Thursday, March 24, 2016

Three Things Thursday; vol. one

In case you haven't noticed, I have been having a little trouble with updating this blog. I could make the usual excuses, but you have heard them all before. (...and probably don't care. You came here for a recipe, right? Well hold on, it will be up sooner than you expected.)

In an attempt to revive my neglected ramblings with some current info, I am going to implement a new feature: Three Things Thursday. On random Thursdays, I plan to simply list three things. Two of the things may or may not be food related; they may be things I love; they may be things I hate, or at least intensely dislike; maybe I will talk about something I want to know more about or understand better. There are no rules, except that the third thing will be a recipe. Maybe it will tie in with the other two things, maybe it won't. I want to keep it simple. I hope it will jump start real blogging for me (but, no promises).

So, here goes with my first Three Things:

1. Herbs on the window sill. It is that time of year when a few nice days cause me to break out the flip flops and get the itch to garden. Then, a Spring snow storm hits along with the reality of the season. Herbs on the window sill are the best remedy for me (and locally available at Solar Barn Greenhouse).

2. BeautiControl Ultra Care+ Daily Complexion Refiner, I have finally outgrown the oily skin of my youth, but it has unfortunately been replaced by a few dry flakes. This cleanser makes a difference for me. A big difference. It isn't too drying, and doesn't leave my face feeling greasy. I tend to alternate it with another basic gentle cleanser and use every other day for my best face forward. (If you want to get to know a BeautiControl consultant, drop me a comment. I know a guy that knows a guy that knows a guy. Or, something like that. Disclaimer: I don't sell it myself and receive no kickbacks whatsoever for mentioning it in this list.)

3. Chicken with Mushrooms and Marsala. Chicken with a pan gravy that is perfect over mashed potatoes. These days, I tend to prep my chicken breasts as cutlets or paillards. The chicken breast is placed on the cutting board and held flat with one hand while a sharp knife slices horizontally the length of the breast. Two portions are formed with relatively uniform thickness. They cook quickly without drying out and provide a reasonable serving size.

Chicken with Mushrooms and Marsala
(adapted from Cooking Light)

2 boneless-skinless chicken breast halves, sliced lengthwise into cutlets
4 teaspoons flour, divided
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup dry Marasala wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh basil leaves

Season 3 teaspoons flour with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture.
Heat a large skillet and coat with olive oil. Add chicken; cook 2-3 minutes on each side, or until done (don't overcook; these are thin pieces of chicken). Remove from pan; cover and keep warm.
Add a little additional oil to the pan. Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender, but not yet translucent. Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and oregano. Saute until mushrooms have released moisture and are tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour and stir. Cook just a minute to remove the raw flour flavor.
Stir in wine and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add the chicken and tomatoes to the pan sauce. Simmer 2 minutes until chicken is heated through (turning chicken once).
Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes and garnish with fresh basil. (Serves 4).

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