Monday, December 29, 2014

Chicken with Truffled Goat Cheese

I have no idea where the month of December went but it certainly flew by for me! I meant to post this recipe last Monday, but with all the last minute Christmas shopping and wrapping, the day escaped me. I hope everyone had a great Christmas with family and friends! I crossed my fingers for a white Christmas but sadly, it was 50 degrees and sunny...hopefully a mild winter this year?!
Christmas with my Fiancé! Next Christmas I'll be married...weird to think about!!
Last weekend Sean went to the Hawks game with a friend and I had the night to myself. I actually love when those nights occur because I can make and watch whatever I want! I watched The Holiday, one of my favorite Christmas movies and finished up wrapping gifts. It was such a glorious night!
For dinner I cooked something I knew would never fly with my loved one. Has anyone else been into truffles? Not the real stuff, of course, those are incredibly expensive and hard to find! I was recently at Trader Joe's and found black truffle oil and goat cheese with truffles...both under $5. Score!!

I diced and cooked a chicken breast and made a delicious mushroom goat cheese sauce and finished it with some fresh herbs and truffle oil. Holy moly.
Here's what I did.

Dice and brown a chicken breast. I seasoned lightly with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken and hold it on a plate or bowl.
Add in thinly sliced shallots or onions and saute on medium for about 2 minutes. To these add sliced mushrooms. I used baby portabellas but go nuts and use whatever you like!

Add in a few hunks of butter...because it's the right thing to do. Once the mushrooms are slightly golden season them with salt and pepper.
I added some fresh rosemary and thyme, minced garlic, and a dash of red pepper flakes.
Pour in 1/4 cup chicken broth and scrape up all the bits at the bottom of the pan.
Now, crumble in the whole log of goat cheese with's only 4 ounces...and what the heck, it's the holidays! Reserve about a Tbl for a garnish.
Add the chicken back in with the goat cheese sauce and finish with a splash of truffle oil. This stuff is potent so a little goes a long way!
I wanted to serve this over pasta but it's all about balance here so I served it with green beans and a baked sweet potato...with butter.

Hope you try this one out!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Festivities

Today is Tuesday...totally throwing me off since I took Friday and Monday off of work. Feels like Monday although I wish it were already Friday :) I had such a productive yet festive weekend. I spent Monday with my mom baking Christmas cookies and went on a fun "field trip" to Hobby Lobby. Gotta love a 50% off Christmas sale! I did most of my shopping, although most stores were such a nightmare that I ended up finishing up online. Best of all, I got to watch several classic Christmas movies along with a few randoms and relaxed with my guy around our house...err apartment.

Oh, did I forget to mention, we picked a date!! A few weekends ago we signed at a local venue for August 21st, 2015! We also picked our honeymoon destination...hello St. Kitts!! Big decisions done, now for the smaller yet still important details. I only have 5 more days of work until I get to enjoy 8 business days off!! Relaxation is so nice, isn't it?

Even though my mom will kill me I wanted to share a few pictures of our great day together!
Me and my momma (love her Santa pin that says, "HoHoHo") haha :)
Let's do this.
"I'm only taking home a few because I will eat all of them". Thank goodness because I've already eaten several. 
Loving my new tin from Hobby Lobby.

Hope you all are enjoying the holidays! Bake cookies or make something that intimidates of my New Years resolutions that I'm starting a little early!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Crispy Chickpeas

I've been pretty hooked on this snack lately and wanted to share this ridiculously easy recipe with you!
Start with a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Rinse the beans really well in a colander and shake the excess water out.
Pour them onto a foil lined baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. 
Drizzle on a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes until they are crispy. 
The center will be slightly soft but the outer shell is pure salty crispness that's just outstanding. I love to eat these as a snack when they are piping hot out of the oven (or fryer) but storing in an airtight container will keep it pretty crisp for a day or two. They tend to lose that crunch factor as leftovers so I'll toss them in a salad as a "crouton" and it's delicious!
It's a healthy simple treat! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Boneless Lamb Roast

After a great family-filled weekend I can honestly say I consumed my limits in food and wine. Not that it's a bad thing, I enjoyed every bit of it, but it's time to get back to my normal routine! We haven't eaten a meal at home in maybe 5 days so I really wanted to make something special for our Sunday night dinner and lamb it was. Lamb is one of Sean's favorite things so I knew I'd score some big points with him!
I made a really easy lamb roast that I cooked over potatoes and served it with green beans and leftover rice pilaf. A little carb heavy but whatever, it's the holidays.

Today as I'm writing this I'm enjoying the leftovers in the comfort of my home and enjoying a day of leisure as I took the day off. After a busy weekend I really needed that extra day to sleep in and be productive...or was a combination of the two! It felt great to stay in my pj's and get things done around the house! I even set up my Christmas tree...and it's so glorious! I successfully waited until after Thanksgiving this year to begin the Christmas festivities including Christmas music which doesn't sound like a big deal, but for me, it is! Ah, relaxation is always so short lived!

Back to the lamb.

Take the lamb out and bring it to room temperature for about an hour prior to cooking. Be sure to trim the fat cap off, there was about 3/4 inch of fat that I discarded. Mince and combine 2 tbl each of fresh rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Add about 1 tbl of kosher salt, 1/2 tbl black pepper, and a tsp of red pepper flakes. I also drizzled in a tsp of olive oil to form a paste with the herbs and spices. Rub this paste all over the lamb and give it a good massage!
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and arrange the lamb over fingerling potatoes, or any other potato of your choice. Roast for about 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 for medium rare.
When the meat is done let it rest on the cutting board covered in foil, for about 15 minutes.
While that happens I like to remove the potatoes from the roasting pan and make a quick "gravy" from the drippings.
I place the roasting pan right over the burner and hit it with a little red wine and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper and reduce until half, scraping up the bits. You can also add a small sprig of rosemary and a smashed garlic clove for additional flavor if necessary.
Slice the meat thinly and sprinkle the slices with large salt flakes or kosher salt. I served this all on a platter (I like to wash dishes as I go) to make the end cleaning a quick one!