Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BB: Parmesan Chicken


This is my first Barefoot Bloggers post! This is also my first Ina Garten recipe! It was tasty! I have wanted to try a few of hers, but was never able to get around to them... so I am excited to see what new recipes this group brings to us! One more first... it is my first blogging group that I have joined!!! If you are interested check us out at! Thanks to Megan of My Baking Adventures for choosing a great recipe!

As you can see, no photo...

Unfortunately, my camera is acting up. Hopefully we can figure it out soon, since I just started my own blog, and I have very few pics so far!

This recipe was EASY, so simple! Really, I am no expert cook, I followed the recipe to a T and it came out perfectly! The only thing I would change, it that I would use a spring mix as the salad topper. I love spring mix, and our grocer was sold out, so I used an Italian mix of romaine and radicchio. It was a little too bitter and had a bit too much crunch. So definitely spring mix next time!!

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry

1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Yield: 6 servings

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sparkling Sangria


What a perfect summer drink! I brought this to a BBQ at a friends house this weekend, and before too long we were asking the boys to run to the store and get us another bottle of Cava so we could make another batch! Yum!!

1 cup brandy
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1/4 cup sugar, super fine
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 pint raspberries
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 bottles sparkling wine or cava, chilled

In a large pitcher, combine the brandy, and orange liqueur. Pour in the sugar, stir or shake the pitcher thoroughly to mix until the sugar dissolves. Add all the fruit at once. Add the cava and serve as is or on ice.

Father's Day

For Father's Day, DH and I hosted a clamboil for my parents. A clam boil is my absolute favorite summertime meal. We usually get to enjoy 2 or 3 a summer, this was the 1st one this year, and I already can't wait for the second!

Clamboil for 4

4 - 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb lobsters
4 lbs steamers
4-6 red potatoes (depending on size)
1 onion
1 1/2 lbs chorizo sausage
4 corn on the cob

Place steamers in cool salted water for about an hour. This will help the steamers "spit out" some of the sand in thier shell. After they have sit, remove and discard any clams that float, these are NO GOOD!

Get a large stock pot, bring about 1 -2 inches of water to a boil. Quarter potatoes and place in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Add Chorizo and Onion, lobsters, steamers, and corn on the cob. Cover. Cook for about 15 minutes until lobsters are bright red and steamers are open.

Enjoy the best one pot meal of the summer!! And be sure to have PLENTY of paper towels for hand and face clean up along the way, this meal is a messy one!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Grilled Eggplant with Caramelized Onion and Fennel

I had this recipe saved for some time. You see, I have never grilled eggplant, and thought this might be a good way to try it, but I had never gotten around to making it. Friday afternoon I was searching for something to make for dinner, and I came across this recipe in my que. I had already settled on Rosemary Steak Kebabs for dinner, but thought this would be a great start to that meal. And it was. DH loved it, and it is incredibly healthy. We plan on making it again when his family comes to visit!

Source: Cooking Light

1 (1 1/4-pound) eggplant (about 4-inch diameter), peeled
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 3/4 cups chopped fennel bulb (about 1 large bulb)
2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
2 cups trimmed arugula
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Prepare grill to medium heat.

Cut eggplant crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Lightly coat both sides of eggplant slices with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 7 minutes on each side or until browned. Set eggplant slices aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fennel and onion; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, arugula, vinegar, and oil in a medium bowl; toss gently to coat. Divide arugula mixture evenly among 8 appetizer plates; top each serving with 1 eggplant slice. Arrange about 1/3 cup fennel mixture on each eggplant slice; top with 2 tablespoons tomatoes and 1 tablespoon cheese. Sprinkle the chopped basil and thyme evenly over cheese.

8 servings

Rosemary Steak Kebebs

These are fantastic. I was perusing the internet for a good kebab recipe and came across this one, and thought, hmmm, steak and potatoes, DH will LOVE me! So I went for it. And he did, he loved them!! He insisted that we serve them again when his family comes down to visit in July. What an easy summer meal!

Source: (an emeril recipe)

4 new potatoes, such as red bliss (about 3 ounces each)
1 large portobello mushroom cap, about 4 ounces
1 (14 to 16-ounce) steak
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 (10 to 12-inch) thick, woody, rosemary branches, or 4 soaked, 12-inch bamboo skewers

Place the potatoes in a small, 1-quart saucepan and cover with water, by 1-inch. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes at a boil for 10 minutes, or until barely fork-tender. Remove from the water and allow to cool before cutting in half. Set the potatoes aside until ready to use.

Remove the stem and the gills from the portobello with a sharp knife and cut into 8 wedges. Place the wedges in a medium bowl.

Cut the steak into 8 even pieces, about 1 3/4 to 2 ounces each, and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt and the black pepper. Place in the bowl with the mushrooms.

Add the vegetable oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and garlic to the bowl and stir to coat the mushrooms and steak well. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for up to 2 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and skewer a potato on the rosemary branch, followed by a piece of steak, a mushroom wedge, followed by another piece of potato, steak and mushroom. Continue in the same manner with the remaining skewers and potatoes, pieces of steak, and mushroom pieces. Reserve any marinade remaining in the bowl for basting the skewers as they cook.

Heat a grill to medium-high and lightly oil the grill grates. Grill the kebabs, basting with the remaining marinade as they cook, for about 3 minutes. Turn and cook for another 3 minutes, basting, before turning over to cook on the first side again. Continue to cook on the first side for another 2 to 3 minutes before turning over and cooking a final 2 to 3 minutes. Season the kebabs with the remaining teaspoon of salt.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Buttermilk Pancakes


5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
5 cups buttermilk
5 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch salt (optional)
5 tablespoons sugar
Strawberries - or your favorite pancake filling!

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and buttermilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar; stir into the wet ingredients just until blended. Adjust the thickness of the batter to your liking by adding more flour or buttermilk if necessary.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. Continue with remaining batter.

Makes a huge batch... 12 servings

Peanut Butter Heath Bar Cookies

Source: Hersheys

These cookies were fantastic, and incredibly soft. DH raved about them, and liked them so much more than the last batch of snickerdoodles I baked. I tried to explain that they are just a different cookie, and that my snickerdoodles were fine!! He loves chocolate & PB, though! Can't blame him!

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup Peanut Butter
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) HEATH BITS 'O BRICKLE Toffee Bits, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beating just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup bits; reserve remainder for topping.

3. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved bits.

4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cool Ranch Dressing

Adapted from

This ranch dressing was so creamy and fresh tasting. It was fantastic. I will never buy a bottle again. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup buttermilk, I added more to thin it out a bit, and could have added even more, I think. I also double the seasoning of the original recipe since DH and I love a lot of flavor! The consistency at first was more that of a veggie dip, which I used the leftover for!! Yum!

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon green onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, green onion, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Cobb Salad

Adapted from

Okay, so, for my first post I have a Cobb Salad. Do you really even need a recipe for a Cobb salad? Really? I would say no, but hey, I have to start somewhere. DH and I have been craving a Cobb salad like crazy, and we both said we kind of felt like salad, so I figured I'd make one up for us. It was as good as I'd hoped - fresh lettuce, cucumbers, blue cheese... mmmmm. I also made a delicious homemade ranch dressing for it (Click here!). DH even asked what brand of dressing I bought because he thought it was so great! He was shocked that I made it myself! Silly man. So here it goes, a fresh Cobb salad, perfect for those days when it's too hot to cook!!

4 eggs
8 strips of bacon
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 rotisserie chicken (I used a premade chicken, purchased from the prepared foods section)
2 tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 avocado, seeded & chopped

1. Hardboil eggs and chop
2. Cook bacon to a crisp, let cool, and crumble
3. Shred rotisserie chicken
4. Place iceberg lettuce on a large plate, drizzle homeade ranch dressing (or your favorite) over the lettuce, top with rows of each ingredient. Enjoy!

Makes 4 large salads.