Archive for February 22nd, 2011

For Presidents’ Day weekend, Nate and I did what we usually do on a long weekend…we headed down to his mom’s house in PA (near Wilmington). As always, I used this time to relax, recharge, and make use of her giant kitchen!

Aaaah, so much spaaaace!

I had so much room I didn’t know what to do with myself…so I decided to cook 🙂 It was so nice to be in a space big enough that I didn’t have to trip over myself. Instead, I was tripping over dogs. See if you can find the furry fella in the pic below. Luckily, they were fairly well-behaved.

I chose two dishes that are always winners. One is a chicken dish with apricots that we seem to always make during the holidays.  It’s been around so long that I have no idea where it came from, but trust me, it’s worth making!

The other is a  Brussel Sprout Hash with Carmelized Shallots that has become a regular on our Thanksgiving menu. People start getting all hot and bothered when we mention anything about trying a different vegetable recipe for that year. Recipes are at the bottom of the post.

I actually did some baking too, but I’m working on tweaking the recipe because I want to enter it in a couple of baking contests. It’s my first time ever doing something like that, so cross your fingers for me! After the contest deadline, I’ll be sure to post the recipes 🙂 Does anyone know of any good contests besides Pillsbury?

Man, I thought I knew how to relax on a long weekend…but apparently I got nothing on these pooches:

"I know, I'm adorable"

Nate’s mom has two adorable Golden Retrievers- Haley and Ezra.

Canine camouflage

These doggies are his mom’s pride and joy, so for Christmas I thought I’d paint one of their portraits for her. I chose Haley since she’s a camera whore. Ezra freaks when you try to take his picture. I did the painting of four 6″ canvases that, when put together, form the painting. I hung them on the wall in her living room.

Haley's Portrait, by Me

The sides of the canvases are deep, for a more modern look.

side view of painting. Note deep side edges I made a contrasting color 🙂

Long weekends are never long enough. I can’t believe I have to go back to work tomorrow and the next long weekend isn’t until Memorial Day I think!


Baked Chicken with Apricots and Currants
Serves 4, source unknown

3-1/2 to 4 lb. chicken, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 tsp. ginger
1 c. orange marmalade
ÂĽ c. apple juice
ÂĽ c. orange juice (can be canned)
4 oz. dried apricots
4 oz. currants (or raisins)
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar

Preheat oven 375.

Place chicken, skin-side up in shallow roasting pan – can use disposable.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and ginger. Spread on jam, pour on 2 juices. Bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and add fruit, mixing to incorporate. Sprinkle brown sugar over all. Return to oven and bake, basting frequently, until golden and shiny, about 40-45 minutes.

Remove to platter. Pour some juice over meat and serve.



Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots
Bon Appétit, November 2007
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp. butter, divided into 2 pieces
1/4 lb. shallots, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
Âľ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup water

Melt 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 2 minutes.

Halve sprouts lengthwise. Cut lengthwise into thin (1/8”) slices. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until brown at edges, 5 minutes.

Add water and rest of butter. Saute until most of water evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, 2-3 min. Add shallots, season to taste with salt and pepper.


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