Monday, October 22, 2012

SRC: Artichoke Tomato Chicken

Hi!  It's time for another Secret Recipe Club post!  This month I had the honor of making something from Lynne's blog 365 days of baking.  I felt an instant connection to Lynne when I read that her dream job was to me a mother.  She and her family reside in the warmer area of the States, AZ.  Lynne, can I come for a visit to get away from cold Michigan this winter?  :-)  Lynne has many talents and I am incredibly impressed that she would take on the challenge of baking something for 365 days in a row!  That is amazing!  I love to bake, but I think I would feel stressed!  Kudo's to you Lynne!  There is not a lack of choices on her blog.  Some of the incredible things I considered were Home made cheese crackers (I've always wanted to try that for my kids), Banana Bread French ToastBaked Apple Cider Doughnuts, and look at these babies, Fluffernutter Nutella Crescents!  YUM!  But after looking at all her beautiful recipes, I landed on this one.  Artichoke Tomato Chicken.  I loved the simplicity of this one, but it's so flavorful!  It's healthy, which is good, I could serve it for dinner.  The Fluffernutter Nutella Cresents, well, I'm afraid I would eat them all myself.  But I will try those sometime when I have a crowd, or, maybe I will make them just for me.  :-)

Artichoke Tomato Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
4 medium size artichoke hearts (from a can/jar) sliced into thirds
4 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (I used dried)
6 slices provolone cheese
1 cup chicken broth
*I dipped the chicken in egg first, which is different from the original recipe*

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Prepare a 9 X 13" baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.

Place 1 egg, slightly beaten into 1 dish and the bread crumbs into another shallow dish.
I added a little milk to my egg just to stretch it a little bit.

Using one breast at a time, dip the chicken in the beaten egg, and then the bread crumbs and place in prepared baking dish.

Place tomatoes and then artichokes on each piece of chicken.

Sprinkle with oregano.

Slice provolone cheese and half and place  over each chicken breast.  Depending on the size of your chicken breast, you may need 2 or 3 slices on each breast.

Gently pour chicken broth into dish.

Bake for 20 minutes.

So, the verdict?  Really, really good!  Everyone loved it.  Thanks Lynn for such a simple, easy and super flavorful recipe!

Make sure you stop by 365 days of baking and The Secret Recipe Club for more awesome recipes!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Taste of Michigan part 2

It's been a week since I attended the much anticipated "Taste of Michigan" event.  It's amazing how far behind you get after only 1 day away from home.  A huge huge huge Thank you to my awesome amazing husband, who, stayed home all day with 4 kids, so I could attend the event.  I love you so much honey!  (Isn't he so hot?!)

Photo by Rudy Malmquist

Now, on to my recap.  Please excuse the poor quality on some of these photos.  Some were taken with my phone, which does NOT begin with "i".  
Our first stop was at the Fulton Street Farmer's Market.  

Wow, I haven't been to this market in a really long time.  I knew it was great, but it sure has changed since I've been there.  It's all covered, and they have such an abundance of goods.  We had 20 bloggers that met here, and we started with breakfast at The Silver Spork Food Truck.  I had the baked oatmeal, it was delish!  Everything that was coming out of that truck looked amazing.  You just wouldn't expect that from a truck.  

Next, we headed over to Art of the Table.  

This is one of my favorite shops.  They have tons of kitchen gadgets, towels, napkins, serving dishes and yummy prepared foods.  When we arrived, Patricia's Chocolates was doing a demo with LOTS of tasting!  Her chocolates were amazing, lots of different varieties, and who doesn't love chocolate? 

After some tasting and shopping, The wonderful people at Art of the Table handed each of us a bag of goodies on our way out.  

Then we were off for a little 'free time'.  We wandered around the shops on Wealthy street and Cherry Street District.  I really enjoyed spending time with other bloggers.  I love that one thing in common with someone can just unite you and give you a special connection.  

At 1:00 it was time for our private lunch at Bistro Bella Vita.  First we had a wonderful demonstration from Liz on how to make her family recipe of hummus, using Kitchen Aid's new food processor.    Hummus is one of my favorite things, and I loved her recipe.  

Then Bistro served us appetizers, and pasta and risotto.  Of course it was all super tasty! 

At the end of our Lunch, Kitchen Aid gave away a beautiful, shiny red Mixer!!!  

I did not win, but Meghan, from What Meghan's Making did win, and she's a baker.  How appropriate!  

After lunch, we headed over to Reserve Wine and Food for a little tasting and Charcuterie.  
Now, my husband and I don't drink, so this is a place that probably would not attract me.  I am so glad this was on our agenda!  Peter, the General Manager gave us a tour of the building, which was formerly a bank. He definitely knows his stuff.  I learned alot about the industry, and about the restaurant and what they serve.  He was very hospitable.  The wine cellar is kept in the former vault, and they still have the door.  It added so much character.  

Peter-General Manager

Doing what food bloggers do... taking pics!

Claire from DC as in Washington

Listening to Peter

The Vault

Anyone for a $2700  bottle of Wine?  fun fact, they've sold 0 and they keep 2 on hand.

After mingling with my new favorite foodies, I headed back home to freshen up for dinner at Six One Six.  Of course, dinner was AMAZING.  We started with a cauliflower soup, then enjoyed a beet and pear salad, followed by our main course, which was a lovely stuffed chicken, and finished with a chocolate banana dessert.

The awesome chef's at six one six.  


All of our stops treated us with impeccable service!  Thank you to all of you.  

Liz from The Lemon Bowl  and Rachel from Rachel Cooks put this event together.  They did an amazing job!  Did I say it was amazing already?  I just can't think of another adjective that describes this event.  Thank you Liz and Rachel!!  I was so honored to be apart of this.  

It was such an eventful day full of food, new friends, and SWAG!!!  Okay, so I'm from W. Michigan, I love a good deal, and the only thing better than a good deal is FREE!  So many local companies donated awesome stuff for our swag bags.  So professional right, "stuff".  There is too much to list, but there was over $500 worth of products in our bags.  A few of my favorites... Rowsters Coffee, Vanilla beans and vanilla extract from Beanilla, Good Life Granola, a cookbook, pickles... okay, I loved it all!

Here's some of my new foodie friends.  I wish I had pictures of them all!


Meghan (mixer winner!) and Nikki

Please visit Taste of Michigan to see all the lovely sponsors and attendees and their fabulous websites, and make sure you tell them I sent you.  :D

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Taste of Michigan

It's here!  It's here!  I am so excited and honored to be attending Taste of Mi TODAY!!!  
This is the first food blogging event I have ever attended.  This blog started as a hobby and a way to log my favorites/trials/errors in a paperless way.  The thought of meeting with other food bloggers never even crossed my mind.  I am so excited... oh, did I mention that already?

Here's a great article by Rachel Cooks (one of the founders) with some fun facts for more info.  

You can also follow along live twitter@tasteofmi or visit our website

Pictures of the festivities to come!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cups

I love Fall, I love fall cooking, I love pumpkin!  So, here's a fun and easy recipe I first saw on Pinterest.
They come from Green Lite Bites.  I did add Pepita's (the little green pumpkin seeds) to it.  This is a great breakfast, or snack.  YUM!

1 15oz can of pumpkin (420g)
1/2 cup vanilla Almond milk (I used unsweetened)
2 eggs
1 tbsp Baking powder
3 cups (240g) Old Fashion or Rolled Oats
1 tbsp pumpin pie spice
1/3 cup of brown sugar or sugar in the raw
1/2 cup of pepitas.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix all ingredients together, and let sit while you prepare the muffin pans.

Spray a muffin pan and/or liners with with non-stick spray.

Divide batter into 15 muffin cups. They should be just about filled.

Bake 20-30 minutes, you’ll see the edges just starting to brown and they will be firm to the touch.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are my all time favorite pumpkin muffins.  I make them every year.  This is a lighter version substituting applesauce for oil.  This recipe makes 24 muffins.  I often cut it in half, otherwise I would eat way too many of them!

These are from

4 eggs
1/2 cup oil ( or substitute applesauce for this too)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 (16 ounce) cans pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces semisweet mini chocolate chips

Mix first 5 ingredients together; separately, mix dry ingredients.
Blend the two mixtures together, fold in chips.
Generously fill 24 greased or paper-lined muffin cups. (I have found the paper liners don't work very well.).
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 16-20 minutes.

Vegetarian Chili

I was looking for a vegetarian chili since my husband has decided to stop eating meat.  I wondered if I should just do my regular chili recipe, which I love, and leave out the meat, or just explore.  So, I decided to google.  What did we do before google?  Anyway, I adapted this lovely recipe from The Picky Eater.  I loved the name of that blog.  It describes me!  Well, I've branched out a lot over the years, but I do still have things I'm particular about.  :-)  For the beans in this recipe, I usually use dried, and prepare them in my pressure cooker, for more info on that, look here.  You can certainly use canned beans as well.  If you go that route, rinse and drain them. And, feel free to use whatever your favorite beans are, I just happen to like a variety.  :-)

1 cup dried Kidney beans
1 cup dried Black beans
1 cup dried Cranberry beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalepeno finely chopped
1 sweet onion, diced
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
5 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
1 heaping tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp Ghirardelli cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
Black pepper to taste

If using dried beans, prepare them according to directions so they are ready before you begin.

Chop the garlic, onion, and bell peppers and jalapeno. Saute lightly over medium high heat in 1-2 tsp olive oil.

Once the veggies have sauteed for about 5 minutes, add everything else into the pot (tomatoes, beans, spices, etc.). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 min or longer as needed.

You can also do this in the slow cooker.  If you do, I would recommend still sauteing the onions and peppers.  But you don't have to, I just like the flavor better.  My whole family LOVED this recipe!  Let me know what you think!

Notice the corn muffins in the background?  Those were yummy too!  There's nothing like a hot corn muffin to go with your chili!