I decided to take a break from painting and share with you my all time favorite recipe. I found it via Pinterest, (shocking I know!). The recipe is a twist on chicken parmesan an old classic. Instead of frying the chicken making it really fatty Chef John the creator turns the dish into a casserole. Now I am not about to rehash how to make this phenomenal dish, you can find an awesome video tutorial which he created on his foodwishes website. It’s worth watching if only for his humor alone! What I am going to add are the homemade croutons I made for this recipe, it makes a huge difference. I know what you are thinking…chicken parm, croutons what is she talking about…watch the video trust me it makes sense. Either way if you use them for this recipe or even just in a salad it’s worth taking the extra 15 minutes to make your own. I will never buy store made croutons every again.
We had left over foccia bread from a local farm/bakery I hate having bread go to waste but after two days it was starting to get hard. Day old bread is best for crouton making.
Here is what you will need:
- Bread cubed into small pieces (I used four pieces of bread)
- Olive oil 2 tbs
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Minced garlic 1 tbs
- Any additional spices you want to add.
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except for the bread in a big mixing bowl. Then add the bread and toss until all the pieces are lightly coated. Lay out onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for about 10 – 12 min or until they get golden brown. I used these for my chicken parm casserole which the top layer is croutons so I let these only cook for 10 min since they were headed right back to the oven. Here is the final chicken parm casserole with homemade croutons, so good!
Let me know if any of you try this!
On Saturday we invited all of our awesome friends who helped us move into our new house for a thank-you dinner. There were ten of us and I wanted to serve a summer menu while stepping it up from the normal hotdog/hamburger affair. Here was the menu:
Three bean salad with a lime olive oil glaze; Coleslaw; Cornbread; Grilled vegetables, marinated in a garlic balsamic; Grilled corn on the cob; Grilled Shrimp with a basil lemon marinade; Grilled BBQ-Chicken legs.
I wanted to try to get as much done ahead of time so that when the guests arrived I could actually socialize. What I found helpful was prepping the food prior to the event. I precut everything the night before and stored it in ziploc bags. I marinated the meat overnight. It saved so much time and stress that evening.
You all know how I feel about setting the perfect table from my post The Perfect Table. I wanted to do some sort of centerpiece but nothing too fancy so I did a few small arrangments just to dress the table up a little.
Beaches, barbeques, and boat rides. That basically sums up our fourth of July plans. Whether you are going to a party or planning one, I am big on the menu, especially the desserts. Just like fourth of July fireworks desserts are like the grand finale of the evening. Here are a few that will have your party going out in a bang.
Sparkler Cupcakes- Better Homes and Garden.
- 1/2cup red candy coating disks
- 1/2 cup blue candy coating disks
- 1/2 cup white candy coating disks
- 2 1/2 cups Creamy White Frosting or canned creamy white frosting
- 12Confetti Cupcakes or other 2-1/2-inch cupcakes in paper bake cups
Red, white, and blue sprinkles and/or jimmies (optional)
Place colored candy coating disks in three separate small microwave-safe bowls. Microwave one bowl on 100 percent power (high) for 30 seconds. Stir; microwave for 20 to 30 seconds more or until melted. Repeat, one at a time, with the remaining bowls of candy coating. Transfer the melted candy coatings to three small heavy resealable plastic bags. Snip off a small piece from one corner of each bag. On sheets of waxed paper, make 8- to 9-inch-long sticks (about 1/4-inch thickness) of each color candy coating by piping back and forth over waxed paper in a zigzag pattern. Let stand about 1 hour or until firm. (If necessary, place the sticks of candy coating in the freezer until firm.)2.
Meanwhile, place Creamy White Frosting in a disposable pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe frosting over Confetti Cupcakes.3.
Break the zigzag sticks of candy coating into 3- to 4-inch lengths. Insert the candy sticks into frosting, radiating out from the center like a sparkler. If desired, sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Makes 12 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.
Red, White and Blueberry Ice Cream Dessert – Better Homes and Garden.
It could be because my husband’s birthday was a few days ago, but I can’t stop thinking about CAKE! I mean what is not to love? It’s light and fluffy, with a creamy, sugary concoction on top. You can decorate it to match the decor and theme of your event. Cake is like the grand finale of any party so you want it to be pretty spectacular. I also had such a hard time picking out what I wanted my wedding cake to look like, so there can never be enough pictures and inspiration. Here are a few that I think really take the cake…ha too much??
Embellished Events (Blog)
Style Me Pretty
Sweep Me Up
One Charming Party
Mardi Gras is right around the corner and even though I have never been to New Orleans during the parade I have visited the historic french quarter at another time during the year and it’s still a wild party! So if you plan on hosting a Mardi Gras party this year here is a little inspiration to point you in the right direction.
Inspiration: Cup Cakes, Cookies, Decorations