Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Braciolettini with Mushroom and Wine Sauce

Please forgive me for this sad little picture of a truly wonderful dish.  I will make the lame excuse again that I only have time to cook at night and the bad lighting (and my hunger) usually don't allow me to get a good picture.

I served it over creamy polenta with goat cheese, but it would be just as wonderful over pasta, potatoes or even spinach leaves if you're looking for a healthier option. 

The next time I make this I'm going to deviate from the original recipe and add chicken broth to the sauce, I like the flavor it adds.

Chicken Braciolettini with Mushroom and Wine Sauce
source: My Italian Grandmother


6 large bonesless chicken breastss
1 tsp chopped garlic
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 pound fresh shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 bunch fresh parsley (can you believe my Super Target was OUT?)
6 thin slices Prosciutto
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup oil
1 cup Madeira or Marsala wine (I used a red table wine)
1/2 pound whole button mushrooms or thinly sliced large mushrooms


Pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness.  On each piece of chicken, evenly arrange the chopped garlic.  Sprinkle with pepper, cheeses and parsley.  Cover each breast with a slice of Prosciutto.  Roll each breast, tucking in loose ends and secure with toothpicks.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown the chicken well all over.  Remove to a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the chicken is cooked thru but not dry (Instead I returned my chicken to the sauce and covered with a lid to finish cooking the chicken).

For the sauce, drain the fast from the skillet but don't wash the pan.  Over medium heat, add the wine and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon.  Add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two.  You can add some flour at this time to thicken the sauce if desired.

Remember to remove the toothpicks from the chicken before serving!

Creamy Polenta with Goat Cheese

I finally found a great substitute to potatoes and pasta.  I don't know why I thought polenta would be difficult to make, but leave it to the Pioneer Woman to break it down into steps I understanz.

My awesome new Super Target let me down for the first time ever when I was shopping for this recipe.  There was no plain goat cheese to be had, only herbed goat cheese, hence the dark flecks of color in my polenta.  It tasted great, but wasn't as pretty as it could have been...  : P

Creamy Polenta with Goat Cheese
source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks!


1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces goat cheese


Bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil.  Pour the cornmeal into the water in a thin stream, whisking constsantly to avoid unsightly lumps.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Add water by the tablespoon if needed.  Add salt.

When polenta is cooked, stir in the butter and goat cheese (interesting factoid, the goat cheese melted 3x faster than the butter).  Taste and season appropriately.  Serve with a meat course such as this, this or this.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kahlua-Pecan-Brown Sugar Baked Brie

A wonderful, fancy and super easy to prepare appetizer that'll definitely impress.  Just don't do like me and injure yourself removing the rind top from the Brie.

Kahlua-Pecan-Brown Sugar Baked Brie
source: Noble Pig


1 whole wheel of Brie
1 cup Kahlua
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped pecans
Crackers for serving


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the rind off the top of the Brie wheel, but leave the rind on top while in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. When the Brie is done baking, remove the rind and discard, exposing the yummy cheese.

While the Brie is baking, use medium saucepan to bring the Kahlua and brown sugar to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it reaches a syrupy consistency.  Add the pecans to the pan for 2 minutes to warm them through and coat them with the sauce

Pour the Kahlua sauce over the Brie and serve with crackers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Caleb's First Christmas

We started Christmas morning by opening presents at home.  Brent and I got some cool presents, but I know that you, dear Interwebz, are more interested in Caleb's fun gifts.

Aunt Colleen got him this rad Baby Einstein music player thing and it's a favorite.

Some Fisher Price Roll-Arounds from his stocking are another favorite, he bats them all around the room, I love watching him army crawl all over as he chases them.  My favorite is the one with the blue octopus thing in it with all the mutli-colored little balls that jingle around.  Very fun.

Gee Gee was awesome and wrapped Caleb's presents super loosely so he could unwrap them himself. 

Caleb's big gift from Mommy and Daddy was a LeapFrog Learn and Groove Table that he lurves.  We practice standing up with it and he loves all the buttons, sounds and lights.  When his baby legs get tired, he sits on my knee so he can keep playing.

After getting cleaned up from our at-home Christmas morning, we headed over to Brent's parents for presents with Caleb's MeeMaw and Papa.

First up for Caleb was a bunch of fun clothes, including this cow patterned footed PJ number.

And even though he really appreciates all the clothes, he couldn't help but show his REAL opinion about all the new duds. 

Overall, we received and gave some really cool gifts.  Thank you so much, family, for making it a kick-butt first Christmas for Little Man.  In fact, Caleb is spending the night with Brent's parents and we are getting ready to go spend the Christmas gift my grandparents gave us.  Thanks for dinner Grandma and Grandpa Brunton!!!

Does anyone else think that Caleb really looks like Marlon Brando in this pic?  It's the chin, I'm sure.