Saturday, April 27, 2013

As Late As the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland

Hello Sweets,

So I know Easter was almost a month ago now :/ and I realized I never shared my dinner experience will all of y'all. It wasn't a big extravagant ordeal, it was actually just my grandparents and myself which is always a nice treat to have, some quality time together. Since there was only three of us we didn't have the typical big meal, but just a simple, small and delicious home cooked meal.
My grandmother has been making all the big family gathering dinners since I was small, and the years she didn't my mother did. But since she is getting older I decided it was high time I took over, and as I'm sure you can guess I was only happy to do so. However my grandmother had a little trouble with the fact she was given relaxation time lol, she must have come in the kitchen or asked to help thirty times! Our dinner consisted of baked chicken breasts, country mashed potatoes, and a yummy garden salad. I, of course brought a homemade dessert I had prepared the night before, and that is the recipe I will be sharing with you tonight along with how I made everything else :)

The salad is a simple green salad with ice burg lettuce , romaine lettuce, carrots, and some yummy cherry tomatoes cut in half and topped with a zesty Italian vinaigrette.  I seasoned the chicken with a tiny bit of olive oil (so they didn't stick to the baking dish), garlic, pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a bit of lemon juice.  The country mashed potatoes are made just like normal mashed but you leave the skin on, I then made and seasoned them with butter, milk, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Now I saved the best for last, dessert!!

Fresh Berry Crumbly
2C strawberries, quartered
1C blackberries
1C blueberries
1/4C honey
3/4C all-purpose flour
1/2C rolled oats
1/2C brown sugar
1/2C butter
1Tsp cinnamon
1/2Tsp nutmeg

isn't my tiny bottle of honey super cute :D

1)  Preheat oven to 375F.  In a large bowl mix berries, then coat with the honey.
2)  Sprinkle with 4Tbs of flour and toss.  Transfer fruit into a 8"x8" baking dish, set aside.
not quite 8x8 but it worked :)

3)  In a large bowl mix together remaining flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until large crumbly pieces form.

4)  Sprinkle over berries and bake until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.  Serve warm out of the oven with a side of vanilla ice cream.

 You, as always, can mix up the ingredients from the spices to the fruit. I'm an avid Gordon Ramsay fan, and one of the best pieces of advice he gives is to keep it simple, you don't need fifteen spices to create a delicious dish. As simple as this meal was, it was a huge success.  How do I know you ask? There wasn't a plate with food left on it :), and that is what any kitchen creator hopes to achieve.

I wanted to take a moment to do a disclaimer for the upcoming post over the next week or so, I'm calling it the cookie overload disclaimer. My sister is getting married in June and I am making personalized initial cookies for their reception. I will be making three different types of cookies and the fourth will be a combination cookie, the combination cookie will be a symbol of their life together (I know I'm a cheese ball lol). So I'll make a cookie that represents my sister, one for my brother-in-law (not use to that yet lol), and one for my nephew. Thankfully the flavors they like will marry (pun intended) together well for the fourth and final cookie. I'll give you all a teeny tiny little glimpse into the thoughts/flavors swirling around in my head. I'm thinking along the lines of something chocolate, something banana, and something peanut butter. Now the hard part will be finding the perfect recipes and then making the fourth cookie balanced with all the flavors :) I can't explain how excited and nervous I am at the same time.  I put a lot of pressure on myself in normal baking situations but these will be consumed by 50+ people. I guess this will be a great opportunity to see if I can hack it as an actual baker right? Until next time............

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxo

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