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!
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:
Nate’s mom has two adorable Golden Retrievers- Haley and Ezra.
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.
The sides of the canvases are deep, for a more modern look.
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
¼ c. apple juice
¼ 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
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
¾ 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.