Saturday, February 4

a case of the grown-ups

hosting my first baby shower today! 

Friday, February 3

chutney chicken salad

a fun twist on a great favorite! i am one for eliminating mayo as much as possible from chicken salad and this is great! it has some in it but greek yogurt as well to substitute for the extra!

chutney chicken salad
what you need...
1/3 cup slivered almonds (optional...i leave out to cut down on fat)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mango chutney
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 cups diced cooked chicken
1 (8-oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained (you find these in the chinese aisle at the grocery store)
4 green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)

what you do...Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 20 minutes.  Whisk together (in a stand mixer) mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken, next 2 ingredients, and toasted almonds, and toss until well blended. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours.

yes i do realize it seems odd that you would put the chicken in a mixer, however if you put the chicken breasts whole in your kitchen aid stand mixer, lock the arm, and don't even bother chopping up the can put a whole chicken breast in there on low speed and watch it pull itself apart (when warm). let it do the work for you until it reaches your desired consistency. kitchen aid=lifesaver! 

Thursday, February 2

the fence is complete!

The fence at the start of day 2 (Wednesday)...

The fence is complete on Thursday!!!
Wilson's new fence, inclusive of a new gate to go play with Cooper Fite!

Now part 2 of back yard remodel starts this weekend with the remaining backyard junk plant removal!

apple-cherry cobbler with pinwheel biscuits

this recipe is a bit more work (or so i think everything that requires a pastry blender is) but so worth it! this makes a huge and very rich portion so make it for your next supper club or time you entertain!

apple cherry cobbler with pinwheel biscuits
fruit filling...

8 large sweet red apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (4-5lb bag will do)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1 (12-oz.) package frozen cherries, thawed and well drained
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

biscuits2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted unsalted almonds (optional)

what to do
Preheat oven to 425°. Toss together first 3 ingredients. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apple mixture. Cook, stirring often, 20 to 25 minutes or until apples are tender and syrup thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cherries and next 3 ingredients. Spoon apple mixture into a lightly greased 3-qt. baking dish. Bake apple mixture 12 minutes, placing a baking sheet on oven rack directly below baking dish to catch any drips.

biscuits...Stir together 2 1/4 cups flour and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut cold butter pieces into flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly; stir in milk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 4 to 5 times. Roll dough into a 12-inch square. Combine brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. melted butter; sprinkle over dough, patting gently. Sprinkle with almonds. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seams and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a single layer on top of apple mixture.
Bake at 425° for 15 to 17 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Wednesday, February 1

always a project at the davis house!

our backyard transformation is finally underway! now all we need is "doctor" octavio to come back and rip out more of the yard and for our fence to be finished! stay tuned...
the fence comes down! 

what a work in progress...maybe they'll take the concrete sink?!

bye bye metal fence, hello wood!

look what happened overnight, fence posts are up! 

spice up the cabinet

here are the things that if you ask me, we all need to have handy. the expiration date on most spices extends over a year, sometimes more. also, most spices don't actually go bad either!

have on hand...ground black pepper
cumin (or chile powder)
dried parsley
oregano (or "Italian Seasoning")
garlic powder
roasted red pepper
dry mustard

if you're a costco member, many of these spices in giant containers are about $4-$6 which can be the total amount of one of the smaller bottles at the grocery store! for things like garlic powder, black pepper, and dried parsley, if you have the space, get the big containers!

Tuesday, January 31

lemon rosemary coffee cake

what a beautiful, amazing breakfast this is! joe is a lucky guy to have this for breakfast this week! 
lemon rosemary coffee cake
what you need...
Parchment paper
3 large lemons
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, cubed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk (use the reduced fat version!)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 (10-oz.) jar lemon curd (you find this in the jam/jelly aisle at the grocery, the brand i've used is dickinson)

what to do...
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.  Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a bowl to equal 5 Tbsp. Reserve zest and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor; pulse 3 to 4 times or until blended. Add butter; pulse 6 to 7 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup flour mixture.  Transfer remaining flour mixture to bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Add baking powder and baking soda; beat at low speed until well blended. Add buttermilk, egg, and 1/4 cup lemon juice; beat at medium speed 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until batter is thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in rosemary. 

Spoon half of batter into prepared pan.  Whisk lemon curd in a small bowl about 1 minute or until loosened and smooth; carefully spread over batter in pan. Top with remaining half of batter.  Stir together reserved lemon zest, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 cup flour mixture; sprinkle lemon zest mixture over batter in pan.

Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Gently run a sharp knife around edge of cake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Cool cake completely on wire rack (about 1 hour).

Monday, January 30

argentinean pork marinade & sauce

after fighting off a sinus infection last week, im back and have some great recipes that i started this weekend!

this is a great pork meal that is two fold, which you can make either or both parts of and still end up with a great dish! i have made both parts and the combination is amazing!

argentinean pork
what you need...

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup fresh parsley
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
pork tenderloin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (i just used white vinegar which was fine too)
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot

what to do for part 1, the marinade...combine 2 Tbsp oil, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/3 cup cilantro, cumin, and red pepper in a gallon ziploc bag. toss in the pork tenderloin and marinate at a minimum an hour in the fridge...longer the better here!

the sauce in action
what to do for part 2, the sauce...
combine 3/4 cup parsley, 1/3 cup cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt, oregano, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and shallot in a food processor. pulse about a dozen times. add 1/4 cup olive oil and mix with processor. serve on top of pork.

obviously the sauce goes a long way and the more you use, the fattier the meal is with the olive oil, however even a little bit is amazing! it has the consistency of a thin pesto & what is great about this is that since its in the food processor, there is no need to chop up all the greenery!