Monday, January 28, 2013

What a Difference a Year Can Make.

Let's face it who would have thought that one year ago, on Pro Bowl Sunday, on a dare a unique and exceptional journey could have taken place.  This blog is now a year old, and I want to say “Thank you!” for being part of it all. It’s been an exciting year since my first post.  Through your indulgence and readership, you have allowed me to explore recipes with a touch of storytelling.  Now cooking being my passion, the art of writing I just seem to be learning along the way.  

I am having such a good time blogging and meeting new friends over the course of the past year (that includes the ultimate trip to Hawaii).  I sincerely thank all of you who have been encouraging and supporting me with their valuable comments. I am looking forward, to new postings, new inspirations, taking me and hopefully you in new directions in the year to come.  

How can one truly appreciate the journey unless you really know where you have been.  I can only do that by going back to that 1st blog from January 30, 2012.  Why is the classics contain a good cocktail?  

Okay it started with a  picture of Alex O'Loughlin standing on the rocks and of one my usual off handed comments, oh a little AOL on the rocks. So the start of this journey has begun, with egging on of fellow Twitter friends, an edit of a picture, come up with a drink recipe, and an inspiration for a blog was born.  So the challenge begins.  Can I continue with more recipes? Can I be inspired by more cast and crew?  The journey can possibly be fun, and with the friends I have met along the way, the ride will certainly be interesting.

Ever known someone or even yourself with a fear of cooking? I think that the fear can paralyze you, leave you feeling like you are trapped in a cage and just have no idea what to do.  

I know there are other people out there with a fear of cooking, consider this your back-up.  I'm here  writing this hopefully to give some idea, possibly even show you it might be possible.  Also I love to try to find great pictures to help you with your quest.  

I do understand not everyone grew up cooking with my grams, truly wish you had.  Yes I am one of the crazy people that find it relaxing, but it would be interesting for you to know that you do not need a chemistry degree to cook, since it was not my greatest subject in school.  Never ever feel out of place for not feeling in place in the kitchen.  If I can get you to feel more comfortable, I will be ever so happy.  

This is a one dish that may sound intimidating, but is truly not.  'Cacciatore'  means 'hunter' in Italian, and this 'hunter style' chicken dish uses of mushrooms, onions,and tomatoes.  Then with a mix of some  and herbs will satisfy so many on a cold night.

Chicken Cacciatore

1 chicken, cut up
2 Tbsp olive oil
Tbsp flour
1-1/4 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp pepper
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 large red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
3/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
14- 1/2 oz can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine
Fresh Basil leaves or chopped fresh parsley

  1. Heat oven to 400°F
  2. Remove skin from all chicken pieces except wings; trim any visible fat. 
  3. Cut chicken breasts crosswise in half. 
  4. Heat oil in large roasting pan in oven 2 minutes. 
  5. Combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, rosemary and pepper in large resealable plastic bag; add chicken pieces, tossing to coat well with flour mixture. 
  6. Arrange chicken in hot oil in roasting pan; roast 20 minutes. 
  7. Stir mushrooms, red pepper and onions into roasting pan with chicken; roast 15 minutes more, stirring once. 
  8. Add tomatoes with their liquid, wine and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, breaking up tomatoes with spoon. 
  9. Roast 10 minutes longer until chicken is cooked through. 
  10. Fresh Basil leaves or chopped fresh parsley.

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