Week 5 – Tomatoes (Abby)

Tomatoes are one of my (many) favorite things about summer. Our parents have grown tomatoes since before I can remember; when I was little (and even still) I loved being able to stop by the garden while playing outside and pop a few fresh cherry tomatoes in my mouth for a quick snack.

This recipe is a simple and quick one. Plus, in my opinion, anything with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella must be good; add the fact that it is grilled and I’m not sure you could go wrong. Luckily I have a basil plant growing at Scott’s (the boyfriend) house these days; it has been the best purchase I have made I think. My basil is a boxwood basil, so the leaves are pretty tiny, but I like the texture of it better than the big leaf basil.

While we were eating this the other night I asked Scott what his favorite recipe that I had tried on him so far was. He responded quickly, and said that this dish was his favorite. The marinade keeps the chicken incredibly moist and flavorful, and when  combined with the mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil each bite just melts in your mouth. It is absolutely delicious.

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As I mentioned, it is a simple recipe. You marinade the chicken for a half hour or so in a sun-dried tomato dressing (I just had it marinade while the coals were heating up). Then, you grill one side of the chicken while you prepare the topping. The topping is just a couple of tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, and a little bit of dressing. Once the dressing is mixed up and the chicken is ready to flip, you turn the chicken onto a piece of tinfoil on the grill (with the already grilled side up) and cover it with the tomato mixture. Then you grill the chicken until it is fully cooked. See, simple.

prep

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Adapted From: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 ¾ cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing (divided)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, diced

Instructions:

  1. Place the chicken in a large resealable bag. Pour in 1 ½ cups of dressing (or enough to completely cover the chicken), seal the bag, and refrigerate for a half hour, or up to a full day.
  2. Prepare the grill and bring to medium heat. Place a large piece of tinfoil over half of the grill grate.
  3. Place the marinated chicken on the uncovered side of the grill, and cook for around 6-7 minutes (depending on size of chicken breast).
  4. While the chicken is on the grill combine the basil, mozzarella, tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of the remaining dressing. Stir until well combined.
  5. Turn the chicken over onto the tinfoil (grilled side up) and spoon the tomato mixture on the chicken breasts. Close the grill lid, and cook for another 8 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Enjoy! 

And as always, please feel free to share!

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Week 3 – Strawberries (Abby)

Oh my, this should have been posted weeks ago. Kari and I are quite behind on things at the moment, due to a few unexpected events. We took a couple of weeks off, and will probably have one more week without a recipe to share, but hopefully after that will be back at it.

Over two weeks ago (yikes) we had decided on strawberries for our weekly ingredient. I have such a long list of strawberry recipes that I have been wanting to try that it was difficult to choose. In the end I went with a strawberry lemonade cake.

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I had never made a cake from scratch before, so this was a bit of an adventure for me. And it didn’t start well. Watching Julie & Julia years ago, and reading My Berlin Kitchen this past winter taught me to expect disasters while I worked on new recipes, but I didn’t expect them so soon. While whisking the butter and sugar (just the first step of the cake) one of the wires on my wire whisk snapped. It shocked me, and needless to say  I was not happy. This was all happening at Scott’s house, so he and his roommates had to deal with my ranting about how much I hated this cake already, how awful it was that my wire whisk attachment broke, how there was no way the cake was going to turn out, and I even threatened to throw it all out and scrap the idea (I may have been a bit dramatic). I was not a happy person that night. I warned Scott that though it was the first time I got upset at a recipe, it probably would not be the last, and he luckily was very understanding of this (and kind of made fun of my mini-tantrum about the whisk, which managed to lightened my mood).

My poor broken whisk :(

My poor broken whisk 😦

I managed to keep going despite the broken whisk, and only ran into more (minor) problems. I don’t have a stand mixer, so I had to call in reinforcements for adding in the dry ingredients and buttermilk. It ended up alright, but was a pain and just added to my frustration that night. The batter ended up tasting delicious, so I had hope for the cake still. By the time the cakes were done baking I was frustrated and sick of being in the kitchen so I covered the cakes and decided to make the frosting the next night.

It ended up being two nights before I had time to make the frosting, which wasn’t the best situation. But, the frosting was simple, and probably the most delicious frosting I have ever tasted. Once I got that made I was able to throw together the cake, and we were finally able to enjoy a piece. By the time we were able to eat it I think the cake had dried out a bit. The cake seemed a bit dense to begin with, and the slight dryness didn’t help. It was still incredibly delicious though, and the lemon cake balanced perfectly with the strawberry buttercream. If I make it again (which Scott has said is a requirement) I may try to figure out how to lighten up the cake, and I will definitely put it all together on the same day.

Also, photography wise, photographing a whole cake is not very easy, or interesting (at least to me). And I was losing light fast, so I wasn’t able to grab many shots. And, I still haven’t figured out a good way to format my recipes. WordPress automatically changes things around and I can’t seem to figure out a way of fixing it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Recipe from Heather Christo’s Generous Table

Ingredients

Cake

·       1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temp

·       1 1/2 cups sugar

·       2 tbsp fresh lemon zest

·       2 1/2 cups AP flour

·       1 tsp baking powder

·       1 tsp baking soda

·       1/2 tsp salt

·       4 eggs

·       1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

·       1 cup buttermilk

Strawberry Buttercream

·       1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

·       5 cups powder sugar

·       2 tbsp whole milk

·       4 large strawberries, chopped

Instructions

Cake

1.    Heat oven to 350 and prepare two 9-inch round baking pans.

2.     In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, place the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Beat until light and fluffy.

3.     In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside.

4.     With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly in between. With the mixer still running, add the lemon juice. (batter will look curdled, but its not)

5.     Add one third of the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Mix, then stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Repeat, adding another third of the dry ingredients and the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk. Mix, then stop and scrape. Add the remaining third of the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined and the batter is light and fluffy.

6.     Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

7.     Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before removing from the pans.

Strawberry Buttercream

1.     Combine butter and powder sugar in a large bowl or standing mixer. Mix together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the milk and strawberries and mix on high speed until the frosting is very fluffy and pale pink in color, with flecks of strawberry.

Week 2 – Fresh Herbs (Kari)

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From Kari:  With all this rain, the oregano in my garden was starting to take over the world.  This recipe was easy and so delicious.  I added just a little basil from my garden to the oregano.

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I used the pesto with quinoa pasta and tomatoes.  While the pasta cooked, I sautéed some chopped tomatoes and added a little cream and a spoonful of the pesto.  Then, when the noodles were done and drained, I added a couple more spoonfuls of pesto to the noodles and mixed it all together–and ate it up!  I still have some leftover pesto to use…pesto pizza?  Any other pesto ideas?  Feed it to my cute chickens?

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Oregano Pesto

Ingredients
1 cup of fresh oregano
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup of almonds
1/3 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
Instructions
Combine the oregano, cheese, garlic, almonds and salt and pepper in a food processor, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Slowly stream in olive oil until the mixture become smooth.
The cute chickens :)

The cute chickens 🙂