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We had a great Easter weekend and enjoyed much quality family
time. My girl Ky made the cutest little mini cupcakes
with homemade whipped cream frosting but learned the
hard way about transporting food poor thing.... we took
a big turn and they all slid sideways in the cake carrier
into one madd o' cake. (that's the kind of stuff trifles
are made of we still served them ;o) whoopsie!

I did feel like I might get carpel tunnel from squeezing
every last drop of liquid from 10 packages of chopped
spinach for the creamed spinach recipe (workplace hazard)
sounds easy but always takes me forever... does anyone
have a good tip for this? I'm a huge Ina Garten fan and
her "Barefoot Contessa Parties" cookbook has one of the
most fantastic Spinach Gratan recipes I've ever sampled.
I think I have all of her books now. I know so much
is online but I like to step away from the computer and
leisurely thumb through the pages with my Sunday morning
coffee. I have used many of her recipes over and over
for the holidays with great success.

Jumping off the ham bandwagon and moving on to chicken
with a recipe for BALSAMIC CHICKEN & BROCCOLI plus a
little buzz on the balsamic stuff in today's Corner below
too... will remain on my top 10 ingredients list.


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1 Tb Oil, olive
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small Onion, thinly sliced and cut into thirds
2 Tb Shallots
1/4 Cup Wine, white
2 Chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 Tb Vinegar, balsamic
2 Cups Broccoli spears
1 Cup Mushrooms, sliced thick
1/3 Cup Chicken stock
1/4 Ts Salt
Black Pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy pot. Add the garlic, onion, and
shallots, and cook until light golden. Keep the pot covered
between stirrings and use a tablespoon or so of the wine if
more liquid is needed. Add the strips of chicken and enough
of the wine to keep the meat from sticking to the pot. Cook
until the chicken is white all the way through, about 5 to
7 minutes (use more wine, if needed). Remove the chicken and
sauteed vegetables with a slotted spoon. Add the vinegar to
the pot, increase the heat, and stir with a wooden spoon,
scraping bits from the bottom, until the liquid is reduced
to about half its volume. Reduce the heat. Return the chicken
and sauteed vegetables to the pot, add the broccoli, mushrooms,
stock, remaining wine, and salt. Cook at a gentle simmer
until the broccoli turn bright green. Serve over pasta and
dust with pepper.

Category: Chicken, Main Dishes

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* MARZEE's CORNER *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Balsamic vinegar has quite a history with its origins
dating back to the 11th century. It is so named because
of its supposed curative properties as an antiseptic,
and a whiff of this liquid was enough to revive a fainted
woman. The art of producing balsamic vinegar has remained
unchanged for hundreds of years. It is made from the
unfermented juice of fully ripened, white trebbiano grapes.
The juice pressed from the grapes (called the musts) is
boiled down for hours to achieve a heavy concentration.
This must is put into barrels which have previously been
used in vinegar making, renewing a continuous cycle as it
picks up the yeasts or "mother" vinegar. Barrels of different
type woods are used and barrel size continues to decrease
until the perfect blending and aging occurs. Once you have
savored the complex, sweet yet tangy flavor of balsamic
vinegar, you will never have a difficult time using anything
but balsamic.

You can use this in salad dressings, sauces and roasts,
or sprinkled on vegetables, or grilled meats and chicken.
Add a few drops to fresh, clean strawberries, allow to sit
for 15 minutes, toss with sugar and serve. Even add a few
drops to your next Bloody Mary for a unique taste.

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