Friday, January 29, 2010


Elegant Kickin' Chicken
2 butterflied chicken breasts, rinsed & patted dry
2 tbsp- Boars Head stone ground mustard mixed with 1 tsp of horseradish
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp dried thyme (fresh would be better)
black pepper
1-2 tbsp of olive oil to cook in
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread olive oil in the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Sprinkle both sides of each breast with the black pepper.
Place breasts smooth side up in casserole dish. Drizzle each breast with 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of the mustard blend, and 1 teaspoon each of the herbs. Place in the preheated oven, uncovered. Cook for 20- 25 minutes. DO NOT OVER COOK. Serve on a bed of sauteed spinach with sauteed yellow squash with onions & mushrooms.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pink Ice Tablescape

I've hooked up (I think) to Tablescape Thursdays, with Susan at Between Naps on The Porch. If you'd like to join click the iCheck Spellingcon below for instructions as well as sites to gorgeous table scapes.

Pink Ice Tablescape

This plate is one of four found by my daughter Melanie at an antiques store. I believe it's just cut glass, but either way it's beautiful to me.

Punch cup found at a yard sale and it's a perfect match

for the saucers found at a Dollar Store.

The cut glass stemware is a perfect match to the punch cups as well. And my antique crystal candlesticks look great with it too.

Romantic in candlelight, don't 'cha think? My DH & I had a lovely dinner here last week. It is really was romantic. I think pink is such a great color for romance.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Do you like boxed lunches? I really do.
I like making them and I like getting them. There is something especially exciting to me
when you get a boxed lunch. I think it's the
anticipation of what lurks inside. Will it contain just a sandwich and chips? Or, will there be fresh fruit, desserts, salad?
I just love it! And, it's one of my favorite things to cater.
Isn't that funny? Maybe it's because I like to
pack them nice and neat and place "goodies"
under the sandwich like a surprise for those opening it. Sometimes, I'll throw in candy or extra cookies.
But I just get such pleasure out of making
them and hoping the recipient loves it.
So the next time you get a boxed lunch,
look under the sandwich first.
You never know what goodies just might be lurking there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Sweet N Sour Haddock
2 nice haddock fillets (these are very sweet and mild)
butter- (olive oil if you must, but butter makes a difference in the taste)
1/2 cup each of red & green bell peppers diced
1 cup of dice fresh or canned pineapple
1/2 cup pineapple juice
salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp of sweet paprika
Rinse and pat dry the fillets. Salt and pepper both sides. Melt the butter in a non stick skillet and add fillets. Cook 2 minutes per side, then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of paprika on each of the fillets and continue to heat turning one more time. Add in the bellpeppers, pineapple and juice. Continue to cook until the haddock is done and the peppers are crisp-soft.
Serve with assorted green beans and sliced baked yams.

Monday, January 25, 2010

CULINARY MONDAY: Marsala or Masala

Two very similar words, two totally different meanings.
Marsala: (sounds just as it's spelled) Italy's most famous fortified wine. These have a rich, smoky flavor, most of which comes from the oxidation during it's aging. It comes in dry (secco), sweet (dolce) & semi sweet (semisecco). It's uses range from aperitifs* (dry Marsala), used in desserts (sweet), or it's also great to cook with.
*An aperitif is an alcoholic beverage taken before dinner.
Chicken Marsala
2- Whole Chicken Breast, wrapped in plastic wrap & pounded flat.
Wondra flour for dredging
1-tsp- dry rubbed sage, or to taste
2 tsp- salt
1-2- tsp-pepper
2-tbsp of olive oil
2 cups of assorted mushrooms
1 cup dry Marsala
In a shallow flat dish, mix the Wondra, sage, salt & pepper. Warm an iron skillet with olive oil on medium. Dredge each breast in the flour mixture and cook in the oil for about 2 minutes per side to brown. Remove and set aside. Next add the mushrooms to the same skillet and saute a few minutes then add the Marsala and bring to a simmer. Place breasts back in pan and continue to cook about 10 more minutes or until breasts are done and sauce is thick & creamy. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or skillet potatoes.

Masala: A fusion of varried Indian spices. Ranging anywhere from 2-10 different spices depending on the cook! It can include things such as corriander, mace, cardamon, cinnamon & tumeric. What we most commonly know is sold as Garam Masala.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Getting started with the setting. A small event for 20. Crostini for Spinach -Artichoke Dip

Cheese Tray
Spicy BBQ Meatballs

Franks in a Blanket
Mini Beef Wellington

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip (recipe tomorrow)

Cold Peeled Shrimp

Deli Meat tray with my special Horseradish Mayo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken with Artichokes

This is a quick, easy & delicious meal if you enjoy artichokes.
Chicken with Artichokes
2 butterflied chicken breasts (or just an uncooked breast will do)
1 small jar of marinated baby artichokes in oil
1/4 cup each -diced red & green bell peppers
2 diced scallions
1/2 tsp. McCormick's Cajun Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Table Blend
1 tbsp olive oil
Over medium low heat, in a cast iron skillet, saute the chicken breast in the olive oil. While cooking, sprinkle chicken with the seasonings. Next stir in the bell peppers and scallions; saute as the chicken cooks. Get a nice browning on each side of the chicken before turning. Last pour in the artichokes, oil and all. Using a spatula, pull the artichokes apart slightly and warm through. Remove from heat and serve over rice. California blend makes a good side.

Monday, January 18, 2010


As stated last week, I'm going to try and give you the definition for culinary words that confuse us! So if there are any words or items you are not famialiar with, send them in.
Today's words:
Chess Pie- Now I know all you Southerner's probably know what a Chess pie is, but I did not!
A simple pie made with eggs, sugar, butter and cornmeal. You can also flavor it with lemon juice, vanilla, chocolate or change white sugar for brown. ( I do believe some people use vinegar in the recipe too. If you do would you share?)
Bechamel- (bay-shah-MEHL)
Generally speaking this is just a white sauce originating in France and is made from butter and flour. Although originating in France the Italians use this sauce on a variety of foods. It is named for Steward Louis Bechamel.
Chess Pie
1 ubaked 9" pie crust- in pan
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons of melted butter
1 tablespoon of white cornmeal
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients in with the beaten eggs. Pour into the pie crust and bake on the bottom rack for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 20 minutes longer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hot Potato Soup

It seems everyone is making potato soup lately and that includes me. I got the recipe from one of the sites I follow and I must say it turned out very nice. I did replace the 1/2 & 1/2 called for with heavy cream and I added chopped parsley. You can find her recipe here Her site name is almost the same as mine- isn't that neat.

I had mine with leftover quiche. Very soothing to the soul.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tablescape Thursday

I've decided to try and join the Tablescape Thursday crowd (although not connected with the group yet) just doing it for fun. So that being said, here is my Thursday scape. I was inspired by friend Angela with her winter white scene. Although all white makes me feel cold....I decided to warm it up with gold and a bit of green & browns. My pretty snow dove and pine cones
My favorite angel of all (I've had at least 20 years.) She has been droppe, broken& put back together 2 times.

Ah, the sun is shining!
Simple, but elegant placesetting.
I did the sideboard in white too.
It has a very romantic feel to it.

I hope you enjoyed your visit and look forward to more Thursdays with more tablescapes and some "catering" tablescapes in the future as well. :>)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Spinach-Feta-Tomato Quiche

Mix 4 eggs, 1 cup of half & half with 6 oz. of Basil-Tomto Feta Cheese

I really like Athenos brand- it's the best!

Line a pie pan with a crust (Pillsbury ready made is great)

Layer crust with 1/2 cup of very thinly sliced red onion and 1 cup of frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry.

Top with 3/4 cup of cheese of your choice. Here I am using cheddar, gouda & Monterey jack blended.
Pour in the beatened egg mixture.

Top with thin tomato slices (I used cherry tomatoes too),dried basil or fresh if you have it, 1- 2 tsps. of pepper & 1 tsp. of salt.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the top
looks dry and firm. Serve with a bowl of homemade baked potato soup.