Friday, April 25, 2014

Day Eighty - Chicken with Honey and Beer Sauce (4.23.14)

  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chick breasts
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon parsley leave
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place a heavy skillet over medium-heat and add the oil.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts to taste and place in skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, slice onions.
  4. Take breasts out when cooked and put aside.
  5. Add onions to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. In a bowl, mix beer, soy sauce, mustard and honey.
  7. Pour mix to the skillet and bring to a boil while constantly stirring.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes then replace chicken in skillet - make sure to cover breast nicely with the sauce. 
  9. Serve topped with parsley.

Potter: Katie made this dish tonight. It turned out amazing. Katie had to bribe me to leave her enough for lunch. The sauce was delicious and the chicken well cooked. I don't really know what else to say, it tasted great but I didn't make it so I can't give my usual comments.

Katie: This dish turned out great. I suggest making sure that if you have any thick pieces of chicken to slice them in half lengthwise (top-bottom) to make thinner pieces. I had enough time for everything by following the instructions as written. Make sure you are constantly stirring in step 7 instruction to keep the onions from sticking to the skillet. I enjoyed making this dish tonight. The end result was very appealing to the eye as well. :)

Day Seventy-Nine - Pork Scallopini with Mushroom Sauce (4.22.14)

  • 3 tbsp canola oil, separated
  • 1/2 lb sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 4 thick boneless center-cut pork chops
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt, separated
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 8 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until lightly browned. Add sliced shallots; cook 2 minutes. Mix in sage; remove to a bowl. Turn off and reserve pan.
  2. Carefully split pork chops in half lengthwise (knife parallel to the cutting board), making 8 thin chops. Pound each to 1/8-in thick on between two sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board. On a plate combine flour 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Dredge chops in mixture, shaking off excess. 
  3. In same skillet, over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil. Saute 4 of the chops for 2 minutes; flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet and place in oven. Add remaining oil and repeat with remaining chops.
  4. Pour chicken broth in empty skillet. Whisk in mustard and release brown bits on bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce to medium heat. Cook 3-4 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in mushroom mixture.

Katie: Goodness, this was amazing. Such great flavor! I wouldn't change a thing about the recipe for this one.

Potter: This turned out delicious. I ate several chops and couldn't stop. This recipe was a little more complicated than our normal. Not super hard or anything, just requires you to be a little more on with your timing or you could burn the sauce or the brown bits that go in the sauce. I recommend making sure you have the chops ready to go before starting the mushrooms. 

Day Seventy-Eight - Homemade Crunch Wrap (4.21.14)

  • 6 large flour tortillas
  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoing
  • sour cream
  • nacho cheese (or queso dip)
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
  • refried beans (optinonal)

  1. Prepare ground beef according to taco seasoning instructions. Set aside.
  2. Bake the corn tortillas in the oven at 400 degrees for a couple of minutes, until they are golden and crunchy. 
  3. Microwave flour tortillas, one at a time (they cool off quickly), for about 10 seconds to warm them up; this will make wrapping them easier.
  4. Lay out the flour tortilla. Spoon some nacho cheese into the center of the tortilla, top with seasoned beef. Place corn tortilla on top of the cheese/beef. Spread sour cream/refried beans on top of the corn tortilla and sprinkle lettuce and tomatoes on top of that.
  5. Starting with the bottom of the tortilla, fold the edge up to the center. Continue doing this around the tortilla until it is all folded over. If your filling isn't entirely enclosed cut a piece from another tortilla, cover opening then wrap the tortilla again.
  6. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-low heat. Place the crunchwrap, seam-side down, in the pan. Press with a spatula and cook for 3 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook another 3 minutes. 


Potter: I absolutely love Taco Bell's crunchwrap. This was by far the best version of this I have ever had. It was delicious. And do you want to know the best part? It came with no regrets that night or the next day (I even had leftovers for lunch). We topped it with some taco sauce and salsa. Man was it good.

Katie: Completely agree with Potter. I don't love anything about Taco Bell, but crunchwrap supreme is my go-to when I do grab it every once in a long while. This dish was a great homemade replacement for fast food though and I don't know that I'll really want a Taco Bell version again. I can't speak to how easy it really was, but it looked fairly simple while Potter was putting it together. I really enjoyed that everything in it was fresh and even though it may still not be the healthiest dish, it was WAAAAY better than the other option.


Day Seventy-Seven - Egg Sandwich (4.20.14)

  • 1 Bagel
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 2-3 slices ham
  • garlic, season salt, black pepper, sriracha to taste
  1. Crack egg into bowl. Whisk all spices into egg. Cook until scrambled into an area that will fit on the bagel. 
  2. Add ham to pan. Cook until warmed.
  3. Toast bagel. Put ham, egg and cheese on bagel and enjoy.

Katie: I always love this sandwich even though Potter doesn't pay attention to the amounts of spices - it always turns out great! Tonight was no different. The sandwich hit the spot and is always filling.

Potter: This one is our usual weekend breakfast. Quick, easy, filling and tasty. I mix the spices without measuring every time so can't give you an idea of how much, it tends to fluctuate.

Day Seventy-Six - Baked Ham (4.19.14)

We went to Michigan for the weekend so tonight was our Easter Dinner since Katie and I wouldn't be able to stay late on Sunday. My Dad baked a ham with a sweet glaze along with scalloped potatoes on the side. Sorry folks I have no recipe for you, the glaze came with the ham and my Dad added some mustard to give it a little spice. 

Day Seventy-Four - Chicken Alfredo (4.17.14)

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar alfredo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 box your choice of noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare noodles per instructions on box.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Cook chicken on grill until cooked through (165 degrees in the center). Take off heat and let set 2 minutes.
  3. Put jar of alfredo sauce in small saucepan on low to medium-low heat. Mix in spices and stir thoroughly. Cook until heated through.
  4. Cut chicken into small chunks and mix into alfredo sauce.
  5. Serve over noodles.

Potter: This is a pretty straightforward one. Always turns out good and is ready pretty fast if you can balance doing all of it at once. If you don't have a gas grill or a george foreman you can cook the chicken in the oven at 425 degrees for roughly 20 minutes. 

Katie: I love chicken alfredo and this didn't disappoint me (nor did I think it would!). The spices were great in the dish tonight; wouldn't change a thing.

Day Seventy-Three - Campbell's Cheesy Chicken and Rice (4.16.14)

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir the soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and vegetables in an 11x8x2 in baking dish.
  2. Top the right mixture with the chicken. Cover the baking dish.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Top with the cheese. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes. Stir the rice before serving.

Katie: An old-y for me from growing up and John used to make it for us when Potter lived with him. Great option for a simple, quick dish with delicious results. I feel you could never go wrong with this dinner. :)

Potter: This is an old favorite from living with John. Super quick to prep and then leave it while you work on other things. Always tastes delicious and Katie made it perfectly this time. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Day Seventy-Five - McDonald's (4.18.14)

Yep, we had McD's. It happened earlier than we thought it would but we were traveling and it is what there was to eat. Since we preferred to have food, we decided this was okay. 

Day Seventy-Two - Hot Dogs and Shells and Cheese (4.15.14)

We had a pretty lazy night tonight. Quick dinner but always hits the spot! We did splurge and have the Rotel shells though. :)

Day Seventy-One - Thai Green Curry with Chicken & Green Beans (4.14.14)

  • 4 oz. dried bean thread noodles
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup thai green curry paste
  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) unsweetened coconut milk, shaken
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 lb. green beans, halved crosswise on an angle
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 large sprig basil (preferably thai), plus a 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
  1. Place the noodles in a large bowl; cover with 1 inch of water. Let soak for 15 minutes, drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, heat the oil over medium head until shimmering. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in 3 cups water and the coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce and crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and green beans and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the green beans are just tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and the basil sprig. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 2 minutes; season with salt. Discard the basil sprig. Divide the curry among bowls and sprinkle with sliced basil.

Potter: Katie made this one and it turned out delicious. It could have used more noodles than the recipe calls for but it tasted amazing. The dish was a bit more like a soup than I expected, a delicious thai curry soup. This one was also pretty mild so if you're worried about spicy curry give this one a try.

Katie: For some reason, it was quite the production making this dish. I had issues with starting in too small of a pot, then heated up the larger pot too much and when I transferred pots it boiled up a lot right away and made a big mess. I still didn't lose too much of the sauce though. I agree with Potter that I would have made more noodles for the amount of beans and chicken in the dish.

Day Seventy - Beef Bourguignon (4.13.14)

  • 1 (2 1/2 pound) boneless beef chuck 
    roast, cut into 2-inch cubes 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 2 tablespoons flour 
  • 2 cups Merlot wine 
  • 2 cups beef broth 
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Generously season beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Cook and stir beef cubes in hot oil until browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate. 
  3. Cook and stir onion, butter, and a pinch of salt in the Dutch oven until onion begins to sweat. Stir flour into onion mixture; cook and stir until onion starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  4. Pour wine into onion mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Return beef and any accumulated juices to the Dutch oven. Add beef broth, carrots, celery, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours on low until meat is almost tender.
  5. Remove cover from the Dutch oven and simmer uncovered until meat is tender and stew is thick, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

Potter: We don't own a dutch oven so this was another of our kitchen experiments. Instead of a dutch oven we did the first few steps on the stove then added everything to the crock pot. It turned out tasting great but needed a lot longer in the crock pot to thicken up then I gave it time for (about 2-3 hours on high). Even with those shenanigans this turned out tasting pretty awesome. 

Katie: I thought the dish tonight was great. I agree with Potter that it could have used more time in the crock pot to thicken up, but it still tasted delicious.

Day Sixty-Nine - Brass Ring/Brocach's (4.12.14)

Katie and I had separate dinners this evening. I went with Meg and Jay to a restaurant called the Brass Ring. Check them out here. I had the chicken quesadilla. It was good. Nothing spectacular but certainly tasty. From what I've had of their menu their burgers and sandwiches are better. They also have a few  pool tables, a shuffleboard table and a couple dart boards.

Katie joined her friends for a nice bachelorette dinner at Brocach's Irish Pub. Check them out here.(Katie) - I enjoyed the chicken pesto sandwich with fries. It was delicious and the fries were great!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day Sixty-Eight - Osterio Papavero (4.11.14)

We enjoyed a local Italian restaurant this evening for dinner with our out-of-town friends Meg and Jay. The meal started with Grand Piatto dei Salumi and drinks. What a great way to start!

For an entree, Potter enjoyed Antipasta di Mari and Katie enjoyed Tortellacci Gorgonzola e Noci. We all rounded out the meal with a flourless chocolate cake and vanilla bean ice cream.


Salumi Misti (Grand Piatto dei Salumi) – an assortment of house-cured meats served with homemade giardiniera

Antipasto di Mare – mixed appetizer of fresh seafood. 

Tortellacci Gorgonzola e Noci -
housemade tortellacci, stuffed with fresh ricotta and walnuts, served with a sweet gorgonzola cream sauce


Katie: Oh man, this place was DELICIOUS! Everything we had was very good. The appetizer had about 7 different meats and 2 different cheeses; sorry we can't remember all of them. My entree was great; for having a cream sauce it was fairly light. Good portion size. The dessert was very good as well. I love when cake comes with vanilla bean ice cream too! :)

Potter: This place was amazing. The appetizer was so good. If you are a meat-eater you have got to stop by and try it. If you're a sea-food lover give their antipasto di mare a try. Mine had a clam and mussel broth mixture, an octopus with a red pepper sauce, and a monkfish pate. All three were wonderful and completely new to me, it was a delicious dish. 

Day Sixty-Seven - Oven Baked Chuck Steak (4.10.14)

  • Chuck steak (size depends on numbers of servings desired)
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pkg. Lipton onion soup
  • Potatoes, according to number of servings
  • Carrots, according to number of servings
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Place chuck steak on large sheet of foil in baking pan. 
  2. Combine the mushroom and onion soups and spread over meat. Quarter the potatoes and carrots and arrange around steak. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  3. Then wrap tightly in the foil and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 1 hour.

Potter: Another of Katie's dinners that turned out great. This recipe is great if you're feeling roast and potatoes but don't want to wait 6 hours for dinner. If you like a lot of gravy I would probably double the amount of soup. This is a very hearty dinner that has little prep time and is ready relatively quickly.

Katie: Mmmm. This dish was definitely along the comfort food lines. I really like roasts and this was such a great, quick alternative to the slow cooker. I suggest making sure you slice the meat at the joining fat or you'll end up with some curled up pieces (that you may be able to point out in the picture). As Potter said, the only thing I would have changed about the recipe would be to make more gravy; I would go with 1/2 can more of cream of mushroom soup with a 1/2 package more onion soup mix.

Day Sixty-Six - Beef Meatballs with Picante Glaze (4.9.14)

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar Pace® Picante Sauce
  • 1/3 cup grape jelly
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Thoroughly mix the beef, bread crumbs, egg, garlic and 1/4 cup picante sauce in a large bowl. Shape the mixture firmly into 40 (1-inch) meatballs. Place the meatballs onto the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through, turning them over once halfway through the bake time.
  4. Heat the remaining picante sauce and jelly in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Stir in the thyme, if desired. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook until the meatballs are hot, stirring occasionally. Serve the meatballs on toothpicks.

Potter: The recipe we will be offering our opinions on will not be the recipe listed above. This is for two reasons: we only had strawberry jelly, and pace picante sauce is not the same thing as pace chunky salsa. Despite those two substitutions and the liberal use of a blender this turned out pretty tasty, not amazing mind you, just tasty. If you're looking for a spicy/sweet variation on the meatball give the real recipe a try, it'll be better than tasty.

Katie: I thought that these turned out well. As Potter states above, he had to make some substitutions that may have made the difference between how they turned out and making them amazing. All in all though, I would still suggest the way he made them as an okay alternative to the recipe above.

Day Sixty-Five - Salsa Chicken (4.8.14)

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • halves
  • 4 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
  2. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts, and pour salsa over all.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear.
  4. Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sour cream if desired, and serve.

Potter: This is a super easy recipe to make, maybe 5 minutes of prep time if you're moving in slow motion. Turned out pretty tasty and you can get a lot of variation in flavor just by using different salsas. 

Katie: This was delicious, especially for such an easy dish! As Potter stated, you can get variation just by a different salsa which is great.

Day Sixty-Four - Flat Iron with Balsamic Reduction (4.7.14)

  • 3 lbs flat iron steak
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely ground mixed peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Brush steak with olive oil, then press into ground peppercorns and season with salt; set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add flat iron, and cook to desired degree of doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  2. Once the steak has finished cooking, remove to a plate and keep warm. Stir the minced garlic into the skillet, and cook over medium high heat until garlic begins to brown around the edges, about 1 minute. Pour in the balsamic vinegar, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced by half.
  3. Thinly slice the flat iron steak across the grain, and arrange on a serving platter. Pour the reduced balsamic overtop, and sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.
Katie: This dish was good. The flavors were delicious but I feel that it may have been better with a different cut of meat.
Potter: This turned out mostly ok. Katie is right in that I don't think we had the right cut of meat for this dish (we had chuck steak) but I also didn't reduce the balsamic quite enough so it was very watery. It still tasted good but not quite to the level I would like my steak prepared.

Day Sixty-Three - Sloppy Joes (4.6.14)

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke flavoring (optional)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cook and stir ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes; drain excess grease.
  2. Mix ketchup, dried onion, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, smoke flavoring and garlic into beef, stirring until brown sugar has dissolved.
  3. Stir beef broth into beef mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, about 30 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
Katie: Sad to say, this was the first time I've made homemade sloppy joes on my own - and it was so easy! And delicious! The sandwiches were great. This was a close second for the best sloppy joe I've had. First goes to Mom. :)
Potter: These turned out really good. I'm usually more of a manwich guy rather than making my own sloppy joes at home but this was an easy recipe that turned out delicious. Don't get me wrong, nothing beats manwich when you only have 10 minutes to cook for 40 people, but if you have half an hour give this recipe a try, I'm sure you'll like it.

Day Sixty-Two - Wildtree Crispy Chicken (4.5.14)

  • 1 packet Wildtree Crispy Chicken Blend
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a sheet pan inside.
  2. While the oven and sheet pan are heating, whisk the eggs and pour them onto a plate. Pour out the contents of the Wildtree Crispy Chicken Blend packet onto a second plate. Dip the chicken breast first in egg, and then in the Crispy Chicken Blend.
  3. Remove the hot sheet pan from the oven and lightly grease a spot for the chicken breast. Place the chicken breasts on that spot, return the pan to the oven, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165 degrees.
Katie: This was a very good (and easy/quick) dish. The chicken had great flavor with no extras in the spice packet and a good crisp. We have another packet that will be great to have one day...but that won't be back until a year from now!
Potter: Out of all the different Wildtree stuff we've tried this was by far my favorite dish. It had great flavor and came out nice and crispy. We didn't have to add any extra seasoning or effort to it and it still tasted great.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day Sixty-One - Panera (4.4.14)

We enjoyed Panera this evening for dinner. It was great as usual!

Day Sixty - Wendy's (4.3.14)

Sorry folks, it's Wendy's, nothing special. The American fast food chain is good and allowed for a quick option when we really weren't feeling up to cooking tonight.

Day Fifty-Nine - Cheesy Chicken Orzo (4.2.14)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 whole chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add chicken pieces to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until done; about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil, and stir in the orzo.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes, or until orzo is tender.
  5. Drain.
  6. Put the orzo back in the pot and stir in the cheese, butter, and 1/4 cup milk; add more milk if needed. Continue to stir until smooth and well combined.
  7. Stir in the cooked chicken.
  8. Taste for salt and pepper.
  9. Serve.

Katie: This dish is similar to a chicken, veggie and rice dish that we like, but not the same. The dish tonight was nice and cheesy and used a rice substitute, orzo, that we have had a couple times and I like a lot. There were big chunks of chicken that made every bite have a good balance of meat, orzo and cheese. :)
Potter: This is a recipe we found online when searching for "quick and easy." And it was both of those things. It took maybe half an hour total to prep/cook everything and even better than that, it tasted great. If I had ever heard of orzo in college this would have been another college favorite.

Day Fifty-Eight - Caprese Chicken (4.1.14)

  • 6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 (6 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves, rested at room temperature 15 minutes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepepr
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 6 slices
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped

  1. Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring vinegar just to a boil then reduce heat slightly and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until vinegar has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Brush grill grates lightly with oil and pre-heat grill to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil and garlic. Brush each side of each chicken breast lightly with olive oil mixture and season each side with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to preheated grill, cover with lid and cook chicken 5 minutes, then rotate and cook opposite side until chicken is cooked through and registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer (about 5 minutes longer, time will vary though based on the thickness of the chicken breasts). Top each chicken breast with one slice of fresh mozzarella and 1 or 2 Roma tomato slices. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil, allow to rest 5 - 10 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle tops with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction, serve immediately.
Katie: Oh man, this entree was fabulous! I haven't had bruschetta turned into a full meal before, but expected it to be great, and it didn't disappoint. This was the first dish that used fresh herbs from our garden and the basil was delicious. It was nice to have fresh mozzeralla too!

Potter: If you're looking for an easy dish that tastes amazing and tells the person you're with, "Yeah, I can cook gourmet 5-star meals. No big deal." Look no further. This dish tasted amazing and if you like bruschetta you love it. Very quick and easy to make and your friends will be wondering why you don't have a show on food network. As a warning the vinegar will smell terrible while you're making the reduction, just make sure you reduce it enough (you want it to taste sweet more than vinegar-y).


Day Fifty-Seven - Nachos (3.31.14)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 8 oz. bag shredded cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line bottom of baking dish with refried beans.
  2. Prepare ground beef according to instructions on packet of taco seasoning. Add cumin and crushed red pepper when you add the seasoning. Layer meat on top of beans.
  3. Sprinkle cheese evenly over meat. Bake until cheese is well melted, about 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Put chopped veggies on top. If you like veggies raw serve now, if you like them cooked bake another 3-5 minutes until veggies are warm. Top with jalapenos, salsa and sour cream as desired.

Katie: We got a bit lazy tonight and went with a go-to dish for us, but as always it turned out delicious. We enjoy this dish served as is in the baking dish and just dig in with tortilla chips! :) We did put more chopped veggies in then we usually do which did prove a bit challenging when scooping at times, but not enough to keep us from demolishing this dish.

Potter: This is one of my favorites from college. I call it Nachos, some people call it Nacho Dip since I serve it like a dip but either way it's delicious. You get every flavor on every chip, your chips don't get soggy and it's super easy to reheat later. Feel free to add more red pepper if you like it spicier (the recipe above is pretty mild) and top with sour cream, guac or salsa if you're feeling frisky.

Day Fifty-Six - Rosemary Mustard Chicken Thighs (3.30.14)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb skinless chicken thighs
  1. Combine oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; add chicken thighs. Seal bag, and let stand 1 hour.
  2. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Place chicken thighs on a grill rack rubbed with oil.
  3. Grill 30 to 35 minutes or until are done, turning occasionally.
We enjoyed a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing on the side. As always, comment if you'd like the recipe!

Katie: This dish was delicious. The chicken thighs turned out great and kept their moisture which was wonderful. The flavors were very good and worked well together to make a good all-around dish.
Potter: This dish turned out great. This was one of our joint efforts (Katie made the side and I made the chicken) and it was all around a great meal. The chicken was quick and easy to prep/make and while it takes time to marinate/bake it's really a very low maintenance dish that tastes wonderful.

Day Fifty-Five - Dotty Dumplings Dowry (3.29.14)

My parents were in town this weekend to help celebrate my birthday early and so I got the option to pick a restaurant. I chose to go to Dotty Dumplings Dowry in Madison, where I have been before, and it didn't fail - it was delicious!

Katie: I got the Southwest Burger with no extras. The burger was delicious! I've tried a different burger each time I have been to Dotty's and all have been great. :) I recommend this restaurant to anyone who lives or is visiting the Madison area and wants to enjoy the best burgers in town!!
Potter: For those of you who live in the Madison area, you know Dotty's is renowned for their burgers. They have an amazing variety and each one is delicious. For those of you who don't live in the Madison are or do and just haven't been to Dotty's yet, get down there. There will probably be a wait at dinner time on the weekends but it is tottally worth it if what you're craving is a burger and fries.

Day Fifty-Four - Falafel Pita Sandwiches (3.28.14)

We enjoyed Banzo's this evening and it was an excellent choice.

Potter: I ordered the F-bomb plate which is essentially just a build-your-own pita sandwich plus rice. It was delicious. I haven't had good falafel since working in Ann Arbor and this place may even replace Jerusalem Garden as my favorite falafel joint.

Katie: I had the "basic" falafel pita - The Banzo. The pita was amazing. The best falafel pita I've had so far. I'm glad we tried this place because this is now going to be a go-to choice for us in the future!