Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers - Butterflied Chicken

First, the kids have to apologize for the lack of postings lately. For the last few weeks, they just haven't been motivated to do too much, and now with school in full force, postings will only come on the weekends. So they are still here, and participating as much as they can.

Now, on to the chicken!

Sabrina: I really liked this. It was lemony and crispy - all good things about a chicken.

Alexander: I liked it. I've never seen a chicken flat like that before, so I thought it looked funny. But it tasted good.

Thanks Stefany! We really liked this and will try to make it again!

Butterflied Chicken - Ina Garten

1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 2 sprigs
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 roasting chickens (2 1/2 to 3 pounds each), deboned and butterflied
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Mix the chopped rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl to make a paste.

Place the chickens on a sheet pan, skin side up, and loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers. Place 1/2 of the paste under the skin of each chicken. Rub any remaining paste on the outside and underside of the chickens.

Turn the chicken skin side down and scatter the lemon slices and sprigs of rosemary over each chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Roll each chicken up, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat a grill with coals. Spread the coals out in 1 dense layer and brush the grill with oil. Unroll the chickens, place them on the grill and cook for 12 minutes on each side.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Avocado Project - Continues

Remember the avocado project? Well, guess what finally happened? Yes, we have roots growing!

It took longer than we thought, but Sabrina planted the pit this morning, and put it in a nice, bright sunny spot, so we will continue to watch for an actual plant to form - stay tuned!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Leftover Magic - Risotto Cakes

Now that Sabrina is feeling better, she was inspired to take the leftover risotto and make something new. Well, the best thing (besides arancini) is to make risotto cakes. They are fast, easy and delicious.

First, put your risotto in a bowl. We had about 1 1/2 cups left, so she added 1 egg and some black pepper.

Stir it together really well, and if the mixture is too wet, add a tablespoon or so of bread crumbs so that the mixture will hold together. Don't add too much, because then the cakes will be dry.

Form into round cakes, compressing the rice gently so that it holds its shape. Dredge both sides into seasoned bread crumbs:

And place on a greased baked sheet. I lined the sheet with foil and sprayed it with nonstick spray.

Pop them under the broiler for about 5 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden brown.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers - Panzanella Salad

Hooray for Ina! This week, we made Panzanella Salad that Melissa chose.

Sabrina here: I didn't like it, but it was a neat salad to put together. I had fun cutting all the basil leaves of the plant. Although I felt bad because now there's nothing left. I hope it grows back.

Alexander here: I didn't like it either, but at least I tried it. But I really liked cutting up all the vegetables. I'm getting really good with the knife. Although my mom didn't take any pictures of me doing it - something about the camera battery.

Panzanella Salad - Ina Garten

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Coming up next time for the BB group - Butterflied Chicken!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More Ice Cream

Today, Sabrina tried a new recipe from David Lebovitz's book, "The Perfect Scoop". She loves cheesecake, so why not try Cheesecake Ice Cream?

She gathered the ingredients and started measuring them out:

It was a super quick and easy recipe to assemble. In the bowl of the food processor, she put in 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup cream, 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. The original recipe called for lemon zest but she wanted vanilla instead.

I don't know what it is about the food processor and kids, but they love using it!

After the mixture was smooth, she transferred it to the refrigerator to chill for several hours. While Alexander was making dinner, she fired up the ice cream machine and poured the cold mixture in. It froze very quickly - so dessert was ready in no time!

It tastes just like cheesecake! Smooth and creamy - but surprisingly, the kids didn't like it!

Sabrina said, "I guess I prefer my cheesecake in a crust. But I will try another recipe from this book - there are so many to choose from!"

Alexander's Chili Cheese Fries

Woohoo! Alexander is finally back in the kitchen, and tonight he made chili cheese fries.

First, you have to start with his delicious homemade chili. We had some in the freezer, so getting dinner together was a snap.

He used a bag of regular french fries, but instead of deep frying them, he baked them at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes, until they were nice and crispy. Then he put some in his bowl:

Next stop - the slow cooker. It's the perfect place to heat up the chili without having to watch it constantly. He scooped it out onto his fries, until he had a nice thick layer:

The final step - the cheese. He used a monterey jack / cheddar blend. A few handfuls and it's almost ready:

Wow! It looks great! And you know what? He ate the whole thing!

Great job! I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sabrina's Making Quesadillas

Hooray! Guess who's finally back in the kitchen? Sabrina is, and today she is making a quesadilla. She's enjoying the last few weeks of hot lunches, because once school starts, everything is either room temp or cold. There isn't a cafeteria at their school so they can have fast food delivered, but that's not healthy - so the kids are plotting their strategy for great lunches.

But on to todays lunch - the simple, yet always delicious quesadilla.

First, put your plain tortilla in the pan and set the heat to medium:
Then, sprinkle on your choice of cheese - the kids like a cheddar / monterey jack blend:

Then top the cheese layer with another plain tortilla, and allow to cook for a few minutes.

Flip it carefully, and allow the other side to cook for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is lightly browned.

Remove to a cutting board:

And cut into wedges. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Graduation Cake - Wilton 1

Well, she did it! Today was the last class for Wilton 1. And I made sure I had my camera so I could photograph the cake BEFORE we attempted to carry it home. Sadly, last week, the heat from the car melted the cupcakes she designed, thus the lack of pictures from Class 3.

We finally did the roses - they were tough, but like most things, once you get the hang of it, it was pretty simple. Sabrina decided that she wanted to pipe lines down the cake, so here she is, the pro with the piping bag:

A nice close up of our roses -

This is not the finished cake - Sabrina got a little crazy with the frosting after I took this picture, but she had alot of fun.
Next Saturday, we start Fondant and Gumpaste. Her grandparents 45th Wedding Anniversary is next month and she has big plans for flowers for the cake.