Sincerely, Me

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This week I’m partnering with Charlotte of Living Well on the Cheap for a fantastic Botanicals and Bling pop up shop. Help this lovely lady earn some free jewelry! And while you are at it, check out her blog. She’s a great writer and has amazing tips for the family on a budget. http://livingwellonthecheap.com/

Shop Charlotte’s pop up here: http://bit.ly/XACoFN

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Seared Scallops over Wilted Spinach and Parmesan Risotto

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Risotto is one of those dishes that can be super intimidating and often misunderstood.  It really is simple, just takes a lot of attention.  So what do you say?  Are you going to give this dish a try?  It’s surprisingly low-cal!

Parmesan Risotto

Servings: Size: 3/4 cup Time: 30 minutes Calories: 309

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups fat free chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Heat chicken stock in a small pot.

In a medium size heavy sauce pan, add butter on medium-low heat. Add shallots, sauté about 1 minute. Add rice mixing well until well coated and transluscent, about 2 minutes. Add wine, salt and pepper and mix well until it is absorbed into the rice. Ladle 1 cup stock into rice and mix until all stock is absorbed, add another ladle, and continue adding and stirring until all broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and parsley, mix well and serve.

Seared Scallops over Wilted Spinach


Servings: Size: 5 oz Time: 10 minutes Calories: 172

  • 16 oz (about 12-14) sea scallops
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 10 oz baby spinach, washed

Wash scallops and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a medium size pan on a high flame. When pan is hot, melt 1 tsp butter and place half of the scallops in the pan. Sear without touching them for a few minutes until the bottom forms a nice caramel colored crust. Turn over and cook about another minute or 2, until the center is slightly translucent (you can check this by viewing them from the side) and the bottom is seared. Be careful not to overcook. Remove from the pan and set aside on a warm plate. Add addition tsp butter and cook remaining scallops.

Add olive oil to the pan and sauté shallots, add spinach, salt and pepper. Toss until spinach wilts.

Serve over spinach over risotto topped with scallops.

**My spinach got incorporated into the risotto and was just as yummy.

(via skinnytaste.com)

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We are mosaics — pieces of light, love, history, stars — glued together with magic and music and words.
Anita Krizzan (via twloha)

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Just keep livin. L-I-V-I-N.  I’m taking the devastatingly handsome Matthew McConaughey’s motto seriously these days.  Remember my Belize travel buddies, Averie and Gennie?  Well, Febuary 2015 will see us reunited in TANZANIA!  As previously mentioned, Gennie is volunteering with the peace corp in Malawi, so Ave and I are crossing the pond for a meet up of epic proportions. 

We will spend 3 days exploring the wilds of Africa and then 3 days relaxing in Zanzibar. OMG gorgeous, right?

My bags are practically packed.  The next 6 months will be excruciating!

Photos courtesy of Breakdown Safaris.  If you are in the market for an adventure in Tanzania, give Kathy a call.  She is wonderful to work with!

Filed under Tanzania breakdownsafaris

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Spring Chicken Roll-Ups with Lemon Dijon Pan Sauce

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Ah-maze-ing.  Like lick the plate good.  Like I ate two roll-ups and wanted a third good.

Ingredients
2 (6-ounce) pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices provolone cheese
4 thin slices prosciutto cotto
12 thin spears asparagus, trimmed of tough stems and blanched in salted water 2 minutes, drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup chopped, flat-leaf parsley, a handful

Halve the chicken breasts horizontally separating each into 2 cutlets.

Place each halved cutlet in an individual freezer plastic storage bag (with slider tab). Add a tablespoon of water to each bag and pound into1/8-inch thick cutlets.

Arrange the 4 cutlets on work surface. Season cutlets with salt and pepper on the side facing up. Cover each piece of chicken with 1 slice cheese and 1 slice ham. Starting on 1 side of the breast, place a small bundle of 3 asparagus spears. Wrap and roll the chicken around the asparagus. Wash hands.

Heat about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, using tongs, add the chicken roll-ups to skillet with seam side down. Season the roll-ups with salt and pepper. Cover the pan loosely with tin foil and cook 4 to 5 minutes, turn roll-ups over and cook and other 4 to 5 minutes. Remove cooked roll ups to a serving plate. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons flour Stir in the chicken stock and Dijon mustard, scraping up any drippings from the bottom of the pan, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley and spoon over chicken.

(via Food Network)

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I stopped dreaming and I made it happen.  Starting August 25th, I will be a full time culinary student, you guys! 
As for as dreams and risks go this is pretty huge.  I’m giving up my full-time, well-paid job, albeit super stressful, to pursue something that I never imagined I would actually do.  I’ve talked and talked and wished and wished, and then one day I said, “You know what?  I’m going to do this!”  I can work really hard.  I can juggle 3+ jobs to make it all happen.  I can do it this.  Know why?  Because I will finally be doing something that makes me smile when I wake up every morning and I will finally be doing something that leads to what I truly believe is my calling.
A chef.
I’ve never felt so at peace with a decision.  I second guess and panic like anyone would, but it’s fleeting.  Just a knee jerk reaction.
Stay tuned.  This is sure to be a wild and crazy ride.  And you will be the first to know all the trials and triumphs.

I stopped dreaming and I made it happen.  Starting August 25th, I will be a full time culinary student, you guys! 

As for as dreams and risks go this is pretty huge.  I’m giving up my full-time, well-paid job, albeit super stressful, to pursue something that I never imagined I would actually do.  I’ve talked and talked and wished and wished, and then one day I said, “You know what?  I’m going to do this!”  I can work really hard.  I can juggle 3+ jobs to make it all happen.  I can do it this.  Know why?  Because I will finally be doing something that makes me smile when I wake up every morning and I will finally be doing something that leads to what I truly believe is my calling.

A chef.

I’ve never felt so at peace with a decision.  I second guess and panic like anyone would, but it’s fleeting.  Just a knee jerk reaction.

Stay tuned.  This is sure to be a wild and crazy ride.  And you will be the first to know all the trials and triumphs.

Filed under livingtheculinarylife