Balsamic Chicken with Artichokes and Kalamata Olives

I have been on a health food kick lately and I am hoping that it sticks. Mostly it has to do with feeling better and keeping our health care costs low. So far, so good. I’m not giving up baking but I am trying to keep 90% of the food I ingest healthy choices. I have been making a lot of dishes in advance and then taking them out when I need a convenient meal. Today I made one of my favorites, a dish I learned while working at a restaurant in Montgomery, Alabama. I was a waitress and a bartender and I did make good money in tips but the real reward in having that job was being exposed to a way of cooking I was totally unfamiliar with, exposure to new ingredients, and a basic understanding of how to cook well. I asked the chef a lot of questions and am so grateful that I did!

For this dish, you need to first grill some chicken or cook it in a little olive oil on the stovetop. Make sure you generously salt and pepper the chicken beforehand- it makes a big difference. I then soak it in a little bit of balsamic vinegar as seen above. Next add quartered grape tomatoes, chopped garlic, halved kalamata olives, artichokes (not the oiled ones, just water-packed) and some pasta if you would like. Pictured below is the mix without pasta.

You could also add some grated Parmasean on top. I promise, this is one of the most delicious, flavorful dishes you will make. I chill it and eat it as a pasta salad or, like a lot of people I know will, have it as antipasto. Enjoy!

German Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

My son had this great idea about opening up a doughnut shop and calling it Go Nuts for Donuts!  I like the idea but don’t like what it would most likely do to my waistline. A few years back my husband got me this and every now and then I make a recipe from it. Andrew picked this one. They were awesome.

In an effort to help keep publishing alive, I am going to hold off on publishing all of the recipes I post, especially if they are from a really cool book I like. . . in hopes of getting you to seek out the book. I will probably post a few recipes here and there with the permission of the publisher, but until then, enjoy the pictures and be sure to look for the book,

Lemon Brownies

I admit I was both intrigued and skeptical when I saw the recipe for these. But I had to try them for myself and see. They looked easier than lemon bars (they are) and I wanted to try them to see if they would be a hit for the themed birthday party “lemonpalooza” I am planning for my brother who loves lemons.

They are easy to make. I thought I would try a bite and see how they tasted. I proceeded to then eat an entire row out of the 8×8 pan. They are super yummy and addictive!

I tried them out on my kids- again they were a hit.

I attempted to try them out on my husband but he had a bad attitude, insisting brownies were for chocolate only! Oh well, more for us. . .

Thanks BeckyCharms for posting the recipe.

Lemon Brownies

The Batter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Tart Lemon Glaze
  • 1 rounded cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 teaspoons lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

Zest and juice two lemons and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before glazing.  Do not overbake, or the bars will be dry.

When brownies are cooled completely, make the glaze. Sift the powdered sugar, add lemon zest and juice, and whisk together all three ingredients. Spread the glaze over the brownies.  Let glaze set.  Cut into bars, and serve!