Fajitas are one of those dishes that you can serve and even the pickiest of eaters can find something to eat. However, they can be intimidating to make at home. Now that Sheet Pan Meals are trending, it is so much easier and the clean up is cut in half.
This is an easy recipe to double or triple
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There is nothing better on a cold night than good old-fashioned Chicken in a Pot. That is unless it’s Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Fennel Chicken in a Pot. I made this last weekend and it was delicious. It comes from her Everyday Dorie, the Way I cook, cookbook. Like any recipe I made a few adjustments as I was shopping and cooking. For the most part, though, I stayed true to the original.
This is not a “Lemon” chicken and the fennel does not taste like licorice. All the flavors meld together to make the perfect balance of sweet, tart and savory. Dorie does recommend and I concur to have good crusty bread for sopping up all the good juices. This recipe is going into my regular rotation and I hope you enjoy it too.
I am in a purging mood! We recently did some remodel work on our house. You know how that goes and how much packing and unpacking I was doing, almost, every day. It was a good opportunity to get rid or donate “stuff” we weren’t really using anymore.
A good friend pointed out to me that I have cookbooks, literally, in every room in my house. Some of you might put the old People Magazine in the bathroom, for light reading, I put cookbooks! So, when this same friend suggested I make a library of cookbooks, in my office, I was all in. Of course, that meant hours of deciding which would stay and which would go. It also meant getting reacquainted with some of my older “friends” and saying goodbye to the friends you didn’t really keep in touch with.
So, my task began. The first things that went were the cookbooks, put together by my kids elementary or pre-schools. I asked myself were there any recipes in them that I couldn’t just pick up the phone and ask for if I really wanted them. I did go through those books just to make sure. The next group to go were the “souvenir” books. I bought cookbooks at restaurants as I traveled across the country and some were really good. Others, I bought because I loved the meal and really believed I would recreate it at home. Well, not so much. And so, the purging project went.
I finally had whittled it down to one pile of books that I really wanted to go through and spend some time with. I’m so glad I did. There were some great finds. One of the books I saved is “Raising the Salad Bar”, by Catherine Walthers. I initially bought this book in 2010, after a friend used it more than once, during my week-long visit to her summer home. I admit I was skeptical when I heard it was a salad cookbook, but each salad was more memorable than the last.
Thumbing through this book was like reminiscing with an old friend. The pictures were beautiful, and the recipes reminded me of a glorious summer on Cape Cod. I love the way Catherine has organized the recipes so that the reader learns to think about salads more openly. Each salad has a dressing attached that brilliantly balances the fat and acid with your fresh greens and grains. Additionally, she has a whole section on dressings.
It has been so hot here in L.A. that I made the Couscous Salad with Lemon-Soaked Grilled Chicken for dinner, last week. It was perfect! Fresh and lemony with just the right amount of smoky grill flavor. My family loves lemon but with a little sweeter undertone than this recipe originally gave. I added a little brown sugar to the “marinade”. I also added a little bit of chopped mint at the end to add some brightness. And by the way, go for the asiago cheese. It has a similar flavor profile to Parmigiano but with an added smokiness.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and it reminds you to spend some time with old friends and even the new treasures.
I am always looking for ways to change up a standard recipe, that I seem to make over and over. Especially this time of year, I am hearing lots of people that are switching over to a gluten-free lifestyle or trying to cut down on the “bad” carbs.
Chicken Piccata is one recipe I can always count on that my whole family will eat. Even my most picky eater just scrapes the capers off and is happy. So how can I make this a healthier dish to put on my dinner table? I came up with nuts, instead of breadcrumbs. When I use breadcrumbs, in anything, they are homemade and toasted with copious amounts of butter. I also try to infuse as much flavor into the breadcrumbs as possible and that means salt, too. By using the nuts, you get SO much more flavor and less salt with no butter.
In this recipe, I chose to use walnuts, but you can really use any nut. I also, always, toast the nuts before I use them. It really enhances the flavor. Finally, remember that nuts do have a shelf life. You should be able to smell when they have turned or are a little too old to use. Or you can just trust the date on the bag.
Sorry for no picture. I thought I had one from testing but didn’t. I promise to post one soon.
As a young mother, MANY years ago, I was very idealistic. My children were not going to eat chocolate, too early. High fructose corn syrup would never pass their lips and they would never have frozen or processed foods. Ha! Last summer we vacationed in Lake Tahoe, and were concentrating on the simpler pleasures. We hiked and spent days on the lake. Our nighttime activities were nothing more than dinner out and a movie in the hotel room.
One night, while we were waiting for our table, at dinner, my kids and husband were playing beanbag toss. I must have been in a dreamlike state, when I had a vision of those little girls and the meals I use to make for them. I don’t think there is a kid out there that doesn’t like chicken tenders or nuggets. In an effort to get my kids to be happy campers at dinner I developed my own recipe for chicken nuggets. It was a hit! I always served them with whatever fresh fruit was in season and some sort of potato. I admit that I was too lazy to make my own French fries so I often used a wholesome frozen variety.
As we get back into the busy days of fall, I hope you and your family will take a moment to slow down and enjoy a simple pleasure like homemade chicken nuggets. Oh and we are planning our next Lake vacation.
I love to be the first one at my local Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. There is a coolness to the morning air that lets you know Fall is on its way. Sometimes the farmers are still setting up and your chat will be more relaxed than when they are trying to make a quick sale and onto the next “neighbor”. This past weekend as I was strolling through my Farmer’s Market, I was in awe of the beautiful corn and tomatoes. Then the gorgeous fruit of the summer struck me too. Even though, I know some things have already peaked, it sure felt like everything was leaping off the table as if to say “pick me!”.
So I bought those beautiful tomatoes, some sweet fresh corn and the last of the summer blackberries. I also bought some avocados and peaches. As I am writing this I can smell all the freshness. YUM!!! The truth is we don’t spend a lot of time canning and preserving, since we have beautiful produce, year round. Nonetheless, I wanted to feature this beautiful bounty as a slow goodbye to summer.
I grilled chicken, which I had pounded thin (pallard) with just a little bit of lemon, lime, olive oil, salt & pepper. Then I made a rustic corn and tomato salsa to serve over it. The greatest part of the salsa was grabbing whatever I had in my kitchen to add to it. This type of cooking is perfect for using up herbs, vegetables and even leftovers.
I was so excited to share my bounty that I grabbed a shawl; a few friends and we sat outside, on a slightly cooler evening and enjoyed the flavors of the season. Don’t forget a glass of crisp white wine, too!
My daughter had mononucleosis the last two weeks of the school year. This certainly caused a lot of stress in our home. I spent quite a lot of time on the phone with teachers and counselors trying to get extensions, exceptions and retakes arranged. As a result, I was given the unique task of videotaping my daughter’s culinary I final. You may think, “How fun!”, but it was harder than I thought it would be.
I have taught both my daughters to cook, but not in a formal, culinary, way. It was always, watching me cook, or making some “family” recipe or something special. I have never approached teaching my daughters to cook from an instructor perspective, but now I was being asked to watch another teachers work. It was eye opening to say the least.
I do not want to admonish the teacher, at all. I have never taught 40 kids at one time. Nor do I ever want to. I spent the hour of videotaping, biting my tongue. I wanted to rescue her from mistakes. I held my breath, terrified that she would cut her finger off, as she moved the knife towards her, rather than away. Did she wash her hands as often as she should have? Did she change cutting boards? Is that dice bite sized? It was daunting!
By the end of this week, she had received her grade and ended the year with an B in the class (good thing!) and a high B on the final. It just goes to show that, as parents, we are much harder on our kids. I am proud of the work my daughter did.
The recipe she cooked was for Bengali Chicken Curry with Rice. This project was originally assigned as a group project. Since my daughter wasn’t in class, the recipe was written without her. When I tasted the recipe, I thought it was good, but could use a little refinement. The photo is of the original recipe, then I offer my changes. Happy cooking and remember to practice your knife skills!
- June 30, 2015
9:00 am - 11:30 am
These will become your go-to recipes, with lots of variations: Roasted Whole Chicken Chocolate Chip Cookies, dressed up Ribolletta Soup Salmon Frittata (more…)
It has been a busy year at my house and now summer is almost upon us. I hadn’t really thought of putting anything together for Memorial Day, since I will be away at a wedding. However, I did get a lot of requests for something that can be thrown together quickly and still be great. I have the perfect plan!
When you think about Memorial Day most people think about the traditional beginning of the summer and thus BBQ season. This year it has been a little cooler than usual in my hood, so a barbecue doesn’t really seem appealing. How about a taco/burrito bar theme? This is great because my recipe is mostly done in the slow cooker and you can use the guacamole recipe from my Cinco de Mayo post. I like this particular recipe because it frees me up to be with my guest, not in the kitchen.