Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Baked Artichoke Chicken
1 (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, cut
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, diced (I used the pre-diced garlic in a jar and used about a tablespoon)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
3. Place chicken in pan and sprinkle with pepper (I didn't use salt because chicken already usually has enough salt)
4. Mix artichoke hearts, cheese, garlic, and mayo together in a separate dish.
5. Pour mixture over chicken and spread to cover.
6. Bake for 35 minutes.
Serve with a nice salad on the side and some crusty bread!
The Skinny: Serves 4 @ 302 calories
Friday, June 24, 2011
This week's wine is:
Region: Viborg, South Dakota
This week was the first official week of summer! I celebrated with some nice pear wine! For some reason, pear beer and wine really always have just screamed summer to me. I picked up this bottle, not really realizing that it's a local wine, and was pleasantly surprised! I am not usually a sweet wine fan, but this pear wine was a nice change to the norm. First off, it has a nice lively nose on the wine, with floral* and fruity notes. They sure didn't skimp on the pears when making this wine, but it finishes with a nice buttery flavor. Be prepared though, when drinking this wine, it is sweet!
Would I buy it again? Yes. I think it's a great sweet summer wine. Serve it chilled on a hot day and it's quite refreshing! It also would be a wonderful addition to any wine and cheese party. Of course, it's a little pricey, but that is what you get when you buy things local. I am usually willing to pay the higher price to help out a fellow neighbor. Also, if you are a plum wine fan (Scott and Rob), you would love this wine!
Pairs Well With: Brie, light seafood, and personally I found goat cheese.
"Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy."
– Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), the Scottish bacteriologist credited with discovering Penicillin in 1928
*Floral- Suggests the aroma or taste, usually aroma, of flowers in wine. "Floral" usually employed as an adjective without modifier to describe attributes of white wine aromas. Few red wines have floral aromas.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Keep in mind, this whole bathroom is pretty bad. Brown tub, toilet, wallpaper, lighting...I mean they must have really loved brown. It looks like a dark cave, but none the less, I hate shower doors and need them gone. They weigh about 30 pounds each door and always are going off track. Also, have you ever tried to bath an infant with shower doors?? Totally impossible! Last night was bath night for my little guy, so it was time to get those doors off before he went to bed.
Here is the bathroom before:
Now I should start out by saying you need a few things to remove the doors: screw driver, bathtub caulking, rubbing alcohol, and maybe a blow dryer and scraper depending on how your doors are installed. Also, MOST importantly SAFETY GLASSES! I learned this the hard way, but first I should back up and tell you a story.
A few weeks ago, Thrifty Decor Chic had written a blog about a redo project gone wrong. She was attempting to paint her french door black and the project ended up with shattered glass everywhere. I remember reading that and thinking how horrible that must have been for her! Well, last night I had the same experience, with shower doors. This is why the importance is placed on safely glasses!
The first step to remove shower doors is to remove the shower doors from the track. They usually have some wheels on them and a little slot in the track where you can slide the wheels through it to unlodge the door. Be very careful while doing this. In my house in Omaha, I removed the shower doors and when I did it I pulled and pried and ripped the shower doors off the track no problem! In this house, probably because the doors are so old, I barely moved one and it shattered everywhere! I ended up with a mess like this:
I am just super thankful I moved my kiddo two minutes prior to this happening. He was in the sink part of the bathroom, barely divided by a doorway, playing on the floor. I at least had the forethought that the door could break and it would be a good idea to get him out of the way. I DIDN'T have safety glasses on (or shoes for that matter) and I am so surprised I didn't end up with some glass in my eyes! Anyways, I always thought that shower doors were made with some sort of plexi glass or something shatterproof. Well, not in 1978, maybe the new ones are, but it makes you think twice about shower doors. Imagine slipping in the shower and hitting these doors and having them shatter on you! Well, anyways, everyone ended up OK in the situation. My little guy heard the bang of the door braking and was quite upset by the sound and I had a few cuts on my hands and feet. Other than the hour it took to clean up the dust like glass, we were all fine.
Anyways, back to the shower door removal....Once you remove the doors from the track, remove the hardware holding them in place. Usually it is just screwed in, so pretty simple. The house in Omaha had the doors tract caulked to the tub as well. If yours are, just use a blow dryer to heat up the caulking till you can remove the hardware. Then in combination of blow dryer and scraping with a putty knife, remove the caulking. It's not fun and takes some time, but you will eventually get it all off. After the hardware is removed, you will be left with holes in your tub that look like this. You will need to fill the holes with some bath caulking. This will prevent ruining your tub with mold and mildew. If you have a white tub, like most normal people do, I would use white caulking. This tub is this awesome brown color and because they don't make bath caulking in brown, I opted with clear. Fill the holes with caulking.Dip your finger in rubbing alcohol (this is a trick I learned from my mom!) and smooth out the caulking. The alcohol helps so that the caulking doesn't stick to your finger and it smooths out the caulking nicely. (This also works great for caulking around a tub and counter tops.)
Finally, hang your shower curtain and rod. I chose this plain Jane white shower curtain to help brighten up the room. The bathroom may still look pretty bad, you know brown tub and toilet and the AWESOME wood toilet seat, but at least I don't have to look at those disgusting shower doors anymore!!Happy showering!!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I chose to bake the bacon, it will end up crispy, chewy and overall really delicious! First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay thick sliced bacon out on a lined cookie sheet. Try not to make the pieces touch. Put the bacon in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.Next, take a somewhat dry loaf of french bread and slice it up. I do not use the ends of the french toast, so I cut those off. I cut my slices about 3 inches thick. Then I cut out a pocket in each slice so I can stuff it with the cream cheese mixture.In a bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 8 ounces of cream cheese until smooth.Stuff the cream cheese mixture into the pockets cut out of the bread.
In a shallow baking dish, make your french toast batter. Everyone's is different, mine is pretty basic: 2 cups of milk, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Use a fork to whip it all together.
Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in your skillet. Get it hot! You want your french toast to brown nicely.
Dip your french toast in the batter on both sides and place in your skillet. Do not turn over till you get a nice crust on the bread. This is very important. The heat will warm up the cream cheese and prevent you from ending up with soggy french toast.
While your french toast is cooking, slice up some fruit. I went with raspberries and strawberries.
After 15 minutes of the bacon is cooking, I pulled out the bacon and covered half of it with maple syrup. I thought it would be nice to have two different kinds of bacon. Let it cook for a few more minutes until it looks done and crispy.
Next, assemble it all together. (If you aren't quite ready to eat it, you can place the french toast in the oven on a cookie sheet to keep warm.)
Happy Father's Day!!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
This week's wine is:
Region: Mendoza, Argentina
I know, another Malbec right?? Well, this one has been sitting on my shelf for a while and after my two week hiatus of not writing any Uncorked, I went for a my default wine...a red one :) Normally I love me some cab, but today I thought I would choose something slightly different so I reached for this Malbec. I know I just reviewed a Malbec, but I just couldn't help myself. Tonight's dinner was pizza and I thought the spiciness of this wine would go great with our dinner. One thing I noticed right away with this wine is that I couldn't smell the nose of the wine. Maybe it's my allergies kicking in, but I was expecting the worst from this wine. Usually, no nose usually means no flavor, however I was pleasantly surprised by this wine. The taste is fruity yet spicy and there is something almost smoky* about the wine. It really went well with the pizza we ate tonight.
Would I buy it again? For sure! With the price of $9, I thought it was a pretty good little wine. I know I can't smell the nose, which really is most likely my allergies, but I was really overall impressed by the wine. The last Malbec I reviewed had to breath for 30 minutes before it was great to drink. This one was great just out of the bottle, with no wait! With the busy moving/cleaning/parenting going on in my life, being able just to sit down and enjoy a nice glass of wine with some pizza (delivered of course) is such a nice treat to start my weekend. And yes, it's Thursday night and the start of my weekend...No, I am not bragging, because my weekend will be moving the big stuff and unpacking :(
Pairs Well With: Smoky meats, sausages, BBQ, (and pizza!)
"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."
– Benjamin Franklin
*Smoky- Some wines, either because of the soil or because of the barrels used to age the wine, have a distinctive smoky character.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 cups coarsely chopped green onions
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add edamame, red pepper, and garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup water, basil, chickpeas, and tomatoes; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in onions and feta; toss well.
The Skinny: Serves 5 @ 454 calories. (Really I thought it served enough for 6-7 though)
Monday, June 13, 2011
I thought I would share some recent photos of my outdoor adventure while on a recent trip to the Black Hills. Enjoy...
Our view of the Black Hills
The lone pine cone Richard's Alumroot
I just loved the color of the rust on the tree bark
Purple wildflower that reminds me of a butterfly
The remains of a dandelion
A white wildflower
The beginnings of pine cones on a spruce tree
Wild Blue Flax
Yellow Goats Beard
Poison Ivy we got into (luckily no reactions)
And a perfect double rainbow to end our day.