Monday, June 9, 2008

Chicken Marsala

Since this is both a family favorite (so I cook it a lot) and a recipe I cook from memory, some of the measurements are not exact. When they aren't exact, I'll let you know.
approx. 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (I put in 3 breasts this time, when Gary's home, I use 4)
1 12oz can of mushrooms (when Gary's home, I use 2)
4 to 5 tablespoons butter
diced onion or onion flakes (maybe 1/4 cup?)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp pepper (approx.)
1 tsp marjoram (approx.)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Marsala

Put a couple tablespoons of butter in a pan and let it melt on medium heat.

Open a can of mushrooms and drain the liquid.

Notice that there is a glass of tea there and drink some.

Dump the mushrooms in the pan.

Add the onion flakes or diced onions. I just add enough so that there is onion sprinkled liberally all over the pan. If this is too vague for you, use 1/4 cup.

Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until fully cooked.

Remove mushrooms and onions to a plate.

While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the chicken. First, combine the flour, marjoram, and pepper. Again, I just dump some pepper and marjoram into the bowl until it looks like I've got enough. If this is too vague for you, use 1 teaspoon for each. I would probably use more.

Pound the chicken until it is uniform in size. This helps it cook evenly. If you do not have a meat tenderizer, put a plastic bag over a heavy jar and use that. After you have 'tenderized', cut the fat off the chicken.

Then, coat the chicken in the flour mixture.

Melt a couple more tablespoons of butter in the pan. Add the chicken. Cook approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked all the way through and golden brown on the outside.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Combine the Marsala and the chicken broth.

The key to good Chicken Marsala is good Marsala! Cooking wine just doesn't get it, folks!

After the chicken is fully cooked, add the mushrooms back into the pan. Pour in the sauce and let it simmer for a couple minutes.

After you're finished cooking, clean up.

Then, sit around waiting while Mom takes pictures.

Enjoy your meal!

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze (Food Network)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze: (I think this makes too much. I'd suggest halving it. You'll save time, work, products, and still have plenty of glaze. At least half of mine went on the pan.)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tbsp unsalted butter

For directions, please visit Food Network. Unfortunately, this recipe is copyrighted and I'm not sure if there would be any copyright infringements if I posted it here.

I strongly suggest getting everything measured out before you begin cooking. This has two distinct advantages. One, you know that you have enough of everything before you start cooking. Two, everything is measured out when your 'helper' comes along and notices you cooking and decides to help. This means there are fewer mess ups when you lose count of how many cups of whatever you've already added to your recipe!

For those who always wondered, this is a pastry blender. If you're going to do a lot of baking, I suggest getting one. If you're only going to bake occasionally, or virtually never, I suggest using forks.

I really suggest mixing the blueberries in with your hands. They just don't get mixed in well with a spoon. You'll notice that one end has a lot of blueberries and the other has virtually none. As I cut the scones, I took blueberries from one end and added them to the other.

This is what your scones should look like before you cook them, after you have brushed them with cream.

The end product on our fancy plates for 'tea'.

"These are great, Mom!"

"Can I have another?"

This was the first time I tried this recipe. I've been wanting to try it for about 6 months and kept forgetting to get the lemons at the store. Man, were we missing out! This was fabulous. I think this will be a regular recipe from now on.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bocce Ball

Before we get into Boccie ball, I just have to share this with you.

The very first Saturday we were in Florida, Dominic decided he needed to check out the local emergency room. This is his head after I cleaned it up. I really didn't think it needed stitching, but he wouldn't let us clean it enough to see it well. So, off we went to the ER. They were really nice. We were in and out in about 30 minutes. I appreciate it guys! On to Boccie ball!

Gary's parents came down for a week. The boys had a lot of fun playing Boccie ball with them. In fact, they have decided they need a set for home. They have actually almost given up the idea of having a Wii as they get introduced to more and more 'lawn' sports. They would rather spend their money on croquet, boccie ball, and a climbing wall than a Wii. That makes me very happy.


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