Chicken Picatta Sandwich

One of my favorite Italian foods is Chicken Picatta. What makes it my favorite you ask? Capers! They add just the right amount of tangy lemony flavor that I love. When I first had them a long time ago I was afraid they would be disgusting, like olives (sorry olive lovers), but was I wrong. So very, very wrong. I decided to add a twist to the traditional chicken picatta dinner that I was going to make and try to make a slightly sophisticated chicken picatta sandwich with some sides.


Boneless Chicken Breast (as many pieces as you want sandwiches)

2 Eggs
1 C Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 T Butter
1 1/2 C White Wine (I used White Zinfandel)
Fresh Mozzarella (Cut in slices)

Rolls or Bread (Your choice, but I used Portuguese Rolls)
Olive Oil

1 T Garlic, minced

2 T Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Zucchini
2 Summer Squash
Pasta (Your choice)

The first thing you should do is prepare the zucchini and summer squash. Simply cut the vegetables in half, cutting off the ends, and place in a large bowl with a lid. Drizzle 2 T of olive oil over the veggies and then season with salt and pepper. Cover bowl, shake, and set aside. You can choose to grill these like I did or simply roast them.
To prep chicken you should trim off fat and pound chicken a bit. Dip chicken in an egg/water mixture, then cover both sides in flour. Pour 2 to 3 T Olive Oil and minced garlic in skillet heating up until garlic starts to turn golden. Place chicken in a skillet (I used an electric skillet, a must have kitchen appliance) and cook on both sides until golden, about 4-5 minutes a side. You should boil water and cook pasta once the chicken starts cooking.
While the chicken is cooking you can prepare the lemon caper spread.
Ingredients & Directions:

Lemon Caper Spread

(adapted from

1 C Mayonnaise

1/4 C chopped fresh parsley

2 T minced shallot
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T drained capers

Mix first 6 ingredients in processor until pale green and well blended. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
Once chicken is finished cooking set aside on a plate covered in a paper towel to soak up some of the olive oil. While chicken is set aside scrape up all the extra bits left in the skillet, leaving oil. Pour wine in skillet, lemon juice, and then butter. Stir until butter is melted and liquid starts to boil a little. Place chicken back in lemon wine sauce. Cook on one side for a minute and then other side for another minute.

Once chicken is completed you can make your sandwich. The lemon caper spread should go on top of bread, add lettuce, and freshly sliced mozzarella. You could always add other ingredients to spice up the sandwich if you'd like, but this is as close to a traditional chicken picatta as possible, in sandwich formation.

I served the sandwich with the grilled veggies and pasta. Not until seeing the pictures I realized that this meal was pretty, but colorless. I am usually cautious about making sure the meal has a wide variety of colors. Next time I will be sure to adding maybe grilled red peppers. What might you add to this meal/sandwich?

The one thing I am definitely going to do is make some of the lemon caper spread and leave it in my refrigerator so I can have it anytime I want.


Stepping Out of My Kitchen: Wiffle Ball

I realized upon reading many, many blogs daily that my favorite ones are those that give you a little glimpse into the life of the blogger. Whether it be about food, music, fashion, politics, when the blogger infuses their personal life & views into their writing I almost always pop that blog into my google reader. I have decided I need to do more of that here, because while I may love food, love writing the recipes, and photographing the food, I want this blog to be more. So here goes.

I enjoy the summer, the humidity not so much, but being outside in the sun is something I like very much. Not to let the summer pass by without doing something fun with friends, I decided to organize a wiffle ball game. Of course this wiffle ball game escalated into something a bit competitive, but all in good fun really.

We met on the Boston Common the other night after work. Of course, we had to follow regulation wiffle ball rules to begin with, but it loosened up as the night went on. We broke apart into two teams. Team Shark & Team Cat. Team Shark, led by Ryan, eventually beat Team Cat, led by me, in a 3 to 2 victory. What mattered most was that this was fun, not that we lost and they won, but it was a fun summer time game that reminded us playing something as simple as wiffle ball can make you feel young again.
Oh, and kickball is going to be next. I will win (I mean in a totally non-competitive way, of course.)


Glazed Raspberry Scone

Ingredients & Directions:
(adapted from here)

2 C Flour
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 T chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 C plus 3 tablespoons whipping cream
1/3 C (about) raspberry jam (do not use seedless)
1/2 C powdered sugar
About 4-5 Fresh Raspberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Add butter rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles fine meal. Gradually add 1 cup cream, mixing until dough comes together. Make small balls of dough and flatten each one with your hand, or rolling pin if you prefer. Make sure you make a top and bottom for each scone; fill with 1 generous teaspoon jam (jam will show at edges). Transfer to baking sheet. Bake scones until brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool scones until slightly warm.

Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar, and remaining 3 tablespoons cream, and raspberries in bowl to blend. Spread glaze over scones. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

I felt a bit like Paula Deen, y'all, with all that butter running through my fingers.

I used a piece of aluminum foil on the counter, lightly floured to flatten the balls of dough.

While the scones are cooking you should make the raspberry glaze. I thought of adding the fresh raspberries to the glaze after I made the glaze base. It just looked so plain. I really liked how it turned out and will definitely try it again with other fruit.

I glazed the scones on a wire rack, while resting the wire rack over the baking sheet, that way I kept the mess contained to one place.

I hate to toot my own horn, no I don't, but these were delicious. I seriously ate four scones right after I finished taking all the pictures.


Chicken Egg Rolls

Ingredients & Directions:
1 pound chicken breast or frozen chicken strips
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic
Olive Oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
1 bag of Coleslaw mix (saves time!)
Egg roll wrappers (I used Nasoya, they're my favorite)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Season chicken with ginger, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside. In another large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees or medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved chicken mixture. Mix all together. Lay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cabbage, carrot and chicken mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll. Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

I served these with some steamed broccoli, white rice, and a sweet soy sauce. These are one of my favorite things to make.


Eggs Benedict with Blender Hollandaise

One of my favorite foods is Eggs Benedict. There is just something so comforting and delicious about it (I mean as long as it's prepared well). I think the thing that makes it my favorite is the hollandaise sauce; the sauce has to be good or there is just no hope for the meal. I am at my parent's house again this weekend spending time with my family and decide to make breakfast. On my list of things to try is a blender hollandaise sauce. I accomplished this using my mother's Magic Bullet. My attempt to counter the buttery deliciousness that is hollandaise sauce, I have chosen to use a turkey bacon and a whole wheat mini bagel.

Ingredients & Directions:

Blender Hollandaise

3 egg yolks
1/2 tspn salt
Dash of Pepper
Dash of Dill (I used parsley here, but please use dill it's so much better)

1 T cream
1 C (1/2 pound) melted sweet butter, heated until bubbling but not brown
1 T lemon juice

Place egg yolks, salt, pepper and cream in blender, blend for a few seconds at high speed until you have a smooth frothy mixture. Still at high speed, start adding hot butter in a thin, steady stream, not too slowly. As you add butter, the sauce should thicken. When half the butter has been added, add lemon juice or vinegar. Continue blending until all butter is used.

Eggs Benedict (without sauce)

Eggs (as many as needed)
Turkey Bacon

Whole Wheat Mini Bagels

You can poach your eggs or as I have an Eggs Benedict pan, which saves so much time and energy. One of my favorite cooking pans. While your eggs are cooking you should cook your bacon until it's cooked to your desired doneness. Toast whole wheat mini bagels. Place bagels on a plate, rest two pieces of bacon on the bagel, and then place poached egg on top of bacon. Pour Blender Hollandaise over eggs and serve hot.
I was so excited when my mother got a blender attachment for her magic bullet. She usually uses it to make smoothies, but since I noticed she had it I have been dying to use it to make something. Slowly pour butter into the removable portion of the magic bullet (or blender) while it is still blending. It should come out creamy. If it is too thick add a little lemon juice (or water if you don't want it too lemony). I like to serve Eggs Benedict with fresh fruit. I served it with a nice fresh piece of watermelon, cubed. Could there be a better summer fruit to serve with one of my favorite meals on one of the hottest summer days?


Asparagus with Lemon Dijon Glaze

Here's the 411. I just moved, or well "just" as in 14 days ago now, and still do not have a working kitchen. We just got a new stove a few days ago, but it is fractions of an inch too big so it is just sitting in it's space now going on a few days. I should mention I rent the space and the landlord has hired someone to do all the work. My new cramped kitchen has been torturing me for two weeks now. I have not cooked in my new apartment yet, so all cooking has been done at my parent's house on weekends when I visit.

Last weekend when I visited I made dinner for them, a simple grilled steak tip, pasta, and what I am going to share with you, a quick asparagus in a lemon dijon glaze. I love asparagus and eat it frequently, but always try to think of new ways to serve it. My favorite wave to eat it is roasted in garlic with hollandaise sauce, but it was about 100 degrees out and I didn't want to put on the oven. Grilling asparagus is great too, but I just didn't do that. I blanched the asparagus and then quickly sautéed them in the lemon dijon glaze.

Ingredients & Directions:

Bunch of Asparagus
2 T Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic diced
1 T Dijon Mustard (use your favorite kind)
1/2 Lemon (for the juice)

Bring water to a boil in a deep skillet (one that you can reuse again later to sauté the asparagus). While water is heating up you can prepare the asparagus. If you bend the asparagus it will naturally snap at the point where it goes from tender to tough (which is usually about 1/3 of the stalk). Rinse and set aside until water is boiling. Cook until the asparagus turns a bright green. The time this will take will depend on how thick your asparagus stalks are. Probably about 2-5 minutes or so. While that is cooking combine the garlic, dijon mustard, and 1/2 of the lemon juice in a small bowl, mixing thoroughly. Set aside. Remove asparagus from the skillet with a slotted spoon or tongs and place into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. This will tenderize the stalks a bit more, but they'll remain deliciously crunchy. Empty the water from the skillet and then heat olive oil. Place asparagus in the oil for a minute lightly
sautéing it. Then add the lemon dijon glaze, sauté this with the asparagus for another minute or so on a low heat. Remove and eat.


Chocolate Raspberry Clafoutis

This past weekend I was at my parent’s house in Peabody, MA and I was in the area of my favorite local farm, Brooksby Farm, so I had to stop there. It is raspberry and blueberry picking season now and for some reason I decided to pick some raspberries. I'm pretty sure I made the right choice.

Ingredients & Directions:

12 ounces fresh raspberries (2 3/4 cups)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 cup whole milk

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

3 large eggs

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 to 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chocolate chips semi-chopped)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in middle. Butter (I used cooking spray) shallow baking dish. Toss berries with granulated sugar and let stand 15 minutes. Blend milk, butter, eggs, brown sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt in a blender until smooth. Scatter berries (drained) evenly in baking dish, then pour batter over top. Bake until slightly puffed and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Cool to warm, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I like to prepare all liquid ingredients in advance to save time when actually baking.

I brought the raspberries home and had no idea what to do with them. I then remembered reading on the how2heroes blog that they were having a Julie & Julia contest. I didn’t get this done in time to enter, but did it anyway. I have been obsessed with Julie & Julia since I read the book a little while ago. I have always loved Julia Child, but have been afraid to try much French cooking, with the exception of crème brulee; I am a crème brulee master!

I remember reading about some of the desserts Julie Powell made and she said the clafoutis was easy and delicious. I looked up a recipe at one of my fave sites, epicurious, and found a recipe for chocolate raspberry clafoutis. Perfect! At least I thought so. I had a few problems with the recipe and if I try it again I will need to try a few things differently, mostly making sure the raspberries are completely dry. The sides rose faster than any other part of the clafoutis and in turn browned faster than any other part. Overall, it was a decent attempt at French cooking, but I think Julia Child would be embarrassed for me. Just wait until you see my crème brulee though!