Orange Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Lemon Risotto. These recipes hailed from an episode entitled "Tangy and Terrific," and I concur. I'm always interested in a new chicken dish, and as you know, risotto is a new favorite of mine. The chicken is very simple...you'll have most of the items already on hand with the exception of green onions and perhaps orange marmalade. My sauce took a while to thicken up, and I thought that next time I might use chicken tenders because the chicken breasts were a bit too big for me. Now the risotto is another story, one I don't want to rewrite. I'm not a fan of long ingredient lists, so this one had me a bit concerned at first, especially when I realized I had to "supreme" lemons (sectioning out the citrus...free of that stringy white stuff...you'll need to become adept with a paring knife). Despite the longevity of the list, I persevered, and we enjoyed every bite. The dishes tasted great together, and I will definitely make them again. I do apologize for the picture. It's actually a picture of the leftovers because I had forgotten to replace my memory card in my camera. See what I'm talking about? Sanity not so much in my grasp. If you're looking to make this a meal, complete it with some sort of roasted green veggie, like asparagus. It'll bring more color to the plate.So what have I been cooking? Well, a whole host of items. Let's begin with when I partnered up with Courtney (from my college small group) for a Rachael Ray menu. I did diverge from Giada's book, and at this point in my cooking adventures, I feel more secure in doing so. We made Ray's
Apricot Bars, and if you need something super easy and aren't afraid of a little butter, go for it. I would like to try them with blackberry or raspberry preserves sometime, but as is, they're just great. I would resist eating them right away...it really is important that they cool so they can be cut well (you'll see that my picture puts my geometry skills to question). And they need only be small squares, like 1" to 1 1/2" at most. These treats are rich.
Fried Smashed Potatoes with Lemons. Back in March I saw her make these potatoes (here's the video), and I will admit that smashing them with my hand seemed like fun. I'm still a bit of a kid who likes to play with her food. What was challenging was not smashing the potatoes so much that they fell apart. I did like the flavors, but, dare I say it, I don't think I will make this Giada recipe again. I'd rather roast the potatoes (or do that potato masher trick that Dad did thanks to the Pioneer Woman's idea) and then drizzle them with the lemon dressing. Basically, the whole process of cooking the potatoes was a little much for me, not to mention it made a mess on the stovetop (oil splatters everywhere in spite of my new splatter shield). Still, they do pose nicely for the camera, don't they?
Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins, won. A simple baking process yielded some tasty muffins, though I would consider putting a little more sugar, like another 3 or 4 tablespoons. I didn't make the suggested sauce, but next, will do. And bravo to the blueberries. They played their part perfectly.
Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries, and Herbs. With crisp Granny Smith apples, crunchy (oven toasted) almond slivers, to tangy dried cranberries, I might just have found a side rivaling the greatness that occupies the Whole Foods salad bar. My roommate loved it, which is always a good sign. If the ingredient appeal, I definitely recommend you making it sometime this summer, though truly, it could be made any time of year. It's refreshing and full of flavor thanks to the combination of herbs and the absolutely perfect vinaigrette (made with real maple syrup!). Even more fun, the recipe gave me another chance to use my rosemary, thyme, and parsley plants on the porch. Growing my own herb garden continues to be wholly satisfying and wonderfully convenient.