Recipe Book Monday: Chicken with Wild Mushrooms

Week 1
Ina Garten
Barefoot Contessa

Recipe Book Monday has begun! Every Monday I am picking out random recipes from my huge collection of cookbooks that I've never read yet. I started off with Ina Garten (one of my personal favorite chefs) and randomly chose a page number from her book Foolproof. Boy, am I lucky! I ended up with Ina Garten's Chicken with Wild mushrooms recipe. If you could only see my husband's face when the page opened!

Ina Garten's recipe calls for just the chicken in a gravy like sauce (with mushrooms, garlic, thyme) - so I decided to add a little bedding of pasta (gemelli in this case). This dish was incredibly flavorful, and my favorite part was the whole garlic cloves. When they are oven roasted in a broth they come out with a deep, sweet garlicky taste. I LOVE them like this! Another great thing about this recipe is that it uses most ingredients that you already have at home - who doesn't love that?! 
Below are some pictures as the meal was coming along, and also some reviews of what we thought.

-The following reviews are from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best-
                      Kim         Kevin
Taste:              8                  9
Presentation:   8                  8
Have again?  Yes         Definitely!


Recipe Book Monday

Can we all agree that Monday's are the worst day of the week? I was sitting here at work today, thinking, how can I make Monday's better? How can I make Monday's more exciting? My answer: Recipe Book Monday's. Some explanation below..

When my husband and I moved into our new home recently, it was very apparent that I have a cookbook obsession. I have a ton of books, including some that I haven't even had the chance to glance at! Starting this coming week (6/15), I am going to randomly select different recipes from many different books. We are hoping to find a lot of great ideas and new flavors to experiment with! I am sure there will be some recipes that we don't particularly love, some that we will want to make again and again, and some that we can even improve to our very own taste!

From these 52 recipes throughout the year (one each week), we will share the book title, author, a review and picture of the finished product! We hope you enjoy this journey with Kevin and I!


DIY Project: Globe String Lights

Hi y'all! Check out the latest blog post .. a great idea for perfect outdoor lighting. We can officially say that we have a backyard for entertaining! Our new house (we've been there for 5 weeks now) has really come a long way! Below are a few instructions on how we put together this little project of ours.

What we needed:

  • Two 8' cedar poles
  • 4 long screws (used a drill)
  • 5 screw-in hooks 
  • Three sets of 20' globe string lights (Bed bath & Beyond)
  • A saw
  • Measuring tape
What we did:
  1. We measured the height and distance of where we wanted the poles to go. We chose to have the poles 5 ft above the railing.
  2. Attached one screw hook into the top of each cedar pole. We also attached three more screw hooks into the siding of the house.
  3. Trimmed 1 inch piece of wood off of each pole. This 1 inch piece was shoved between the pole and the lower part of deck. Since the top of the railing sticks out further than the bottom, we needed to shove a piece in between to make sure the pole was standing straight (not angled). You will have to measure the length needed. *I will add a picture to show you exactly what I mean.*
  4. Screwed poles into deck railing (two screws in each pole).
  5. Hung lights through all 5 hooks. Hang them loose, or tight depending on the available height (remember people need to walk around)!

And what better way to celebrate? Double cheese burgers with crispy cajun french fries!
Yes, I totally think my husband is weird too - who else puts mayo on their burgers?! hehe :)


The New House

You never realize how much work something is, until you are halfway into it! We have lived in our new home for 11 days now. I am so tired, so exhausted, so pooped! It is like you get one thing done, and fifteen more things pop up afterwards! But.. Kevin and I are having an extremely great time fixing up the place. We are so thankful and thrilled. What a major difference paint and mulch can make!

Last night we had our first home cooked meal on the electric stove. To my surprise, it really wasn't that bad! The oven seems to preheat faster than my gas oven did, and the stove top worked just fine. I made tacos (for Tuesday, of course!) and they came out with their same great taste! I look forward to organizing the kitchen more, and getting back into my regular cooking routine! It's been A LOT of pizza, and burgers on the BBQ.

Here are some before and after pictures -

Got to have a red door!

Hubby working hard!

We have deer, snakes, turtles, and much more! Thought it would be great to capture these two together.. after I let out a huge scream!!


Cipollini Onions

Good evening friends! I have been wanting to post about cipollini onions for a while now. Although you may have seen them here and there on my blog, I've never dedicated a post to them. Cipollini onions were introduced to me in a cooking class that I attended last year at Elegant Eating. They were delicate, yet textured.. and sweet, yet tangy. The flat shape makes these onions perfect for roasting, and they are great to use whole!

Take one minute and think about a thick, juicy piece of marinated steak... let you mouth start salivating for just one bite. But wait... add one or two of these bad boys on top of that steak! You will never want a steak without them! My favorite way to cook cipollini onions are by roasting them in the oven with whole garlic cloves. They need about 30-45 minutes to develop their tenderness, and so well worth the wait! You can add a bit of balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, a bit of fresh parsley, chicken broth.. the sky is the limit!

I will tell you this, they are not easy to find! Ever play the game Where's Waldo? Then yes, you may understand what I'm talking about! I get lucky at Fairway market, but other local grocery stores don't carry them often. One time I was lucky enough to get charged for pearl onions, and didn't realize until I got home that I paid about .44 cents for 6 of them! They are very inexpensive, but rare enough to give that "wow" factor that dinner guests look for.

Tonight, my husband added them into the crock pot with a pork tenderloin. He made some root beer pulled pork from my blog, along with steamed broccoli and canned corn. Nothing better than pulled pork on a toasted seeded bun! Good job, honey!

Try a few of these onions out and let us know what you think!


Browned Butter Bay Scallops

Snow in Spring?! What kind of mean jokes is Mother Nature playing on us? April fools Day is still a a day away! For this past snowy weekend, my husband and I trucked it over to my parents house for a nice dinner. My mom and I teamed up and decided to do a little fish theme!
In this post, I will give you the most delicious browned butter bay scallop recipe (wow, that's a lot of B's!) and hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Some other recipes featured in this post:
Basil Risotto
Basil Pesto Salmon - see below! yum!
Cajun Fried Flounder

Browned Butter Bay Scallops
Serves: 4
Cook time: 8 minutes

3/4 lb bay scallops
2 tbs UNSALTED butter (We used Plugra brand)
1 tsp garlic salt
Pepper, to taste
*optional: lettuce, chopped red onion, sliced avocado


1. Heat medium saute pan on medium-high heat. Melt butter.

2. Season scallops with garlic salt & pepper, and saute for about 3 minutes on each side until browned.

3. I chose to serve over a bed of lettuce, with a few chopped red onions and sliced avocado.

Recipes featured in the picture below are linked above!


Double Dippin' Cutlets

It's always told to never double dip, but in this case it is a must! No one loves chicken cutlets more than my husband. It is the first meal I have ever cooked for him, and still today, it is number 1 "go to" meal. Kevin mentioned wanting to try a double dipped version of my thin chicken cutlets. This allows for a thicker, crunchier, and crispier cutlet.
*Tip: after frying your cutlets, place them on a baking rack to drain. When allowing them to drain out on a paper towel, it may become soggy after some time.

What you will need:
1 pack of thin chicken cutlets, trimmed of cartilage and fat.
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 eggs, mixed with 1 tbs water
Oil for frying

1. Mix both types of bread crumbs together in a shallow bowl (for dipping)
2. Mix the eggs & water into a shallow bowl (for dipping)
3. Place oil in large fry pan on medium/high heat.
4. Dip one cutlet at a time in the egg wash, then bread crumbs, then REPEAT.
*This step is important, because dipping in egg, bread crumb, egg again, and bread crumb again will give you that very crispy crust.
5. When oil is hot enough, fry cutlets for 2 and a half minutes on each side.
6. Drain cutlets on baking rack & serve.

Update: House, and more!

Has it really been weeks since I last posted? Time sure does slip away. As most know, I married Kevin on New Year's Eve and we have been playing catch up with life since. I finally got around to the DMV to change my last name (a 10 minute wait at the DMV, it was almost unheard of)! Since our wedding, we have been adjusting to many things.. sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it is not so easy. ;)
House hunting has been taking up most of our time. Being that it is a good time to buy because the market is low, we were really motivated to find "the one" ..  Surprise! We found it!
Kevin and I are in contract as of today, and will be closing on a very special date (just so happens to be my birthday). We are so thrilled to start this new adventure!
You may even see us on a TV show about our house search *hint, hint!!!!

As for cooking, we will need to do changes to our *new* kitchen. I have never cooked on an electric stove/oven and would like to upgrade to gas as soon as possible. All of the appliances are pretty outdated and will need to be replaced. Our work is cut out for us and I look forward to sharing a few updates with you all about the move! Hope to get a new recipe posted soon too!

We always celebrate with the BEST champagne! Veuve Clicquot


Honey glazed Pork Tenderloin

In New York, we are about to get a record breaking blizzard. They are estimating a snow fall between 24 and 36 inches. That is 3 feet people! So, what does one do in preparation for a snow storm like this? Bread, milk and eggs of course. I am not sure why those are the essential items that one buys in a storm like this.. I mean really, french toast? There was no bread left yesterday, and I accidentally dropped the eggs in the parking lot, leaving them splattered all over the pavement.
We stocked up on food last night, really because we wanted some snacks to munch on while snowed in. The only issue is, now my husband was mandated to sleep at his job (hospital) and I will be all alone with all these snacks! :) During our grocery shopping last night, we got ingredients for risotto, pork tenderloin, chop meat, frozen pizzas, water, etc. We made sure to have batteries at home for flash lights, and a new lighter for candles and our gas stove/oven - just in case we lose power. I even stopped at Petco to stock up on my feathered children's food!

Being we had the ingredients to make a delicious dinner, I decided to go with basil risotto (one of our favorites) and a perfect pork tenderloin recipe. You will not be sorry when you taste the butter-like texture of this pork and flavorful honey mustard/honey glaze. It melts in your mouth! You can find the basil risotto recipe here. Below is the recipe for the pork only.

Servings: 2 to 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes

1 lb pork tenderloin
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs honey mustard
1 tbs honey
8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
2-3 shallots, peeled
*optional: carrots, fingerling potatoes, etc.
1 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Season pork generously with salt & pepper.

2. Heat a medium/large non-stick pan. On medium to high heat, heat olive oil and butter in pan. Place the tenderloin in the pan and brown each side for 3 minutes (total of 6 minutes).

3. Put the garlic cloves and shallots in a casserole dish or roasting pan, leaving some room in the center for the pork. Once your pork is browned, place into roasting dish. Brush the honey mustard and honey on top of the pork.

4. Bake for 40 minutes on 350 degrees. Add chicken stock into dish and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes (total of 55 minutes). Broil at the end for a minute or two to crisp the top.

5. Remove from oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Slice pork about 1 inch thickness and serve.

We always have sundaes on Sunday so here is a quick pic of our fudge ripple sundaes! Kevin doesn't like sprinkles so you can assume which one is mine!


A New Year's Eve Wedding

2015! Brought in the New Year by getting married to the most handsome man I know! Last night was so beautiful and so special to both of us. I love my husband and look forward to a lifetime of happiness,  sadness, love, tears, fights, and make ups. Lol Why not be realistic, right? 
Here are some pictures to share with you all.
Wishing you a wonderful New Year, and hope you had one as nice as we did!

The most delicious cheesecake that you could ever imagine tasting! Thanks to a local friend, Lisa.

-Kevin and Kimberly


Wedding Countdown: 2 WEEKS!

We are just less than two weeks away from getting married! It is a bit surreal, filling out paperwork with my new last name on it. Kevin and I are just about done with all the planning of things but we have a few more loose ends to tie, including appetizers! I will be preparing the appetizers myself before heading to a restaurant for dinner with our families.
I do like the idea of Mushroom Bites, which I happened to make last New Year's Eve. They are easy to eat, and extremely flavorful - yummy, gruyere cheese!

Cheese... that reminds me!!

We took a trip to The Village Cheese Shop and had the most INCREDIBLE cheese ever! It will be a great (& expensive) treat for our families to try. The cheese is called Pecorino al Tartufo with pieces of truffle in it! Delicious and a must for our wedding. I highly recommend trying it!

We picked up the last of our wedding favors today, which I cannot wait to share with all! Of course they are food & kitchen related. I also redecorated my cake stand to match our New Year's Eve "theme" since the most gorgeous little cheesecake will be sitting on it that evening. The colors of our wedding will be black, silver and gold - and anything sparkly! 

I won't give away anymore sneak previews. 
We look forward to sharing pictures from our day with you all very soon!