Saturday, May 5, 2012

A confession....and, oh yeah, a recipe too!

I have a confession to make.  I am a little nervous putting this out there, because some people think what I am about to say is grounds for a public lynching.  But, here goes.  I am not an animal lover.  Don't get me wrong, I am not an animal hater, Michael Vick makes my stomach churn.  I am more like that person that thinks animals are adorable and likes to buy calendars with pictures of them, but I have never been someone who loves animals and wants a house full of them.  

For the sake of honesty, I should also tell you I'm not a real kid lover either.  I am so not the mom that invites all 30 kindergartners to her house for a paint-your-own-pottery birthday celebration.  I like to strike up bargains like, "agree to skip having a birthday party and I'll buy you a ping pong table instead."  

Teachers.  Coaches.  Room moms.  I salute you.  

I have realized that I do not like anything with potential to get wild and crazy at any moment.  Sure, my own minis get wild every once in a while, but I can do something about that like yell and threaten to take away everything they love in life.  

Now, that with that being confessed, I have to  I promise I am not going to get all weird and start dressing like my dog.  

But, I can't promise you that I won't occasionally blog about my sweet Lola girl and the adorable things that happen in my house because of her.  For instance, my two boy minis being so excited about dog poop that they are hugging each other and the puppy.  Or, my middle mini who sobbed to the point of near-hyperventilation when we had to leave Lola for an hour.  And then my oldest mini coming up with the solution of making an iTunes playlist of songs that Lola can listen to that will make her think of us while we are gone.  Or my tiny mini walking around shushing all of us because her baby Lola is sleeping.  Or, me, waking up at 5:30 and realizing it was Saturday and I had another 2 hours to sleep in.  But, I couldn't sleep because I missed my puppy.  So, I took her outside for an hour and enjoyed listening to birds and playing tug of war with my puppy until she was totally tuckered out.  So, we went inside and I caught up on Glee while she snoozed on my lap.  

OMG!!!  I love her!!!!  Oh, and I am totally going to make her homemade dog food.  

Speaking of food....I've got a recipe to share!  Last night for dinner, we had a delicious meal of chicken marsala served over mashed potatoes with apple salad.

Heids McGhee's mashed 'tators

  • potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes (I use 1-2 potatoes per person)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 stick of butter (or more if you love butter....or less if you don't)
  • milk 
  • seasoning salt
1.  Fill a large pot with water and potatoes and garlic cloves.

2.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and turn off heat.

3.  Let sit until potatoes are cooked, usually about 20 minutes.

4.  Drain.  Return potatoes and garlic to the pot.

5.  Mash with the potato masher.  

6.  Add the butter and milk (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup).  Add the seasoning salt.

7.  Stir.  

We had our mashed potatoes with chicken marsala.  

First thing you need to do is make Essence (Emeri's Creole Seasoning).  This recipe will give you plenty of leftovers that you can save for the next time you make this dish.  Because, believe me, you will want to make it again.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 
  • 2 tablespoons salt 
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano 
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme 
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Chicken Marsala 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows 
  • 2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 4 tablespoons butter 
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake) 
  • 3/4 cup Marsala 
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • Chopped chives, for garnish 

1.  In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. 

2.  Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

3.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.  (The chicken does NOT need to be cooked through at this point).

4.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. 

5.  Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. 

6.  Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 

7.  When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. 

8.  Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Pound your chicken to flatten it.  I am very high tech with my silver spoon.  

Stop and give your cooking partner a little tickle.  

Dredge the chicken.

Brown the chicken.  

Cook your mushrooms.

Add marsala wine and simmer.  

Finish cooking chicken in the marsala sauce.  

Serve immediately. 

Tasty dinner.  And I think it gives minis baseball-playing super powers.  This meal is also best enjoyed with a sweet little puppy laying at your feet.