Sunday Dinner...

Giada's Chicken Milanese w/ Kris's Pasta!

I made this little ditty with the help of Giada Delaurentiis. But of course I added my own genius to the menu!

Giada's Chicken Milanese with Tomato Fennel Sauce

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

For the chicken: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Using 3 wide shallow bowls, add the flour to 1, the eggs to another and to the third bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and thyme.

On a work surface, put the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the chicken until approximately 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly, then dip into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess egg to drip off. Coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.

In a large, nonstick saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of the breaded chicken into the oil and cook until light golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Reserve the cooking juices in the saute pan.

For the sauce: Using the same saute pan, add the olive oil to the reserved cooking juices and heat over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, garlic and thyme. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the tomatoes are tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over the top before serving.

Kris's Pasta

1lb Linguine (or your favorite pasta shape)
1 can diced tomatoes (plain or Italian flavored)
1 lemon (juiced and jest)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 shallot thinly sliced and chopped
1 handful of chopped fresh basil (and extra for garnish)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (and extra for garnish)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

While boiling salted water for pasta, combine all remaining ingredients in a large serving bowl. Cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes (al dente!). Drain pasta when cooked and poor into the large serving bowl with sauce. Toss the pasta so that it is coated with the fresh sauce. The pasta's own heat will heat up the sauce. We want this to taste super fresh so don't cook it. Let the pasta do all the work. Serve pasta along with Giada's Chicken Milanese and you've got one hell of a tasty dinner!


Salad Time!

Roasted Corn and Ricotta Salata Salad

Ingredients for Salad:
2 ears corn (husked/roasted/and de-cobbed)
1 cup cubed (1in) Ricotta Salata cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes (chopped in half)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
salt and pepper to taste
Your favorite bag of mixed greens

For the dressing:
-1 part Champagne Vinegar per 3 parts Olive Oil
-1 tbsp Agave Syrup or Honey
-1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
-1/2 lemon squeezed
-1 tsp soy sauce
-2 gloves garlic, minced
-salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Husk 2 ears of corn. Rub them in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the cobs on greased baking sheet. Bake the cobs in oven for 15-20 minutes or until the kernels start to brown slightly. Take the corn out and let cool while you fix the dressing and other ingredients.

In a mixing bowl prepare the dressing. Add in the tomatoes, scallions, and cheese. If the corn is not cool yet, handle with oven mits as you cut all of the kernels off the cob. Place all of the kernels in the bowl with salad fixings. Give it a stir. Serve the corn salad over your favorite greens as a side dish or main entree!


Philadelphia Ice Cream!

When you take the historic tour through Old City in Philadelphia, there is one Franklin that you CANNOT miss. If you want traditional, old-fashioned ice cream that drips down your homemade cone on a hot day, and more importantly, if you want to feel (and act) like a kid again, head over to The Franklin Fountain in Old City Philly! Just a few skips west of the river, and there lies this famous mecca built of chocolate and cream, not literally.

With so many flavors of ice cream, root beer floats, egg cremes, and candies, one could take days to order. The possibilities are endless! I made a mistake in getting a medium cone filled with Butter Pecan. It was to-die-for but it was too much. I don't exercise enough these days to handle an indulgence as such! Hmmm... gym anyone, so that we can eat more ice cream?


Sunday Dinner...

This recipe is a combination of Giada DeLaurentiis and Me!

Giada's Bean Salad (serves about 4 or 5)
-A bunch of your favorite greens ( I love Chicory)
-1 can of black olives sliced
-1 can of white cannellini beans (drain and rinse the beans)
-1 red onion sliced
-2 cups of french green beans (cook the beans , then cool them)
-2 cups of shaved Parmesan... or you may want more like me sometimes. hehe!

Toss all of that goodness in a bowl!

My Dressing (makes enough for this and leftovers)
-1 part Champagne Vinegar per 3 parts Olive Oil
-1 tbsp Agave Syrup or Honey
-1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
-1/2 lemon squeezed
-1 tsp soy sauce
-2 gloves garlic, minced
-salt and pepper

My Goat Cheese and Truffle Puff (serves one, but make more for guests!)
-2 Puff Pastry Shells (Store bought, thawed)
-Truffle Oil (Expensive but so worth it, get some!)
-2 ounce wedges of goat cheese
-Salt and Pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Flatten out Pastry Shells with your hands. Place bottom shell on baking sheet. Put the goat cheese wedge in the middle of the shell. Sprinkle some of the Truffle Oil on top of the cheese (not too much, it's strong). Season cheese with Salt and Pepper. Place the top Pastry Shell over the cheese and close up the puff by crimping it. Brush the top shell with more Truffle Oil. Season with Salt and Pepper again on top of shell. Bake until golden brown and the cheese is oozing!

Plop that puff on your salad. Drizzle that dressing on, and eat up! It's damn good!
Soft Goat Cheese on Foodista


The Seasons...

...according to a little girl and her dog. Those were the days!


Prosecco, Rosé Style!

When in the toasting mood, whether it be for ringing in the New Year or celebrating another special occasion (or if it's just freakin' HOT), I reach right past that glass of Champagne and head straight for the Processo. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine, made from the Prosecco grape. It's dry, fruity, and you get the bubbly sensation of Champagne without the headache! Well, it's been hot here in NYC and when I went to grab my favorite bottle of $13.99 (in NYC) Zardetto Prosecco, I decided to go with its Pink cousin instead. Forgive me, Zardetto. You've been good to me. However, Riondo Pink gets me.

Riondo Pink Prosecco is light, dry and fruity. Its fine bubbles give off aromas and flavors of cherry and strawberry. It's super tasty with or without food. And at $12.99 per bottle, how could you go wrong?

TIP: How do rose wines get their light pink color? Well, some red grape skins are only left in the fermentation process for a short while, where as in red wine the red skins are fermented much longer. Go figure!


Green Scoops!

Going organic when it comes to ice cream is a cinch! There are tons of organic varieties. But what about the spoon that scoops all of that natural goodness up? Merchant NO. 4 has got you covered with this cute scoop from Chabatree's Teak Collection. I know what you are thinking... "But it's made of wood!" Well, it's actually environmentally conscious because they use the wood from plantation farms, which don't use chemical finishes either. Seems pretty sweet!


The Food Network Drinking Game!

There are hundreds of TV-Show and Movie drinking games. Whether you watch 24 and do a shot every time Jack Bauer yells, "Damn it!" Or if you take a drink every time the word "Dude" is uttered in The Big Lebowski, you are no stranger to the game. Well, if you love to cook, I've got you covered. I would just advise getting all of your cooking done BEFORE you start to watch The Food Network and engage in my suggested shenanigans. And of course… You must be this old (21) to enjoy the ride! 

The Show:

Gaida at Home and Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis is one of my favorite chefs on The Food Network. First and foremost, she's Italian. Extra brownie points there. But her food is always fresh and light- not what most think when Italian food is on the menu. 

So, what's the game? Well, as attractive as Miss Giada is, she tends to always open her eyes and mouth so widely with excitement that she gives the joker a run for his money. 

Every time Giada looks so -excited-and-she-just-can't-hide-it take a drink!

Bonus Sip:

She also loves to pronounce Italian ingredients in an Italian accent even though she is speaking English and doesn't have a natural Italian accent.

When Giada says "Prosciutto" or "Parmigiano" a la Topo Gigio raise your glass! Salute! 

Try her Blueberry-Limoncello Cooler

The Show:
Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten

Ina Garten is fabulous and she knows it. So much so, she loves to say it. However, that's not the only time you need to take a drink during one of her home cooked specialties. Ina also loves to mention and include her adoring husband Jeffrey, as well as asking, "How bad could that be?" when she adds something deliciously bad for you to a recipe.

Drink when Ina says/mentions:
Fabulousness (in any capacity)
How Bad Could That Be?

Bonus Sip:
When Jeffrey shows up and raids the fridge while Ina goes out with her Hamptons buddies.

Let the game begin with her Fresh Whiskey Sours!

The Show:
30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray

Oh Rachel Ray. Her recipes are simple and interesting and she's always so organized. I also love how she gathers all of her ingredients in one shot. I wonder if she ever drops things and they need to film it again? Anyway...

Every time Rachel gathers ingredients like a squirrel preparing for winter... drink up!

Bonus Sip:
There's that laugh. Every time Rachel's infectious cackle interrupts her recipe tutorial... take a drink!

Wash all of this fun down with her Frozen Peach Champagne Cocktail

The Show:

Guy Fieri won the second season of The Next Food Network Star, and with Guy's Big Bite and Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (aka Triple D) he's still going strong!

Guy' s go to adjective for something that tastes great is:   
So that's your go-to to drink.

Bonus Sip:

Don't forget to take a swig when he takes a bite of food and has sauce all over his face and talks with his mouth full. I dare you to keep drinking until he wipes his mouth... With a napkin... (won't happen- see you in rehab!)

Give his Silver Sangria a go!

If you find yourself stuck inside on a rainy Saturday, just turn on The Food Network... and your blender! And remember, it's always 4 o'clock somewhere. Or do they say 12 Noon these days? Be safe!