Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Strawberries


In the latest of forehead-smacking, "why have I never done this before" ideas, I give you balsamic roasted Strawberries. My friends in Florida, please immediately get some fresh Plant City strawberries, bring them home and do this. You'll be so happy you did! And then you'll just need to make some rich, creamy homemade cheesecake so you can pour these on top (that is, if you have any of these left to use!)
                                

Rinse, hull and slice your berries, toss them with some sugar and balsamic vinegar. Throw them on a parchment lined baking sheet and put them in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. I dare you not to eat the whole pan as soon as you take them out!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hair, hair, hair!

Last week I got brave, decided to take the plunge, and changed my hair color. I know the ombré look is well on it's way out, but I decided to try it anyway. I think I'm pretty happy with it, but I'm still a bit unsure about the color. I'm seeing a whole lot of orange where I want to see blonde. 

It's fun to have a change and a new style to work with. Nate keeps looking at me and yelling, "OMBRÉ!" super loud....so much so that Scarlett is beginning to say it as well! Happy new year!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lemon chicken orzo soup


This soup is just the thing for a cold wintery night! Nate asked me to make  a version of the lemon chicken soup he remembered from his childhood in the Chicagoland area (apparently it's a classic there!) I was happy for the new challenge, and decided to make it a bit healthier and more flavorful. Below is my rough guideline recipe. You know I never follow a recipe exactly, so feel free to change it to suit your tastes!

3 tbsp good quality olive oil
2 medium sweet onions, finely chopped
A few cloves of garlic, very finely minced
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I used the juice of 3 medium lemons)
6 cups homemade (or store bought) chicken stock, plus more for adding later
1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-inch segments
Parmesan rind
1 1/2 cups orzo
5ish ounces fresh arugula
Crushed red pepper flakes

Place a large Dutch oven over low heat. Pour in the olive oil and, when hot, stir in the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Pour in the lemon juice and turn the heat to high. Cook until liquid is completely reduced. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Add the chicken and Parmesan rind and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If necessary, add more broth to cover chicken. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pot, and remove the Parmesan rind. Bring the soup to a boil and add the orzo and arugula. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until orzo is cooked through. Salt to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with crushed red pepper flakes and shaved Parmesan. You could also top with Italian parsley or homemade croutons. Hope you enjoy this, and please let me know how it turns out!