Thursday, July 31, 2014

Grilled Caprese Chicken with Basil Vinaigrette

I know I took a picture of this before diving into it, but can't find it anywhere! I HATE it when that happens. This is SO very good, though(even with out the picture) so PLEASE give it a try. We will make it again, and I will add the picture then.


Grilled Caprese Chicken with Basil Vinaigrette
 Serves 4

1-1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
4 small chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
salt and pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
8oz mozzarella pearls

For the Fresh Basil Vinaigrette/Marinade:

1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly packed
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 large clove garlic (or 2 small cloves)
lots of salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pour vinegar into a saucepan then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium then simmer until the consistency is slightly thinner than maple syrup (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan for a moment when scraping a spatula across the bottom,) 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
This took much longer for me--1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

For the Fresh Basil Vinaigrette/Marinade: add all ingredients except extra virgin olive oil to a food processor or blender then pulse to roughly chop the basil and garlic. Turn processor on then slowly stream in oil.

Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper then add to a Ziplock back with half the vinaigrette/marinade. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to a 4 hours in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, combine cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls with the remaining vinaigrette in a large bowl.

Preheat grill over medium-high heat then grill chicken for 3-4 minutes a side. Plate then top with cherry tomato and mozzarella topping and reduced balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fire And Ice Pickles

Our friend Cindy makes these and Kathleen was in the mood for them the other day.  I have 1/2 gallon canning jars that we put these in .  YUM!

Fire And Ice Pickles
From Cindy Halle who found the recipe in: Sherryl Woods Book

2 (32 oz.) jars non-refrigerated pickle slices (keep the juice)
4 c. granulated sugar
2 T. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 minced garlic cloves

Combine all ingredients, and mix well. Cover, and let stand at room temperature 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Divide into 4 (1 pint) canning jars. Seal tightly.

Refrigerate up to 1 month. These are best if made at least 1 week before eating to allow flavors to develop.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Kathleen has really gotten into making Risotto. It is SO good! This recipe is a great treat every once in a while!


2 cups Parmesan, Romano, Or Asiago Cheese (or A Mixture Of All Three) We used the green can
3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
1/2 whole Large Onion
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 pound Arborio Rice
7 cups (to 8 Cups) Chicken Broth
1 cup (to 1 1/2 Cups) Heavy Cream We used 3/4 cup Fat Free Half-and-Half
1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Chives, Chopped
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Grate 2 cups of cheese. Peel and finely dice 3 to 4 cloves of garlic. Dice ½ of a large onion.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Then add 1 tablespoon of butter. Throw in the garlic and onion and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent (Season with salt and pepper). 

Add 1 pound of Arborio rice and stir to coat the rice thoroughly. Adding 1 cup at a time, add 7-8 ounces of chicken broth that you've been warming on the stove, stirring constantly after each addition. As soon as it appears that the rice has absorbed each helping of broth, add in the next helping. Do not stop stirring. This process will take at least 20 minutes. Rice is done when it no longer has a hard bite.

When more of the broth is absorbed pour in 1 to 1 ½ cups of heavy cream. Next add the grated cheese and stir thoroughly. Add in plenty of fresh cracked pepper and about 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped chives. Add salt to taste.

Beth's Addition: We decided to fry 6 slices of bacon to put on each individual serving. We then took out the bacon and sautéed some mushrooms, red onions, salt and pepper in the bacon grease. It would be delicious mixed in, but was equally good on top. Make sure to go easy on the salt if you do this addition, as the bacon is salty, as is the chicken broth.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sauteed Kale

The girls really like Kale and this is just a different way to cook it. It becomes really tender this way!

Sauteed Kale (Bobby Flay)

1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jamocha Shake

Kathleen really enjoys Jamocha Shakes, so she found this recipe one day. It tastes better than the one from Arby's!
Jamocha Shake

1 cup cold coffee (I generally make double-strength)
1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 cups vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

Combine the coffee, milk, and sugar in a blender and mix on medium speed for 15 seconds to dissolve the sugar (I usually just dissolve the sugar in the coffee when it's hot or use simple syrup)
Add ice cream, and chocolate syrup then blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Stop blender and stir mixture with a spoon if necessary to help blend ingredients.
Pour drink into two 16-ounce glasses.

Makes 2 large drinks.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fresh Spicy Pickles

Last weekend we went down to the Austin Food Trucks and found one of our favorites- East Side King. We got bread with a Thai Peanut sauce and a pickled salad similar to this. Kathleen made up this recipe.

Fresh Spicy Pickles

3/4-1 whole cucumber, sliced and quartered
1/2 red onion, sliced (We just used diced that we had in the fridge)
1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced or chopped (The original had the seeds in, we seeded it)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar (Next time we will try a milder vinegar like white wine)
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

Mix all together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar completely.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Blueberry Rhubarb Bars

Kathleen brought home some fresh rhubarb from Wisconsin when she was there a few weeks ago.  I found this recipe and it is a keeper!
Blueberry Rhubarb Bars

by kelleydee on

3 cups rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups blueberries
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
1-½ cup uncooked quick cooking oats (not instant)
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cups butter
½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Combine rhubarb, blueberries and lemon juice in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is softened. No added liquid is needed as the water from the rhubarb and blueberries will come out naturally.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Mix well to break up the lumps of cornstarch. Set aside.

While rhubarb and blueberries are cooking, begin making the crust. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda and salt together in a bowl until well mixed and crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of crust to be used as a topping. Grease a 13×9 pan with cooking spray. Press remaining crust mixture into the pan in an even layer. Set aside.

When rhubarb and blueberries are softened, use a potato masher to mash and smooth out the larger chunks. Once bigger pieces are broken up, mix in the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir until thickened.

Once mixture is thickened, pour over crust. Top with reserved crust mixture.

Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.

1. Mixing the sugar and cornstarch together will prevent lumps of cornstarch in your mixture.
2. The bars will puff up considerably, so don’t be alarmed when you open the oven to take out the bars. They will be a bit jiggly. That’s OK! They are done!
3. When they cool, they’ll “deflate” a bit and set up nicely.