Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Very Lovely Dinner

I’m so excited because this is my first recipe post, which is one of the main reasons why I started this blog.  No matter what goes on over the course of the day, my kitchen is and will always be my sanctuary.  I love picking recipes out of cookbooks and trying them, cooking my mom’s dishes, and also creating my own.  I feel very content when my husband comes home from work and the smells of a home cooked meal have filled the kitchen.  My heart is full knowing my son will grow up with these aromas of comfort and joy, as I did.  I have vivid memories of coming home from school on a cold winter’s day and as soon as I opened the door I was greeted with the aroma of my mother’s beef stew bubbling on the stove – it was like walking into a hug. Is there anything better than that for a child?  

Monday night was Valentine’s Day. I wanted to cook a family favorite as well as something special for everyone.  I started out with a treat for my hubby.  He’s a garlic lover, so this was just for HIM:

Roasted Garlic:

Get yourself a big, happy, chunky, garlic bulb.  With a sharp knife cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of the garlic, exposing the individual cloves. Put the garlic on to a piece of foil and begin to create a pouch.  Drizzle the top of the exposed cloves with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, making sure each clove is well coated.  Seal up the foil pouch nice and tight.  Cook in a 350 degree oven for one hour. 

When it’s done, the cloves will be soft and tender.  Pop each one out with a sharp knife or fork and enjoy.  The cloves will be soft enough to spread on bread.  Last night I served it with thin slices of a French baguette that I drizzled with the left over olive oil drippings (from the pouch) and a sprinkle of basil. 

For supper I made one of our favorite chicken dishes:

Chicken and Mushrooms in Wine over Rice:

2 lbs chicken tenders
2 cups flour (I season my flour with garlic powder and Morton Nature’s Seasons – two heavy shakes of each – mix into flour)
Olive oil for coating
1 tablespoon Butter
1 cup of white wine or chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
I small can of mushrooms (bits & pieces)

Arrange two bowls side by side.  Put two cups of seasoned flour in one and olive oil to coat in the other.  Coat each tender in flour, and then in olive oil.
(Dipping the floured tender in oil before you add it to the hot pan will seal in the flour and create a nice crust.)

Add 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a nonstick skillet or electric fry pan.  Over med-high heat brown the tenders, a few minutes on each side. 

Next, add I can of mushrooms (liquid and all), the lemon juice, and one cup of white wine.  If you don’t have white wine on hand you can use chicken stock instead.  Season with a dash of salt & pepper, and an additional sprinkle of garlic powder and Morton Nature’s Seasons over the chicken. 

Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until chicken is done.  Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley.  Serve over Rice Pilaf.  (Serves four)

I served this with mixed veggies and acorn squash.  Yum!

Desert was especially for my little one:  Chocolate Covered Strawberries! 

The best part of this meal was that for our little family of three, there were plenty of leftovers to be had the next night  : - }

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