Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Farmers' Market

Sorry for the lack of a post today!  I've been feeling under-the-weather and just haven't been up to writing and editing a post.  Instead I will give you this picture of the lovely produce I picked up at the Farmers' Market on Sunday.  We got red tomatoes, green tomatoes, plums of every colour, green beans, and strawberry raspberry jam.  The tomatoes were delicious! We made them into a tomato and corn pie, and the jam was divine.  We are still working on tasting all of the different types of plums.  What are your favourite things to pick up at the Farmers' Market??

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pomodoro Sauce

The end of summer is the perfect time to indulge in some homemade, from-scratch tomato sauce.  Tomatoes are at their peak, so I decided I needed to share this amazing Pomodoro recipe from my Auntie Franca with you.  Luckily, Smitten Kitchen had very extensive directions for tomato sauce, so I used those directions and Auntie Franca's recipe.  The recipe is very simple in order to highlight the tomatoes.

When my mom (K) was pregnant with me, she met Auntie Franca at knitting class.  They became fast friends and my parents were taken in by the "Italians," Auntie Franca's family.  At the time, she and her husband owned a fresh pasta shop and her parents owned an Italian market (the family now owns an amazing restaurant/market and wine store in Calgary).  Her parents immigrated to Canada from Italy, and they brought their amazing cooking skills and passion for food with them.  My parents, and later my sister and I, got to enjoy this food.  We used to go to their house and eat several courses over several hours - antipasto, meats, fish, pastas, salads, and lovely desserts.  Ever since, I've been completely spoiled when it comes to Italian food!

Pomodoro Sauce
Auntie Franca's Recipe, with directions from Smitten Kitchen

2 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes (or 4 cans Italian plum tomatoes (Look for ones that say authentic San Marzano) - 789ml)
200 ml olive oil
4 cloves garlic
5 ml oregano
5 ml black pepper
12 leaves of basil
15 ml salt
2 ml sugar (if you use canned tomatoes, to tame the acidity)

(Start here if you have fresh tomatoes): Bring a pot of water to boil and prepare an ice bath. Cut a small X at the bottom of each tomato. Blanche the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 to 30 seconds, then shock the tomatoes in the ice water bath. Peeling the tomatoes should be easy. If one gives you trouble, toss it back in the boiling water for another 10 seconds until the skin loosens up. Discard the skins.

If using Roma (plum) tomatoes, halve each lengthwise. If using beefsteak or another round variety, quarter them. Squeeze the seeds out over a strainer over a bowl and reserve the juices.

(Start here if you use canned tomatoes): In a stock pot, lightly sauté minced and crushed garlic in olive oil.

Add the tomatoes, spices, and basil.  As the sauce cooks, mash the tomatoes with a potato masher.  Turn the heat to medium-low so that the sauce gently simmers.  Reduce until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Peach Kuchen

peach kuchen recipe

I was on the hunt for a recipe for Peach Kuchen.  Once upon a time, I had this fabulous dessert and the baker called it a peach kuchen.  It was moist and had huge pieces of gorgeous, ripe peaches in it.  Unfortunately the internets were not kind to me in my search for a replica recipe.  Since I'm not much of a cake baker, I figured that I should use some sort of recipe, so I settled on this one.  I essentially did a Google image search and chose the one that looked the most similar to this elusive peach kuchen that I had eaten.

Well folks, the search continues.  While this recipe yielded a decent cake, and most of its problems were probably my fault (my oven is super hot, maybe I did overmix it, etc. etc.), I was not satisfied.  Of course, that lack of satisfaction didn't stop me from eating a piece of the cake for breakfast every day this week...oops. (Remember that "healthy" diet, you guys need to help me work on that one! Though I did do a good job of running this week, I swear!)  I'm definitely not saying this recipe isn't worth making, but I would highly encourage experimentation with this one, which I may do before the peaches are out of season.  It's a good cake, but not the kuchen of my dreams.

PS it was also a great excuse to use my new springform pan! As a new-ish cook, I didn't have one, but found a really nice one at HomeSense for super-cheap.  I also found the Jonathan Adler plate in the second pretty!!

Peach Kuchen
From Comfy Cuisine

2 lbs. ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (about 5)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

Boil water in a medium pot or using an electric kettle.  Pour enough boiling water over peaches in a large bowl to cover.  Let stand 1 minute to loosen skins; then drain, and plunge into cold water for a few seconds to prevent softening of fruit.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Sprinkle peaches with lemon juice to prevent darkening.  Slice into a bowl, toss to coat with lemon juice, and set aside.

Sift flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, using a fork, beat eggs with milk and lemon peel.  Add flour mixture and melted butter and mix with a fork until smooth - 1 minute - Do Not Overmix (I may have over-mixed mine, though I think I only mixed it for about 30 seconds).

Butter a 9-inch Springform plan, or 9-inch round layer cake pan (If a cake pan is used, Kuchen must be served from pan).  Turn batter into the pan; spread evenly over the bottom.  (At this point, kuchen may be refrigerated several hours, or until about 12 hours before baking.)

Drain peach slices, arrange on batter, around edge of pan; fill in center with peach slices. Combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well.  Sprinkle the peaches with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake 25 minutes.  Remove kuchen from oven.  With a fork, beat egg yolk with cream.  Pour over peaches.  Bake 10 minutes longer.  Cool 10 minutes on wire rack.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garden Potato Hash

A great weekend deserves a great Sunday morning brunch.  It may be Wednesday, but it is never too early to start thinking...dreaming... about the weekend!  We had a fantastic weekend last week.  We hung out with friends and we went to the Calypso Water Park.  According to the BF, Calypso is one of the best water parks in North America.  It was a lot of fun.  However, after going on the "Boomerang," everyone agreed that they had never seen someone with so much fear in their eyes as I had when we approached the drop-off.  We were free falling and I think I saw my life flash before my eyes.  But back to Sunday brunch when we made this delicious potato hash.  The beauty of the potato hash is that you can pretty much add any vegetable you want to it.  The night before we made our own pizzas.  I bought spicy Italian turkey sausage for my pizza and the potato hash was the perfect way to use the leftover links (it definitely cuts down the fat in this dish, turkey sausage has about 4 g fat per serving versus regular sausage with 10-15 g fat per serving!)  We will definitely be making this again soon!

Please make sure you check out Bloggers Without Borders and A Fund for Jennie! (The post below this has a button where you can donate directly).

Garden Potato Hash

5 red potatoes, cubed (1/2 inch)
1-1/2 yellow or red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 pieces
2 scallions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 links, spicy Italian turkey sausage
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 habanero pepper, minced and deseeded (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
10 basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400°F and brush a baking sheet with vegetable oil.  Mix together cubed potatoes, peppers, scallions, and garlic.  Sprinkle with thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and spread the mixture on to the oiled baking sheet.  Cook for 40 minutes.

While the potato mixture is cooking, cook the sausage on the stove top.  Remove the sausage from the casings and cook for about 5 minutes on medium high. Stir well so that the sausage breaks up into pieces.  When the sausage is almost finished cooking, add the mushrooms and habanero pepper (the pepper is optional, be extremely careful when handling it).  When the sausage is fully cooked, mix the sausage and mushrooms with the potatoes and peppers, directly on the baking sheet.  Return the sheet to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.

Remove the potato hash from the oven and add the tomatoes and basil to serve.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Italian White Bean Salad

We are working on "healthier" living around here.  So far, we've planned (though for some reason still haven't registered) to run a half marathon at the end of October.  I figure if I tell you guys about that, it will motivate me to actually register and run it haha! We are also trying to work towards eating lighter meals.  This white bean salad was a great start (though as I write this there is a cake heading for the oven, oops!).  The salad is packed with yummy vegetables and lots of protein.  A light vinaigrette dresses it up.  I loved this salad.  I took the leftovers for lunch, forgetting that I had plans to go for sushi with my colleagues.  So I ate the salad anyways... then went for sushi too.  So yummy that I had to eat it.

Italian White Bean Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans white kidney beans or cannellini beans
1 bunch asparagus
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (plus 1 tablespoon for chicken)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat some oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper the chicken.  Cook on both sides until cooked through. Slice the chicken.  If you like, take one tablespoon Dijon mustard and coat the chicken.  Return to the pan to cook for another minute if you add the mustard.

Prepare an ice water bath.  Snap the woody ends off of the asparagus. Put the asparagus into the top of a steamer pot.  Boil the water and steam the aspargus with the lid on for 3-5 minutes.  Remove the asparagus and immediately shock the asparagus in the ice water.  Drain and cut the asparagus into thirds.

Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, one tablespoon of Dijon mustard, garlic, and lemon juice.

Mix together asparagus, tomatoes, beans, and chicken.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dad's Salmon and Vacation Pictures

vermillion lakes

Our family (mom, dad, sister, and me) spent a wonderful vacation in the stunning Banff National Park.  We spent a few days each near Banff and Lake Louise.  We went hiking.  We got bit by mosquitoes.  Dad taught us girls how to fly fish (Mom helped, as she can fly fish too).  We played cards and dominoes.  Sister left early so we couldn't go hiking at Moraine Lake - we needed a group of 4 just in case we came upon a Grizzly Bear!! So, we went canoeing on the most beautiful lake that I've ever seen (see Moraine Lake below).  We saw family and friends in Calgary as well! It was a fabulous trip!

moraine lake

We also got to grill (well, Dad grilled), because we were camping!  We had our favourite sauce on wild Coho salmon.  It was delicious.  My dad made up this recipe a while ago, and pretty much every time we have salmon now, this is the way it gets prepared.  Sometimes he uses a cedar board, but it is delicious either way.  The sauce is so good that we always bring the rest of it to the table and spoon or brush more onto our salmon or our vegetables or pasta or rice or whatever else is on our plates.  You won't go back to preparing salmon any other way!

Dad's Salmon Glaze

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey mustard
1 clove of garlic, crushed

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat for 15 minutes over low.  Baste salmon steaks or fillets with the mixture as you barbeque.

Linked to Jane Deere's Fusion Fridays

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Potato and Arugula Salad

Before I left for vacation, we made this fantastic salad for dinner.  It was so creamy and tasty!  Luckily I had this recipe on hand, because the first dinner I made when I got back was seriously awful - a huge failure.  But, this potato and arugula salad was the complete opposite of a failure.  N and I gobbled the whole thing up!  This was another great find from one of the free magazines they give out at the LCBO here in Ontario (that's the liquor store!).  We made ours more of a salad than a potato salad, by adding a lot more arugula.  I also adapted the dressing so that it would be a Ranch dressing.  I had initially hoped to find some flank steak to go with the salad, but after going to 2 grocery stores, I gave up and settled on chicken.  On Thursday I will have a few pictures from my vacation and a recipe for the grill that we made while we were camping!  For now enjoy this yummy salad!

Roasted Potato and Arugula Salad
Adapted from Food and Drink Magazine

Ranch Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1.5 lbs red baby potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups arugula
1 avocado, cubed

Mash the minced garlic with salt in a bowl.  Whisk together mayonnaise and sour cream.  Add pepper, chives, and white vinegar.  You can add slightly more vinegar to thin the ranch dressing down a bit.  Chill the dressing in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Chop baby red potatoes into quarters.  Coat the potatoes with two tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes on 400°F.

Let the potatoes cool slightly, then add them to a large bowl with the tomatoes, avocado, and arugula.  Pour the Ranch dressing over the salad and mix well.  Serve with cooked and sliced chicken.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saskatoon Squares

 Hi there.  This is Wendy.  I am a friend of Kelsey & Kim and have been invited to share a recipe.  They recently dropped by while on their Alberta tour.  I live just north of Millarville in southern Alberta and enjoy our local saskatoons.  You can can substitute blueberries or other fruit but it's a great recipe for saskatoons.

4 cups saskatoons, fresh or frozen
1 lemon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar with 4 tsp cornstarch
Put berries in large pot.  Grate lemon peel onto berries.Squeeze juice of lemon into berries.  Cook until berries release some juice.  Add the sugar & cornstarch, cook until it starts to thicken.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg                    Beat these 3 ingredients
21/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt           Add to above mixture

Press 2/3 of this into ungreased 9x13 pan.  Spread berry filling over.  Top with rest of crumb mixture.  Bake @ 350 for 35-40 minutes.  Until nicely browned.

Serve with dollop of sweetened sour cream. (To 1 cup sour cream add 4 tbsp dark brown sugar & 1/2 tsp vanilla.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Crabcakes with Red Pepper Aioli

Crabcakes with Red Pepper Aioli Recipe

One of the highlights to summer is crabbing in the Admiral’s Inlet in the Pacific Northwest.  We have no problem getting Rock Crabs and occasionally we are of rewarded with the coveted Dungeness crabs.   This summer we did well and actually had leftover crabs after many crab feasts on the beach.  After what seemed like hours of picking the crab, I had several pounds of cooked crabmeat for the freezer.     Of course, I raided the stash already to make crab cakes appetizer for a family celebration of the Leo birthdays.  I choose Paula Deen’s Crab Cakes recipe as I saw her on food show preparing these and they looked yummy.   To top the crab cakes, I made a simple Roasted Red Pepper Aioli (sorry bloggers, I can not remember whose site I grabbed this from……must be my advancing age)!

Crabcakes with Red Pepper Aioli
Crabcakes from Paula Deen

1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells
1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
3 green onions (green and white parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and butter. Shape into patties and dust with flour.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is hot and melted, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with red pepper aioli. (Note on this recipe, the mixture was a little moist and I had to add more flour on outside to flip them.  You could add additional crushed crackers to compensate for this.

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

2 cloves of garlic (I use one large and one small)
3 mini red bell peppers, roasted, seeded and chopped finely
1/3-cup light mayonnaise
4 TBSP.  Olive oil, divided

Toss the whole mini peppers in 2 TBSP of Olive oil.  Roast the mini bell peppers in the oven on 425 F for 15 minutes,  tossing occasionally to brown on all side.  Cool until you can handle them easily then seed and chop them finely.

In a food processor, puree the garlic and peppers just enough so smooth but not watery.  Add the mayonnaise and blend until creamy.  Add last 2 TBSP of olive oil slowly when blending on low.

( In my opinion the garlic flavor was very intense and less could be use.  The aioli had a spicy, smoky flavor and did compliment the crab cakes nicely!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Curry Chicken Salad on a Cantaloupe Ring

During this year's River Babes get-away, we were honoring one of the Babes with a surprise Hawaiian themed celebration.  The evening chefs, Sue and Lynn, decided to plan their menu around the theme and provided a scrumptious Curry Chicken Salad on a Cantaloupe Ring with Blue Hawaiian cocktails to set the mood.  They truly set the mood for a wonderful, fun evening and sure went one step above our normal preparations. Our group of twelve loved both the cocktails and the Curry Chicken Salad.  Hope you enjoy them also!

Curry Chicken Salad on a Cantaloupe Ring
Recipe was a combination of two recipes from RB Gaye and RB Lynn

2 1/2 cup of chicken, roasted and shredded  (Costco's Roasted Chickens
to make the step easy)
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup pineapple tidbits
1 cup halved grapes

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chutney
1/2 tsp. curry powder

toasted sliced almonds
Chinese noodles
little umbrellas because "Life is too short not to have little umbrellas"

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Chill while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Mix together the chicken, fruit, water chestnuts, and celery.  Pour the dressing over the ingredients and stir well.  Serve on top of a cantaloupe ring, garnish with Chinese noodles, almonds, and an umbrella.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata and The Best Bacon

roasted red pepper mushroom and spinach fritatta recipe with the best bacon

Hi this is Kim, Kelsey’s mom and the second K, back to give some relief to Kelsey as she travels to Banff to go camping with us.   I actually will have several posts this week as I have gathered a few recipes from some recent vacations of my own.

Each summer for the last 15 years, the River Babes, an amazing group of moms/friends, gather for 5 days of relaxation, fellowship, play, and eating.  I love being a part of this group and the trip is always a highlight to the summer.  One thing that is certain, we eat well.  The following recipes for Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata and the Best Bacon were prepared by Chef Janice and her Sous Chef Melissa.  There was a unanimous vote of the Babes that both recipes are keepers and elegant enough for a special brunch.   Chef Janice could not remember if the original credit for the recipes goes to Seattle or Portland Junior League.     

Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata
From Seattle Junior League Cookbook

2 tsp. olive oil
½ cup chopped red onion
1½ cup assorted sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
½ small bunch spinach, rinsed, dried and tough stems removed
¼ cup plus 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil, divided
Salt and pepper
6 eggs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
¾ cup chopped tomatoes, drained

Heat the oil in a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until tender and aromatic, about 8 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in the chopped red pepper, followed by the balsamic vinegar, stirring to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the vinegar has evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Add the spinach and stir until fully wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in ¼ cup of the basil with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper until well blended.  Pour the eggs over the hot vegetables in the skillet and gently stir for a few seconds to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook without further stirring until the eggs set on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes.  Preheat the broiler.

Sprinkle the feta cheese over the frittata and broil until the cheese melts and begins to brown, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Take the skillet from the oven, sprinkle with the tomatoes and remaining 2 TSBP of basil, cut into wedges, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

The Best Bacon
From the Seattle Junior League rr Portland Junior League Cookbook

2 TBSP packed light brown sugar
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
1-pound thick-sliced bacon

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Set a wire cooling rack or other slotted rack on top of the foil-lined pan.

Stir together the brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper in a small bowl until well blended.  Lay the bacon strips in a single layer on the rack.  (Use 2 pans if all the bacon will not fit in a single layer.)  Sprinkle the bacon with the brown sugar mixture.  Bake until the browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the bacon immediately to individual plates and serve warm.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Zucchini and Carrot Ribbon Pasta

It's been a busy week and last weekend was fairly expensive, with the trip to Philadelphia and New York.  So, as I was walking home from work thinking about what to make for dinner, my priorities were: easy, cheap, and delicious.  I knew that I had some left over fettuccine from the Creamy Tomato and Spinach Fettuccine last week.  I also knew that I had a very large bag of carrots left from when I made the Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and I needed to figure out a way to use the carrots and not turn into a rabbit.  So I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some zucchini, lemon, and ricotta.  I made this pasta, it's a lovely way to use carrots and to highlight summer zucchini.  The ricotta adds some creaminess and the lemon adds some brightness to the dish.  If I had kids, I think this would be a great way to get them to eat their vegetables.  It was definitely a sneak attack of veggie goodness.

I have to admit that I had hoped to share a S'mores Ice Cream cake with you today, but in adapting my usual ice cream cake recipe (which is a cinch), I couldn't quite get the marshmallow layer right.  It basically just slides right off the ice cream and you have a sticky sheet of marshmallow left.  So I'll try again another day, when I actually have a reason to make ice cream cake.  This time, I was just in the mood for s'mores, because I'm going camping with my family next week.  It looks like I will have to stick to the traditional kind in order to get my fix.

Linked up to Jane Deere's Fusion Fridays!

Zucchini and Carrot Ribbon Pasta

200 g Fettuccine
2 zucchini, peeled into long ribbons
3 carrots, peeled into long ribbons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

Boil water and cook the pasta.  Mix together two tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and let it sit while you cook the rest of the meal.  Mix the ricotta cheese with salt and pepper in a separate bowl and set aside.

Briefly sauté peeled carrots and zucchini with a tablespoon of olive oil, just until the vegetables soften a little bit.  Put the cooked vegetables in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta and add it too the vegetables.  Pour the lemon-olive oil over the pasta and vegetables; stir gently.  Add the ricotta cheese and stir again.  Serve the pasta topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

For your edification, this is the S'mores Ice Cream Cake.  It looks pretty and tastes good, but we will keep working on this one!

Picnic Basket Giveaway Winner!!

Congratulations to Morgan for winning the picnic basket giveaway!  The random number generator picked you!  That Mexican Bean Salad sounds delicious, I'd probably want to take it on a picnic too.  Thank you to everyone else who entered, I'd be happy to go on a picnic with any of you!  We really appreciate all of our readers and you are what makes blogging the most fun (though tasting the food is a close second)!

Please contact me (Kelsey) at KandKTestKitchen {at} gmail {dot} com, so we can arrange to get the picnic basket to you!  Ideally, we can get it in the mail asap, so that you can enjoy a picnic with it soon :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Carrot Slaw Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Carrot Slaw Recipe

Some days, I just crave Buffalo chicken wings.  Crispy, spicy, greasy chicken wings.  Luckily, real chicken wings are too much work for a week night, otherwise you'd have to roll me away from the table.  This Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is my way of making Buffalo Wings suitable for a week night.  The carrot slaw replaces the carrot and celery sticks that are normally served with wings and brings a cooling factor to the spicy chicken.  N was skeptical of the carrot slaw and initially only put his on the side, but I finally convinced him to slap some on top and I think he was pleasantly surprised.  These sandwiches definitely satisfied my Buffalo Wing craving!

Don't forget to enter the picnic basket giveaway!! You have until Thursday at 11:59 pm EST.  Please share the link with your friends, because if they win they can take you on a picnic :)

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Carrot Slaw

2 chicken breasts (pounded out a little)
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (use your judgment on how spicy you want it to be)
Crumbled blue cheese
Whole wheat buns

Carrot Slaw
2 cups shredded carrots (2 large or 3 medium carrots)
1 cup chopped celery (2-3 stalks)
4 tablespoons Ranch dressing
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Mix the carrots, celery, Ranch, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.  Chill while you cook the chicken.

Set up three dishes, a plate with flour, a bowl with a slightly beaten egg, and a plate of breadcrumbs.  Dredge the chicken in the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the chicken until browned on both sides.   Depending on the thickness of the pieces of chicken, cook 5-8 minutes per side.  When the chicken is cooked, slice it up and pour the Frank's Red Hot Sauce over top.  Place the chicken on a toasted whole wheat bun.  Top with some crumbled blue cheese and carrot slaw.

This served 2 of us, with some chicken and slaw left for me to take to lunch.  It took about 25 minutes total.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Picnic Basket Giveaway! (Closed)

picnic basket giveaway

This weekend I got to go on a picnic with my sister and my boyfriend in Central Park in New York City.  We stopped in New York to visit friends after my cousin's amazing wedding, and each of us picked an activity we wanted to do while we were there.  N requested a picnic in Central Park.  So we stopped at a grocery store on the Upper West Side, picked up cheeses, dried salami, a baguette, some fruit, and a prepared salad and parked ourselves on a rock in the middle of the park.  It was lovely! 

Since we still have a good chunk of summer left and plenty of weekends to have picnics, I thought I'd share with you my new favourite thing - a pretty and functional Vivid Allon picnic basket.  We took ours with us on the long drive down to Philadelphia and New York.  We packed it with snacks for the ride and then took it along on our NYC picnic. It folds up nicely to store or could potentially even fit in a suitcase.  The basket is more functional than some picnic baskets, in that it can be used for going to the farmers' market or grocery store.  You'll have to pack your own plates and utensils if you are going on a picnic though.  The basket we are giving away is the Blue Floral Print (brown with blue flowers), not the one in the picture above.  Please share the giveaway with your friends!  Thank you!

To Enter to Win: Leave a comment below with your favourite summer picnic food. (You can sign-in or just click Name or URL from the drop-down list in order to leave a comment.)

- One comment per person.
- You can earn an extra entry by leaving a separate comment that you like K&K Test Kitchen on Facebook. 
- If we reach 100 Facebook friends, we will give away a second basket!!
- Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (EST) on Thursday, August 4th.
- One winner will be selected by a random number generator and announced on Friday.

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