Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicken Parmigiana Rolls

Michael & I are big chicken parmesan fans, it's a regular on our menu. But when I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. It's just a twist on the original chicken parm. I got this recipe from Joelen at Joelen's Culinary Adventures - thanks for the recipe!!

Chicken Parmigiana Rolls (copied right from Joelen, with my changes in red)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied (I didn't butterfly mine, I just pounded them out)
1 cup pasta sauce
4 basil leaves (I used dried basil)
2 slices of mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup flour
1 egg, scrambled
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon italian seasoning (I used italian seasoned bread crumbs instead)
salt & pepper to taste
Open up the butterflied chicken breasts and cut in 2 equal pieces. With a meat pallet, pound each piece of chicken flat to form a paillard. On each piece of chicken, spread a tablespoon of pasta sauce. Top sauce with a 1/2 slice of mozzarella cheese, sprinkle of parmesan cheese and 1 basil leaf. Carefully take one side of the chicken and begin rolling it into a chicken roll. Secure chicken roll with a toothpick to stay intact. Dredge chicken roll in flour. Dip chicken roll in the scrambled egg. Combine the italian season, salt, pepper and panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Coat the chicken roll with the seasoned breadcrumbs. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Place on a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.You can choose to top the chicken rolls with sauce and cheese if you'd like.

TWD: Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

This week, Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity chose Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream. (Click on her page to see the recipe) I was soo excited because I have been wanting to make my own ice cream for a long time. I'm an ice cream fanatic... my nights just don't feel right if I don't end them with a scoop... *maybe that explains why I've packed on the pounds ;) * Anyway, I've had my mom's Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment sitting in my freezer cooling down for weeks - just waiting for the perfect opportunity to make ice cream. Well, this was it. And on a hot August day - who doesn't want blueberry ice cream?

Well, I'm sorry to say this, but I flat out hated this ice cream. My first attempt resulted in a blender catastophe - I had blueberry mess *all* over my counters. Then, once I finally got it whipped up a second time and tasted it - I thought it was awful. Honestly, all I could taste was the sour cream. I even added lots of extra sugar, and that didn't help. What a bummer. But be sure to head over to Tuesdays with Dorie to see how everyone else made out!
I'll be in the Outer Banks next week on vacation, but I'm still going to try to make the next recipe: Granola Grabbers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Summer WC Gift Exchange

Imagine my excitement when I came home to a *huge* box with my name on it!! Inside the box, was the gift I received for this summers What's Cooking Gift Exchange! Thanks so much to PaulandShawna - she sent me an awesome package!

Inside the package was all sorts of cupcake decorating supplies! I got a cupcake pan with a lid, 2 cupcake liners, 2 different sprinkles and a 12-piece cupcake decorating set with decorating bags and tips. I was so excited, I went ahead and made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting! I didn't take pics because they were just Betty Crocker box mix - but they looked awesome thanks to Shawna!

Thanks girl, I love it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back in the TWD groove of things: Black & White Banana Cake

I've decided to rejoin the baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie. I hadn't done it in several months, but I'm back! This week, Ashlee from A Year in the Kitchen chose Black & White Banana Cake. Lots of the TWD bakers said it was runny, but mine looked great. I did omit the dark rum though, and instead of bittersweet chocolate, I used semi-sweet. I prefer the slighty sweeter taste. Overall, I enjoy this cake. It's great with a hot cup of tea! Head over to Ashlee's blog to check out the recipe!

Lettuce Wrap Chicken Satay

I've finally made the lettuce wrap chicken satay again. Enjoy the pic, and check out the recipe, here.

I'm also submitting this to Joelen's blogging event: Asian Appetizers. Thanks so much Joelen, for hosting all these amazing blogging events and allowing us so stretch our culinary imaginations!

August Tasty Tools: Whisk!

For the month of August, the Tasty Tools event (hosted by Joelen) is the WHISK. I use whisks *all* the time. In this instance, I was whisking flour, baking powder and salt, for a cake I'll be posting about in a bit.
Thanks for hosting, Joelen!

TCHO Chocolate Blondies

Here are the promised blondies that I made with the TCHO chocolates that I blogged about earlier. Well, I found the recipe at The Foodie Fashionista, and they look amazing! Well, I managed to mess up the recipe, but they still turned out really well.
Chocolate-chip Cookie Bars
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp) butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (whoops, I used 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda (whoops, I used 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (this is where I used the chopped up TCHO chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8x8 baking pan (I used 9x9) with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, beat the egg and vanilla. Slowly pour in the butter and sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Mix in flour, baking powder and baking soda. Spread batter in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Yields 9 bars.

These bars are really good! I highly recommend them. I'll probably try them again, using the correct amounts of baking powder and soda. oops!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Best Cake Ever

A few weekends ago, Mike decided he wanted a few buddies over for some hamburgers & hotdogs. We also found out at the last minute that it was his good friend Justin's birthday. I didn't have time to make a cake, but I knew right where to buy one.

In Central VA we have a grocery store called Ukrops. Their bakery is simply amazing - but the best part is definitely the cakes. This cake is whipped icing atop a white cake. And just because Justin (birthday boy) is a goof-ball, we got him a cake with pink flowers!

Here is Justin, showing off his cake. Happy 22nd birthday!

Restaurant Review: Capital Ale House

I've decided to start blogging about the places we go to eat, along with the food I make at home. The first restaurant I'll review is the Capital Ale House. This restaurant's claim to fame is its extensive beer list - the beer menu looks like a magazine. I bet there are thousands of beers to pick from (I'm talking 80 just on tap at the location we went to). Well, I don't drink - but I was all over their amazing food. This was Mike & I's first trip - we went with my parents.


This is the best homemade pretzel ever - it was obviously a LOT larger than this, but we all dug in so fast I almost forgot to snag a picture! The dip in the blue dish is a wonderful homemade mustard dip. It's grainy, flavorful and amazing.


My meal came with a salad, and I chose the caesar. I'm generally very picky with my caesar dressings - to me they are usually too overpowering. This one was not that at all. It was light and delicious. I'd definitly get this again.

Main Course

This is one of the best pasta dishes I have ever gotten. This is how the menu describes it "Tender chicken breast meat pan seared, finished in a creamy pesto sauce and served over Linguini pasta."

Really, that doesn't do it justice. It's so flavorful and light - not overwhelming at all. And the chicken was so moist and delicious. I highly recommend this dish.


I didn't get a picture of dessert because well, I ate it too fast. It was great. It is called the Brownie Rockslide. The bottom is a moist and delicious brownie, topped with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with white chocolate ganache and caramel. *wow* yumm!

And my lovely parents... doesn't it look like they had a good time??


Atmosphere: A: we sat outside and it was lovely!
Staff/Service: B: It took a while for our waitress to even acknowledge us, but once she did the service got much better
Food: A+: Really, just awesome food - come hungry!

Capital Ale House
Midlothian Village, just east of 288

TCHO Chocolates

Well, being a food blogger sure has it's perks! I came home from a business trip to a package! I love getting packages - but this package was better than most. It contained chocolate. As you may remember, I got some TCHO chocolates in the mail a few months ago because I frequent the Blake Makes website (where he does regular give-aways). Since I got that first package, TCHO has put out a new chocolate - fruity. I immediately had to try the fruity, and compare it to the "chocolate" one that also came in the package. The fruity is very very rich, almost too rich for me. But I adored the subtle undertones of berry in the background. It was surprising in a piece of chocolate, but most welcome. After trying "fruity" we tried "chocolate" - this is my favorite. It's such a smooth, refined, intense chocolate flavor. One square does the trick for my chocolate craving.

Overall, I *love* TCHO chocolate. My father-in-law is currently tiling my florida room, so as a thank you - I'll be making chocolate chip blondies tonight with this chocolate. I'll post later about how it turns out!