Autumn Apple Goodness

Hello!

It’s Catie!

Yesterday,to celebrate Veteran’s Day, my family and I decided to go All-American with our dinner. We had hamburgers with chips and dip (though hamburgers are not original to America, they are a staple!) It was all very yummy and Daddy grilled — Bonus! My role did not come in until dessert! (It’s the best part of the meal anyway!)

Keeping with the All-American theme, I was looking for something warm and filled with the flavors of Fall since the temperature outside started dropping. Thus, I turned to the humble apple crumble.

Turning to my favorite go-to cookbook, SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka, I found the perfect recipe. This dessert turned out to be delicious and healthy!

apple pie

One hour later, we were all sitting around the TV watching Agents of Shield enjoying our warm bowls of autumn apple goodness!

Until next time,

Catie

A Nibble or A Choke

Hello!

It’s Catie (I know…I’m still here….but no worries, my Mom will be back soon!)

So recently, I heard this quote and immediately felt that it resonated with my most recent cooking endeavors.

“Someone once told me not to bite off more than I could chew. To which I replied, I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.”–unknown

I’ve already mentioned that I have a flair for the dramatic. (Yes…you should feel for my husband and parents.) So, I attempted to make the very ambitious Chicken Marsala recipe from the cookbook, SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka.

IMG_1952In my defense, I had very noble intentions for being so ambitious. You see, Chicken Marsala is one of my mother’s favorite dishes and as you’ll see, she’s SuperMom–What can I say? I live to please.

For any of you who do not know, Chicken Marsala is an Italian dish that involves a breaded and fried chicken that is covered in a creamy Marsala wine and mushroom sauce. Yum!

Actually, the whole endeavor started off rocky. First, I had never tenderized chicken before nor witnessed chicken tenderized in my life. So I was completely unprepared when I got out the breasts, cut them, and proceeded to attempt to wrap them in plastic wrap. However, all I succeeded in creating was a Salmonella ridden wadded mess. I recovered though with the thoughtful guidance of SuperMom.

Next, came the actual hammering of the chicken or “tendering” of it. Apparently, I’m something of a wuss. According to some, I was using about as much force to pound the chicken breasts as I would’ve used to bat my eyelashes–you could say, I was getting nowhere. All was saved though (again), when SuperMom came in to show me how it’s done, and let’s just say she’s no wuss….<>.

Then, I began the actual cooking and frying up of the chicken breasts which was no sweat because I am Mississippi born and raised after all.  I could probably fry just about anything up in my sleep. It’s in my blood. However, the tricky part came after the frying.  I’m using an iron skillet, ( is there really anything better??), but what I didn’t account for was the fact that an iron skillet takes a little longer to cool back down than other skillets. So, when I started making the marsala sauce, I ended up, not with golden and tender shallots and garlic, but burnt unrecognizable pieces of what use to be shallots and garlic glued to the bottom. Cue SuperMom back with her magical powers to fix it!

She cooled and cleaned down the skillet in enough time for me to re-chop the garlic and shallots. (Bet you wish you had a SuperMom!) In the end, despite the fact that apparently I had bought imitation Marsala wine instead of the real stuff, and used beef broth instead of chicken broth (what? I’m learning…) it ended up pretty good (or so SuperMom said…she could be biased though).

We paired it up with baked sweet potatoes (which I forgot to spear before putting in the oven –almost had some ‘splodin spuds…whoops!) and collard greens. Delizioso! (Delicious! For those of you who don’t speak I-talian)

Until next time,

Catie

I’m Not A Bad Cook: Cooking Challenge Day 1

Hey Guys!

So for the next couple of weeks (really until November), I will be taking over this blog site for Mom as she is off busy being awesome. Now since I have never blogged before, I was not sure where to start. So I decided the simplest solution was to challenge myself on something and write about it here. (mind blowing, right? totally original.) Up First: cooking challenge.

Now I want to clear the air here and say, I am not a “Bad” cook. So no thinking that I can’t mix and measure with the best of them. I just don’t cook. I never held more than a mere where-is-the-milk-for-my-cereal interest, until I struck out on my own (with husband in tow) and discovered the true dire necessity of knowing how to cook. Because being able to prepare deliciously nutritious meals on a nightly bases is like Survival Level needed. ‘Cause let’s be honest here, Fast-food…looks good on no one’s thighs.

Hence, when my husband and I moved in with my parents for the year, I put myself into what I refer to as, “Housewife Training.” I being Murphy’s Law (if it could happen, it’s going to happen to me, sort of thing) look to my mother the Queen of Keeping-it-Together for guidance in these matters and she has proved to be the wisest of all councils.

Now as I make this transition from catastrophe to composed, the rest of the family has been faced with a challenge themselves. For instance, due to my inexperience in the culinary arts, I tend to use way too many dishes and utensils and so the workload for the clean-up crew has definitely doubled! Therefore, I want to take this moment to say a really big, “I Love You!” to my family for understanding that my GPA has no bearing what so ever on my level of common sense. But I Digress.

For this week, I am cooking from a cookbook that Mom and I found at Target called Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka. She is a blogger at SkinnyTaste.com. I am going to be honest here and say that I have never been to her blog site, but the pictures in her book were absolutely mouthwatering and she had all my favorites there (made healthy!). So I knew we had to try it out.

The first meal I made was the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto Mayo (p.95 in the cookbook).

sandwich 1

Not the most ambitious recipe, but the sandwich came together perfectly (Yum!) and was a good start for a novice. The recipe went just as the name implies: grill the veggies, toast the bread, make the fancy mayo, slap it together and “Pesto!” (see what I did there–punny) you’re a sandwich prodigy.

For my husband, who has yet to be convinced that “Veggies alone, a meal do make,” I made a ham, tomato, pesto mayo, and provolone melt, which seemed to be edible, seeing as there was none left when he left.

Along with our sandwich, we toasted some sparkling caramel apple juice (Delicious!) in honor of the first Autumn chill. Which is when my world traveling parents informed me that the correct way to toast, as they do in Europe, is to simply raise your glass to each other, rather than clinking the two glasses together.  To which I smartly replied, “Well, I’m American.”

And on that note, I loudly and proudly clink my glass to you in honor of a first post and a first meal completed.

Until next time,

Catie