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!
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:
Nate’s mom has two adorable Golden Retrievers- Haley and Ezra.
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.
The sides of the canvases are deep, for a more modern look.
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
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.