Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken with Mushrooms & Cream Sauce

This might be one of the best things I've ever made.  It's a Julie Child recipe, so no wonder, right?!  This was the first Julia Child recipe I ever tried and I'm definitely going to be investing in her cookbooks.  My hubs was skeptic (because he doesn't like baked chicken), but even he was wanting me to make it again.  It has butter and cream, so what could be better?  If you want to change up your ordinary chicken, definitely give this a try.  It makes me happy just thinking about how delicious it is.  Does good food do that to anyone else too?  Or am I the only weirdo?  Anyways, here's the recipe.

Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms & White Wine Cream Sauce
adapted from Sugar & Spice

Ingredients for Chicken
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-Big pinch of white pepper
-5 tbsp butter
-1 tbsp chopped green onion or minced shallot
-1/4 lb diced fresh mushrooms

Directions for Chicken
1.  Preheat the oven to 400°.  After trimming chicken breasts, squeeze lemon juice over them and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.  Set aside.
2.  In a dutch oven, melt the butter over med/high heat until it foams.  Stir in the chopped green onions or minced shallot and stir for about 1 minute.
3.  Next, stir in the mushrooms and saute for about 30 seconds.  You don't want the onions or mushrooms to brown.  Add your pinch of white pepper.
4.  Quickly roll the chicken in the dutch oven to coat well with butter mixture.  I left mine on each side for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5.  Cover with a tight lid and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  Check to be sure chicken is cooked all the way through.

Ingredients for White Wine Sauce
-1/4 cup beef bouillon
-1/4 cup white cooking wine
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-1 tbsp butter
-salt and pepper to taste
-lemon juice
-freshly minced parsley

Directions for Sauce
1.  As soon as the chicken is done baking, remove from the oven, place chicken on warming platter and return the dutch oven to the stovetop.
2.  Place 1 tbsp of butter in the pot and stir to loosen up any mushrooms or onions that may have gotten stuck.
3.  Pour bouillon and wine in with the cooking butter and mushrooms.  Boil down quickly over high heat until it gets thick.  
4.  Add the whipping cream, continuing to stir until it gets thick.  Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if needed.  I squeezed a little bit of lemon juice in mine, but you don't have to.
5.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with parsley.  Enjoy!

I served this with steamed asparagus and it was a great combination of flavors.  Seriously, you'll lick the plate.  I'm not kidding.  Let me know what you think! XO

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where have I been?

It's been quite awhile since I last posted.  I guess that's how you know I'm busy.  Unfortunately, it hasn't been all good, but that's how life works, right?  Quick recap of my life over the past month and a half:

We got our new living room furniture (before and after pictures one of these days)!  We are thoroughly enjoying it, parking our butts on the couch every chance we get and trying to have more people over now that we have room to sit. 

We hunkered down for Hurricane Isaac, which completely missed us...but we were prepared!

We celebrated my hubby's birthday.  He was in a play that following weekend and had rehearsals all week and weekend, so we stayed at home and I made him a yummy dinner.

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary.  I couldn't be more thankful for this man.  This year, we've seen some trials.  Although things have been tough on us emotionally and physically, our relationship is stronger than it has ever been.  Our faith is also stronger than ever.  I've watched his walk with the Lord turn into something truly amazing.  It's like God's light shines through him.  I love him so much.

He also bought me these beautiful earrings.  Not that they were needed to make our anniversary any better, but hey, I'm not complaining!  Jewelry is always an excellent choice. :)

I went and bought meal worms for my class to perform a science experiment and they have now become our class pets.  The kids LOVE them!  We're studying their habitats and watching them go through incomplete metamorphosis.  We should have beetles soon.

School has been crazy busy.  This year is very different for me.  It's taking some adjusting, but I am loving my class.  I have a lot of eager learners and we're doing some fun projects.  I thought that since I had a year under my belt that this year would be easier.  I was SO wrong.  I find myself constantly re-evaluating and thinking, "OH I can do this in addition this year!"  My days are even longer than last year, it seems.  But I only have 9 short months to make an impact on these kids that hopefully lasts a lifetime.

I have been trying some new recipes, some of which I will share with you because they are SO good.  But those will come in a later post.  Keep an eye out!

Lastly, most of my time has been consumed with family hardships.  My sweet cousin, Brian, was diagnosed with stomach cancer mid July of this year.  The doctors told him it was stage 4 and chemo wasn't an option unless he miraculously built up some strength.  Brian went to live in the Hospice facility at the end of July/beginning of August.  He went home to be with the Lord last Friday, October 5.  Today would have been his 36th birthday.  This has been so incredibly hard.  I have never lost anyone to cancer until now and I can't even put into words how awful and horrible this disease is.  I pray I never have to see it again.  I also pray for all of those fighting this disease or have loved ones fighting it. 

Brian was a bright spot in anyone's day.  He was so kind and humble.  I've never met a more humble person.  I'm trying to be more like that.  He was the reason my 90 year old grandpa got to come to my wedding.  He made sure to pick him up and take him, without ever being asked to do so.  I was reading in my baby book the other weekend and my mom had written about visitors coming to see me.  She had listed Brian and wrote that he didn't want to put me down - he loved me so much.  It made me bawl my eyes out.

Gosh, he was such a fighter.  Really up until the two weeks before he died, he was convinced that he was going to get out of there and get better.  His will was so strong that it even had me convinced at one point.  But he was too sick and God had other plans for him.  I'm not sure whether Brian was a believer or not before he got sick, but I know he was one by the time he died.  In the week leading up to his death, he kept seeing an Angel who was trying to lead him up a staircase. He talked of seeing other loved ones that he had lost before and even told my mom he got to hold my baby (that I lost in a miscarriage).  Now, I'm not sure how much of it is true, but I'm choosing to believe all of it.  I think God gives us this to comfort us when we lose someone we love.  I'm just thankful for the time he was here.  He had the most gorgeous eyes and the best beard around!  I'll love him always.

If you think of it, please be in prayer for my family.  My aunt and uncle are really hurting, as well as many others.  Be blessed and don't take life for granted.  Get right with the Lord.  Life is a precious gift we've been given and we never know when our time is up. XO