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Chicken Francaise

A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night I tried out a new recipe.  I like to order this as an entree when we go out to dinner, but I have never made this before.  The breading was perfect and the lemon flavor was just right.  I think the only thing I would add is some capers.  Serve this with white rice to absorb the flavor of the sauce and enjoy!

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large eggs (cold)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped, divided + more for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or any other hard cheese)
1/2 cup butter (cubed)
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine



Instructions

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently with a mallet to 1/2 inch thickness. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking.

While oil is heating, break the eggs into a shallow bowl and whisk lightly. Add 2 tablespoons parsley, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and whisk to incorporate. Spread the flour in a shallow platter. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour (both sides), then dip into the egg batter, letting the excess drip off.

Place the chicken cutlets in the skillet, without crowding. Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a platter. Don’t cover, because the coating can become soggy.

Drain the oil and return the skillet to medium heat. Melt the butter. Add the wine and lemon juice, and simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Stir in 1 tablespoon parsley.

Spoon the sauce over the chicken cutlets. Garnish with chopped parsley. You can top it with lemon slices. Enjoy!

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Homemade Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese croutons

Last Saturday morning there was a little chill in the air and it looked like it was going to rain all day.  So we planned our menu based on the feeling of fall.  I made the Awesome Mac and Cheese and Hubby made this soup that we found the recipe on top of a can of tomatoes.  So quick and easy!  This will warm your soul and your senses this fall.


P.S.  Weather turned around and it was very humid by dinner time. 


Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can  crushed tomatoes with basil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth

Cheddar Cheese Croutons 

1 loaf baguette, small
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until soft. Add flour; cook and stir until moist. Gradually add milk, cooking and stirring about 2 minutes or until smooth and bubbly.

Stir in crushed and petite diced tomatoes, basil, oregano and broth. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir frequently and do not allow mixture to boil.

To make Cheddar Cheese Croutons, cut baguette into cubes and toss with olive oil and cheddar cheese. Spread onto baking sheet and place into a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Bake until croutons are golden brown and cheese is melted. Top soup with crouton.

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One Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta

Another one pot wonder hit the table last week and if you were following my Instagram account I tried to show this recipe in a story.  I used step by step pictures and then the final project.  I am sure people were peeking in along the way but probably did not see the whole production process.  What they could tell was how good this recipe was.  

I surprised the hubby with this following his lawn mowing activities.  Needless to say that we really didn’t sit down until about 7:15.  He had been traveling and I didn’t get home until about 5 or after.  This came together in about an hour total with the prep time and all.  A great quick meal for the 2 of us.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package (16 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 1/2 cups  reduced sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz container)
8 oz uncooked Rotelle  (Cork-screw shape)pasta (about 3 cups)
4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup refrigerated basil pesto (from 7-oz container)
1 package (8 oz) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese 
In 5- to 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink. With slotted spoon, transfer to plate, and keep warm.

Add chicken broth and pasta to Dutch oven; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al-dente and most of liquid is absorbed.

Add cream cheese and pesto, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Stir in chicken; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is heated through.

Gradually stir in spinach until starting to wilt. Just before serving, garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese.
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Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

Sometimes you need a crock pot recipe in the summer.  One that gives you a punch of flavor and is filling.  Serve with some Jasmine Rice and a nice glass of wine ans you will think you are at PF Changs.

2 lbs chicken breasts boneless skinless , about 4 pieces, cut into smaller pieces
1/4 cup flour all purpose
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews UNSALTED

Instructions
Combine flour and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir.

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Lemon Blueberry Cake

Grab those blueberries before they are gone.  This is a great cake to make for either dessert or as a breakfast treat.
It is a pretty simple cake to make and packed with flavor.  I am not a huge fruit fan, but have no problem when they are presented in a dessert of some sort.

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut oil)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the lemon glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

reheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Pound on the counter so the loaf cake is evenly set in the pan.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the loaf cake with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.
While the loaf cake is cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle the glaze of the cooled loaf cake. Cut into slices and serve.

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Rigatoni and Pomadoro Sauce

Looking for a simple and easy summer pasta dish?  Look no further.  This is easy to make and has awesome flavor.

This was a hit with our pasta loving boy.  Give it a try and let me know what you think?

One 28-ounce can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
8 ounces mezzi rigatoni 
2 tablespoons butter 
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade strips

Puree the tomatoes using an immersion blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a saucepot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, pepper flakes and garlic. Gently toast the garlic until golden brown, being careful not to burn it. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer; simmer 5 to 8 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, half of both cheeses and half of the basil and cook, tossing frequently, until the pasta is nicely coated. Season with salt if necessary.

Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the remaining cheese and basil and drizzle with olive oil.

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Linguine and Shrimp Scampi

“Joanne, what do you want for dinner?”  “Do you have any plans?”  “Will go with what your thinking”.  Three basic questions or statements that I hear quite often.  Well, guess what…I had a plan and it came out great!  
Even recuperating from knee surgery that took place just over a week ago I pulled off a great dinner and a dessert.  (Paid for it the next day….)  We had shrimp in the freezer and all of the ingredients on hand.  We even had the dessert ingredients on hand too.  (Posting at a later date)
Sauteing the shrimp in butter and olive oil.
Ingredients

Vegetable oil 
Kosher salt 
1 1/2 pounds linguine 
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 
5 tablespoons good olive oil 
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves) 
2 pounds large shrimp (about 32 shrimp), peeled and deveined 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 
Grated zest of 1 lemon 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons) 
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds 
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of salt, and the pepper and sauté until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve. 

Adding in spices, lemon juice and zest

Combined with linguine