Chicken Piccata Recipe

The other day we had some company over (our daughter’s friend we hadn’t seen in years) and my wife decided to make a special meal. She wanted to make chicken piccata, but neither of us likes capers which are common in most recipes for it. She did a little searching around and finally found a recipe that didn’t call for them. Sure, we probably could have used one with capers and just left them out, but this one looked pretty good so she decided to run with it.

Chicken Piccata - Cooking

 

We mixed up all the ingredients and cooked it it our largest skillet. It had a really nice lemony smell to it. They browned up quite nicely too. They looked almost as good as the pictures in the recipe.

Chicken Piccata - Ready to Serve

 

As we got closer to serving them, our daughter’s boyfriend suggested that we take lemon slices and put them on top and let them cook down into the chicken. It seemed like a great idea so we went with it.

Chicken Piccata - Plated

 

We served the chicken in the dish, but left the lemon slices behind when serving it up. Along with the chicken, my wife also made some pasta and some toasted bread with mozzarella cheese. Everyone else had garlic on their bread. I have learned that I can deal with a little garlic powder in a recipe, but I am still a LONG way from eating garlic bread.

The chicken piccata went over very well. We had six people for dinner that night but cooked for 8. Linda and I had the leftovers today and they were still delicious. We heated them up in a skillet and I added a small amount of lemon juice to the leftover sauce that we kept with the chicken. The leftovers were just as good the the day we made them.

The only change I might suggest is to add more lemon juice to the recipe. The breading had a definite lemon taste, but the chicken itself could possibly have used a little more. Feel free to make any changes you want to the recipe shown below and let me know how it works out.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl or dish mix together the flour, garlic powder and paprika. Dip the chicken in the egg/lemon mixture, then in the seasoned flour.
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter/margarine and brown the coated chicken pieces.
  4. Dissolve the bouillon in the boiling water, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour liquid into skillet. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, turning chicken pieces after 10 minutes, until chicken is tender. Garnish as desired and serve.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My wife Linda recently picked up a package of whole wheat flour and has had great fun making dinner rolls and waffles. This time she made something a little more traditional – chocolate chip cookies. We weren’t quite sure if they would taste as good as “normal” chocolate chip cookies due to the wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Cookies - Mixing

 

Linda mixed up the ingredients, but our brown sugar had been sitting around for a while. On word of advice: If your brown sugar is all packed together in clumps, break it up BEFORE you add it to the rest of the ingredients. I cannot stress this enough. It was almost comical watching us try to break up the clumps in the mix. At least we didn’t have the chips in yet. Eventually, we ended up using a mashed potato strainer to break them up. It was quite a sight watching us scoop cookie batter into the strainer. It was oddly effective though.

Whole Wheat Cookies Out of the Oven

After we got everything all mixed up properly, the rest went flawlessly. They cooked up really well and smelled great cooking. I’m not sure, but I’d swear Linda used more chips than called for in the recipe. The cookies were loaded with them. Not that I’m complaining or anything. I love chocolate chips.

Whole Wheat Cookies Plated

Linda found the recipe on the Betty Crocker site, but here is is below for easy reference.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).
  7. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

via Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Whole Wheat Waffles Recipe

Linda had a bunch of the whole wheat flour leftover after making the rolls last night. She found a recipe for waffles and so we decided to try it out this morning.  She mixed all the ingredients up and poured the mix into the waffle maker. I think these are the first real waffles we’ve made in it. We’ve only done cinnamon roll waffles before.

Colonie-20130210-00195

 

We weren’t really sure of the timing, so the first one was kind of an experiment. It was a bit soft, but it still looked and tasted great. It was a little difficult to get out , but stayed intact.

Colonie-20130210-00197 Colonie-20130210-00198

 

We left the next 2 in for a little longer to let them get just a bit crispy on the outside. They were a bit easier to get out of the waffle maker. They looked great and were quite good. I never used to like whole wheat foods, but I’m finding more and more that I like them now .

Colonie-20130210-00200

 

I was kind of full and didn’t quite finished the second waffle. We put the last one in a food storage bag  for later since we had to get ready for the movies. We went to a matinee of Identity Thief. We love Melissa McCarthy in Mike & Molly and she was great in Bridesmaids too. We both really liked the movie and thought it reminded us a little bit of Midnight Run.

Anyway, if you want to make the waffles, you can look it up on Betty Crocker’s site or just use the recipe listed below. We skipped the honey-peanut butter syrup so it’s not listed below. Not because I wouldn’t like it. I just didn’t feel like it considering we were heading out to the movies.

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Heat waffle maker. If necessary, brush with vegetable oil before batter for each waffle is added (or spray with cooking spray before heating).
  2. In medium bowl, beat egg whites with egg beater until foamy. Beat in remaining waffle ingredients just until smooth.
  3. Pour about 3/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto center of hot waffle maker. (Check manufacturer’s directions for recommended amount of batter.) Close lid of waffle maker.
  4. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter.

via Whole Wheat Waffles with Honey-Peanut Butter Syrup Recipe from Betty Crocker.

Whole Wheat Rolls Recipe

On Friday night, Nemo came to town bringing a bit less snow that we originally expected. It was still a good 6 inches or so, but not the 18 we could have gotten. I have cousins in Connecticut who had closer to 30 inches. I’m glad we didn’t get anywhere near that. We have a rather long driveway and a few years back our snow blower died and I’ve been shoveling every year since.

Nemo - Driveway Before

 

What you can’t tell from these pictures is just how big the area at the top of the driveway is for the cars. We fit 3 cars across and have an area for backing up to turn around. I think that is probably more square footage than the rest of the driveway. It certainly takes longer. You have to walk the snow over the the side to dump it.

Nemo - Driveway After

Since I was going to be outside shoveling, my wife made hot cocoa for me during a break I took and also when I finished. She even puts little marshmallows in it. Because I was working so hard, she also planned a nice hearty dinner. There are a couple of meals she makes that I really look forward to and this was one of them – meatloaf with Betty Crocker’s  Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes.

Nemo - Dig Out Meal

But, as if the smell of meatloaf in the house wasn’t enough, she went a step further. She made homemade whole wheat rolls to go along with dinner. They seemed pretty simple to make but do take some time to rise. They didn’t rise much during the first rise period, but the really did double during the second. Linda didn’t notice how many rolls it was supposed to make so she had 9 large rolls instead of 12 smaller ones. They cooked up quite large and nicely golden brown.

Whole Wheat Rolls Fresh From Oven

 

We think that because they were so large they came out just a little doughy in the middle, so we probably should have lightly covered them and given them a little more time. Still, they came out really delicious. There is nothing like a nice hot fresh buttered roll to go along with meatloaf. I was quite full then I was done.

Buttered Whole Wheat Rolls

 

My wife puts a lot of love into her cooking and it really shows. She has a bunch of wheat flour left over and plans on making a few more treats. I can’t wait. For now, if you want to make some whole wheat rolls yourself, here is the recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, yeast and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat milk, water and butter to 120°-130° add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened.
  3. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Punch dough down; shape into 12 balls. Place in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush tops with oil if desired.
  7. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 dozen.

via Whole Wheat Rolls Recipe | Taste of Home Recipes.

Superbowl Snacks and Steaks

Since the light went out during the third quarter, I’m taking the time to post a little but about the snacks and steaks we had during the game.

Superbowl - Chocolate Ecstasy

Last night my wife, Linda, made her famous Chocolate Ecstasy. It’s a pretty simple dessert to make and it goes fast. All you need is some chocolate pudding, Cool Whip, brownies, and Crunch bars. Start at the bottom of the dessert dish and line it with brownies. Then add a layer of pudding, a layer of Cool Whip and top it off with broken up pieces of Crunch bar. Then do it all over again for as many layers as you want. It is probably my favorite dessert that my wife makes. Scratch that – it IS my favorite dessert she makes.

Superbowl - Chocolate Ecstasy PlatedAn hour before the game started we prepped some homemade mozzarella sticks. We’ve done them before and  it’s always hard to get them to come out right. This time I did pretty well. Slice up the mozzarella into sticks and dip it in egg then in bread crumbs. Set them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then heat some cooking oil. I cook just one at a time so they don’t get away from me. I dip them briefly until they get golden brown and then pull them out. This is where we usually have problems. It’s hard to cook them all the way through without running into problems. This time I decided not to worry about that. I just made sure the outside looked good.

Superbowl - Homemade Mozzarella SticksWhen they were all done, I put them in the oven at 400 for a few minutes to let them melt a bit more on the inside. I think this is how I am going to do them from now on because they came out better than they ever have this way.

Superbowl - Mozzarella SticksA little before the game I fired up the grill and cooked up a nice rib-eye for Linda and a New York Strip for myself.

Superbowl SteaksI made up plantains for Linda and some fries for both of us to go along with the steaks. It was a great meal, but I made sure to leave room for dessert.

Superbowl Strip Steak

Neither of us really had much serious interest in the game since our teams didn’t make it in. Since the Ravens beat the Patriots (who I wanted to see in the game) I figure they deserve to win the Superbowl. So far things are going their way.

Anyway, the lights are back on and so is the game, so I’m headed back to the couch to see more of it and those hilarious commercials. The M&Ms “I Would Do Anything For Love” commercial is my favorite this year.

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