Tiny Eden

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pinterest Project Week 14: Chicken, Brussels Sprouts, Risotto, and Banoffee Cheesecake

I soldiered thru my bout of strep throat.  It lasted so much longer than I thought it should have, but what do I know, I have never had it before.  Right now, it is my favorite weather - pouring rain!  I don't have to drive in it, hence it being my favorite weather.  If I had to be somewhere, than I would not appreciate it as much.  Fall is approaching and I am so excited!  To me, there is nothing better than that cool, crisp weather.  Soon, there will be apple picking, the search for the perfect pumpkin, soup with grilled cheese for dinner, our house will be covered with fall decorations, and Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, will be upon us.  Sam and I will hopefully be going to NY for Thanksgiving where there will be tons of food, many laughs and a ton of memories will be made.  Then, we will spend Friday going to the Christmas Tree Shoppe, Target, and Stew Leonard's before coming home and reheating the leftovers and creating more memories. 

Now, on to my Pinterest Projects for this week!  I tried several recipes and they were all delicious.  I have to admit, I tweaked almost all of them, except the Brussels sprouts.  I really do not think that I am capable of following a recipe as it is written because I am always substituting ingredients.  The first recipe was Stuffed Chicken.  I used this recipe as a base, but switched a few things around.  First, I used the bottom recipe for the Chicken Roll Ups.  Sam is not a fan of anything with bread crumbs, so the bread crumbs were omitted.  The chicken breasts were pounded down and then I put in some chunks of mozzarella cheese, sauteed garlic, fresh parsley, and fresh basil.  Then, they were rolled up and sealed with toothpicks and I put them in the frying pan.  Once they were done, I transferred them to a baking sheet with a slice of fresh tomato, some more cheese and stuck them in the oven so they would finish cooking.  The juices in the pan didn't go to waste!  I added butter, chicken broth, and white wine and let it simmer and reduce to which it turned into a delicious sauce for the chicken.  Before serving them, I added a fresh basil leaf to the top.  YUMMY!!!

Several years ago, I made some risotto for Sam.  This is when he was still in his "anything that is different is disgusting" stage.  Of course, he wouldn't eat it so I had not made risotto in a really long time.  The recipe that I used was this one right here, Orzo with Parmesan and Basil.  As you can see, the recipe actually calls for orzo, but as I was getting my ingredients together, I noticed that the box that I thought was orzo was really ditalini pasta.  So, I pulled out the container of risotto that I planned on making for myself and figured that Sam was going to have to choke it down.  I also did not have as much Parmesan cheese as I thought I did, so I used some ciliegine that I had left over.  I cooked the risotto according to the way that it is supposed to be cooked on the container, except that I substituted about a cup of the broth with white wine.  It was give or take a cup.  I feel like that gives it a much better flavor.  When it was done cooking, I added the Parmesan cheese and ciliegine.  I made sure not to let the ciliegine melt completely because it was great to get that slightly larger clump of cheese in the occasional bite.  Once it was done on the stove, I mixed in some fresh basil from my raised garden bed.  We ate every bite and Sam could not believe he had avoided eating risotto for so long!

This next recipe was one that I followed exactly as it was written.  They are Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  I am probably one of the few people that absolutely loves Brussels sprouts, so I was really excited to find a recipe that involved fresh ones instead of the Green Giant frozen ones that I always buy.  Luckily, I had been to Kroger the day before and found some in their produce clearance section that were already trimmed, cut in half, and seasoned!  Only 99 cents!  If you follow the recipe, they are very tasty.  The only thing that I will do differently next time (of course I have to change something!) is that, once I take them out of the oven after 15 minutes to turn them, I think I will add some more vinegar and olive oil because I felt like the vinegar cooked a little too quickly and charred a tad bit.  Either way, they were fabulous and I would make them again any day (hopefully I will be running into more clearance ones at Kroger again!).

 Now, the recipe that you have all been waiting for!  The Banoffee Cheesecake!  If you would like the original Banoffee Cheesecake recipe, here it is.  I also had tamales to make, so I did not have the time to go as far as to make the Banoffee cheesecake per this recipe, so surprise, I came up with my own.  I did, however, have the time to make a homemade cheesecake (after going to a meeting at 7:30 am on a Sunday and doing the grocery shopping).  That was definitely one of my Super Woman Days!  I followed this cheesecake recipe.  I did use cinnamon graham crackers as well as adding the cinnamon to the crust.  The decadent toffee that was on top can be found here by following the portion of the recipe for the topping.  I felt like the center of the inside was still a little gooey, so I would recommend cooking it for a few minutes longer and perhaps even leaving it in the oven for a few minutes with the oven off before letting it sit on the counter.  Also, if you have dogs, make sure it is out of their reach because apparently they like cheesecake.  Lulu used her Go Go Gadget Legs and I caught her taking a chunk out of the side while I was searching for the candles. 

Top of the Banoffee Cheesecake                                                        Lulu's bite out of the side of the

The Birthday Boy with his tamales!                                                        51 Birthday Tamales!!!!

I hope everyone is doing well!  I one of my clear frames to a friend for her parent's anniversary.  Please don't forget about PhoebeLu's!  There are greeting cards, frames, jewelry, as well as other special requests.  If you have an image of something you want, feel free to run it past me.  I might be able to make it! 

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”  ~ W. C. Fields

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  ~ Julia Child

“Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.”  ~ Julia Child

1 comment:

teenys mommy said...

Sounds delicious!!!! Wish we had been there. I make brussles sprouts for Murph occasionally and usually saute them with bacon-always a hit! Even Mommy eats them-so they must be good.