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Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Chicken Piccata

My husband asked me if I took a picture of dinner for my blog.. of course I had – no one is allowed to eat until I have taken a picture of the food around here!  “Well, David, should I blog it?”  His answer: “Yes, you should blog it and make it often!”  I think he liked it!  Chicken Piccata is breaded chicken breast with a nice lemon wine sauce.  Delicious!

The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks: Barefoot Contessa At Home by Ina Garten (page 96).  I used chicken breasts that were sliced into 1/4 inch thickness rather than pounding the chicken thin like suggested.  I think it made it easier to make and I will do so again.  Randall Farms makes a package that has about 8-10 sliced pieces of chicken breast that worked out perfectly for my family. Also, I did not season the chicken before breading them, as the breading has salt in it- and it didn’t need it.

Chicken Piccata

adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa At Home pg 98)

  • 1 package thin sliced chicken breasts (or pound out chicken breast halves into 1/4 inch thickness)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs (Italian by Progresso is what I used)
  • olive oil for frying
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided use
  • juice of 2 lemons (keep the halves for the sauce after squeezing the juice)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • sliced lemons, for serving
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley (or fresh if you have it)

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Pound out the chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness (or use thinly sliced chicken breasts like I did and skip the mess!)

Set out 3 shallow bowls.  Fill the first with the cup of flour and season with salt and pepper.  In the second beat 2 or three eggs.  In the third bowl, pour the seasoned breadcrumbs.  Dip the chicken first in the flour and coat; then in the egg and finally, coat the chicken breasts with breadcrumbs.

Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom about 1/4 inch.  After it has come to heat place 3-5 of the chicken tenders in the pan and fry them for 2 minutes on each side.  After they are golden brown remove them to the prepared sheet pan.  Continue cooking the chicken breast tenders until they are gone.  Place the sheet pan in the oven for 10 minutes.  Pour off the excess oil and wipe the pan out so there are no breadcrumbs left in the pan.

Reduce the flame to medium.  Add 1 Tbsp of the butter and add the lemon juice and white wine, lemon rinds, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Bring to a boil and let it reduce by half (about 2 minutes).  Take the pan off heat and add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter, stirring constantly until it is fully incorporated.  Add chopped parsley and stir into the sauce.

For serving: place the chicken cutlets on a platter, top with additional lemon wedges and pour some of the sauce over the chicken.  Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

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Birthday Cake

My Mom and Dad are out from NJ for a two week visit.  My Mom’s 71st Birthday was during her visit and we wanted to celebrate her birthday right with a homemade cake. My daughters decorated it with a theme they found in the book “Hello Cupcake” using Oreo cookie crumbs and candies they made a garden theme for her.  She was thrilled!

I found this great recipe on the site of fellow blogger smitten kitchen.  It is listed under her recipes and category of celebration cakes (best birthday cake).  It is a wonderfully easy cake to make and is not super sweet like so many out there.  It is much better than the box mix cakes.  I like to cook more than bake, but I must say this is a recipe I will make again.  I was not a fan of the sour cream chocolate frosting, but I used cool whip and freshly sliced strawberries as a filling and it went really well with the cake!  Next time I will add another layer of cool whip and strawberries between another layer and frost it with cool whip. Also, I did not have cake flour and used the unbleached all-purpose flour instead and it turned out beautifully!  My girls decorated it with a theme they found in the cookbook Hello Cupcake.

Yellow Birthday Cake

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken

Instructions:

Cut out two rounds of parchment paper the same size as your cake pan.  Butter the bottom of your cake pan and place a parchment paper round on the bottom each pan.  Butter the parchment paper and the sides of the cake pans.

Preheat the ovens to 350F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl.  Cream the butter and sugar with your electric mixer at medium speed until the butter mixture is pale and fluffy and add vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the batter with a spatula to combine properly.  Add the buttermilk and mix into the batter.  The batter will look curdled, but don’t worry- this will turn out great!!! Gradually add the flour mixture in smaller batches (3-4).  Mixing just until combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth the top with a spatula.  Tap the cake pans on the counter several times to remove any bubbles from the batter.

Bake at 350F for about 35-40 minutes until the cake tests done when you insert a toothpick or skewer (it should come out clean and not have clumps of batter on the skewer or toothpick).  Cool the cake  in their pans for about 10 minutes before removing them.  Gently run a butter knife along the edge of the pan to loosen any cake that is stuck to the side of the pan before removing it.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

If you are making a layer cake use a serrated knife to cut the top of the cake to make it level.  I filled mine with cool whip and sliced strawberries and frosted it with homemade chocolate frosting.  This cake pairs especially well with strawberries!  It would be great in cupcakes topped with strawberries and cool whip too.  Just reduce the cooking time for the cupcakes to around 15-20 minutes.

I will certainly be making this cake again!  It is really good.

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