For Presidents’ Day weekend, Nate and I did what we usually do on a long weekend…we headed down to his mom’s house in PA (near Wilmington). As always, I used this time to relax, recharge, and make use of her giant kitchen!

Aaaah, so much spaaaace!

I had so much room I didn’t know what to do with myself…so I decided to cook :) It was so nice to be in a space big enough that I didn’t have to trip over myself. Instead, I was tripping over dogs. See if you can find the furry fella in the pic below. Luckily, they were fairly well-behaved.

I chose two dishes that are always winners. One is a chicken dish with apricots that we seem to always make during the holidays.  It’s been around so long that I have no idea where it came from, but trust me, it’s worth making!

The other is a  Brussel Sprout Hash with Carmelized Shallots that has become a regular on our Thanksgiving menu. People start getting all hot and bothered when we mention anything about trying a different vegetable recipe for that year. Recipes are at the bottom of the post.

I actually did some baking too, but I’m working on tweaking the recipe because I want to enter it in a couple of baking contests. It’s my first time ever doing something like that, so cross your fingers for me! After the contest deadline, I’ll be sure to post the recipes :) Does anyone know of any good contests besides Pillsbury?

Man, I thought I knew how to relax on a long weekend…but apparently I got nothing on these pooches:

"I know, I'm adorable"

Nate’s mom has two adorable Golden Retrievers- Haley and Ezra.

Canine camouflage

These doggies are his mom’s pride and joy, so for Christmas I thought I’d paint one of their portraits for her. I chose Haley since she’s a camera whore. Ezra freaks when you try to take his picture. I did the painting of four 6″ canvases that, when put together, form the painting. I hung them on the wall in her living room.

Haley's Portrait, by Me

The sides of the canvases are deep, for a more modern look.

side view of painting. Note deep side edges I made a contrasting color :)

Long weekends are never long enough. I can’t believe I have to go back to work tomorrow and the next long weekend isn’t until Memorial Day I think!


Baked Chicken with Apricots and Currants
Serves 4, source unknown

3-1/2 to 4 lb. chicken, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 tsp. ginger
1 c. orange marmalade
¼ c. apple juice
¼ c. orange juice (can be canned)
4 oz. dried apricots
4 oz. currants (or raisins)
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar

Preheat oven 375.

Place chicken, skin-side up in shallow roasting pan – can use disposable.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and ginger. Spread on jam, pour on 2 juices. Bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and add fruit, mixing to incorporate. Sprinkle brown sugar over all. Return to oven and bake, basting frequently, until golden and shiny, about 40-45 minutes.

Remove to platter. Pour some juice over meat and serve.



Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots
Bon Appétit, November 2007
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp. butter, divided into 2 pieces
1/4 lb. shallots, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
¾ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup water

Melt 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 2 minutes.

Halve sprouts lengthwise. Cut lengthwise into thin (1/8”) slices. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until brown at edges, 5 minutes.

Add water and rest of butter. Saute until most of water evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, 2-3 min. Add shallots, season to taste with salt and pepper.



  1. I am dying over that kitchen!! Looks like you had a great weekend. And the chicken looks incredible. I adore sweet glazes on chicken, and this has several fruity flavors – yum!

    • You should def make it for Michael soon! It’s soooo easy. Aside from having to baste it now and then to keep from burning, you basically just put it all in the pan and leave it in the oven :)

  2. I can see why there’s an uproar about the sprouts…they sound delicious!!

    Kitchen looks amazing btw…wish i had one like that!

  3. What a delicious looking dinner! I love chicken with apricots..Mmmm…Your dogs are super cute too! :)

  4. LOVe that painting!!!

  5. You painted that? It’s incredible. That alone should make this a popular post. I like the recipes too, but that dog is just brilliant you talented woman you.

  6. Just had a peek at the apricot chicken recipe (which I will make when we return home from holidays) and am especially in love with the golden retrievers… :) We miss our baby girl (golden retriever) Stella – can’t wait to see her – one more sleep!!

    • Yay, so glad you’re gonna make the chicken! You won’t be sorry :) Awww, it’s hard when you miss your pooches. These ones are awfully cute. I never grew up around big dogs…

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  8. Hi Amy, I made a version of this dish over the weekend – absolutely delicious! Everyone just loved it. Thank you for the inspiration :)

  9. What a gorgeous dish! I love love love brussel sprouts.

    I am also loving the painting of your dog done in four separated prints.

    • Thanks, Rachel! You have to try this dish…it’s seriously amazing. I usually end up adding a bit more vinegar because I like things tart. Shredding the sprouts makes them much less bitter.

      And thanks about the painting too! I’m going to be painting another one soon and will be sure to post it :)

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