Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan

Italian food is one of my vices.  I love the sauce, the pasta and the bread.  The main problem is that my favorite recipe chicken Parmesan takes a while to cook, it requires a full chicken breast per person.  Doesn’t seem like that big of a problem, but when you start cooking a bunch and half of your guests only eat 1/3 to 1/2 of the chicken because they don’t require a full chicken breast along with salad, pasta and bread then it starts to become a waste.  Plus, pounding out 6-8 chicken breasts can be quite burdensome.  So I decided to make everything a little bit easier.  Bite sized chicken pieces that can be scooped out so that everyone gets only as much as they want.  Saves on time, saves on money and makes everyone just a little bit happier.

Quick Chicken Parmesan

I topped this concoction with strips of mozzarella cheese that were broiled to melt perfectly over the whole dish.

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What to do this Weekend in DC

This weekend is full of great events.  You can dine at the National Harbor for cheap or meet up with Ty Pennington and remodel your kitchen. National Harbor Restaurant Week – Feb. 26-28 Three Course Meals at the Harbor Restaurants, $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner.  Includes Bond 45, Cadillac Ranch, Grace’s Mandarin, Ketchup, … Read moreWhat to do this Weekend in DC

Braided Garlic Bread

I am a huge fan of garlic bread and I am always looking for a new way to make it.  I took this idea from the bread at the local grocery store.  They make a tear apart cheese bread that is pretty good.  The concept however, is awesome.  No need to cut the bread and you can serve it family style.  Plus, since the bread is braided, there is garlic butter throughout the whole loaf of bread.

Braided Garlic Bread

The braids allow for the center of the bread to be light and fluffy.  So darn tasty!

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The Rumster

Last week I picked up some different rums to make the hurricane cocktail for Mardi Gras.   Since I had some extra lying around I decided to make another cocktail.  This one combines my two favorite juices, orange juice and cranberry juice.

The Rumster

I served it straight up in a Martini glass but also enjoyed it on the rocks.

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A Sugar Cookie

I have been on the lookout for a good recipe to re-create the smiley face cookies that I had as a child.  These are the large sugar cookies that had the hard glaze over them.  I discovered the glaze but the cookie always seems to evade me.  I have been making sugar cookies over the past couple of months to try to re-create them.  Although the sugar cookie in this post isn’t the right one for the smiley face cookie, it is super tasty.  It is light and fluffy with a great flavor, a perfect sugar cookie.   The one that I strive for, is harder and crunchier and a tad bit sweeter.  Not the definition of a perfect sugar cookie, but the perfect cookie to recreate my childhood memories.  Anyway I had to post about this cookie, because out of the bunch, it tasted really good.

The Smiley Face Cookie

As you can see, I painted the eyes and mouth before the first glaze completely hardened.  Thus, giving me a not so perfect smiley face.  🙁

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French Onion Soup

The other day I was strolling through the Crate and Barrel Outlet when I saw French Onion Soup Crocks for $1.99.  I had to pick up a couple.  Since then I have been on the hunt for a tasty French Onion Soup recipe.  Most called for cooking the onion over the stove-top until they were caramelized and tasty.  But after finding this version from Cookography via Cook’s Illustrated I had to make it.  This version roasts the onions in the oven to help build a nice complex flavor.  It is extremely tasty.

French Onion Soup

Topped with homemade croutons and Provolone Cheese this was the best French Onion Soup I have ever had.

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Tuna Pot Pies

I am always trying to expand my repertoire of recipes.  The one thing that I do not cook a lot of is fish.  Fresh fish is not the first thing you think of when you think of the Nations Capital. So I decided to slowly expand my repertoire with some canned tuna.  I know it is not that big of a step, but it is a step to say the least.  My pot pies use a standard pie dough and a large muffin pan to make individual pot pies.  The recipe makes 3 individual pot pies and can be easily doubled to make six.

Tuna Pot Pie

The large muffin pan made perfectly sized pot pies.

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What to do this Weekend in DC

This weekend is full of great events.  You can celebrate the lunar New Year or try your hand out at curling.  Yep, you can go for gold.  Plus, there is the Maple Syrup Festival.  Who doesn’t love Maple Syrup.  So read on to see the highlights from these amazing events.

Saturday

Rockville Lunar New Year – Feb. 20

Come out to this free family-friendly cultural event and

  • Practice Chinese character writing;
  • Learn traditional paper folding and clay sculpting techniques;
  • Watch educational and entertaining demonstrations and performances; and
  • Sample a variety of free Asian foods supplied by local restaurants.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre and Social Hall at Rockville Civic Center Park
603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville MD

More Events after the jump…

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Mushroom Asparagus Risotto

A couple of weeks ago I made a chili rice that sparked a conversation on the website about rice dishes.  From there I got a couple of emails requesting more rice dishes.  One of my favorite rice dishes is risotto.  With its creamy texture and dynamite slow cooked flavor it is a must have.  The one problem with risotto is that you have to stir it for the whole time that you make it.  It is not too bad, but you have to have your endurance up or else you will get risotto elbow.  Like tennis elbow, but much tastier.  This risotto is filled with asparagus and mushrooms.  Two ingredients that on their own are amazing but together they shine. They both have an earthiness that goes great with rice.  The hidden star in this risotto is the lemon zest that is added at the last minute before serving.  It adds a welcome hint of freshness that can not be beat.

Mushroom Asparagus Risotto

I am still nursing my risotto elbow injury, but I will be back tomorrow.  My trainer guarantees it.

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The Hurricane

Since yesterday was Fat Tuesday, I figured I would go all Mardi Gras on you guys and make a Hurricane.  The hurricane was originally mixed up by local New Orleans resident and bar owner Pat O’Brien in the 1940s.   It was a way for him to get rid of the excess rum that the local liquor distributors gave to him.  So he mixed up the drink and poured it into hurricane lamp shaped glasses.  Yep, it gets its name from the glass.    He then gave away the drink to the sailors until it caught on.  It is now a mainstay in the French Quarter in New Orleans and a popular drink during Mardi Gras.  So I have decided to make a little version of my own that I would pull out from time to time when I was a bartender.

The Hurricane Cocktail

I do not own any hurricane glasses and found that purchasing them for this post was not in the best interest of my wallet.  So instead I went to the dollar store and purchased the closest thing to the glass as I could find.

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Chocolate Pudding

The other night I was sitting and watching TV and I came across a old Bill Cosby standup routine.  After that, he was stuck in my head.  The only thing that I could think of was him saying pudding.  So I had to make some.  Damn you Bill Cosby.  So I went through the cupboard and found I had all of the ingredients except for Half-and-Half.  Curse you Bill Cosby.   Luckily the local 7/11 carried it.  Sorry Bill Cosby, love the sweaters.

Chocolate Pudding

The pudding was tasty as I added some semisweet chocolate to the mix.  It was on the verge of being too rich.  I would recommend smaller containers than 3/4 cup containers.

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Breakfast Potatoes

I love breakfast.  Probably my favorite meal of the day.  Mostly because it is the only meal where it is cool to eat bacon straight up.  But secondly, because it is almost always served with potatoes.  I love those crazy tubers.  So I decided to whip up some potatoes.  These potatoes are loaded with peppers and onions.  They are almost a breakfast on their own.

Breakfast Potatoes

Heck, top with an egg and you are good to go.

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Chocolate Souffles for Two

Chocolate Souffle

Valentines Day is fast approaching and I wanted to make a nice dessert for the occasion. I love chocolate and so do most people on Valentines Day. So I wanted to make a chocolate souffle. However, every recipe that I came across made 6-8 souffles. I only wanted two. So I did the math and the testing to create a recipe that makes just two souffles.

Chocolate Souffle

The souffles are super light and fluffy. Plus, the souffles can be made up to 24 hours in advance so it is an easy dessert.

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