Monday, June 30, 2008

Whip It Up: Taking Recipes on Test Drives Since 2008: Recipe #1

So today I was trying to figure our how to use what we had in the house to make dinner. I knew we had some chicken breasts in the freezer, the basil in the garden was ready to be cut/used and there were 2 tomatoes left from the weekend that needed to be eaten pronto. So I went onto and typed in these three (actually, I just put in chicken and basil) ingredients and this is the recipe that I got:

Chicken breasts w/ tomato basil and Gorgonzola & White wine sauce 2 tbs Butter
1 tbs Extra virgin olive oil
4 chicken breast steaks (skin off bone out)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1-2 tbs Cream
1 medium Shallot finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil (fine chiffonade)
2 tomatoes medium dice
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese

1. First, melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet on high heat and add the olive oil until the butter and oil are bubbling.
2. clean the chicken and season with salt and pepper. add chicken to pan and sear both sides until outside is golden brown.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and transfer the chicken to a glass baking dish and bake for 25-30 min.
4. while the chicken is baking add the white wine and chicken stock to the pan to deglaze the pan while whisking the bits off of the bottom. add the cream and reduce for about 5 min.
5. one reduced add the garlic and shallots to the pan and reduce for a few more min. finish the sauce with a little butter and adjust with seasonings.
6. once the chicken is cooked through top with sauce and add the tomatoes, basil and Gorgonzola (in that order) on top. serve with bread or salad and enjoy!

We had everything but the Gorgonzola on hand, so that was a super bonus. I decided to serve this with crusty bread - definitely recommended.

Needless to say, when plated on the platter, husband's first words were "wow this looks really grown up," he went on to say, "this would be worth ordering in a restaurant...they might make this on Top Chef...this is the best meal you have ever made in this should make this for guests...delicious!" and so on... We both loved this meal and I would make it again in a heartbeat. I know it doesn't look like much or anything special, but I think that is what made it so good. It was so unexpected.

So for some of the things needed in Whip It Up:

1) Was the recipe easy to follow - very! It was super easy - although I would always put preheating the oven first.

2) Did the dish taste good - it was awesome! husband said he can't imagine anyone who wouldn't like it, even really picky eaters

3) Would I make it again - tomorrow if I could

On a side note...modifications....the pan was too hot when I went to deglaze it so I lost a lot of liquid. I also did this to early so I had to put the pan off the heat and reheated it closer to when the chicken was actually ready (my chcken took 35 min but I don't think it was defrosted all the way yet). Because of this I added a splash more wine and chicken stock. I still would have loved even more sauce b/c it rocked. Another one was that I didn't measure my Gorgonzola or basil when adding it to the top. It just made it look pretty and taste even yummier. Husband and I also love basil so we used a lot. Finally, I only used 3 chicken breasts (I used the individually frozen kind) and since they were big I thought I would be OK. Two would have been plenty and there was plenty of stuff for 4 chicken breasts had I made that many. Again though, the sauce was awesome so I would have loved more of that.

Needless to say, a great start to Whip It Up. I don't think anything can compare to it though...

In the picture are also my zucchini that I made after watching the today show this morning. They too were good, but nothing compared to the chicken.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Celeb Crushes

So tonight in our infinite boredom I decided to do a photo meme of my celeb crushes. What do you think? Aren't those 9 really cute men? Not as cute as my hubby, but I'd settle for any of them if hubby decided to leave...

Halfway in 3 weeks - YEA! and Thanks!

So I am over halfway on my fundraising goal of $1700 in just 3 weeks - YEA! Thanks to recent donations, especially the one from CNac, I have been pushed over that halfway edge. I have currently raised $890, only $810 to go to fulfill my minimum. I have some ideas in the works for other fundraisers since I think my donations are starting to run dry. A few more to trickle in soon, but for now, I am thinking of others....

A special thanks to all those who have contributed thus far!

BTW if you have not yet donated and would like to, please visit my Team in Training page. Thanks & love, E

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My partner is injured

Tonight I ran the Circle of Friends 5K. I arrived with only a few minutes until start and it took me a bit but I found my partner and a few other TNT runners. So we got off to a bit of a fast start. We made it to mile 1 in less than 11 minutes (granted it was downhill). We went in the neighborhood of the New Albany CC. Now I finally know what everyone has been talking about, although I would never want to live that far out, its a nice community and I am sure its a great place to raise kids

Ok, back to the mile 2, my partner stopped to start walking. I know he has knee problems and the run had been surprisingly harder on him than I would have thought. I wasn't ready to walk so I left him. I crossed the finish at 36 minutes even and at 40 minutes my buddy still wasn't behind me. His wife was a bit worried, but not as worried. I walked back to find him at the 3 mile mark, feeling very down on himself.

He didn't want his picture taken, his time recorded, or the day to be remembered. This made me sad. Selfishly because I am worried I've lost the perfect partner and unselfishly because he's hurting so bad and I can't help him. So sad :( Back to running by myself....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Sitting here watching the US Open with just the hubby makes me feel especially sad that I am not with my dad today. He is the man who all men needed to be like. Someone who loved me unconditionally and yet knew how to have fun. Needless to say J is practically my dad in a younger, cuter version. When J makes me mad its usally b/c he reminds me to much of my father. But there is so much of my father that I love that I see in J everyday and for all of that, I can only say, I love you dad, and I love you J for being like my dad. Hopefully next year for father's day we will be wishing a new dad in the family Happy Father's Day, but until then, here's to you dad!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Perfect Partner and a Cloudy Day

These two things make for a day of successful running. Today was our 5 mile run. We ran along the Heritage Rail Trail in Hilliard. I was worried that we wouldn't get the run in because at 5:30 in the morning there were severe thunderstorms that made it so we lost power. I was able to reset my clock and the storms cleared in time for us to run in a cooler, cloudier morning.

I also found my perfect running partner. He forced me not to give up and walk and I think I pushed him to keep running as well. We weren't too fast and kept a fairly even pace. We finished 5 miles in exactly one hour. That's a good 12 minute mile pace. I know, you runners say that's slow, but I am proud of that! Needless to say, I ran the entire 5 miles (the most I've run thus far) and it motivated me to continue this week.

On another note - we got back in the hot tub today. The temp. is only at 85 degrees so J will go in with me. Its was NICE!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Celebrity look alike (and J's also)

So I was in a bit of a funk, but this totally helped. I found over at Our Little Apartment and it totally made my day.

J was so anxious for me to find our how he looked like - I love the Britney reference!

In case you need a Friday pick me up, you can do it to over at MyHeritage. Have fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Our weeked home

So, we went home for a very quick weekend home. We really only went for a wedding (pictures below) but we were able to spend time with family. Friday night we had pizza with the in-laws. Saturday morning I woke up at 6AM to run. Except for one HUGE hill I was able to run the entire 4 miles of the loop I'd planned. The temp and lower humidity early in the morning certainly helped.

I met my family for lunch at PF Chang's. It was great to see them all if only for a short time. Then off to the wedding. We stopped in at JayMark and had our wedding rings cleaned. We only do this once a year when we happen to drive that way. I wish we did this more often b/c I love the way our jewelry looks when we do this. Of course they told us Tim(bro-in-law) had just been by. They love him and Beth there. We made it to the hotel to find out that we had 15 min to change and get ready to catch the only bus to the wedding/reception. Good thing I had already showered.

Here are the pics:
The Bride and Groom saying their vows
The first kiss

J and I

TK and I. He wore the bow tie all night - not because he wanted to, although it does look cute, as does TK. He rarely poses for a pic so I'll treasure this one.

Take note of the dress, I'll will be posting from the Memorial tournament soon and I wore the same dress....

Monday, June 2, 2008

I saw this over at Wine and Needles and thought it would be a good to get back to the posting since I haven't posted in WAY to long!

The Concept:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

The Questions:1. What is your first name? Emily
2. What is your favorite food? Steak
3. What high school did you go to? Westhill
4. What is your favorite color? Orange
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Orlando Bloom - really an inside joke with J
6. Favorite drink? Wine
7. Dream vacation? Egypt
8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate Chip cookies
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Math Teacher
10. What do you love most in life? Spending time with my husband & dog (and my family back home)
11. One word to describe you. Adventurous
12. Your flickr name. don't have one - thus its blank