“There’s nothing more romantic than Italian food.” ~ Elisha Cuthbert

One of our favorite dishes we had on our honeymoon trip to Italy was Saltimbocca.  Saltimbocca means “jump in your mouth” and that it does! I knew it would be a meal that I must try back at home and I finally got around to it.

Saltimbocca is a very popular Italian dish that is traditionally made with veal but can be made with chicken (which is what I had on hand).

Chicken Saltimbocca

4 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 8 thin strips
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Place 3 sage leaves on each cutlet.

top with sage

Wrap 2 prosciutto slices around each cutlet, securing sage leaves in place.

wrap with prosciutto

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Combine broth, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.

Place chicken on bed of fettuccine and top with sauce.

Chicken Saltimbocca

Love, love, love this dish! It’s simple too!

abp

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“Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” ~ Edward Abbey

Even though it is unseasonably warm here for January (right around 70º – which I love by the way) I still have a hankering for a nice warm beef stew.

I know I have made beef stew at some point in my life but I don’t remember how I made it nor do I have a go to recipe for it but after some Pinterest surfing I came across one on the blog Joyously Domestic. It seemed to have all the flavors I liked and it was one that could be cooked in just a couple hours instead of all day. This worked out perfect, since I knew I would not make it to the grocery store until mid-afternoon because of an eye doctor appointment earlier in the day.

BTW – the peepers were in good shape and I have a new pair of very cute glasses on the way. I’ll post a pic when they come in. Maybe now I will not be squinting quite as much!

Ok – on to the stew.

Homemade Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 – 4 cups beef stock/broth (or water with a few beef bouillon cubes)
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 – 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Crazy Jane’s Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves or allspice
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • Handful of frozen peas (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (if needed to thicken “gravy”)

Season meat with salt and pepper then sear meat in hot oil on all sides in a dutch oven.

sear meat

Add 3 cups of beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, crazy jane’s, garlic, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and cloves. Simmer on low for 1.5 hours.

add broth

Check seasoning. Now add in carrots, celery, potatoes and peas. If it seems to need more liquid – add more beef stock.

add veggies

Cook for 30 more minutes or until vegetables are softened. 15 minutes in make a slurry with your cornstarch and a little left over stock and add to stew.

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Make a pan of cornbread and you are all set!!

Homemade Beef Stew

Homemade Beef Stew*note: the celery was still a little too crunchy for me so I would cook them with the meat and onions from the beginning.

Happy Monday Y’all!

abp

“Who do you think would win in a fight between a grilled cheese sandwich and a taco?” ~ Andy Samberg

I love Mexican food and I really like making tacos at home – you know, the kind in the cardboard box. Old El Paso, Taco Bell……I usually buy which ever one is “buy one, get one free” at Publix. They do that quite often so I had started to build up a collection in the pantry and I knew I needed to be making tacos soon.

A few days ago, I saw where Lindsay from normalcooking.com had made Oven Tacos and I thought that would be a great way to change up my normal tacos from a box.

So that’s what I did!

Oven Tacos

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1/2 small can diced green chilies
  • 3/4 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) can low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) can fat free refried beans
  • 1 cup mexican blend cheese
  • 10-12 hard taco shells
  • your favorite taco toppings

Preheat oven to 400°.

Brown meat and onions, drain.

brown meat

Add chilies, seasoning, tomato sauce and beans to meat mixture. Cook until moisture is absorbed. (I accidentally dumped the whole can of tomato sauce and started to stir before I remembered it was suppose to be only half – I scooped some of it back out so mine is a little more tomato-y than it should be. oops.)

mix

Spoon mixture into shells, top with cheese and place (standing up) in a baking dish. (Lindsay commented the shells with the flat bottoms would be great – and they would – but I didn’t have those).

stuff shellstop with cheese

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tacos are heated through.

Bake

Top with your favorite taco toppings.

baked tacosbaked tacos

There you have it – a new swing to an old favorite!

abp

“Going to the gym wouldn’t be on my list of favorite things to do.” ~ Kate Moss

After lots of eating out, take out and a few crockpot dinners I decided I might put a little more effort into tonight’s dinner. But not too much, I don’t want to over exert myself considering I already went to the gym today. 😉

Tell me – will it ever not be a chore to go to the gym???

I’m thinking no.

I just don’t get all those people who love working out.

It’s weird. (no offense to my working out friends)

I wish I were weird.

Sorry – back to dinner. So tonight I’m making Baked Shrimp Scampi. Nice and simple.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I used dry because it’s what I had)
  • 1.5 – 2 pounds raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

Preheat oven to 450º.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. When the butter melts completely, remove from heat.

melt

Arrange shrimp in a shallow baking dish. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp. Stir to coat.

arrange shrimpstir to coat

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

bake

Serve over angel hair pasta. Top with parsley and squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

serve with angel hair pasta

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Like I said. Nice and easy. Not to mention quite tasty! I very much enjoyed this meal! To make it even better we finished dinner off with an old fashioned Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry Shortcake Nothing beats a childhood favorite!

abp

“If I can’t have too many truffles, I’ll do without truffles.” ~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

A few days ago I had some time left over on a cold rainy day after throwing together a super simple crock pot meal (Honey Sauced Chicken) so I decided I would mix up a batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles.

FYI – all the bowl and spoon licking that occurred during this process totally cancelled out my first trip to the gym this year, the one I had been so proud of mere minutes earlier. (Let this be a warning to you.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles (adapted from Bakerella)

  • 10 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon confectioners sugar
  • Toppings of your choice to roll the truffles in (i.e. – chopped peanuts, confectioner sugar, cocoa)

Start by creaming the cream cheese in the mixture.

cream cream cheese

In the mean time, melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl in 30 second intervals in the microwave.

8 oz milk chocolate

melt chocolate

Stir peanut butter into melted chocolate. Mix well.

mix in peanut butter

Pour chocolate/PB mixture into cream cheese and add powdered sugar. Stir until completely combined.

Spread into an 8 x 8 dish and chill for several hours or overnight.

Once chilled, scoop out with a spoon or melon ball sized scoop and roll into balls. Re-chill if necessary.DSC03118

Roll truffles in topping of your choice.

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Place in fun candy sized cups.

DSC03124DSC03127DSC03120Keep refrigerated.

(P.S. the next night I rolled them in chopped peanuts – that’s my fav!)

I can not describe to you how sinfully good these are!!! The only downfall is they are pretty gooey so its a little difficult to roll but they are so good – I don’t care.

I must admit because of this I ate more out of the spoon than I did in ball form. 😉

Have a good one!

abp

“People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.” ~ Bob Hope

I’m not sure if its the weather or if jet-lag from the holidays but I’m feeling pretty lazy. So tonight it’s another crock pot meal.

It’s already smelling yummy!!

That’s one of the great side benefits of cooking with the crock pot – how it makes your whole house smell awesome!

Tonight’s recipe has been adapted from Mmm…Cafe.

Honey Sauced Chicken

  • 1.5 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 ½ Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (depends on heat desired)
Salt and Pepper chicken and place in slow cooker.
salt and pepper chicken
In a medium bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients.
mix ingredients
mixuter
Pour over chicken, stir to coat. Bake on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
stir to coat
With 30 minutes left to cook, carefully remove chicken from sauce, cut into bite size pieces.
cut up chicken DSC03113
Return to sauce, mix well and continue to cook.
return to sauce
Serve over rice.
serve over rice
This was a very good meal and one of the more simple I have found. So much so, even though I was feeling lazy, I decided to whip up Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles!
More on those later.
Happy Rainy Monday!!!
abp

“A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.” ~ Pat Riley

It’s a good day to be an Alabama fan! Whoot, Whoot! Rooooolllll Tide!

BACK to BACK championships! The 3rd in 4 years! And being the wife of an Auburn fan, I must add it is the 4th in a row for the state of Alabama with AU taking the other of the four.

We are the football state if you ask me.

But I am pooped – I was up way past my bedtime watching that game. So tonight is an easy dinner night, which usually means a crockpot dinner. And tonight that crockpot dinner is a very flavorful pork roast I found on allrecipes.com.

Yummo Pork Roast

  • 1 (2 pound) pork roast
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

Place pork roast in slow cooker and top with onion soup and water.

Add in beef stock and soy sauce. Mix well and turn to coat.

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Top with minced garlic. Spread over top of roast.

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Cook on high for 5 hours. (about 4 hours in start basting a little with the sauce and with with about 10 minutes left flip and mix in the garlic)

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Remove roast from cooker. Slice pork and serve with sauce.

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I served it with refrigerated mashed pototoes (I like Bob Evans) and a bagged salad.

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Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Roll Tide.

abp

“The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.” ~ Anais Nin

Since I didn’t get to blog much during the holidays, I thought I’d share a few of the Instagram pictures I snapped during the month.

Instagram is pretty fun, I guess I’ve been kind of slow to jump on the bandwagon but it sure does give the bland photos you take with your phone a little kick.

Here is my main tree. (never got around to taking a pic of the one in the front of the house)

treeAnd here’s a close up of the presents – I absolutely adored this paper (I got it at Sam’s) and I just wanna kick myself for not getting more! It was fun and matched everything perfectly.giftsThis was my Christmas night dinner table setting.  Was very pleased – it is three generational. It has some of mine, my mothers and my grandmothers pieces. (you can also see a little of my snow village in the back)tableGoodness help me! This is my mom’s to die for waffles! She was nice enough to make these for the DH and I Christmas morning! They are the best thing you will ever put in your mouth! We will be making them again this week so I will try and share these golden rounds of goodness with you later.mamaswafflesMy mantle.

mantleThe front door. (The P’s are my first successful Pinterest project that was not food)frontdoorI’ll finish off with our gift tags which will be my belated wish to all of you – Merry Christmas!!!

gifttag

abp