the white wine, garlic and tarragon. Cover for 5-7 minutes and allow the chicken to cook through. Uncover and cook for a few minutes allowing the sauce to reduce before removing the chicken and putting it on a plate or serving tray. Cover it with aluminum foil in order to keep it warm. Lastly, add the heavy cream to the pan and whisk the sauce well, removing any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. That's where all the flavor is! Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hearty Tuscan Soup



Need to get away? Take a trip to Italy without leaving home by making this satisfying Tuscan soup. All you need are a few ingredients to transport your taste buds to another country. Viva Italia!

Ingredients:
5-6 tablespoons of olive oil
3 small onions
5 cloves of garlic
Salt
Pepper
1 package Italian sausage
2 32oz cans of chicken broth
3 potatoes
1 15oz can of cannellini beans
4 cups of chopped kale
2 tablespoons of oregano
1 tablespoon of rosemary
Juice and zest of one lemon
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kitchen Essentials:
Measuring cups and spoons
Cutting board
Knife
Strainer
Zester
Stove
Large pot
Wooden spoon
Grater

Prep:
Begin by preparing all of the ingredients before turning on the heat. First, finely chop onions and slice the sausage into 1-inch chunks. Then, wash, peel and chop the potatoes into medium-sized cubes. Strain the cannellini beans. Finally, mince the garlic and chop the kale, oregano and rosemary. Now, you are ready to make your hearty Tuscan soup!

Directions:
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Next, add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper and stir until the onions become soft and translucent. Then brown the sausage in the pot for about 5-7 minutes. Add the chicken broth and allow the mixture to come to a boil with the top on. Then add the potatoes, lemon juice, lemon zest and beans. Cook for about 10-15 until the potatoes are tender. Finally add the oregano, rosemary and kale. Cook for another 5 minutes until the kale softens. If you need more liquid, add more chicken broth or water. Serve hot in a bowl and top with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lemons the Size of Softballs!





Back in April, Mr. P surprised Mrs. P with a 3 foot lemon tree. Boy were we in for a surprise! The tree flowered beautifully and grew about 15 lemons. At first, the lemons were green, so we left them on the tree a few more weeks. They continued to grow and grow and grow until they were the size of softballs! They just would not stop growing! The pictures above really demonstrate just how over sized the lemons were.



Aren't they the biggest lemons you have ever seen?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ginger Party Sausages





While watching the Cooking Channel the other night, we happened to stumble upon Nigella Lawson's show "Nigella's Kitchen." She was hosting a holiday party and made some delectable sausages. She says she never hosts a party without some sort of sausage. We had honestly never thought of serving sausages at a party as an appetizer, and now we are hooked. These sausages are the perfect combination of sweet and savory and they are sure to be a hit at your next gathering.


Ingredients:
1/4 cup of orange marmalade
1/4 cup of wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 pack of Little Beef Franks (not smoked)

Kitchen Essentials:
Oven
Refrigerator
Measuring cups and spoons
Small bowl
Spoon
Knife
Cutting board
Baking dish
Ziploc bag (if storing in the refrigerator overnight)

Prep:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chop the garlic clove.

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together the orange marmalade, mustard, olive oil, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Place the sausages in a buttered baking dish in a single layer and pour the mixture over the sausages. Move the sausages around to make sure they are evenly coated. Cook for about 30 minutes until the sausages are fully cooked. Try one before your guests arrive to ensure they are delicious. Try not to eat them all!

Note: If you are making these appetizers the night before a party, place the sausages and the mixture into a Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ginger Martini


The holidays can be stressful...that's why you need a recipe for a cocktail that you can whip up in no time for your next holiday gathering. This cheerful drink is sophisticated and fun. Your friends will be begging you for the recipe after one sip!


Ingredients: (Makes two drinks)
1/2 cup of lemon vodka (We used Absolute Citron)
1/2 cup of Perrier Sparkling Water (Lemon flavor)
1/3 cup of ginger simple syrup (instructions below)
A splash of lemon juice

Kitchen Essentials:
Stove
Small pot
Wooden spoon
Martini shaker
Martini glasses
Measuring cups
Knife
Cutting board

Prep:
Make the simple syrup about an hour or so before serving. In a small pot, bring one cup of sugar, one cup of water and one peeled ginger to a boil while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and discard the ginger. Once the mixture is cooled, pour into a measuring cup and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. There will be enough simple syrup for up to four martinis.

Chill your martini glasses by placing ice and water into them five minutes before serving. Cut the lemon into wedges.

Directions:
Add vodka, Perrier and simple syrup into the martini shaker. Shake for 30 seconds. Pour the ice water out of the martini glass and then pour the mixture into the glass. Add a splash of lemon juice. Enjoy while telling stories about your favorite holiday memories or watching a Christmas movie!
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