Archive for April, 2011

April 17th, 2011

Chicken Bundles with Rosemary Cream Sauce

 Looking for a delicious alternative to Ham for Easter Dinner?? This is what is on the menu at our house. A couple of years ago I saw Rachel Ray making Golden Bloom Chicken – which was the inspiration for this adaptation. My family loves these little bundles –  Yes, they are a little time consuming, but worth the effort for a special dinner.


Chicken Bundles with Rosemary Cream Sauce

4 chicken cutlets or thin sliced chicken breasts *(can use 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts prepared as below)
4-5 carrots (the real thing you have to peel)
1 large red bell peppers
1 bunch thin asparagus
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp dried rosemary, chopped
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Cut carrots and red pepper into thin strips about the width of a ballpoint pen and about 3-4  inches long. Trim asparagus to the same length.
Steam or blanch the vegetables for 3 or 4 minutes (so they are still slightly crisp – the carrots will take a little longer than the peppers and asparagus). Immediately run cold water over them to halt cooking. Set aside.
*If you are using 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, you will need to slice each in half horizontally to make 4 cutlets. With a meat tenderizer, gently pound out each cutlet until it is thin and as even as possible. Cut each cutlet into 2 strips.  Sprinkle each with salt and fresh ground pepper. Lay the vegetables across the chicken (5 or 6 carrots strips, 3 or 4 peppers and 1-2 asparagus) and roll up. Secure with a toothpick.


In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat, cook the bundles seam side down until brown, then turn until all sides are brown about 15-20 minutes. (Once the bundle seals you can remove the toothpicks) Remove chicken from pan.
In the hot pan, add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan (take a rubber spatula and remove all the bits and pieces stuck the bottom – lots of good flavor there). Add the garlic and then the cream. Add the rosemary (if using fresh just add a sprig and let it flavor the sauce as it cooks, then remove before serving). Let it boil for a minute or two while stirring, then turn it down and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Serve the chicken bundles on a bed of rice pilaf and spoon sauce over the top.

Makes 8 chicken bundles.  I usually double this recipe – they are great reheated (if you have any left over!)

Posted under Chicken | 1 Comment
April 16th, 2011

Buttermilk Syrup

 Let me just warn you now that once you try this syrup you will never be able to go back to regular maple syrup. It is absolutely YUMMY!! It is great on Waffles, Pancakes, French Toast (try it with our Blackberry French Toast Bake), German Pancakes and the list goes on. It is even a great topping for ice cream! If you are lucky enough to have leftovers at your house you can keep it in the fridge. Just warm it up before serving.

 Buttermilk Syrup

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter (or margarine if that’s all you have on hand)
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup and baking soda in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract.

April 15th, 2011

Blackberry French Toast Bake A.K.A. Breakfast Bliss

Who doesn’t love a warm and delicious breakfast? The best part about it is that you can prepare it the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is put it in the oven–great for those Sunday mornings you are busy getting ready for church.

This recipe uses Challah bread which absolutely delicious on its own. It’s a sweet bread and perfect for french toast. Challah is a traditional Jewish yeast bread served on the Sabbath, holidays, other ceremonial occasions and for everyday consumption. It’s rich with eggs and has a light, airy texture. Though it can be formed into many shapes, braided Challah is the most classic form.

**You can buy Challah bread in the bakery at Whole Foods, Market Street and Central Market. Or you can use a country-style french bread or italian bakery bread.  (The soft french bread located near your grocery store checkout is not a good option for this.)  croissants, cubed is another yummy alternative.**

Blackberry French Toast A.K.A. Breakfast Bliss

1 cup blackberry jam
1 loaf Challah bread, cubed (or Country-Style French Bread/Italian Bakery Bread)
1  8 oz  package of cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar

Cook the jam in a small saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring until melted and smooth.

Place half of the bread cubes in a lightly greased 13×9 baking dish. Top with cream cheese cubes and drizzle with melted jam. Top with remaining bread cubes.

Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour over bread mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover and chill 8-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes more or until bread is golden brown and mixture is set.
Serve immediately with Buttermilk Syrup.
April 14th, 2011

Marinade for Flank Steak or Chicken


We love to grill and we love to marinate flank steak to go with our Caramel Potatoes! Fortunately we can grill year round in Texas (I’m so sorry for you that are still dealing with snow, but summer will come).

I buy my flank steak at Costco or Sam’s (usually 2 to a package). When I get them home I put them in individual Ziplocs with the marinade and then freeze them. That way they are ready to go whenever and they can marinade as they defrost. (I usually grill chicken with the flank steak since the steak is a little expensive and I have a couple of carnivores in the family who will devour any beef in site!)
NOTE: We are big proponents of “Cook Once Eat Twice” – Be sure to grill extra meat (chicken or steak) for great Paninis  the next night – just add some grilled onions and peppers and your favorite cheese!

Marinade for Flank Steak or Chicken

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar*
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
¼ Cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Clove Garlic

*The Raspberry Vinegar can sometimes be hard to find – they have it at my local Kroger and Market Street or you can get it at whole foods.  Check your local grocer.
Place all the ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag and “mush” together; then add your beef or chicken. (If you are doing both chicken and beef make two bags of marinade and keep them separate.  If you have a double pack of flank steak from Costco, you’ll need to use two bags also.)  
Marinate the flank steak overnight.  I usually do the chicken overnight as well; however, it works if you only have a couple of hours to marinade the chicken.  (You can freeze both the chicken and the beef in separate bags at this point – get them out the night before you need them and place them in the fridge – they will marinate as they defrost.)
Grill your meat as desired then let it rest for 5-10 minutes before you cut it. Flank steak should be thinly cut on the diagonal across the grain of the meat (This actually makes it more tender). 
The flank steak is fabulous with our signature Caramel Potatoes; both the chicken and steak go well with Fettuccine Alfredo, Tortellini Salad, our go-to Spinach Salad, or any other summer grill favorites.
April 13th, 2011

CARAMEL POTATOES (Our Signature Dish)


If you were to ask any member of our family what their favorite meal is, the answer would be unanimous: Caramel Potatoes with Marinated Grilled Flank Steak.

Our dad/granddad was a potato farmer; so we know a thing or two about potatoes. We love potatoes in our house: We know lots of ways to make them, and lots of ways to eat them, and we like them all-alot! However, our hands-down favorite is Caramel Potatoes.
The original name for this recipe is Rosemary Potatoes with Carmelized Onions- for us they have become simply Caramel Potatoes. When your youngest was little he wouldn’t eat them because they had (eeeu) onions. He held out for many years until he finally tasted them . . . . everyone was so disappointed because now they have to share! {BTW he is now all grown up and still picks out the onions : )}
Give them and try and see if your family loves them as much as we do. You won’t be disappointed!


Caramel Potatoes


 3 lbs red potatoes – cooked with skins and sliced (be sure to let them cool before you slice or they’ll crumble)
1 Stick of Butter (only the real deal)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Small Bermuda Onion (Red Onion, sliced into thin rings)
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed (a little less if you use fresh)
salt to taste
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion rings, stir to coat. Let the onions cook for 10-12 minutes (be patient, if you cook them too hot the butter will clarify and then it won’t mix with the sugar).

Add the brown sugar and rosemary and a pinch of salt – continue cooking until the onions are translucent (another 10-15 minutes). Yum – you can smell the rosemary and caramel now!

Add the potato slices, stir gently to coat and let the potatoes heat. Serve immediately.


Be sure to try them with our Marinated Grilled Flank Steak – see if it’s a favorite for your family!  Let us know how you like it-



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Caramel Potatoes

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