Friday, October 25, 2013

Foodie Friday

Chef of the Month

I seemed to cook almost 100% out of Giada's Everyday Italian book this week.  This is her first cookbook but the recipes are pretty family friendly and simple.

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina - This is actually recipe I've made a number of times. I got it off her Everyday Italian show.  It's super easy and tasty but also nice and light.  It's not a typical baked pasta that's weighed down with lots of sauce and cheese.  In fact the closest thing to sauce this has is an insane number of herbs and a can of diced tomatoes.  I've made this with and without chicken.  It's not something I wake up in the morning and think - I want that for dinner!  However, everyone enjoys it when its put in front of them.

I also made her Chicken Parmesan and served it over Penne pasta.  This was okay.  Definitely not my favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe but it is lighter.  Instead of coating the chicken and frying it you brown the chicken in a saute pan and then top with herbs and cheese and bake for a few minutes so that the cheese melts.

Last night I'd been out all day and had a headache I couldn't shake.  I had originally planned to make Giada's Orzotto but standing in front of the stove for half an hour turning orzo into a risotto has zero appeal. After a quick flip through Everyday Italian, one of my new favorite cookbooks, I managed to put together her alfredo sauce and cook some chicken to go with it.  So dinner ended up being alfredo sauce on rotini with some seasoned chicken and it was amazing.  The sauce required lemon juice and lemon zest so I was afraid it would end up being citrus-y but it really wasn't.  This very well may become my go to alfredo sauce recipe.

Pinterest Recipes

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies from the Pioneer Woman - I made these for my dad and thought they were really good.  They're tough enough to be able to survive transport but still chewy enough that they taste like a proper oatmeal cookie.  The huge quantities of butter and brown sugar are what make this cookie stand out and keep it from being just a plain old oatmeal cookie.

  Focaccia Bread from Anne Burrell - Anne Burrell may irritate me on television but the woman makes a mean focaccia bread.  This is one of the few that I've come across that doesn't require a sponge to start with.  It's easy to change up the seasonings so that the crunchy olive oil-y goodness can go with just about any meal.  I've made this a number of times and the only change I've ever made is to cut the cooking time down by a few minutes but that's mostly because my oven is temperamental.  It requires 2 rises so it does need to be started about 3 hours ahead of time but it always comes together as beautiful restaurant quality focaccia bread.

Sugar Cookie Bars from High Heels & Grills - These are very tasty and very easy to make festive with just a change in food coloring and sprinkles.  I made mine with purple and orange swirled frosting and topped with sprinkes consiting of bats and tombstones.  It's so much easier than traditional frosted sugar cookies too.  The only downside is that for whatever reason the Tornado decided he doesn't like this.  I probably won't make this again but it's mostly because I don't want to eat an entire pan of these by myself.  

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